How to renovate a bathroom – The 5 essential stages.

What’s Hot In Australian Homes

Trends in housing designs and decorating come and go. With space at an all-time premium, building designers look for innovative ways to work current trends into new homes. Home builders such as Coral Homes design homes to cater for different climates and state building regulations, and they have display homes in each state for prospective buyers to peruse. To see what ideas are popular for Australian homes right now, read on.

Outdoor Living Areas

An outdoor living area is where friends and family gather to eat, talk and relax. Australia has the perfect climate to spend plenty of time outdoors and homes are designed and built with this in mind. What was once a separate entertaining area, pergola or patio has been replaced by this modern addition to the family home. An outdoor living area often features sliding glass doors which open out into the living space, convenient for ducking in to the fridge or to keep an eye on the kids watching TV indoors.

Things to maintain around your home

An outdoor living area is generally home to an outdoor setting (lounges or a table and chairs), as well as the barbecue. Many families are looking to maximise their space by including an outdoor sink and fridge as well. One thing to remember though is that these areas do take maintaining as they are often exposed to the elements, here are a few things you can do to maintain you outdoor area.

Children’s or Adult’s Retreat

How you use a retreat may depend on the size of your family or the age of your children. Teenagers welcome any space that is their own, so a retreat is popular in many homes with older children. A retreat doesn’t have to be a separate living room. It can also be a gaming area with a TV setup for consoles, or a quiet room in which to read or work. A retreat offers space to chill out away from the noise of the rest of the house and is fast becoming a must-have addition to a family home.

Open Plan Kitchens

An open plan kitchen connects to the living room without a dividing wall in between. Floor to ceiling cabinets offer plenty of space and an island adds bench space without blocking the kitchen off. A kitchen island also doubles as a breakfast bar and gives room to family members who want to talk without being in the way of the cook. Open plan kitchens have been popular for a few years and continue to be a prominent feature in modern designs. Feature splashbacks or benchtops add colour and the open design allows for natural light to filter in from other areas of the home.

Hidden Storage

Space is usually at a premium in the home, particularly if you have a large family. Maximising space with hidden storage devices is common in many building designs. Some clever ways to add storage include shallow drawers below base cabinets, pull-out shelves under the kitchen or laundry sink and shallow built-ins for the hallway. Touch-latch release cupboards mean no chunky handles sticking out and also allow you to bump them open with an elbow when your hands are full.

Timber and Working With Wood Expo – Power Tool Heaven.

I was recently invites to the annual Timber and Working with Wood Expo held here in Sydney from the 12th – 14th of June. Festool invited me to view their new range of power tools they plan on releasing later in the year. It was a great day as I not only got to check out some cool new power pools but I also got to meet some great people within the industry who all share a common love for wood working and tools. There were many highlights of the day, but let me start with Festool who are considered the BMW of power tools.

The Festool stand and range of power tools was extremely impressive, but what I enjoyed the most was getting a first hand look at some of their new tools that are yet to hit the market. I can’t say too much about them just yet (watch this space), but I can say that there was a prototype of a new cordless power saw that in my mind is a real winner for when it comes to site work. I can even see it making some other tools in our works shops and tool boxes redundant. There was also a new dust free cutter / grinder, new 18V cordless drill with an impressive design and an extremely bright portable LED cordless light. One tool I am super impressed with that is on the market from Festool is the Vecturo Multi-Tool, this thing has precision written all over it!

After finishing up with guys at Festool I took a walk around to check out some of the other highlights from the show. I discovered many wood turning demonstrations, custom made furniture, hand built wooden boats and more hand tools than you can poke a stick at. Throughout the hall there was an impressive range of timber slabs and burls that were on display and for sale. I overheard two guys talking who were looking at some of the natural timber and one of them said “This is what I imagine heaven to look like”, I had a chuckle to myself and kept walking.

I bumped into my good friends over at Metabo Australia who I have recently reviewed their new 18V SB 18 LTX BL Quick Cordless Drill on my YouTube channel, they had a huge range of their latest gear on display as well. The one thing that caught my eye was their new cordless compound sliding drop saw, this thing runs at 4,000 RPM and will make 400 cuts of laminate flooring on one single charge from the 5.2Ah battery. Metabo are also leading the way in battery technology and have a new range of LHD batteries that are due to hit the market with increased run time of 87% and 67% more power, can I get a Hell Yeah!!

had a chance to check out the Dewalt and Milwaukee stands, and try my hand in a drilling competition that Dewalt was running for a chance at winning a new road bike. The deal was to see who could drive in 5 screws into a piece of timber in the fastest time over the show to go into the running for the bike. When I had a go the fastest time set so far was 16 seconds, my time, wait for it….. 6.2 seconds! I’m still waiting for my phone call….

Dewalt had a table saw with rolling saw work station that I was impressed with, these two items would be perfect for the contractor who needs to have a mobile work shop. Milwaukee had a 90 degree impact driver that I was equally impressed with, I could see it being useful for tight spaces and confined work, in fact I could have done with one today!

There were also second hand tools on display and a wide varity of hand tools and wood turning tools along with demonstrations in wood turning and wood carving on the day

Exciting News – Renovation Junkies is finally here!

Well its been a year in the making but im proud to say that Renovation Junkies has arrived. While its still very much a work in progress my new site has been designed to help out first time renovators and owner builders who are looking for that extra bit of information on the topic of building and renovating.

I decided to launch this new site due to some of the questions I was receiving from my blog posts on this site and also from the videos I have been posting on my YouTube channel. So what is Renovation Junkies all about? Well it’s just like the name says, its for people who are addicted to renovating, or have the bug to renovate but they don’t know where to start. Below is the welcome video for the site explaining what its all about.

I have designed Renovation Junkies so that you can be walked through the various stages of the process from start to finish and I have included some of the templates and procedures that you will need to ensure a smooth running project. One of the key templates I give away on the site is a construction schedule which helps you to map out the time line of a new project from start to finish with all of the key critical dates included. Here is a video I put together a little while ago that shows how to use this template.

I have broken down the whole process into 5 key stages and they are –

Stage 1. Research Stage.

Stage 2. Plans Stage.

Stage 3. Pre Construction Stage.

Stage 4. Construction Stage.

Stage 5. Job Completion Stage.

Over the coming months I will be drilling down into the intricate details of each of these stages and mapping out what the entire process should like like form start to finish. So if you get a chance head on over and check out the new site, I would love to know what you think about it.