5 Reasons Why Open-Plan Living Is Better


If you’re considering making the switch to an open-plan living arrangement, you’re certainly not alone. More and more people
particularly millennialsare eschewing traditional homes in favour of open-plan layouts that emphasise community and collaboration.

Here are just a few of the reasons why people are opting for open-plan living (often with the help of GIA Custom Design & Construction).

1. More Natural Light

In traditional homes, rooms are typically divided by solid walls that block out natural light. This can create a dark, dreary environment that doesn’t exactly promote positive energy or good vibes. Open-plan living arrangements, on the other hand, allow natural light to flow freely throughout the space, creating a bright and airy atmosphere.

2. Greater Sense of Community

In traditional homes, each room is isolated from the others, which can make it difficult to connect with family and friends. Open-plan living arrangements encourage togetherness and provide ample opportunity for social interaction. Whether you’re cooking dinner in the kitchen or relaxing in the living room, you’ll always be within earshot of your loved ones.

3. More Flexibility

Open-plan living arrangements are incredibly versatile and can be easily adapted to changing needs and preferences. For example, if you want to change up the furniture layout, it’s a simple matter of moving things around until you find a configuration that works for you. Traditional homes, on the other hand, are much more rigid and inflexible. Want to knock down a wall? You’re probably going to need a professional (and a permit).

4. Improved Acoustics

In traditional homes, each room has its own distinct acoustics that can make it difficult to carry on a conversation from one room to the next. Open-plan living arrangements eliminate this problem by providing a single, consistent acoustic environment throughout the space. This makes it easy to hold conversations without having to shout or use hand gestureseven when you’re across the room from each other.

5. Increased Opportunities for Entertainment

Open-plan living areas provide plenty of space for entertainment activities like watching movies, playing games, and hosting parties. And since they include multiple seating areas, there’s no need to crowd around one small television or sacrifice comfort for people who want to sit on the floor. Traditional homes, on the other hand, often have smaller rooms that can make it difficult to accommodate large groups of people comfortably.

6. Improved Airflow

Another benefit of open-plan living is improved airflow. This is because there are fewer walls blocking the flow of air. This can be especially beneficial in the summer months when it’s hot outside and you want to keep your home cool.

7. A Sense of Spaciousness

Open-plan living also creates a sense of spaciousness, because there are fewer walls dividing up the space. This can make your home feel more inviting and welcoming.

8. Easier to Keep Clean

Last but not least, open-plan living is easier to keep clean because there are fewer nooks and crannies for dust and dirt to accumulate in. This means that you’ll spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your home.

Open plan = better

Open-plan living is becoming increasingly popular among millennials who appreciate its many benefits over traditional home designs. From improved acoustics and increased flexibility to greater sense of community and more natural light, there are plenty of reasons why open-plan living is betterjust take a look for yourself!

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5 Eloquent Home Office Room Ideas That Burst With Inspiration

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A massive 4.3 million US people work from home at least 50% of the time, and if you’re one of this crowd, you may find it’s easier to focus if you have a terrific home office.

But what are the home office room ideas that can help you create your ideal space? You could be spending a lot of time in this area, and you’ll want to make it as pleasant as possible to help you be more productive.

You’ll be delighted to hear there are numerous excellent ways to design a stunning home office that you’ll look forward to going into.

Keep reading to learn more about 5 great home office tips.

1. Use Natural Light Sources

If you have windows or skylights, you can make these a core part of our home office design to ensure you get as much illumination as possible into your room. Think about having your desk face towards the window and ensure you don’t place any cabinets or other furniture in positions that would reduce the amount of light in your office.

If any areas of your room are still dark, you can use small lights to brighten them up.

2. Put Up Wall Art

There is a virtually endless list of wall art home office ideas and you could put up motivational pictures, personal photos, or even craft pieces that you have made.

Remember to place your art in areas where you’ll be able to see them from your home office chair.

3. Add Your Favorite Scents

To make your work-from-home space even more inviting, you can diffuse aroma oils throughout the room. It’s possible to use oils that help you relax or oils that reinvigorate and make you feel refreshed.

If this sounds like a fantastic idea to you, you can buy this air stream here.

4. Create a Relaxation Area

When working from home it’s important to take breaks to avoid burnout, and you could place a beanbag or soft chair in one spot in your home office. You can also have speakers to play chill-out music and a small fridge to cool your water or soft drinks.

5. Optimize Your Storage Spaces

You may have a lot of home business equipment, and you won’t want it to make your office messy. Try to make the most of vertical storage spaces, and think about buying chairs that have storage room underneath the seat.

Choose Your Favorite Home Office Room Ideas

These inspiring home office room ideas can help you create the workspace of your dreams. You can benefit from maximizing the amount of natural light in the room, having calming aromas wafting through the air, and keeping your space as clutter-free as possible. It can also help to have a chill-out area and to include beautiful pictures on your walls.

You could soon find you enjoy going into your gorgeous office space to get your work done!

Before you rush off to design your home office, check out more of our helpful blog posts.

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National Floors Direct: How to Get Your Site Ready for New Floor Installation

According to National Floors Direct reviews, preparing your home or place of business ahead of time before your new floors are installed is one of the best ways to ensure that the installation process goes off without a hitch. To help you get your site ready for new floor installation, let’s look at a checklist from National Floors Direct of what you need to do before the installation crew arrives.

1) Clear the Room

Customers who have written National Floors Direct point out that a great way to save time and speed up your flooring installation project is to ensure that the room where your new flooring will be installed is completely clear of any items. This includes moving all furniture out of the room and any other items that might get in the way.

2) Secure Your Pets

Pets are bound to be curious when strangers enter their homes. However, in addition to getting in the way of your installation crew, your pets could end up being exposed to the dust from your old flooring, which can create several health concerns. Before the installation crew arrives, be sure that your pets are confined to a safe space somewhere out of the way.

3) Close Off Other Rooms

There are times when installing a new floor can get a little messy. According to National Floors Direct reviews, it’s a good idea to seal off any rooms connected to the room where your new floor is being installed to prevent dust and debris from spreading to other areas of your home.

4) Supply Waste Disposal Options

Removing old flooring and installing new floors creates quite a bit of waste. To make the installation process as easy and efficient as possible, customers in National Floors Direct reviews recommend putting adequate waste disposal options in place before your installation crew arrives. At the very least, you will want to have multiple garbage bins on hand. It may also be a good idea to contact a garbage removal company ahead of time to let them know about your upcoming project and see what waste removal options they can offer.

5) Provide a Good Workspace for Your Contractors

Your installation crew will need a space to prepare materials separate from the space where the new flooring is being installed. Ideally, though, this space will be near the entrance to the room where your new floors will make the installation process as efficient as possible. By preparing a separate, nearby room for your contractors to work from, you can help make the installation process a lot more hassle-free.

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Seven tips for setting up a productive learning space at home

The new method of studying is through online or virtual learning. Many students have been forced to stay indoors and learn using their gadgets such as phones and laptops. The whole world is facing a coronavirus pandemic, in which human beings can spread through close contact between individuals. Parents are happy when their children work hard in their studies, and they make sure that they provide an enabling environment for their kids to learn effectively. You can try buying research paper online to make sure that you can create a valuable learning space.

The students need to be creative and make a room that is only meant for their studies and avoid distractions of any form. For students to learn effectively, they need an enabling environment and also need ample time. Online studies can be conducted anywhere and anytime because of flexibility. There are different ways to ensure that students attain a productive and positive learning space. We have compiled various methods to improve your learning space below.

Select a learning space based on the preference of your child

Children learn in different situations. Some learn in a silent room while others learn with some soft background music. For children who prefer silence, their bedroom may be ideal for carrying out their studies. For children who can manage little background noise, you may allocate them a space in your office or the kitchen space. Your child can try different tips to identify the best deal for them.

Avoid distractions

Your child should not study when they are surfing through the internet or when the TV is on. Social media will distract them, and they end up losing concentration. Parents need to ensure that their children concentrate on their studies before taking part in other activities that may distract them. Several apps can help children to eliminate distractions. Such apps include Dewo and Stay focused. You may enhance your child’s concentration by playing some instrumental music. Some little pieces may be helpful to some while distractive to others.

Make the learning space comfortable.

Purchase a comfortable chair for your child that suits your child. Ensure that your child has a desk or a flat surface to accommodate your learning supplies, laptops, and books. Your child should not study on their beds because they can fall asleep. Parents should ensure that the child’s learning space should not be more comfortable.

Provide good lighting in your child’s learning space

A good learning space should have clear lighting. Children should not strain to read their books or experience much light, which may destroy their eyes.

Ensure your child has all the learning equipment

Your child should easily access their learning materials such as calculators, paper, and pencils. Children should have a clean and organized room. You may promise them a reward every time that they keep their rooms clean. Clutters should be out of the room so that the children can easily concentrate.

Your child should personalize their learning space

Parents should ensure that their children’s learning space is personalized. Children may add artwork, pictures, or decorations to their rooms. Personalization ensures that children remain focused, inspired, and motivated. Motivated children perform well in their studies as compared to bored children.

The purpose of your study room should only be for studies

Parents should create a learning space where their children only learn. The activities in the room should be studying, attending classes, and doing their homework. Children should remove all other materials because they cause distractions to the children. Ensure that the room is fitted with the learning materials only.

Conclusion

The tips above help set up a productive learning space. Ensure that your child learns in a clean place effectively for learning purposes.

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Shed Permit Requirements in Victoria

No matter whether you are having a custom shed designed or you are buying one directly from the store, understanding the regulations that your local council has in place will be important. With this in mind we are going to focus specifically on Victoria today, and take a look at what is required when you are looking to build or install a shed on your property here. When it comes to sheds, garages and even custom carports Victoria has a specific set of rules and regulations which must be adhered to. Failure to meet these requirements could easily result in a fine or worse, so being informed is always best.

Sheds

When it comes to store bought or custom sheds Victoria is actually quite flexible around what you can do. The rules in fact are very simple and you are only likely to require permission should you be looking to build a large shed. If your shed is larger than 2.4 meters in height or more than 10 meters squared, you will need a permit. Additionally if you are going to build the shed within 1 meter of the boundary or if you are attaching to the building to another structure, it is worth seeking advice to see if you need a permit.

Garages

In most cases the garage construction will require a building permit, unless it is smaller than the regulations listed, which is unlikely for garages. Now for most custom garages Victoria requires a permit as well as some additional details. For example if the work will cost more than $16,000, including materials, then you must ensure that you have domestic building insurance. If the work will cost over $10,000 then you must register a major domestic building contract. Additional rules include the requirement of using registered builders and licensed plumbers if you require water access.

Carports

Carports follow a mixture of the regulations which we have already seen with the construction of sheds and garages. In most cases a carport is likely to exceed the size limits which are in place to build a shed, which will mean that you have to get a permit. Rarely will costs of a carport rise above the minimums for a garage, regarding labor costs and materials. With this in mind it is likely that a basic permit is all you will need for this kind of construction.

Final Details

Each council does differ which is why you should seek advice if you are in any doubt about your requirements for the construction you have planned. Although it may seem like a problem, the reality is that applying for and having a permit granted is a very easy process. All local councils have application forms on their respective websites, and all you need is the measurements and the details of the build you have planned.

Always ensure that you have met the requirements and secured your building permit, before you kickstart any building work on your property.

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How to Style Your Backyard For Winter

When the winter months arrive, that colder temperature doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to close off the backyard and forget all about it. In fact with some careful design tweaks you can ensure that the yard is fully available for use, no matter what the weather is doing. In most cities and towns around Australia the lower temperatures are rarely super cold, which is why using the yard still remains an option. No matter how much you enjoy using the yard during the summer months, here is how you can make changes that makes the most out of it in winter too.

Keeping The Deck Warm

A timber deck is the perfect place for relaxing in your backyard, be it summer or winter time. In order to ensure that you can continue to use this throughout the winter evenings it is important that you look to either install patio heating or buy a portable heater. In climates which don’t get very cold, light bulbs which are designed for heating can be enough to look after this particular area.

Another consideration to make for your timber decking is protecting it from the elements with wind breaks and overhead shelter. Often the temperature can be warm even if it is raining, which is why adding this protection will help you out.

Keeping it Bright

Another challenge of the winter months is the darkness which comes so much earlier in early evening. To combat this consider the use of tiki lamps or old-style street lamps to add some real character to the garden and to brighten it up once the sun has set. Half of making the space attractive is about appearance, which is exactly why lighting plays such a key role. You could also look to add some fairly lights to your timber fence, to further give the illusion of a brighter space.

Bringing The Fire

Adding a fire pit to your yard is something which you can use throughout the year and which you will especially benefit from during the winter months. This kind of installation doesn’t just provide light and heat, but also an attractive feature which will become a key talking point in your yard.

Switching Up The Furniture

During the summer we want to be comfortable when sitting outdoors, but during the winter there is a certain coziness which we crave. This is why switching up the furniture in your yard makes perfect sense, and also brings a real change of style for this time of the year. If you have garden furniture on your timber decking then you may simply wish to change the cushions and the fabric to bring this new look and feel. There is much that you can create with some very small changes, and this is a simple way of ringing in the winter in your home.

These are just some changes which you can look to make that will ensure that your timber decking and your yard are still attractive throughout the winter months.

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How to Save Money on a New Roof

Roof replacement issues are serious whether you are a real estate investor, you own commercial property, or it’s your personal home. This is easily one of the most important repairs to perform and one of the most expensive as well. This can put a serious dent on your bottom line if you’re operating your business from home, and there are often no alternatives. So, what can you do to reduce costs? Here are a few ideas.

Shop Around

The first thing we suggest is that you start shopping around, but don’t go overboard. Look for at least three quotes from reputable contractors. If you want to know what makes a contractor reputable, one of the best ways to do so is to check their track record. Reviews are great, and you can ask for references as well, but one of the best indicators is how well they’re standing with the BBB. If you don’t know what this is, it is a customer advocacy group that allows people to leave formal complaints about a business. Businesses can choose to be registered or not, and the reviews are a bit more credible than those you’d find on Google.

People like advantage-construction.com, for instance, have been registered since 2013 and have amassed an A+ rating during that time. That’s usually a good sign of a team that takes their work seriously. Get a few quotes from services that have a good reputation like this one and ask for details to make sure that there will be no hidden fees.

Handle Some of the Work Yourself

There are many costs that are associated with removing and refitting a roof. One of them is waste removal. If you can manage to handle that part on your own, you may be able to save a few bucks. We’re not saying you should get on the roof and rip out shingles yourself. That would be dangerous and not worth it. Instead, you can arrange for the garbage container rental and fill it yourself. This is something that you can easily do on your own and doesn’t require much effort.

Learn About Different Materials

You also have to make sure that you start learning about different materials before you start searching for a contractor. You want to know which materials are the cheapest, but which ones will give you the greatest returns as well. If you’re using your home as a formal office, you may want it to look great, so you may not want to go for the cheapest option possible. However, if you’re strapped for cash, then asphalt shingles are the cheapest you can find. They won’t last as long but will cost you much less than other options and are cheap to install as well.

Get it Replaced at the Right Time

Roofers are usually at their busiest in the late months of summer and in the fall. So, if you contact them in the spring or winter, you might be able to get better deals. You’ll have more space for negotiation and some will even offer off-season discounts, so take advantage of this.

These are just a few tips that you can use to reduce your roof replacement costs. The most important part is working with a team you can trust and who has your best interests in mind.

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Can I Rent out or AirBnb a Granny Flat in Melbourne?

Granny flats are a brilliant investment for a property owner to make. These self-contained abodes can be built outside the main house on the property, and offer an enormous array of benefits. One of the benefits which most people enjoy is the fact that they can rent out their granny flat for long term stays and in some cases even through the use of AirBnb. Renting out the property means that the owner can earn some additional income and this is also an attractive feature for any potential future buyers of the property.

When it comes to granny flats Victoria has a large number being built, especially in Melbourne. These flats have been built for a variety of reasons, but renting out or adding a granny flat to Airbnb is not one of them.

Strictest Laws in the Land

Unfortunately, Victoria is one of the states with the strictest laws around granny flats and at the time of writing, it is not possible for you to rent out the abode. Councils do differ slightly in the state, but mainly there are two caveats which they require, and they are usually unchanged. The first of those caveats is that the granny flat can only be inhabited by dependents; the second is that they must be removed when that person stops living in it.

Change Is Afoot

Despite these tough laws there is a lot of talk of change being afoot with regards to relaxing the restrictions. Ultimately having laws like this doesn’t encourage the building of additional property and it shackles many people in Melbourne and throughout the state. Victorians have been trying to get the state to change their stance for a number of years now, and in 2016 the Andrews government did pledge to look into this. However, as of yet, things have not changed.

Requirements For Granny Flats

Victoria doesn’t just have restrictions around the building of granny flats, they are also strict on what constitutes a granny flat. You will also need a permit to build one if you follow the guidelines;

  • The granny flat is movable

  • Granny flats will be occupied by a dependent person

  • No more than one person lives in the unit

Is It Worth Building?

There is a groundswell of support and a great deal of hope in the state that things will change, and many are still looking at building these properties. Granny flat trends change quickly and here in Melbourne in particular there are some fascinating designs and creative approaches to these small homes. What most property owners are doing is constructing the granny flat for their teenage children or elderly parents to live in, with the hope that the law changes by the time they have moved out.

This approach means that Victorians are generally investing less in the granny flat, than people in other states such as in NSW. However once those laws are softened, it is most likely that there will be an abundance of granny flats hitting the rental market.

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How to Repurpose Your Old Garden Shed

It doesn’t take long for a garden shed to show signs of damage and wear, owing to its position outside. Even if you haven’t used your garden shed for some time, you will be surprised at just how easy and low cost it can be to bring it back to life. Many are guilty of looking at worn sheds and thinking that it would be easier to replace it, but garden sheds are far more robust than many give them credit for, and a makeover is often a much smarter option.

Replacing The Roof

It is the roof of the shed which so often gets damaged from rain & debris. Leaks occur, tears can happen and the seal of the shed weakens over time, allowing access into the shed for insects. Whilst you could add a new layer of protection to the roof, the smarter solution is to replace it with a new roof, such as a metal roof seen on Colorbond sheds. This metal roof can be easily attached and sealed. This is a much easier and more efficient option than replacing the felt, resealing and re-insulating.

Replacing Windows

Many custom sheds in particular have more windows than conventional sheds, and over time these can look dirty, they can lose their seal and provide more of a problem. However, these windows can either be resealed and cleaned, or replaced entirely with new panes both of which will make a huge impact on the overall look of your shed.

Clean and Paint

A poorly looked after shed can very quickly appear like it has gone to wreck and ruin, but giving it a new lease of life is often achieved through the simplicity of cleaning and painting. If the timber is of good quality then moss and grime can be scraped off, the timber can be resealed and then painted. Look to paint the shed a different colour from what it was originally, as this will also make you feel that it is a much newer addition to your garden.

Door Care

If the door of the shed is damaged then it is well worth replacing it entirely, if however the door is in good condition, change the hinges so that it opens and closes with ease. But keep in mind as the weather changes and the timber warps and bends, the strength of hinges and brackets in the shed could have been loosened. For this reason in many cases it makes much more sense to replace them altogether, drill new holes to ensure that the door is fully operational.

A high quality shed will last for many years and even if you have been guilty of ignoring it, or storing products away and forgetting about them, there is still much that you can do. In fact, many individuals will be surprised at just how great garden sheds look after they have been given some TLC. Make sure to begin planning and figure out which ideas will work best for your time and budget.

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Go Green: How to Choose the Best Solar Panel Installer for Your Home

Have you been putting off getting solar panels because of how much it cost in the past? The good news is that cost is no longer as big of a concern. The cost of solar is at an all-time low and is expected to keep going down in the future.

If you’re trying to find a solar panel installer, this post will help you with your search. Keep reading to learn what to look for when researching companies for solar panels installation.

Find a Certified Provider

A solar installation is a complex build that people can’t just pick up and do without training. You don’t only have to install brackets and solar panels on the roof, either. You have to design a system that will meet the needs of an individual home.

Your solar installers will need employees who can handle every step of the process. Each state has different licensing requirements, so look into your state’s regulations to familiarize yourself with what’s needed.

After you do this, ask your solar providers to provide documentation showing they fulfill your area’s licensing requirements. Since every location is different, don’t settle for someone licensed in another place. If your county has varying building restrictions and your provider doesn’t know about them, you might get stuck with an illegal solar installation.

Verify Insurance

There’s always a chance that an accident happens when someone is working on your solar installation. The problem comes when the contractors you use don’t have any insurance for their employees.

Contract companies are required to hold insurance for employees when they’re on work sites. This insurance covers any damages that occur to your property and for injuries that happen to workers.

It’s bad enough if your property is damaged during the installation process and you need to repair it. However, this isn’t the big problem. It’s when someone injures themself without insurance that you run into real issues.

If someone is injured on your property and isn’t insured, you might be on the hook for damages. If you want to avoid this, make sure anyone you work with has the proper insurance for any issue that comes up.

Ask About Subcontractor Use

You won’t only need to verify the primary company’s credentials you contract to do your solar installation. If your solar installer uses subcontractors to handle their work, you’ll need to confirm their credentials as well.

Credentials aren’t the only thing you need to worry about, either. Your solar provider might not provide the necessary insurance for people they subcontract work to. You’ll need to make sure that every person on your property has the right insurance in this scenario.

If you want to keep things simple, make sure that your solar installation provider employs all their workers themself.

Verify Warranty Information

Even a great installer won’t always perform a flawless installation. Whether it’s because of a worker’s mistake or faulty equipment, there’s still the chance that something will go wrong after your installer finishes the job.

The question is, will the solar firm you work with stand by their work?

There should be a warranty for any work done on your roof that lasts many years. Some warranties last up to 10 years, so try to get as many years as you can.

The other warranty you need to watch for is for equipment. These warranties will likely come from the product manufacturers. Your provider will know what kind of warranty your equipment manufacturer provides, so check with them to see what you can expect.

Ask About Financing

It isn’t always easy to get finances for a home improvement project. Some mortgage companies limit what you can do with refinancing, so you may be looking for other options. The good news is that some solar installation providers can give you the loan you need.

Many solar providers also offer you options if you don’t want to buy your panels outright. They work on a lease structure and will loan you solar panels. It will provide you a way to take advantage of green living without a lot of financial risks.

The leases that providers offer will vary on price and duration. Check your options to see if any make sense for you.

Look for Testimonials

Your solar installer search isn’t complete once you find a company you think can handle the job. Their job is to impress you with their services, so they likely won’t tell you about any problems they’ve had in the past. That’s why you need to find past customers and learn about their past experiences.

Ask your providers for testimonials before you commit to working with them. If they do great work, it shouldn’t be hard to find a satisfied customer to confirm their skill.

Of course, don’t just rely on the testimonials they provide. See if you can find any previous customers yourself. Looking at websites that let you talk to people in your community is a great way to find other customers.

Find Someone Local

Building codes vary a lot between different regions. A contractor experienced in one part of the country might not know what to expect if they come to your location. That makes it beneficial to look for solar companies in your area to handle the job.

If you want to find solar companies near you, start your search on Google. If you type “solar companies” in the search engine, you’ll get a list of local companies.

Your options will show on Google Maps. You can see the distance to your location, their address, and their customer ratings. Doing this is an excellent way of finding a reliable solar panels installation company quickly.

Start Your Search for a Solar Panel Installer Today

There’s never been a better time than now to install solar panels on your home. Now that you know what to look for in a solar panel installer, you can start your search. The sooner the process is complete, the sooner you can stop relying on the grid.

Are you interested in learning about more home improvement projects? Head back to our blog to discover our best improvement tips.

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