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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I Need to Sell My House Fast, What Are My Options?

Suddenly you need to move to a new home — whether it’s for work reasons, an expanding family, or another major life event — and that means you need to sell your current home fast. How can you get your house ready to sell as soon as possible and what are the options for getting the job done? Here are some tips to keep in mind with guidance from the real estate experts at HomeLight. 

Update your home with what buyers want

Getting your home in shape to appeal to buyers is one way to ensure that you can sell your home ASAP. A recent survey of insights from top agents across the country reveals the areas of your home to update that will best reflect what buyers are looking for. Some of the updates to consider are outdated home features to fix up before selling, such as carpet in the bathroom, popcorn ceilings, shag carpet, wood wall panels, linoleum, vinyl flooring, and bold paint color schemes. Going for neutral tones for paint, carpets, and other flooring can be the best way to get on track to sell fast. 

Work with an expert

This might seem obvious, but working with an agent who has experience selling homes quickly is one of the best tips for a quick home sale. In this situation not just any agent will do. When trying to find the right match, ask potential candidates about their history with sales and their average timelines, as well as their knowledge about selling in your specific neighborhood. Having facts can help you pick the best person to get the job done quickly. 

Auction sale

If you want to sell your home fast, an auction may be the way to go, while keeping a few considerations in mind. According to Forbes, auctioned homes take an average of 45 to 60 days from listing to close. But this type of sale could be risky because you have limited control over the final sale price — it’s possible that your home could sell around 10 to 15 percent lower than the market value. It’s best to consult with an agent to consider all options.

Cash offers

Some agents recommend that the best way to sell a house quickly is to accept a cash offer. Not all cash buyers are the same: You might be working with buy-and-hold investors that purchase rental properties; fix-and-flippers; or high-tech, venture capital-backed companies called iBuyers that purchase homes in good to fair condition, make light repairs, and typically turn over a high volume of homes with thin profit margins. Accepting a cash offer can take time as you work with a professional — such as using HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform — to request a cash offer and find the highest bidder.

If you need to sell you home fast, there are many options and ways to get the job done. The strategy you pick will depend on many factors, such as your home’s condition, your neighborhood, and just how fast you need to sell. Working with a professional to guide you will ensure that you are on track to success. 

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How to Pick the Perfect Art Piece for Your Home

Have you been staring at blank white walls for too long? Is your creative vision stunted and your decor unappealing? Do you know how to choose art for your home?

Don’t be nervous, because you’re the only judge that matters. There is no such thing as good or bad art. The art that matters is the art that appeals to whatever is burning inside you.

Read on to learn how to select art for your home!

Match Art to the Mood

Do you like bright, eye-popping colors in your bathroom? If you do, you should keep it in mind when choosing art for your home. It can influence the feel of a space.

There’s no wrong answer for how to use your space. For example, bedroom art should be soothing according to some stylists, but that’s someone else’s definition. If dynamic scenes make you smile in your bedroom, you should seek out art that highlights that!

Think About Where and How Your Eye Travels

When you enter your space, where is your eye drawn? Art can help accentuate our natural tendency to choose a focal point. Putting specific art pieces in your line of sight will make them pop and help others admire their full beauty.

If you put art on a wall that people don’t see immediately, it’s not going to be as noticed. But that’s not always a bad thing!

When deciding how to choose art for your home, put your big guns out on the front lines. Save your quieter art for someone who looks for and appreciates it.

Mix and Match Mediums

We’ve been speaking of 2D art on the wall, but other forms of art like sculptures and pottery has a significant place in the home. Selecting art for your home requires a balance of mediums.

If you’re looking at landscape photography, choose a scene that matches the vibe of your furniture as well as the room as a whole. Trust your eye. You’ll know the difference when art creates harmony instead of chaos.

Size Matters

When choosing art for decorating your home, we recommend measuring the space or looking at sizing samples to determine how big the prints or statues should be. There’s nothing worse than a totally oversized piece of art that bullies too much of the space.

If you want art to be the focal point, this doesn’t matter as much. However, consider the harmony of your future room. Big art means less room for other pieces.

Now You Know How to Choose Art for Your Home

The most important note to remember is only you know how to choose art for your home. The best stylists and curators in the world have their unique tastes and can help you get the room looking its best, but you must trust your creative process.

Be sure to check out other articles on our website if you want inspiration to improve your life. Add art (and even rent art for your home) and watch your space transform!

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4 Jobs You Can Do Full Time From Home

Are you bored of your 9-5 job and want to make a change? Many people start to work from home full time. This will bring them a stable income while reducing the costs for commuting to work. Some people have it like a side hustle first, but then quit their initial job to work from home.

According to Overheard on Conference Calls, you need to stay organized and plan your time when working from home. Especially when you are working full time. But, which are the jobs that you can go for? Be sure there are lots of jobs that offer you the possibility to work from your home.these are the top jobs that you can do full time!

 

Proofreading

Proofreading includes checking for any errors connected to grammar, syntax, and spelling. Or some jobs, you aren’t required to have a college degree. All you need are excellent grammar skills. Your client will send you a text, and you need to make sure that it is completely error-free. This work gives you flexibility and freedom, so you can work from home easily. Another good thing is that the job is strictly defined, so you won’t lose time on video calls.

Transcription

Working as a transcriptionist means that you will turn all sorts of video and audio material into text. It can be legal, medical, or technical materials that you should type in after listening. You will be listening to reports, interviews, conferences, phone conversations, and create a document file. It is a fun job to do, but you need to make sure that you have a quiet space in your home. You should determine your rate per minute for this work.

Flipping

This is a perfect job for all the passionate DIYers. If you don’t want to work on the computer for the whole day, a flipper is a perfect job for you. It means that you should find good pieces of furniture or other items in thrift shops, auctions, or flea markets. Then, you restore the items and make them look like new. It allows you to express your creativity and skills in a whole new way. Then, you can sell the items for a higher price. You have the freedom to choose your sales methods and strategies.

Blogging

Nowadays, blogging has become an important part of our lives. We all follow our favorite bloggers and read their useful tips. If you think that it is time to give up your 9-5 job but don’t feel so confident, then try with blogging as a side hustle first. Many bloggers started like this and then continued to work full time. You can earn money from google ads, sponsored posts, or even join affiliate programs. Keep in mind that blogging can be a complex job, as you need to produce good content for your readers. You will also need to invest in photographing equipment, props, and other things according to your specific niche.

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How to Properly Dispose of Common Household Junk

It is a harsh truth that every person produces more trash than is reasonable these days. While around 34% of ordinary garbage goes through recycling, the same cannot be said about trickier items like appliances, old furniture, and electronics. What do you do if you have piles of junk at home that you need to get rid of but cannot bring to the recycling center? The tips outlined below may help in proper disposal next time you are faced with the same problem.

Bulky items like old furniture and appliances

You cannot simply leave them out on the sidewalk, hoping someone will pick them up. Instead of worrying, why not call a professional Orlando junk pick up company? These companies typically maintain a sorting and recycling center. There is a good chance that your junk will get sorted and recycled first before the rest gets dumped.

Another option is to consider donating these items. If your appliance is still in working condition, you can try calling a local Salvation Army or Goodwill center. You may also try listing it for sale online. Some people might buy used furniture and restore it, while others purchase old appliances for scrap and other recyclable parts.

Household cleaning chemicals

You need to be careful whenever you need to dispose of household cleaning chemicals. If the product label indicates that it is water-soluble, you can flush it down the drain. Soaps, cleaning pads, and scouring brushes ordinarily go into the trash bin.

Expired medication and health supplements

It is essential to take an inventory of every medication you have at home so that you can get rid of any expired products as soon as possible. When dealing with prescription medication, the government assigns disposal sites, which may include local pharmacies. It is also possible to dispose of old medicines in the trash, as long as you follow the method suggested by the FDA.

Electronics and similar products

Before disposing of any electronic device such as a cellular phone, make sure that you delete all your personal information, remove the SIM card and memory card. You can either trade in the old device for a new one, or donate it to a local charity.

When it comes to old computers, televisions, and laptops, you cannot throw these in the trash. There are harmful chemicals such as lead, which are hazardous to health and the environment. Some manufacturers and distributors offer recycling programs. You can also call the municipal sanitation department and ask for assistance on how you can properly dispose of these items.

Old mattresses

Depending on local regulations, your municipal sanitation department may collect a used mattress provided it is sealed in plastic. When you buy a new mattress, the store may also handle the removal and disposal of the old mattress. If it is still in good condition, you can consider donating to a charitable organization, or a local homeless shelter. However, check with the health department if you are allowed to do so; otherwise, the best solution is to contact a junk removal company to haul away the old mattress.

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