Shower Screens for your Bathroom: Which Style Do You Prefer?

Shower Screens

Shower Screens in AustraliaA shower screen is one of the most important parts of your bathroom. Other than preventing the water from flooding the room, it also serves as a style solution that defines your private space.

Choosing the right shower screen can significantly improve the functionality and appeal of your bathroom. However, with the many types of screens in the market, it can be difficult to find the best for your home. It pays to know your options first before shopping around.

Pivot Door

­In this type of screen, renovators mount all the glass panels in place, except for the door panel. The door features a pivot hinge, allowing opening from inside or outside of the shower. Perth suppliers like Bathroom International recommend shower screens like this for corner units.

Sliding Door

Shower screens with a sliding door features a panel that serves as the door. As its name suggests, the panel can slide from one side to the other. Depending on the amount of privacy you want, choose from standard transparent glass to tinted and frosted glass.

Fixed Swing

This type has a fixed panel and a swinging door, which only opens outwards, unlike pivot doors that work both ways. You see this type often in big bathrooms with enough space to accommodate the panel used as the door.

Fixed Panel

This type is usually mounted to the edge of the bath or directly onto the floor of the bathroom. It has no door at all, just a panel fixed in place. This is best if you want a walk-in shower.

The choice of shower screen often depends on the available space and current features of your bathroom. Also keep in mind the comfort, needs and preferences of the user to get the best screen.

Want Timeless Beauty in Your Home? Timber Floors is Your Best Bet

Timber Floor

Timber FloorWhen choosing the type of material to use for your flooring, you want something that will boost the overall appearance of the space. Timber floors are perfect for this goal.

Timber is not only beautiful; it possesses a range of qualities that make it a great choice for any home design.

A Cosy Appearance for the Home

One of the many reasons interior designers and architects recommend the use of timber floors is the exceptional aesthetic value they provide. As a type of hardwood, timber is one of the oldest flooring materials used for homes. Thanks to its timeless beauty, timber will never go out of style.

The availability of newer, more modern options contributed to its popularity. As timber works well with many other types of finishes and coats, you can customise flooring systems made of this material to meet your preferences for colours, patterns and styles.

Thermal Mass and Insulation

When choosing construction materials for a building, thermal mass and insulation are two important factors to consider. High thermal mass materials generally have poor insulation properties, which means they tend to have problems keeping indoor temperatures at the best possible level.

Timber has low thermal mass, according to the local providers of Perth timber floors. This means that it works better as an insulator than other high thermal-mass construction materials. When installed and placed properly, timber floors can give your home not only impressive aesthetics, but also better control over indoor temperature.

With timber as your flooring system material, you can have that lasting interior appeal for your home. Contact your local flooring provider to learn more about your options. You can find more choices to enhance the beauty of your home and get the best value for your money.

Sink or Swim? When an Underwater Home Loan is Pulling You Under

home loan in Ogden

home loan in OgdenIn simpler terms, you have an “underwater” mortgage if your mortgage has an outstanding balance that is higher than your property’s value. This is also known as a negative equity mortgage or upside down mortgage.

How an Underwater Mortgage Works

To illustrate how an underwater mortgage works, here’s an example:

Current Property Value = $300,000
Current Outstanding Mortgage Balance = $400,000
Home Equity = $100,000 (Negative Equity)

In this example, you are $100,000 underwater on your home loan since your outstanding mortgage balance is $400,000, while your property only has a current appraised value of $300,000. Because of this, you now have an LTV or loan-to-value ratio of 125% — note that a lower number is better since an LTV ratio higher than 100% means underwater status or negative equity.

What You Can Do If You Have Underwater Mortgage

One of your options is to apply for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) by the federal government. If you qualify, you’ll be allowed to refinance your home loan — without regard to how much your negative equity is — from 105% to as much as 125% of the value of your property. But, you can only be eligible for HARP if your mortgage loan is backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

You can also choose to go with HAMP or the Home Affordable Modification Program by the federal government. This is if aside from an underwater mortgage, you also have missed monthly mortgage payments. Although this program can offer government incentives as high as $1,500 to lenders who’ll process your modifications, approval for the loan is still up to the lender. Additionally, your mortgage must be a government-backed loan.

If All Else Fail…

If you don’t qualify for HARP or HAMP and your mortgage is deeply “underwater,” the most ideal thing to do is to simply walk away, just rent for a couple of years, and then purchase a home again when you’re sure you’re financially ready. Just carefully weigh all the pros and cons, as well as risks, and make a viable plan for the long haul. This is a monumental decision, so treat it as such.

Save Your Trees! How Tree Risk Assessment Can Help

Save Your Trees

Save Your Trees in AustraliaTrees deliver a myriad of benefits to you and everyone else in an urban environment — these also increase with the age and size of a tree. On the other hand, taller and older trees are likewise highly likely to accidentally drop their branches or result in root conflicts over time. If you own a tree fitting the description above, you must take the time to properly identify their potential risks.

Why Tree Risk Assessment is Crucial

Whether risks are due to extreme weather conditions, such as extreme winds, or whether a construction project has negatively impacted your trees, you must learn to determine tree risk and corresponding management techniques to ascertain that your trees will continue to deliver their full range of benefits.

Arborists, experts on various Perth tree service offerings, may aid you in managing your trees and offer treatment options for reducing risks related to particular trees.

Professional Tree Risk Assessment

During a professional risk assessment, arborists like those from Beaver Tree Services may recommend any of the following:

  • Prune your trees to eliminate the threat of defective branches dropping on people or property. As improper pruning techniques can result in weaker trees, it is best performed by professionals.
  • Brace and cable your trees to offer support for weaker stems and branches and increase their stability and strength. These will usually ensure physical support for an indefinite amount of time so close monitoring is crucial.
  • Remove possible targets. While your home, a neighbor’s roof, or power lines are practically immovable, you can move potential targets such as vehicles, garden furniture, and landscape features among others to prevent them from being damaged by a tree.
  • Ensure regular care and maintenance. Older trees require more frequent and extensive maintenance such as giving them more nutrients, water (and sometimes even mulch), as well as pruning according to their structure and the season.
  • If all else fails, cut down your tree. Unfortunately, trees with unacceptable risk levels are best cut down. Planting a new tree in place of the felled tree is strongly recommended.

Learn how to take care of trees, and they will take care of you for a long time.


52-Year Old Nurse Wins Great Chelsea Garden Challenge

Sean MurrayA nurse turned amateur garden designer won a gardening contest in Chelsea. After days of grueling gardening challenges, the 51-year old nurse from Northumberland won the final round and beat 5 other amateur garden designers in BBC Two’s Great Chelsea Garden Challenge.

The winner is none other than Sean Murray, an occupational therapist and nurse who hails from Ashington. He is a self-taught flower designer who recently passed his NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies) demonstrator’s test.

Murray, who had no formal garden training, was truly astonished to win the competition. He said: “I was truly astonished to win. It is the best feeling in the world to have your creativity recognised. Watching the design you have in your mind develop on paper and materialise into a living, breathing garden is an incredible feeling.”

Sean’s winning garden design combined plants with space for off-street parking, gravel and naturalised planting. He kept hard surfacing to a minimum because of its potential for causing localised flooding and pushing up temperatures. A water-filled crevice divides the garden, which symbolises the flooding and draining of the earth.

Murray included reclaimed materials to complement the slate dry stone walling and paving. He created nooks and crannies to support nesting and overwintering habitats for wildlife. A secluded seating lay under a tree canopy whilst annuals and bulbs surround a tapestry of shrubs, perennials and scented climbers, providing year-round interest from leaf texture, form and changing color.

By winning the grand prize, he will have the opportunity to design and build a garden on Main Avenue at the Chelsea Flower Show 2015 – something that even professional gardeners dream of. The garden will serve as a show feature at Chelsea as part of RHS Greening Grey Britain campaign, which aims to promote “greening” of front yards.

For him, winning the contest is a life-changing opportunity. In fact, he plans to change his career and is setting up his own business to become a garden designer. As he noted:

“In the competition, I tried to create an element of storytelling in each garden. I am excited at the prospect of creating personalized garden spaces for others. It was a privilege to be part of an exciting, new collaboration between the RHS and the BBC. The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge was a great apprenticeship to prepare me for the challenge ahead. And wow! It’s a big one!”

The contest involved 6 designers who endured 4 days and limited budget to build show gardens in different styles, including cottage, formal and conceptual gardens. Gardener’s World Joe Swift mentored the designers whilst the event was ongoing. The judges at the event RHS Judge James Alexander Sinclair and Gold medal winning garden designer Ann-Marie Powell.