Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Looking After Your Home If You're Away On Business Often

If you’re going to be away from your home regularly, or for long stretches of time, for business, read on. There are a number of methods, tricks and ways that you can keep your property safe and sound. It’s sad and frustrating but also true that things go wrong in the home. The electricity might clock out, your fire alarms batteries may die. There may also be outside forces that can cause damage or harm, from criminals to strong weather fronts. With this in mind, this guide aims to highlight three specific ways you can look after your home when away on business. First up, we’ll look at a large investment that can help keep your home safe. Plus, we’ll outline exactly how valuable neighbours keeping an eye out can be. Finally, we’ll discuss three alarm systems and the benefits of each!

Invest in a generator
It could be that for the most part, the electricity connection in your home is super reliable. However, as with anything, you can never guarantee that this will be maintained. So, it is for this reason that you should consider investing in a generator. Generators basically mean that if you electricity fails you, your household items and appliances will not fail. Look for one that is water cooled, as this means it can cope even if the temperature is high. Of course, this is an essential for most Australians when it gets a bit steamy out!

Maintain your alarm systems properly
Of course, it is important that you maintain your security alarm properly. However, there is another alarm in your home that needs attention.

For the first one, the best way to be reassured that you security alarm will do its job is to invest in a high-quality one. This is one area that you should never cut corners on. A high-quality alarm system is one that works as well as an alarm system possibly can. If you’re having any issues with it when still at home, make sure you fix them before you leave.

The other alarm system worth remembering about is your fire alarm. Without a working fire alarm, any fire in your home can go undetected until irreparable harm has been done. If this fire spreads to another home, this will be even more devastating for you. So, always ensure that the batteries in your fire alarm are fully charged. While not mandatory, you may also want to consider investing in a Carbon Monoxide alarm.


Get friendly with the neighbours

Having somebody who lives in your local area to keep an eye on your home is crucial. You could ask a friend or family member who lives in the same town or city to do so. However, this then means that they have to drive or walk to your property in order to do this. For this reason, it makes a lot more sense to just have a local neighbour do that job for them. Be sure to offer to return the favour when you’re at home and they’re away. Take across some cookies- everyone loves cookies!


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

NYC Adventure

We've been living in the US now for around 3 weeks, it's gone super quickly already but we still have just over 2 months to go.....wow! We have a few things planned between weekend trips, family coming to visit, our girls Birthdays and of course just being here. I'm sure the next few months will go super quickly. I am finding it hard however to fill up our days when my husband is at work. There are around 4 parks walking distance from our house, all of them have water play which is amazing and seriously lacking in Australia, but aside from going for a walk to the park for a play and a splash, there really isn't anything for us to do. We are living just over the Hudson River in New Jersey, about a 10 minute bus ride to Times Square in New York, which is amazing! Although I'm not super keen on going into Manhattan with 2 kids on my own. Miss very soon to be 3 has decided she doesn't like walking more than 100 metres and of course miss almost 1 can't walk, kinda hard for me to push 2 prams on my own, and the thought of my eldest running off in Times Square is enough to scare me into staying away. We are close but not too close. The area is great for families, not to mention our apartment.....our apartment!!!

It's a newly renovated place on the first floor of your typical brown stone building. It's beautiful and being on the first floor/ kinda ground floor means we have an outdoor space. I was never expecting to get that so we are so lucky. There isn't any grass which makes it hard for My little one who is crawling, it's not just concrete but stones as well, super painful on her poor little knees. Not to worry though we bought a little pool and that seems to do the trick.

As for our apartment, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, beautiful kitchen and nice living and meals area. It's in a fully secure building with a security door at the front of the building so not a worry in the world for us. Let me share a few pics with you. Please note that these are not my photos, they have been borrowed from the realtor site advertising the property. This is because as soon as we walked in the door we dropped our stuff all over the place and there are basically toys everywhere. My photos would not have been great with the lighting so I'm just using theirs, with approval of course!

The beautiful kitchen

Living and dining

One of the Bedrooms


Master Suite.....yes there is a hallway in the master suite

Outdoor space

So as you can see it's pretty easy to live here!! The girls are entertained with toys, the pool, the parks and of course technology. There aren't many shops around our place but that's probably a good thing. Although I did go to a place called Woodbury Common.....oh my goodness.....shops everywhere and discounts in every shop!! Thank you world for creating such a heavenly place.

My eldest turns 3 this weekend so a few fun things planned for her too, I can't believe she is already 3.....where has that time gone?! A Central Park zoo visit and play is in order for her this weekend which I know she will love. Until then though we just need to get through the week, off to the playground.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Working With An Architect: 6 Tips On Effective Collaboration

[Image Credit: Pixabay]

Architects take our vague ideas and create something that is practical, functional and beautiful. This is incorporated into the surrounding area to build a home that is both unique and in harmony. New build properties are on the rise, with more people opting for a bespoke living space. Therefore, working with an architect has never been more important.

There are many advantages to new build properties. If you are thinking of taking the plunge, here’s how to get the most out of your working relationship.

1. Credentials And Qualifications

Anyone using the title, architect in Australia must be registered with the Architects’ Board. This requires the completion of a recognised graduate programme and two years practical experience. Always ensure that prospective architects are registered. They should also be affiliated with reputable trade bodies.

It is also worth asking what Continuing Professional Development courses they are involved in. And also, what their areas of interest are.

2. Experience

In addition to qualifications, it is important to work with someone who has significant experience. Creating residential architecture designs and managing projects is a vast area. Look for someone who specialises in the type and style of property you’re looking to build.

[Image Credit: Pixabay]

3. Gather Your Information

Before the initial meeting, gather as much information as possible. Make a list of your requirements. Include what you’re looking to achieve and why. If certain features are impractical, understanding your reasons will help them suggest alternatives. Be prepared to answer lots of questions and ask questions of your own.

It is always a good idea to provide photographs of similar ideas and styles. This makes it much easier to visualise. Rough sketches are also useful.

4. Draft Sketches

In the early stages, the architect will take your ideas and requirements and put together some rough drafts. This will open up the conversation and allow you to provide feedback. It is important to look over the sketches in detail and make notes. Ask questions and raise any issues you have. If there is anything that you feel doesn’t fit in with your requirements, let them know. This is a collaboration and partnership.

Sketches can be difficult for the layperson to understand. So, ensure you set up a meeting to go through them in detail and ask questions. Once the drafts have been approved, a final plan will be drawn up.

5. Planning And Permits

Obtaining the necessary planning permission and permits can be daunting. There is a lot of technical and legal information to understand and digest. Your architect is an expert in this area and will guide you through the process.

6. Site Visits

Ensure your architect carries out regular site visits. This may add to the final bill, but will ensure that the designs are interpreted faithfully. It will also provide consistency in the project.

The relationship you have with an architect is vital to the success of your building or renovations. Working with someone who shares your vision is, therefore, essential. They will bring your ideas to life. And on a practical level, they will navigate the process for you, saving time and money. Do your homework and find someone with relevant skills, qualifications and experience.