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When homeowners start to work on the landscaping of their property, the cost seems to always leave them shocked.

For some reason, people tend to think that landscaping would cost the same as gardening, but they are left surprised when they find out that wood for decks and retaining walls cost a lot more than plants and flowers.

The average backyard renovation starts at roughly $20,000, and some projects even cross the $1 million mark.

There is such a huge price range for landscaping so how do you know how much you should be spending on your outdoor renovations?

A common mistake that people make when it comes to outdoor renovations is that they envision exactly what they would like in their yard down to the wall hanging art, before they set the budget for it.

Homeowners need to set their budgets based on percentages of what their home is worth. Realtors and housing experts say that front yards have been getting more attention because of first impressions. A home’s first impression has a value of about 5-8% of the home’s total worth.

When aiming for higher returns, front walkways, sitting areas, front porches, and shade trees contribute the most to reaching that goal. Plants and garden beds look great, but having them in the front yard can potentially intimidate buyers because it gives off the perception that the home is high maintenance. Try keeping things simple in the front because buyers usually want low-maintenance homes.

Try to keep landscaping at 7% of the budget. However, that number does not include the driveway, even though it will probably be at the front of your home.

Backyards are usually more about function than a front yard. Having a great landscape design can offset the shortfalls from the inside of the home with adding outdoor elements that meet the same need. An example of this would be that if you have a small kitchen inside your home, then adding an outdoor kitchen with a barbecue is a very smart investment.

Having a good patio or deck in your backyard that provides you with a large area to host people can increase the value of your home by up to a staggering 12%.

It will be spring in a couple of months time, and that means that it’s time to get outside and getting your home ready for entertaining during the summer time. You just have to make sure you budget your money accordingly. Set aside 20% of your budget all to be put towards the outdoor renovations that may include eye catching suspended ceiling systems.

All of this may seem like a lot, but with all of the housing market numbers showing large returns in landscaping, you can renovate knowing that you are spending your money wisely.

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in-the-night-time-4-1527517-639x426Many options exist for offering something like industrial lighting in a house, from incorporated architectural options that need professionals and tradesmen, to ornamental lamps that need just be put on a table and plugged into the closest outlet. Although some types of components are more typically related to a specific layer of lighting – ambient or accent – most components are versatile enough to be used in a number of ways.


Installed or suspended from the ceiling, mounted lights includes a linear real estate including several heads that can be positioned anywhere along a track; the direction of the heads is adjustable also. Mounted lights are often used for job or accent lighting.


Suspended from the ceiling, chandeliers direct their light upward, usually over a table. They can improve the decorative design of a room. Chandeliers provide ambient lighting.


This kind of component is mounted directly to the ceiling and has a glass or plastic shade concealing the light bulb. Ceiling components have actually been common in homes for almost a hundred years, typically offering all the ambient light in a room.


Installed under kitchen cabinets, this kind of lighting can be linear or a single puck-shaped fixture. Undercabinet lighting is incredibly popular as task lighting in a kitchen area.

Wall Sconce

Surface-mounted to the wall, sconces can direct light upwards or downwards, and their covers or shades can add a stylistic touch to space. Wall sconces supply ambient or job lighting.


Suspended from the ceiling, factory lighting directs its light down, generally over a table or kitchen island. A pendant can improve the ornamental design of a room. Pendants can offer ambient or job lighting.

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Are you wanting to make the best outdoor entertainment area so you can host all of your friends and family like the one below? Are you secretly hoping that you get so many compliments on it and hope it’s the best in the street? Well here are a few tips to help you create the perfect space.



Before you start to do anything about the area you’re creating, you must have a layout planned. You have to consider the things you definitely want to include. If you have quite a large space to work with, it is best to spread things out and make different zones.


Flooring is everything. You want to have a floor that is sending a warm and inviting vibe up through the space. Having gorgeous engineered timber is a major hit and creates such warmth. Having pavers that compliment the colour of the timber you have chosen is a beautiful feature. Just remember, the flooring you choose has to match your home to keep the same vibe. Acquiring the help of a landscaping contractor could most certainly help you create the best outdoor area.


Putting lighting around the yard will make the space feel more lively and will allow you to spend more time out there on those beautiful warm summer nights.

Focal Point

Every garden needs a focal point. It could be a stunning vertical garden, a gorgeous outdoor dining set, or it could be just a feature. Including something in your outdoor design that gives off a wow factor is key to draw people in.

Bringing The Outside Inside

Have you ever planned to host people over and then when the day comes it rains and you can’t have everyone outside? Well to avoid having to shuffle everyone inside, create an outdoor area that can be closed off when it is cold and rainy. Putting bi-fold doors in the room is a fantastic feature and allows you to accommodate to every time of year. You just make sure that you keep the same design in both areas. For example, if your home has a lot of timber throughout it, make sure you include various timber products in the outside area to keep the flow.

Outdoor Kitchen

You might think, ‘why spend money on an outdoor kitchen when you already have one inside?’ but hear me out. If you are cooking on the BBQ outside and you have all of your guests outside, why would you want to carry all of the dishes all the way into the house? You could also include a stove and fridge in the outdoor kitchen, which means that you can cook more things on the stove and you don’t have to keep walking through the house just to get a drink out of the fridge. Spending the extra money is definitely worth it, and plus, it gives you more room in your main kitchen!

To get some inspiration, watch the video below:

To read more about creating the perfect outdoor entertaining space, visit

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Thinking about renovating your home? That’s great! It can add value to your home and can improve your lifestyle a lot. But that’s only if it’s done correctly. Here are 5 common renovation mistakes that you need to stay away from.

1. Ignoring the existing issues in the house

If you live in an older house, when ripping up floors and knocking down walls, there is a higher chance that you will stumble across an unexpected issue or issues with object support. As soon as you stumble across an issue, it is always better to address it straight away. It will be a lot cheaper to address straight up, especially if it’s plumbing and has something to do with the hot water system, or any electrical issues because you can fix them before you close floor or walls back up.

2. Constantly changing your mind

If you keep changing your mind, your renovation will cost you a lot more money. If you change your mind late in the process, it will cost you a lot more. The mostly costly thing you could do would be to change the design. If it is a change to the actual layout, then depending on how drastic the change is, you might have to get a new planning approval. However, changing your ideas about small interior details such as internal blinds or furniture, is not such a bad thing.

3. Doing the renovation yourself

Renovating your home is really exciting. A lot of homeowners love the idea of being involved and doing it themselves. This is fine when it comes to small tasks because that’s what makes your house feel like a home, when you personally add your touches. However, there are a lot of times where you need to hand the job straight over to the professionals. For example, if you’re working on the backyard, doing minor construction (if you trust your skills) is fine, but before you do, you need to hire a landscaping contractor to come in and work with you so you’re getting the best possible outcome. Backyards are used for entertaining most of the time, and so don’t you want to show off an amazing yard when you have visitors?


4. Settling on the cheaper fixtures

Saving some money to buy the cheaper fixtures seem like a great idea for the short term, however, it isn’t wise in the long term. Everyone knows that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses and so invest a bit more money into getting some great quality fixtures for the bathroom and kitchen, making them phenomenal custom showcases . Items that you use the most, need to be a quality product, otherwise they just won’t last and you will have to get repairs and replacements and that will end up costing you a lot more. A classic example of this is external blinds. They have to put up with all weather conditions so it is recommended that you spend more on them in order to save yourself having to keep replacing them.

5. Hiring a relative or friend as a Trade

When it is time for you to spend money, it is common for people to look for the cheapest option to save as much as they can. That’s why a lot of people think it’s a great idea to get their friends and family involved in the construction.However, you have to consider the following before doing so:

  • You must ensure that they are a licensed professional if they are doing work with plumbing, electrical, gas, and anything with the structure of your home.
  • In case of an accident occurs, the tradie must have the necessary insurances in place, otherwise as the homeowner, you will be held liable.
  • There can be a lot of unforeseen problems that could occur. If you are unhappy with the work of the landscape design for example, how will you ask them back to change it? If they see that you’re unhappy with their work, could that lead to a break-down of your relationship? If you hire someone else to fix their work, what will they think/say when they visit your home next? What happens if you don’t agree on the cost? There’s so many issues that could come out of this, so our advice is, just don’t go there.

To read more common mistakes that happen when going through a home renovation, visit

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Choosing the right electrical contractor is more complex than just picking the first one you see and giving them your money to do the job as quickly as possible. Picking the right person for the job is a big deal because if there is an electrical fault, your house could end up burning down or someone could get badly hurt, and so you want to make sure that you don’t muck around with something serious and get a trusted professional for the job. Also, be aware that there are electricians who specialize in different areas, such as street lighting and car park lighting.

When hiring one, it’s smart to consider the following points:

  • electric-panel-1624568What work needs to be done
  • Is the electrician licensed
  • Where are they based
  • Are they reliable and trustworthy
  • What are they going to charge for the job

When do I actually need to hire an electrician?

Everyone knows that electricians install and repair electrical systems. However, what people don’t know is what kind of electrical work you will actually need to call an electrician for.

You must get an electrician for even the small things such as:

You’re probably thinking about how that all sounds like pretty basic tasks and that you reckon you can do that yourself, but don’t. DIY electrical work can be extremely dangerous. It can result in damage, injury, fire, or even death, not to mention that if any of that happens, you will be completely liable for it if you haven’t been using a qualified electrician.

Hiring the right person

Here are some tips on making sure you’re hiring the right electrician for the job:

  • Find someone who is local to you – this is a lot more convenient and also ensures that you aren’t being charged for the lengthy travel time
  • Get numerous quotes – it is smart to compare a few quotes to keep your options open. Not all electricians will charge the exact same amount for the same work but they should be quite similar
  • Ask other trusted contractors – if you’re getting other home renovations done, the builder or any other contractor you are using will probably know a good electrician that they like working with
  • Check their license – it should not be a problem for your electrician to show you their license. However, if they refuse to show you, hire someone else

For more tips on making sure you hire the right electrician for the job, visit to read more.

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 1. Work from the inside out

To have a successful design, you must have a good floor plan. Each space in the house should be tailored to suit the people that live there. Create spaces that flow and function well before you start to even consider things like colours, accessories, and the backyard landscaping.

Private Garden at Sunset, Autumn

2. Avoid doing the work yourself to “save money”

When it comes to people renovating their house, a lot of people think that they should do the work themselves in order to save money on the renovation. However, DIY renovations can backfire very easily. For example, if you decide to do electrical work yourself and not hire a reliable electrician, it could potentially result in a person being hurt or a fire. If the quality of work is not up to a professional standard, it can diminish your sale price, which may eliminate any profit you might have made.  Therefore, getting the help of a professional might be pricier, but it will turn out better and improve your profit possibility.

3. Put your hard earned cash where it shows

You work hard for your money and so when you’re investing it into your home, it is vital that you spend it where it shows the most. Everyone knows that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses and so you need to focus majority of your money and attention on those places. If you have an amazing kitchen and bathroom, that adds a lot of value to your home and it’s definitely something all of the neighbours will be jealous of.

4. Research your architect

When you want to do some home renovations, it is smart to bring in an architect to construct a plan best suited for your home. It is recommended that you take the time to review past work and speak to some past clients about their experiences. One thing to remember is that trends come and go, so it’s best to keep things simple.


5. Landscaping is important

The Australian lifestyle is to be outside and entertain, and so you must allow for a percentage of your budget to be spent on the outside of your home. The exterior and yard of your home needs to have a lot of attention and so that way it complements the work you’ve done inside. If you have a minimal budget, a lot of greenery and a clean and functional outside entertaining area that should also include a nice awning to suit your home will definitely improve the appeal of your home, with keeping the cost to a minimum. It is great to acquire the help of landscaping contractors to make sure you’re doing what’s best. However, if you find yourself having a bit more money to splurge, getting a beautiful outdoor area is key. Invest some money into getting some architectural timber beams to create a roof with a modern and industrial feel.

To read more home renovation tips from industry experts, please visit

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1 Budget

A budget! renovation-1-1518968-1920x1080 I can’t mention it enough. I’m an optimist who constantly believes that if you invest money on a quality reno instead of cheaping out, the necessary funds will magically appear. In reality, we understand that isn’t really true! So make certain you do your research. Speak to a friend who has actually been through a comparable reno, do as much window shopping and cost-comparisons that you can do. Ensure that you tack on at least an extra 20% for those inevitable concerns that will spring up. And check your spending plan with your professional or trades routinely making sure you’re on track. Finally, do not borrow to renovate if you can. A reno is much more satisfying if you save up the necessary funds before your remodel. Believe me.

2 Find the ideal professional

We’ve all heard the scary stories (and I’ve definitely been witness to a few of them). My typical suggestion is that the best specialists can be found through word of mouth. But if you can’t find a great referral, I am happy to say that you can discover terrific contractors on the Internet. Ensure you get numerous referrals prior to you signing any arrangements!

3 Be realistic

Dreaming is the start of any excellent remodelling, however to have an excellent experience, you have to be realistic about exactly what you can achieve based upon your budget, resources and your existing house. A lot of people (particularly in this age of low interest rates and fast home equity loans) will live beyond our means-just to have that gorgeous premium cooking area or marble bathroom. If you are definitely dedicated to the vision of something that you cannot pay for, see if you are able to remodel in stages. For example, in my first home, I actually wanted a stone floor in my kitchen area. The cost well surpassed my spending plan. I didn’t wish to compromise so I decided to wait to do the flooring till I might pay for the stone that I truly desired. I wound up painting my subfloor a putty grey and had the millworkers design my cooking area with an extra-high kick which permitted me the space to set up the stone flooring later on. Ironically, I ended up selling the house. Among the important things that the new house owners enjoyed was the painted wooden kitchen floor!

4 Do your research

Talk to good friends who have actually renovated as well as other real estate and reno specialists. It’s actually vital before you embark on the restoration rollercoaster that you have a clear understanding of what to expect. Plus, you need to make certain that you bring your ideas and research to the table. Clip photos from magazines of rooms that you enjoy. Search shops and the Internet for the current and biggest. Have a basic idea of how you desire the space to feel and look. If you are overwhelmed, find a designer who can help you blaze a trail. If you wish to find a respectable interior designer, go to the Internet.

5 It’s all in the details

Thinking broadly should be applauded, however we understand that information is exactly what can make or break a reno. I will never ever forget standing naively in the dungeon that was eventually to become my gorgeous brand-new bathroom, pleased with myself that I had actually bought my faucets, my tiles and my vanity. “Where are the rough-ins?” bellowed my plumber? “Rough-ins?” I asked, an unstable note of nervousness colouring the tone of my voice. Within moments, the glory of having actually supplied everything to my tradey had actually vanished as I recognized that I had actually not purchased the “cake” of the faucets, only the glossy chrome icing. My mistake held up my reno for another two weeks. So make certain you have a list (or multiple lists for each space), and make certain that you validate and reconfirm that everything has actually been purchased, has been delivered, etc

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