Category Archives: Home Makeover & Design

Balustrades: Choosing the Right One for Your Home

A glass balustrade that leads up to the second floor Whether you are getting a new house built or remodelling the old one, choosing the right balustrade is important. You could consult an architect when making a decision to make sure the balustrade matches your home design. Some of the issues to be addressed are:

  • Do you want an interior or exterior balustrade, or both?
  • Do you have the building plans with you?
  • What is the style of the building?
  • Where is the house located?
  • Do you want stainless steel balustrades or something else? Why?
  • What kind of warranty can you expect?
  • What kind of handrail can you have?

Based on the number of balustrades required, Active Metal recommends checking your budget to see that they are within range.

The Types of Balustrades

There are several types of balustrades to choose from and your choice will depend on your needs and personal preference.

  • Glazed
  • Aluminium
  • A combination of materials
  • Glass
  • Wood
  • Stainless steel

Other factors that play an important role include usage, safety, durability, aesthetic appeal, maintenance and cost. There is no need to choose the same look for the entire house. Many people choose stainless steel balustrading, as it is easy to maintain, offers clean and sleek looks, durable and affordable.

Regardless of the material, all balustrades have to meet Australia’s building codes and safety standards. This is even more important in homes or structures where there are kids.

Facts to Note

Stainless steel balustrades look stunning in any architectural style, particularly if it is teamed up with wood or glass. As it is low maintenance and corrosion resistant, it can be used indoors and outdoors. Experts recommend using a 316 grade Marine or 2205 premium grade metal for the outdoors.

Balustrades can be customised to meet every customer’s need and to suit any property. Builders offer a variety of options for fixings as well.

Choose steel right at the beginning and save more money. You can upgrade and modernise your home by making steel your first choice.

Aluminum Fences: Security and Style You Need

aluminum fenceOrnamental fencing has been a design staple for many decades. It not only adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of the home or office property, but it also gives it an individuality that distinguishes it from the rest of the concrete jungle. You can also customize the designs according to your preference. In order to make all this possible, a fence’s material needs to be durable, weather resistant, low cost, and maintenance free.

Why Aluminum?

Aluminum is a metal that is strong, lightweight, rust free and therefore the right choice for those designs you have in mind. Ornamental aluminum fences come in varied designs and are easy to install. Moreover, if you can install the DIY aluminum fences, you don’t even need to call the professionals.

Aluminum fences could also be shaped to have the wrought iron look. This has made it extremely popular and has almost replaced the traditional iron fences. Though they look highly similar to heavy iron fences, they are lightweight and cost around half as much. Furthermore, aluminum fences are maintenance free.

Why choose ornamental fences?

Though the primary goal of installing fences is to ward off trespassers, an ornamental decorative fence can give you so much more. It can add to your property’s aesthetic value as well as curb appeal. If you have pets and children and want to keep out of the pool area, ornamental aluminum fences are the best, because they give you the security you need but also enhance your pool area’s appearance.

Ornamental aluminum fences can give a property not only security, but a boost in its curb appeal. If you’re looking for these two things for your home or business property, aluminum fencing is your best choice.

3 Tips for Building A Barn

Barns in a Farm You’ve been a long-time farm owner and have always dreamt of putting up a barn. However, it just seems to be daunting of a task. You spend days looking at barn photos on the internet and wonder when you could finally build one of your own.

There’s no better time to put up a barn than now. The earlier you build a barn, the more you’re going to get out of it. The reality is that a farm without a barn is an incomplete one. The practical use of barns can’t be discounted, and they can save you money in the long run with years of use.

Here are some tips when building a barn.

Pick a good location

Chances are you have a couple thousand of square meters of farmland, so it’s important to choose the location of your barn wisely. Pick a site where flooding is almost non-existent and where farm smells don’t always linger. Understand the pattern of climate in your farm. If you want a cooler climate with a breeze blowing even in the middle of the day, try to survey your area during those hours to identify the best site for your barn.

Plan for basic functions

Barns are best for three things: house livestock, store equipment, and serve as a workspace for handiwork. Depending on what the most important function for you is, you can design a barn that has everything or has the most basic functions. Do you need to fit big machinery like tractors and an arm roll truck from Wong Fong Engineering inside the barn? You would want to build one that is sturdy and has a big gate or door out front.

Adding more amenities

Barns are usually built for basic function, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t make it your space for far more than storage and farm-related needs. If money is not an issue, explore the idea of building a lounge complete with a bar for refreshments and a TV for your hours of relaxing. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to levelling up your barn.

When you have a barn, you’ll undoubtedly spend a lot of time in it. Because of this, it’s only right to build a barn that suits your needs. Make it comfortable and pleasant to work in. Happy building!

3 Home Exterior Areas to Maintain to Protect Your Family from Storms

Lighting over a house Making sure your home is always safe no matter how harsh the weather condition can be is important so you can have peace of mind. It’s better to be prepared for the worst so you can keep your family, belongings, and property protected. That’s why you need to keep your home exteriors sturdy and free from damages.

Here are some of the most important exterior parts you need to take a look at to be ready for strong winds and storms:

The Roof

The roof is one of the primary parts of your home that provides safety and shelter to the family. That’s why it’s important to know how to check if it needs repairs or replacement. For starters, you need to climb up the roof to check if there are missing shingles or leaks. If there are missing shingles, you must call a roofer as soon as possible because it might be a sign that your roof needs a replacement. You can take care of leaks on your own or let the roofer do it as well just to be sure.

The Gutter

The gutter allows the rain to pass by smoothly from the roof to the ground without affecting other areas of your house. A small blockage can hinder this flow, so you must constantly check the gutters for fallen leaves, garbage, small twigs, and any other particle that might cause an obstruction. If there is something wrong with the gutter, then call a professional for a gutter repair service before the condition worsens.

The concrete is susceptible to getting cracks as time goes by. That’s why you need to check the walkway, driveway, and other parts of your home exteriors if there are concrete cracks anywhere. If there is, buy and latex acrylic compound or a vinyl patching compound to fix the problem. Clean the area and keep it dry before applying the compound.

Follow these essential steps to make sure your home is always safe no matter how strong of a storm may come.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Driveway Gate

Driveway Gate Are you planning to build a new house or renovate an existing one? A driveway gate may just be part of your project’s overall construction. Know how to choose the right one by reading the factors below.

Size Opening

Gates come in different opening widths, serving various kinds of needs. They typically come in four sizes (12, 14, 16 and 18) that cover dimensions between gate posts. A gate’s opening size isn’t the actual gate panel size meaning it can differ according to preference.

Gate Material

There are two common types of gate material: wood and metal. Wood provides a rustic look and utmost privacy. This kind of material, however, isn’t ideal for extreme weather conditions. Metal, on the other hand, provides a classic look that can last for years. Homeowners can customise both materials according to design; wood through sculpture and metal with a Samson cutting table from

Moving Type

Do you want a single-swing, a bi-parting swing, or a sliding gate? Gate movement is important when determining the right kind for your driveway. To open inwards, single-swing gates require plenty of flat space while bi-parting swing gates only cover half of the entire gate width. Sliding gates are ideal for steep driveways in which swing gates aren’t an option.

Gate Attachment

When it comes to stability and support, there are two kinds of attachment to choose from. Piers or columns are square supports which are typically made of stone, brick or stucco. They often come with a lantern. Alternatively, posts are available in metal or wood and make less of a statement than piers.

Opening Mechanism

Do you want a manual or automatic driveway gate? Manual gates are highly cost-efficient than those with an automatic mechanism. However, if you opt for an automatic gate, choose whether you want it to open via remote entry, keypad entry, telephone entry, or sensor. Choosing an automatic gate’s mechanism depends on your budget and specific needs.

When planning to purchase or customise a gate, work with a contractor that has experience and credibility. This way, you can ensure the quality of your driveway gate.

How to Choose a Commercial Garage Door for Your Business

Garage Door in Utah
Most business owners in Utah might not deem it necessary to choose the right commercial garage door for their operations. But believe it or not, buying the wrong door could cost you quite a fortune, on top of creating a massive inconvenience you’ll have to deal with.

As with all other things you buy for your business, a garage door should be seen as an investment. Whatever amount of time, energy, and money you put into acquiring, installing and maintaining it, you should be able to recoup that same amount in the future.

To help you do this, you need to consider the following when buying a commercial garage door.

  1. Durability

Industrial businesses which are exposed to harsh weather conditions or have a lot of traffic passing in and out of their doors rate durability as the most important factor to look for. If you’re like these businesses, customizable sectional doors made from galvanized steel are your best bet.

  1. Traffic

For businesses with a lot of traffic going through their premises, such as retail stores, pharmacies, and hospitals, shutter doors or security grilles are a lightweight, flexible solution. They also provide a significant amount of safety to prevent intruders and burglars.

  1. Space Requirements

Unlike sectional doors, rolling garage doors do not require a lot of headroom and side room. This makes them the excellent choice for businesses that put a premium on space, such as warehouses, for example.

  1. Aesthetics

Among other things, the visual appeal of your garage door can help sell your products and services to your customers. In car dealerships, for example, the use of transparent glass and aluminum garage doors lets people look inside at the products on display.

Whether you are building a new business property or you are retrofitting an existing property with a new garage door, it is important to consider your business’ needs and make a decision based on that.

4 Signs It’s Time to Change Your Air Conditioning

AC replacementThe AC is in Constant Need of Repair

It’s pretty normal to have your AC fixed or repaired once in a while. However, if it feels like you’ve been in constant need of it, like every week or every few days, maybe it’s time you invest in a new one. Experts in air conditioner repairs from Sandy strongly suggest the replacement of unit if you’re spending almost half of the price with the maintenance and restoration services.

It Produces Strange Sounds as It Runs

If your system is noisier than it originally is, it could be that there’s something wrong with the mechanism. Grinding, clanking or chattering sound coming from your AC is not normal and usually the most common sign of aging. Normally, air conditioning units operate at noise levels which are almost undetectable.

It’s Been Running for 10 Years

Just like any electronics, air conditioners have a maximum service lifespan, which is usually around 10 to 15 years. Once they get past that age, you can’t expect them to be as reliable and functional as they originally are. At this point, it’s no longer ideal to spend on costly repairs, instead, it’s more worth it to buy a new one.

A Sudden Increase on Energy Consumption

Older AC models aren’t as efficient as the new ones which often lead to an increase in energy usage. This means higher utility bills to pay. Fortunately, you may save yourself from this worry by simply investing with a new one. Although buying a new AC may seem costly, the long-term savings you’ll get from the energy bills will be worth the investment.

Once you notice any or all of these signs in your AC, it’s time you consider changing it. For earlier years of use, repair and maintenance might work, but as time goes on you’ll eventually need to replace it. Otherwise, you and your family will suffer the consequence of not doing so.

Three Home Improvement Projects for Value and Convenience

Home Improvement There are different reasons to do a home remodel or addition project. Here are some of them.

  • To improve home safety, security, and privacy
  • To improve comfort and add living space
  • For added convenience
  • To improve aesthetics
  • To reduce carbon footprint and pay lower utility bills
  • Personal preferences
  • Growing family
  • Business

One more aspect of home improvement that most people take into account, in addition to the reasons above, is how the project will impact property value.

There are improvements or additions that don’t always make sense, from an economics point of view, but there are also those that offer a higher possibility of increasing market value. Here are some of the latter.


A concrete or steel fence, or a combination of those two, is usually a good investment if it is at all allowed in the neighborhood you’re in. Its benefits include added privacy, if they limit the view of the property from the outside; and security, if it makes climbing over it a challenge for most would-be intruders.

Many homeowners don’t like the idea of hiding their home behind a fence, but you can make a fence work for you in terms of aesthetics as well. Customized decorative steel is one way to do that, and with the ease of finding steel online for your project, you won’t have any problems choosing a design.

Replacement Windows

Old windows with broken glass or damaged locks, windows that won’t open anymore, and windows that don’t do anything to prevent the escape of air-conditioned or heated air are instant turn-offs for buyers. They are an eyesore and possibly unsafe. You are likely paying more for your energy use because of their poor insulation. Get top quality replacement windows that add beauty to your home. Double-glass windows with argon to prevent heat and cold transfer are a great investment.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

If you want your kitchen to improve, do a minor remodel. Widening it and removing unsightly divisions between rooms are simpler remodel projects that can add value. Put in some new appliances from known brands. Be careful not to overdo it, though. It still has to fit the aesthetics and style of your house; otherwise, it might stick out like a sore thumb.

These three remodel or improvement options are examples of what you can do to hit a few birds: aesthetics, comfort and convenience, efficiency, and added market value. It is, of course, your home, so the final decision always rests with you. Still, it would make sense to ask your realtor, designer, contractor for some advice.

4 Chic Window Solutions for Your Homes

Window TreatmentThe start of the year is a great time to change the look for your homes. While you don’t always need to redecorate your entire home, changing a few key items does great to change the vibe of a space. Try these 4 chic window solutions and watch how it brings a new sense of energy to your homes.

Outdoors in. For that 'shabby chic' feel you can repurpose some old wooden gates into indoor window covers. It’s a great option for those who don’t want the hassle of hanging up and bringing down curtains. If you can’t find some old wooden gates, you can always create one with a little DIY know-how and elbow grease.

Play with beads. Bead curtains are not shabby if you know how to use them. If you live near the ocean, why not create a flowing drapery of beaded curtain that matches the ocean’s blue hue? It’s a great way to get the privacy you need where it matters most but still have that beautiful effect for guests to admire.

Decorative screens. For the minimalist types, frosted glass works well if you want privacy. You can achieve the same goal by using decorative screens that match your home’s overall look. You will find that there are a lot of design options to choose from. They are easy to install and easier to maintain.

Panel glide blinds. When it comes to chic and modern window treatments, panel blinds are extremely popular. They simply glide across your windows, providing you privacy and maximising the view as well, notes an expert from Yes Blinds. You can buy panel blinds online and choose from a wide variety of colours, materials and design.

These alternative solutions to curtains won’t bust your budget for the year. They’re economical and some you can even do on your own. What’s good about these chic window treatments is that you can customise them to fit your taste and your budget.

Why Go for a Ducted Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning System?

Ducted Reverse Cycle AC With so many types of air conditioning to choose from, you might find it confusing to determine which will work best for your home and wallet. You shouldn’t base your decision on the initial cost alone; it’s also important to factor in the overall cost of its use. Remember that space heating and cooling account for nearly half of a typical home’s energy usage, and even the slightest mistake can make this even higher.

Fortunately, you can find air conditioners that allow you to save on cooling dollars and enjoy longer lasting equipment while reducing footprint.

Exploring your other options

In the past, U.S. homes relied heavily on window and room air conditioning systems. Today, with the increase in the number of consumers becoming more aware and concerned about rising energy costs, ducted reverse cycle air conditioning systems has grown popular.

The reverse advantage

The market still offers single-purpose units or also known as packaged air conditioners. The term “single” refers to their sole capability of just cooling. They remain some of the least expensive systems out there. The ducted reverse units have a huge advantage, though, as they provide both cooling and heating. This eliminates the need to buy and install separate equipment. This alone can help you cut back on costs. The two-in-one feature also saves precious space.

Longer list of nifty features

There are certain requirements your home should meet when you want to use a ducted reverse cycle system. As long as your house satisfies these, you can enjoy a wider array of benefits, including year-round comfort and reduced electricity bills. These units also come with more innovative technology, like improved filtration and dehumidifying capabilities.

Overall, these features work together to ensure the air inside your home remains healthy and safe.