28 November 2014
Category:
The Daily News

What the Experts are Saying about Apartment Design Standards

apartmentThe population of Australia is gradually ballooning. According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, the resident population is expected to hit more than 23,695,800 by the end of November. With this growth, several analysts also mentioned that the demand for bigger or more houses will increase.

But there seem to be quite an issue with apartments. Last July, several media outlets reported that the Australian Institute of Architects is building the idea of a regulatory framework around design standards on multi-residential developments. Since then, more issues have been circulating around the country.

From an Expert’s Point of View

Some experts say that apartment design standards do really matter. This helps level the competition for small and starting businesses. It should, however, depend on the market forces. They mention that the apartments from various major cities have to determine their affordability in specific locations.

News reports say that some companies rent out substandard apartments for a high price. This shows how developers are more into profit than affordability. That is why it is essential for authorities to set standard regulations that protect the interest of the occupants more than the developers.

Importance of Budgeting for Housing Plans

Standards are meant for better living in Australia, not for higher business profit. The Australian Institute of Architects, though, reiterated that the guidelines are still a draft. If you are looking to buy a Brisbane apartment for sale, these experts suggest checking all the necessary details, especially the price range.

In determining affordability, your monthly rent should never go higher than 20% of your income. That is why it is advisable to map out a budget plan before you look for apartments. Knowing how much you can spend for residential needs, helps you avoid surprise expenses and financial problems.

Australian Institute of Architects says that it only supports standards that promote improved living conditions for the people. Every Australian family is entitled to live in a good and comfortable life in any apartment.


27 November 2014
Category:
The Daily News

How to Take Good Care of Your Pipes

plumbing serviceBig water companies do their best to take care of their pipes. Homeowners like you should do the same. After all, it is frustrating to have no access to water when you need it. Just imagine the pain of not being able to take a shower. This is the last thing you want after a long, stressful day at work.

So, you have to give enough attention to your plumbing system to keep it in its top shape. You might be wondering how to do it, so here are some suggestions from the experts at Kinetico Utah:

Clean Drains Safely

It’s about time you stop using those chemical cleaners to keep your pipes in top shape. These cleaners have harmful chemicals that corrode steel. Over time, the chemicals eventually damage the pipe and cause leaks.

Prevent Clogs

Watch what goes down your drains – be it in the kitchen or the bathroom. Avoid dumping food scraps on the sink and remove the hair that builds up around the bathroom drain. The same applies to liquid grease. Remember: cooking oil is only liquid while hot. Once it builds up in the pipe, it could cause clogging.

Pump Out the Septic Tank

Every few years, your septic tank needs a good pumping. Hire a plumber to do this cleanup every three years. Doing so removes the debris inside the lines and the tank, leaving your home’s plumbing system clean and clog-free.

Regulate the Pressure

High water pressure makes pipes susceptible to leaks. Do know that while you take a high-pressure shower, your pipes take a beating. What you should do is cut down on this pressure to protect the pipes. The normal pressure level is between 40 to 85 psi; any amount over this is worthy of a pressure reducer. Note that low-flow shower heads DO NOT address the problem; these products simply reduce the amount of water that comes out of the shower.

Soften the Water

Utah’s water supply has a lot of minerals in it, which means it can significantly reduce the life span of your pipes. Hard water builds up lime scale in the pipework, leaving it vulnerable to damage. As such, you have to soften the water to prevent this. Plumbers recommend installing a water softener system to rid the water of magnesium and calcium, the main causes of lime scale buildup.

Keep these techniques in mind to avoid any future problems with your plumbing system.


24 November 2014
Category:
Business Adviser

What Do Old Cars Have That Modern Cars Do Not? The Answer Might Surprise You

classic carMany car enthusiasts believe old cars are superior to modern cars. And of course, some would disagree, which makes the issue a matter of opinion. Modern cars obviously have the better technology. They are more fuel-efficient. They are relatively safer. Despite all of these things, older cars also have features modern cars do not.

Below are some of the things that make older cars more awesome than modern cars.

Simplicity

Technology makes modern cars more complicated, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Modern cars are as complex as fighter jets during the 1960s. They are complex because of their electronic systems and components. The complexity of modern cars is responsible for better fuel consumption. Complexity also makes them safer and more environmentally friendly. After all that has been said about the complexity of modern cars, the question is: what makes it “bad”? All of these complexities make modern cars more prone to failure; not to mention more difficult to maintain and repair.

Lower Cost

Restoring old cars to almost brand new condition oftentimes costs less than buying a new car. Plus, buying new cars means you do not only pay for the car’s price; you also pay the mortgage interest.

JTW Autoparts, an automotive recycler based in Western Australia also cites the difference in the cost of parts. For example, a 1955 Chevrolet fuel pump can cost around $50 in local stores. More modern cars, like a GM Saturn on the other hand, would require a complete fuel pump assembly that could cost around $500.

Higher Resale Value

Classic cars have better resale price compared to newer cars. The value of today’s cars depreciates once they leave the showroom. Classic cars on the other hand increase their value as time goes on. Owners would have better profit in selling older cars than newer ones.

Durability

Older cars, especially those from the early 1900s are sturdier compared to newer cars. After all, newer cars are disposable. Some would argue that more durable cars are not always the safer ones, which is true. Modern cars are engineered to “perfection” to protect passengers. Older cars on the other have their own safety mechanisms; their primary defence against crashes being their material composition.

There’s no question that older cars tend to be more durable considering they were built to withstand the road conditions back in the day. The roads today are not as “harsh” as they were some decades ago.

So do these four factors make older cars better than the newer ones? In some ways, yes. But then it all goes down to taste and opinion. Newer cars are safer and more comfortable, but that doesn’t mean older cars and their timeless styles are less superior. In this case, beauty is in the eye of the driver.


21 November 2014
Category:
The Daily News

4 Tips for Better Shade Outdoors

outdoor awningsAustralia is blessed with bright, sunny weather for most of the year. Although natural light and sunshine has numerous health benefits—both physical and mental—too much of it can be dangerous. Because of this, homeowners across the Land Down Under are constantly finding ways to add more shade to areas outside the home.

Here are some effective ways to shade outdoor spaces and improve its visual appeal at the same time:

1. Put up awnings

Outdoor awnings offer shade and keep your outdoor space cool during hot summer days. There are different awning materials you can install. Most fabric materials are resistant to mould and ultraviolet light damage, so you have assurance that the shade provides optimal protection. If you are shopping for outdoor awnings, Perth window furnishing experts can help you pick the right colour and style that will match your exterior space.

2. Install pergolas

Pergolas are easy to build, which is why they are also a popular choice among Aussie homeowners. You can put climbing plants, like grapes or start jasmine to add shade and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the space. Make sure to pick those that suit the general climate in your location when choosing plants for the pergola.

3. Attach curtains

It’s important to keep a cool ambiance if you’re using your outdoor space as an entertainment or relaxation area. Attach curtains or blinds. This will not just screen the sunlight, but also can create a dramatic and soothing effect.

4. Plant trees

What better way to create shade than by using trees? Natural shade is the way to go. Experts say that deciduous trees offer great shade in the summer. Before planting trees, though, be sure to know how high the tree can grow.

Shady areas will allow you to enjoy your outdoor space. Keep calm and keep your space comfy and cool.


18 November 2014
Category:
The Daily News

Handling Plumbing Emergencies in a Business Setting

Water ValveAs a business owner, you must be ready to impress your customers all the time. Proper maintenance and regular cleanups are important to keep your location impressive and appealing. But, emergencies can still happen and catch you off guard. Human errors are tolerable, but structural problems like plumbing are harder to solve.

Don’t panic and learn how to handle a plumbing problem. A flooded bathroom, busted pipes or leaky sink could stop your business operations. It’s advisable to call a reliable San Diego plumbing company, especially if the problem is serious. Make sure you choose a company that provides emergency services to help you solve the problem fast.

Here are some pieces of advice you can follow to handle a plumbing crisis before the experts arrive:

Be Alert

Tell your employees to notify you or the management right away if they stumble upon a flooded bathroom or any other problem. The faster you learn about the problem, the quicker you can call for professional help. It is also important to catch the problem before customers do to protect your credibility.

Turn Water Valve Off

For businesses that rent spaces in small buildings and can access the water valve, turn it off to prevent further problems. Having a person responsible for this can be good, but let all your employees know as well. Turning the water valve off will stop water from flowing and causing more damage.

Compensate

If the emergency disrupts your customer’s experience in any way, make sure you earn back their trust. Apologize and even offer them some freebies or coupons if you can. Don’t let them leave disappointed, as this can ruin your credibility.

It’s easy to lose control and panic during emergencies, so you must prepare yourself to handle it well. Keep your head clear and document all issues to prevent them from happening again.


14 November 2014
Category:
Business Adviser

Google Joins the Pirate Wars

GoogleGoogle has been rolling out update after update in an effort to make the entire search experience better for users. They’re getting rid of spam sites, and pushing the ones with meaningful and informative content up the rankings.

All of these changes sometimes put businesses at the losing end, placing Google at the center of their ire. But, sometimes the search giant pushes an update that benefits businesses for a change. Google Pirate is the latest update to roll out, and it’s helping multiple industries combat online piracy in a big way.

A Knockout Punch

Just to be clear, Google isn’t directly joining the fight against piracy. Google may be a big company, but each site belongs to someone else. The search engine is just making it harder for people to find sites that pirate material, and hopefully discourage them from actively seeking them out.

This is big news for many firms that offer services focused on website marketing, says imaseo.co. The way the algorithm works is by counting the number of service links taken off the site because of DMCA take downs. This isn’t a new function from Google; instead of simply downranking the offending page, Pirate now downranks the entire site.

The Storm Cometh

After Google Pirate did its work a few days ago, there was a significant hit to torrent sites that have become the den of pirated shows, movies, and music over the years. According to industry observers, popular European torrent sites had a keyword drop of around sixty eight percent. That’s a big number that few people saw coming, and it’s starting to take its toll.

Torrent sites are saying the traffic to their sites have fallen by as much as fifty percent, and the worst may not be over. As Google Pirate came out earlier than expected, it’s unclear whether all the sites that have been hit are the only ones in danger, or if more sites will experience the same as the days go by.


12 November 2014
Category:
The Daily News

Sit Back and Relax: 5 Life-hack Tips for a Stress-free Move

recycled boxPacking a few things for a three-day vacation can already be difficult. Not only do you have to fit all the things you need in one suitcase, you have to fit the suitcase in the trunk of the car as well,. For some people, packing is just too much of a chore.

If this happens in just a weekend vacation, what more would it be if you are to move residences? Most people who are accustomed to constant relocation find it easy to pack and go. For others, they either hire Perth companies for removal services or make the process less stressing with a few hacks.

Use Recycled Boxes for Storage

As you probably need boxes to store your stuff, why not save a few bucks by visiting a photocopying establishment? The boxes they use for reams of paper are handy and do not require packaging tape to seal. In addition, you can find many people online who sell used boxes and are ready for pick up. This saves you the time and money in going to supermarkets to look for new boxes.

Start from the Hardest

Pack the most complicated room first. Most movers suggest hitting the kitchen first because you still have a lot of energy to find ways on fitting odd-shaped objects with each other inside a box. Do the same when unpacking and you will notice that you will finish faster.

Seek Friendly Assistance

Ask your friends to help you in moving and reward them with a few bottles of beer and a box of pizza after the work. This saves you more money while making sure that your things will be handled carefully. You can reward your friends by giving them the perk of choosing among the things that you will be putting up for sale or donation.

Pack an Overnight Box

As you cannot possibly pack and unpack everything in a day, put all your essential things in one transparent plastic bin, including toiletries and clothes. This gives you easier access once you get to your new house and you do not have to search each box for your essentials.

Specifically Label Each Box

Apart from what it contains, label each box with which room it goes so that you can take it straight there when taking in the boxes. In addition, put the labels on the side so that you can identify them even if you stack on top of each other.

Moving can be quite a tiresome task. No matter what your reason for moving is, a few shortcuts will lighten the workload and keep you stress-free. Always find ways to make things easier.


8 November 2014
Category:
The Daily News

Property Investment: Positive vs. Negative Gearing

Property InvestmentMost experienced investors borrow the money they invest into the property market or other venture. This is referred to as ‘gearing,’ which can either be positive or negative. It is important to understand what these terms mean to determine the best choice for your financial
situation.

Read on to learn more about positive and negative gearing:

Negative Gearing

This borrowing strategy is best for when the income from the investment is less than your expenses. Negative gearing is commonly used when talking about depreciation and interest rates, including all rental deductions.

This assumes that the property or management rights you purchase will increase in value over time. The capital gain will be used to compensate for the losses. The loss can be used to lower your taxable income and reduce the taxes you need to pay. This is generally riskier than positive gearing, so only use it when a long-term return is likely from capital gains.

Positive Gearing

This is where the income from the investment is higher than the interest rates and other expenses. This usually happens when rent is high and interest rates are low. This means that you will have additional money in your budget, but you need to pay tax in extra net income.

Positive gearing is referred to as a ‘cash flow property,’ simply because the property is putting more money in your pocket. Some investors use this approach to balance their portfolio with the additional income to pay for negatively geared investments.

Which is Better?

Negative gearing is beneficial for people with high incomes. This allows for larger deductions when borrowing bigger amounts. In most cases, you will find that a negatively geared property sees better growth than one that is positively geared. This is mainly because the income you earn on a positively geared property is taxable.

Gearing or borrowing to invest can be complicated for first-time borrowers. It is important to understand that the more money you borrow, the higher the interest you will have to pay. Seek help from professionals to help you decide between these two approaches.


4 November 2014
Category:
The Daily News

Kick it Right: A Man’s Guide to Wearing Sneakers

sneakersSneakers have evolved and are now among the most versatile footwear around. Today, these shoes are considered appropriate for almost any type of occasion, with the majority of men wearing them when heading out for the day or going to the gym.

Despite this, however, there are still some rules to follow if you want to pull off the right look. Read on to learn the proper way of wearing this timeless footwear.

Suiting Them to Suits

You can pair sneakers with a suit to reinvent your overall style. Make sure to choose simple styles in muted colours such as grey, white, or black. Fashion experts from 5 Pointz suggest sticking with a slim suit or a loose-and-easy one; not just your typical business suit.

Classics are the Best

Classic lace-up sneakers are those that you can wear with almost anything. Low-cut lace-ups are the best choice, as they have an understated style. Choose a simple colour like grey or black if you want something that will go well with your jeans or tailored trousers. The timelessness of a classic sneaker can also go well with a pair of shorts.

Adopt the Invisible Socks Concept

Socks are necessary to soak up sweat and reduce the risk of athlete’s foot. Avoid wearing visible or ankle socks, as they are more likely than not to make you look like a schoolchild. Choose low-cut socks that are unseen when you slip on your favourite shoe.

Ditch the Overdesigned Shoes

Over-the-top sneakers are a big no-no in almost any type of occasion. Bold patterns and weird colour combinations are not just awkward, but they can also send a wrong image. It can make your ensemble look costumey or even ruin a good outfit. Stay away from them and stick with the classics.

It is important to have at least two pair of sneakers – one for workouts and another for casual street style. Athletic sneakers should not be used as street wear. Although there are shoes that work well in both situations, it is still important to be distinctive with your style.