Constructing Work from Home Spaces

We’re not going anywhere any time soon, but don’t let that deter you from doing some of the best work of your life. You may work at a job that requires a desk every day and this may be totally normal to you. You may also work at a job where this “new normal” is anything but normal and you’re taking a lot of time and emotional energy to figure out what the next number of weeks look like. We’ve worked with customers in both camps and all of the camps in between. It’s daunting, it’s relaxing, it’s taxing – it’s many different things. And that’s okay. You don’t have to feel one emotion or another while working during COVID-19, and you certainly should give yourself a little grace. We’re all (globally) navigating as best we can, and the very best piece of advice that the Australian Heritage Homes team can give, is to lean on each other. Putting that plan into action, we hope that you lean on us and our blog today. Knowing that we’ve designed and constructed dream homes in all sorts of areas, dealing with all sorts of challenges, know that we have thick skins, a can-do attitude and a forever commitment to sharing the information that we’ve learned from each other and others… right here.

When you got the call that you may be working from home, you probably thought – how? Where? When? Kids or no, pets or no, size of apartment or house and even factoring neighbours and environmental noise, it was most likely a bit overwhelming. Don’t fret. We’re going to take this one step at a time and share some of our favourite tips on constructing work from home spaces. Read on for more information.

  • Capitalize on natural daylight. The benefits of natural daylight are countless, but none so more frequently than when you need to be creative and productive. When you work in a dark room, many studies have shown that it can dampen your mood, your resolve and your intent to get after that to-do list. If you don’t live somewhere where there is an obvious option, invest in a Vitamin D lamp or choose the brightest room in your home.
  • (Here’s a hidden hack) – choose a room as far from the kitchen as possible. As comedic as it sounds, the TikTok videos of those fleeing to the kitchen for snacks on a regular basis are a real thing. If you choose a space close to the kitchen (or honestly, any other social space), you’ll be inclined to stop working more frequently for a break.
  • You’re investing in yourself and your success, so while you should still do your homework and choose elements of your home office or workspace wisely, don’t beat yourself up if you think that the benefits of that certain ergonomic desk outweigh the cost. It doesn’t matter how long you’ll be working there, but when you invest in yourself, you may find that you do your best work yet.

Come back soon to our blog and stay safe!

August Home News

We could always use a little positive news, but especially right now. Between issues of unrest all over the world and that whole COVID-19 thing, it’s never been more important to get your mind off of the news stories plaguing our social media feeds and instead learn, or better yet – smile! The Australian Heritage Homes team aims to help you do both. We actually think that they’re inter-related… when you learn about really cool things, it makes you smile. When you smile, you want to learn about the things that make you happy and passionate. For us, that’s everything to do with your home. Inside, outside, construction, finance, design, landscaping… you name it. If it touches you current or future property, we’re here to be your partners and support. As our religious readers know, that means that once a month, we do our round-up of home news that we appreciate and think you will too. Read on for more information:

Like we said… positive news. And sometimes that means that the term “home” is relative, but the common denominator is that it’s somewhere where you can hang your hat and be excited about returning to. Yes, there are songs like any of these – our favorite is that of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – but the term “home” makes us think. National Public Radio’s (NPR) “Tiny Desk Concerts” have now featured John Legend with a ‘Home’ theme. We recommend that you check it out at this link.

If you’re looking to be realistic… we’re right there with you. And because we service so many areas of Victoria, we want to be as empathetic and supportive as possible to each of the markets that we work with. “Very large commercial building, whether it be building apartments in the city or building factories or warehouses, or other sorts of non-residential building projects, if it is above three-stories then those builders will need to reduce their workforce down “to the practical minimum,” according to this article in SkyNews. The big takeaway here is to plan early and allow for more time than previously planned to execute any home renovations or even constructing your next dream home.

If you’re very excited about spending more and more time outside, then we have certainly found the right article for you. While the weather slowly gets more and more warm, we’re guessing that families and individuals are ready to get outside. We’d like to elevate that experience and so would this company, bringing your normal socializing spaces outside – like living rooms, dining rooms and such. As Trio Landscaping shares, “With more people working from home than ever this summer, it’s important to have beautiful spaces to unwind.” We couldn’t agree more. Check out this link for more information. 

Questions? Let the AHH team know. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, we’re happy to support. We can’t wait to hear from our current and prospective customers.

The Role of Bridges in Architecture

The Role of Bridges in ArchitectureWe’re sure that you’ve seen a movie or two where there was an epic scene on a bridge – of a castle, a home, between two islands, or even high above a city. We write off bridges as only functional now, but the truth is – they’re not going anywhere, and they’re great examples of amazing architecture.

The team at Australian Heritage Homes has and will always be huge proponents of every unique aspect of architecture. We don’t build cookie-cutter style homes, where every single house on the street looks exactly the same. Our calling card, and the reason that our customers continue to return to us, is our commitment to ensuring that the place where you hang your coat at the end of the day is as special as you. So, we’re making a decision moving forward to think through the different building elements through the ages. Whether they’ve stayed or not, they continue to inform really special ways that we can design and construct your dream home. Read on for more information.

At the base level, the bridge connects two structures. You probably envision them between different parts of castles, which was totally strategic, as kingdoms and countries had an extra layer of a strategy being able to keep their lands safe. Sometimes these bridges didn’t even connect over water or at high heights but served as a barrier regardless.

Here’s a funny story – they sort of came into fruition by accident. The first bridges were designed using fallen trees or even larger stones. The Neolithic people were the very first documented people in history who built a boardwalk bridge across a large marshland. As with many of the most prolific architectural landmarks, the Greeks were responsible for one of the oldest documented arch bridges (seen all around the world today) – the Akadiko Bridge. In fact, it’s still there and in use, if you plan to make an architecturally-driven trip after the pandemic comes to a halt. The English, on the other hand, get the credit for the original namesake of the bridge – coining the term “brycg” which meant the same thing.

Today, there are a number of famous bridges, and none of them can be found at your homestead. They include:

  • The Great Belt Bridge in Denmark
  • Chapel Bridge in Switzerland
  • Chengyang Bridge in China
  • Brooklyn Bridge in New York
  • Alcantara Bridge in Spain, and
  • Sydney Harbor Bridge – right here at home

All are beautiful for their own reasons. In fact, you can learn more information about them at this link here. We’re sharing these bridges and their history as inspiration for the creativity that you can have when you design your home. Too often, our customers feel boxed in by the size of their home, or their budget. That’s why you should work with the Australian Heritage Homes team, as we love to get creative while keeping your vision and your budget in mind.

Questions? Reach out. We’re always here for you.

July Home News

July Home NewsWhen the first of the month comes, what do you look forward to? Is it paying off bills? (We hope that’s not the most exciting thing coming down the pipeline.) Is it knowing that you have a blank slate looking at the next 28, 30 or 31 days? (Now we’re getting warmer…) OR, is it knowing that the Australian Heritage Homes team has a juicy new instalment of home news, all ready for you to digest? We don’t want to bury the lead, but here’s guessing that the last option is probably the most likely. And for good reason!

The AHH team loves tracking down the latest and greatest every month and then sharing it all with our community of current and prospective customers. Whether you’re in the midst of a home renovation, terrified to purchase or sell a house or completely confused about your landscaping, we’re betting that we either have the answer or the right direction for you. As always, if you can’t find the answer to your question in one of our blog posts, give us a shout on the phone or over email. Even if we can’t meet in person right now, we’re always connected with those that matter most – you. Read on for the best of the best this month:

Love Your Yard

When you’re landscaping and things are taking a bit longer than anticipated, this article may be a good companion for you. Some of the articles that we share are strictly informationally-based. They’re facts and figures, tips and tricks. That’s great in a lot of scenarios, but in others, it can seem impersonal. This is particularly the case if you’re feeling a bit skittish about a renovation or project and keep putting it off because of the emotions associated. We chose to include this article specifically because the authors share an honest and accurate depiction of the pitfalls of landscaping. Hint… it will be worth it. Read this link for more information.

Make Your Build More Sustainable

If you’re a contractor or a builder that wants to invest more fully in sustainability, this is a good article for you and now is the right time to dig into this area. It’s more important than ever, and there are more options than ever to get creative about it. It’s not just about solar panels and giant gardens, there are far more ways than ever to limit your carbon footprint and improve the value of the home that you’re building. You can learn more in this article.

9 Sneaky Ways to Give Your Home a Makeover

The AHH team knows that the work isn’t done the second that the build is complete. We want to make sure that you see your vision through inside and out of your home, but sometimes after exhausting budgets on construction, you think that you have to pinch pennies for your interior. Well, that’s not the case and this article helps show you why. Click here for more information.

Questions? Let us know. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Ways to Prevent Blocked Drains

Best Ways to Prevent Blocked DrainsPrevention is better than cure; we know this saying quite well. This saying is befitting when it comes to maintaining the drainage system in your home so that you do not have to deal with blocked drains. Try to understand this fact that it is not an easy task to clean the blockages in pipelines; most of the time you have to contact a professional, which can be expensive and costs you a fortune.

Blocked drains can cause you inconvenience because they give off an odour. If you do not deal with the issue right way, the things may turn into a massive mess. You will be glad to know there are plenty of things you can do to avoid clogging. In this article, we will put forward some leading causes of blocked pipes and the steps you can take to keep your drains in working condition.

If you want to avoid gunk blocking shower drains, we recommend using drain covers. Most of the time, hair is the reason for blocked drains and showers. Not only hair but oil, grease, soap and beauty products can also cause blockage of the drainage system. Allow us to explain every issue in detail and things you can do to avoid blockage. You will be surprised to know how a bit of negligence leads to a bigger problem. Read on, if you want to know about it.

Be careful while flushing down the toilet

The drainage system can deal with toilet paper and human waste just by flushing away, but it also leads to blocked drains. You will notice flushing plays a pivotal role to avoid any blockage. It would be best if you dispose of toilet papers in a dustbin to prevent blockage in the pipes and drains.

Try sink strainers

Sink strainer consists of mesh, small metal, or silicone sieves, which can be placed over plugholes to safeguard your drains. This tool is quite useful to avoid larger gunk from blocking your drainage system.

Avoid grease or oil

No doubt, these two elements cause blocked drains. If you do not stop oil and grease pouring in your kitchen sink, then nothing will prevent your drainage system from getting stuck. It would help if you kept in mind to oil and grease slip easily down the plughole. Not to mention, the drain can deal with liquids like milk and water, but cooking oil and grease is not the same. These liquids will block the pipes, which can be challenging to remove. Even some sticky food or soap can pose a bigger problem.

It would be best if you prevent blockages in your drainage system. Several underground sewers get blocked due to oil and grease, which cause many problems and inconveniences to the entire area.

Contact a professional

A quick search on the internet will provide you with many professional plumbers who offer fantastic maintenance offers. You will surely get a plumber who will regularly come to your house to ensure your entire system is running smoothly. Make sure you get in touch with a skilled plumber to clear blocked drains.

Conclusion

You should leave no stones turned to avoid the hassles of cleaning blocked drains. We are sure these ideas will bring fruitful results so that you can prevent clogging and save money. If you follow these steps with regularity, you can see the difference in your drains.

In any case, if you come across any problem while dealing with blocked drains, do not hesitate to contact a professional. Professional plumbers can address the problem and provide you with the required solution right on time. Although there are so many home remedies, these people are ideal for your clogged drain issues.

Author Bio: Sideliner improves and clears out pipes and drains throughout the Melbourne metropolitan region. They draw on over 20 years of focused experience and have aided countless homeowners prevent flooding to their homes or properties.

Mistakes in Architecture

Mistakes in ArchitectureArchitecture is a really unique and interesting art because it’s so subjective. Yes, there are guidelines that you should adhere to – both to keep your home beautiful and safe, but they’re flexible. The joy of designing a home is that the owner should feel that happiness as they arrive home. If you’re going to have a hand in designing your home, it should be because a piece of your heart and style went into the process. The Australian Heritage Homes team loves partnering with our customers on their dream homes. We have the knowledge and the experience to bring your vision to life and you had the guts to put this giant and momentous project in the hands of a partner like us. We take that very seriously. It’s one of the reasons that we stood up this blog because we simply get giddy sharing what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the customers’ homes that we’ve worked on. While they’ve all been successes, in the end, that’s not the case for all homes out there in the area. We thought that today, we’d share some of the most often-seen architectural mistakes that you and your contractor should avoid. Read on for more information:

Layouts – You know that there are a handful of rooms that will be necessary. They most likely include a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and social spaces, among other personal requests. These need to be laid out in a strategic manner, so that you can access each easily. You don’t want your bathroom hidden away, nor do you want your social space a lengthy jaunt from the front door to find. Make sure that you have considerable layout conversations with the contractor that you’re working with, and walk yourself through the experience, so you know exactly how you’ll be navigating your future dream home.

Really low ceilings – Sometimes this can’t be helped, and we know that. But if you’re building a future dream home, get ahead of this and ensure that your contractor knows that your ceilings should be at least 6 meters tall. Even if you’re renovating a current home, this is still an option. Your guests will thank you; your home will automatically feel larger and if and when you decide to sell, this is a huge (pun intended) benefit.

Looking at the Foundation – The foundation of your home is pivotal for so many different reasons, but a lot of homeowners don’t know anything about it. You certainly want to work with a Restumping, reblocking or underpinning company to ensure that it’s solid. If it’s not, fix that right away. Signs that it’s not solid include sloped floors, cracks in the floors or walls or ceiling or excess moisture.

We know that purchasing a home, designing a home, even renovating a current home can be overwhelming. While this blog can serve as a host of resources, there’s no substitute for reaching out to the AHH team with any questions you have, embarking on this exciting journey.

What to Do With Your Attic

What to Do With Your AtticWell, it’s certainly not going anywhere, is it? We’re talking about your attic or the uppermost part of your home. You may have a single storey home or one that’s five levels tall – regardless, the “attic” (be as it may) has long since had a history. For some reason, it’s the protagonist location in lots of scary movies. For other reasons, it easily becomes the place where you can shove your older belongings or ones that you (or visitors) don’t want to see. There’s nothing wrong with either of these purposes (actually, some of us think that there is something wrong with the first one, but that’s a story for another time), but it’s also completely available real estate with which you can accomplish many other missions. The Australian Heritage Homes team is passionate about every centimetre of your home, current or future, and we want to ensure that you leverage it properly. Read on for more information.

First of all, it’s time to clean it up. You may be whinging about how small it is and why it SHOULD be treated as a storage closet. Would you clean out your storage closet? We’ll get there in a minute. Bottom line, when you leave any space dirty or dingy, you’re going to have to clean it up sooner or later (think- when you sell your home), and in the meantime, things like allergens will accumulate having actual health issues caused for the inhabitants of the home.

Many look at cleaning as more cumbersome than it needs to be. In fact, if you’re ahead of the game and think about the way that you lay out your storage spaces, the cleaning processes get a lot quicker. The trick is to not throw things up in the attic without a strategy, because that only creates more work for you further down the line. Add cleaning your attic to your bi-annual list (we’ve talked about these… the different checklists that you have on different cadences, to keep you on track). You don’t need to clean your attic more frequently like that unless you’re digging for something that you’ve been missing for a while.

Our other thought deals more with the title of this blog post – what can you DO with your attic? Well, it certainly doesn’t just need to be for storage. When polled, some of the experts we know had many different ideas to be creative and innovative. You can think of this as an exercise space, a studio for a passion that you may tackle in your free time, a play space for younger household members or even a movie studio or living room.

Often, homeowners are deterred because of the perception that attics are old and ugly. When you work with companies like the Australian Heritage Homes team, we can completely change your minds and turn this space into one where you or your whole family will want to spend as much time as possible.

Big Mistakes to Make in Your Front Yard

Big Mistakes to Make in Your Front YardSome people love their front yards and their homes’ exteriors. We frequently extol the virtues of taking care of this element of your property on the Australian Heritage Homes blog, because we know the dozens of benefits associated. Our team knows all about the life cycle of a home. We know that you may live in it for the entirety of your life and pass it along for generations to come. We know owners who are only planning on spending a short amount of time before they move on to their next adventure. And we know owners of every sort in between. That works out well for our blog readers because we’ve amassed such a range of knowledge, advice, tips and tricks. We love to profile what works, but today we’re talking about what doesn’t work. Here are some small changes you can make or things to keep an eye on when it comes to your front yard.

The first one is pretty overarching – don’t forget about regular maintenance. Your front yard should be treated as a precious commodity (as should the rest of your home) and as many of our parents have told us, “you should take care of nice things.” Maintenance does not have to be overwhelming or time-consuming. Just know the different parts of your yard, do some simple research about how often they should be maintained (cut, cleaned, etc.), make a plan and then stick to it. Believe us, you’ll be glad that you did.

Don’t overthink the plants that you’re choosing. And once you choose them – again, do your homework. You’ll want to know which plants need more sunlight and which need greater space around them for extensive roots. Overcrowding yards, especially if you have more terrain to work with, is a very common and understandable mistake. But what will happen, is that the roots will tangle and ultimately the different plants will strangle each other, leaving you with none instead of both.

Clean up valuables. Valuables is a subjective term, but we’re guessing that even the small toys of your younger household members aren’t something that you want to say goodbye to, just because a prowler or even a passerby stepped on to your property uninvited. It’s unfortunate, but it does happen, so make sure that when activities are done, you’re taking those items and storing them in a shed or inside.

That brings us to our last recommendation for the day and that’s having the right architectural elements that avoid the above scenario altogether. We’re talking about dates and fences and these can be just as fun to choose and design as your home itself. They can be functional and beautiful at the same time and there’s no right answer which style you have to choose, just because you have a certain size of or look to your home.

All of the above are items that we can help with. Reach out and the Australian Heritage Homes team will help you.

Navigating Design One Room at a Time

Navigating Design One Room at a TimeWhen you buy, rent, build, what-have-you a dream home, it’s a big deal. We’re pretty sure that that’s been the intro to many an Australian Heritage Homes blog post intro, and we’re quite alright with that. It reiterates one of our mission values and that’s passion. So, even though our core goal is to design and build a home for our current or prospective customers, we can’t help but be excited to be on the sidelines as you navigate the next few steps, including… what is your home going to look like!

We know that it’s overwhelming. You’re most likely looking at a bunch of empty rooms. You’re thinking about which rooms you should tackle first, which can wait until later, which can cost the most, and which will be a total steal (especially if you work with the AHH team). Lots of questions, right? Well, let’s tackle it one room at a time. We’ll make a point to regularly share this content on the AHH blog because we think it’s incredibly important for our readers and customers to not only feel educated but also get excited about the same thing that makes us so passionate.

So, we spun the wheel and we figured that today we should start with the entry of your home. After all, it’s the very first thing you see right? That can set the stage for wonderful visitor experience and it can also set the tone for one that you don’t feel as proud about as you should. Here are our favourite design hacks about designing this area of your home:

  • Keep it as open as possible. You might have intentionally chosen a home that has a narrower entry or hallway, and we’re sure that it’s beautiful. Already taking away some square metres for visitors, or your family and loved ones, make a behavioural choice to not strew shoes, jackets or bags as soon as you arrive home. Instead, thinking of on-the-wall solutions, as soon as you’re in a larger space. Bonus… you won’t have to clean the floors as much!
  • Add a piece of art or a statement piece. There are many experts in the art world that think this is a great idea for both those coming and going. If you have an optimal wall as in your entry area for a piece of art (budget unrelated… if you have younger family members, hang their art!), do it! As they leave, they’ll again be reminded of what a warm, fun, and creative home they’re leaving.
  • Keep it simple. Besides small accents (that are off the floor) like the art that we mentioned, this is not a space that needs a ton of furniture or accents. Those will have wonderful homes in other areas of your home and are an unnecessary use of your budget, whatever size it may be.

Questions? We’re definitely here. And we can’t wait to dive into the best ways to design other rooms throughout your dream home.

Learning How to Clean From the Ground Up

Learning How to Clean From the Ground upIf there’s anything you can say about the Australian Heritage Homes team, it’s that we love a good pun. We love the kind of humour that’s very specific to what we do and it’s a continuous reminder that it’s important to find humour and happiness in everything that you’re working in. Yes, we know that there are most likely occupations that aren’t particularly humorous or even enjoyable, but while we’re spoiled, we’re also (hopefully) inspirational – showing you to find the silver lining in every hour of the day.

That feels a bit important right now, doesn’t it? As does the purpose of this blog post. Some of the news that we share on the Australian Heritage Homes blog is life-changing. No, we’re not joking. If you continue to come back, you’ll learn how to pinch pennies, how to save yourselves hours of every day and the biggest pitfalls to avoid. But some of the news that we need to share is important because not only will it do all of the above, it will keep you sane and smart, especially when little things like global pandemics are going on.

Unfortunately, that’s the case right now. And one would assume that you’re maybe spending a bit more time at home than you normally would. At first, we’re betting that that felt really good. It meant that you didn’t have to commute to work, wasting gas (or purchasing gas) and maybe even looking for parking. With all of that out of the window, the AHH team thinks you spent a solid week or two being very excited about your new normal. And then… then… you might have realized the work and labour that comes with a home office. Home offices can be a blessing and a curse, but if you listen to us, they’ll veer much more towards the blessing side of the fence and you’ll appreciate your home once again. Here are just a few tips that you should keep in mind so you keep your home clean from the ground up. (Now you get the pun) …

  • Parse out time on a regular basis to clean, but remember that it doesn’t need to be a whole day. The problem with many chores or anything that you don’t want to do is that you put such grandiose expectations on the amount of input that’s about to ensue. That’s not quite true. Just take it 15 to 20 minutes at-a-time and before you know it, cleaning won’t just go quickly, it might just be satisfying.
  • Pick a different chore every day, but also start a routine. That sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? We’re just trying to help you have a little bit of variety in your chores, while still building the emotional need to factor chores into your daily schedule each and every day.
  • Reward yourself. Same thing, and a big of a cop-out, but if you give yourself a wee treat after accomplishing different chores, you’ll have something to look forward to and something to push you to come back tomorrow and the day after.

Look at that! We got you excited about cleaning, didn’t we? (Don’t tell us if we didn’t). Check back in for more information.