Missalis Homes

Home Building & Design Advice

5 Ways to Make Your Kitchen User Friendly

Once, very little consideration was given to making the kitchen user friendly. It was often a dark, unattractive place to be with just a tiny window to let in light and air.  While many people may have happy memories of sitting at a large kitchen table while Mum prepared dinner on the other end, this was not really the best way to deal with all the preparation that needed to be done.

Happily, times have changed considerably and there are now kitchens on the market that are trendy and user friendly. Here are 5 easy ways to make your kitchen more user friendly.

  1. The Triangle

When you are cooking there are three main points that you have to reach; the refrigerator, the stove and the pantry. Keeping these areas in a rough triangle will make your food creation much more efficient as well as easier.  If your kitchen does not have a triangle of these three items it may be possible to move the refrigerator or the stove to make things easier. Or depending on how your kitchen is designed, you could change the position of the pantry – or place the foods that are used more often into a different cabinet.

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How the Right Irrigation and Reticulation can Save Water

While ever the rains pour down and storms abound, we never think of saving water. But once the clouds disappear for a few weeks or months and water in the dams or tanks we use starts to get rather more scarce we expect water restrictions. However, saving water all the time makes sense because it not only costs less, but helps to save our water supply. Installing an irrigation system may seem as if it will enable you to use more water rather than save it, but if it is the right kind it will actually save water.

Choose the Right Irrigation System

Much depends on how large your garden and lawn area is and what you grow. For the most part, annuals and vegetables take more water than perennials and permanent shrubs. However, even the thirstiest plant can grow well when you use a drip system that delivers water right to the roots where it can be used more efficiently.  When water is sprayed over a wide area some of it will evaporate, some will run off and some will land in the wrong spot, such as on the pathway. A drip system avoids all this waste.

Drip Irrigation Design Guidelines

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Plants around Pools

Once you have your pool installed you will want to make the landscaping around it attractive and this usually means a garden somewhere in the vicinity. Not only will living plants soften the look of all that concrete, they will work with other components to create an area that is relaxing and beautiful. However, you do need to plan it all carefully and take care in choosing the plants. Here are some tips that will help you.

Protect Your Pool

Most plants drop debris as they go through their cycle of growing, blooming, seeding and dying. A sudden gust of wind is likely to sweep all this debris into your pool, changing the PH of the water. Leaves and other debris from nearby flowers or trees can clog up the filter and even become a slipping hazard if they are not removed promptly. But many plants have minimal leaf loss and they last for years. These are the kind of plants that you need to choose for your pool garden, especially if it is really close to the pool.

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What to Grow Near Your Security Fencing – So it Won’t be Compromised

Nearly every home has beautiful landscaping surrounding it. Not only does this add value to the property; it also makes living there more pleasant because it creates shade and can add privacy. However, it is important to ensure any garden – especially trees and shrubs – do not interfere with the security fencing.

Trees

Trees can grow tall enough to tower over any fencing nearby, but make great living privacy fences. If they have low overhanging branches, it is highly likely that an intruder on the outside of the fence could use them as an aid to climb over. If the fence is out of sight of the home and if a branch falls over the fence after a storm or due to disease, it can also provide a way in.  Tree roots may also damage the fence posts, making them unstable and easy to pull out. Continue reading

Four Reasons to Make Your Garden Low Maintenance

Nothing sets off a home more than a beautiful garden surrounding it. You can add interest and colour, create shade, create a place for the children to play, entertain guests or just relax by yourself in a beautiful space when you have the kind of garden that gives you pleasure. However, much can be said for ensuring that the garden you create is low maintenance. Why? Here are 4 reasons to consider when deciding what kind of garden you should have.

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Positioning Windows for Passive Cooling

If you want your home to leave a small carbon footprint and cost less to run over its lifetime, a good place to start is with the windows. Traditionally, windows were smaller and many older homes still reflect this trend, but it is not difficult to have larger ones installed and you will be amazed at the difference it makes. Windows let in the cool breezes, natural lighting and warm sun in the winter, if they are in the right position. And if you are building a new home, now is the time to ensure that your windows are large enough – and are positioned in the correct way.

Why Wind Direction is Important

When you purchase a block of land, probably the last thing on your mind would be what direction the prevailing winds usually come from. But this knowledge is important in passive cooling because you will need larger windows on this side. It is easy to find this information out. Ask some locals who have lived there a long time or find out from the weather bureau. Researching the topic online may be the way to go if your area is well-known. Many cities on the coast will have breezes coming in from the sea.

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3 Reasons why Lighting in the Kitchen is Important

Working in a kitchen that was designed with the end user in mind will always be easier and more pleasant than using one where no consideration has been given to those that spend hours preparing food for their family.

In many older homes the kitchen has not been designed well, with the result that the cook gets irritable and is less likely to want to spend enough time there to create meals that are delicious and healthy. Lighting is an important factor in the overall pleasant stakes. Here are 3 reasons why lighting in the kitchen is really important. More on kitchen design

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6 Tips for Growing Plants on the Balcony

So many people love to dabble with growing things. It seems to be an innate need to reduce our stress levels and get more enjoyment from life. Watching plants grow and bloom is a joy, but if you live in a high-rise apartment, where can you grow them? The balcony many provide the answer. Growing plants on the balcony is not difficult if you take certain factors into consideration.

Here are 6 tips that will help you create a haven in the form of an attractive, plant-strewn balcony where you can relax and enjoy yourself.

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Safe Gate Tips for Security Fencing

When you have security fencing installed it is usually for a reason. That means there must be no weak points in its length, or else it may as well not be there. One of the weakest points can be the gate – unless you also make sure that the gate is a strong one and designed in the same way as the fence.  Thus, if your fence has a topping of wire or steel that slopes outwards, the gate should have the same thing. Otherwise it will become a focal point for intruders and allow easy access.

Weak Points in a Safety Gate

However, there are other considerations for a gate if it is to be a safe one. Any moving thing will have possible weak points in it to help it move. The hinges and locks for a gate can be considered weak points if they are not made of strong materials that cannot be taken apart. It won’t matter how strong the hinges are if the screws or bolts holding it to the gate can be undone. Likewise, the catch for the gate must be strong, but if the attachments can be easily removed, anyone will be able to take it off and get in.

Tamper proof screws and other hardware will ensure that every part of the gate is strong and that it cannot be taken off its hinges by an unauthorised person.

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Pros and Cons of Above Ground Gardens

Above ground gardens seem to be the in thing these days. You can see many different shapes, sizes and materials used in most nurseries or retail garden outlets, but are they all that they are touted to be?

Sometimes, people rush in to buy up something that looks wonderful in the shop or catalogue, but are then disappointed because they found a few things going wrong with it that they had not expected. Here are some pros and cons of raised bed gardens.

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4 Tips for Heavy Equipment Hire

When a job needs heavy equipment to get done, it is not always viable to purchase what is needed, especially if it is a short term job. It is far more cost-effective to hire heavy equipment, because to pay for itself it needs to be in use all the time. However, hiring does not come without certain risks that can cost your business money and time: see this safety guide on equipment safety. Here are 4 tips to mitigate those risks and ensure that the job goes according to plan with no delays.

  1. Research the hire company properly.

Naturally, you will look at their website, but it is also a good idea to put your ear to the ground and find out what other people in the industry are saying about them. When hiring equipment such as dozers, dump trucks, crushers and screeners, excavators, graders and rollers you can do without any break-downs. A hire company that has a good reputation means that they also have top class equipment that will not break down on the job – and that they offer affordable prices and fair contracts.

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7 Reasons Why Trees In Your Backyard are Not Always a Good Idea

Do you envisage making your back or front yard a leafy haven with the addition of trees? There are many beautiful trees in the world; they offer shade, flowers, a place for the birds to congregate or nest and sometimes even fruit to eat. Many people love to grow trees but not all trees are suitable for the suburban back yard.

Here are 7 reasons why it is not always a good idea to grow trees in the backyard – see guidelines.

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The Ideal Solution for Limited Mobility – Install a Lift

People with limited mobility find it difficult to go up and down stairs whether they are elderly or young with some physical limitation. Very often children and young adults have been injured in a car accident or contracted some disease that prevents them climbing stairs.  Yet they may have a lovely home with more than one storey, or if it is built on a hilly location, the garage may be underneath and the home is above. This requires going up steps that can be very difficult to negotiate. The ideal solution is to install a disability lift.

Advantages of a Lift for Young Adults

In fact, even those who are young and strong may find going up stairs difficult at times during their life. When you have a baby, the nursery is usually upstairs in a two storey home. Imagine the difficulty – and danger – of carrying a tiny baby or wriggling toddler, not to mention all their paraphernalia, up and down the stairs. There is the pram or stroller, the baby seat or capsule, the walker, various large toys and many packets of disposable nappies, to mention just a few.

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How to Surround Your Pool – 3 Pool Paving Treatments

No pool will look attractive unless the surrounding area is treated in some way. Most pools are surrounded by tiles, natural stone or concrete that are treated in some way to make them look more attractive. Unless there is some kind of hard surface, the surrounding area will end up getting muddy and this will be trodden into the pool itself, ruining the PH of the water. Even a grassed area can become muddy when it is constantly saturated with pool water.

There are usually pros and cons to each kind of treatment and sometimes which one is suitable  depends on the location of the pool and to some extent on your lifestyle. A pool that has only occasional use by adults with less splashing of the surrounding area could have a different treatment than one that gets lots of use. Here are 3 different pool paving treatments to consider.

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How the Right Kitchen Cabinetry Can Improve Your Kitchen

Ask any cook and they would tell you that plenty of storage is one of the most important things to have in the kitchen. Kitchen cabinetry does not have to be boring and bland, but it does need to be functional. Today more than ever you can have the best of both worlds and get attractive kitchen cupboards that are designed especially for your kitchen and will provide heaps of storage space in several ways.

Not only can cupboards be fitted into corners and small spaces, they can have customised fittings inside to make storage more efficient, easier to access and just right for a myriad of small kitchen utensils. So what are some of the latest trends that you can choose from if you are building a new home or renovating your kitchen? Here are some of them.

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How Bathroom Mirrors Enhance Space and Light

Not all bathrooms are spacious and well-lit. Older homes often fail in this regard, especially if they were designed many years ago when no one thought the bathroom was very important. It was simply considered the place to have a quick bath or shave and leave as soon as possible so the others could use it. These days it is more of a place for rest and relaxation as well as for applying make-up and doing other beauty routines. Such things require light and space, but if your bathroom has neither, what can you do? Not everyone wants to renovate, but there are still ways and means of enhancing the light and space in your bathroom.

Use Mirrors

We all know that mirrors are needed in the bathroom so that we can see what we are doing. Shaving, plucking, styling hair and adding make-up all need a mirror. However, mirrors also reflect other things apart from your face. If you place an additional mirror right opposite the window, your light will increase and so will your perception of space.

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4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Balcony

If you live in a high-rise apartment, the balcony is the only space where you can enjoy the outdoors, get some sun and take advantage of a cool breeze in the evening, yet many people don’t even use their balcony at all, which seems a shame. After all, it offers that bit of extra space and can be set up to enhance your lifestyle without too much trouble.

Here are 4 ways to make the most of your balcony.

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How Improved Design Enhances Sliding Aluminium Windows

One great thing about aluminium windows is that they don’t need painting. If you have ever had the job of painting a window you will know how fiddly it is. Aluminium windows come in silvery grey or brown, both of which seem to suit a variety of colours, as well as brickwork. They are simple to operate and provide a good view and plenty of light, since you can get large sizes.

There was only one thing wrong with them and that was the tiny grooves inside the gutter that contained the sliding part. Happily, this has disappeared, leaving the window much easier to clean.

What Else is New with Aluminium Windows?

Once, the sliding aluminium window did just that; slid to one side of the opening, leaving half the window cavity opened. Of course you could adjust this to any amount from a narrow crack to the full half width. But nowadays you can have all the advantages of aluminium windows in designs that are not just sliding. There are: –

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What Type of Fencing is Best for Homes

There are many different types of fencing for homes and the one you choose may depend on your location or the main reason for fencing your home. For instance, if you live on a farm, you may need to have a stock fence of barbed wire around your home just to keep the cows off your lawn and stop them munching up your flowers. But if you live in a residential area you are likely to need a fence for a different reason.

Reasons for Fencing

For instance, you may simply want a fence to mark out the boundaries of your block. But if you have trouble with children riding their bikes over your lawn and gardens, you would want a sturdier fence than just a pretty boundary marker.

Many people these days choose a fence for security reasons. This means that the fence will need to be high enough so that no one can climb over it, and sturdy enough that it cannot be pulled down or have a hole cut in it.

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3 Different Shapes for Your Pool

Once you have decided to install a pool you may feel so eager to get started that you don’t want to spend time in choosing the right design. Yet this is the very thing that can set your pool apart and make it totally suitable for your particular block of ground and home. By thinking carefully about your needs as well taking into consideration the style and shape of your home and block, you can customise the pool to suit you and your lifestyle.

For instance, if your block is an odd shape, or if it is small, you can adjust the size and shape of the pool  so that it does not take over the whole yard. It is possible to have the shape of your pool customised. Here are three pool shapes that are popular, but a little different from the usual rectangle.

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How to Choose the Best Pots for Your Balcony

If you have ever been serious about growing plants in pots you may have had the experience of choosing a lovely big pot only to find you couldn’t move it once it was filled with potting mix and the plant. You may have had to get a stand with wheels on it in order to shift it around the patio. However, if you are choosing pots for your balcony there is another reason to get lightweight pots and that is the strength of the balcony floor. Using a heavy pot may mean you are limited to only one pot, if weight restrictions apply. Don’t forget it will be even heavier once you water it.

So the best pots for a balcony are actually lightweight ones; then you will be able to –

  • Have more pots
  • Not worry about the weight restrictions
  • Be able to move them about without wheels.

However, even though they are lightweight, they should still be sturdy, especially if your balcony is a windy one. You don’t want your pot plant to roll about in the wind, dropping out all that good potting mix so the roots of your plant dry out while you are at work.

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3 Reasons why You Need Security Doors

Many homeowners take security for granted without actually checking to ensure that their home is safe. Or they may have a security door at the front, but none at the back. Since doors and windows are the obvious ingress points for a burglar, it makes sense to ensure all such openings are secure. If you have not thought too much about security, here are 3 reasons why your home needs security doors.

1: Security Doors Ensure Your Personal Safety

This may seem obvious, but unless you have been the target of a home invasion it will not really hit home. Having your home broken into is bad enough, but being the victim of a violent home invasion is much worse. It takes years to recover emotionally and mentally from such an attack and of course, the physical repercussions may be with you for months or years. If you happen to be at home when your house is robbed, you can often fall victim to an assault, even if that was not the main reason the invader broke in. Older people, especially, find it difficult to recover from such a trauma, while children can be badly affected and have nightmares for years afterwards. How much better would it be to prevent it from happening in the first place.

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Adding Elegance to Your Bathroom – Frameless Shower Screens

The bathroom is an important part of the house since every member of the family uses it. These days, having an elegant bathroom is considered essential, so what can you do to make your bathroom into a place that everyone will enjoy spending time in? The answer is easy. Add a frameless shower screen. There are many benefits –

  • With no solid walls to cast shadow in your small room it will look much bigger. Having a light, airy space will create elegance and offers the perception of space, making your bathroom look bigger than it actually is.
  • Being lighter makes it easier to see, so you don’t have to switch the light on quite so much – a benefit to the planet as well as to your wallet.
  • Enhances your lifestyle. When you have a bathroom that is pleasant to be in your lifestyle is enhanced, your stress levels go down and you can feel happier and more relaxed.
  • A frameless shower screen is easier to clean. The glass for the frameless screen is thicker to attain the required strength. With no frame to worry about you can get on with cleaning the glass with wide sweeps of the cloth. The job is done much more quickly.
  • Frameless shower screens are – pure and simple – more elegant than any other kind of shower screen. You will be proud of your bathroom once it is finished.

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4 Benefits of Installing a Home Lift

Mostly when we think of lifts we think of them in some commercial setting such as a high-rise apartment building or a hospital. We would certainly find it difficult to get around such places without having a lift to help, but what about installing a home lift? When you think about it, it is a really sensible idea. Here are 4 benefits of having a lift installed in  your home.

1: A home lift will increase the value of your home. If you get to the stage where you want to sell for any reason, having a home lift will mean that the selling reach is widened, making your home suitable to many more people such as older couples or those with a disability. Your home will very likely sell more quickly when there are more people for whom it is suitable. This will allow you to get on with the rest of your life instead of wasting time waiting for it to sell before you can really put your other goals into practice.

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