Category Archives: Product and Service Reviews

The Best in Custom Closet Solutions

Closet SolutionsStruggling to find that favorite sweater due to an overcrowded closet can be frustrating, but what if you could design your own perfect closet?

The good news is, you can. If you’ve dreamed of a walk-in closet with shelves, integral mirrors, and lighting or any other feature and you haven’t seen your ideal combination in the shops, the solution is to design your own.

By hiring custom closet organizers, you are supporting a local business and gaining access to a team of qualified storage solution experts who can conceptualize your ideas.

Get the Look You Want

You can choose your own color scheme, whether traditional wood or wood-effect or modern high sheen with chrome handles, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes. Color shades are available to suit either gender or can appeal to couples too.

Clear the Clutter

Fed up of looking at clutter all over your bedroom? Too many shoes and handbags you don’t want to part with? Treat yourself to a bedroom closet with a built-in shoe rack. You can also choose baskets to store all those odds and ends you don’t know what to with, luxury lined drawers that are designed for your jewelry and a tie rack for your other half. You pick what you need and your designer will make your idea a reality, at a price to fit your budget.

Sheer Opulence with a Walk-In Closet

If you want to splash out, you could get a walk-in closet with a boutique feel, perfect if you have lots of clothes and want to keep them on display or you’d rather have your clothing storage area separate from where you sleep, says an expert from Ruffinocustomclosets.com.

If you need a seating area to get dressed or change your shoes, you can order your own customized bench.

Cube and Hamper Storage

You can pick storage cubes to display ornaments, flowers, photographs, books or other items. Integral hampers are also a great place to put bedding and blankets.

To get started, call your local representative for a personalized appointment to discuss your closet requirements and they will bring your dreams to life.

Solar Panel Installation: How it Works and How to Get its Best Value

Solar PanelsThinking of installing a solar home system at your home? It is a smart way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and even its resale value. Best of all, you get to help save the environment by taking the simple step of going solar.

These are the reasons there is a demand for home solar panels. Many people are discovering the potential of the sun’s power in producing cleaner and ready-to-use energy right at their homes.

Before you get started with this project, check the following information to have an idea of how it works and how you can get the best value from your new solar energy system.

How Solar Panels Do the Magic

It is not magic actually, but pure science. Photovoltaic (PV) cells, more commonly known as solar panels, act as batteries that collect sun’s energy. They then transform it into electricity and send it to an inverter. This part of the system works to turn the energy into alternating current. Once the energy reaches this stage, it is ready to be used in the household. It is can now power up your appliances and gadgets.

How Long It Takes to Install

The installation of solar panels may take a few days to finish. Some contractors, however, may advise you to wait for a few weeks before they start the project. This is because they need to process certain permits and requirements from the local government. They need to comply with local guidelines and energy industry standards to provide you with the right solutions.

Where to Place Your Panels

Solar panels should be installed in an area that receives direct sunlight. This way, you can expect optimal production of solar energy. Shade due to nearby building or trees can be an issue. If it is the case, at least position your PV cells on the part that is exposed to the sun during its peak – between 10 am and 2pm.

Learn more about how you can benefit from solar energy system installation. Consult a licensed provider of solar energy solutions near you.

You Could Be Saving Money with These Interior Design Tips for Your Home

Window Company in BirminghamWhen you’re aiming to save money for your home’s interior design, look to your windows. Properly placed and planned window installations and designs can help you save on energy and electricity costs.

Many homeowners are not keen on designing their windows for fear of bad design. Don’t worry, any room in your house can benefit from a beautifully designed window. There are many styles to choose from and you can always seek the help of a trusted Birmingham window company when installing windows.

Here are some ways on how you can save money while maintaining beautiful windows for your home.

Keep the Warmth Inside, Coldness Outside

Solar-glazed windows are trending nowadays. You can have them installed in your home to save on heater costs. They keep heat inside your home, which usually escapes through windows, to keep you warm. At the same time, they prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from entering your home.

Keep the Cool Air In

Similarly, if you think it’s too hot inside your house during summer months, you can save on air conditioning costs by keeping your windows open. This allows the air to enter your home and keep the atmosphere cooler inside.

Use Windows as Decorative Pieces for Your Home

You can also save money by using your windows as decoration or visual arts. You don’t have to consult an interior designer just so you can add a piece or two of décor in your home. Windows can work as frames where you can add window treatments to make your home more beautiful.

Maximize Natural Light That Enters Your Home

By allowing natural light to come into your house, you are limiting your use of electricity. There’s no need to turn lights on all the time. To maximise natural light in your home, install skylights, clerestory windows, and big windows on the walls. A Birmingham window company specialising in window installations can be hired for this task.

Also, you can always opt for smaller windows, but put them close together to make them look like they’re bigger.

A Last Tip

Windows allow you to enjoy natural light and ventilation. What’s more, you can always savour the view outside because of well-planned window installations. To get the best out of your windows, use any of the tips shared above.

The Growth of Solar Power Will Come at a Price: The Fall of Traditional Power

Solar PowerThere’s almost no argument whether renewable energy has a future in the world. It is the future of the world, and if the use of hydrogen could be developed enough, society is set for a crude-less time. More than that, everyone needs this. If the majority of the population continues to use traditional energy sources for the next century, the state of the environment will be much worse off than expected.

It’s one thing to talk about what will power cars. The moving parts, the unpredictable amount of usage, and engineering and architectural challenges that go into implementing a new source of power is too complicated an endeavor. This is why the melting point of renewable energy will fall on the shoulders of residential and commercial properties. But, as always, a transformation of this magnitude won’t be smooth. Something will have to surrender, and in energy matters, it’s certain that it’s going to be something big.

From the Other Side

According to a report by Bloomberg, more than a million homes will switch to solar power by next month. The other part of the article, however, focuses on how plants on the east coast will cut supply by 1,400 megawatts. On the face of it, only private vendors of power get the brunt of the whiplash — all $2 billion of it. Yet, this cutback of power is a prime example of what the United States will experience once it’s moving the whole country to the green side.

On the other hand, this means residential and commercial solar panel systems will skyrocket in just 30 days. By any measure, this is one of the wildest surges of growth in the renewable energy sector. More than that, the photovoltaic (PV) panels of today are a lot more efficient that you think. In the first year of usage, it will provide significant savings. When it reaches maturity, it will cut electricity costs even more.

As for the shortening of supply, there will come a time when traditional power suppliers will keep their energy provisions at a bare minimum. This is inevitable, as solar power grows in prominence and something that everyone must tackle. Not everyone will be enthusiastic about making the switch. Other than that, some places in the country might just not have immediate access to solar contractors.

A Social Effort

Everyone, or the majority of the population, must get in on the renewable bandwagon. This is the only way of ensuring total implementation. Rather than pressure, it would be a wiser choice to look at how solar power will give you benefits.

Electricity savings and environmental concern are such a strange combination. No matter how wide the distance between them, they find a common ground in a noble cause: to use the abundant resources people have and not damage the world even more.

Why Australia Has the Best Coffee Culture

CoffeeA big part of Australia’s culture revolves around a nation’s shared enjoyment of and love for brewed coffee. It’s not surprising to see that more and more tourists are coming to Australia looking to get a piece of the growing culture.

Any part of Australia has its own coffee culture, but what sets it apart is that even something as simple as a flat white can bring some intense flavours worth visiting the coutry for. The Royal shares more information below:

Where the Coffee Experience Began

Coffee did not use to be Australia’s best choice of drink. Rum used to be the go-to favourite drink, followed by coffee, and then tea broke out in 1920, when refugees started opening up coffee shops. This growth went further as the 1950s brought in Italian migrants who started arriving on Australia’s shores bearing coffee makers. This paved the way towards the boom of Italian cafes and the coffee roasting industry.

From Australia to the Rest of the World

The coffee industry in Australia has already grown around the country. The market research conducted has showcased that over the past five years, the culture has grown exponentially.

Australians love quality coffee, and not even the likes of the Starbucks brand can compete with existing individually-run coffee shops all over the country. In fact, according to Ibis World, the industry is already expected to grow at an anniual rate of 7.4 percent until the expected rise in 2016.

In addition, there are more specialised coffee shops and cafes popping up. This brings up the competition but at the same time, gives a more diverse playing field and more options to customers. More visitors and tourists are getting attracted by the coffee culture, especially now that even cafes are making their mark by adding a touch of artisan food and snacks into the mix.

Where to Find the Best Coffee Shops in Australia

It is difficult to judge the best coffee shops in Australia, simply because there are so many of them. The fact that Australia-run cafes and coffee shops in New York City are being celebrated just goes to show how other countries are enjoying the flavours of Australian-brewed coffee. There are now more coffee cafes appearing that have the full experience offered as it is in Australia.

By bringing in flavours from Nundah coffee shops to Melbourne cafes, even New York City is trying to revamp the experience in The Big Apple.

Coastal Blackbutt Timber and its Value in Commercial Flooring Applications

Ideal Wood for Commercial Floors

Ideal Wood for Commercial FloorsVarious hardwood species that grow in Australia undergo a process for use in residential, industrial, and commercial applications. Of these, one of the most common for flooring purposes is blackbutt, with the coastal area of New South Wales being the main source of a type called coastal blackbutt.

This kind is popular as a framework for buildings, as well as for poles and decking. Southern Queensland additionally cultivates blackbutt for other applications.

Ideal for Interior Flooring

The scientific name of blackbutt is Eucalyptus pilularis, but it derives its common name from the darkening of the buttress of the tree after the ravages of a bushfire. Why then is this particular type of honey-brown wood ideal for commercial application?

Aside from the wood’s evenness, it is durable and exhibits a Janka hardness rating of 9.1. Cultivated primarily as a commercial species, blackbutt flooring companies in Perth often have ample supply of the species, which they sell for other structural and exterior solutions. It is, however, most used for interior flooring due to its straight grain and even texture.

Blackbutt is fire-resistant, and especially suited to resist bushfire. As such, the Building Commission in Victoria deemed the wood one of the seven species in Australia perfect for use in areas prone to bushfire.

Natural Variations

Chelsea Flooring adds that another name for it is pink blackbutt, because of the slight pinkish tinge visible in the heartwood. Usually, these hardwood planks are pale brown to cream in colour. The sapwood is lighter in tone, while the heartwood is golden yellow, honey-coloured, pinkish, or brown and creamy.

Natural variations exist across one species of hardwood, and there may even be large variations in tone within a log of wood.

Examine a wide range of samples of blackbutt if you really want this type of wood as flooring material. When you have a large sampling before you, the most appealing attributes will become evident.

Employees Can Motivate Their Managers, Too!

Employees motivating their manager

Employees motivating their managerThe popular question in the workplace targets what managers can do to motivate employees; the manager’s own motivation hardly ever enters the picture.

Why It’s Essential

People in managerial positions bear a burden that only others in similar or higher ranks understand. Employees like yourself should consider the weight of the responsibility your bosses shoulder to keep the company running and, therefore, sustain your employment.

If they lose motivation to do what they do best, the people under them suffer. Brad Montgomery shares more insights below:

Appreciation Goes a Long Way

When performance-based incentives fail to meet expectations, remember to thank your manager anyway. Sometimes the disapproval of a superior or the lack of funds hinders the fulfillment of promised incentives and bonuses, not the manager’s lack of effort. Many decisions take place behind closed doors which common employees do not know about. Give managers the benefit of the doubt. When you show them your gratitude, they’ll not only feel better, they’ll also take note of your good conduct.

Attendance Matters

Their efforts to organize a seminar headed by the best motivational speaker available in town go to waste if you and your co-workers don’t attend. They’ll begin to question their methods in motivating their employees and, in the process, lose motivation themselves. You should make a conscious decision to respond to the opportunities they provide to improve teamwork and productivity in the company.

Listen to Constructive Criticism

Your superiors need to tell you when and where you go wrong. Unless their manner of correcting you comes off as rude or embarrassing, keep in mind that their ultimate goal in doing so contributes to your overall growth as a professional. Just as they must tell you how to do things correctly, you should also show them that you acknowledge their correction. Noncompliance frustrates them and also affects their confidence in guiding their team.

Motivation in the workplace travels two ways: from the managers to the employees and back. If only the managers exert energy in keeping spirits up in the midst of challenging situations, the entire team effort might be put in jeopardy.

3 Things that Prevent Your AC from Cooling

AC isn't Cooling

AC isn't CoolingWhatever the season may be, it’s always a huge hassle when your AC fails to function like normal. The worst part is that these troubles come when you least expect them. Without any warning, you’ll just find yourself sweating amid a sweltering day because your AC’s not cooling right.

Of course, the best move when this happens is to call a pro for air conditioning repair. But, before you do that, it’d be helpful if you have some background on what causes the malfunction. In the case of an AC that fails to produce cool air, here are the three possible culprits behind it:

Dirty Filters

Long periods of usage would eventually make the inner part of your AC dirty – and the filter is the first thing that catches all the debris. Eventually, the dust would pile up and block the flow of air in the evaporator. In effect, the refrigerant does not get heated up and stay in its cold state. Over time, this could freeze up the evaporator coil, so change the filters once in a while.

Malfunctioning Compressor

Both the fan and the compressor could run into some problems without proper maintenance. A fan that doesn’t work fails to remove the heat from the machine, which prevents it from generating cool air. Consequently, a malfunctioning compressor wouldn’t be able to circulate the air in the machine.

Vent Blockages

The filters are not the only thing that could rob you of cool air. Any form of blockage in the vents and returns of the AC would be enough for it to have a poorer performance. Always remember that when something blocks the air flow, the refrigerant fails to add a chill in the indoor air. As much as possible, keep the evaporator coil and the vents free of any blockage. You can do the inspection of this yourself, but it’s always better to get in touch with a qualified professional.

Knowing these things would help you run a quick diagnostic test on what’s wrong with your machine. Repairing it, however, is an entirely different ball game. Don’t hesitate to call the experts if you ever spot any problem with your AC.

Decorative and Energy-Efficient: Benefits of Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutter

Plantation shutterPlantation shutters are more versatile than other kinds of shutters, mostly because they are suitable for both interior and exterior applications. Homes in Perth get more natural light with these easy-to-clean shutters. On top of that, houses also look more beautiful thanks to the customisable, energy-efficient and valuable window treatment.

Traditional vs. Modern Shutters

Many prefer plantation shutters over the traditional types, which come with smaller, narrower louvres. Think about the size of the room and the ceiling height when choosing louvre size. Traditional shutters are perfect for houses with narrow windows, but since houses these days want to let in more light, plantation shutters fit better.

Decorative and Safer

Shuttered windows also add beauty to the home, thanks to highly customisable features. Custom shutters can take more shapely forms and can fit any window size and shape.

Choose options with a divider rail or a bi-fold style for better control. Keep the top louvres open to get more light and view; keep the bottom part closed for privacy.

For better design, buy plantation shutters in Perth and get matching curtains to soften louver lines. Install thin, light curtains in the same colour to enhance the room.

With these cord-free shutters, feel safe knowing there will be no accidents caused by cords and dangling strings. This means no lopsided blinds as well!

Energy-efficient

The thick and sturdy plantation shutters can help control heat transfer. Closed shutters keep heat inside during winter and warmth out during hot weather. It also helps reduce glare and allow ventilation at the same time.

More homeowners are thinking about energy-efficient ways to improve the look of their house. Do the same with yours with the simple addition of window treatments. With shutters offering a decorative look even while helping you save money and energy, improve the house value effortlessly.

3 Often-Missed Quality Questions When Purchasing Lifting Products

Lifting products

Lifting productsIf your business operates within the rigging industry, then you know the important roles different lifting equipment play. This is particularly true when it comes to overhead lifting slings.

In the market, you are going to encounter dozens and dozens of brands, which may make it hard to select the best one for your needs. So, remember that the popular saying ‘you get what you pay for’ also applies to the purchase of these pieces of equipment.

That is why it is a must to go beyond price alone when purchasing such products. To help you get the best value for your money, consolidatedriggingandlifting.com says you should never forget to ask the following questions:

1. What are the Quality Procedures the Product Manufacturer Implements?

When assessing potential sling suppliers, make sure the manufacturer of the products only applies stringent and rigorous quality procedures. Always remember that these pieces of equipment are designed to lift thousands and thousands of pounds, so it is a must that the manufacturer ensures they can withstand these weights.

2. How Often Does the Product Manufacturer Break-Test the Equipment?

Also, make sure the manufacturer regularly runs break testing procedures on the equipment as a way to assess whether the products meet both the design and strength requirements.

3. What are the Policies Enforced by the Manufacturer Regarding Material Quality?

Lastly, ask about the quality of the materials used in the construction of these lifting products. Like the construction of the equipment itself, components should also be designed to last and have the ability to carry such considerable weights.

Failing to take these factors into consideration puts you and the users of the lifting products at risk, so be certain that you purchase the equipment only from a reputable supplier.