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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Backyard Designs

Granny flat backyard designs is a great way to make use of your valuable empty back yard.   It is an excellent investment for the family looking for extra living space as there is nowhere in Australia where you can purchase a house and land for as low as the cost of a granny flat construction.

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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Pool Fencing in Australia

Pool fencing is mandatory in all States and Territories in Australia, so if a pool is going into your backyard, so must a fence.

Almost half of all drowning deaths in the 0-5 year age group occur in backyard swimming pools, so pool fencing has an important role to play in preventing these tragic deaths.

Conforming to Australian Standards

When buying a pool fence, make sure it conforms to the Australian Standard 1926.1. Responsibility for ensuring pool fencing complies with appropriate legislation rests with local councils, so your first step should be to contact your council for specific advice.

There are slightly different fencing requirements for pools depending on when and where the pool was installed, but the following list should give you a good idea of whether your fence complies with legislation.
  • The pool fence should fully isolate the pool from the house and the neighbourhood.
  • A toddler should not be able to crawl under the gate or any other part of the fence (the gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground should be less than 10 cm).
  • The gate should be able to close by itself and latch shut. Check that it is able to swing freely to the closed position when open and latch securely.
  • The vertical or near vertical railings should be less than 10 cm apart to prevent a small child from squeezing through them.
  • The horizontal fence rails should be more than 90 cm apart so a small child cannot get a foothold to climb over the fence.
  • The positioning of the fence should be well clear (usually 1.2 m) of any objects such as BBQs, trees, rocks and shrubs that could help a small child climb onto the fence.
  • The gate release mechanism should be well above ground level (usually 1.5 m) or alternatively, located inside the gate and covered by an approved shield (usually at a height of 1.2 m).

What if I don’t have kids?

You still must have a pool fence even if you don’t have children. A significant percentage of toddler pool drowning deaths do not occur in their own backyard, but in relatives, friends or neighbours’ pools.
It is also your responsibility to erect and maintain a pool fence even if you are not living in the property yourself, i.e., you are a landlord and have tenants on your property.
In some states, for pools installed before a certain period (e.g., 1 Aug 1990 in NSW), it is permitted for you to have three-sided pool fencing that allows access to the pool through the rest of the house. In this case, all doors and windows leading to the house must be secure. For added safety and peace of mind you may want to consider upgrading to four-sided fencing, particularly if children use the pool.

Yearly Checks

Royal Life Saving recommends that you conduct a thorough check of your fence every year before summer (and a quick check at least once a month) to ensure that it is complies with the safety list above and is in a good state of repair.
Some councils conduct regular council inspections to make sure the fence is properly maintained and meets the requirements of the Australian standard. Other councils may offer an inspection service for a small fee, whereby they inspect your pool and issue you with a compliant certificate if your pool meets the legislation.

Common Sense Tips

Even with a pool fence, accidents can still happen, so make sure you take these safety precautions if you have a pool in your backyard.
  • Never prop the pool gate open.
  • Make sure there are no objects left near the fence that young children could use as a climbing aid to get over the fence.
  • Display a guide to resuscitation prominently near the pool.
  • Familiarise your children with water and teach them to swim as early as possible.
  • Learn resuscitation.
  • Make sure an adult is always supervising whenever children are in the pool.

Final Tip!

A study by the Australian Consumers Association found that pool fences with a loop design (in which tubular sections of pipe are bent through upper rails) are safer than those with a flat top design (in which tubular bars are fixed and spot-welded inside flat horizontal upper and lower rails). The study tested strength and rigidity if a child was trying to squeeze through the fence bars.

Returning to Granny flats
Returning to Kit-homes
Returning to Renovations and Extensions

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Swim spas for small spaces

Do you have room in the backyard for a swimming spa? 
When there isn't enough room for an outdoor or indoor swimming pool, but you like the idea of exercising in water and don't want the hassle of driving to a public pool, why not consider the idea of installing a swim spa.  Read more ...

Friday, 22 November 2013

Shelves add character to a room

We all need extra space right?   Doesn't matter whether it is in the shed, in the office, or the house.  Over the years we collect more and more stuff, and quite often it gets stored on the floor simply because it seems to be an easy place to put things.

But what about the walls?   They make ideal areas to put up some shelving and help to keep the floor tidy and hopefully accident free. 

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Thursday, 7 November 2013

Splashback Tiling

Simple yet smart splashbacks for granny flats

To add splashback tiling is like putting the final touches to a painting, for example.  Even although you need to consider your splashback well in advance of the tiling being started.

Splashbacks allows you to bring colour to a wall, especially where white wall tiles have been used in a bathroom for example.  Splashbacks also enable you to create some kind of a theme. 

Sometimes it is worth to spend a little more money on the splashback than the other tiles simple because of the value you might benefit in having the splashback in the first place. Splashbacks can be very effective in producing a wow factor when walking into a room. 

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