Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home Doors

Spring is here again. You’ve done outside. You’ve done inside. What about the doors? How do you start when it comes to spring cleaning your screens, doors and sliding doors? Check out these ideas for cleaning a very visual and important part of your home:

Flyscreens and security screens

Your fly or security screen collects a huge amount of dust, particles, and if you look down the bottom, remains of animals that could not escape! Unless you’re keen on having science projects on your screens, you’ll need soap up some water and be prepared to flush your screens a number of times. There’s no real quick or easy way to clean a screen – just time and effort.

If you find during your cleaning that your security screen is coming out of the mounts or the door just does not feel as ‘secure’ as it should, it’s probably an indication that your security screen isn’t doing what it’s designed to do – protect you and your family from creepies and creeps. If you find you’re not feeling secure, it’s worth contacting a home security expert, such as Stylewise Security for options on creating a safe environment for you and your family.

Hinged doors

Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to check your hinged doors for any defects and remedy any potential issues. When cleaning your hinged doors, the golden rule is to start clean. Check the surrounds of the door – do you need to remove or replace a worn doormat? Are there leaves or debris near the doorway that need cleaning? Once the surrounds are clean, you can get to work on spring cleaning. Check the door hinges – have you been putting up with a squeaky door all winter? Lubricate! Are your keys getting jammed, or is your door becoming stiff to open or close? This may be a sign your door is becoming damaged or warped. Spring cleaning the door itself is easy; like anything, use hot soapy water, a microfiber cloth and a bit of elbow grease to give your door a fresh, clean look.

Sliding doors

There’s a multitude of things to consider when spring cleaning your sliding doors. As with hinged doors, ensure the surrounds are clean before you dive into a good spring once-over. With sliding doors, start from the top and work your way down. Give the outside a good hose or high-pressure water clean, getting rid of any surface dirt. With inside glass panels, use water and a microfiber cloth to both clean and give the glass a shiny buff.
One area that many people neglect when spring cleaning sliding doors are the tracks and wheels. Using hot, soapy water, get into the grooves of the tracks. Dirty tracks and wheels turn a sliding door into a grinding door. Where possible, give the wheels a once-over, too.

What methods have you employed in cleaning your doors? Are there any tips you can share to make this boring job quicker and easier? Drop your ideas in the comments below.

Top Three Tips for Trench Safety


A trench is a man-made cut in the earth of any length, but one that is considerably deeper than it is wide. Because it looks so unassuming, people tend to be less cautious with them and take risks they would not consider on other parts of a construction site. It is for this reason that excavating and working in trenches is considered to be among the most dangerous occupations on a work or construction site, with cave-ins and unexpected flooding the source of untold injuries and deaths. The safety of on-site workers is paramount, so here are three tips designed to keep employees safe in the trenches.

Install protective systems

The most important precaution to take is to install a protective system around and within your trench. A safety specialist like Mabey Hire has an extensive range of products to secure your excavation site and ensures workers and onlookers aren’t put in unnecessary danger. For example, you should consider installing aluminium or steel frames to shore up the side of the trenches, reduce slippage and stop cave-ins. You might also consider steel or rubber ground covers in and around the trench to reduce mud and slush around the work area. Before making your choice, always consult an expert. A number of complicated factors such as soil composition, residue and water content will help determine what system to use.

Be trench aware

The most important thing is to appoint a ‘competent person’ to supervise activities around the trench. They should be fully trained in trench excavation work, with a substantial knowledge of soil composition and its reaction under excavation. Do not climb into a trench if you don’t think it is safe. The deeper the trench, the more important it is to have a protective system installed by a registered professional or engineer against cave-ins. If you are in a protected trench and you think something is wrong with the system, or it is filling with water faster than it should be, get out and report it to a supervisor. Safety on a work site is everyone’s responsibility. But the greatest responsibility we have is to ourselves and families – and an obligation to come home from work alive.

Follow some general rules

Like many things in life, a lot of the precautions you can take to keep safe in a trench come down to common sense. Some basic rules include:

  • Do not allow heavy equipment to get to close to the edge.
  • Provide an area at least a metre from the trench to dump excavated soil and spoil.
  • Identify any underground utilities before digging.
  • Surround the trench with barriers to stop people falling in.
  • Inspect the trench for movement or other problems at the beginning of each shift, after rainstorms or after any other activity that may affect the stability of the trench walls.

Working in a trench is like being employed on any part of the worksite. There are two-fold and it is important to be aware of them. Follow the rules set out by occupational health and safety regulations, coupled with a bit of your common sense, and most problems should be avoided.

Simple and Effective Ways to Create Ambience in Any Room of Your Choosing  

Simple and Effective ways to create ambience in any room of your choosing

Ambience is important in a home, as it creates atmosphere and gives soul to every space, from bathrooms through to living rooms. Whether it’s adding texture through curtains or a pendent light from Vinci Living, providing an ambient experience in your home doesn’t have to be difficult – or expensive! Below are some simple and effective ways you can create ambience in just about any room you choose.

The Art of Lighting

Lighting can directly affect the mood of a room, so it’s a great place to start when trying to create ambience for spaces in your home. You’ll find lighting solutions everywhere, from a beautiful pendent to draw in people’s attention, to a traditional chandelier to provoke the feeling of utter luxury – there is something for everyone, and every room. Mood lighting, such as dimmable switches are also perfect for bedrooms or bathrooms where you want to create a peaceful, tranquil atmosphere.

Colour and Texture

Colour and texture can have a huge influence on a home’s natural ambience. If you’re not up for repainting an entire space, and if the wall colour is fairly neutral to begin with, use accessories. Add cushions, towels or curtains in shades of brown or cream, as the colours and the soft materials will take the edge off, making it more welcoming. Team them with accents of natural colour tones like greens, yellows or oranges, and natural materials like wicker baskets or beeswax candles to create an ambient-rich experience.

Simple Décor

The more clutter in a room, the less relaxed you’re going to feel in it. Simple really. Get rid of all unnecessary items and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can redefine a space. Wall décor is a big one as it’s easy to get carried away with family photos of the great aunts and uncles, but honestly, do you really need to display a picture of everyone? Try to limit yourself to a few smaller items, or one large item, on each wall. Also try to keep all benches and table space free from piles of ‘stuff’. Keep surfaces clean, and all furniture and accessories straight and tidy – the atmosphere of the space will be completely transformed!

Pieces of You

Including some of your favourite items or nick-knacks is a great way to create ambience in a space, as nothing makes you feel more comfortable than the things you’re most comfortable with! Framed photos, an old clock, a vase of flowers – and the best thing about these items is that they’re easy and cost-effective to include in just about any space in your home. Try to stick to a theme though, and have all items tied together with a common link or base, as too much difference will create confusion rather than promote ambience.

It doesn’t matter how high- or low-end your home is, without ambience, rooms are never going to feel quite ‘right’ to be in. They will lack comfort and heart, and no one feels relaxed in a space that is cold, confusing or overwhelming. Remember that simple, natural, and soft touches are the way to go for any room when creating ambience.

What features do you think you could add or remove to create natural ambience in your home? Write your answers in the space below.

Is your backyard safe for child’s play?

The backyard is perhaps the biggest drawcard to bring young couples with children away from their trendy inner-city apartments to a family home in the suburbs. There is nothing more comforting than hearing your child playing happily in the yard, knowing they are safe and secure in a home environment. But how safe are the little ones really?

Quite frankly, the average backyard can be a dangerous place for a young child if the proper precautions are not taken before play gets underway. No one is suggesting that little Johnnie or Jane be kept indoors until they are old enough to drive, but that doesn’t mean a parent shouldn’t be a little wary and check for hidden dangers first.

Here are a few things to look out for before letting your children loose in the backyard.

Potential Fall Hazards

Where could my child possibly fall from in a backyard? You’d be surprised. School incident reports are full of examples where children have sustained injuries, sometimes quite serious, after falling from a seemingly inconsequential height in the playground. Children’s bones are still developing and quite brittle. Therefore it doesn’t take much of a fall to cause a serious break, concussion or other head injury. Look for potential climbing hazards such as low tree branches and climbable fences, and take steps to make them inaccessible to youngsters. Parents still concerned about climbing and fall hazards, and are looking for ways to eliminate the risks, could check out websites such as for more information.

Drowning and Water Hazards

It takes only a few seconds for a child to slip away from adult supervision, find a water source and drown. Backyard swimming pools are the most common source of drowning for children, even though regulations in all jurisdictions require pools to be fully enclosed with child-proof fences. The dangers arise because people feel complacent with the fence and forget children can display incredibly ingenuity when they want to do something. If you have a pool, make sure there is nothing lying around in the yard a child could use as a step to open the gate or scale the fence. And it doesn’t have to be a full size pool to be a hazard, especially if the child is particularly young. Wading pools and buckets of water left around the yard also pose a potential drowning hazard to toddlers and babies.

Keep Fire at Bay

Fire pits are becoming a trendy accessory in suburban backyards, an ideal meeting place to gather around to share drinks and food with friends. But they can also be a hazard for the unwary and the very young. Never the leave the pit burning and unattended when young children are about. Children are attracted to the flames and it doesn’t take much for them to fall in. Even when the pit is not in use make sure it is securely covered so little ones can’t climb up and fall in. While the distance of the fall might not be great, it is easy to hit their heads on the edge of the pit and do themselves a serious injury.

The backyard is a great place for children to play, explore and learn about nature. But it is our responsibility as adults to run our eyes over the yard first to check for any dangers that may be lurking in the undergrowth. Do a check beforehand and make sure the children play it safe.

Top Tips for Building your New Home

Most of us have our own version of a ‘dream home’ and it’s this vision that drives many people to build rather than buy a new house. Building allows us to tailor our home to meet our needs and desires and gives us the opportunity to create something unique. However, there are many pitfalls to building and often, the shiny dream can turn into a nightmare. Here are a few top tips for any aspiring home builder to help make your vision and dream a reality.

Get the Right Builder

Unless you’re a carpenter or a seriously experienced and capable DIY’er, you’re going to need a qualified builder. Choosing the right builder is one of the most important decisions you’ll make throughout the whole building process. The key thing to look for when recruiting a builder is experience backed by reputation. You also need to know that your builder is comfortable with your design, particularly if you are doing anything outside of the ordinary. Narrow your search down to builders who specialise solely in building homes.

Get the Right Land

Heard the old expression “location, location, location”? It’s the cardinal rule when it comes to owning a property, whether you’re buying or building. The most important factor in choosing land is typography and hydrology – that is – the contours of the land and how water flows over and through them. These two factors will determine how water collects (or pools) and then drains away. Low-lying areas are prone to flooding while sloped blocks are only suitable to certain styles of homes and usually cost more to build due to reduced access for trades and delivery of building materials. Flat blocks are by the far the easiest to work with and therefore building on them is generally faster and will cost considerably less.

Get the Right Design

While the concept of building your own home from scratch might be incredibly exciting, the reality is it’s also incredibly difficult. Unless you’ve built before, chances are, you won’t know where to start. Sometimes, too much choice can be a bad thing and what looks good on paper, doesn’t necessarily work on the ground. Many people who’ve built before will tell you it’s one of the most stressful things you can do and often, it takes building several home before you finally figure out what really works. Most of us don’t have the time or money for this, so why not simplify the whole process and choose a home builder (e.g. who has loads of experience and house designs that have proven to be functional and affordable?

Get Climate Smart

You wouldn’t build an Alpine-inspired A-frame home in a sub-tropical climate, nor a cool bungalow-style in regions that hit sub-zero temperatures. Being climate smart is about working with your environment, not against it. You will not only future-proof yourself against ever-increasing energy prices, but you’ll also end up with a more comfortable home.

The most critical design aspect of energy efficient building is the orientation of your home. This is all about working with the seasons and where the sun will be positioned during summer and winter. In the warmer months you want to be protected from the heat, while in winter you want to capture and enjoy the sun’s warmth. Other major considerations are insulation, cross ventilation (where you put your doors and windows) and the building materials and colours to be used.

Building your own home is a challenging but rewarding experience. Follow these simple tips to avoid the most common pitfalls and make sure you end up with the best possible home for you and your family.