Posts made in May, 2015

3 Ways To Ensure Your Home Extension Is A Success

Adding an extension is a great way to increase living space and the number of bedrooms in your home. Not only do you increase the square footage, you also increase the value of the house considerably. However, without the right knowledge it’s easy to make mistakes that mean your extension isn’t as great as it should be. Here are three ways that you can make sure that your extension is a success.

1. Don’t over capitalise

There’s no question that extensions cost money, but they also add value to your home. Done correctly, an extension is a solid investment in the equity of your home. Done incorrectly, you may find that you’ve over capitalised and wind up owing more money on your home than it’s worth.

To avoid this it’s a good idea to consult with at least two, but preferably more, real estate agents prior to beginning your extension project. Ask each agent to give you an accurate value for your home in its current state, and also a projected value once the extension has been completed. This will give you a good idea on what you can safely spend and still come out in front financially.

2. Don’t lose too much outdoor space

It’s inevitable that when building an extension a certain amount of outdoor space will need to be sacrificed. While it may be tempting to make the extension as big as possible, it’s important to leave a decent amount of outdoor living space and garden.

Even if you are content to have next to no outdoor space, this is not to everyone’s taste. You may be severely limiting your resale market by excluding families with children, people with outdoor pets, and garden lovers.

3. Keep the room numbers balanced

It’s commonly known that bedroom numbers matter when it comes to adding value to a home. While this is true, it’s equally important to remember that balancing out bedroom numbers with living space and amenities is also crucial. This is particularly true if you ever plan to resell your house.

Having a five or six bedroom home with only one bathroom is a recipe for disaster. Also, if you increase the number of bedrooms then it’s also important to increase the number of living rooms to cater for the increased number of occupants that your house will now accommodate.

Whether or not you plan to resell your home in the future, these tips will mean that your extension is functionally and economically sound. Knowing that your home has increased in value and that you’ve increased your equity in it places you in a sound economic position. To learn more, contact a company like Builders At Your Service with any questions you have.

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What New Landowners Need to Know about Soil Testing

As a landowner, in order to assess the capability of your asset in terms of growing yield or pasture productivity, you need to conduct some soil testing. What do you need to know?

Why Is Testing Important?

Testing is important, as you need to be aware of the soil type and capability. This will enable you to adequately plan for the best use of your property. The results obtained will enable you to make better management decisions with regard to landscaping and you will be able to diagnose problems or set plant performance strategies for planted crops.

How Should You Approach It?

If your property is split into different paddocks or fields, then you should plan to conduct spot testing on a one-off basis, or to test individual paddocks or fields on an annual basis. Testing can be quite involved and the costs can add up, so it’s not always practical to do comprehensive testing on a regular basis. However, before sowing any new pastures you should conduct a thorough test. If you have a particularly productive species of crop in a certain pasture then you should also monitor and test the soil there, in order to try and ensure consistent and best performance.

Where Should You Test?

You need to be very careful where the soil samples are retrieved. A laboratory who does soil testing for construction, such as East Coast Group, or an agronomist, who will advise the volume of the sample to be taken and the depth to which you should go, are two examples of where you can get your testing done. The sample must always be representative of the area. For example, it should not be taken under shade if the vast majority of the paddock in question is usually in full sun.

Also, you have to avoid other areas that are not representative such as around gullies or streams, near to water troughs, or in high traffic areas such as gateways. You also need to avoid areas where you may feed livestock, or where added nutrients may tend to skew the results.

Consistent Testing

Once you have determined the location for the test it has to be accurately identified. It’s best to use a handheld GPS device to take the precise location and record it. This will enable you to retest periodically at the same place.

What to Do with the Results?

Different regions encounter different soil challenges. For example, phosphorus can be deficient in southern New South Wales, while sulphur can be deficient in the north of the state. Once you have good test results and are gathering the results on a consistent basis then you can work with your laboratory to determine how best your soil will respond to specific fertilising approaches.

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