Posts made in December, 2014

Renovating Your Queenslander Home? Decorative Cornices Can Make Your Open Concept Living Space Stand Out

Decorative cornices add a certain style and grace to Queenslander homes. If you are renovating your property, you might consider taking a look at your existing cornices to see if they need updating. Below is a bit of history on the Queenslander design, as well as some general information on cornice replacement. Some cornice renovations are suited for the avid DIY type, but for the more complicated period reproductions it’s best to contact a professional.

How Queenslander Homes Came About

The Federation architectural style is named for the period after the Federation of Australia was created in 1901. The Queenslander home took that Federation style and altered the design to make it more comfortable for living in the tropics. Trims, such as gabled roofs, stained glass windows and decorative cornices remained.

The Federation style still followed the Victorian fashion for individual rooms, but the Queenslander, out of necessity, had a more open concept design that encouraged airflow. While the cornices were sometimes identical in style, there were fewer of them in a Queenslander. But, decorative cornices in Queenslanders were often larger so they wouldn’t get visually lost in the more open space.

Decorative Cornice Replacement Options

Original Queenslander cornices were made of wood or plaster. If you are happy with the style already in your home, they can be replicated by a skilled craftsman. Choose from a hand-carved wood reproduction or a plaster duplicate created by making a mould of the original cornice. The latter is usually the less expensive of the two options. You can also opt for off the shelf cornices, but you must be careful when choosing the size. If you use too small or too narrow a cornice for a Queenslander, the trim may not do anything for the décor.

Using Decorative Cornices In An Open Concept Living Space

Because of the open concept design of a Queenslander, you might consider a divided ceiling cornice. Instead of the decorative cornice being limited to the perimeter of the room, additional decorative rails or linear trims are placed at designated areas on the ceiling. This is one way of visually dividing the room without impeding the structure’s air flow.

Use the rails to subtly define the dining, living and kitchen areas. Within each space you could install a chandelier, or even a ceiling fan, trimmed with an old fashioned rosette surround. These are round decorative pieces, usually made of wood or plaster that surround the connection point of the fixture. It gives the room a more finished look.

For more information, contact a company like Classic Ceiling Supplies Pty Ltd.

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Are All Concrete Floors Appropriate for Polishing?

Polished concrete is quickly turning into the ideal no-wax floor material. Thanks to modern advancements in polishing equipment and methods, contractors are now grinding concrete floors, whether new or existing, to a high-lustre finish that needs neither waxing nor coating. Add in the excellent robustness and performance of concrete, and it’s clear to see why many facilities are turning to polished concrete floors in place of granite, marble or tile floors.

Can all concrete floors be polished? This article sheds light on this question as well as durability benefits of polished concrete flooring.

Can all concrete floors be polished?

Well, just about any structurally sound concrete flooring, either new or old, can be subjected to polishing. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule.

For new concrete floors, there is no need to incorporate a unique mix design to obtain good results. Nevertheless, the floor ought to be in place no less than a month prior to the start of the polishing process. This is to guarantee that the floor adequately cures after polishing. A number of commercial and warehouse facilities that intend to polish their concrete floors immediately after placement may opt for the installation of a very smooth floor in order to make light of the required polishing steps.

Existing or old floors usually need a bit of surface preparation before polishing. This is done to eliminate dirt, coatings, grease or scratches. Floors that are saturated with oil, or are located in environments exposed to acids, are almost certainly not suited for a polished concrete flooring system.

Additionally, floors that are waxy, porous or need widespread patching are also not suitable candidates for polishing. This is because even after polishing, the patched floor areas will still show and won’t create a seamless, beautiful look.

Durability benefits

It is true to say that a polished concrete floor marries elegance and functionality. This means that in addition to its high-lustre finish, it also boasts of a longer service life which translates into huge cost savings in the long run. Do note that the glossy surface withstands the blemishes of truck tires and staining from chemical and oil spills. Moreover, it is capable of withstanding high foot traffic which eliminates the need for floor waxing or stripping.

On the same note, moisture transmission problems are eliminated given the fact that a polished concrete floor is able to breathe. In the end, all these attributes contribute to the durability factor synonymous with polished concrete floors. Talk to companies like Saccardo Constructions to learn more about these benefits.

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Inner city school fencing

For schools in built up metroplication and inner city regions, school perimeter fences are a delicate balancing act. While on one hand schools want to integrate with their local communities, there also needs to be a balance of safety for the children during school hours and protection of the school property from vandalism after hours. Tubular fencing can be an excellent way to maintain a visual connection with the surrounding community whilst ensuring the safety of the school community and property. 

Here are some points to consider when deciding on your new fencing design.

Visual integration

When designing your new fence aim for a colour that blends with the school boundaries (forest green if you have bushes, brick red if there are more bricks). Aim for a heavy foundation to support your upwards posts from any impact. Gaps can be varied to maximise visibility, and will be in part dictated by the design and diameter of the tubing. Generally steel based pickets are stronger than aluminium pickets and can support a larger gap. Gaps should be controlled to a small gap than your smaller child can’t slip through – and you’d be highly surprised how small gaps the average kindergarden student can get through when they set their mind to it! High schools can generally have a larger gap in their fenxes than daycares or primary schools as a result.

Community Consultation

Before you construct the fence circulate plans to the local community and allow a period of public comment. While you are not obliged to alter your plans, the consultative period will help the public perception of your project and allow you to explain the background (safety concerns, costs of repairing vandalism) to your decision. You may also find that small variations to your fence do not intefer with the functionality but signficantly improve the community perception of the fencing.

Children’s safety

While sharp topped pickets can help maintain the safety of the school property, these can be dangerous to the children if they fall when attempting to climb the fencing. Ensure near by trees are trimmed back from the fences and that fences are painted in a high to discourage children from climbing. 

Locked ‘pool style’ fence locks are an ideal way to keep gates and entrances safe as these can be opened during main hours then locked during the class breaks requiring parent and children to enter and exit though a main gate near the front office.

For more information, check out websites like Adelaide Fence Centre for more information. 

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Reminders for Any Renovation

If you've decided to undertake a project around your house, there are a few things to remember. First, make sure to have a good idea of the cost going in. Talk to local specialists for estimates or do research on the cost of supplies and labor. Second, always make sure to take necessary safety precautions. While a landscape project may seem like a lower-risk task than a rewiring job, it never hurts to be too careful. Finally, don't bite off more than you can chew. Plan out your renovation and repair projects in detail and then tackle one thing at a time. If you ever feel out of your element, hand the job over to a contractor. They'll know how to get the job done efficiently, safely, and correctly.


December 2014
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