Best Deck Material

There are plenty of decking products on the market today for you to choose from. Which one is the best deck material can depend on the look you want and the budget you have. But with decking it pays to spend a little more up front to save a lot down the road.

Natural Choices

Pressure Treated lumber being the most widely used, mostly due to the fact that it is the cheapest of decking material. Pressure treated will need the most maintenance. It will need to be cleaned and resealed on almost an annual basis.  Even though it is chemically treated  to  prevent rot, it will still dry and splinter in the sun, causing it to need replacing the soonest.

Staying in the natural category. you also have a choice of Cedar, which comes in notty and clear, Redwood and IPE, there are a few other less used types of hardwoods if you wish to research them.

ManMade Choices

There is a whole list of manufacturer making decking out of all types of material, composites are made mostly of wood and resin, while others are made from PVC, recycled plastic or pure vinyl. While these decking materials will out last most natural materials and require less maintenance, they have there draw back. The biggest issue with these products are they get extremely hot on a sunny day, walking on them in bare feet is near impossible.

Aluminum Decking

Aluminum decking is a new product to the home building industry that has so many advantages over the other types of decking. It is 2-3 times lighter, yet 2-3 times stronger than most other types of decking, installation is faster and less backbreaking. Another big advantage is it comes in lengths up to 40′ reducing or eliminating but seams on most decks and has hidden fasteners, so never a screw or nail to step on. It also stay much cooler than most decking materials.

If you would like to take your deck from this.

Composite decking needs replacing
Composite decking needs replacing.


To This:

New Aluminum Deck
New Aluminum Deck.


Aluminum decking will cost you more than a wood deck to install, but the long range cost of never having to scrape, sand, stain or replace it will pay for itself every year.

Aluminum decking comes in a variety of colors and patterns to make any deck look great!




Should I Remove That Wall?

You want to make your space look bigger but you don’t have the property of the funds to extend the house beyond its current size. You start to think about taking down a couple of walls to make the current space look bigger.

When the you start thinking, should I remove that wall? The first concern that comes to mind is, if the wall you want to remove is a bearing wall that is holding up the floor or roof above it. But there are other things to consider as well. the open plan is not always best. Read on to see what you need to think about before deciding what to do.

Design Trends: From Open-plan to Broken-plan

One of the key defining features of many new homes and renovations from the past decade or so would have to be that of the Open-Plan Design. Eliminating walls between kitchen, dining and living areas to create the illusion of more space has been the trend for several years now. Entertaining and living in such an open way has never felt so integrated and seamless.

However, there are some subtle signs that the Open Plan may not be the ideal for much longer. There are a few flaws in its design, after all. For instance, trying to cool or heat a vast living area with air conditioning can be a costly and time-consuming exercise. Watching the sport on television, with appliances like the dishwasher whirring in the background, can be tedious. And, people with children will relate: there is no room to escape the noise, mess and toys!

We are gradually moving away from closed up rooms, with many older-style houses consisting of lots of smaller rooms which can be sealed with internal doors. With heating and cooling options less accessible to many families, this style was a great way to keep warmth in; to separate adults’ formal sitting rooms for entertaining, and to create separate zones within the home. The last fifteen years or so has seen a huge change to such styles, and it has been all about knocking out walls to create one, huge open living expanse.

Along with the rise of technological use, there is a notable shift away from Open-Plan living and towards creating smaller nooks throughout the home for peace and privacy. Mary Duggan, a UK-based Architect and Judge for the RIBA House of the Year award, has recently spoken on the matter:

‘The world of the open-plan family room has changed quite significantly.

‘We’re getting asked more for snugs, rooms with TV’s or a space where people can go and watch something independently, rather than an open plan space.

‘That was the trend but I think it’s waning. The idea of having a much more ‘broken plan’ seems to be the way our buildings are playing out now.”- Mary Duggan

Looking forward, when planning a renovation or a new build, consider the way technological use has dramatically advanced and will likely continue to be a staple in peoples homes. Home design should consequently reflect this, and be inclusive of smaller nooks, studies or ‘snugs’ designed for using devices such as iPads and tablets. The ‘Broken Plan’ home is the new black!

For further consideration, building inclusions could feature fixtures within these areas such as built-in charger stations, benches and built-in desks to accommodate such devices. Also, consider that many devices will now want to be synced to the nearby television or speaker, and that many high-tech gadgets will now have features which allow the occupant to remotely pull down the blinds, dim the lights etc. It is simply the way of the future, and it makes sense for our home design to reflect such advancements.

Sophie Hendry blogs for Asset Maintenance, a Sunshine Coast based building company that specializes in renovations, extensions, and building maintenance. You can find out more about our services at

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Garage Upgrades

Once upon a time a garage was just a place to put the car and store your stuff. Recently many are either being planned out or renovated in to some beautiful upscale living spaces.

They are being turned into everything from just a basic finished playroom, to awesome full living quarters with kitchens, bedrooms hardwood floors and even fireplaces.

Some of these projects are even more upscale the the houses the adjoin.


Awesome Garage Doors

In Mt. Hope Ohio, Amish craftsmen hand-build some of the finest wood garage doors in the world expressly for your home. The Wayne-Dalton Series 7000 doors combine the classic swing-open appearance and detailing of carriage house wood doors with the convenience of standard sectional garage doors.

The vertical shadow line grooves of 7420 Cabriolet doors preserve the look of swinging doors. Framing is made of solid (no joined pieces) kiln-dried hemlock. Mortise and tenon door sections are glued and steel-pinned. An optional cedar upgrade may be specified for frame and panels.

Visit their site at


Upgrading Your Front Door

Replacing your front door can transform the whole look of your home. When you are ready to replace  your door, go beyond just installing a plain old door. Today there are so many options to allow you to upgrade your front door without spending a pot of gold.

With the introduction of fiberglass doors, you get the beauty you desire with the energy efficiency of today’s technology. Many can be customized to fit what ever you can dream up. Curve, side lights, center lights, different size lights.

Curved front doorThese doors can be stained or painted to make them blend with any decor.

Check out Jeld-Wen doors for great option for your new front door.

Indistinguishable from real wood and handcrafted for exceptional beauty. Options include woodgrain textures and decorative accents. Multiple panel designs.Jeld-Wen Door


  1. Custom Capabilities: size, shape, design, finish, carvings, decorative accents
  2. Finish Options: factory stain, paint and antiquing options
  3. Woodgrain Options: douglas fir, knotty alder, mahogany, oak
  4. Panel Surface: distressing, panel profiles
  5. Decorative Accents: custom carving, raised moulding, decorative accents
  6. Maintenance Level: minimal
  7. Project Type: new construction and replacement
  8. ENERGY STAR® Qualified Options: yes




Adding a Tile Backsplash

Tile has been used in architecture for thousands of years. It can change the look of any room. Tile comes in all shapes and sizes, colors and patterns to go with any decor.

The advantages of tile are that it is easy to install, easy to clean and has so may ways to add variety to your space and it will last a long time.

If your kitchen needs some livening up, adding a tile backsplash may be just what it needs. With this simple DIY project, you can really change the look of any size kitchen with tile.

There are many different types, shape and colors of tile. Figuring out which is the best one for your kitchen can be a challenge. Take some photos of your kitchen, along with measurement, to your local tile store for assistance in tile selection.


Installation of tile on a backsplash is a great do it yourself project. It require just a few inexpensive hand tools and a tile cutter which you can get at most rental stores.

Drop by the Next Page for help with installing your tile.


Adding a Slide Out Garbage Drawer

Finding a place to hide the garbage can in the kitchen is always a challenge. You just stick it under the sink, where you need to pull it out to use it, Stick it in the pantry, where you need to walk to get to it with a handful of stuff, or just leave it at the end of the counter where it looks ugly and you smell it all the time.

If you have a cabinet you can spare, near your sink or in an island where scrapes can make it in easy, these are great places to put a slide out garbage drawer.

This DIY project can be done in an hour or two with a kit from

First you take off the door completely and remove the hinge hardware.

Then you follow the instructions on the kit and assemble the pull-out trash unit.  It will tell you where to mark the screw holes on the sides of the cabinets and attached the slides.


Here is a great video from Rev a shelf on install the hidden trash can system.


If you don’t have a cabinet you can spare for installing a slide out garbage drawer and you have a large enough sink cabinet, you can install an under sink roll out bracket. See Them Here!




Want to Build a Leak Free Shower

Tub and Shower surrounds are the hardest areas of construction to make water tight.  While building or remodeling a shower or tub area is the perfect time to get the sub structure correct to prevent this area from leaking and prematurely needing repairs.

Using cement backer board as a stable base for your tile will help you make a leak proof shower surround as it will not deteriorate or warp if water does reach it.

Check out this great video on installing backer board in your surround.


Using this method will give great confidence that your surround will last a long time.

Fixture Protection During Construction

Whether you are doing a remodel or new construction, plumbing fixtures like a tub or shower base are one of the first pieces that need to be installed. They need to be set before wall board, tile, paint and many other fixtures.

Fixture protection during construction is not always an easy task. You try using drop clothes and plastic sheeting, but securing them to the sides of the fixtures and keep it there is hard to accomplish. You install some tape to hold the plastic in place and then it either gets stuck under the items you put over it or the glue sticks to your tub and is hard to get off.

After fighting with this issue for a number of years I discovered a product that works wonders to solve this issue.

Using Pro-Tect tub protector, for a $ 20 you can protect you fixture for as long as you need to, then it just peels off for a nice clean finish.

Check out this short video to see how it works…

I have found that placing a piece of cardboard on the bottom after installing Pro-Tech, will add some extra protection.

You can also use this on sinks and other fixtures that may also need protecting during your construction project.

What is Wainscot

What is Wainscot?

Many a homeowner will ask this question. Pronounced “Wayne’s Coat”, it started  many years ago as wood added to the bottom of a wall to protect it from abuse from mud and boot spurs. Today it is used more to enhance the look of a room or hallway but still helps protect your walls.

Installing wainscot is a wonderful Do It Yourself project that you will really be proud of. It can change the entire look of a room.

There are many different patterns and products that can be used to create a wainscot look in your home. From using beadboard panels, beadboard slats, board and batten to the many different types of molding available.

Material Matters
Wainscoting’s looks, how it holds up, and its cost depend on what it’s made of.

Solid wood
The original wainscoting material. Paint lesser species, such as pine, or clear-coat the good stuff, such as walnut and cherry, to highlight its color and grain. Wood requires careful installation and finishing to prevent cracks and gaps caused by seasonal expansion and contraction.

Medium-density fiberboard cuts like wood but doesn’t expand, contract, warp, split, or have knots. Comes either primed for paint or veneered. Keep it away from water, which causes it to swell and break down. Specially treated moisture-resistant MDF, however, can stand up to steam in a bath.

Made from either cellular PVC or the same solid surfacing material used for kitchen counters. Looks like painted wood but won’t rot, making it ideal for baths, laundry rooms, and even a kitchen back splash.

The long, wide sheets make installation fast—just rip it down, glue it to the wall, and finish with cap and base moldings. Unlike those in other materials, the groove profiles tend to be shallow and rough.


Other deciding factors will be how high you plan to make it, what style and whether you plan to paint or stain your wainscot.

Photo source:

Here is a great video to help you with you installation.