Laundry organisation and storage tips

Be super smart with how you use your laundry with these organisation tips

Laundry organisation and storage tips

The laundry is usually one of the smallest spaces in your home, so to optimise its functionality, it pays to be super smart with how you set it up. Here are some clever laundry organisation and storage tips.

Floating shelves

DIY floating shelves are an easy and inexpensive way to create additional space for storing detergents and stacking towels. Snazz up the look of the boring old laundry room by choosing something simple and stylish, like these wooden shelves.

Build yourself a benchtop

If you’re into DIY and up for a challenge, you can create your own bench space building a floating bench top just above the height of your front loader washing machine.

Laundry organisation and storage shelves

Built-in shelves that neatly fit your laundry hampers or baskets make laundry organisation and storage so much easier. If you don’t have built-ins, you can do a DIY version. If you want to get really space-savvy, make one on wheels so it can be kept in the bathroom then rolled into your laundry when the time comes to do the washing.

Source: Pinterest

Odd socks and small change

Where do you put all of the odd socks, random receipts, and unclaimed undies without making a mess? Hanging ‘junk drawers’ are a great way to keep all of the random bits and pieces in one spot. Buy one online, or use a large photo frame, pegs, string and chicken wire to make your own. Wall hooks are also great for hanging items and little jars or containers for collecting loose change, pegs and bobby pins.

Pull out storage tower

You can either build pull out storage tower drawers into your laundry design or if you’re renting, you can purchase freestanding slim storage carts to achieve the same effect. These are a great way to store and easily access your laundry products as needed.

laundry organisation and tips pull out storage tower

Source: Listotic

Hanging hampers

Save space and make laundry organisation and storage a piece of cake by hanging hampers from the wall. You can pop these away when not needed and easily move them in between rooms.

laundry organisation and storage tips hanging hampers

Source: The Pin Junkie

Drying space

You can purchase drying racks that are mountable, foldable, extendable and more. You can even repurpose almost anything to become a drying rack. How about hanging a ladder from the ceiling, or suspending an old bed frame with wire springs to hang coat hangers from?

Source: Pinterest

Lint is not for belly buttons!

You can wall mount little tidy bins for lint and disposing of other unwanted laundry items (tissues in pockets, anyone?). A Polished Habitat has a great DIY tutorial on how to make one.

laundry organisation and storage tips DIY lint bin
Source: Polished Habitat

Dispensers and containers

Don’t you hate it when your kid has grass stains on his white cricket shirt and when you open the laundry cupboard to pull out the Vanish Preen, you’ve only got a dusting left? Fancy up the laundry room and make storing laundry products easy to keep stock of by using clear containers. Using dispenser taps is a great way to store liquid products too.

laundry organisation and storage tips dispensers and containers
Source: Container Store

Hang your ironing board

You can buy purpose-made wall mountable racks to hang your ironing board and iron. This will save you space and stop the ironing board from crashing down on you when you open the storage cupboard. Towel hooks are a really effective option too.

laundry organisation and storage tips hanging ironing board
Source: Right Up My Alley

If you’re not really the DIY type, you can post a Handyman task on Airtasker to have someone do the dirty work for you. Have you got any additional laundry organisation and storage tips that you’d like to share with us? Please comment below!

Top renovation mistakes to avoid

We all make mistakes, but don't make these ones when renovating

Top renovation mistakes to avoid

It doesn’t matter if you’re going down the DIY path or looking to get a building expert– no amount of experience is going to guarantee a completely seamless, stress-free renovation. If you’re considering renovating, whether be to ‘flip’ a place, or enjoy it for yourself, here’s a list of top renovation mistakes to avoid.

Renovating on impulse

Take for example a bathroom renovation and a split decision to remove a wall or the sink, but not having the expertise or budget to complete it. So you remain wall-less or sink-less for months… or worse, years! Key outtake here is to never start without a plan.

Design without intent

It’s important to design with intent. Do you want to renovate to increase your property value in preparation for sale, or do you intend on settling in and enjoying the place for a few years?

Try to keep this at the forefront of your mind. As exciting as Pinterest boards and magazines clippings can be, you need to be realistic about the purpose of the reno and how much you should invest in it, i.e. don’t put your dream kitchen into a house that you plan to rent out.

Not enough planning

The easiest way to get yourself into a pickle is to go in with no idea what you’re doing, or what’s going on around you. You can help yourself by putting a bit of time and effort into understanding what it is you want to achieve and working out the end-to-end plan of how you’re going to get there. Think about sequencing, your timeline and budget.

It’s also wise to have an in-depth renovation checklist, which will help you stay focused on what exactly you need to get done, at what stage and also at what cost.

Tip: Don’t do the polished wooden floorboards first and then start work on the cabinets… sequencing is important.

Rules and regulations

Check regulations with your local council (including times you can get noisy) and check what tasks require a license. Local council planning approvals and application fees are required for certain things. You may need to use a council building inspector or independent building inspector.

Lack of competence

If you’re going DIY, make sure that you or the people helping you are competent at the task at hand – three mates and a carton of beer do not guarantee an immaculate paint job. Educate yourself: Google, YouTube and your local hardware store staff are your friends.

Also, check out our DIY home renovation hacks that we’ve put together to help get you started.

Tip: Bunnings have some great, free DIY advice and even run free ‘how to’ workshops (most importantly, you can grab a sausage sizzle while you’re there).

 

paint brush on floor

Unrealistic living arrangements

If you’re already living in the place you’re renovating, you may want to consider temporary accommodation while the work goes on. Renovating can be really stressful and really draining, and on top of that, having a messy, dirty place with little to no privacy might end up being the last straw.

Not enough wiggle room in the budget

One of the top renovation mistakes that almost everyone is going to make is blowing the budget. To avoid budget blow out, talk to professionals, tradespeople and people who have renovated before, prior to commencing work.

Research the work that you’re going to be doing and try to think of every possible expected and unexpected expense you might encounter. Put contingency funds aside that aren’t ‘part of your budget’ so when you find a termite nest, you’ve got some spare cash lying around to resolve the situation and move on.

Tradie arrangements

If you’re going to hire a contractor to do the work for you, it pays to shop around.

  • A golden rule is don’t go with the first tradie you meet – get three or more quotes for all trades
  • Review the quality of their previous work
  • Know who is doing the job – them, or do they contract it out?
  • Know who their suppliers are – some only use x brand or x store
  • Make sure they’re licensed as required
  • Ask what is and isn’t included in quotes
  • Sort the contract out properly – have stages upon which payment is made and negotiate time damages in the contract prior to commencing construction, and
  • Most importantly, go with your gut.

If you’re having trouble finding someone, there are a number of licensed tradies for hire on Airtasker.

 

Do you have any more tips you can share with us on renovation mistakes to avoid?

Vegetable Gardening in Autumn and Winter

The drop in temperature is no excuse to give up your green thumb just yet.

Vegetable Gardening in Autumn and Winter

Is your vegetable patch beginning to look a little under the weather (pun intended) as the cooler months arrive? The drop in temperature is no excuse to give up your green thumb just yet.

Vegetable gardening this time of year is quite forgiving for autumn vegetables and winter growing. Plant now to allow your little veggie patch babies a few months to establish themselves before spring and summer roll in. It’s all about knowing what to grow, where and when.

Vegetable gardening – what to grow, where and when

Seed packets and seedling labels will often tell you ideal sowing and growing information. There are some vegetables that will do reasonably well in most climates in the cooler months.
According to Stephanie Alexander’s (a.k.a. The Fairy Godmother of growing edible produce in Australia) The Kitchen Garden Companion book the following vegetables and herbs will do well in most of Australia if planted in Autumn and Winter:

  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Cabbage
  • Coriander
  • Lettuce
  • Blueberries (warm climate varieties now exist!)
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes


Source: Pixabay 

Seeds and seedlings

There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Enthusiastic gardeners can either grow from scratch or get a head start and buy established seedlings to transplant in to their ‘forever garden’. Farmers markets are a great spot to pick up seeds and seedlings, as are online retailers such as the Lost Seed and Southern Harvest. Your local vegetable gardening stores and nurseries will also have a great variety.

Tip: There are quarantine restrictions that may affect some states/territories when buying online.

vegetable gardening seedlings
Source: Flickr

Garden design

Sometimes the best part of making a garden is the part where you get to choose your design. Pinterest is a mecca for all forms of vegetable gardening inspiration. Bed, box, containers, raised beds, vertical, hanging, potted, trellises, indoors, outdoors, rooftops, etc. The options are endless! Get inspired.

vegetable garden design inspiration
Source: Flickr

Prepare and plant your garden

Once you’ve chosen your design, there’s prepping of soil, planting and nurturing to do. If you’re finding yourself short of time (or want to curl up under the blanket and watch Netflix instead), you can post a gardening task to get some help. If you’re into DIY, read on.

Soil

For bigger garden beds, landscaping businesses sell good quality vegetable garden soil by the cubic meter. You can get soil that’s already conditioned and ready for planting. If you’re doing something smaller, get bags of good quality soil and soil conditioning products from gardening retailers.

Remove leftover mulch

If you’ve already got an established garden bed and it’s got mulch on it, make sure you remove it. The purpose of mulch is to keep moisture in and evaporation rates won’t be as high in cooler weather, so you don’t need it. You don’t want to end up with soggy soil and unhappy plants.

Plant food and worms

If your soil isn’t already conditioned, invest in a good quality fertiliser routine so your plants are well nourished. This will help them grow up big and strong. Blood and bone, seaweed plant tonics like Seasol, and compost are popular choices. Worm poo is also a great fertiliser. The added bonus of having worms in your garden is that they aerate the soil.

vegetable garden earthwormsSource: Flickr

Keep your garden going by establishing a good watering and maintenance routine. You’ll be reaping the fruits (or veggies) of your labour in no time. If you need some more help, we’ve got plenty more autumn gardening tips for you. Happy vegetable gardening!

Outdoor entertaining ideas

Having a BBQ, Sunday lunch or casual Friday night drinks?

Outdoor entertaining ideas

It’s the perfect time to start thinking about heading outdoors to enjoy the longer daylight hours and warmer weather. Whether you’re hosting a casual Friday night pizza night with friends or a long Sunday lunch with the family, these summer outdoor entertaining ideas are sure to inspire you.

Prepare your outdoor entertaining area

Put your best foot forward and start by preparing your outdoor entertaining area for guests the day before your event. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and clean the patio. If your outdoor dining set hasn’t been used in a while, give it a hose and let it dry in the sun (we suggest hosing well before the event, so everything is dry in time!).

If you’re short on time or not sure where to start, get an Airtasker to take care of the lawn mowing, clearing up leaves or hosing down your outdoor furniture.

Light up your outdoor entertaining area

If you’re hosting an evening event, nothing quite makes the atmosphere as special as some pretty mood lighting. Have a fiesta with some bright, almost retro, 80s inspired coloured light bulbs, or go for a subtler look with some beautifully strung fairy lights. Lights strung across balcony railings, on tree branches, or bunched into glass jars and hung above the table are really effective.

Source: Apollo lighting

Have table centrepieces

Pretty up the table setting with a summery centrepiece. Make a colourful, fragrant centrepiece by pairing up florals with fruit. Bright colours and fresh, zingy smells like citrus will enhance the atmosphere of your outdoor entertaining area.

Source: Hampton Event Hire

Choose a theme or cuisine

No matter how big or small the get-together, it’s always nice to have a theme! If you’re having a retro party, make your next outdoor gathering a little nostalgic by serving up some traditional Aussie BBQ fare that your parents rocked about 30 years ago such as the cob loaf dip.

Go the extra step by decorating the area, setting up a photo booth, and get in the mood for a party.

Set up a drinks station

Set up a ‘serve yourself’ drinks station for your lunch or dinner party – buckets, a wheelbarrow, a table, your kid’s billy kart or even a small boat filled with ice are great options for serious entertainers. Not only will it look great, but you’ll take some of the effort out of hosting by getting guests to help themselves.

Source: thelittlelendingcompany

Keep the mozzies away

The humid, muggy weather we know and love summer for, brings with it an inevitable plague of insects. Keep your guests comfortable by fighting off the mosquitoes and midges with mozzie coils or citronella oil. If you want to be really clever about your lighting, centrepieces and insect repellent, you could make your own citronella candle table piece.

Source: The DIY Network

 

Play some tunes

Set the ambience by putting on some background music. It will help carry the conversation and create a good mood (and fill the gaps if awkward silences occur). Acoustic guitar covers work well for a relaxed evening under the stars, a hired jukebox will crank up the party for a significant birthday, and a live band will take your engagement party to the next level.

Cook up a storm on the BBQ

Speaking of BBQs… what is outdoor entertaining without a BBQ? Any type of BBQ will do the job; so long as it’s got a flat plate and a grill plate, you can do almost anything on it! Think summery, spicy, skewers, gourmet sausages, minute steaks, whole baked fish and chicken wings. Or if the weather calls for it, do a roast (beer can chicken is a favourite) and serve it up with a sensational salad and some BBQ sweet chilli corn.

We hope you enjoy these summer outdoor entertaining ideas. Let us know if you have any more!

Tape measure tricks for all handymen & renovators

It's one of the most practical inventions ever, full of hidden features you probably never knew existed!

Tape measure tricks for all handymen & renovators

How are your tape measure skills? Surprisingly, a tape measure is one of the most practical inventions ever, full of hidden features you probably never knew existed that will make the odd DIY home improvement job so much easier! Check out all the things your tape measure can do:

The ‘screw grab’

You probably already knew that you could hook (or clip) the end of a tape measure over the edge of a surface and walk backwards to extend the tape out, but have you ever wondered what that little slot in the metal hook is for? That little slot is a ‘nail and screw grab’, which neatly slips over the flat head of a nail or screw to help you hold the tape in place when you’re flying solo.

tape measure nail screw grabSource: diy house help

The scribing tool

Another neat little feature that makes home repairs and odd jobs easier is the serrated edge of the metal hook on the end of a tape measure (not all have them, so check). By dragging it back and forth on a surface, you can mark out a measurement down to the millimetre.

tape measure serrated hook
Source: AXMINSTER Tools & Machinery

The hook has ‘play’

Clearly, the hook must be our favourite part of the tape measure because we keep talking about it, but here’s one more…  You’ll notice the hook on the end of the tape has some ‘play’ or wiggle room on it, and the end centimetre of the tape may be slightly smaller than a true centimetre. This is because depending on whether you’re measuring on the outside or inside of something, you’ll want the hook thickness to either be counted as part of the measurement or not; therefore, there is movement each way of about a millimetre or so. This movement is called ‘play’.

Tip: Most tape measures come already calibrated for accurate measurements, but depending on how critical the measurement you need is, you might want to check how much ‘free play’ is allowed and calibrate the tape.  Getting this done professionally can be a costly exercise, so why not get one of Airtasker’s expert Handymen to take a look at it for you for a great price?

tape measure hook play
Source: AXMINSTER Tools & Machinery

The tape has measurements

Well duh! But seriously, stay with us…  We live life by the metric system here in Australia, but it is still common for imperial measurements to pop up every now and then, such as the plans you got off the internet. So it’s quite handy that tape measure tapes are often marked out by centimetres and inches, and broken down further into fractions (e.g. 1/4 inch).

stanley tape measure
Source: AXMINSTER Tools & Machinery

The length of the tape measure ‘housing’ counts

The housing (i.e. the hand held container that ‘houses’ the tape) can actually be a very handy sidekick for home repair jobs. If you’ve ever tried to measure the inside length of something, you’ll know it can be quite difficult.

Well, good news – the housing of the tape measure is often marked with a measurement of length (e.g. 10cm) that you can use to make life a bit easier. Instead of trying to measure the inside of something corner to corner by bending the tape, position the tape measure inside and draw the length of the tape out from surface to surface. Take note of the measurement on the tape (e.g. 65cm) and add it on to the length of the tape measure housing (65cm + 10cm = 75cm)… and voila, accurate measurements!

tape measure body inner length cornersSource: AXMINSTER Tools & Machinery

Some tape measures are better than others

Depending on what you want to use it for, there are different lengths of tape measures available that are better for some jobs than others. For example, an 8m tape is great for the hobbyist doing small home improvement jobs like cabinetry, but for bigger jobs like outdoor and construction, you might need something longer and possibly stronger.

You can get tape measures with magnetic hooks, blade locking mechanisms, and ones that can do a ‘stand out measure’ for hooking objects far away (i.e. you stand in one spot, and use your hand to extend the tape; it holds its weight and extends horizontally). This is getting into advanced handyman territory though; watch yourself!

tape measure range
Source: Pro Tool Reviews

Now that you’re armed with insider information, it’s time to show your tape measure skills off to your friends. Have you got any other tape measure tricks to share with the rest of us amateurs?

The most annoying home repairs

You either love them or hate them, but home repairs are a must when you own a home.

The most annoying home repairs

Owning a home is an exciting life achievement but after initial the excitement wears off and you settle in, you’ll realise that the upkeep is constant with cleaning, gardening and home repairs.  Some repairs are simple and enjoyable, others a little more complicated – it all depends on the building quality.

Here are some of the more annoying home repairs you should be prepared for in your home:

Leaking roof

Check the condition of your roof at least a few times a year, even if there are no obvious signs of leakage.  Hail storms, shoddy construction and UV damage can weaken the structure of your roof and allow water to get in.

Water leads to water damage, water damage leads to electrical damage, electrical damage leads to your house burning down… For Pete’s sake, if you find a leak, fix it ASAP!

It’s probably best to leave this one to the professionals. Hire a roof specialist or appropriately qualified Handyman to check and repair your roof (and clean out the gutters while they’re up there).

roof home repairs
Source: Wikimedia

Squeaking floor boards

Floorboards are easy to maintain and look great but when you hear them squeaking as you walk around, it can get a bit annoying and not to mention worrying.

For a quick fix, use some talcum powder in between to stop the rubbing. If that doesn’t do it, you’ll need to secure them properly.

Door damage from pets

Do you have cats or dogs? Unless they’re extremely well trained you’re almost guaranteed that at some point that they’ll destroy your doors. Whether it’s by scratching up the wood or slashing through the fly screen, cute little claws can equal annoying door and fly screen repairs.

If it’s a small rip, some clear nail polish will do the trick to keep it closed until it needs to be completely replaced.

For door scratches, if they are shallow you should be able to sand them back and paint over or stain again. However, doors are relatively cheap so you could simply replace it and not put in the hard work.

Remove wall paper

Tacky wallpaper needs to go (and fast!) and it’s something that you can easily do yourself with a steamer or removing agent, knife and perforator.

Then you’re free to put up new beautiful wallpaper or repaint.

Dripping taps

Nothing is worse than when you’re trying to sleep and all you can hear is the tap drip non-stop. First thing is to try to replace the washer that’s worn out. If that doesn’t do the job, check out the manufacturer’s website and see if they have some notes on how to repair it.

Clogged drain pipes

After a big storm, it’s really important to make sure that your gutters are clear of debris and rubbish so that the water can drain easily. You’ll also need to check that it’s not pooling, which you can easily do with a garden hose.

If it is you might need to adjust them or if a whole side is bad, replace it.

Unfinished home repairs

One of the biggest peeves, especially for those who have just purchased a home, is having to repair unfinished work. Nothing is worse than having a missing tile staring at you because it was removed six months ago to get to a hidden pipe, then never replaced.

bathroom tile home repairs
Source: Lowe’s

Patching holes in the wall

It seems so easy; mix ‘A’ with ‘B’, pop it on the wall and ‘Hey presto!’, the wall is fixed! If you think this is how holes are patched, you might be in for a rude shock…

If you don’t know what you’re doing, no matter how many times you scrape that goop, it won’t be right. You’ll be left with ridges and lumps, and then you’ll have to sand it and paint it.

We suggest that if you’re short on time, you just hire a professional and step back and watch the magic. You’ll save yourself a tin of goop and a lot of frustration.

wall home repairsSource: How To Specialist

If you’d like some help with completing any annoying home repairs, why not try out the services of an Airtasker Handyman? They’re multi-skilled, readily available and will get the job done in no time.

Lawn care for Sydney homes

Looking for the best advice on selecting lawn turf and determining the right lawn care routine? Here is a basic "Lawn care for Sydney homes"

Lawn care for Sydney homes

Looking for the best advice on selecting lawn turf and determining the right lawn care routine? Here is a basic guide for Sydney.

Choosing lawn for Sydney

Start off on the right foot by actually choosing a lawn that suits your Sydney home.  Choosing your lawn is not just a matter of selecting a style that looks and feels good. There are a number of considerations you need to make so you can choose a variety that will do well in Sydney.

  • Turf selection should be based on the hours of sunlight your lawn receives and Sydney temperatures and climate.
  • You should choose a variety based on expected wear and tear (i.e. will there be lots of foot traffic from people or family pets?).
  • You should consider whether you’d prefer a low maintenance lawn as opposed to a low cost lawn.
  • If you’re located somewhere by the water like Manly or the Northern Beaches, you should consider a variety that tolerates salt well.
  • The size of your lawn plays a factor too; small urban gardens in Sydney often get a lot of shade and are surrounded by pavers (which grass can spread into, i.e. ‘lawn invasion’).

Tip: Lawn Solutions Australia have a handy online lawn selector as a starting point for deciding on which lawn to grow in Sydney and surrounds, but as there are hundreds of varieties available, we recommend getting a local lawn professional to help you choose your grass.

lawn turf sydney
Source: The Telegraph

Lawn care in Sydney

Sydney’s temperate climate with mild winters and sunny days calls for a considerate maintenance approach.  Here’s a basic guide on what maintenance tasks to do when.

Fertilising

Regardless of your location, fertilising should be avoided in periods of hotter weather. Fertilising can actually cause a lot of stress to your lawn, and it’s important that after fertilising, you give your lawn a good watering so it doesn’t burn. In Sydney, it’s recommended that fertilising be avoided from January to March (Sydney Lawn and Turf).

Weed spraying

As for most areas, it’s recommended that weed spraying be undertaken in the cooler months. Sydney Lawn and Turf recommend weed control being done from May to September. In the warmer months, you’ll probably find that faster grass growth and thatching is enough to keep weeds at bay anyway.

Top dressing

Top dressing your lawn should only be done in the ‘growing’ season. i.e. when you need to mow it weekly (Lawn Solutions Australia). In Sydney, the best time for top dressing is Spring, so September to November is perfect (Sydney Lawn and Turf).

sydney lawn careSource: Flickr

Watering your lawn in Sydney

Sydney’s Water Wise Rules have specific guidelines about how and when you can water your lawn. If you’re using Sydney Water provided water, to establish a new lawn, you are allowed to use a sprinkler at any time of the day for 14 days after you’ve laid new turf. After that, you can use a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, or a sprinkler or irrigation system either before 10am, or after 4pm, on any day of the week. If needed, you can also use a bucket or watering can to water your lawn at any time (but that could get tedious!). The alternative to using Sydney Water is having your own rainwater tank, at which you can use to water your lawn at any time.

lawn care sprinkler
Source: Public Domain Pictures

We have some great lawn maintenance tips for summer that your lawn will appreciate.

Inground vs Above ground pool tips & inspiration

Thinking of splashing out and getting a pool installed for summer? If you can’t decide between an inground or above "Inground vs Above ground pool tips & inspiration"

Inground vs Above ground pool tips & inspiration

Thinking of splashing out and getting a pool installed for summer? If you can’t decide between an inground or above ground pool, here’s some tips and inspiration.

above ground pool inspiration
Image credit: Annette O’Brien via the The Design Files

Pool cost

The cost is usually the reason people choose an above ground over an inground pool; they’re generally a cheaper option and can come readily available in a kit. Inground pools are expensive to purchase and install, so expect to pay anywhere in the vicinity of $25,000+ (Compass Pools) for the most cost efficient choice. Above ground pools are definitely less expensive; depending on the surface material or kit purchased, you’re looking at a couple of thousand dollars (plus), but you should check to make sure the installation cost and full equipment kit (i.e. pumps, etc.) is included (hi pages).

hamptons style pool
Hamptons style inground poolspiration.
Source: Home bunch

pool shape options
One of the benefits of choosing inground is the endless options for shapes and sizes.
Source: Angie’s list

repurposed dumpster pool
There are endless ideas online for repurposing items, even to use as pools! This one is a repurposed dumpster.
Image credit: Stephan Beese via HGTV

Property value

If you live in a warmer climate, having a pool could potentially do wonders for your property valuation; it adds an aesthetic of relaxation and luxury to your home. But is it worth it, and does the fact of whether it’s an inground or above ground style matter? Well, that depends on the market and how much you might need to spend in order to leverage any increased property value (Aussie Home Loans). There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question; it’s best to do some research or speak to a local property agent.

pool with fire pit
Fire pit features are on trend.
Source: HGTV

pool with spa
Spas are still popular drawcards and work well in inground pools
Source: Austin Elite Home Design

But aren’t above ground pools ugly?

Some people shy away from above ground pools based on the misconception that having an above ground pool in your backyard can ruin the aesthetic of your property. But really, it all depends on what you have to work with. If you’ve got a sloped backyard that is otherwise unusable, an above ground pool is perfect for utilising this space, and can add a great deal of style to your property.

above ground pool inspiration
Proof that above ground pools can make a property look beautiful: Timber decking kits can easily be installed and can even give the illusion of an inground pool.
Source: Minimalisti

above ground pool
Create a stunning above ground pool with contemporary design.

Source: Pinterest

Maintenance

Above ground and inground pools usually require the same level of effort, and the same approach to maintenance tasks, so costs can be comparable.  It also comes down to the surface material of your pool (i.e. vinyl, fiberglass, etc.), whether it’s salt or chlorine, and your maintenance routine. If you consider the fact that an inground pool is a permanent fixture on your property, it could be more expensive in the long term to resolve issues if they occur (Pool pricer).

Tip: There a number of basic pool maintenance tips you should know and budget for; Airtasker have a number of pool professionals available to help.

landscaped pool
Plants and landscaping around edges look great but might require some extra attention and care. Landscape with plants and grass that are resistant to saltwater, or hose poolside plants off with fresh water after splashing.  
Source: designrulz

So perhaps we haven’t helped much with your decision making… have you got any other poolspiration or above ground vs inground advice to share?

Pool Maintenance Tips You Should Know

One of our favourite pass times at this time of year is hanging out by the pool. Make sure it’s in "Pool Maintenance Tips You Should Know"

Pool Maintenance Tips You Should Know

One of our favourite pass times at this time of year is hanging out by the pool. Make sure it’s in top nick by following these handy pool maintenance tips.

pool maintenance clarity pineapple
Source:  Pexels

Regular pool maintenance and cleaning

The key to keeping your pool healthy, in good condition and enjoyable is to keep it clean. Having a pool pump, filters, and a creepy crawly or automatic vacuum system on a daily cycle will definitely help this process along, but it is still necessary to perform some regular cleaning tasks.

Skim the surface

Every couple of days, you should skim the surface of the pool to remove bugs, leaves and other debris.  It only takes about 10 minutes if you keep the routine up.

Clean the filter

You need to clean the filter basket out regularly, but don’t make it ‘too clean’. According to How stuff works, a clean filter is less efficient than a slightly dirty one because having some grit in it will actually help ‘trap’ other dirt particles.

Scrub the pool

To prevent algae blooms and stains, you need to scrub or brush the sides, steps and bottom of the pool regularly. Pool maintenance professionals recommend doing this anywhere from once a week to once a fortnight, depending on your pool.

Tip: If you have stubborn algae stains that won’t brush off, try soaking an old sock or rag with chlorine and using it as a hand-held ‘scrubbing brush’.

Chuck in a tennis ball

A hot tip for keeping your pool as clean as possible is to throw in a tennis ball so it’s fibrous covering catch surface gunk and oils like sunscreen residue.

pool maintenance scoop
Source: Homestructions

Keep an eye on the water level

Maintaining your pool’s optimum water level is important so you know how much chemical to put in it to keep it clean and clear.  Aim to have the water level about half way up the opening of your skimmer (of inground pools); this is a good way to visually check the level and will ensure the skimmer can function properly. Evapouration and splashing will be the most common causes of water level fluctuations, but in some cases excessive water loss might be due to a leak. If you suspect a leak, try the DIY bucket test.

pool maintenance water level
Source:  Pool Pump Timers

Water testing and chemicals

To ensure water has clarity, is clean and safe (i.e. bacteria-free) and doesn’t irritate skin, you need to keep on top of your pool’s water health. Desirable PH levels, acidity and alkalinity depend on whether your pool is chlorinated or salt water, the pool design, the climate you live in and how you use the pool. It is best to get a pool maintenance professional to inspect your pool and its equipment, conduct comprehensive tests, and provide you with advice on your ideal chemical levels and ingredients, and a required care schedule. From there, you can take care of regular water testing and chemical maintenance using easy to use DIY water testing kits (available online and from pool supply stores).

Tip: After a summer storm, your pool is likely to have more debris in it than usual and be out of whack from changing water levels and temperatures. As soon as possible after a storm, you should clean it out and test and sanitise the water to prevent a bacteria outbreak.

pool maintenance water testing
Source:  Alibaba

Once a year, it’s a good idea to get a pool service professional to come out and do full check over of your pool heath and pool equipment; try an Airtasker pool expert for great service and results.

Lunch food delivery in Sydney CBD

Already in holiday mode and forgot your lunch this week? Airtasker can do lunch delivery in the Sydney CBD.  We’ve "Lunch food delivery in Sydney CBD"

Lunch food delivery in Sydney CBD

Already in holiday mode and forgot your lunch this week? Airtasker can do lunch delivery in the Sydney CBD.  We’ve got some great lunch food delivery options for you right here!

Organising lunch food delivery with Airtasker

The beauty of hiring an Airtasker for lunch food delivery is you choose your delivery price and you don’t have to worry about them finding a loading zone to do drop off in the busy CBD streets. They can drive, cycle, scoot, rock the public transport or get around on foot.

Brunch it up!

Didn’t get time to start the day right? Organise an early lunch food delivery task on your phone between morning meetings; easy!

Baked goodsBourke Street bakery in Surry Hills do a delightful croissant and coffee, the ultimate Sydney sider’s combination for a late morning pick me up.

Burritos! – The crew at Vargabar Espresso in Newtown are rumoured to do a mean breakfast burrito with a dash of tabasco; perfect, especially if you’re still feeling a little shady after yesterday’s work Christmas party.

Bowls – If acai bowls are your thing, check out the menu at Zilia; their acai bowls are awesome, but you might be tempted to try the coconut bowl!

Source: insatiablemunch via Flickr

Japanese, yes please!

Light and flavoursome – Japanese will always be the ultimate lunch ‘go to’ option, especially when you don’t have a hankering for anything else.

Sushi – Due to its popularity, it is so easy to access across the Sydney CBD and of good quality, at competitive prices. Takumi in Haymarket are a popular choice, and Sushi Rio on Sussex St do $3.50 plates off the train (excluding sashimi).

Creative Japanese – May we suggest something a little adventurous? Enter One tea lounge & grill on York St. They have a self-proclaimed obsession with matcha and serve up an exciting menu featuring matcha poke (fish salad) and ramen burgers. They’re serving lunch from 11:30am til 3pm, Tuesday to Friday.

lunch food delivery sushi
Source: Wikimedia

Burgers, fries, wings… all the good things

Mountains of cheese, brioche buns, meat patties, bacon, pickles and sauce… Artery clogging burgers… you have so many options to choose from in Sydney. Throw in some fried chicken, dirty fries, ridiculous shakes and you’ll be on your way to a decent food coma. Try Bare Grill on Bourke St, The Milk Bar by Café Ish, or Bar Luca.

lunch food delivery gourmet burgers
Source: Lady & Pups

Grab some groceries

Are you on team lunch duty to celebrate this month’s office birthdays, but don’t have time to tear yourself away from your desk and do the shop? Well get what you want, when you want, from wherever you want by sending an Airtasker out to do the grocery shop for you. Coles, Woolies, Thomas Dux (oh la la, fancy Woolies), your favourite providore… they’re all in reach. You could even get your Airtasker to sneak by your favourite bottle shop to pick up something festive for the team… it is December after all! #cheers

lunch food delivery groceries
Source: Pexels

Dessert

Finished your salad, burger, burrito (insert any of the options above) and need something sweet to finish off your meal? Airtasker to the rescue!…

Donuts! – Traditional cinnamon, glazed, baked, Eurpoean style, and all of the fun, eclectic options are available to you when you’ve got your own personal donut scout. Check out Buzzfeed’s ode to Sydney donuts for inspiration.

Lorraine’sLorraine’s Patisserie on George St have you sorted for cakes, tarts, heavenly chocolate eclairs, biscuits, pastries, all the goods things really… The lemon tart has the right amount of tang with a crispy puff pastry shell.

Gelato Messina – Summertime vibes (or all year round, really) call for a good scoop of gelato. Gelato Messina are on Airtasker’s list of favourite food delivery tasks.  Heads up, optimal travel time for your gelato is less than 35mins.

lunch food delivery donuts
Source: Pinterest

When you’re setting up the task, make sure you are clear about your pick up and drop off location, and whether the cost of the goods needs to be handled by the Airtasker, or if you’ve prepaid for your order already. Let us know if you have any more suggestions for your favourite Airtasker lunch delivery in Sydney CBD.