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25

Aug

Should I Get A Pool?

When we were children, a swimming pool in the home was a dream comes true. It would make you the envy of the whole school and give you a place to play on those hot summer days.

These days, pools are slightly more complicated. They cost money, they take up space and they affect the exterior of our homes. If you’re raising a family in your home, a pool might be worthwhile, but if you’re selling in the next five years you’ll probably never realise that investment.

As you can see, there’s more to a pool than what we thought as children. To guide you some more with your decision, we have compiled some common considerations to think about when choosing a pool.

The Pool Itself

Generally, you can choose from in-ground, fibreglass or above ground options, all in different sizes and shapes. You will need to examine the space you have available to determine the option that’s best for you. There are self-cleaning and manual options for swimming pools, as well as options for salt or chlorine.

Inside your pool, you need to think about parts such as filters, pumps and solar systems, which will need replacing every 5-10 years. Your pool will also need cleaning, which will either be a greater investment of time or money, depending on whether you opt for professional or DIY cleaning.

A final thing to consider is an add-on spa. This is another extra cost but it brings a new element to how different people can use and enjoy the space.

Landscaping

A backyard pool will change the entire landscape of your outdoor area. If you don’t have space, consider whether you would prefer a large garden, an outdoor eating area, or your pool.

You can still have vegetation around your pool and this can even enhance the appeal of the environment. Look for hardy plants that are tolerant of the chemicals you will need to use in the pool.

You also need a fence and paving around the pool, which generally won’t be included in the initial cost. Glass fencing is popular but can be costly to maintain and if you live close to the coast, even marine grade steel may eventually discolour.

House Renovation

If your pool backs onto your home, you might need to think about how the rear of your home connects with the pool. If a paved area already exists, can you match it to the pool area, or do you need to consider repaving your alfresco setting? How will your pool blend with your home’s architecture and will larger changes be required?

Depending on your home’s orientation, you’ll need reliable shade adjacent to the pool, particularly during the summer months. If you don’t already have established trees or other shady areas, an extension to your home can connect the spaces.

You also need to think about whether or not you can see the pool from indoors. Being able to see the pool from the inside provides security, a great view, and the peace of mind that families with children need.

The Sunshine Coast is the perfect place to enjoy a pool, whether you’re in Brisbane, Bundaberg or Hervey Bay. As we have learnt, though, there is more to a pool than great weather.

If you want to bring your outdoor area to life, talk to the team at PJ Burns. Our new home renovators and builders in Sunshine Coast can determine if a swimming pool is right for you.

18

Aug

Gorgeous Staircases for Your Two Storey House

A staircase can be purely functional, but with so many innovations in materials and design, why settle for the pedestrian? Whether you’re considering a house renovation in Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay or a custom home design with a second storey, a staircase can be a beautiful feature that invites admiration, provides clever storage space, and both connects and separates areas in the home.

If you want a staircase that takes your home to a new level, consider these innovative ideas.

A Functional Staircase

If storage space is high on your list of priorities, a staircase is one of the most obvious spaces you can fill with large items.  Storage space in your stairs isn’t a new idea, but there are a few innovative ways you can implement it.

Perhaps the most iconic staircase storage idea was made famous in the “Harry Potter” books. A cupboard under the stairs could house a single bed – as the novels showed us – but it could also be the place to store seasonal items or other belongings that are rarely used.

For a more grand design, you could install multiples doors under the staircase. This creates a greater sense of separation and a more elegant under-the-stairs storage space. You could use this space to store items away in boxes or you could get creative. Consider making this space its own mini-room such as a library that is lined with books or a wine cellar to store your collection.  It just takes some stairs and a few doors to create a whole new area in your home.

A floating staircase can also provide storage options, for books, plants and even a study nook. Custom built homes will attract a premium for design features like these, but they also differentiate your home and make it a space worth experiencing and living in.

Embrace the Environment

Indoor-outdoor living is a big part of modern homes, especially in tropical and evergreen environments like Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. If you’re interesting in growing an indoor garden, a staircase can be an opening for light to or an easy way to provide shade for more sensitive plants. Depending on how your home is designed, a staircase can also provide additional air flow for cooling breezes in summer and keeping air fresh in cooler months.

Getting Creative with Materials and Designs

Spirals, wide stairs, floating stairs, steps built into walls and even hanging stairs –the only limitation is your imagination. Wood is the most common material used, but even with wood there are so many different kinds to choose from, including recycled timbers.

If you are looking for house builders in Sunshine coast or design advice that will set you staircase apart, you can rely on PJ Burns Builders. Whether you’re building or renovating, we can use staircases to create new space and provide a flow for your home. Ready to take the next step? Contact our experienced Queensland team today.

11

Aug

Built-In Bars… You Know You Want One

As real estate trends continue to evolve, homeowners and designers are looking for more out of every room in their home.  Home entertainment areas are no longer just places for families to grow, but rather more innovative spaces where friends and family gather and celebrate.

Mid-century design is a great resource for home builders looking for inspiration, with sunken living rooms, breakfast booths and built-in bars making a come-back.

A bar can create a separation between your living and dining areas, essentially creating a third living environment. Whether you create a built-in bar or use moveable furnishings, you can create a space that reflects any era you’re drawn to.

Considerations in Designing a Bar Area

What your bar looks like will depend on your budget and your goal. At the very least it will be a place to store liquor, an ice bucket and some glassware. You’ll also need a space to mix drinks. If you want to make your bar portable, consider a bar on wheels. Second-hand stores, particularly antique dealers in the country, are a great source of vintage bar carts. If you’re looking for something more contemporary, there’s no shortage of options at boutique furniture retailers.

Starting from Scratch as a House Builder or Renovator in Sunshine Coast

If you have space or are planning on house renovations Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay, your choices and options are much wider.

If you love the idea of a sunken lounge, consider your bar as the entrance to your “conversation pit” where you welcome guests and greet them with refreshments. Incorporating a bar into a living room that doesn’t access a kitchen can warm it up, creating a more hospitable environment for formal entertainment. A welcoming formal lounge also means you don’t have to entertain in the area of your home where the magic (or mess) happens.

Brilliant Bar Inspirations

A bar doesn’t just have to be a hive for formal entertainment and with a bit of creativity, your options are almost endless. Think about these great ideas that revolve around your bar:

  • Stylish storage – with a display case and a few bar fridges you can put your whole collection stylishly on display while still storing it discreetly. The less glamorous items like cutlery and drink mixers can always sit behind the bar where they are out of sight.
  • Casino theme – if you ever want to host a casino-themed night all you need is a tux and a pack of cards. Whatever your party, a bar is a ready-made solution for entertainment
  • The (wo)man cave – if you’re getting a dedicated room, why not style the whole area around the bar with a pool table, dart board and some stylish décor. If elegance is more your style, build your bar among bookshelves and warm wood surroundings.

Research Your Options

If you’re building or renovating, have a good look around for house plans that meet your needs before making a decision on the position and design of your bar. The best builders in Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay will be able to give you advice on how to design your interior space.

If you’re inspired by the built-in bar idea and want to discuss how one could fit into your dream home, contact us for more information. PJ Burns are your experts for residential renovations and new home builds on the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay.

Modern Home Bar

Image via houzz.

30

Jun

Why Build A Granny Flat?

With many homeowners wishing they had more room, a second home within a home a dream come true. You achieve this dream with a granny flat, and with so many potential benefits, they’re definitely worth considering if you have space.
Elderly parents aren’t the only users of the granny flat these days. Just like the popular AirBnB, granny flats allow thousands of homeowners to generate a passive income by renting out unused rooms or self-contained units. A granny flat can also be used as a home office for a small business or storage for larger household items.
Best of all, a granny flat will add value to your existing property. Granny flat floor plans can be built into existing large house floor plans or designed to accommodate any size site that meets local requirements.

Considerations When You’re Building a Granny Flat

These days, granny flats are being used by everyone from adult children returning to the family home to weary travelers and of course, active seniors.
A separate entrance for your granny flat is more or less standard. Sharing an access corridor to a backyard or garage is not out of the ordinary but depending on how you use the granny flat; this may or may not work for you. After all, if you’re building a granny flat for family, you’ll want to spend some time together – shared access areas make it easy to move between homes and also help with maintenance.

Granny Flat Floor Plan Options

While a kitchen, bathroom and a separate bedroom are more or less standard, if you have space, 2 bedroom granny flat floor plans can give you more flexibility and options in the longer term. With more accommodation, the flat can be a place where you store larger items, or it can even become a home office.

Save Money with Fixtures and Equipment

Depending on the use of your granny flat, you may or may not need it to contain a laundry. Plumbing for a Euro laundry in a hallway or cupboard space will give you the flexibility to decide later on, and also increase the value of you granny flat as a fully self-contained home.
If you’re in the process of building a new house and want to incorporate a granny flat, your current appliances and even cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms could save you money if they’re still in good condition.
Even carpets can be reused, so think about what you’re working with and what you’re trying to achieve before spending time and money on new things. You’ll also save in tip fees and help the environment by recycling.

Top Custom Hervey Bay and Sunshine Coast Builders

PJ Burns is Queensland’s award-winning design and new house building specialist. When it comes time to design and build your house, contact our team. We can assist you with every aspect of the design and build, including the addition of a granny flat.

23

Jun

Exploring the Idea of An Open Floor Plan

Your new home floor plan should reflect how you live as well as how you expect to live in the years to come. An open floor plan is ideal for this, providing a flexible solution that can grow with you and your family. Opting for minimalism, open floor plans blur the boundaries between rooms, creating large, spacious, and adaptable living areas.
Let’s take a virtual tour and explore the potential that an open floor plan has.

Bringing the Outdoors in and the Indoors Out

Mostly kitchens are often the focal point of your home, making it an ideal location for open plan designs. Consider incorporating an alfresco living area, dining patio or a pool deck near your kitchen, separated by a wall of glass.
The glass will let in natural light to reduce your living costs while the two areas can be combined in summer with the use of sliding doors, or bi-folds. Sliding door tracks allow panels of seamless glass to stack neatly at corners, creating a sophisticated and seamless appearance from your indoor living to your outdoor zone. Best of all, sliding doors and bi-folds are available in a range of elegant and weatherproof designs.

Zoning Your Indoor Open Plan Living Area

Open plan living areas can provide a focal point to your home and encourage interaction amongst family members, but sometimes you need zone the space for a party, gathering or even a quiet dinner for two.
Panel glide blinds are a discreet solution to separating spaces within your open plan living space and are worth thinking about if you’re considering a custom built home. Designed to operate on tracks, panel glide blinds can be automated and are completely child-safe, with fabrics and track options that match your interior colour scheme.

Warm, Cool, Light and Bright

When you’re looking at an open plan home design that suits your lifestyle, consider the weather.
Orienting the living areas to the east side of your home will keep these areas most comfortable all year round, with cool breezes and natural light that lower your energy costs.
Landscaping also plays a starring role in a comfortable home. Plants that provide shade and others that filter dappled light during the cooler months are essential outdoors while plants on or around your alfresco living area keep the air clean and fresh. A plant on your kitchen bench, like the ever-popular phalaenopsis orchid, will help to connect your kitchen to the outdoors as well as providing a flourish of luxe living and design.

So, If you’re looking for luxury home builders in Hervey Bay or Sunshine Coast areas for your new home, PJ Burns is the team for you. Our award-winning Brisbane team can assist you with your open house plan designs, or any other floor plans that interests you. Get in touch with our team to make your new home dream a reality!

16

Jun

Keeping Your Kitchen Organised

Kitchens have come a long way in the last few years with luxury features like soft close drawers now standard in most family homes. Modern kitchens also come with storage solutions that make it easy to access and clean up all your favourite appliances, keeping your bench spaces clear.
New home designs can incorporate an abundance of storage options that make organising your kitchen a breeze.

Beyond the Lazy Susan

Sophisticated kitchens of the past may have featured a Lazy Susan in a corner cupboard, but today’s kitchen storage options take that a step further. Modern kitchens include everything from a specially designed bread box drawer to subtle vertical spaces that are perfect for storing baking sheets and pizza trays.
Overhead storage has become more functional with lighting and pull-out shelves, so you can say goodbye to balancing on a stool, or even the kitchen bench.
Drawers in the staging part of the kitchen are really where most of the innovation has happened. Lighting, under-bench pantry item storage, and customised storage inserts are among the solutions making their way into new house builds and renovations.

Butler’s Pantries become Standard in New Build Homes

Modern house floor plans are tending towards a large open plan kitchen with a butler’s pantry, where food and appliances can be stored and accessed easily. This leaves the kitchen free to be used as a dining room, an office, or even a coffee stop. A butler’s pantry will typically include a space for a second fridge or freezer, a sink for washing up and your dishwasher, or a second dishwasher if you entertain a great deal. With bench space for preparing quick meals and enough room to operate appliances like toasters and kettles, butler’s pantries are becoming a standard in most contemporary homes.

Floor to Ceiling Cabinets and Integrated Appliances

Create an eye-catching presentation for your glassware with bench-to-ceiling glass-fronted doors. Not only is this a trendy solution, it also provides the added benefit of being able to see exactly where an item is that you’re looking for.

Built in appliances can also minimise the cluttered look in your kitchen. Integrated cabinets give your kitchen a fluid look, making a smaller space look much larger.

The Reputable Home Builders in Brisbane and Beyond

Whether you’re looking for luxury home builders on the Sunshine Coast or cheap new houses, PJ Burns is here for you. Our award-winning designs and new home builds have become iconic from Brisbane to Hervey Bay and beyond. Call us today to make organising your kitchen easy!

Kitchen Storagekitchen storage3kitchen storage

Last three images via reallivingmag.

14

Jun

Keeping the Heat Out with Insulation

When most people think of insulation they think of carpets and thick curtains and the stuff that goes in your roof. All of this works to keep your home warm, but did you know that insulation can keep out the heat too?
Today’s modern floor plan designs are conscious of both the need to preserve heat and the need to circulate air. These two things combined can keep your home comfortable in any weather, helping to combat high energy costs. Combined with supplementary methods, insulation is a less expensive and more environmentally sustainable way of creating and maintaining a comfortable temperature in the home.
Today we’re going to look a little bit at insulation as well as other cooling methods that all work together to create a comfortable home.

Roof Insulation – Essential for Fighting the Heat

Roof is one of the largest and most exposed parts of your house, meaning it will be more exposed to the elements than most parts. Effective new home designs realise this, investing in room insulation that will also keep the home cool in summer.
Here’s how it works:
In winter, your roof insulation blocks the cold air, keeping your home warmer and giving your heater less work to do. In summer, a similar concept applies. All of the heat that strikes your roof is trapped in your roof space and its movement into your home is slowed. This creates a cooler environment, meaning your air conditioning doesn’t need to work overtime.

Keep Cool Air Flowing

The other aspect of insulation in summer is being able to maintain a constant airflow. This is why over-insulating your walls may be overkill.
Insulating your ceiling and roof is the most efficient means of keeping your home cool, but over-insulating walls may prevent airflow throughout your home. Cool air is easier to maintain inside your home than hot air – because hot air rises – so maintaining moderate insulation in your walls will allow your open windows, air conditioning and an open floor plan to work their magic.

More than Just Insulation

From before a home is even built, you can take steps to create a cooler home – after all, it takes more than insulation to create comfort. Here are a few examples:

  • Clever house plans – many Queenslander house plans are designed to move air under the home, where the air is cooler.
  • Orientationtrusted home builders will also understand that the positioning of a home can affect comfort. A good orientation will take things such as the sun’s path and wind patterns into account, allowing you to have naturally warmer winters and cooler summer while increasing your energy efficiency.
  • Zoning for the seasons – similar to orientation considerations, you can divide your home into seasonal zones that reduce your reliance on energy for heating and cooling. A house built with zoning in mind will be able to be easily reconfigured to take advantage of shade, breeze and the sun.

Help from Experienced Sunshine Coast Builders

PJ Burns combine nearly 40 years of experience to provide quality all year around. Contact us to speak with one of the most experienced home builders in Brisbane that will provide design and insulation solutions for your new house or when you are looking to renovate your house.

6

Jun

The Best Tiles for Your Kitchen

As we all know kitchen is the most used space in most homes. While it’s a practical space that needs to work for everyone in the family, it’s also a place that needs to look inviting, friendly, comfortable and clean.
If you’re looking to build a new house, one of the first things to do is to find trusted custom house builders. These experts can assist you with your entire house plan, including your kitchen, assisting you with design, fixtures, fittings and other details.
Selecting tiles that are practical and attractive requires a little planning and persistence. Here are five tips that will help you make the right decision.

1. Determine Your Budget
How much you have to spend will determine where and how many tiles you can lay. The floor may not be negotiable, but a fully tiled backsplash may be.

2. How Do You Use the Kitchen?
If you use your kitchen all day, work from home or you love to cook with the family on the weekends, consider how many people are in the kitchen at any one time. How you move around the kitchen will have an impact on the quality and location of tiles you select.

A cork or bamboo floor tile definitely won’t last as long as a ceramic tile, while a stone floor tile may be too slippery for a hard-working kitchen or a household with a young family.

3. Know Your Tiles
There are many different kinds of tiles – some are more suited to the floor while others would only be used above the floor. Floor tiles can be ceramic, quarry (such as limestone), stone (marble), cork, vinyl or even bamboo, whilst wall tiles can be made of glass, porcelain, and also ceramic, quarry or stone.

4. The Floor
Start at the bottom and make sure you have a surface that meets the demands of the hardest working floor in your home. If you want to retain the flow of a timber floor, consider the finish that will most resist everyday use. If you have a breakfast bar that’s in constant use, the floor needs to be extra hardy. With tiles, you need to think about how resistant to damage they are from hard and heavy items dropping on them, and how slippery they may be after a mop or a spill.

A textured ceramic tile or quarry tile will provide just the right texture to prevent a slip and will add a depth of character to your kitchen floor that defines it as the hub of your home.

5. The Walls
While tiles are a natural choice for a backsplash or behind a stove, they can also be used decoratively to create a feature within the kitchen. Backsplashes of glass printed with photographs can easily date a kitchen while a classic high-gloss tile can add a point of visual interest that has lasting value without committing to a popular trend. Glass mosaics are timeless, but require more maintenance than a high gloss tile in black, white or a striking neutral shade.

Help from Experienced Sunshine Coast Builders

With almost 40 years of experience, PJ Burns has an award-winning house builders team. Call us to talk to one of our house designs expert in Sunshine Coast about creating a brilliant kitchen with tiles.

Kitchen Splash

Image via insideout.

6

Jun

Making Your Home a Teenage Friendly Zone

As your kids start maturing, wanting more freedom and hopefully taking some responsibility, you may find that playroom isn’t really working anymore. House floor plans need adjusting as your needs change and it’s important to make these alterations throughout your home.

From the kitchen to living areas and other rooms in your home, changing features of the house will make it easier for you to live together and provide practical solutions.

“There’s No Food in This House!”

Complaining about a lack of food is a common cry of the average teenager. You can make it easier for them to navigate the kitchen with some small house design changes.

By the time your child reaches thirteen years of age, they’re able to making ready a meal without the risk of hurting themselves or placing off a smoke alarm. With more people cooking in the kitchen, it might be outlay investing in a larger kitchen area. Consider an open plan design that merges the kitchen mutually your dining area. This can draw it easier for everyone to move around the kitchen to cook, nip and (hopefully) clean up.
Your teen is likely to use your kitchen as a ready-made food source, so investing in hardy floors that won’t wear easily is another good idea. Also, consider small touches like rearranging your pantry and your fridge to put their favourite foods in plain sight. This can save time and – in the case of your fridge – energy.

Teens need what you want them to do to be explicit, so areas that are open and inviting will make it easier for them to make meals. A good house plan can be as detailed as defining an area where the toasters and/or sandwich presses sit side-by-side with bread that’s ready to go for hungry stomachs on the move.

A Retreat That Works for Everyone

Setting up an inviting rumpus room where your teenagers can entertain is another good idea. This not only helps them to develop socially, it also gives you the peace of mind that they are in a safe place. Try coupling their PlayStation or Xbox with some nice concealing cabinets that sit with the television set. This way your children get easy access to entertainment and you have an elegant solution to hide their games and uphold your décor.

If you’re designing your dream home, consider a separate living space for teens to entertain. This way you can section them off when their friends are over, letting Mum and Dad enjoy a quiet night in the next room.

Talk to an expert

PJ Burns your local custom home builders in Sunshine Coast, with experience in design and construction, along with house extensions and new house plans. Talk to one of our house builders in Brisbane – Sunshine Coast to Hervey Bay – we will help you to build a home that’s perfect for your growing family!

6

Jun

Making Your Renovation Pay its Way

With new house prices showing no sign of slowing down, it’s worth considering a renovation of your existing home with a floor plan that not only updates but extends your options. When you’re thinking of renovating, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Why are you renovating?
  2. How long do you plan on living in the house?
  3. What’s the budget?

If you need more space for a growing family, an extra bedroom, play area or bathroom may be the answer to your first question.

How long you plan on living in the home will inform you on how much you need to plan for the future. If you have a dream house floor plan, it may be worth investing now to save reworking your floor plan again in the future.
A custom-design build with an experienced builder can be a cost-effective way to add value to your existing home. Once you’re happy with the floor plans for your house, an experienced builder can help with everything from the finishes to the fixtures. Your budget may also determine whether you stay on-site or move out while construction is underway.

Quick and Easy Tips to Add Value

Paint and paper – A fresh coat of paint will always make a home look cleaner, fresher, brighter and welcoming. A contemporary feature wall of a floral printed wallpaper can instantly lift a room and give it a personality all its own.
Kitchen confident – If your kitchen has a good layout, but its old and tired, updating the cabinet doors and adding new appliances can make it appear completely new. If your bench tops are in good order, leave them and invest in soft closing drawers to give the kitchen that luxury design feeling at a fraction of the cost.
Energy savers – With the rising costs of gas and electricity, energy efficient lighting, solar hot water as well as zoned and timed temperature control systems increase the appeal of a home to buyers, particularly when interest rates are unsteady. Energy efficient downlights are essential in modern house designs, as are zoned cooling systems that compliment homes designed for warmer climates.
Alfresco year-round – An alfresco deck is like another living room; an outdoor space that can be used year-round for entertaining, dining or relaxing.

Taking a Long-Term View

If you love your home, its locations, and even your neighbours, then consider investing in your property for the longer term. Renovations combine the benefits of old-world charm with modern facilities and extensions. Choosing renovations can be rewarding both financially and a fantastic lifestyle choice.

Get Answers from the Experts

Want to learn more about the benefits of renovating your home? Contact one of our home design experts or learn more about PJ Burns’ award-winning designs and new build homes.

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