Design and decoration

Gardening on a small scale

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, July 25, 2017

As land prices increase, gardens are getting smaller. For the busy family, that means less to do in the weekend. Many new home buyers choose to add landscaping to a new home build so ongoing maintenance is minimal. The days of huge vegetable gardens and home orchards are gone, and with good reason. Not only do vegetable gardens take up a lot of backyard in modern homes, but buying fruit and vegetables is easy and often cost effective. But some people still enjoy gardening as a hobby and worry that building a new house means no more indulging outside in the weekend.  
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Custom built home windows

Mark Bryson - Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Choosing windows for your new home can be a daunting task as there are so many aspects to consider. Decisions must be made on the style, frame material, type of glass and how the windows open. Windows can show off the view – either a distant panorama or a beautiful garden. They can let light and sun flood in, offer diffused light, provide ventilation, give light but also privacy and add style and symmetry to a house design. 
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New Home Builder

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Choosing flooring is one of the most important decisions to make when building a new home. Today, there are many more choices available than just carpet or timber flooring and some of those choices are more cost efficient. It’s very popular in Australia to install hard flooring in the living and hall areas for easy cleaning and indoor/outdoor living. Traditionally, timber flooring has been the first choice, but modern methods of tiling, and other more sustainable materials have become more prevalent. The cheapest floor covering is timber laminate at around $50 a square metre installed. However, it doesn’t wear that well and can sometimes look a little cheap.

Bamboo flooring is eco-friendly and sustainable and fashionable for those reasons. It is also a good alternative to timber as it is hardier and more resistant to impact damage. As it is a fast-growing grass, it isn’t suitable for wet areas like bathrooms or kitchens. Bamboo flooring is made by weaving the bamboo fibres into an adhesive base which is then compressed into a strong plank. Bamboo flooring can be up to 30% cheaper than timber, at around $140 installed. However, it has fewer colour choices than timber.

Timber flooring can be engineered timber or natural planks. This is the most expensive type of hard flooring and requires regular maintenance. While it looks beautiful and can be a focal point in a room, it can be easily damaged. It shrinks and expands with temperature changes, it splits and cracks, needs to be sealed and treated, and it's easily damaged by moisture and spills. Pet claws and high heels can dent timber flooring and every few years, it needs to be resealed. This is a major job, especially if sanding needs to be done as well, and requires the household to move out for a few days. Timber flooring costs around $170 a square metre installed. 

Timber-look tiles made from porcelain are an excellent alternative to timber or bamboo. Tiles are hard wearing, resistant to dirt and stains and have a long life. Modern techniques enable tiles to replicate any type of wood, even packing cases and recycled timber. The tiles are designed to mimic the variations and imperfections of wood and are sometimes hard to tell apart. Timber-look tiles are a superior product to the natural timbers that inspired them. They are resistant to heat and cold, can be used in wet areas and require no on-going maintenance.

Tiles are ideal for use with underfloor heating and areas with good indoor/outdoor flow. In large areas, noise can be an issue, and tiled floors can be softened with the use of curtains, blinds and large rugs. Berstan Homes managing director, Mark Bryson, recommends hard flooring in living rooms, hallways and utility rooms, and carpet in bedrooms for sound and warmth qualities. High quality wool or nylon carpet is about $150 per square metre installed. 

Mark says there is a huge variety of timber-look tiles now available and recommends National Tiles as his preferred supplier. 

A large rug over the tiled floor brings a cosy feel to the room and suits families with small children. Mark says Carpet Call has a great selection of rugs including clearance rugs at bargain prices.

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Custom builder using custom wardrobes

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Do you frequently lose shoes, clothes and even small children in your overfull and disorganised wardrobe? It doesn’t have to be a battle every time you open the wardrobe door. If you are considering building a new home, ask Berstan Homes about custom wardrobes at the planning stage. Berstan Homes prefers to work with Regency Screens who have a wide selection of options for custom wardrobes. 
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Curtains or blinds for a new home build?

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Choosing window treatments for your newly built home can be a confusing process. There is plenty of choice in the market and it often depends on your house style, location, views, family preferences and budget. Blinds are cheaper to buy and install than curtains and are much easier to maintain. But nothing beats curtains for heat retention and light block-out. They also give a room a cosy, warm feel. 
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Concrete tile versus metal roof

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What is the best choice of roof for your new home – concrete tiles or Colorbond metal? There are benefits and disadvantages for both materials and often is comes down to which roof the homeowner prefers the look of.
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Quality Home Builder Melbourne

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Choosing lighting for your new home can be a hit and miss process. What looks great in the lighting showroom may not suit your room once it’s installed. The size, colour or style may be all wrong, but it’s a mistake you will have to live with. Beacon Lighting has taken the guesswork out of your lighting purchases with an in-home consultation process, as well as an app which shows exactly how their lights will look in your home.Beacon Lighting has been making Australian homes brighter for 50 years, and they are still proudly locally owned. They now have 99 stores throughout Australia and is the leading lighting retailer in the country. 
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Latest bathroom trends for new home builder Melbourne

Mark Bryson - Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Bathrooms are transforming from rarely visited functional rooms to luxurious sanctuaries where lingering is encouraged. Natural colours and materials, mood lighting, dramatic design and greenery combine to create an atmosphere which alleviates stress and promotes relaxation. 
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Highlight windows perfect for new home builds or knockdown rebuilds Melbourne

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Highlight windows are wide, short windows positioned high on the wall of a room and offer many benefits to the homeowner. They are also known as clerestory (clear story) windows and are positioned at the top of a wall above eye level.  
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Flooring options for a new home build or knockdown rebuild in Melbourne

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Deciding on what type of flooring to have in your house depends greatly on your lifestyle. 
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