Tips for Using Recyclable Materials in Your Building Plans

The use of recycled materials in green homes and buildings proves to be one of the most common ways to show sustainability. Aside from economic benefits, seeing recycled or salvaged materials never fail to imbibe feel-good factor to ones mood. Here are some tips on how some recycled materials can be incorporated in your green home.

Recycled woods are as effective as finished wood but they are generally cheaper in terms of cost. Recycled woods aside from structural uses in walls and windows can seamlessly find uses in drawers, cabinets, and shelves.

Old newspapers should not only find its way into paper mache. In fact, they can be used as insulation. Carton egg trays an also serve this very same purpose. Hundreds of dollars can be saved from your pockets with this simple act.

Raid your kitchen of empty wine bottles and mason jars. If you think that they can be used only as pen holders and organizers of tiny tots, you’ll be surprised that they can actually be used to build a house. Search for various inspirations of the internet and see that there is actually a wine farm in Australia which used abu 13500 wine bottles to design water-heating facility. Similarly, there is a Canadian man who used 25000 wine bottles to design his house.

Dating back to the 1900s, empty wine bottles have found various uses in construction of homes. In the United States, you can find several homes which have walls with embedded bottles on them. The idea is like hitting two birds in one stone as it serves aesthetic and structural purposes.

Reimagine your bathroom by using sea-sourced materials. If you’re living near the shorelines, then it is a very wise idea to use natural materials you can find and pick from them. Shells and pebbles of various colors, shapes, and sizes can be perfect inclusions in the walls and floors of your bathroom. Isn’t this idea very refreshing to embrace? This one can also save you from the usual high costs of bathroom tiles in home depots.

Sustainable living is an idea which one may find very difficult to embrace and carry out. But with proper thinking and inspiration, it is actually an endeavor that can become an easy reality. Start exercising your environment-friendly minds. And always remember that your very own household bins can become first-hand sources of recycled materials you can actually use to realize a green home.

Why You Should Consider Living In A Tent

Recently I found myself wondering and talking about some of the quirky and brilliant ways people from around the world use tents. Consequently I pondered about the possibility that some people have contemplated or even opted for living in a tent permanently. Inspired by this idea, I dug a bit further into this topic of permanent tented accommodation.

What would living in a tent full time entail? Some individuals might be unnerved by this idea, while others might be thrilled and excited to take on the challenge and some may have no alternative. Whatever the reason or justification – there are 5 indisputable and great benefits of moving from your modern home to kicking it in a tent.

1. The cost effectiveness is clear

Finding the right location to pitch your tent will definitely decrease your monthly cost of rent, electricity and the like. The idea of saving on your expenses in this matter might seem slightly extreme, but compare it to running a modern household and you may just change your mind. Naturally, you might be concerned about cold winters, no internet and not having warm showers, but there are ways to avoid that. You could invest in a proper tent and enough winter provisions, sign-up at a gym that has shower amenities and use the free internet offered by libraries, coffee-shops and even shopping malls.

2. It will be an invigorating challenge and a noteworthy experience

Having a luxury, purpose-designed, tent will definitely make the experience more comfortable and less effortful, but it will still be a demanding challenge to live in a tent full time. There is, however, a multitude of people who find pleasure, excitement and gratification from such difficult tasks and many people thrive in it! Facing and conquering a challenge like this will without a doubt be tremendously rewarding and enriching. It will not only emancipate you and boost your self-respect and dignity, but it will also offer you a sense of accomplishment being able to live and take care of yourself like our ancestors, before modernism.

3. It will significantly reduce your Eco Footprint

We are all becoming increasingly aware of the importance of reducing and the impact of our Eco Footprint. This starts with being more conscious of leaving less of a negative ecological footprint on Earth and ensuring it is as small as possible. Comparing the running a modern household to living in a tent – it is clear that a tent leaves an immensely small Eco Footprint. If you are already concerned about Earth’s future and reducing the impact you have on Mother Nature – you are most likely thoroughly ready and able to live in a tent permanently.

4. It will allow you to experience forest bathing

Although the thought of submerging yourself in the open waters hidden within forests is enchanting – forest bathing actually refers to spending time amongst trees and is an established way of increasing you happiness and health. Japanese studies have uncovered that the phytoncides released by plants aid in regulating your body, improve the immune system and increases air intake – which leads to happiness and increased health.

5. It offers you a less complicated way of life

Modern life is often characterised by a constant rush and a milieu of complication. Life in a tent forces you to pay attention to the things that are truly important. Tent-living is a way of life that is simpler and more focused on what really matters, as well as a shift in true perspective. Due to few people having experienced a genuine simple life – living in a tent will very much be life changing and meaningful moment.

While researching this article I happened upon an astonishing variety of, what is coined as, glamping tents. Some companies put a double bed and a carpet inside and call it glamping and then others deliver tent structures with flooring, proper windows and doors, bathroom amenities and beautifully decorated interiors.

8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Strata Manager

Our insider tips to the questions you should be asking your prospective Strata Manager.

Good or bad, most people judge an entire strata agency on the working relationship they have with their strata manager.

We have prepared this short list of questions that you should be asking prior to making a decision to appoint a new Strata Agent.

How many buildings does your proposed new Strata Manager already look after

Your entire strata experience depends on this simple question. Most agents manage large portfolios, to the point where they can spend most of their time putting out spot fires rather than giving you the proactive service that you are looking for.

What’s included in the monthly management fee

Most agencies charge a monthly management fee which covers agreed services. Works performed outside of the agreed services are charged as an additional fee. You can negotiate with an agency to have fixed price disbursements to give you a clearer understanding of how much your scheme will be paying per year.

Qualifications

The Strata Manager that will be managing your building should at least hold a Certificate 4 in Strata Title Management. Ideally this would have been gained through a Tafe course. It is possible to get a Certificate 4 in Strata Management by paying to do a 2 week course. It is also a good idea to ask how long they have been with the agency.

Experience

When approaching a potential new agent, it’s a fair question to ask how much experience the strata manager has that will actually be managing your building and in case things do go wrong, how much experience they have in attending mediation and tribunal hearings.

Reporting

How often are financial reports generated and are they delivered just the treasurer to the entire committee? Ideally this will be available on a monthly basis.

Service Level Agreements

Strata management is customer service. Your new agent should be able to provide you with time frames of when your requests will be actioned, emails replied to and telephone calls returned.

Your money, your input

It’s your building and you don’t necessarily want the Strata Manager to do everything, so it’s important to clarify how much input will you have in approving creditor payments and what level of input will the committee have when the agent is preparing the proposed budget.

Agreement terms

When appointing a new agent, most will try to lock you in for the maximum period of 3 years. If the services doesn’t meet your expectations you are locked in for the term of the agreement, unless your scheme decides to pay out the remaining term of the agreement. It is a better option to sign a one year agreement and see how things go.