Monthly Archives: March 2015

Reaching for the Stars: Why Your Home Should Have a 6-Star Energy Rating

6-star Energy Rating

6-star Energy RatingAn evident need to construct more sustainable housing is urgent as Australia’s population grows each year. According to the WA Building Commission, 20% of WA’s housing has yet to be built in a span of 10 years.

In light of this pressing issue, homes with 6-star energy ratings are now compulsory according to the Building Code of Australia for WA since 2012. This means that if you live in Western Australia, your home should meet or even exceed the 6-star rating.

What Exactly is a 6-star Energy Rating?

Simply put, a house’s energy effectiveness may likewise be granted an energy star system similar to appliances. Basically, a higher star rating equates to a natural, higher home comfort level and less energy consumption. This means that the level of a home’s natural comfort is directly related to usage of gas and electricity, with greener homes having reduced electricity bills and lower carbon footprint.

In Perth, an affordable home that has a 6-star energy rating can utilise less energy—roughly around 20% to 25%—to heat and cool as opposed to a home with a 5-star energy rating with the same square footage. It is likewise cooler by 10°C during summer months and warmer by 5°C during winter months. What’s more, you can actually save up to $100 or higher on energy costs annually.

Why Follow the 6-star Energy Rating?

Aside from being mandatory and having excellent advantages, following the 6-star rating is the moral and responsible thing. Considering the shift towards better sustainability is vital to our future so we must constantly strive to reduce or completely eliminate our carbon footprint while we still can.

So for options in housing, remember that sustainable homes are an investment and will be more cost-effective in the long run. The greatest savings will depend on meticulous planning all through the designing stage. It is likewise more economical and easier to abide by the 6-star energy rating than having to spend more money in the future for a renovation.

The Middlemen That Form a Part of the Distribution Mediums

buy and sell business

buy and sell businessIn the merchandising industry, there are two kinds of people that act as the arbitrary link between the manufacturers and the consumers. These middlemen are the wholesaler and retailer, who provide the same services for both the producer and the buyer of the goods. They basically make things work for the business.

While they relatively have similar functions, one differs from the other in many ways.

Basic Role and Individualities

In general, wholesalers buy huge quantities or bulk orders of products directly from the manufacturers or the distributors. The advantage in high-volume purchase is that producers often give wholesalers big discounts, especially for regular orders. This kind of middleman is known for their buy-and-sell business.

Retailers, on the other hand, are either large or SMEs that run a for-profit business. They usually sell the products directly to the consumers. Retailers look for suppliers with the most competitive product rates to realise their profit. Oftentimes, they get small quantities of goods from distributors or wholesalers.

Technically, wholesalers and retailers are direct competitors. But at the same time, they also cooperate with each other for profit. Wholesalers sell the products to the retailers, who in turn, will market it to the consumers. They can either directly negotiate with the buyers or do business amongst themselves.

Dissimilarity in Price and Profit

One key difference between these two middlemen is the product price; costs are always lower in wholesale than in retail. The reason retailers sell the goods at higher rates is because they have to add other costs, like taxes, property rents, marketing costs and the salaries of the employees on top of the business profit.

The wholesalers, meanwhile, don’t have to worry much about these factors and loss of profit. For instance, food wholesalers in Melbourne, per, can sell the goods for a much lower price because they don’t shell out comparatively large amounts of capital money in their purchase.

The main distinction between these two middlemen is based on their trade model and their specific merchandising objectives. Depending on your needs, either of the two can be a suitable source of goods.

A Beginner’s Guide to Home Insulation

Home insulation

Home insulationWhen building new houses, owners don’t usually pay attention to insulation. Even in a simple installation manual, they might as well be talking about rocket science because it is just that complicated. A regular, working person wouldn’t have time to study all that. Nevertheless, it pays to know the basics of insulation.

In Australia, there’s not much need for heating inside houses. The climate is warm enough, and when the summer arrives, interiors must stay cool for long periods during the day. As Manor Homes noted, “A country home is a home with a heart – where wide verandahs, open-plan living and an easy link between indoor and outdoor living bring family and friends together.”

Here is the general scope of home insulation:

The Truth about Insulation

No low-cost insulation system ever consistently performed well for a household. It is an investment for your family and for the future. In turn, it’s going to cost anyone a good amount of money. Nonetheless, it eliminates the dangers that come with a poor system. What you aim for is to have a passive house, not a leaky one.

A passive house has superb insulation in all parts, has triple-glazed windows and has a ventilation system. The foremost benefits include low energy bills and a guarantee of fresh breathing air all the time. For any homeowner, there’s nothing better than knowing your comfort level and quality of living is top-class.

Types of Insulation

There are only two kinds of insulation available, which are bulk and reflective. The former usually comes in the form of blankets, batts, loose fill or boards. All of these materials come with a moisture barrier for cold weather. Reflective insulation, however, is the choice for hotter climates. Contractors utilise foil or aluminium to reflect heat. It can also retain heat during cold seasons through the help of plasterboards.

With this information, you’ll have a grasp on the basics of insulation. There are still a lot to learn, but you have professionals ready to worry about that for you.

Burden to AC: What Affects Your Cooling Load?

Living Room

Living RoomA properly installed air conditioner can add value to any environment. Whether it’s within the office, school, or homes, air conditioning is an important component for comfortable living. Studies also show that work performance and comfort levels increase when the temperature is set above 25 °C.

It is possible to reap all the benefits of your air conditioner by reducing the size of job it has to do. By knowing the factors that affect cooling load, you can easily lessen the internally generated load the system must deal with. Air conditioning experts from discuss the factors affecting cooling load and a few ways to deal with them:

Glass Windows

While glass windows allow natural light to enter the room, it can cause burden to your AC. It is best to regulate the amount of heat coming in by using blinds and shades. They can cut heat loss and offer energy savings similar to other energy efficient measures. You can also switch to energy-efficient windows, which can substantially reduce the costs associated with heating and cooling.

Electronic Heat Sources

Electronic appliances such as computers and television give off heat that put some pressure to the air conditioner. They make the indoor temperature warmer, causing the AC to work even harder. It is possible to decrease the cooling load by using appliances at times when there is less demand for cool air. You can also turn off unnecessary appliances or use exhaust fans to remove heat and humidity.

Property Insulation

Homes and workplaces need adequate insulation to prevent heat from outside going into the room. This will increase the efficiency of the system, as there is no need to keep up with the heat outdoors. Insulation with high R-values are ideal for decreasing cooling load. Sealing up air leaks or shading windows can also reduce the burden on your AC.

Get the most value out of your air conditioner by lightening internally generated loads. You can easily reduce energy use by addressing air leaks, increasing insulation levels, and closing your shades during the day.

The Wrong Breakfast: 3 Habits that are Ruining Your Morning Meal


Breakfast“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

Did you just get flashbacks of your mom giving you that long sermon back when you were in third grade? Of course, mothers know best and in this case, she is right yet again. A growing body of research says that a good meal in the morning does not just prepare your body for activities ahead, it can also keep you from developing serious diseases like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Alright, so you eat breakfast every day. That is good. But the question is, are you doing it right? Apparently, there is such a thing as wrong breakfast. Have you ever had those days when you ate a loaded breakfast, but an hour or so later, it feels like you did not eat anything at all? This is one sign you are eating the wrong breakfast.

Avoid these common mistakes to make sure you are eating the right breakfast meal:

1. You are not consuming enough protein

Have you ever poured some milk into a bowl of cereal and then realise you are late for work? Chances are you rush eating and just leave the milk. One cup of milk contains eight grams of protein, so if you are not consuming all the milk you poured, you are not getting enough protein. If you are always pressed for time, there are breakfast restaurants you can go to and grab healthy meals especially prepared by chefs.

2. You are avoiding all fat

Too much fat is bad, but less or no fat is not good, either. Perhaps you have been eating a no-fat meal for the past few days. Notice how you easily get hungry after just an hour of eating? To curb that, eat yogurt that has 2 percent fat or add some nuts to your meal.

3. You eat way too much sweets

Admit it, you love chocolate pancakes and muffins for breakfast? Who doesn’t, right? Apparently, these are bad breakfast choices. These food items cause insulin spikes. After that, the blood sugar drops and you will feel hungry again. If you are trying to watch your diet, starting your day with a sweet cinnamon bun is clearly not the way to shrink those inches.

Are you eating breakfast right? Avoid these mistakes and strive for a healthy breakfast.

Home Improvement Hacks: The Perfect Window for Your Home


WindowsWindows allow light and air to enter the home while serving as a decorative accent. The right window will not only let you appreciate the outdoor views, but also give a new touch to your interiors. If you are planning to install new windows, you must choose the right type that suits your home.

As professional contractors of explain, a new window can be a big investment. To narrow your choices and make selection an easier process, we give you an overview of the different types of windows for every home décor:

Double Hung Windows

With their simple design and added décor, double hung windows make the kitchens of suburban homes appear cozier and more inviting. These have four panels that can slide up and down. With this function, the window can let in a good amount of light and air into your interiors. The panels also provide a bit of privacy. Double hung windows are perfect if you want added appeal and security for your home.

Bay and Bow Windows

With their curved, expansive designs, bay and bow windows make the perfect choice for mansions or big homes. These protrude away from the wall, giving emphasis to their huge glass panels. Most bay and bow windows come with ornate designs that give a hint of old English elegance. You can even hang large drapes to secure your privacy and provide the windows with extra décor. These windows are suitable for homes with grand interiors.

Picture Windows

These are ideal for vacation houses or properties that boast of scenic outdoor views. With their large openings, picture windows provide enough light into the home without obstructing the panorama outside. If your house is located on top of a hill or somewhere with a great view of the landscapes, this window might just work to your advantage.

Each of these windows is different and fits a particular architectural design. Evaluate your options before choosing your window. Speak with a professional window contractor to determine the right choice for your home.

Stress-Free Property Rentals in San Diego

For Rent

For RentYou are probably aware of how stressful maintaining your own home can be. Imagine maintaining property that you are renting out to other people! It does not take much to realize that you could be getting yourself into a world of hurt if you have to do it on your own.

The Problems

First, you have to advertise your rental property. Next, you have to check out the applicants for a tenant who will not trash your place or run out on you for the rent. Even if you have strict rules and regulations in your lease contract, you still have to enforce them.

Afterwards, you have to address their concerns and issues at every step. Moreover, you need to take care of all licenses, draft and file lease contracts, pay taxes, pay bills, and contract for services. The list goes on and on without end.

The Solution

Property management takes care of all of these for you. You will not have to be physically present for any of these tasks, so you can be in Texas and still have rental property in San Diego.

The property manager will find a good tenant for you, collect rent, inspect the property, arrange for maintenance and repair, and address any tenant issue that may come up. The property manager will also prepare the necessary documents, ensure legal compliance, keep records and prepare financial reports for you. In other words, they take care of everything!

Of course, you have to pay a fee for these services. According to, property management fees in San Diego can be a flat monthly fee or a percentage of the rent. In most cases, property owners tack on the costs to the rental fee. This can make it more difficult to rent the place out, though. However, that is not your problem, is it?

Whether you decide to offset the cost or not, the fee will be worth it, especially if you have more than one rental property. Time is a resource, after all, and spending it wisely means finding one who can manage your property without having to do it yourself.

5 Must-do’s for a Stress-Free Camping with Kids

Happy Campers

Happy CampersCamping is one popular recreational activity that Australian families like to spend their time on during their breaks, and for good reason. There is no equal to spending days and nights in the midst of lush greens and enthralling landscapes, enjoying solitude and serenity. Plus, there is the fun and magic in campfires that never fail to bring joy and warmth to children all the time.

Camping, though, has now evolved into different styles and techniques. Depending on your personal preferences, you can plan for a camping adventure according to how you want it. This is especially helpful when you have small children with you.

Here are some tips how to make family camping more convenient:

1. Research – Get as many choices on campsites and read as much information on what each of them offers in terms of accommodations, facilities and amenities. Some sites do not have a power supply and toilets which can be very difficult when you have small children with you. Places with playgrounds are plus points to keep children from being bored when you plan to stay for a longer period. One good source of information would be the National Park authority in your state.

2. Narrow your choice of campsites according to what facilities you need – There is no pressure to go rough just to fulfill your camping experience, if this is not your preference. The comfort of your children should be of utmost consideration. This isn’t a hard thing to decide on these days with the availability of affordable caravans that offer a wide range of accommodations that will suit your budget, from the most basic to the highly luxurious en suite cabins but still giving you the feel of a camping adventure. If your family goes camping every spare time there is on your hands and you have more cash to spare, get your own among the many offers up for caravan park for sale Victoria residents recommend. The fun will be endless.

3. Know what to pack – Make a checklist of all necessary things to pack. Avoid the anxiety of discovering you left essentials at home. Bring the right clothes for the weather you are in. Allow your children to bring some toys as long as there are not too much.

4. Test your gear – While still in the comfort of your home, try out your gear. Don’t wait to be in the actual campsite before you read instructions on equipment you’ll be bringing with you. Practice tent set-up. Check how the stove operates. Does the light work?

5. Let the kids participateLetting the kids be part of the activity will make them feel more involved; hence, giving them a sense of achievement once it’s done. During planning, older children can express what they want to do, and at the camp site, everyone can help from the handing out tent pegs to cooking.

These tips are meant to guide you how to have a more fun and convenient camping time with your kids, but along with serious planning, you also have to be flexible enough to accept that not everything will go perfect no matter how much you want it to be. Remember, you’re supposed to have fun with the family. As long as the family goes home safe and immensely happy from the activity, it is one big success.

The Importance of Light Planning

light bulbs

light bulbsBalancing lights in any setting can be a bit problematic, especially since no one takes it seriously until they reach a point when there is nothing they can do about it. The biggest problem with lighting is that everything from the brightness of the illumination to the placement of the bulbs needs to be set before any of the contractors can lay down any of the wiring.

Not having a clear vision of the overall plan is a financial disaster waiting to happen. Any kind of change is going to include not only buying new equipment, but also ripping out the current wires and planning a new schematic as well. Fortunately, there are a few simple things to help home planners to keep the vision of their kitchen secure in their minds.

The professionals from Goettling Interior Design say that shadows are going to be the biggest problem when planning the lighting of the kitchen. It is not exactly safe to walk around in a dark area while handling knives, stoves, and hot soup.

A good way to test for shadows is by bringing a flashlight into the room to simulate where the lights will be placed. Doing this should at least provide a preliminary idea of what going through a normal day in the finished kitchen would feel like. Anyone using the technique, however, has to remember that the overall effect of lighting does not depend on just one source. What may look terrible from the perspective of having just one light source may look stunning with two or more similar sources.

Only the most experienced of interior designers can confidently predict how their vision will play out without using such techniques, and that is only because of years of watching how rooms form. Never trust a contractor that does not make lighting one of their priorities, because chances are they do not know what they’re doing.

The Right Way to Learn: Heguru or Shichida?

teaching materials

teaching materialsOver the years, countless studies have confirmed the benefits and effects of early education on a child’s development. But, experts believe that the effects vary based on where the education is concentrated. Some institutions offer special training for the development of the so-called “right brain” in children, believing that this would help enhance how well the child absorbs lessons and processes thoughts.

Subjecting the right brain to training at a young age would give the child a strong foundation for learning. That’s why two schools of right brain development — HEGL, pronounced “heguru,” and Shichida — have decided to focus on these particularly, albeit with slightly different approaches.

The HEGL (or Heguru) Method

The HEGL method, pronounced and more commonly known as Heguru, was developed by Hirotada and Ruiko Henmi over three decades ago. This style of teaching incorporates various teaching materials, such as flash cards, puzzles, abacuses, and songs to develop the right brain and “grow children’s ability to acquire education,” with a focus on treating the children as students. The teaching method includes ESP (extra sensory perception) training, eye training, rapid flashing of cards, sequence memory training, photographic memory training, mental imaging, speed listening, physical activities, handwriting, and storytelling, among other devices, in its curriculum.

The Shichida Method

The Shichida method, on the other hand, also focuses on the right brain; however, it leans more towards what happens to the children outside the classroom, thus focusing on the students as children instead of the other way around. Like the Heguru method, the Shichida method focuses on developing specific abilities traditionally designated to the right brain, such as the ability to identify musical pitch, photographic memory ability, proficiency in multiple languages, a computer-like ability to calculate and many other intuitive abilities.

Truth be told, the question of which method is better can only be answered by you. Evaluate the lessons and focus of each school of training and make what you think would be the best decision for your child.