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How To

This amazing illume LED skylight can be easily installed anywhere!

Skylights are so appealing in a home.  They bring beautiful natural ambient sunlight to areas of your house that would otherwise be shaded and dull.  They are popular with bathrooms, central hallways, garages, alcoves, kitchens, attics, walk-in-robes - the list is endless.   However, installing a TRADITIONAL skylight is a massive job and involves significant labour and disruption. Introducing ILLUME™ - a new ambient LED light technology from Australia that is powered by the sun, but can be installed anywhere by practically anyone that can climb a ladder.

So how does illume™ work?

skylight powered by the sunA small solar panel goes on the roof, and the light panel can be installed anywhere in the house. A simple low voltage wire connects the two. Now you have a diffused light panel that acts exactly like a diffused skylight would. It dims as clouds pass and brightens as the sun passes over. In fact illume LED skylight is so convincing that smart builders are using illume panels to look exactly like frosted windows on what would otherwise be a dark adjoining wall. Because the technology of the light panel exactly replicates real outside light conditions, you will never know the difference.


Why go with illume™ vs a traditional solar tube or skylight?

easier to install an illume LED skylight panel than a skylightIf you care about cost and quality then you will be interested in this new technology.

It is a 100% solar powered roof mounted panel that transfers the power of the sun to the interior ambient light panel by a simple wire. The small solar panel can go anywhere on your roof and as long as the wire can be fed to the panel location you can install the illume skylight.

The traditional "solar tube" or recessed skylight involves cutting holes in your roof and installing weatherproof seals, and can involve substantial carpentry, plasterwork, and painting to achieve a professional result - usually several hundred dollars in labour and the risk of a roof leak. The illume LED skylight involves no such labour - so that is the key saving. Also, no specialist installers are required and it attracts no insects like traditional skylights do.

And it's great for the environment!  It requires no power or battery and works purely from the energy harnessed from the sun, so you will be saving power.  Turn off the lights as your dark areas will be naturally lit from now on.

Adds value to your house

Lighting up naturally dark areas makes your home brighter and more liveable. It is no surprise that any selling agent will advise you to brighten up all the dull areas of your home if you are considering selling. It makes the home far more appealing on inspection as buyers want bright, inviting and liveable spaces. Imagine a skylight in a downstairs pantry, or an internal walk in robe - even a mid-level apartment. It is all possible with illume technology.

How does the illume™ skylight panel behave?

the LED light matches the light from outside

The features of illume™ will redefine the traditional skylight

  • Adjusts light output to match external conditions

  • Solar powered self-contained system (power/batteries are not required).

  • Automatic lighting control and operation

  • Operates without a light tube or flexible shaft

  • Does not attract insects or catch them (sealed unit)

  • No heat or noise transfer

  • Easy D.I.Y. Installation, including installation kit, no tradesman required

  • Eco-friendly, green product, no UV emissions and no carbon footprint

  • Can be installed in multi-level dwellings

a skylight that fits anywhere


A Storage Haven

Now that the holidays are over, its time to pack up your Christmas trees and mistletoe's. With all the gifts and additions you and your family had receive during the season of giving, the ironic dilemma now stands of where to put additional items - meaning where to get an additional storage haven, in already cramped and filled closets and cupboards.

Considering a rented storage is fine but surely, everyone could benefit with savings just right after the spending and buying season. What most of us fail to realise is that most houses has unused storage right under our noses or more like right over our heads.

Attic storage is possible in most houses and could easily be accessed by attic ladders that would normally just be the cost of a month's storage space rental. Imagine the savings!


Make sure to asses your Attic space to know how much weight could be contained and make sure to check for needed repairs to make sure your stored memories and treasures will remain in good mint condition.

Always remember to ensure that there are no roof leaks. The smallest roof leak will definitely damage even the greatest attic storage design. watch out for roof stains  that are normally an indicator of rook leaks and have them fixed.


A common mistake done by most renovators is forgetting to check for bathroom vent fans that terminate in the attic vent fans which remove excess moisture should deposit moisture outside the house, through the roof or wall.

Floor Framing

Your Attics floor frame is the ceiling right beneath it. Ideally , they should be strong enough and allow you to move around the attic for when you check or add to your stored and organised memories and treasures. It's always wise to check as some may be strong for boxes and items but not  enough for the weight of people, furniture and heavy stored items. Depending on your plans you may consider reinforcing the frame with additional joists which could be clearly covered with plywood or a sub-floor of some sort

Roof Framing

Much older roofs are made of rafters across the ridge to the walls. This framing style provides the most open space in an attic.

Newer roof frames / trusses are factory made by joining lumber in a carefully engineered web. These trusses should not be cut gives you limited storage options.


 Using your attic on a regular basis to store large items will need a good attic access system. Make sure you choose sturdy and practical attic ladders that are easy to install and easily folds down for access, and back for quick storage. Attic ladders play a crucial role to having an easily accessible and safe attic space for you and your family. Make sure to use access ladders that comply to the Building Code of Australia and are Codemark certified.


attic storage design

It is mostly tempting to envision more than just a storage haven for your new found additional square footage. Before getting your hopes up, consider that most building codes require that a finished space have a ceiling height of 7 ft and 6 inches over at least half of the available floor space.

Ventilation and lighting


Good ventilation and ample lighting helps keep your attic from overheating and developing condensation problems. Consider attic windows to provide fresh air and and LED lights to complete your new found storage haven.


Most insulated houses have the attic outside of “thermal boundary,” or insulated space. Consider adding insulation to the walls and ceiling for when you plan to use your attic regularly use it for storing temperature sensitive items.

Kitchen and Bathroom Speed Clean.

We all know that there's no short cut for getting the housework done. However, this speedy routine for kitchens and bathrooms will make you more efficient.

When we say 'speed-clean' your kitchen and bathroom, we don't mean the quick wiping of surfaces you should do on a daily basis – such as your cook top at the end of a meal. Though the  more you do day-to-day, the less you'll need to do on blitz day.

it's  once-a-week, top-to-tail blitz that maintains the room in sparkling condition.



Tidy Place

Things that don't 'live' in the kitchen in a large bucket ('clutter bucket') – take them out of the room. Next, put away kitchen items that don't belong on the bench and assess your fridge's contents, throw out anything that's past its use-by date.


Start with the major appliances – the range hood and exhaust fans, stove, fridge and dishwasher.


Fill the kitchen sink with hot water and add a cup of white vinegar. Remove the filters from the range hood and put them in the water, along with the shelves from the oven and any other removable pieces from the cook top, such as element rings. Use a dish brush and a rolled-up pair of pantihose to rub any sticky build-up off these pieces. Leave them to drip dry.


Fill a small bucket with hot water. Sprinkle your cook top with bicarb soda, then with white vinegar. While the mixture fizzes, rub with a rolled-up pair of pantihose then use the same technique to clean the outside of the range hood and the inside and outside of your oven. Wring out a clean pair of pantihose in the hot water and wipe any residual bicarb soda and vinegar from the surfaces. Dry surfaces with paper towel. This ensures you don't have to polish them to achieve a high shine. Replace the shelves and filter. The same process will work for your fridge and dishwasher.


Take a kitchen broom and stuff the head of it down one leg of a pair of pantihose. Sweep the ceiling, light fittings, tops of cupboards and walls. Clean benches and surfaces with an appropriate cleaner and a rolled-up pair of pantihose. I mix one teaspoon of lavender oil, one tablespoon of white vinegar and one litre of water in a spray bottle, which is suitable for all surfaces.


Fill a bucket with the appropriate cleaning solution for your floor. My floor is timber, so I use one cup of black tea and half a cup of white vinegar in hot water. Stand on an old towel in bare feet and dip your pantihose-covered broom into the cleaning solution. As you sweep the solution ahead of you, wiggle forward on your towel. By the time you've wiggled your way around the room, your kitchen floor is clean, dry and polished.


modern bathroomTidy

Strip the room for action. Grab your clutter bucket, fill it with all your bathroom accessories and loose items such as towels, toilet paper, toothpaste and shampoo.


You might be surprised but most of the surfaces in bathrooms are glass. This includes the glaze on tiles, on porcelain toilets, on sinks and on baths. The most effective way to clean these surfaces is with white vinegar.

From the top Again,

take a broom and stuff the head of it down the leg of a pair of pantihose. Spray the head of your broom with a little white vinegar and sweep the ceiling. Work your way down the walls, shower screen and bath with the broom. If any of those surfaces is particularly grotty, give it a light dusting with bicarb soda before sweeping over it with the vinegar-covered broom.

Taps and toots

Sprinkle your sink with a little bicarb soda, followed by a spray of white vinegar, and rub the surface with a rolled-up pair of pantihose. Do the same for the toilet. Rinse your broom in clean water and sweep over the surfaces again to remove any excess bicarb and vinegar. Cleaning off soap scum from taps, plugholes, and soap holders is easy – all you need is a pair of damp pantihose. They can be wadded-up into a ball and rubbed over the surface. This method cuts through the grime in one wipe and leaves everything sparkling. For taps, wrap the legs around the tap and see-saw backwards and forwards to get muck out of hard-to-clean nooks. I like to wipe over bathroom surfaces with a lavender-oil solution (combine one teaspoon of lavender oil with a litre of water in a spray bottle) for its fresh fragrance and antibacterial properties.

On the tiles To clean a tiled floor, use the bicarb-and-vinegar method again. Sprinkle the floor with bicarb soda, then with white vinegar, and sweep with your pantihose-covered broom. Stand on a towel and shimmy around, with the broom in front of you, in the same manner as in the kitchen, to clean and dry the floor at once. Wipe down the mirror with a paper towel and a small amount of white vinegar.

Now that you have these "Speedy Clean" routine. overhauling your kitchen and bathroom should no longer take the whole day.

Clean Your House in 10 Minutes

Gone are the days that we can still stop to smell the flowers. In today's fast paced wold everything has to be done as quickly yet perfectly.

In every busy households plate is a never-ending clean up and organising to be done day in and day out. Kids going to school, preparing the food, entertaining casual visitors and balancing work.

Just how do we keep up? Cleaning your house, as it cannot be postponed, can actually be done in as short as 10 minutes. How? take this Three-Step Approach to Cleaning

Eliminate, Organize, and Hide.

Ideally, your house is actually a one-bedroom apartment that you manage to keep clean on a regular basis.

But in any case, the following steps will get you where you need to be when you get that phone call from your mother, partner, or kids that starts off, "Hey, were home!"


Start by removing anything that remotely looks like, smells like, or otherwise acts like garbage.

This includes newspapers, food containers, food remnants on dishes, overflowing trash cans, and anything that really shouldn't be hanging out in your house. Replace old bags with new ones, and don't forget to recycle.

Quickly Clean Surfaces

The second half of the elimination phase is doing a quick clean of obvious surfaces. These might include your bathroom sink and mirror, dinner table, coffee table or kitchen counter.

And if you've got time, do a quick sweep or vacuum of floors where your guests will likely be hanging out, especially if you've got pets. Or if you, personally, happen to shed a lot.


Anything you haven't thrown out by this point should be neatly arranged if it's going to be in plain view.

This applies to cushions, magazines, making your bed if there's any chance of retiring to your bedroom, and putting dishes either away or at least into the dishwasher.

This is the part of the 10-minute clean where you're not really cleaning so much as using smoke and mirrors to convey the impression of a clean house.
So even if you really have a mountain of unwashed clothes or unsorted stuff, you still might have people commenting on how nice your place looks.


Do a quick visual scan of your area, and see if anything just simply needs to go. Shove it in a closet or unused room until your guests are gone and you can deal with it rationally.

This includes the guitar you never play, the shipping box you've been saving for whenever you need to send a relative something large through the mail, and your luggage from the trip you took late last fall.

Light a Candle and Relax

"Hide" also refers to mysterious odors that might be plaguing your house - so light a candle, or five - and if you've got a pleasant but not strongly scented one, all the better.



Finally, kick back, wipe your brow, fix a cocktail, and pretend like you've been reading a book all afternoon.

Easy weekend projects to instantly spiff your home.

With the holiday cheer in the atmosphere, most of us rattle to make sure our house is holiday ready and spic and span. Specially during this season of frequent visitors and guests, long projects are definitely a no no, if we want instant upgrades to make it in time for the holidays.

Here are a few weekend projects that can be done to quickly give your house a facelift.

Make Your Entrance Inviting

A cheery front-door and a touch of landscaping can do wonders for your home's curb appeal -- and make a lasting impression on guests. Dress the door with new hardware, and add a welcome mat and potted plants near the entrance. Consider installing outdoor lighting to enhance your home's architecture and illuminate the walkway.

Light Up the Kitchen

Dress up an eating area with a fresh light fixture. Use DIY pendant lights that instantly give glamour to any kitchen.Milano Pendant with brandReplacing an existing fixture is your easiest option: Just turn off the power at the breaker box and connect the wires.

Paint or Paper a Wall

Self-adhesive and repositionable wallpaper creates a romantic accent that's easy to apply, remove, and reuse. It works like a giant sticker. Peel the decorative paper off the backing and adhere it to a primed and painted wall. To create a curvy top edge, use your mirror to inspire the outline of your design. Cut the shape from kraft paper and test the look. Tape the pattern on the decorative paper applied to the wall; use a crafts knife to cut around the template. Peel away the paper above the cut.

Update Your Hardware


Spice up your cabinets and drawers by replacing factory-issue cabinet handles and pulls with designs that reflect your personal taste. For a more flexible design, most people go for the sleek minimalist streamlined look that goes with practically anything.

Recharge & Reorder

Get creative with drawer space. Outfitted with divided storage(typically used in drawers) and a power strip, this drawer serves as a charging dock and daily organizer for cell phones, music players, and other electronics. Drill a hole through the back of the dresser and drawer to accommodate electrical cords.

Replace Your Showerhead

Choose a low-flow unit and you'll get virtually the same sensation of water flow while saving money on your water bill. If your shower head flow is already low (and shouldn't be), check to see if hard-water deposits are clogging the holes.

300mm rain shower

For an instant upgrade try a rain shower head that gives you the chance to feel like bathing under the rain. Make sure you get the WELS certified one's to avoid the high water bills!

Make Your Fireplace More Efficient

To quickly and easily rehabilitate your existing fireplace, a gas or wood-burning insert adds energy efficiency to your home without tearing apart your hearth and mantel.

Get a Built-In Look

Create extra storage in a snap with kits for bookcases or shelving that you assemble yourself. Try a cabinet/open shelving combination for display spaces.

Patch Holes in Walls

Whether an art-arranging project went awry or you're tired of looking at dings around the house, concealing wall blemishes is a weekend-worthy project. With a putty knife and surfacing compound, you can easily repair nail holes and other minor wall imperfections. For larger holes, place an adhesive patch over the area and spread an all-purpose drywall compound over it with a trowel. Depending on the size of the wall hole, the compound may need to dry overnight. Paint over the patch when it is dry.

Hang a First Aid Cabinet

With just a stud finder and a drill, you can install the cabinet in less than an hour. For quick installation, choose a cabinet that can mount directly to the wall above your bathroom sink, rather than cutting away drywall and recessing the cabinet between studs.

Add a Ceiling Fan

Add a ceiling fan and save money by not running the air-conditioner on those marginal days when all you need is air movement.

Add Storage to Your Entry

If a traditional entry closet or a beautiful built-in shelving system is not an option in your home, refashioned furniture can achieve a look that's equally stylish and storage-savvy. This small-scale table is a perfect size for beside the front door. Though compact, the table's drawers and shelf make the piece super functional for busy drop-zone items. A wall-mount shelf above the table hangs keys within easy reach.

How to get your home in order before the holidays

Whilst most of us are planning an extended vacation over the Christmas holidays, dont forget to make sure everything's shipshape on the home front before you go.

Most of us put a lot of time into planning our holiday vacation but the quickest way to lose that holiday feeling is to come back to a musty, stale-smelling home. Happily, a little preparation before you go can make your return less of a shock to the system.


For those who have a someone to look after your house when your away, here's a checklist to help you and your house-sitter.
Make a list of people to contact in case of emergency, including the details of your preferred tradespeople.List times for deliveries and services, such as when the rubbish is collected.Put breakables and valuables out of sight. Even a professional house-sitter can have an accident. And dont forget to include instructions on how to operate all your major appliances.You wouldn't want to have to buy new one's right after just spending on your holidays.

Key ideas

If you have a commercial security firm looking after your place, make sure they have a key in case there is an interruption in the power supply. This will allow them to reset your alarms, without irritating your neighbours, and make sure your electricity has resumed so your fridge and freezer don't defrost. Many commercial security companies will also collect your mail.

Lights on


If you prefer to use timers to activate lights and other home appliances to give the appearance that you are still there, you will still need to have a neighbour pick up your mail or put a hold on it at your local post office.

Pets and other animals

If you have arranged for someone to feed your pets at home make sure you stock up on sufficient food and kitty litter. Your pets will be much happier if their normal food supply is available. Make sure your pet carer is on board to take them for walks. Bored animals get into mischief and you could come home to a chewed- or scratched-up disaster.
Never leave bird feed in your garden while you're away. Wild birds get used to the feed being available and when it runs out they vent their annoyance by chewing on things. Cockatoos and parrots have been known to chew window and door frames.
Make sure your home is well sealed and there are no small entry points for uninvited creatures. To deter lizards, possums, cats, rats and mice, you can make a spray solution by placing two mothballs into a litre of water. When it is dissolved pour it into a spray bottle and lightly spray it around eaves, window frames and doors. To keep cockroaches out, sprinkle salt around your doors and windows. However the best way to keep pests out of your home is to make sure there is no easily accessible food or water supply.



Keeping your house safe and secure whilst your enjoying quality time with your family is already a given. Having a good security system is half the race to a worry free vacation. Consider updating to Keyless Locks for your doors and entryways. Not only are these stylish, they also allow limit of access to your doors. Not to mention intruders wouldn't be able to duplicate keys that you may have accidentally left under the welcome mat since you actually don't have keys in the first place.

That clean, fresh feeling

Before you go, make sure you clean your home from top-to-bottom and dispose of any wastepaper and garbage.
Clean out your refrigerator of anything that will not last until you return. Empty the water from kettles and put plugs in sinks. Standing water not only attracts insects and vermin but it supplies sufficient humidity for mould spore and algae to grow.
Sweep all of the cobweb-prone areas in your home with a couple of drops of lemon oil on a soft broom. This will keep spiders and webs at bay.Make sure all of your washing is up-to-date and away in your wardrobe and put clean sheets on the beds. You'll appreciate the advance planning when you arrive home.
Everyone hates a musty smell when you return home, it's usually caused by mould spore. If you treat your home with an oil of cloves solution before you go away, the problem won't arise. Combine quarter of a teaspoon of oil of cloves per litre of water. Place the solution into a spray bottle and lightly mist it over the areas that you usually find mould. This solution lasts for around three months.

1211HG-holiday-cleaning-tips-625Happy return

When you open your door after being away, you want your home to smell friendly, not fusty. This solution will deliver that 'welcome home' feeling. Before you go, place 500g of bicarb soda into a mixing bowl, add half a teaspoon of lavender oil, half a teaspoon of tea-tree oil, quarter of a teaspoon of oil of cloves, a few drops of rose oil and mix thoroughly. Divide into saucers and place around the house. You'll come home to a fresh, sweet-smelling home.

Plant protection

Place all your indoor plants in your shower vestibule and give them a deep soaking before you leave. Leave them here (with the door shut) while you're away — this will act like a terrarium. It keeps the humidity high enough so that they don't need much water, but if leaves or fronds fall they are easier to clean up from the base of the shower than they would be from your carpets. It has the added bonus of keeping all the humidity in the room that is most designed to cope with it so you don't get that damp musty smell throughout your home.

How to Install a Shower Grate

Shower grates (also known as linear floor grates, or shower channels, or floor drains) are now so popular they are the norm in most new contemporary bathrooms - but do not get the installation wrong.  When installed properly, their simplistic straight lines and minimalist design makes them popular.

Renovator Store customers have sent in numerous photos of their finished bathrooms to show off their shower grate - and they look great! (no pun intended).

What is even better though, is that a linear shower channel can be a much simpler installation than your traditional centre floor waste.

Why is that?  Well a centre floor waste requires fall from all four sides and this can be tricky and time consuming for the tiler who has to slope the tiles and do numerous cuts to feed surface water from all directions towards the centre floor waste.

Shower grates, on the other hand, are long and straight - and if positioned smartly, will only require a linear slope from one direction to the straight edge of the grate.  Ask a tiler how many hours they will save by having a simple linear slope in the shower rather than floor slopes to a centre waste.  Chances are the time saving will pay for the shower channel itself if you have shopped wisely.

Why do you think you see linear floor drains around pools - because it would be a nightmare to slope the coping towards centre drains.


styles of shower grates

How to Install a Shower Grate - Properly

So how do the bathroom floor drains get installed?  The new way that is described in the latest Australian Standard governing this is to first have the bathroom fully waterproofed by an approved water-proofing contractor and then install your grate tray on top of the membrane over your plumbed drain.  Bedding is then built up around the grate tray and the tiled surface is installed right up to the tray edge.

Installing shower grates on timber floor

Installing shower grates on concrete floor

What many homeowners do not appreciate is that water actually travels under tiles through grout and screed - like a slow seepage.  It therefore needs to be able escape over the membrane and into the plumbed drain.  The diagram above highlights that the shower grate outlet and tray should leave sufficient space between the plumbed drain and the tray outlet so this sub-surface water can escape.


Common Errors on Installing Shower Channels

What some installers do incorrectly is seal or tightly fit the tray outlet into the plumbed drain.  In this scenario the sub-surface water cannot escape as the membrane is water tight and the drain is sealed - and over the years your bathroom will smell damp and eventually your tiles will pop.  Some other installers attempt to put the tray under the membrane and make the stainless steel tray be the exit point of all water in the bathroom - firstly, as steel contracts and expands at different rates to the surrounding materials the membrane has a good chance of eventually splitting where it meets the steel, and secondly, the sub-surface water still cannot escape.

Therefore we recommend that only shower grates designed to sit above the water proofing are safe.  They effectively act as a surface channel to guide surface water to the drain outlet and they should not be allowed to interrupt the passage of any sub-tile moisture to the drainage system.  Follow these simple guidelines in the diagrams and you will have a perfectly performing shower grate, and a fantastic looking shower (and no tiles popping up in 5 years time!). 

 Where can my Shower Grate be placed?

The great thing about shower grates is they can be installed against a wall, in the middle of a shower, at the entrance to a shower, or wherever suits your situation.  For more information and inspiration visit Renovator Store's website

tile insert shower grateWhat to look for when selecting a shower grate

Here are a few things to look for when shopping for a shower grate:

  • Is it all stainless steel?  Some shower grate products use plastic trays and components and we hear the issues they encounter

  • Is the steel thick and strong?  If you plan the grate to be where it has to bear weight, check that it is designed to do this

  • What is the quality of the steel?  Is it guaranteed not to rust?

  • Is it Watermark approved?  Drainage products are governed by Australian Standards and the product should display a Watermark symbol to highlight it is approved to Australian standards.  The standards are mostly to do with the material, construction and the slope of the fall so water drains properly

  • Can it be custom made?  No two bathrooms are the same and often you need an outlet off centre, or a very specific length to suit your situation

  • Is it easy to clean?  Can the top grill be easily removed to provide access for cleaning, and is the steel polished so cleaning is simple?

  • You should also carefully consider the depth of tray you need, the appropriate width, and select an outlet size that fits loosely inside your plumbed drainage for the reasons above.

  • And lastly, pick a style that will last and suit your taste and decor!

Check out the range of Aguzzo Stainless Steel shower grates, shower channels, and centre floor wastes at Renovator Store.  They are renowned for their workmanship, durability, design, lifetime warranty, and having the fastest delivery time available in Australia.


How to be a Smart Renovator.

Managing a build or renovation project is a huge undertaking.  Sourcing all your home-defining fixtures can be very time consuming and expensive.

Most specially, would you want spending every weekend, driving around showrooms to find your tapware, bathroom fixtures, kitchen fixtures, lighting, door handles, storage hardware, and the rest - only to find later on that you paid too much?

High quality does not have to mean high prices - and it is incredible how much you can save if you shop smartly for all your tapware, bathroom fixtures, storage hardware, lighting, door handles and the rest.

Recently Healthy Homes Australia showcased Renovator Store on TV.  In a challenge to find the best fixtures for your home for the best prices. Renovator Store triumphed over the expensive retail stores.

Be a Smart Renovator and check out this excerpt video of the Healthy Homes show to see why

Having designed our business model to be extremely low cost, we work very hard to cut out the "middle men" who typically demand a margin - the agents, importers, brand-houses, and wholesalers.

In most cases we deal directly with the leading manufacturers, wherever they are. This means we are close to the factory floor and achieve great pricing and quality control through our relationships and bulk purchasing. Being a pure online store, we avoid the traditionally high costs of maintaining a national network of retail stores and salesforces. Majority of our stock is in a single large warehouse that ships straight to the customer. This business model has made us keep our prices as low as possible.

Taking control of how much you spend on all your fixtures can save you significant dollars. Smart renovators understand that these dollars you save on your fixtures go a long way in improving your overall renovation project

So the next time you embark on a renovation project, think! would you want to be just a renovator or would you rather be a Smart Renovator!

Happy renovating

How to Truly Drive the Sale of Your Home

Luck is often said have a major role when you ask yourself why your neighbor’s home, almost identical to your own, sold in just a few days while your’s has been sitting idle for a matter of months. But then again luck is not actually what drives a property's sale.

There are a few things you should know that could help you with the sale of your own home without looking for mantras and a rabbits foot.

home sale 1 What You Can Do to Help Drive the Sale of Your Home

45 seconds.

If there's one thing a seller dreams of, it’s the emotional buyer, the one who walks in, falls instantly in love with your property and magically develops an elastic budget. Once that dream customer walks through your door, you only have 45 seconds to impress this potential customer. One of the sure-fire ways to create those powerful emotional triggers that lure in the passionate buyer is the “wow factor”. You need to create a cleverly designed home that would press the emotional buttons of your buyer within 45 seconds.

home sale 2 What You Can Do to Help Drive the Sale of Your Home

Choosing a home is like choosing a partner.

Most people are emotional and very visual creatures. Remember how you were immediately drawn when you met your spouse or significant other ?If not, there was some other incredible quality that made your partner stand apart from all the rest. Your property must be like this too, especially if you live in an area where homes tend to resemble one another.

home sale 3 What You Can Do to Help Drive the Sale of Your Home

Make Your Property the Pick of the Bunch

If you make your property more attractive than the rest of the street, more people will be interested in purchasing it and the sale price will be correspondingly higher. In other words, just by decluttering, adding a lick of paint and careful styling, it is possible to add 5-10% to the value of a property.

Add More Storage Space

Storage is a real selling point. Lack of storage can put buyers off and depress your property's value. Make use of every bit of spare space you can find, and either build shelves; fit pull out pantries in slim places. Look for: concealed nooks in corridors; under stairs space; space in the cellar or attic that can be upgraded; space beneath the bath tub or alongside cisterns; space above sinks; unused wall space for wall mounted cupboards. Creating a measured plan of the layout of your home can sometimes reveal odd spaces concealed behind plasterboard that you did not know existed.

Make everything sparkle

home sale 10 What You Can Do to Help Drive the Sale of Your Home

Today’s buyers want new and shiny.– sparkle does sell! Painters will tell you to avoid high-gloss paint because it shows up every flaw, but don't you just love the glistening sheen of full-gloss paint. They are looking for newer homes, stainless steel tapware, hardwood floors, crown mouldings and anything else that gives a home character and charm. If your home is lacking in one of these areas, how can you make up for it? It might be wise, let’s say to rip up the carpeting if you know that there are hardwood floors beneath.

Feature your product with lighting

How many times have you heard potential buyers talk about the importance of light, bright interiors? Nothing creates mood and drama like an eye-catching feature light or two. It can make a bedroom feel seductive or turn heads in a living room. And you don’t have spend a fortune for spectacular feature lights these days. Shops like have plenty of great ones to choose from for prices that are way lower than those at retail stores. Remember, good lighting is the trick to radiate that sense of a lovely, bright, welcoming home.

Embrace your visitors.

Here is your chance to wow your visitors. They’re looking for great atmosphere and a good flow. Today's generation and a society know what we want when we want it So here’s your opportunity, as the seller, to embrace your buyers with a home that needs very little to no work.

home sale 5 What You Can Do to Help Drive the Sale of Your Home

Create Off-Street Parking

Off street parking can make a big difference to the value of a property, especially in an urban location where on street parking is restricted. In such instances, creating one or two parking spaces in front of, or alongside, a property can add significant value, even if it means sacrificing part of even all of a front garden. For many buyers, a well designed, low maintenance drive is more valuable and appealing than a garden they never use.


Think of your home as a product.

Remember, you are selling a tangible product, not your home. Why does a consumer want your product? How will your product make them better? How will your product enrich your consumer’s life of lifestyle? When you sell a home, you’re selling a lifestyle and a dream, therefore you want to market your home in such a way that a buyer will believe that he or she is getting a fabulous product that will enhance their life and lifestyle.

Enhance the Curb Appeal

As the golden book says - Most buyers will decide if they do not like a property before they even get out of the car and it can be hard to shake off negative first impressions created by a poor or unattractive exterior. You can significantly add to the value of a house by improving its exterior. This may involve repainting doors and windows; replacing an old garage door; repairing cracked or broken cladding such as render or timber; updating your old mailbox; adding a porch; adding climbing plants/trellis; replacing/adding a house number or sign.

An educated consumer is your best customer.

It is the absolute truth that today’s consumers are educated and spend much of their time researching homes and home trends on the internet. As the seller, you also need to educate yourself. You need to see what else is on the market. Get to know what’s out there and learn how you can best position yourself in today’s market.

home sale 9 What You Can Do to Help Drive the Sale of Your Home

Today’s consumers want to feel as though they are getting a good deal so price yourself well. Do not over price, but do not under price either. Too high a price and you’ll not only likely sit around on the market for too long, but you could ruin a potentially good sale. Under - pricing on the other hand might make buyer's suspicious of the reason why your selling your house for such good a bargain. The ultimate goal is to sell your home so that the buyer feels good about the purchase and that you feel good about the sale.


Our fellow renovator, the renovation queen herself Cherie Barber, shares valuable insights on how to maximise your chances of finding a good tradie so you don't get caught with the bad.


Say no to tradesmen who cold call or door knock

If you’re visited out of the blue by a worker claiming to be an experienced local tradie, you need to say no. Good tradies do not need to cold call or door knock.

Use tradies from established companies

Make sure they have an office address and landline phone number on quotations. Be wary of firms only willing to give you a mobile number. In the event of a sole trader without an office set-up, never make advance payments as you run the risk of the tradie bolting with your first progress payment.

Where possible, get Personal Recommendations

Ask family and friends if they’ve used someone who has carried out work for them that was competent and trustworthy.

Check the tradie's credentials

Ask if they are licensed an make sure to check it yourself by sighting their licence with your own eyes. Verify the tradies name stated on the licence, license validity and if it's the right license for the work they are doing.


Request a photocopy of your tradies' insurance policy. You need to sight this with your own eyes. All tradies need to have a PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE to cover them against accidents or mishaps that can occur on site and an INCOME PROTECTION INSURANCE - which covers a tradie for a portion of their income while they recover from an injury. Sometimes both of these insurances can be rolled into 1 combined insurance policy.

Ask for their Construction Industry OH&S Card

All tradies are required to carry their Construction Industry OH & S Cards with them, at all times, while on site.

See an example of their work

Don’t ask for references or accept 3 references they give you. Instead, ask if you can see the job they are currently working on or the very last job they completed. If a tradesperson does not allow you to do either of these things, alarm bells should start ringing.

Ask for a written quote

Trade quotes are a normal part of a trade’s person’s life. If a trade’s person is not willing to provide this, it signals a lack of basic professionalism.

Watch more of this in detail here.