Boost Your Property Value With Solar Panels

roof solar panels

Adding solar panels can not only save you money but increase buyer attention if you are thinking of selling.

From simple paint jobs to full renovations, the objective is to offer something that the other houses down the road simply can’t.
Rooftop solar panels

One of the best ways to gain an advantage over the rest of the properties on the market is to show buyers that your home is more energy-efficient. Not only does this mean cheaper to run, but also with less of an impact on the environment. This is where solar panel installation comes in, and in this article, we’ll be looking at what makes them such a smart property renovation.

Solar panels add value

If we were to look back 5 years the thought of adding solar panels may have seemed a little too expensive. The cost of the panels and installation was just too high. Fast forward to 2019 and you will notice that these costs have fallen. This price reduction has encouraged many homeowners to install solar panels and generate their own power. For property buyers in Melbourne, there are all sorts of legitimate reasons to purchase a home that already has solar panels installed.

Solar panels will increase buyer attention when the property is placed on the market.

As the technological advancements in the making of solar panels progress there should be an upturn in the number of households installing the equipment.

The main reason to install solar panels is to save money. Secondly, the environment also gets a benefit. I expect that in the future the design of solar panels will be incorporated into the look and feel of the home for aesthetics.

Australia is a sun-drenched nation more so than most counties. Taking advantage of this makes sense in having solar energy. Cutting emissions in any way possible is going to benefit the sustainability of the earth. So, if you are selling your property as “green” this will be a high advantage.

Put simply solar panels save money.

There is no shortage of benefits to installing solar panels. There is a cost to property owners if you go down this path. However, if you plan to stay in your home for the long haul then you will no doubt save a lot of money. The most current research suggests that it will take 6 – 7 years before you start saving money. If you are still in your home after 25 years your savings will be over $100,000!

Not all solar panels are the same

Before you decide to go down the solar panel path do your research. Not all solar panels are made the exact same way. Fortunately, there are forums that do all the research for us. Choice has written an article How to buy the best solar panels for your home This article will explain what you need prior to purchase. You can also visit clean energy reviews which lists the best manufacturers including LG and Sunpower.

Australia is a leading developer in the technology of solar power. Australia has more solar radiation per square metre than any continent. If you are contemplating adding value to your home solar energy could be for you.

If you want to know the value of your home, contact OBrien Real Estate today.

How to Create a Kids Backyard

Childs backyard

Great Ideas for Children’s Backyards

The average city-suburban block has gotten smaller over the years. Gone are the days of the quarter-acre block. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average size home has three bedrooms and the land measures 474 square metres. There are 6 million families in Australia. Families with children under the age of 15 represent 30.64% of this number. With this in mind, it would make sense to utilise the outdoor space you have that can accommodate all the family. If you want your children playing outside then create a space that will exercise both their mind and body. Here are some ideas on how to entertain your children and also make it inviting for their friends to come over and play.

Childrens backyard ideas
Sandpits
Building a sandpit is a simple task. All you need is a border and then you can fill it with sand. The ideal setting would be in the corner of the backyard or up against the fence. Introduce some shovels, rakes, buckets and assorted toys. Children love playing in the sand. They can sit there for hours and are easily entertained especially if they have a friend or sibling with them. If you really want to get creative you can add in some pvc pipes that they can talk through.

Chalk Board
Attach your chalkboard above the sandpit. Purchase some stencils and chalk in a variety of colour and let your child’s imagination grow. We would also suggest you create a cover for your sandpit.
Spider web swing
Spider Web Swings
If possible hang a spider web swing or nest swing from a tree branch or you can purchase this item that stands freely. The spider web swing has no hard edges and can hold more than one child. It is also comfortable and can act as a hammock.

Climbing Wall and Slide
The climbing wall coupled with a slide is a great way for your children to develop physically. Having a netted wall to climb that rewards the child with a slide once they reach the summit is a great idea.

Basketball Ring
Basketball is excellent for deloping hand to eye co-ordination. You can attach the ring to your climbing wall and as they grow you can increase the height.
Climbing wall and slide
These are 5 simple ideas that don’t require a large expense and don’t require much space. They will serve to add hours of entertainment and at the same time provide fitness whilst stimulating the child’s brain.

How To Avoid The Pitfalls Of Underinsurance

Pitfalls of property underinsurance

Underinsurance is rife among Aussie property owners, landlords and tenants.

According to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), eight in 10 homeowners and renters are insured for less than their home and contents would cost to replace (or have no insurance at all).
This article was written by EBM RentCover and was originally published here.

Having cover in place is invaluable when things go wrong, but policyholders need to understand their insurer may only fully respond to a loss when the right type and amount of cover has been selected.

A head’s up for renters

Did you know? the ICA estimates that two-thirds of all renters don’t have any contents insurance.

Many renters think their landlord’s insurance will cover their possessions too, but it is a misunderstanding that could prove costly. Landlord cover only applies if the policyholder is found to be liable for the tenant’s losses. To protect their possessions, tenants need their own contents insurance (like TenantCover).

Tips for landlords

At EBM RentCover, we work to educate clients so they understand the value of landlord insurance – and can make the best decisions about the cover they purchase. We never want you to risk being underinsured, so here are four tips for landlords:

Assess your risks

Identify the things that could possibly go wrong and the likelihood of these occurring and their potential impact. Then, compile a list of items you would not be able to afford to cover yourself, should something go wrong. For example, ask yourself if you could afford to pay your mortgage if the tenant stopped paying their rent?

Determine the type of cover needed  

It is important to select a policy that is suitable for the type of property and the way it is rented. For example, home and contents policies typically offer protection for insured events such as fire and storm. However, they often do not cover loss of rent and tenant damage.

Example: A tenant suffers a job loss and stops paying rent for six weeks before unexpectedly moving out of the property. Upon inspection, it was discovered there was malicious damage to the walls, including two large holes in the hallway.

Landlord insurance policy Home and contents policy
Rent default up to six weeks Covered Not covered
Loss of rent during repairs Covered Not covered
Malicious damage Covered Not covered

In addition, if you own an apartment, villa or unit (a strata-titled property), the body corporate may insure the building and common areas in the property – including common hallways, garden and driveway. Because these are covered through the body corporate, many landlords assume they do not need to purchase insurance themselves – this is not the case. The body corporate does not offer protection for unit contents including non-fixed appliances, furniture and electronics, and does not offer protection for loss of rent or legal liability.

Ensure the sum insured is adequate

Did you know? the ICA estimates that more than 40 per cent of households fail to correctly assess the value of their home and contents?

Many owners inadvertently find themselves underinsured simply by underestimating how much it would really cost to replace their investment property and its contents. The ICA suggests the property is underinsured if an insurance policy covers 90 per cent or less of the rebuilding costs.

Remember building costs and standards change and you need to base your sum insured on the amount it would cost to rebuild the property (not on the original purchase price). Engage a quantity surveyor, builder or sworn independent valuer to get an accurate estimate. And don’t forget to factor in other expenses such as demolition, debris removal, and architectural, engineering and council costs.

When it comes to the sum insured for contents, make an inventory of the property within the rental that you own and ensure the replacement costs are up-to-date.

Review and update your policy

Did you know? the ICA estimates one-third of owners risk underinsurance by not updating their contents policies to cover new possessions?

Regularly review the sum insured to make sure it remains adequate (and not just at renewal time, but if your circumstances change). If you renovate the property or upgrade any contents (including appliances), make sure you still have enough insurance cover to account for these improvements.

Sadly, incidents of underinsurance are most commonly picked up on large loss claims and there can be lasting negative ramifications for the landlord (and, as a consequence, for their PM and tenants), ranging from putting them in significant debt, to repairs never going ahead and the property just sitting there in its damaged state.

At EBM RentCover we care about your property so if you have any question about underinsurance please contact us.

Now you have a better understanding about the pitfalls of underinsurance, check out the EBM RentCover range of products to find suitable protection for your property.

*While we have taken care to ensure the information above is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances and legislation after the displayed date may impact the accuracy of this article. If you need us we are there, contact 1800 961 017 if you have any questions. 

Sell My Investment Property

Sell my investment property

Investment Property Sales Considerations

Investment properties are generally sold in one of two ways: as a voluntary sale or as a forced sale.

A voluntary sale

If you’re considering selling your investment property, it is worth calculating the cost of keeping it. Layout all monthly and quarterly outgoings – with interest payments, rates, body corporate, and agent’s fees being the most obvious. Add the little extras that always seem to pop up, such as the annual fees for insurance and smoke alarms. With an older property, make an allowance for ongoing maintenance costs.
Sell my investment property
Then calculate the gross return, which is the total of rent collected, and is the figure often quoted in marketing and investment literature. But go further and calculate the net return – that is, the gross rent minus the costs. This is the figure that helps with your “sell or keep” decision.

This will give you either a cash surplus or a cash deficit, and that tells you whether your property is positively or negatively geared. The clue is in the names: a positively geared property makes a profit; a negatively geared property makes a loss.

At the time of writing, you can offset the losses on a negatively geared property against other income to reduce your tax liability. But bear in mind investment legend Noel Whittaker’s golden rule about negative gearing: “Always judge an investment on its merits – any tax benefits should be regarded as the cream on the cake.” That’s a wise policy, considering tax benefits can change on a government whim.

If the cost of keeping the property outweighs the benefits, then the case to sell has been made.

A forced sale

There are situations when an investor is forced to sell.

The reality of residential property investment is a tale of everyday people having a go. Most property investors are normal people with average salaries. Sometimes things go wrong: employment or business opportunities change, tenants get in arrears, and properties always need maintenance.

If you are forced to sell, there is one primary consideration that has the greatest effect on the outcome: should the sale occur with the tenant in place, or should the tenant be moved out?

If you’re forced to sell and time is critical, there may be no choice but to sell with a tenant in place. In this case, you must address some potential dangers.

With tight finances and a sale on the horizon, the first step is to minimise repayments, to give yourself breathing space. Most banks will negotiate with an owner in financial distress when it comes to suspending or reducing repayments. But even though banks might be accommodating with payments, realise that interest will continue to accrue, and your debt will continue to grow.

Next, check the lease. You can terminate a periodic lease at any time with the correct notice. But with a fixed-term lease, the tenant is entitled to stay until the end date, regardless of ownership or financial circumstances. If a sale is looming and a lease expires, instruct the agent to keep the tenancy on a periodic lease. Don’t be tempted with a further fixed term, which will keep the tenant in place and rent coming in but makes the property harder to sell.

If there is a long-term lease in place, you can either see out the tenancy or sell with the tenant in place. With a tenant in place, any buyer for the property must be willing to inherit the tenancy. That means you’re narrowing the buyer pool to investors only, and thus reducing the selling price.

Alternatively, with effective negotiation, tenants on fixed-term leases may agree to move out, compensation such as moving costs or a cash incentive will often help.

A rogue tenant with sub-standard presentation who creates issues with buyer inspections makes a property very difficult to sell. Buyers often don’t give such properties the same consideration they give a vacant or well-cared-for property.

Depending on circumstances, you can give notice and wait for the lease to expire, or (if possible) have the rogue tenants removed for breach of tenancy. After the tenant vacates, restore the property through hard work and repairs. If a rogue tenant isn’t – or can’t be – moved, the price will reflect the tenant and the condition of the property. That is, it will be significantly lower than expected.

On the flip side, a good tenant caring for the property assists when selling, so consider offering compensation such as a reduced rent as a goodwill gesture – and your tenant will often repay that goodwill by cooperating with you on the sale. They make inspections easy and keep the property in shape.

10 Landlord Insurance Myths – Debunked!

10 landlord insurance myths

Landlord insurance is complicated.

It is an industry bound by complex laws and regulations and offers cover only in very specific circumstances that can be quickly undone by technicalities. At EBM RentCover, we do things a little differently and are debunking many typical landlord insurance myths.

This article was written by EBM RentCover and was originally published here.

MYTH 1 – My claim won’t be paid

The big bad insurance company is a popular villain. However, at EBM RentCover, our reputation and future success are built upon a foundation of integrity and honesty (and ultimately honouring appropriate claims submitted by clients). In fact, in the past 12 months, we have paid out more than $20 million in claims.

MYTH 2 – It’s too expensive

RentCover Ultra premiums start at just $265 per annum. That is extra protection for your property, for the approximate cost of a large coffee a day. If you still think it is too costly, you may wish to look into how much more expensive it is to restore a home in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

MYTH 3 – Landlord insurance doesn’t cover accidental damage by the tenant

Some policies exclude accidental damage as a whole or offer minimal cover and high excesses. RentCover Ultra provides cover for tenant damage to contents and building, including malicious and accidental up to $65,000 (with an excess of $400 per event).

MYTH 4 – Pets living in properties aren’t covered

The high risk of damage by animals is a key reason landlords say ‘no’ to pets. However, that risk can be mitigated with EBM RentCover policies, offering protection for damage caused by domestic pets living on the premises, including those not named on the lease.

MYTH 5 – The cheapest policy is best

There are many reasons premiums vary from insurer to insurer and policy to policy, including the amount of cover, the sum insured, excess and limits. When looking for an adequate insurance policy, it is suggested a decision is based on value and need, not price.

MYTH 6 – It’s unnecessary and I’m unlikely to make a claim

If you are fortunate, you may never make a claim against your insurance. However, accidents and unexpected disasters can, and often do, occur. When you are involved in the unpredictable, it is important to have protection for your investment.

MYTH 7 – Insurers won’t cover the cost of meth contamination clean-ups

Insurance coverage for the cost of meth contamination clean-up depends on the individual insurer and the specific policies they offer. RentCover Ultra provides up to $65,000 to cover the cost of cleaning a drug-contaminated property if the damage is caused by tenants during the period of insurance, along with other costs incurred, such as loss of rent while the property is repaired.

MYTH 8 – Tenants must be on a fixed-term lease in order to claim

Many policies require a fixed-term lease to be in place at the time of a loss, however, RentCover Ultra and RentCover Platinum continue to pay loss of rent claims on periodic leases.

MYTH 9 – I’m covered for everything

Policies vary in the cover offered. It is important to assess your property and personal circumstances to determine the risks and whether your insurance aligns with your needs. For example, RentCover Ultra provides landlord contents insurance, whereas RentCover Platinum combines landlord, contents and building.

MYTH 10 – The body corporate already insures my property

The body corporate may be required to insure the building and common areas in a strata-titled property, however, the moment someone steps inside your home, you may be responsible for negating a number of risks. Risks include liability should someone injure themselves inside your premises and damage to the contents.

Now you have a better understanding of landlord insurance, check out the EBM RentCover range of products to find suitable protection for your property.

*While we have taken care to ensure the information above is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances and legislation after the displayed date may impact the accuracy of this article. If you need us we are there, contact 1800 961 017 if you have any questions. 

Present Your Home For Sale

Preparing your house for sale Keeki

Selling your home but where to start?

We know that putting your property on the market can be a very stressful time. With so much going on, it may be overwhelming to think about the physical changes your home needs. However, when selling a home, a few minor touch-ups can make a huge difference and go a long way towards making a favourable impression on potential buyers. Let us tell you the few small things you can do to achieve an amazing result.

Prepare your home for sale Keeki

Boosting Your Curb Appeal
While you may focus on perfecting the look of your properties’ interior, the first thing buyers see will be its exterior. A good first impression is essential when selling your property as many potential buyers are likely to be put off by a poorly maintained front garden.
Exterior home presentation

Quick Tips:

  • Mow the grass, trim the hedges
  • Add fresh mulch to the garden beds
  • Trim any overgrown bushes or trees
  • Clean driveways and paths
  • Remove cobwebs and weeds in the guttering
  • Ensure the paths and driveway are clear

Simply adding a row of potted flowers to your front yard brings light and colour to the property and makes the property feel more like a home that the buyer can envision themselves in. Make sure your homes’ exterior looks as beautiful as the inside – curb appeal is important, and you want to maximise this to attract potential buyers.

Cleaning
Be prepared to invest a little bit of your time into ensuring that your property is clean and fresh. To ensure the best possible first impression; dust benches and furniture, polish appliances and tap wear, vacuum and steam clean carpets, steam and clean the grout of your flooring. Pull back the curtains, clean the windows and let the light in. Your buyers will be drawn to a bright, fresh feel.

Preparing your home for sale

Freshen Up

While brightly coloured walls may be appealing to you, they do not appeal to everyone. Having neutral coloured walls will appeal to a wider range of buyers and allows potential buyers to imagine what they could do with space without any restrictions. A fresh coat of paint also adds to the feel of fresh and cleanliness that buyer’s desire.

Quick Tips:

  • Repair cracks or holes in walls
  • Replace any globes that aren’t working and replace with warm tone globes
  • Remove broken fly screens
  • Replace any mouldy seals in the kitchen or bathroom

Depersonalise and Declutter

Every person who walks through your door will have a different opinion and preference for décor, so our best advice is to keep it simple. You don’t want to detract from your homes’ gorgeous features, so if you’re not using it, store it. Takedown your personal touches and photos, it’s time for the buyer to envisage their life and family in this home. Remove personal items from bathrooms and all the decorations from the fridge. It’s also important for your buyers to see clever use of space. Maximise every inch of your asset.

Declutter your home for sale Keeki

You want your rooms to feel open and inviting, if the room feels cramped it will look smaller than it is. Take away an armchair or glass cabinets that are not needed as this will make a big difference. keekï’s in-house stylists are experts and know what will help you achieve the best result and we can ensure your property creates an emotional connection for your buyers. From styling an empty home, through to adding elements to an existing property … furnishing your property with on-trend furniture and homewares will deliver results. Along with our full property styling service, keekï Property Styling also offers Pre-sale consultations that are best suited for if you need advice on presenting your property to market. This service would help you if you have lived in your property for many years and need that extra advice on how to maximise your sale price and present your home in the best possible light for photos and open inspections. keekï consultations give you a starting point and a clear plan on what you can do yourself to prepare your property for sale. This service involves walking through your property room by room and giving you the confidence to prepare for the sale.

A 1-hour consultation fee is $150.00 and if you would like further assistance to pull it together, we offer flexible, hands-on Styling Service charged at an hourly rate of $150.00 per hour, giving you the flexibility to decide how much or how little assistance you require. Transform your properties into a beautiful, marketable home ready for sale, rent or display.
Book your consultation today Keeki home styling and design.

Bathroom Space Saver Ideas

Bathroom space savers

Tips to maximise the space in your bathroom

The majority of new homes generally have a second bathroom. The main bathroom that is usually attached to the main bedroom is what is called an ensuite. The ensuite is usually spacious enough to accommodate two people. However, the second bathroom is usually a bit tighter for space. So, how can we maximise the space in which we have for the bathroom?

Paint
The first thing you should do is paint the bathroom in the right colour. Colour has the power to create a believable illusion. The right colour or colour combination can make even the smallest space seem large, airy, and inviting. By pairing enhancing hues with contrasting colours or accent walls, you can easily make your small room seem spacious. The best colour to create this illusion of space is white. If you need a little colour variation you could opt for shades of citrus, pastels or light blues that offer the ocean feel.Bathroom space savers

Light
The more light that enters a space the more it illuminates the area and expands your outlook. The main source of light generally enters the space through the windows. However, you can also direct more light into the bathroom with a “sun tunnel“. These sun tunnels will add more natural light to your bathroom. They are fitted through the roof to the ceiling.

Storage
There are so many space-saving ideas when it comes to storage. There are simple options available to you that you may never have thought of.

  • Use the back of the bathroom door to hang your towels
  • If there is space above the door then create a shelf for storage
  • Use tension rods in the basin cupboard and hang cleaning products
  • If you have a shower screen then purchase clips to hang your hair and body products from
  • Over the toilet, standing rack to hold magazines, toilet paper, bathroom products
  • All walls have studs. You can cut in between this space to create shelves (make sure there are no electrical cables)

The ideas for saving space are endless. Here is an article on 25 space saving ideas.

Shelving

As mentioned shelving can be created over the toilet or the basin. You can use tall thin shelving units in the corners or against the walls. Or, you can add small hanging or attached shelving units that expose the contents.

There are unlimited ideas to improve the space in your bathroom and to give the impression to the bathroom’s size.

Related articles ~ Garage Storage Solutions

 

How to Babyproof Your Kids Bedroom

Babyproof kids bedroom

5 Tips to Babyproof Your Childs Room

Your child’s safety should be at the top of your list. Sometimes there are hidden traps that may not be visible to you. Just as a baby learns how to walk and talk new parents are also learning how to care for an infant. We want to highlight 5 things you can do to eliminate dangers that may not occur to a parent.
Babyproofing bedroom
1. Choking Hazards
There are a number of potential choking hazards in a child’s room. The number one offender is toys. These include plastic shapes, the eyes of stuffed toys, marbles, beads, lego and deflated balloons to name a few. Any small object that glitters is an attraction to a child. The simplest object such as the top of a pen or a coin can lead to injury. Do not introduce toys that are breakable or have loose parts. We also suggest the removal of toys that have button batteries.

2. Electricity and wires
What is it that attracts a child to electrical outlets? Perhaps it is that the connection looks like a face. There are also holes that objects can be inserted into. Whatever it is children are often fascinated by these outlets. What you need are caps that can be inserted to cover the outlet. Bunnings have a number of child safety outlet covers that have dual locks that are hard to remove for an infant.
Babyproofing electrical outlet caps
However, most of the time you need to utilise the power outlet. You can use a guard to cover over the wires. This will prevent the child from pulling out the wires. Make sure any wiring is not attached to a heavy object such as a lamp. Children love to pull on anything this loose. So make sure the wires are not attached to objects that can easily be moved.

3. Furniture and windows
Babies love windows. They will do whatever they can to see what is on the other side of that window. Babies love to climb. So remove any stepping stone that they can use to elevate themselves. This would include chairs, tables or stools. Do not rely on the window screen to prevent your child from “escaping”. The window screen will not hold your baby’s weight. The best solution is to keep these windows locked at all times. Preferably with a key. If you want to have the window open then use a guard on the running rail that can limit the gap. Make the gap no bigger than 100 centimetres.

Remove any heavy furniture items from tables and drawers. This includes lamps, radios, TV and so on. If a child can shift it they will. Look for sharp edges on your furniture and cover these. A good idea is to get down on your knees and identify dangerous areas. You will be surprised what the bedroom looks like from a child’s perspective.

4. Stairs
If you have a 2 storey home then a baby gate is a must. It doesn’t matter if your child’s bedroom is on the ground floor or the first floor. Install the baby gate at the top of the stairs and the bottom. If the child’s room is on the first floor then you will want to prevent them from falling down the stairs. And if the child’s room is on the ground floor then you don’t want them climbing the stairs. Either way, block the top and bottom of the stairwell.
Childproof door locks

5. Monitors
Baby monitors are an essential item in a child’s bedroom. You can choose from a sound-activated monitor to a full video monitor of the bedroom. Either option should be adequate. These monitors can react to sound, motion and temperature. The video monitors can be connected via wi-fi and viewable on your mobile phone, tablet or desktop. You can be in any room or in the backyard and pay attention to your child’s safety.

You can even auto record and take images via some of the video monitors. And you can have two-way voice communication.

We hope these tips can help eliminate some of the hazards that you may not have thought of and that your child is safer in their bedroom.

Setting Up A Home Theatre System

Home Entertainment System Setup

In your downtime are you an avid TV watcher? Or, perhaps you like to listen to your favourite songs?

Depending on your budget home theatres can become expensive. But the biggest question is generally – how do you set up all the parts to get that full entertainment experience?

Try this simple 5-step path to setting up a home theatre.

Step 1 – Select the roomSetting up a home theatre system

Where do you want to set up your theatre? Perhaps you want to use the living room or even the garage. Do you want the theatre to be separate from other rooms or do you want it to be inclusive of your main living areas?

Usually to get the full effect a large space is required.

A separate space is generally the ideal setting. You can block out the noise from the remainder of the home and it gives a little more privacy to enjoy your experience.

Step 2 – Projector and screen

Opt-in for a projector and screen solution.

The projector is mounted to the ceiling and all the cabling is run through the ceiling. So, you will also need a ceiling mount. For a professional installer, this is not a hard task.

Now that you have your projector mounted the next step is what surface do you project on to? Here are two choices. One, there is a projector screen paint that you can apply to the wall surface. This is not a bad solution that reflects the light very well. But maybe you use this wall to hang photos or use as shelving.

The other alternative is to purchase a projector screen that you can mount to the ceiling or wall. A projector screen can roll up into a small space when you are not using it.

There are manufacturers that sell manual roll-up screens and motorised screens. If you are going to opt-in for this solution then project your image onto the wall to determine the size of screen you require.

Step 3 – Sound System

The sound is an important component of any home theatre system. A good sound system can elevate your experience to a new level.

Once again cabling is an issue. In this wireless world there seem to be more wires than ever. For aesthetics, it is best to hide all cables wherever possible.

To get that true theatre sound you will need –

  • Two large floor speakers set up on either side of the projector screen
  • Then add four ceiling speakers. The first two should be placed in front on either side of the screen. The other two speakers can go behind the seating area. This gives a true surround sound.
  • And a subwoofer

All the cables should eventually be channelled back to the video and audio receiver. This is your central command station that gives power to all your speakers. Make sure you get this right and choose the best possible arrangement.

There is a multitude of brands out there that produce excellent sound. Here a few of the top-rated sound system manufacturers – Bose, Sennheiser, Bang & Olufsen and Harman.  Prices can range from $150 to $1000 and more for the best systems. The top 10 sound system makers.

Each brand will come with a full set of instructions on how to distribute the wires back to the receiver. If this is a do it yourself task YouTube generally has someone who has created a video on how to wire speakers for specific brands. All the wiring for the speakers will then go back to this receiver.

Step 4 – Mission Control 

So you now have everything in place. The next step is how do you get all these parts to run from the one device?

I am imagining your theatre will have a Pay TV box, a Blu Ray player and some kind of media box. A media box typically is a computer that can stream music and videos. A pre-built PC with a dedicated graphics card should work fine.

If you operate a Plex server and know what you are doing, you can stream from that to your media box.

Connect all of your video devices to the Audio Visual receiver that has HDMI in ports and a single HDMI out cable that you will have to run to the video in on the projector.

Finally, make sure your internet connection is reliable and can handle the download capacity should you need it. Thankfully the internet is moving forward and there are numerous providers out there that deliver the necessary data space and speed required.

Step 5 – Seating Arrangements

This is more of a personal choice. Some want single-seat recliners and others want to share the experience on the couch with their loved one. Or, a combination of both single-seaters and sofa.

It all depends on the number of people that will be sharing your super home theatre system.

Related articles – Revamp your garage space

Garage Storage Solutions

Storage solutions garage

Garage storage space storage solutions
There are basically 3 solutions to creating storage space in your garage. But first, you have to eliminate all the unwanted clutter. Once you have cleared out everything you don’t need you can decide which method suits you best and is within your budget.

Hooks and Shelves

Storage solutions garageSo if you like to keep your items visible and away from the floor hooks and shelves is a good option. There are different ways to hang your tools. The common method is by attaching a hook system to the wall. These can be made from plastic, metal or wood. The bigger hardware stores such as Bunnings usually stock all three hook systems.
Pegboards
These are a good solution for organising items. A pegboard has a series of holes that are equally spaced. You can insert hooks and practically hang anything you want. Pegboards are generally available in plastic or masonite. You can buy pegboard kits that come with wall mountings and a series of hooks.

Using Baskets and Bins
So you don’t want to search for your items but you want them visible, secure and in a container. There is a range of mesh and wire baskets available that can be attached to a wall. Also, you can purchase plastic bins as a tougher option.

Garage space saving pegboardCabinets
If you are inclined to want everything orderly and packed away neatly then cabinets would be for you. There is a multitude of cabinets available on the market. You can get upright metal cabinets with doors or cabinets that have drawers. These items can also have wheels attached to the base so you can move them around effortlessly. The cabinets can also be made from mesh so you can see the contents.

It is really up to your imagination on how you use this garage space as a storage facility. Make a plan and a visualise what you want to achieve. The garage is a space that can be used more effectively and efficiently. And it can add value to your home if organised properly.

 

Related article – How to revamp your garage