10 Dog Friendly Home Ideas for Your Pooch

Dog is mans best friend, a relationship that spans back to the beginning of time. Today, our relationship with dogs has evolved to where the dog is as much a part of our home and family as our children or parents.  Simply put, your home belongs to your dog as much as it does to you.  By making a few changes to the house with these dog friendly home ideas, your life will be much easier and you’ll give pleasure not only to your dog but to the rest of your family.

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Posted In: Auckland, Handymen, Rental Property, Waitakere City, Wellington, Whangarei

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garden trendsLandscape and garden trends focus on personalising your outdoor space to accent your own tastes. This revolves around the themes of colour, sustainability, detail and simplicity.

While a range of different trends have evolved in New Zealand over the last few years, we’re focusing today on a few we’ve noticed coming through Builderscrack when homeowners are looking for gardeners or landscapers.

Outdoor living expands your homes ability to accommodate your lifestyle. This is accomplished by utilising the latest garden trends to create new or renovating existing out-of-doors areas. If done well, this can add significantly to the value of your home. It’s also a rewarding outlet for personal expression and enjoyment. (more…)

Posted In: Auckland, Christchurch, Gardeners & Lawn Mowing, Hamilton, Invercargill, Landscapers, Tauranga, Wellington

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summer garden maintenance

It’s sad but true: a beautiful garden doesn’t stay looking fabulous without some summer garden maintenance. Thankfully most of the garden tasks are quickly and easily done, especially if you hire a tradie to do them for you! We’ve put together a list of five of the most common summer garden maintenance tasks for you to schedule these warmer months. (more…)

Posted In: Banks Peninsula, Gardeners & Lawn Mowing

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spring gardening tipsIf you’re an expert gardener, or a novice just starting out, these 6 spring gardening tips will help your garden grow.

With the weather warming up your thoughts will be turning to long summer days in your garden where the flowers are blooming. Spring is the best time to prepare a garden you’re going to enjoy all summer.

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Posted In: Gardeners & Lawn Mowing, Queenstown, Rangitikei, Rotorua, Ruapehu

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outdoor surfacesStreet appeal makes a home feel welcoming when you return from a hard day at work, but is also important when you’re renting out or selling your home. Outdoor surfaces like paths, pool surrounds, decks, patios and courtyards should look great and be durable and practical to maintain.

Combine your outdoor surfaces with softscape elements like water features, shrubs and flowers to connect your garden with your indoor-outdoor living areas.

Untidy, weed-filled driveways, paths and patios have the potential to knock thousands off the sale of your home, so resurfacing your outdoor surfaces might just end up paying for itself! Get a free quote from Builderscrack today. If you’re making your house more appealing for your own pleasure rather than selling, then it’s worth having a look at materials for outdoor surfaces that will last long-term and be low maintenance. (more…)

Posted In: Concrete Layers, Hastings, Hauraki, Hauraki Islands, Horowhenua, Landscapers, Paving Contractors

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Do you want to hire a gardener, but not pay the earth? Everyone wants a bargain on services right now and hiring a gardener or landscaper is no exception.  The range of services offered by gardeners will vary considerably and as with hiring any tradesperson for your home, the lowest price doesn’t always equate to the best deal.

Quality, reliability and value for money are important to think about when hiring a gardener or accepting any quotes. Post a job on Builderscrack and have gardeners and landscape architects contact you today.

Guidelines to help you hire a gardener

hire a gardener

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Posted In: Arborists, Carterton, Central Otago, CHB, Christchurch, Gardeners & Lawn Mowing, Landscapers

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home remodelling trendsHere’s two great questions to ask yourself. How much better your home would be to live in with a few upgrades? Would seeing the latest home remodelling trends in your property make you feel great? There’s no time like the present to start on some home renovations and improve the quality of your life. Let’s get cracking!

Top 5 home remodelling trends you won’t want to miss

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Posted In: Builders, Door Professionals, Interior Designers, Landscapers, Rodney, Ruapehu, Selwyn, South Taranaki

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Winter gardening tips for March and April in New Zealandwinter gardening tips

A successful garden provides a visually interesting variety of colour year-round.  Builderscrack has some winter gardening tips for you! Start by incorporating a blend of trees both evergreen and deciduous, mixed up with flowering shrubs, spring bulbs, perennials and annuals.

In climates with mild winters, cooler months are a good time for flower colour and fragrance.

For climate control, choose evergreen plants for protection from cold winds and deciduous plants around the house to let the winter sunshine stream in. Here are some top gardening tips for the next couple of months. (more…)

Posted In: Arborists, Dunedin, Far North, Fiordland, Gardeners & Lawn Mowing, Landscapers

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So, that mighty oak out the front is blocking the light? Rather than lopping its top off, and thereby completely ruining its shape and health, call in someone who can provide a solution to suit both your needs and the tree’s requirements.

To some, a towering tree in the garden is a thing of beauty and grace to be enjoyed and cherished. To others, it’s nothing but trouble. It blocks the sun, obscures the view and sheds leaves for months on end. Regardless of which camp you’re in, when it comes to pruning or removing trees, you should call in the professionals.

David Glenn is the president of the New Zealand Arboricultural Association and notable trees registrar for the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, so he knows his rimu from his rata, his chainsaws from his handsaws. And he knows a good arborist when he sees one.

“An arborist needs to combine the needs of the person with the needs of the tree. This is where their skill is crucial, as different trees respond differently to various treatments,” he says.

Like any tradesperson, when you’re looking to hire an arborist, you should get three quotes.

However, David says that arboold oakrists tend to specialise in either pruning or tree-felling. Tree-felling, especially around houses and powerlines, is very tricky and requires a high level of skill, so in your contact with an arborist, ask if they’re pruners or fellers. Also ask about their insurance – sometimes tree-felling is excluded on a residential policy.

Aside from pruning and felling trees, a qualified arborist should be able to advise you of your legal rights for neighbouring trees overhanging or shading your property. Also, when you’re thinking of planting, they can give you sound information on the best choice of tree for the site. It’s very important that your arborist gets the chance for a full consultation prior to providing a quote and undertaking any work.

They will need to visit the property to view the tree in question and identify any issues that could cause difficulties when undertaking the task; things like power lines, underground services, roads, the slope of the section and the garden in general. These potential problems should all be on the quote.

The health of the tree in question also needs to be discussed, with the arborist identifying disease, decay and root issues. Also, as part of the quote, the arborist will check if resource consent is required.

arborist2Your quote should also detail how the debris is to be dealt with – getting rid of it is half the job. Do you want it left on site? Chipped and removed to be sold as mulch? Chipped and left on site for you to use as mulch? Or chopped into firewood?

The quote should be detailed, right down to the size of the wood chips you want, as each of these disposal methods takes a different amount of time.

When you’re having a tree felled, stump removal is not usually part of the job. So, ask for it to be included if you want it done. How the stump is to be dealt with once it’s removed should also be in the quote – be aware, a tree stump can provide a surprisingly large pile of woodchips!

The tree team will arrive on site with an array of gear – up to five different-sized chainsaws, a wide range of ropes for climbing and roping branches down, handsaws and secateurs for small pruning jobs, a brushwood chipper, a small truck, possibly a small crane to lift branches, and a stump grinder if required. How many people show up will depend on the job. David says it would take one arborist two hours to formatively shape a 20-year-old oak tree, but it would take a three-man team a full day to thin and prune a 120-year-old oak. Felling a large tree could take two full days.

arborist-in-treeTree work is covered by the OSH code of practice, with which all arborists must comply. So, your tree team will have hearing and eye protection gear, hard hats, steel-capped boots and the appropriate chainsaw safety equipment.

The biggest thing to bear in mind, though, says David, is to be sure that when you receive a price for the work, you are absolutely clear as to whether it’s a quote or an estimate. You don’t want any nasty surprises when the bill arrives!

Read more about Arborists

Article (modified) courtesy of Resene Habitat magazine.

Posted In: Arborists, Choosing Tradespeople

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As you face your back garden and dream of creating a private oasis, the prospect of excavating, shaping, smoothing, paving and planting may seem a daunting task.  Fortunately, there are Landscapers who know every step of that process and are ready to help.

“The most important thing is to feel comfortable with your Landscaper,” says Scott Humphreys, director of Price & Humphreys Landscaping, Auckland. “You will be working through a process with them, designing and building the landscape, and you want it to be fun.”

Dr Erik Ellis, director of Erik Ellis Landscape Design and Construction, Christchurch, agrees. “It’s an empathetic relationship – you need to be compatible,” he says. “It’s important that the Landscapers style fits your lifestyle, whether you want a laid-back beach garden or something sleek and avant-garde.”

Here are some of their tips for choosing and using a landscapers services:

  • Check the landscapers’ credentials: They both recommend using landscape architects, who have formal training in site surveys, drawing skills and design. Whomever you choose, be sure to review their portfolio, check their website, talk to others who have used them, and get a sense of their style and performance.
  • Make sure they visit your location: There is nothing like being there to understand the lay of the land and what you want to achieve. A professional will want to see what he or she is working with and see you in your own environment.
  • Get more than one opinion: Particularly with large projects, it is worthwhile getting the input of more than one landscaper. Many feel strongly that all quotes should be free, although others will charge a fee, because a designer’s ideas are the fundamentals of their business.

Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve: What style do you like? Do you want a pool or a water feature; native plants or lots of flowers; a deck or paving; multiple areas, steps, or private alcoves?

  • Create a portfolio of ideas: Cut out pictures from magazines and newspapers of the elements and styles that you like, and also things that you especially don’t like.
  • Work out your budget: Be realistic about what you can achieve with the money you want to spend. This is where a landscapers’ knowledge of design and plants can really come into play, finding ways to combine your objectives with your budget.

“Don’t forget maintenance,” says Erik. “One third of a landscape is planning, one third is implementation and one third is maintenance, which determines how the garden’s character develops. Make sure you choose a design that you can comfortably maintain.”

modern-landscaping-ideas-check-for-more-modern-garden-ideas-luxury-770x578Skilled professionals from Builderscrack can transform your landscape. The clearer you are about what you want to achieve, the more they will be able to apply their talents to help you get there. Use your landscaper to explore all of the options available. They will give your ideas life, texture, colour and a little magic, and in the process create a beautiful setting that will bring you pleasure for years to come.

Article (modified) courtesy of Resene Habitat magazine.

Posted In: Choosing Tradespeople, Landscapers

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