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Keeping your home warm in Winter


Curtains not only style your window, they insulate better than any other type of window covering. Made to measure curtains that are lined and professionally fitted retain maximum warmth and minimize draughts in winter. In summer they will eliminate the hot summer heat from entering your home, thus keeping it cooler. You will be amazed how much you will save on your energy bills!

The hottest trend is a sheer with a thermal lining using double tracking.  This allows you to use the sheer during the day with the option to bring the lining across on a night for warmth and privacy.


The range of sheers on the market today is huge. A popular trend is textural linen look fabrics which come in a range of colours ranging from neutral whites, soft greys, dark charcoal greys through to black.

You only have to look at the renovation home shows on TV to see the extent of using layering window furnishings today and the reason that is because it adds softness and a sense of luxury to the homes they are renovating at a reasonable price.

Home renovators are always on a budget and with that in mind you will find that custom made curtaining is cheaper than putting shutters in your home.

If you already have blinds or shutters in your home another option for you to provide a thermally effect solution is to add another layer over your existing blinds or shutter.  This style solution softens the harshness of shutters and blinds and adds a thermal quality to your window furnishings as well as beautifying the room.  These drapes can be colour coordinated with your existing blinds and shutters with the result adding a warm and cosy feel to your home.

We layer our clothing in winter so why not layer our window furnishings!


Local company Newcastle Curtains & Blinds supply and install made to measure curtains, we also supply all types of blinds and plantation shutters and will work with you to find the right solution for your home.

So don’t hesitate, call Newcastle Curtains & Blinds for one of our qualified decorators to call to your home/business and show you the possibilities…

Servicing Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter Valley.

Written by Catherine Martin – Dip Colour Design & Interior Styling (ISCD).

June 12, 2016 |

What’s The Cost of Filling In A Swimming Pool


Have you ever wondered what it would cost to fill in an old swimming pool?

T & D Earthworks often get requests from home owners throughout the Hunter region requesting a quote to remove their old swimming pool and fill it in.

There are several reasons why people want to get rid of their pool. Some people get tired of wasting their weekends cleaning a pool that nobody uses anymore, but the most common complaint we hear from home owners is that they want to save money on general pool running costs such as electricity usage, chemicals and water usage.

Do you have a swimming pool in your backyard that is no longer used and is costing you money on running costs and water usage fees – read on to find out how we can remove your swimming pool.

What’s involved with removing and filling in an old fibreglass pool?

Firstly you will need a licensed excavator driver and tipper to get the job done. T & D Earthworks can assist home owners who are located in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Maitland, Cessnock, Singleton, Muswellbrook and the surrounding Hunter region.

What We Do

  • Pool is drained and completely emptied before starting the removal process.
  • Excavator removes the old fibreglass pool shell and rips it up so that the pool shell can be easily disposed of. When removing a pool there is no need for a crane.
  • Fibreglass pool shell waste is transported and disposed of at the local Council waste management centre.
  • Soil is delivered to site and the hole is filled and compacted.

pool-removal-company-newcastleSo, what is the cost of filling in a swmimming pool?

The average cost for T & D Earthworks to remove an old fibreglass pool, dispose of the pool at the local council tip, deliver soil to site and fill in the hole is generally around the $5,000 – $6,000 markThis price can vary depending on a range of factors such as site conditions & accessibility, the size of the pool and the level of site preparation work you require after the pool has been removed.

When the job is complete you will end up with a large flat area that you can utilise for gardens or lawn.


If you would like to find out more about our excavation services, please call Tim on 0417 671 425 or click here visit our website listing for more information about our services.

Tim Braiding, Owner of T & D Earthworks.

 Pool Removal Company servicing Newcastle, Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens & Muswellbrook.

April 21, 2016 |

Local Tradies Help Clean up After the Hunter Region’s ‘Super Storm’


Flooded roadThe recent super storm sure made a mess of Newcastle and the Hunter region. Trees fell on homes damaging a large number of properties across the Hunter whilst flooded roads made transport both difficult and dangerous. The SES have done an amazing job of helping the community stay safe and Ausgrid workers were kept busy restoring power to thousands of home owners who experienced widespread blackouts lasting more than a week in some cases.

Many homeowners have roofs and fences in need of serious repair. Not to mention schools and workplaces that closed due to flooding and power shortages. The wind and rain that came with the massive ‘east coast low’ played havoc with homes and properties all across the Hunter Region.

Local Newcastle and Maitland region builders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and many other tradesmen are currently working hard to help replace guttering, roofs, walls, tv antennas and other damage to homes and businesses around the area. Getting back to normal will take time, but many local Hunter region tradesmen are working overtime to make that happen.

Insurance Claims in the Hunter Region

Insurance companies have been inundated with claims and enquiries since the storm calmed. Things are slowly getting back to normal, though it is possible you will need to hire tradesmen or handymen to help with repairs around your home. Don’t forget that when lodging your insurance claim you can ask your insurance company to support local tradespeople. Using a company listed on Buildlocal.com.au to carry out any storm damage maintenance work around the home or workplace helps support our local community.

ThTrees fell throughout the Hunter regione Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) is the representative body of the general insurance industry in Australia. They have activated a disaster hotline – 1800 734 621 – to help affected residents who are not sure which insurer they are with, or who have general inquiries about the claims process. This is not a claims hotline and it cannot assist callers with information about government assistance.

The ICA website Understanding Insurance has a section detailing disaster recovery tips, including important websites and information about government initiatives.

You can find licenced carpenters, builders, electricians, plumbers, water tank repairers, TV antenna repairers, kitchen and bathroom renovations specialists and many more on Buildlocal.com.au.

Alternatively call us on 1300 465622 or 0447 929 300 or email us at info@buildlocal.com.au.

by Kelli Hawkins

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April 29, 2015 |

Does my old TV antenna need to be removed from my roof?


The short answer is no, however there are many advantages to having your old tv antenna removed from your roof.

Most home owners would agree that the main advantage of having your old tv antenna removed is that your home will look more appealing without a large obtrusive tv antenna stuck on the roof.  old-antenna

The other consideration is safety. It’s not every day that you climb up on your roof to check if your antenna is still secured to your roof properly and remains in good condition. If you still have the old style of tv antenna that sits high on your roof with guide wires it has most likely been in place for at least 20 years or so and could be unsafe.

Corrosion can occur on the steel poles, wires & fittings over the years which could pose a safety risk in high winds and storms. If your tv antenna comes down in a storm your roof tiles can crack causing substantial damage to your home in wet conditions. Corrosion can be a big concern for home owners who live in areas near the beach or lake due to the amount of salt air.

Thankfully due to the advancement of technology over the years new tv antennas are now much smaller in size. The UHF tv antenna masts used in the Newcastle, Maitland and Lake Macquarie don’t need to be as tall as they used to be since the local TV towers and repeater towers have been upgraded.

Removing old tv antenna structures is best left to the professionals due to the obvious safety risk of falls when working at heights and walking on an uneven surface area. If you would like some advice relating to TV antennas click here to find a local tv antenna expert based in Newcastle & The Hunter Region.

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April 15, 2015 |

Using Recycled Timber in Your Home


Recycled timber is simply timber that has been used before. There are so many ways you can use it in your renovation or new home – perhaps as a stylish feature or in a more practical way as part of the structure of your home. Read on to find out why it’s worth considering.

Some uses for recycled timber include:


  • Floorboards
  • Doors
  • Stairs
  • Railings/balustrades
  • Joinery and cabinetry. In the Hunter, Everlong Building and Joinery do wonderful benchtops for kitchens in recycled timber. Visit their Belmont display centre to see for yourself.
  • Handmade furniture. Check out Earthwood Carpentry and Design for recycled timber furniture that will be a stylish talking point in your home.


  • Decking
  • Pergolas
  • Retaining walls and landscaping
  • Fencing


  • Trusses
  • Framing
  • Timber poles

Why You Should Consider Using Recycled Timber

One of the main reasons people choose recycled timber is for the warmth and aesthetic appeal it gives a home. Even a very modern home can benefit from the soft tones of recycled timber. Another great reason to consider it is the price. And if you think recycled timber is old and therefore more frail, you’d be wrong – recycled timber is actually often far stronger than newer timber as it has dried out completely. And don’t forget the obvious green credentials that come with reusing wood rather than cutting down new trees.

Problems with Recycled Timber

There are some minor issues you need to consider. The first is that it may be difficult to get the exact length of timber you require, particularly very long lengths for things like floorboards, but an experienced carpenter or builder can help you resolve any such issues. The second is that with recycled timber you shouldn’t expect perfection – there will be knots, holes or other marks, but these just add to the character of the final product.

Have a look at Build Local’s listings for builders and carpenters to find one who can help you use recycled timber for your project. For impartial information about using wood in your home, visit the Wood Solutions website.

by Kelli Hawkins

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February 9, 2015 |

TECNOglas HG – New Possibilities in High Gloss


TECNOglas HG - new possibilities in high glossTECNOglas HG is a premium high gloss acrylic surface developed for use in cabinetry and furniture. Its quality finish and virtually seamless edges are comparable to a two-pack polyurethane finish. TECNOglas has been popular in Europe for many years – now it is finally available in Australia.

TECNOglas HG is hard-wearing and provides architects and joiners with new ways to deliver high end results with less expense.

Its primary characteristics include:

  • High UV stability
  • Scuff resistance
  • Increased chemical resistance
  • E0 MR MDF supporting material
  • Pre 45 integrated ergonomic shark nose handle.

TECNOglas HGThe distinctive TECNOglas HG combines great looks, extreme surface resilience, a deep high gloss effect similar to piano lacquer and high UV stability. Effective quality control ensures colour stability and the slimline film minimises the risk of surface bending stress. TECNOglas HG is available in a variety of colours. It is distributed by HAFELE Australia.

Cleaning Process

Cleaning TECNOglas HG is simple. Simply clean the surface with a 1% soap/water solution then let dry.

For more information contact the TECNOglas sales department on 1300 659 728 or have look at their website. Locally, you can talk to Everlong Joinery or visit Everlong’s Belmont display kitchen for more information about TECNOglas.

TECNOglas HG - new possibilities in high gloss cabinetryBy Kelli Hawkins

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February 5, 2015 |

Protecting Your Home from Bush Fires


Bush fire season is well and truly here, and protecting your home and family is likely at the forefront of your mind. We all know that it is important to have a bush fire plan, and to leave your home in a timely fashion if necessary. But what can you do to minimise the risk that bush fires will damage or destroy your home?

Don't let this happen to your home this bush fire season.Bush Fire Preventative Maintenance

There are many things you can do to prepare your home to withstand deadly burning embers – these can destroy your home in a bush fire. According to the NSW Rural Fire Service embers can cause fires many kilometres ahead of the main fire and can begin to fall an hour before the fire arrives at your home. You are at risk even if you are a few streets back from the bush, so it is important to make sure that your home is properly prepared to withstand ember attack.

The RFS suggests you consider:

  • installing metal gutter guards
  • repairing damaged or missing tiles on your roof
  • installing fine metal mesh screens on windows and doors
  • fitting seals around doors and windows to eliminate gaps
  • enclosing the areas under the house
  • repairing or cover gaps in external walls
  • attaching a fire sprinkler system to gutters.

Things to do Around Your Garden

The NSW Rural Fire Service has a general list of garden maintenance you can undertake to help protect your property, including:

  • keeping lawns short and gardens well maintained
  • cutting back trees and shrubs overhanging buildings
  • cleaning up fallen leaves, twigs and debris around the property
  • having hoses long enough to reach around your house
  • if you have a pool, tank or dam, putting a Static Water Supply (SWS) sign on your property entrance
  • checking that your insurance is adequate and up to date
  • completing your Bush Fire Survival Plan (available at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au).

Cleaning out leaves from gutters can help protect your home.When a bush fire looms there are many factors you can’t control, including the weather, but the above measures are things you can control. Check out Build Local’s directory listings for handymen if you need help in the garden or with other maintenance tasks in preparation for this year’s bush fire season.

If you would like a quote to install metal fire resistant gutter guard to your home, you should contact a company who specialise in this type of leaf guard system. If you need to find a local business to assist you call us on 02 49366732.

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December 19, 2014 |

Watch out for Unlicensed Builders


Building problemsA few years back a friend who lived in the Hunter Region found a ‘builder’ advertised in a local paper and gave him a call to discuss doing some renovation projects around the home. The ‘builder’ had a licence number listed in the ad so everything appeared to be legitimate and the quoted price seemed good. The ‘builder’ came across friendly and he seemed professional. Eager to get the renovation work started the owner employed the ‘builder’ for several jobs around his home.

The first job of replacing weatherboards on the outside of his home went to plan and the materials were already supplied so once the job was finished he paid the money to the ‘builder’ and felt confident organising the next job. The next project was a small bathroom. The quoted price from the ‘builder’ seemed much more reasonable than others and he seemed to know what he was talking about so the owner gave the go ahead to start. From the very beginning the bathroom renovation project did not go to plan and although the client was not experienced in home building, he questioned the way the renovation was taking place, but he was always assured that everything was going smoothly and being built within current standards. The timeframe blew out and the client was left without a functioning bathroom in his house for almost one month. Being a small bathroom the job was only expected to take 1 week to complete but the ‘builder’ became very unreliable. The ‘builder’ had asked for three-quarters of the money in the first two days of the project and the client happily paid thinking the job would be complete by the end of the week – this turned out to be a big mistake. When the owner started questioning the workmanship and asked for the tiling issues to be rectified the ‘builder’ stopped answering his phone calls which left the home owner with a useless, incomplete bathroom.

A dodgy builder can cost youThe owner had to pay to have the entire cement bed removed and replaced because the area did not have the correct fall and the water could not drain away. This required new tiling and waterproofing replacement costs. The wall tiling was carried out so poorly that the result was huge grout lines of up to 2cm wide in places and uneven tiles – some tiles fell off because the glue mix did not stick properly.

So how did this bathroom renovation go horribly wrong you might ask?  Well as it turns out the ‘builder’ was NOT a licensed builder at all, in fact he didn’t have a NSW Fair Trading Contractor licence and there was no record of the individual ever being on their system. The contractor licence number printed in the local newspaper was a made up number and although it appeared to resemble the correct format, it was in fact, fake. When Fair Trading were informed of the dodgy ‘builder’ they had no way of tracking down the person because he had simply changed his phone number, stopped advertising in the local paper and was not recorded anywhere on the NSW Fair Trading register.

The important message for home owners to take from of this story is to always take a few minutes to jump online and check that the contractor you are intending to use is licensed with NSW Fair Trading Register using Home Building Licence Check. Take note of their trading history to see if the company/individual has had previous fines or licence suspensions. Build Local conducts checks to ensure that any builder who advertises their services on our directory is appropriately licenced at the time of joining.

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November 21, 2014 |

How Often Should You Paint Your Home?


Painting interiors is a matter of personal preferenceThere is no doubt that painting the interior or exterior of your home can really give it a new lease on life. But how often do you need to do it?

When to Paint Your Home’s Interior

When to paint the interior walls of your home is really just a matter of personal taste. Modern paints don’t really fail, but they do get worn and dirty. And there is no doubt that old, dirty paint will be greatly improved by a couple of coats of fresh new paint in a modern colour.

However, having said that, some circumstances will cause your existing paint job to look tired more quickly. Paint in high traffic areas will show signs of wear earlier, while smoking, having pets indoors, fireplaces and damp can affect interior paint. Generally, when to paint the interior of your home is something you will know when you see it – perhaps it will be chipped or faded, or you can see the look of the home will be improved by a change.

When to Paint Your Home’s Exterior

When to paint the exterior of your home is a completely different matter to the interior. Exterior paint helps to protect your home from the elements and is not something that should be neglected. Exactly how often you should paint depends on many factors including:

  • The climate of your region. This is particularly important if you live on the coast, where you will need to get your home painted more regularly due to the elements.
  • The vegetation around your home and sprinkler systems that may contribute to damp.
  • The quality of the paint used when the home was previously painted.

Morrison Painting can tackle your next painting jobProfessionally painted exteriors can last as long as ten years, but this will vary greatly depending on the above factors. Don’t wait too long to repaint the exterior of your home. The preparation will be harder and the job more expensive if you do.

Both exterior and interior paint jobs will last longer and look better if tackled by a professional, licenced painter. Preparation can take longer even than the painting, and a good job will be obvious. To find a licenced painter in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens or the Hunter Valley have a look at Build Local’s listings for Painters.

By Kelli Hawkins

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November 17, 2014 |

What can a Handyman help me with around the Home?


A handyman can help youA handyman is just that – ‘handy’! A handyman is a professional who can turn their hand to a myriad of different manual jobs around your home. You might hire a handyman because you are short of time to get those ‘little’ jobs done, or perhaps you aren’t yourself particularly ‘handy’. Either way, a they can tackle one or more jobs for you, often at short notice.

What Jobs can’t a Handyman do?

There are so many things a handyman can help you with it is almost easier to tell you what jobs they can’t do. Unless they are also a licensed plumber, electrician or gasfitter, a handyman can not undertake those types of specialised jobs. However, they can do some work related to those trades. Perhaps to wall-mount a television for you, change tricky light bulbs or batteries in smoke alarms or clean out blocked drains.

Need gardening help? Ask a handymanWhat Jobs can a Handyman do?

A handyman can help get all those jobs done – you know, the ones you have been putting off for ages! Or perhaps you are moving house or dealing with a deceased estate and need a hand to get it all under control. There are many basic jobs that most can do, and often a handyman will have an area of expertise, such as painting, joinery, gardening or cleaning.

Most can do the following and more:

  • Gardening – a handyman can help you with everything from hedging, mowing and edging to laying turf, cleaning out gutters or removing rubbish from your backyard.
  • Painting – small painting jobs can often be undertaken by a handyman. They can also carry out small gyprock repairs.
  • Maintenance – a handyman can help you change light bulbs, replace tap washers or flyscreens.
  • Carpentry – Hanging shelves or cupboard doors or even assembling a child’s cubby house are just some of the small joinery jobs that a handyman can undertake for you.
  • Painting can be done by a handymanCleaning – outdoors such as paths and paving with a high-pressure cleaner, or indoors such as window cleaning.
  • Flat pack Assembly – a handyman can undertake the assembly of flat pack furniture you may have bought and be dreading putting together yourself.

As you can see there are many jobs around the home that a handyman can undertake. Have a look at Build Local’s listings to find someone who can come and help you wherever you are in Newcastle or the Hunter Valley.

by Kelli Hawkins

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October 27, 2014 |
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