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Home and Garden

Can You Install an Underground Water Tank on a Hill?

With more Australians taking to water harvesting and storage, water tanks have become an important fixture in any household. There are two types of water tanks which are named depending on where they are installed; above ground and underground water tanks. Underground tanks are preferred by people because they allow you to utilize some of the space above them, something you cannot do with an underground tank.
When installing an underground tank, location is important. A flat surface is preferred, since it cuts down on the cost of levelling the excavation. It is however, completely possible to install an underground water tank on uneven ground, including on a hill. The main concern would be to make sure you follow the right steps. Here is a breakdown.

The excavation

When picking the site, the first step is to inspect the soil. The importance of this is to help you make sure you are digging in the right spot, where the soil will not give in. You are also looking for a place that has above average sub-soil drainage, while retaining enough soil integrity to ensure that the tank does not get washed away. Good soil integrity and good drainage also reduces the instances for a mudslide.
Once you have picked the correct place, the next step is to actually dig the hole that will house the tank. The excavation is a tricky affair, since the whole tank has to be immersed into the ground, while the bottom remains flat. For that to happen, the measurements have to be exact, depending on the size of your tank. The bottom of the hole has to be made even, and well compacted. While digging, take into account just how deep you need to go, since one of the walls will undoubtedly be shorter than the other. This will be dependent on the incline of the hill and the size of the tank, since it needs to be inside the hole. You should also leave some space all around the tank for wiggle room while at the same time compacting the backfill around the lower half of where the tank will lie.
underground water tank
After digging, the next step is to create stable bedding for the base of the tank; the compacting alone is not enough. Add a mixture of sand and gravel, to a depth of about 15 centimetres. You should then compact and shape this bedding to suit the underside of the tank. It will help you avoid uneven ground which could puncture the tank from the underside, under the weight of the water.

The Placement

When placing the underground water tank, make sure you check and note down important tank information. This includes the serial number for the warranty card, the shipping damage, and of course the orientation of the inlet and outlet ports. Be sure to be gentle with the tank when placing it, since any severe impact could crack the tank, which is not covered under most warranties. You should also use a pipe level across access to measure the levels of the inlet and outlet. It is important to note that poly tanks especially, are prone to floatation and distortion at the base if they are pumped out during a high water table. This is why you should always keep the tank partially filled especially during the rainy winter months when it is extremely wet.
After placing the tank, backfilling should be done when the tank is either totally empty, or at no more than 30% filled. The trick to a successful backfilling is to make sure the soil is compacted especially around the lower half of the tank to provide support. Avoid using machines to compact the soil close to the tank. When backfilling, use either clean fill or granular soil and at avoid clay soil at all costs. Compacting should also be done under the inlet and outlet pipes in order to offer support and prevent any potential pipe fractures that might occur as the backfill sets over time. If the tank has been exposed to the sun, it should be allowed to cool before the backfilling is completed.
Finally, pipes should be installed only when you are sure that the backfill will not shift during the process.

Other considerations

Make sure you follow the tank manufacturer’s guidelines with regards to depth. For most poly tanks, the recommended soil cover is up to two feet while super tanks are rated for four feet of soil. Make sure that the location you have chosen has low traffic. Another consideration you should make is to avoid areas with a high water table. For such locations, use reinforced tanks. Finally, make sure you deflect surface run-off after installing the tank. This is because it can damage the backfill, especially while it is still fresh.
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Business and Marketing

Is it smart to invest in Tech unicorns?

A unicorn in the financial sector is defined as a start-up company valued at more than one billion USD. The 1 billion USD value here has no special meaning, it is purely arbitrary. These are typically in the software and technological fields where the actual real market value can be heavily influenced by time and expectation. Where the current value can be augmented by projections on what the future value of the technology will be, there arise various problems in determining the financial prudence of investing in technology unicorns. These are included but not limited to;
 

Valuation

The valuation value of a unicorn is not determined by traditional metrics like a balance sheet but rather by what investors are willing to pay for the company. According to a 2017 study by two professors [one from the University of British Columbia (UBC) Sauder School of Business and another from the Stanford Graduate School of Business] examining 116 unicorns found that over half were overvalued and about 11% overvalued by over 100%. This is a shocking statistic. Over-valuations are achieved using what can be kindly called new era funding trickery. Investment is encouraged in a cyclical basis which separates shareholders, there are minimum funding caps that shut out the less able investors and initial investors are offered lower share prices and less rights than late stage investors. Late stage investors are considered more precious as they are the ones who help start-ups achieve unicorn status. Late stage investors are also offered various perks such as guaranteed minimal share returns, preferred payment on dividends or more voting right per share than early stage investors.
The end goal of the valuation is an IPO or acquisition. Messaging service Whatsapp was acquired by Facebook for a record setting 19 billion USD, despite having no way to generate revenue and no determination that the end user would be willing to pay a cent for a service they have so far been using for free. The only thing Facebook gained here was goodwill from the end user who keeps enjoying the free service and relates this to Facebook generosity.
The willingness of investors to put so much stock in a high – risk investment takes away from the funding opportunities that would have assisted more traditionally valued enterprises.
The devaluation of ordinary shares and perks associated with late stage investment thus demands the prudent investor seek to be a late stage investor in order to have more preference and to maximize return potential. Inflated valuations offer start-ups a competitive edge as they give them a greater bargaining position.
 

Unpredictability

The other issue with technology unicorns is the unpredictability of trends and lack of guarantee on returns. With an inflated valuation, the risk of loss on investments is greater than with real on the ground valuations. Admittedly, the potential profit is greater too and this risk is borne onto the investor.
From an investor standpoint, start-ups also come with higher risk than already established businesses. This is made more complex as valuations are based on what the future will be rather than what actual returns might be. Technology innovations are expected to grow exponentially and this might not necessarily be the case on the ground. Take Google Glass Incorporated for example, they invented smart glasses. These are optical head-mounted displays that were expected to revolutionize computer interfacing, with a forecast of 0.83 million units sold in 2014 and 21.15 million units sold in 2018 (statistics from statistica.com). This was not the case. The smart glass technology did not catch on and many an investor in Google Glass is crying all the way from the bank!
It is impossible to accurately predict the future and as such, one must be ready to be disappointed after investing in a technology unicorn.
 

Faith and Discipline

Due to the unpredictability of returns on a technology unicorn, the investor must be ready to invest in the long term and have a predetermined cut off point. This raises the risk of staying in for too long and losing on investment; or cashing out early and missing out on the next Apple or Samsung. This requires a level of faith and discipline that few have, coupled with the financial intelligence to make smart moves to maximize returns on investment.
In conclusion, knowing what you are getting yourself into is key, thus all available information should be processed and used to make a decision. As with any other investment, there is inherent risk but this can be minimized by knowledge. Perhaps a good place to start would be Dropbox or Spotify for local traders as well as international share traders alike.

Categories
Home and Garden

Bedroom Colour Palettes for Winter

Winter is a time for cool colours representing the cold season’s brisk air and the charming palette of cool earthy colours. Why not take these colours into the bedroom and turn it into a winter wonderland? There is an extensive range of beds and décor on the market that will give you the perfect tones and colour scheme for your bedroom this winter. The soft pinks, blues, off-whites, and purples, accessorized in harmony look amazing and will give your bedroom a soft natural feel and aesthetic. Let’s take a look at some winter colour schemes for your bedroom.
Adding warmer tones to your winter colour palette will be more impactful, so use them sparingly on cushions and vases around your bedroom to add a hint of cosiness and brightness. Soft pinks, greys, and off-whites are popular this season. When designing your ideal bedroom décor, it’s all about balance. The base colours should be cool and neutral while add splashes of warmth with accessories. Try not to go overboard otherwise your room will have a busy aesthetic.
Textures and patterns on bedding and cushion covers provide a homely warm aesthetic that creates depth and richness, but use them sparingly to maintain a harmonious atmosphere. Throw blankets are a great way to expand your design arsenal and the beauty is that they are interchangeable so you can spice up your bedroom by alternating blankets with different patterns.
Tartan and velvet fabrics are in this winter and will breath of life into your bedroom. These fabrics in soft colours look great and will transition into most colour schemes. Velvet throw pillows in lavender, pink and grey are a creative way to add colour and flair to your bedroom.
Cool colours paired with warm accessories are a necessary contrast, although there is a risk of going overboard and creating a convoluted motif, so remember to use them sparingly. Start with your bedroom setting in cool winter pinks and greys, off-whites and browns. Then add texture by adding cushions and throw blankets in plaid and velvet, also in cool colours. Then if you want to add splashes of colour and warmth, some stand out decorative items break up the cool winter palette providing the necessary elements to spice up your bedroom this winter.
We’ve looked at some palettes that will look great in your bedroom. Now let’s take a look at some bedroom settings.
Bedroom Colour Palettes for Winter

Mont Blanc

The Mont Blanc neutral greys and off-whites are a great representation of the winter palette. The neutral tones provide a cool harmonious environment for you to take slumber. The large grey headboard matches well with the bedside doors, whilst the textural difference creates more depth and dimension. This finely crafted Italian made bed is designed with comfort and aesthetics in mind. A great addition to any bedroom.

The Tivoli

The Tivoli bedroom setting captures the essence of cool with a charming headboard with a natural grain appearance and a thick solid border on the outside. The soft greys and off-whites add light to your bedroom. The cool tones are a testament to what you can do with colours from the winter palette. The bedside drawers compliment the headboard and this setting is definitely worth checking out when deciding to update your bedroom setting.
 

The Eva

The Eva bedroom setting stands out due to its unique geometrical patterns in different shades of grey.  The interesting patterns paired with its beautiful design make this bedroom setting one to behold and soft cool colours will lure you in and the comfortable mattress will keep you there and ensure that you get the perfect night’s rest.
So this winter when creating your bedroom look, keep it simple by starting with some soft base colours and build on that with some throw cushions and blankets. Don’t be afraid to experiment with some warmer colours and feature items. Once you have the right colour palette your only limited to your imagination.
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Automotive

Heavy Vehicle Safety Tools Launched

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has a somewhat intimidating name. After all, in many cases, a regulator is in direct confrontation with the entities that they … well … regulate. These regulators are largely responsible for creating and enforcing policies that affect the way their wards do business, and whether the issue is matching uniforms or truck spare parts, punitive measures can be harsh. This makes industry stakeholders wary of regulators.
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case. When a regulator does their job well, they give you recommendations and mandatories, and the consequences of not following their requirements. However, they can also give you the resources you need to observe the laid down regulations. This is the approach taken by Sal Petroccitto, the CEO of NHVR.
He believes safety is a system, not just a set of laws and penalties. In his own words, ‘A Safety Management System is an effective tool for organisational compliance.’ In the coming months, there will be new laws covering the Chain of Responsibility in heavy vehicle safety, and getting an early start in safety management will keep industry stakeholders within legal boundaries.
Preparing for Chain of Responsibility Regulation
In anticipation of these new laws and approaches to safety, the NHVR has launched a set of safety tools for industry members. Mr. Petroccitto admits that this kind of undertaking doesn’t lend itself to a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, the regulator has designed a set of guidelines and templates that can be tailored to individual truck and bus companies. He affirms, ‘The tools are scalable and adaptable to any size and type of business.’
The difference in this approach is that NHVR is no longer restricted to a ‘policing’ role. They are now offering truck and bus industry members resources that can help them colour within the lines of heavy vehicle safety. Plus, all these tools are free and easily available. All you need is access to the internet.
The tools take the form of an information book and a series of ten templates, guides, and fact sheets. They are all available on the NHVR website, and the archive will be progressively expanded to provide further tools for owners, buyers, drivers, managers, and manufacturers. The downloads themselves are free, and the advice they offer is fairly low-cost, so it’s easy to apply and implement at the business level.
Free resources and practical steps
These resources offer specific steps to follow, but they also offer a framework that businesses can use to develop in-house policies for safety and roadworthiness. They offer tips for correctly reporting incidents and employing risk management measures. Rather than being theoretical and abstract, the suggestions include hands-on initiatives like individual and group safety training for business employees.
Such programmes are easy to begin, since they can be based on the information contained in the free safety resources that recommend them. The business just has to tailor the freely available content to their own brand and needs. The content is describes as ‘comprehensive, systematic, and pro-active’ in terms of managing safety risks. Luke Donnellan is the Minister for Victorian Roads and Road Safety. He spoke at the launch of the Mega Trans 2018 Launch.
Essential tools for safety
Mr. Donnellan pointed out that last year, 211 people died in bus and truck accidents. 44 of those people died in Victoria. He therefore supports the Safety Management System and sees a big need for it. “If this initiative is successful we can replicate it for rail, maritime, and aviation needs, but at the moment, heavy vehicle safety is a priority for all Australians.”
The free resources on offer are just a small portion of the Safety Management System which continues to be developed. The system is practicable for all stages of the heavy vehicle supply chain. Mr. Donnellan believes it will drastically reduce incidences related to safety. It will do so in a simple, implementable, cost-effective manner that is agreeable to all stakeholders.
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Automotive

The Most Commonly Requested Spare Parts for Japanese Trucks

There are two popular bumper stickers that never fail to make you smile. The first states ‘the car in front is always a Toyota’. The second is often on a smaller car, like a Suzuki Alto or Starlet. It says ‘when I grow up, I want to be …’ then inserts a photo of a huge 4WD from the same manufacturer. They make us smile – even laugh – because they’re true, so we can all connect with them on some level.
The ubiquity of Japanese vehicles on the road isn’t restricted to small hatchbacks and off-roaders. The heavy vehicle market is full of Japanese vehicles too, from Mitsubishis to Hinos. This makes their truck spare parts easy to find. Supply drives demand, and there are numerous parts suppliers. Not all of them are reliable though, so you need to find the right one.
Find the right seller
A good parts supplier will often have a verifiable partnership with the original manufacturers they stock. They will have a vast number of branches, evenly spread out to service all parts of the country. They’ll probably have a vibrant online presence, a strong customer care culture, and transparency that allows you to inspect and maybe even test the parts before you buy them.
Whether you’re putting together an emergency spares kit or starting a truck parts store of your own, it helps to know the parts that most frequently need replacing. It will show you the must-have for your back room or truck tool kit. These are parts that are frequently used, so they need regular replacement. Try to get parts with a warranty, just to be safe.
The Most Commonly Requested Spare Parts for Japanese Trucks
Filters
There are three types of filters in any car. The cabin filter protects the car interior. It’s part of your car or truck’s ventilation system and is activated when you turn on the air conditioning or open the manual vents. The cabin filters blocks out pollen, dust, and other allergens from getting inside the car. Fuel filters keep contaminants from getting into your fuel tank and fuel lines, which could stall the car. Similarly, your air filter keeps debris out of the engine.
Filters need replacement once a year or so, which is roughly 20,000 km, though this can vary, depending on how frequently you drive and what your route is like. Buy from a reliable aftermarket manufacturer like Hengst. They provide filters that can be fitted into any car or truck without modifying it in any way, and they come with a warranty.
Lights
Headlights, taillights, and indicators need to be replaced more often than you think. You may have cracked the cover while reversing, or crumbled it during an accident. If it’s just hazy, don’t rush to replace it. You can use car detailing services that specialise in defogging lights. Some of these services are mobile detailers, so they can drive to your truck stop.
Anytime you get in or out of the truck, check your lights. It’s an easy thing to ignore, and it’s the first thing any traffic cop will look for. Don’t just check the coloured exterior. Check the bulb as well. It may have blown without you noticing, and driving in the dark with a blown bulb can have potentially lethal results, and could even cause fatalities.
Cables
A lot of the time, mechanical problems in your truck are a result of frayed or torn cables. They can cause anything from brake fluid leaks to overheating if the radiator isn’t working well. Issues with the electricals can stall your car completely. Unless you have training as a mechanic, it can be hard to tell exactly which cable has a problem. Routine inspections at the garage should include an overview of the truck’s cabling, to be sure everything is intact.
When you’re shopping for spare cables, take an expert with you to make sure you don’t get swindled. It’s a technical component, so it’s easy to be hoodwinked. If it’s not possible to take your mechanic with you, carry the part you want to replace. This way, you can carefully look at the old and new parts side by side to be sure you’re getting the right part. You could also send a photo of the replacement part to your garage for extra confirmation.
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Business and Marketing

Banner Fabric Options

Choosing the right fabric for your display banners is an essential component in obtaining the right look and feel for your display, whilst also catering to your budget options. There are range of banner fabrics available from vinyl to canvas. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages and your choice will reflect your budget and visual motif.
 

Mesh Banners

Mesh banners are great for promoting and displaying your brand along fencing. They are light weight and easy to install making them a great for covering a large area. They are easily folded, washable and require minimal storage space making them a great option.
Another benefit of mesh banners is that they won’t get caught in the wind, making then an ideal option for outdoor events.  There are two options of material to choose from, firstly there is a PVC Vinyl mesh. It’s a thicker more durable fabric although weighs a more than the other option, Polymesh Fabric. Polymesh fabric is lighter and more flexible fabric that is also easily installed and can be printed in a higher resolution to make your brand pop.
 

Fabric Banners

Fabric Banners are ideal for indoor and outdoor use and can be hung from the ceiling or Velcro or attached to basically anything. They come in over 20 different fabrics and printing options and are an ideal solution for your display requirements. The sheer versatility of hanging options make these banners ideal for almost any situation. They printed with high quality, UV resistant inks ensuring they won’t fade over time.
 

Vinyl Banners

Vinyl banners are a no-frills solution to your promotional needs. These banners are great way of getting your brand up and visible in no time at all. They can be used indoors and outdoors and are usually hung on with ropes from the eyelets on the banner. Vinyl banners can screen printed as well as printed digital on both sides if necessary. They are a great option for those on a budget, yet not wanting to sacrifice exposure and vibrancy. Vinyls banners are tad heavier than their fabric and mesh counterparts yet remain durable.
 

Canvas Banners

Canvas banners are an ideal display solution and are often used for stretched canvas art. They are lightweight and durable. They are durable, stretch easily and the ink won’t crack or perish when rolled up for easy storage. Canvas banners can only be printed single side and are a great option for those with a tight a budget. Attaching your canvas banners is easy. They come in a range options such as Velcro, eyelets and pole pockets and make erecting them a breeze.
 

Stretch Fabric Banners

As the name suggests, stretch fabric stretches and is ideal for media walls and panelled walls as they have the ability create a seamless aesthetic. Once taken down are easily stored and recover to the original for without degradation of the printing.  They can only be single side printed in full colour, high resolution and come in a myriad of hanging options.
 

Polyester Fabric Banners

Polyester fabric is traditionally used in flags and is still used today for various display applications. They can be printed in high resolution and double sided, making them ideal for event backdrops and flags.  Great for outdoor events where omnidirectional exposure is required.
 

Satin Fabric Banners

Satin fabric banners look and feel good and are great way of attracting attention to your event. They shiny and elegant often adding a touch of class your display. The fabric is strong and durable and ideal for indoor and outdoor use. They can be printed on one side only and are ideal for shopping mall backdrop banners.
 

Waterproof 600D Oxford Fabric

The waterproof 600D Oxford fabric is gaining popularity and is widely used due to its exceptionally durable and hard wearing fabric. The fabric is soft and can stand up to the elements and is ideal for outdoor use. If it rains, no problem as oxford fabric is fast drying due to its high waterproof characteristics. The fabric can be printed in high resolution although you will be limited to single side printing. Ideal for marquee covers, curtains and bags.
 

Veil Fabric

Veil is the ideal solution for omnidirectional exposure as it can be printed on both sides. The fabric is often used in conjunction with lighting which produces an almost 3D aesthetic. The veil fabric is light weight and semitransparent, but your brand won’t these displays create a point of intrigue to your display when paired with the right light.
When choosing a fabric that is right for you, take into consideration the purpose of your display, location and intended message to ensure that the fabric you select will cater to requirements. There is an array of different fabrics and you will be sure to find something to suit you.

Categories
Fashion and Beauty

Radical Highlight Shades That Work Well For Blondes

Being blonde might have its case of having more fun but when it comes to colouring your hair you can be stuck with your hands in your tresses. Fear of ruining your colour or have your hair fall off in clumps keep a lot of you out of the salon and safely at home stroking your gorgeous sunshine hair. Yet after a few years of the same colour, anyone can get bored and that’s why you sometimes have to step out of your comfort zone and try something completely new.
Nowadays hairdressers know what will work and what won’t so it’s easy to book a session where you can just talk about the different options that you can choose from, and if there’s something you’d really like to have done. They will tell you about after care and how to keep the colour for as long as possible, what shampoos to avoid and what shampoos to use etc. They have an entire arsenal up their sleeves which some of us don’t even know about.
So here are a few radical highlight shaded that will work well with blondes:
 

Caramel blonde

Think Jennifer Aniston seasons 9 and 10 Friends era. The colour that had many women green with envy. Today it’s easy to do and with the right hairdresser you can channel your inner Rachel and rock it like you were meant to.
 

Strawberry blonde

We were all at one point or another envious of any woman who was natural a strawberry blonde. Well, gone are the days of envy and here are we are just a short trip from our local salon where they can work their magic.
 

Red

Nowadays there are so many possibilities that you won’t know how you will every decide. And when opting for a red shade you do have more than a few options to choose from. Red and blonde have always been a beautiful combination and your hairdresser is the person who can make it happen for you.
 

Buttery blonde

Oh, the California blonde, a shade that conjures up trips to the beach and pool parties. Where summer is endless and everyone is having a great time thanks to all the vitamin D.
The buttery Californian blonde highlights are for the woman who loves the outdoors and want her hair to resemble that lifestyle. So add these gorgeous highlights if your blonde hair is a bit dull and not picking up on all the lovely sunshine.
 

Rose

This is an absolute favourite and done right will turn heads wherever you go. It’s such a gorgeous colour that needs to be shown off and if you decide to go this route you will not be disappointed and probably be back to touch up your highlights for more than a few months.
 
It doesn’t matter what shade of blonde you are there is a beautiful shade out there for you. Even if you’re someone who wants to rock hot pin highlights just have a chat with your hairdresser Sydney and look at the options.

Categories
Technology

List of Devices You Need to Build A Smart Home

The ‘smart home’ is now a popular topic among many homeowners and tech-savvy individuals, and for the right reasons. And if you are just starting to join the conversations, well it’s never too late to hop in and discover the buzz that comes with the technology. Simply put, the concept of smart home is linked to automation and control, whether in the form of entertainment, security of doing your everyday tasks at home. In fact, with an emerging industry for smart home, you can automate any part or aspect of your home depending on your needs and lifestyle.
So how do you experience a smart home, and how can you make that big shift from a traditional home to one that’s automated and smart? Well, it starts with the selection and use of popular smart devices that can automate some of the tasks at home, from security to entertainment. Here, we list down some of the popular smart devices that you can get to build a smart home, today.
 

How about smart doorbell for your home?

Smart things start as soon as you enter your living space. And it can be done by a smart doorbell, an internet-connected unit that notifies the mobile phone of the homeowner in case a guest arrives at the front door. There are a number of brands now competing for attention, but Nest Hello manages to out-smart the other contenders. As one of the best smart doorbells in the market, Nest Hello comes with an optional facial recognition feature, and integrates with Google Home speakers and Nest Cam IQ. And if you have invested into the Google smart home ecosystem, this smart doorbell is a great option.
 

Monitor who’s outside with a smart outdoor security camera

Even if you are inside your home you still want to to take full control of your surroundings, and discover who’s outside. To do this, you may need a smart outdoor security camera that can help you monitor the activities in a smart way. A popular option available for homeowners is Netgear Arlo Pro, a smart camera that allows you to monitor the activities indoor and outdoor using just one camera. With this security camera, you get to capture activities and store it on a cloud, which you can use for free for 7 days. Also, it comes with a rechargeable battery that when fully charged, can lasts for 6 months!
 

Control the light, create a scene with smart switches

Compared to your regular light switches, the smart switches are connected to a Wi-Fi network, and allows you to control the lights even if you are not at home. A popular option available for customers right now is Lutron Caseta In-Wall Wireless Smart Lighting Kit which works best if you have Alexa or Apple’s Home Kit. This smart switch is easy to use, and comes with scene management, geo-fencing and a security mode that will allow you to show that people are at home even if you are not.
 

Stream music and ask for questions along the way with smart speakers

For many individuals, the traditional speakers are no longer relevant in the age of Artificial Intelligence. Thanks to Google Assistant and Alexa from Amazon, speakers have become smart and well-rounded assistants as well. Aside from streaming sounds, these smart speakers are known to perform number of tasks, connect to the internet and work with streaming services like Pandora, YouTube and Spotify. Two leading AIs are competing for consumer attention- Google Assistant and Alexa. For those looking for an entry-level yet competent desktop speaker, then the Google Home Mini is recommended. For a full-featured smart speaker, the ones with Alexa like the 2017 version of Amazon Echo is a smart choice.
 

Live in color with smart bulbs

Bulbs are reliable sources of illumination in different parts of the house. But if you think that bulbs are still boring, well think again. Today, smart homes are known fitted with smart bulbs which have the capability to change its color to suit your needs, lifestyle and personal wants. The great thing about these smart bulbs is that they are versatile and can perform a number of tasks- they dim, can be controlled anywhere and can change colors. Lifx Mini is a popular smart bulb available in the market which is loaded with colors and features.
This is just a shortlist of the top smart devices that you can add to your home. At the end of the day, the choice of smart devices for your smart home will depend on your lifestyle and priorities. Are you the type of person who prioritizes security, or you prefer to put a premium on your entertainment requirements? The choice of smart devices eventually depends on how you answer the question.

Categories
Home and Garden

Inground VS above ground tanks

In any residential area, water tanks have proved to be crucial. Whether you are using council water or borehole water, you need a water tank, the question is which tank? The long debate of whether inground water tanks are better than above ground water tanks seems to be far from over. Each of these water tanks has advantages that are convincing. However, the cons are also many. So if you are thinking of getting a water tank, consider the pros and cons of each option before making your decision. Here are just a few things you might need to know about each option.
The most compelling reason to fit an underground water tank is that no one will know it’s there. Although you may see some piping, the tank itself is often hidden deep in the ground. Most storage tanks are normally huge. If they are to be set up above ground they would take up a lot of space that would otherwise be useful. So if you want to have a garden on your porch or an outdoor living space, an inground water tank is the best option for you. Moreover, a huge structure set up beside your house takes away the beauty of your home. Inground water tanks look good because they are not there to be seen, unlike above ground tanks that can be an eyesore.
Underground water tanks are protected from the elements. In Australia, temperatures can drop to extreme lows and this means water in tanks may freeze. Frozen water is unusable. Underground water tanks are protected from the heat and the cold. Inground tanks can maintain a steady water temperature all year round. If the weather report is querying a hurricane, you can be certain your underground water tank will remain safe. Besides having protection from the elements, underground water tanks are also protected from vandalism.
above ground tank
The biggest cons of underground water tanks lie in their build. The cost of building an inground water tank is high. Excavation of the site is a costly affair. Moreover, underground water tanks need reinforcement to withstand the weight of the soil covering it and also the water in it. Underground water tanks also require a pumping system. This system has high installation and running costs. Additionally, it is difficult to tell if there are any cracks in your underground tank and not all soil types can accommodate this type of tank.
In Australia, above ground water tanks are popular. This is because they are cheaper than underground water tanks. The installation cost of above ground water tanks is low and more often than not a pumping system is not required. The build of an above ground water tank is simple and reinforcement is rarely required. The maintenance cost of above ground water tanks is significantly low. This is owed to the fact that any cracks or other damages to the tank can easily be seen and quickly attended to. If you are creative enough, you can use an above ground water tank to revamp the aesthetics of your house. If the tank is properly camouflaged it can work well with the styling of your property. If you are running a business, openly displaying your above ground water tank can add to your eco-friendly credentials.
Above ground, water tanks are open to destruction and vandalism. From the piping to the tank itself, all the components of above water tanks are open to destruction. Harsh weather conditions like hurricanes can also destroy your water tank. Moreover, your water may freeze during the winter or heat up during the summer. These temperature variations can render your water useless. With above-ground water tanks, there is only so much water you can store. Above ground, water tanks are often limited by the space available. Such tanks are better for properties that are rarely going to need the stored water for crucial purposes. Big above ground water tanks require a special platform to hold the weight of the tank. This is certain to raise the installation costs significantly. Moreover, depending on the position of the water tank, a pumping system may still be required if the water is to reach the household.
Before you decide whether to install an inground tank or an above ground tank, there are some things you must take into consideration. Your geographical location determines the cost of installing an underground tank. Rocky areas are more difficult and more expensive to excavate. Moreover, clay soil is not the ideal soil for installing underground water tanks. If you live in an area that experiences extremely cold winters and hot summers, an underground water tank is your best bet. On the other hand, if you want to keep an eye on your tank and reduce on maintenance costs, go for an above ground water tank. Clearly, there is a lot to consider before choosing the best tank for your premises. Don’t leave room for regret, choose a tank that will match up to all your needs.
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Home and Garden

Do you need council approval to install a water tank?

Installing a water tank may not seem like a big deal, and in some cases, if you have the right set of technical skills, you can do it on your own. However, a lot of other factors have to be considered, such as size, location, plumbing, and public utilities. A lot of these requirements need the intervention of local government units, so depending on where you live, it’s a good idea to check in with your council. Here are some of the areas where you might need their go-ahead before you set up any kind if water storage unit.
 

Tank size and materials

When people are deciding on the size of the tank that they’d like, they typically focus on their weekly or monthly water usage. They pick a size that optimises access to water, allowing them to keep about a month’s supply at a time. However, they frequently forget to account for the weight of a full tank. A large tank will keep you well-watered, but it can also collapse the floor beneath it, especially if it’s elevated or positioned on a building.
Many councils need you to get their approval if your tank capacity is 10,000 litres or more. The council may send someone over to check your intended location and be sure it can handle the weight. Also, for concrete tanks that have to be poured onsite, you may need a construction or development license to account for the heavy machinery and noise that will be generated by the installation.
underground water tanks

Plumbing requirements

A rainwater tank could have a basic mechanism where your gutters and downpipes are redirected to collect water in the tank. It might also be a complex system of pump connections to the main house, pressure gauges to ensure smooth flow, and detention tanks to prevent flooding and control storm water. These plumbing connections need to be professionally installed to match industry standards.
You’ll have to hire a licensed, accredited plumber, and council officials may want to come and inspect the piping to ensure quality. In addition, pipes and plumbing components will need to avoid interfering with sewer lines and public utilities, so the council needs to approve your chosen pathways. Many councils will ask you to install a bypass switch that facilitates your transition from municipal mains to your personal water storage system. This can prevent accidental flooding as well as protecting and conserving water resources.
 

Installation equipment

On occasion, the issue isn’t even the tank itself. It’s more about the machinery and requirements surrounding your tank installation. For instance, if you put up your tank in the summer, it’ll be almost a year before the tank can be naturally filled by rainwater. In the meantime, you might choose to pour water from the mains into your tank, which could adversely affect the community supply, so you might want to see if your council objects.
Similarly, installing your tank may involve drilling to excavate your underground tank’s location, heavy vehicles delivering the tank itself, numerous work men moving around your property, cranes and bulldozers to put the tank in place, or cement mixers for concrete. This adds up to a lot of traffic and a lot of noise, which could pose a security risk for your neighbours, and cause a general stir in a small community. Checking in with the council makes the whole experience smoother and less disruptive for everyone involved.
 

Unique local bylaws

Sometimes, you’ve lived in an area for a long time, but you’re still unfamiliar with local regulations. Some of these laws have been in place since pre-colonial times and they may not seem particularly relevant or sensible, but as long as they’re in the books, they can presenta legal problem for you. For example, did you know that in some parts of the world it’s illegal to install private solar power panels? You have to get all your electricity from the grid.
While that’s not the case in Australia, it’s possible that there may be some seemingly archaic regulations about water use. It’s unlikely anyone will find them and enforce them, but you’re better off being on the safe side, so talk to your council officials, even if it’s just a matter of courtesy. As long as you approach them in an open manner they’ll be happy to guide you around any potential barriers to your water tank.
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