If you’re in the process of choosing a timber for your home’s flooring, you’ve probably realised that there are a lot of different species available and that narrowing your options down can be quite the challenge. Blackbutt timber flooring is one that has been growing in popularity over the years – part of the reason for this is that it’s an incredibly attractive and durable hardwood that will stand the test of time in any Australian home.

But how does its beauty and durability benefit you? We have outlined just some of the main benefits in the list below, all of which combine to give this hardwood the beauty and durability it is known for.

• Colour

Believe it or not, blackbutt is actually available in a range of different colours. It generally ranges from cream to pale brown but sometimes has a tinge of pink. The colour you receive will depend on where the hardwood has been grown –nutrients in the soil, the climate and a wealth of other factors go into determining its colour. It means that you will have some nice variations in the floorboards.


• Stains & Oils

Most people who install blackbutt timber flooring in their homes like to stain or oil the surface to really bring out the colour and natural grain (as well as to offer it some protection against wear and tear). The great thing about this hardwood is that it takes stains and oils quite well, resulting in rich colours that are sure to be the envy of your friends and family. A range of colours and consistencies can be used.


• Fire Resistance

Did you know that blackbutt is one of the least flammable eucalypts in existence? In fact, it usually survives most moderate size bushfires. It is one of only seven timber species that has been found suitable by the Building Commission of Victoria for use in bushfire prone areas. If you live in one of these areas or just have a general awareness of fires in the home, this hardwood could be just the solution.


• Toughness

The strength and durability of blackbutt means that it is suitable for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications, besides the traditional flooring. This means that the same timber can be used for multiple elements around your home, creating a sense of cohesiveness that is really quite attractive. This also means that you can walk all over the hardwood without fear of damage, even in high heels!


• Versatility

Thanks to its neutral colouring, even texture and typically straight grain, you’ll find that blackbutt actually complements a wide variety of decors (from contemporary through to antique). Some timbers are distinctly better suited to one style of décor over another, but this one is incredibly versatile and can be used in pretty much every Australian home with ease. It will look as if it has always been there.


We hope that this article has encouraged you to consider blackbutt timber flooring for your home. As well as being an incredibly attractive hardwood that will work well in any home, it’s a very durable material that will stand up to wear and tear quite well. If you have any questions or concerns about using blackbutt around your home, be sure to contact a timber expert. They will be able to make recommendations based on your needs.



It should come as no surprise that “custom home builder” is actually a pretty loose term – it can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Your expectations of what you want, for example, could be very different to what the company actually specialise in. It’s important to remember that not every builder is right for every project. In this article, we have outlined the pros and cons of the 3 main types you have to choose between.

Estate Development

Once almost unheard of, estates seem to be cropping up everywhere these days. As the name suggests, this is an existing floor plan within a predetermined neighbourhood that you can add your own personal touches to. Although some customisation might be possible, your design choices are typically limited to a selection of fixtures and finishes (for flooring, cabinetry, counter surfaces, lighting, hardware and so on).

·         Pros – This is a good choice for those who are budget-conscious, don’t want a whole lot of input during the design process or who need to move into a brand new home quickly.

·         Cons – If you take this route, you’ll need to be prepared to make some trade offs in your home. Customisations (such as making rooms larger or ceilings higher) are rarely allowed.

Cookie-Cutter Home

These sorts of builders will typically have a selection of floor plans that you can choose from and they will build on land that you already own. What sets these sorts of homes apart from estate developments is that some customisations will be allowed – expanding square footage, adding an island to the kitchen or even adding garage bays is generally no problem. You have the freedom to add a bit more space or a few more features.

·         Pros – Using one of these builders can actually save you time by limiting the amount of design decisions you need to make – simply choose the floor plan that best meets your need and tweak it.

·         Cons – These builders are more likely to have relationships with a select number of suppliers. This means that you may not have as many options in fixtures and finishes as you would like.

Premium Design

These custom home builders offer you the freedom to build whatever you want, wherever you want. Most of these companies will have an in-house architect and design team, which simplifies the process and ensures that the home is exactly as you envision it. Although these customers will have existing relationships with trusted suppliers, you can also choose fixtures and finishes from a larger selection of suppliers if you desire.

·         Pros – Your home will be completely unique and tailored to your lifestyle. You also have complete freedom over the design of the floor plan, plus your choice of fixtures and finishes.

·         Cons – There will be more design decisions to be made, which may lead to a longer design process and build time (it typically takes 8 to 10 months for the whole process to be complete).

So, which type of custom home builder is right for you? We hope that the information provided above has given you a better idea of the three main types and how they differ from each other. At the end of the day, the builder that is right for you will depend on a number of factors, including your budget and how much control you want over the design. If you’re still not sure, it doesn’t hurt to meet with a few companies to see what they have to offer and estimate the costs of hiring a custom home builder.


Swimming pools, regardless of the materials used in their construction, are vulnerable to different forms of leaks. If you’ve noticed some water loss, remember that a leak isn’t the only cause – splashing and evaporation could also be the problem. If it turns out that you do have a leak, don’t panic – these sorts of issues can be expensive to fix, but having an idea of the costs prior to contacting a pool contractor can really put things in perspective.



Cost Breakdown

·         Leak Detection – Although there are a few methods that you can use to test for leak yourself, if you’re unable to find the source you should contact a professional. Depending on the company you have hired, you should expect this service to set you back between $300 and $400. There is a more superior service available, but it will cost you extra.

·         Plumbing & Pipe Leaks – These can only be detected by performing a pressure test on each line or a meter test. Whilst you can perform this yourself, it is recommended that you hire a professional. Depending on the company you have hired, you should expect this service to set you back between $200 and $300.

·         DIY Repair – If you’re convinced that there’s a leak but have chosen to complete the repairs yourself, we recommend using Fix-A-Leak. It diffuses through the water, sealing any leaks that it encounters. One tube costs about $25 and is enough to do most pools. You won’t have to drain the water, nor will you get wet. Patch kits are also available. Do it yourself and professional pool repairs for common issues.

·         Tile Replacement – This cost will vary depending on the type of tiles you have selected. Porcelain (being the most common) will be cheaper, whereas glass will be more expensive. Keep this in mind when making your initial selection. On average, however, you can expect to spend about $20 per linear foot plus $100 per skimmer.

·         Replastering – If the shell of the swimming pool is riddled with leaks and cracks, it may need to be replastered. This requires the whole thing to be drained and a contractor to apply another load of plaster to the entire shell, filling in any gaps. This can cost between $2500 and $4000, so can prove to be quite a costly exercise.

Additional Considerations & Costs

·         Most leaks can be repaired without having to drain the pool. However, if the problem lies in the plaster, draining will be necessary.

·         Changing seasons can actually cause the plaster to freeze, thaw and eventually crack. It’s important to properly prepare the pool for the winter to prevent this from occurring.

·         Leaks can occur at any time and in different places. With proper detection, these leaks can be repaired at the same time.

·         Many swimming pool repairs can be avoided by staying on top of maintenance. Clean it regularly, check and maintain the water levels regularly, and winterise it when required.

At the end of the day, determining the most affordable way to fix a swimming pool leak depends on a number of factors. Some of these include the type of leak, whether you have been able to find it or not, and whether you’re able to handle the repair yourself or not. In many cases, we actually find that the most affordable option is to hire a professional – not only will this ensure that the leak is fixed correctly the first time around, it will be covered by a warranty.