Tips on choosing the right contractor to renovate your home in Australia

When your house starts feeling dated and sort of drab, you don’t need to look for another place to live. You want a good contractor to renovate your home – top to bottom. A good professional can create miracles and the only problem is how to find the right one. Here’s all you need to know about choosing the right contractor.

  1. Make a plan

Maybe top to bottom is not really necessary, maybe it’s just the kitchen and dining area. You need to decide what is the extent of the renovations your house needs. Write down all the work you’d like done so you’ll know exactly what to tell the contractor.

  • Make a list of contractors in your area

The first thing you’ll want to do is google the home contractors in your area. Check out their websites, look at ratings and customer google reviews and write down the ones that seem OK to you. Check out their Before/After galleries.

Also, it’s always good to ask around, talk with friends, family or neighbors and see if they can recommend somebody they’ve worked with and add them to your list.

  • Ask for quotes

Contact all the contractors on your list. Explain the kind of work you have in mind and ask for an estimate. Don’t be surprised if their estimates fall in the same range, but be wary of those who go over the top or make a really low offer. You can also ask for a time estimate since such projects typically turn your life upside down. You don’t want to live on a construction site for the next six months!

  • Interview the selected contractors

Next step is to ask to meet the contractors on your shortlist. Have them come by the house and talk to them about your requirements. Listen carefully to their solutions. You want somebody who sounds competent and comes up with easy solutions. Something that sounds overly complicated will probably end up costing a lot and might turn out quite unnecessary.

  • Ask for references

Besides checking their online reviews, ask to talk to former clients. See if they were satisfied and ask if the work was delivered within the agreed time frame. Most important ask if the contractor stayed within the initial budget or did they keep making demands for more money.

  • Ask for a criminal background check

If these people are going to be in your house for a long time, they’ll also have access to your valuables. It’s always smart to ask for a background check. Ask the business owners if they run background checks on their employees. You don’t have to be ashamed to ask such a thing. These guys will be in your house and around your kids for weeks if not months. You don’t want dangerous people in your house.

If they cannot provide police checks for their employees, suggest using an online character check agency that sends you back the results in a couple of days. It won’t inconvenience them in any way since everything is done online, applying for a background check only takes a few minutes and you can do it over the phone even. It’s easy and it gives you peace of mind. These days, criminal record checks are relatively easy to obtain. In states like New South Wales, you can apply online. It is also important to note that police checks do come with a small cost involved and even in places like NSW (e.g. Sydney) whilst you can get a police check in NSW online, you cannot get a police check online in NSW for free which is a common misconception when people request police character checks. There is no such thing as a free check as you will see from the official website link given here. They normally cost around $48 AUD or so so keep the cost in mind.

Now that you’ve made up your mind, make sure to read the contract carefully, including the fine print. The devil is in the details, you know that. Good luck with your project!

Product Review: V2 Pro Series 3

V2 Cigs have been around for years they were one of the original electronic cigarette manufacturers and are known around the world as makers of high quality electronic cigarettes. The V2 Pro Series 3 is perfect vape for all your stealth vaping needs, as it looks like a regular electronic cigarette and doesn’t produce much visible vapor. You can also easily switch the cartridges around depending on what you choose to vape. However, because of this small size, it also has a small capacity, so this is really for more of a solo vaper.

In e-cigarette mode, the V2 Pro shines, besting other e cigs that are in its class and price range with good vapor production. Those who prefer a hit akin to traditional cigarettes will enjoy the V2 Pro immensely. There is also a ten-second cut-off time to prevent e-liquid from tasting burnt. The tank attachment for this device are quite impressive. Unlike other tanks where I have experience several leaks while testing, the V2 Pro proves it’s a solid Vape pen. Clouds are not as massive as other e-cigarettes and tank combos, but the vapor it delivers is warm and satisfying to the user.

The V2 Pro features a two minute automatic shut off which to help minimize incidents of overheating over using the battery.  The magnetic connection of a V2 Cigs 3-in-1 removes threading issues and also unifies the exterior appearance of this electronic cigarette/vaporizer. The connection is made sturdier by the fact that your cartridge slots into a portal shaped to accept its size and shape. All cartridges feature the same dimensions, but smart technology differentiates each one for the benefit of V2 Cig’s Pro Series 3 rechargeable battery.

If you’re looking for an affordable pen vaporizer with stealth in mind, or a pen that can do dry herbs, this is the vape for you. For $59.99, you can own the base. But it’s useless without at least one cartridge since no other company has introduced magnetic connections yet. That’s the price you pay to replace your battery when it runs out of juice. A starter kit costs $62.26 and features the e liquid cartridge with a USB charger cable. Add a Loose Leaf cartridge for $26.92 and an essential oil version for the same price.

I was pleasantly surprised by the life of their Pro Series 3 battery as it lasted my entire day (roughly 8 hours of sporadic use) it lasts a long time. E liquid lasts long enough to get up to 800 puffs out of a full cartridge. While the Series 3 may not be the best at everything, it does a lot. If you need a vape that can do it all, and you don’t want multiple units, this is probably one of the best vaporizers to buy. Click here to buy.


  • Ultra small and compact
  • Very discreet and stealthy, looks like an electronic cigarette
  • Vapes dried herb evenly and thoroughly
  • Can be used with e-liquid
  • Components clip together magnetically
  • Can be used while charging
  • Charger connects to regular USB (adaptor available for car lighter)
  • One of the best vapes in it’s price range
  • Doesn’t burn herb like most vape pens


  • Features only one temperature setting
  • The heating chamber holds a very small amount of herb (about .1 of a gram)
  • Ring around the mouthpiece gets quite hot after extended use
  • Battery only lasts about 30-45 minutes per charge


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Product Feature: V2 VERTX PLUS

The VERTX PLUS brings some of the technologies that were pioneered with the V2 Pro series like the magnetic connections, drop-in cartridges and higher vapor production, to name a few examples. The VERTX PLUS is an upgraded version with variable power levels whose costs comes in at around $90. One of the VERTX PLUS cartridge should be more than sufficient for a full day of vaping (while using the lowest setting). A battery charge lasts for hours, but you aren’t in doubt of the charge life because of lights along the side of the device. The body of the VERTX PLUS has a window on the side that allows you to see the remaining e-liquid easily without removing the cartridge from the e-cig.

The vapor production of the VERTX PLUS is excellent. V2 also produces blank cartridges so that you can even use your own favorite e-cig juice in it. But if you want the prepackaged flavors they are Congress, V2 Red, Sahara, Menthol, Green Tea Menthol and Peppermint. The flavors are exactly the same as the ones that V2 sells by the bottle and in cartridge form for the original V2 Cigs e-cigarette. The VERTX PLUS cartridges of all that I have used have to be the most reliable ones to date. Even more during my testing, I didn’t experience a single “dry hit” at any voltage level. The cartridges are about as leak-free as one could ask given the amount of liquid that they hold. The air tube leading out of the cartridge does tend to collect a bit of condensation, though, so you can expect a drip here or there if the VERTX spends too much time upside down.

The VERTX PLUS is a superb e-cigarette for beginners and is a device that’s positioned to give you the best performance possible while staying within the new regulations that the FDA has set forth. So, if you’re a smoker who wants to switch to e-cigarettes right now, there is probably no better choice than the V2 VERTX PLUS. Click here to buy.


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Product Feature: V2 Pro Series 7 Vaporizer Kit

When it comes to vaporizers, I have been on the search for the perfect tool. V2 is a company that I found and and offers one hell of a product. That product is the V2 Pro Series 7 Kit includes everything . This is the one-stop tool for all your vaping needs. Some of the new features include like variable voltage and temperature settings. These are items that I specifically look for in a vaporizer. Another outstanding feature on the Series 7 is that it has a bigger storage capacity and solid battery life.

If you are familiar with the Series 3 vape pen then this is not new for I zoned in on the Series 7 since it offers cartridges for for add-on like loose leaf, e-liquid and wax. If you purchase this kit above that we are feature luckily it comes with both the e-liquid and loose leaf cartridges. Otherwise, they the cartridges are available to purchase individually. But let me tell you have these three cartridges today makes this the one of the best choices for all-in-one vaporizers.

One of my main urks about this product originally was the button pressing to get to where you need to get. I am used to it now and definitely have no issue but it did take a little bit to become a habit. To turn it on you have to click fast five times. Then you have to press two more times within a half a second…(Confused a little?)…then still flashing each of the three lines and you will be able to press it again when the level you want is lit. Lastly, once your temperature is chosen you hold the button for about 5-7 seconds which will turn on the heater. It turns off about a short period on its own and you press the button three times to turn it fully off and you will see a red light flash.

Overall, I have been very satisfied so far with this product. Once you get used to the routine above it just feels natural and I was worried at first it would be annoying but honestly not at all. I also love that the Series 7 has this smart technology so that it recognizes which cartridge type you have inserted and automatically heat to optimum vaporizing temperature. This allows you to just relax and enjoy!

Product Review “Cloud V Phantom Dry Herb Vaporizer”

I have tested out many different Vaporizers over the last year and I haven’t really been 100% satisfied….that is until I found the Cloud V Phantom Premium Herbal Vaporizer. The Cloud V Phantom is easily the best and easiest product that I have used to date. It features an optimized heating chamber and really sleek thin durable design. I simply love the look of it. Ease of use is also what you are looking for with a vaporizer and this one is as easy as they can.

The Cloud V Phantom has three heating temperature settings. All you have to do is load your product, press it three times to turn it on and get it started and then up the temperature that you enjoy. It delivered a smooth even hit every time. The battery also lasted a decent time and did not require constant charging. The cleaning of the product was also very easy and make no mess.

When you are looking for a vaporizer, you also need to be concerned with the output smell. Even though with using a vaporizer, you don’t get the same intensity of smell, so of them do not handle the smell well. This device did a great job of heating up without combustion. It also has a very handy auto shutoff time. If you are looking for a perfect introduction to vaping, I would highly recommend this product.


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Product Review “Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner”

We recently reviewing the Dyson DC59 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner and it was quite the vacuum cleaner but after a few months of using it, I have noticed that it isn’t the best with carpets. I wanted to test out another Dyson product that would would have a little more power to it on carpeted floor. The DC65 Animal Complete is named to be include the strongest suction of any vacuum. So I wanted to try the best. Wow, it was not lying either, this is literally the best vacuum that I have ever used.

This vacuum cleaner has a self-adjusting cleaner head and re-engineered brushbar that dig deeper into carpets to remove more dust and dirt than the average vacuum, while still kicking ass on hard floors. The DC65 uses remodeled Radial Root Cyclone technology and uses the latest Ball technology and comes with a Tangle-free turbine tool to remove hair from carpets and has extra tools engineered for pet hair and ground-in dirt.

Why is this Radial Root Cyclone technology important in a vacuum? Well, it is pretty cool if you look into it since it uses the airflows to help remove more dirt, dust and allergens from the home. Both myself and I have pretty nasty allergies and most of our house is carpeted, so it is important for us to have a good way to clean. This vacuum also comes with a reconfigured brush bar that includes 25% more power and drives bristles deeper into carpets removing more dirt.

I have never used a upright vacuum before with Ball technology and it definitely makes things a lot easier. When it says ball, it actually means a ball. This sits on a ball that pivots on a dime allowing you to steer with a turn of the wrist. Like all Dyson’s they are hygienic and quick and easy to empty as well. The two brushes included here are a multi-angle and a stiff bristle brush.

The Dyson DC65 Animal Complete also comes with Zorb carpet maintenance powder and a Dyson tool bag to hold all accessories. Never before has cleaning been so easy. I swear if you aren’t using a Dyson product you are not cleaning as efficiently as you could be. I can’t wait to see what they have planned with the upcoming Dyson 360 Eye! Stay tuned to Media Mikes as we will be covering it first hand!

Product Review “Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System”

Who doesn’t love coffee? I am not the kind of person that in order to start the day needs to have a cup of coffee but I do though my coffee very much. I also would much rather make a cup at home and bring it with me than stopping at a Starbucks, 7-11 or any other store on my way into the office. In the past, I have always made a whole pot of coffee, take a cup and leave the rest or end up drinking much more than I wanted due to a whole brewed pot. Personally, when I thought of getting a Keurig systems in the past, I never liked the idea that it just made one cup. Well, my eyes have been opened since the new Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System is a dream come true and has completely sold on the product.

When Keurig promotes the fact that they get “The Perfect Cup Every Time”, I had to be skeptical. Literally when I brewed my cup, the temperature was spot on and there was a great balance of water blended in. I initially tasted five different cups and each one was simply outstanding. So flavorful and fresh! This system is said to be ready and brews in under one minute, whether it is coffee, tea, hot cocoa or iced beverage and there is nothing but truth that There are three cup sizes to choose from and for us travelers there is a removable drip tray to accommodate travel mugs. A cool feature for this system is that it also comes in new colors in partnership with Pantone, including: Rhubarb, Patriot Blue and Coconut White

This package includes a Water Filter Kit, which should be changed out ever 2 months or every 200 cups for optimal flavor. Also included is a bonus 12 count K-Cup variety box to show off the variety that Keurig posseses. The flavors are Green Mountain Coffee® Breakfast, Green Mountain Coffee Hazelnut, Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend, Caribou Coffee Caribou Blend, The Original Donut Shop Regular, The Original Donut Shop Decaf, Eight O’Clock The Original, Starbucks Pike Place Roast, Barista Prima Coffeehouse Italian Roast, Celestial Seasonings English Breakfast Black Tea, Cafe Escapes Chai Latte, Swiss Miss® Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa. I am torn between The Original Donut Shop Regular and Eight O’Clock The Original being my favorite.

There is absolutely no shortage in variety when it comes to the Keurig. There are over 250 different gourmet brands to choose from. We all know how important coffee is to some people and Keurig aims to make sure that you can have your options. Whether it is coffee, tea or even hot cocoa, Keurig give you many choices. hot or even cold…this unit can even brew over ice for your favorite chilled beverage. For those who are concerned about space, the dimensions of the unit is 13.0H x 9.8W x 13.3D. The system also includes a quiet brew technology and a removable 48 oz water reservoir…honestly what more can you ask for? This is my first experience with a Keurig system and I have to admit, I think I am hooked…now I am curious to see what other types of systems they have.

Product Review “Dyson DC59 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner”

About 5-6 years ago, I was really getting stressed out about cleaning out house. We have three cats at the time and between the fur and litter everywhere, it was just a mess. We literally went through three vacuum in a few months and were not satisfied with anything we got…this is till we discovered the Dyson brand. Wow, I have never been so happy with cleaning using their products. On thing that still caused me occasional issues is the cord. I wanted a vacuum with the power and efficiency of a Dyson but without a cord.  Well, my prayers have been answer with the new Dyson DC59 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner.

This vacuum cleaner is one of the most sleek and downright coolest vacuum that I have ever seen. Like I mentioned it comes with no cord and no hassle. It has a docking station, which is setup to be wall mounted, that charges the machine. So it will be ready to use whenever you need it and most importantly you will not need to keep plugging and unplugged the vacuum at each room. We do not have a big house but during our weekly cleaning, we have to plug and unplug three times in order to clean the entire house. Now, all that extra work has been eliminated.

So I am sure you are wondering, how long this thing is going to last on a charge. Well, it is quite impressive running at 24 minutes of cleaning time when using the run-time enhancing trigger. It also claims to suck up as much dust as a conventional vacuum and when I tested it, I was very impressed. In fact, this actually has 75% more brush bar power and removes more dirt from carpet. It works just like my big Dyson, better in fact. It is much quieter and weighs about barely anything.  I love that is has a balanced build, so it is not top heavy at all. All the key components are located around the grip for easy handling from the floor to the ceiling.

Speaking of handheld cleaning, with this vacuum there is no more awkward hose. This Dyson DC59 comes with a brand new brush bar which includes a direct-drive motor for edge to edge cleaning. Other additional tools are included as well to clean tight gaps, on the stairs and in the car. I have a two year old daughter and let’s just say my car needs a cleaning from cheerios to cookies all on my car floor. I would have never done this in the past because I would have had to drag the big vacuum in the garage, find a place to put it in etc but this new cordless vacuum changed that entire experience and made things much easier. You can now just remove the long bar as seen above and connect a smaller brush and it works like a mega powerful dust buster.

If you are not impresses yet, then let me throw some big technical terms at you describing just how amazing this is. Firstly like all Dyson products, this comes with a two-year warranty on parts and labor, which is a such a great reassurance (and being an owner of a Dyson for over 5 years, we have never needed this). This vacuum is powered by the Dyson digital motor V6, which spins up to 110,000 timesa minute – up to 3 times faster than conventional motors. The DC59 also using 2 Tier Radial cyclones and carbon fiber cleaner head technology. It seems weird to get excited about a vacuum cleaner, so trust me I realize that but this is not a vacuum cleaner it is a work of art. Dyson is changing the world of cleaning and this is easily one of their best products. I highly recommend it.


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