Photos: 20 Of Our Favourite Views

Whether it’s captivating cityscapes or breathtaking vistas, Open2view’s photographers get to work among the best views in New Zealand and Australia.

A great view can really make a property. It’s little wonder the owners of a Wellington apartment, whose sweeping harbour views were blocked by a four-metre-high wooden fence, took the matter to court. They won the battle and were awarded $72,500 this week.

With that in mind, we asked our talented team of photographers to show us some of the best views they’ve spotted from the decks, windows, gardens and skies of the properties they photograph.

Take a look at the stunning results in the gallery below.


Imagine having those views from your “office”? Well you could! Find out more about our franchise opportunities across New Zealand and Australia.

Where do you think the best views can be found in New Zealand and Australia? Let us know in the comments below or on our NZ and AU Facebook pages.

 

Is Your Home An Accident Waiting To Happen?

sprinkler

Carpets, power-cords and sprinklers may not be as harmless as they look.

They are among the household objects responsible for the most garden and home-related Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) claims – along with the more obvious items, such as ladders, chainsaws and hammers.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of dangerous objects, a sprinkler and a bit of carpet aren’t the first things that spring to mind.

But they are responsible for many trips and slips – nearly half of all home injuries are caused by falls and it’s not just those in their early and twilight years that make up those numbers.

People aged between 25 and 64 make up a large percentage of all falls in the home.

Figures released this week by the ACC show gardening was behind 56,282 claims submitted last year – worth a massive $49 million and up from 54,516 the previous year.

A sprinkler was the cause of 52 claims. One unlucky sprinkler user “tripped over the hose, missed step onto path and jarred [their] knee and hip” after just switching on a sprinkler.

Looks like the sprinkler and hose aren’t such an innocent pair after all.

We all know the old adage that more people are injured at home than anywhere else so here’s some advice* from ACC about how to reduce the risks.

*Most of the advice is just a lot of common sense, so we’ve compiled a list of a few things that could strike a cord (not literally, obviously).

How to reduce the risks…

Bathroom

About 40 per cent of homes have dangerously hot water, meaning there are more than 560,000 hot water burns waiting to happen…

The ideal temperature for water is 55°C when it comes out of the tap, and 60°C in your cylinder.

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It needs to be at least 60°C in the cylinder to keep bacteria from growing, which could make you sick.

Get your hot water checked by a registered plumber to ensure it’s at the right temperature.

Electrical cords

Never leave a cord hanging over the edge of a kitchen bench or table where a child could pull the appliance down on themselves.

Laundry

Put dirty laundry in a hamper so it’s not on the floor creating a tripping hazard.

Try not to install cupboards at head-height above the washing machine – hitting your head every time you do a load of washing can’t be good for the old noggin.

Kitchen

Take your time – so often we’re rushing around cooking meals and that’s when injuries happen. Slow down and be safe.

Keep pets and small children away from the kitchen – as much for your own sake as theirs. Pets and kids milling about on the floor are responsible for many a trip in the kitchen (in our house anyway…).

When building or redesigning a kitchen, don’t make the kitchen a travel route to other parts of the house, or the only route to the backyard – you don’t want it to be a ‘high traffic’ area.

Floors

Firmly anchor rugs so they don’t slide or bunch up and cause you to fall.

rug

Keep clutter and cords out of your way.


Go to the ACC website for more tips on home safety. 

Do you have any helpful tips for avoiding injuries in the home? Or something you wish you had or hadn’t done before you had an injury at home?

Let us know in the comments below or on our NZ and AU Facebook pages.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Chimney…

Fireplace

When was the last time you had a professional look at your chimney or fireplace?

Blocked chimneys can cause chimney fires or carbon monoxide to build up in your home – so it’s not one of those maintenance tasks that you should put to the bottom of the to-do list and subsequently forget about.

The experts say that chimneys should be cleaned at least once a year but I’m willing to bet that for a lot of us it’s been a while since ours had a check-up – if ever, for others.

In our Autumn Home Maintenance Checklist we mentioned the importance of having a professional chimneysweep maintain your chimney and fireplace. Now that winter has reared it’s ugly head and our fireplaces are getting a good workout, let’s take a closer look at what needs to be done.

Chimney experts Complete Chimney Care answer our burning questions (sorry)…

Why do I need my chimney cleaned?

The chimney flue is essentially a household exhaust pipe – funneling away soot, hot ashes, smoke and gases from your home. An annual inspection and clean should be done at least once a year to check for cracks, holes or faults and to remove soot, creosote, birds nests and other blockages.
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Will my house insurance cover chimney fires?

Most insurance companies won’t pay out on claims caused by chimney fires unless the chimney has been swept by a professional chimneysweep and been inspected on an annual basis.

My fire is not drawing properly…

This is usually the result of a cold or obstructed flue or insufficient height relative to the ridge of the roof or an adjacent building. Large unnecessary voids at the base of your chimney may also stop the fire drawing properly. Or if you have double glazing or very efficient draught excluders around doors, it may prevent an adequate flow of air for the fire to work correctly.

My fire creates excessive soot…

This can be the result of a lazy and inefficient flue. Your flue may not be the right diameter for the fire or stove, or it may not be properly insulated, meaning fumes do not rise fast enough and soot deposits are created. Excessive soot and tar can be a real fire hazard, particularly if the chimney structure has deteriorated.

I’ve got mortar falling into my fireplace…

Bits of brick or mortar falling down the flue indicate a serious deterioration in the chimney structure. This deterioration normally occurs from the inside of the flue but it might also indicate weakness on the outside of the chimney.

My chimney breast feels hot…

This means that the chimney has deteriorated and may be dangerous. If stains also appear on the chimney breast this is a sign that tar or acids have condensed and are eating into the chimney mortar and brickwork.

I want my chimney removed. Should I do it myself?

Removing chimneys is dangerous work, so the simple answer is no.  A small chimney can weigh around half a tonne, whilst bigger ones can weigh up to eight tonnes. Chimneys built before 1900 are made with lime mortar much of which has now degraded to dust.  Weight is the only thing holding them together. Brick structures are expected to last for 50 years so any buildings older than the 1960’s should be inspected by a professional to make sure they’re safe.

Have you had any problems with your chimney? Did you know the importance of annual checkups or the dangers of a blocked chimney?
Let us know in the comments below or on our NZ and AU Facebook pages.
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What Kids Want From A New Home

Parents might be after double garages and large living areas*, but plenty of hiding places and treehouses are at the top of children’s priorities for a new home.

*Or just a home under $1 million, am I right Aucklanders and Sydneysiders?

A new survey of under-10s has revealed youngsters’ priorities when it comes to property and, not all that surprisingly, a home’s proximity to good schools doesn’t feature on their wish lists.

Estate agent Chestertons surveyed 3,000 parents with children aged between 5 to 10 years who were looking for a new home.

Both parents and children were asked to list their top five must-haves for their new abode.

 

Kids house survey table

Personally, I’m leaning more towards the kids’ wish list. And unless there is one almighty property crash soon, it looks like a tree house might be all I can afford anyway.

The pint-sized property moguls were a little off the mark about the out-of-control housing market, with the average child thinking they could score a home for about $6,000. Bless.

Most of the children also hoped to own a home by the time they were 19. If only…

When quizzed on property-related terms, the youngsters had their own ideas about what it meant to climb the property ladder.

The majority of them believed the property ladder was a “ladder kept at home so people can reach high places”.

And 70 per cent of them thought house deeds meant “chores that needed doing around the house”.

Oh, to be young again. Good luck with your search kids!