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ULTIMATE December, 2018 Issue 8

Real Estate and Renovators Guide


The perfect blend on page 5

Renovating How to choose the best decking material for your home Page 36

Are Shipping Container Homes Cheaper? Page 28




In this edition of the Ultimate Real Estate and Renovators Guide, you will find some lovely properties on the market across the Surat Basin and Western Downs and a brief description of the towns and areas across the region. City living isn’t for everyone. Buying or renting in cities is expensive and very competitive and although it has its advantages, you really need to sit down and nut out the pros and cons. Considering where to live and/or raise a family can be a difficult decision. People have varying ideals, needs, wants and outlooks. A town that suits you may not be in the equation for someone else. This publication showcases the option of choosing a “country life”, by heading out west and settling in a town with a relaxed and community feel. There are so many quaint little towns and areas that can easily provide you with a very “homely” feel and sense of belonging. You don’t have to be “way out west” to feel the difference in lifestyle. The minute you hop out of your car at your first town on your trip out west, you’ll see the welcome mat come out and feel the warmth envelop you. Quite a few of these towns are not that far away from the coast or the city either – it is nothing for locals out west to take a day trip to the “big smoke” or the beach. So, yes, you can have the best of both worlds! Also in this publication, you’ll be given the incentive to start those renovations you have been holding out on. From creative ideas, handy hints, right through to suggestions of where to source your materials, it’s all right here. So, why not consider the option of a “carefree lifestyle” in a beautiful welcoming community, where the kids can run free and explore in their own piece of paradise. It’s just a road trip away to start your journey. This is our final edition for 2018 as we head in to the Christmas and New Year holidays. We wish you all a very happy and safe “festive season” and look forward to your readership again in March 2019.

Editor: Megan Masters Designer: Haylee Thomas E: Cover: DALBY – 140 Sandalwood Avenue. For more information turn to page 5 or contact Phil Chambers on 0427 645 954 or Gary Gormley on 0427 645 954. DALBY Nicole McDougall E: CHINCHILLA Rachael Green E: ROMA, ST GEORGE, CHARLEVILLE Greg Latta E: GENERAL MANAGER Erika Brayshaw E; PUBLISHER’S INDEMNITY: Ultimate Real Estate Guide is published by News Corp Australia. Those who make advertising placement and/or supply copy material or Editorial submissions to Ultimate Real Estate Guide undertake to ensure that all such material does not infringe any copyright, trademark, defamation, libel, slander or title, breach of confidence, does not contain anything obscene or indecent, or does not infringe the trade practices act or other laws, regulations or statutes. Further to the above mentioned these persons agree to indemnify the publisher and/or its agents against any investigations, claims or judgements.

PAGE 32 Vintage furniture can sit alongside contemporary pieces. Picture: Mindi Cooke


CONTENTS Page 3: DALBY Dalby is one of the major hubs in the Darling Downs and has all the services you’ll need. Page 12: CHINCHILLA Chinchilla, home of the Big Watermelon and biennial Watermelon Festival, which is next scheduled for February 14 – 17, 2019. Page 16: MILES When in Miles, don’t forget to stop by the Historical Museum at the Information Centre, allow a few hours. Page 17: ROMA One of the bigger towns, Roma has a buzzing industrial sector, which is growing day by day. Page 22: CHARLEVILLE Charleville is rich in history and a must see would have to be the Cosmos Centre – star gazing out west is a true delight! Page 24 – 39: RENOVATION HINTS & TIPS

PAGE 5 Shipping containers are designed to be stacked. Picture: Samuel Zeller/Unsplash

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Historical Homestead Quambi House in Dalby – is now home to award winning café Urban Paddock, a favourite amongst locals and visitors.

DALBY EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR WHETHER you’re single, a young couple starting out, a family looking for the perfect place to raise the kids or retired, Dalby might be exactly what you’re looking for in a new home. Dalby has affordable real estate for just about any budget and a wealth of jobs for people looking to get out of the city and make their pay packet stretch a lot further. With a population of almost 13,000, Dalby has the quiet, country town feel with all the convenience of living in one of the largest regional centres west of Toowoomba. The vibrant CBD features a wide range of shopping options including the bustling Dalby Shopping World, which houses a plethora of franchises and local businesses including Woolworths, Big W and Amcal. A stroll down Cunningham Street offers some excellent cafes and eateries as well as specialty stores, antique shops and larger chains like Target. If you’re looking for work, few places offer so many jobs in such a wide array of industries. Industry in Dalby includes large-scale engineering, coal mining, and fuels (ethanol) as well as being a general hub to supply the region’s industries. Dalby is the centre of a diverse and productive agricultural area with rich black soil allowing the production of crops such as wheat, cotton and sorghum.

Two cotton gins are situated within 10km of the town offering seasonal and year-round employment. Other farmers choose to make their dollars raising livestock such as pigs, cattle and sheep.

IN THE MARKET: More houses were sold in Dalby last year than the previous three, which is good signs for the property market.

Families new to the area can check out three different state primary schools as well as two state high schools and a number of private schools.There are also seven options for early learning and day care. Dalby has a wide range of sports facilities, a racecourse hosting 12 meetings a year, a showground with a nearby pioneer machinery museum, an aerodrome, a hospital, over 15 churches, a civic centre for Dalby Regional Council and plenty of other services for residents. The town is the perfect place to pursue an active, outdoors lifestyle, with a wide range of sporting clubs and community groups including the Dalby Diehards and the Dalby Devils for rugby league, the Dalby Swans for AFL and the Dalby Tigers for soccer fans.

Dalby Hospital provides the majority of healthcare services for the region’s locals, while Toowoomba provides nearly any other specialist service required including world-class oncology care and is only about an hour’s drive away. Families looking to get out and about are spoiled for choice, with Dalby the perfect place to set out on day trips for bushwalking, picnicking, swimming, fishing and plenty more including enjoying regular events at places like Jondaryan Woolshed. Real estate prices in Dalby would leave many city dwellers shocked and in need of a good lie down, with fixer-uppers under $100,000 and perfect family homes in great condition for less than $300,000.

There is an indoor aquatic centre, golf club, shooting club and plenty of places for horse sports enthusiasts to put themselves and their horses through their paces.

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Architecturally designed to maximise the northern aspect, this stunning residence welcomes natural light and substantial floor plan with enough internal/external living options to entertain everyone. This four year old property is located in a first-class position, surrounded by quality homes and on a very appealing 4000sqm allotment of landscaped gardens. A sparkling in-ground heated saltwater swimming pool, bore, solar system, huge shed and many more features adds to the appeal of this executive home: • Expansive designer kitchen with caesarstone benches, 900mm Smeg oven, Asko dishwasher and Smeg built in coffee machine

• 15000 gallon rain water tanks

• Massive butlers pantry with sink and unbelievable built in storage

• Additional 6m x 9m skillion roof, 5kw Solar system

• Bore to 400 feet, drinkable water quality • 12m x 7m Shed with concrete floor with 3 phase power

• Quality shutters throughout

No expense has been spared, this home oozes quality and style. This is your dream home so make it a reality and inspect today!

• Solar hot water with gas boost (apricus system)

Prior offers considered

• Indoor/outdoor terrace overlooking the pool area

Visit for full details and inclusions

• Evaporative air conditioning, gas heating (3 points)



Expressions of Interest Closes 24th January 2019 Prior Offers Considered Agent details: Ray White Dalby Contact: Donna Cook 0414 270 032 •

140 saNDaLWOOD aVeNUe, DaLBY PRIVaTe OasIs aND aCReaGe LIVING - THe PeRFeCT BLeND You will love the tranquility this property has to offer with its extensive outdoor living options. relax on your large entertainment deck or laze around the awesome pool area in total privacy, even cook up a feast for your friends in the wood fired pizza oven! this property showcases all the features of the perfect contemporary family home: • relaxing entertainment deck area - complete with drop-down blinds, ceiling fans, electric heater, surround sound speakers and a pizza oven.

• excellent Kitchen - fully appointed, caesarstone benches, large island, stainless steel cooker & range hood.

• Spacious open plan living, dining and kitchen at the centre of the home and looking out over the rear deck and pool area.

• fully security screened; and plantation shutters on some windows.

• Sparkling Salt Water Pool with heating system, water feature, stunning tiled surrounds and privacy hedging. • ducted reverse cycle air-conditioning throughout the home.

• Colorbond Shed - 4 bay, powered, 3 x roller doors (2 x auto doors). • Carport attached - drive in under cover and direct access to the deck. • Pier & Beam construction by renowned local builder.

• Separate rumpus or Media room.

• Bore pumping 20,000 litres to a holding tank plus 5x 20,000 litre rainwater tanks

• 5 Bedrooms - all with built-in wardrobes.

• lawn featuring pop-up sprinkler systems

• Master Bedroom features a huge ensuite - twin vanity, extra large shower and walk-in robe.

• fully fenced 1 acre allotment in popular southern dalby acreage estate, only minutes to drive to all town facilities.

Contact: Shonnie Fitzsimmons 0488 706 271 or Phil Chambers 0427 645 954 or OFFICE 4662 5311 or visit


FOR saLe $649,000



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611 Ruthven Street, 4638 5222

Nick Koenig 0447 660 199

66 Drayton Street Dalby FOR SALE / FOR LEASE “Myall Precinct” • Great Opportunity to relocate your business into this precinct. • With a variety of existing businesses including food, allied health, financial services & local business offices located here, there is a choice of space from 53 sq m to 87 sq m. • Tenancy 8 - 87 sq m – currently fitted out for a hair dressing salon with substantial fitout including wash basins, chairs, stools, benches, washing machine & other associated hair salon equipment. Motivated landlord offering one of the cheapest rents in town. • Tenancy 11 - 53 sq m – fitted out for small professional office with managers office / meeting room, open work station area & lunchroom. Views over Myall Creek, Competitive rental • Tenancy 12 – 72 sq m – extensive fitout for small café / take-away including cold room, range-hood, near complete commercial kitchen, hot box, tables & chairs. Great exposure & signage opportunities fronting the highway. • All of these can be either purchased or leased, all have air-conditioning & signage opportunities with great exposure to main highway through town. • Contact me to negotiate a great deal on any of these premises.

Nick Koenig 0447 660 199

Local Knowledge & National Strength PAGE 8




Offers to lease • 499m2 building footprint including huge open area, lunchroom and amenities • Potential to split into multiple tenancies, maybe your business requires 50m2, 100m2, 150m2 • Massive land area with high exposure - great signage opportunity with thousands of passing traffic every day + 17 customer car-parks • “Commercial” zoning allowing many businesses to operate from this location • Potential to utilize detached house/office on site • available now, make your offer - Owner willing to negotiate terms! • Possible franchisee Opportunity. Call to discuss

Offers to lease

daniel Mcnamara 0417 642 965




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The grand opening of the Giant Watermelon in Chinchilla on Wednesday the 7th of November gained international exposure.

CHINCHILLA A THRIVING TOWN THANKS TO AGRICULTURE AND MINING IF YOU spend a little too long in the city you might think there is little more than dust and dying communities west of Toowoomba, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Chinchilla is one of several communities across the Western Downs thriving thanks to a combination of agriculture and mining.The town has a population of more than 6500 and real estate in the area is going strong. Homes are a good deal cheaper than in the big cities, but values continue to grow, making it a great place to invest or upgrade yourself to a beautiful family home on a big block for the price of a shoebox apartment in the city. You can pick up a beautiful, four-bedroom family home for between $200,000 - $300,000, or if you want to live the high life you could buy a stunning, architecturally-designed home with every luxury on acreage for about $600,000. A simple home or a fixer-upper can be snapped up for less than $200,000. Chinchilla has a strong community spirit and is a welcoming place to raise a family and get involved in everything it has to

offer.There is a bevy of community and sporting groups operating in the area catering to just about any interest. The Chinchilla Aquatic Centre houses an indoor 25m heated pool, an outdoor 50m pool and a gymnasium, while the Chinchilla Family Sports Centre provides facilities for many sports and clubs. People interested in touch football, rugby league, cricket, tennis, squash, motocross, gymnastics, indoor netball, taekwondo, soccer and lawn bowls are well covered. There is also a local fishing club, pony club and shooting range as well as polocrosse grounds, a race track and nine-hole golf course. Education is well covered, with a state high school, two state primary schools, a private primary school and a private Kindergarten to Year 12 college. The town is well-serviced by a public hospital which covers general medicine, surgery, obstetrics and paediatrics among a range of services, with Toowoomba located about two hours away for more complex medical issues.

The picturesque main street of Chinchilla The Chinchilla locals often finds themselves enjoying a few beers with mates at the Club or Commercial hotels, or the local RSL, on a Friday or Saturday night, but blowing the froth of a few cold ones is far from the only fun to be had. Chinchilla is one of the most important sites on the Australian campdrafting circuit and is a mecca for locals of all ages, whether or not they can tell which end of a horse is which. The annual show and race days also offer a fun chance for locals to let their hair down. The bi-annual Chinchilla Melon Festival just about doubles the town’s population for the weekend and is considered unmissable for locals. On your average weekend, however, there is still plenty to do in Chinchilla, like spending a day out in the boat at Chinchilla Weir or the Condamine River fishing or water skiing. There are also plenty of beautiful natural sights to see in the area for those keen on bushwalking or birdwatching.

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Takeaway Opportunity.... Act Now

Great position in a busy centre, The village Travel Centre is ideally positioned on the Eastern entrance to Chinchilla on the Warrego Highway. Quality equipment and all near new The business operates as a takeaway and specializes in kebabs New floor coverings, S/S sinks & benches installed in May 2018. Lease Area 61 m2 5 Year Lease to 2023 Fixed Gross Rent so NO SURPRISES with Outgoings


Owner selling due to health reasons. Awesome opportunity for the right couple. WALK IN WALK OUT For more information or to inspect contact Exclusive Marketing Agent

Warren Daniells 0427 468 591





ReTIReMeNT WITH INCOMe “Clover hill ranch” Chinchilla

• Positioned only 600 metres from Chinchilla CBD




• 12.58 Hectares (31 Acres) with 1km parkland frontage to Charley’s Creek • Large 4 b/r ranch brick home, shed, yards and guest cottage • Established function & events area with camp kitchen and amenities • 25 site operational caravan park overlooking the creek • Fantastic opportunities with caravan park income, for the horse enthusiast or just a great place to live

Price: $885,000 View:

Warren Barker 84 - 86 Warrego highway Chinchilla Qld 4413


Real Estate Sales Manager & Licenced Auctioneer Landmark Harcourts Chinchilla P: 07 4662 7806 M: 0429 893 099



PIECE OF HISTORY: The Miles Historical Village

JEWELS IN THE CROWN OF THE MILES REGION MILES Historical Village and Museum is one of Australia’s leading regional museums. It was officially opened in 1971, and over the years has developed into one of the premier tourism attractions within the region. The Village was the vision of some very inspiring community members who wanted to create a place where history could be preserved in a streetscape style for one and all to enjoy. There are currently more than 30 buildings with amazing collections and links to a bygone era. Some of these include the shell house, coach house, blacksmiths, general store, post office, bakery, Union Hotel, barbers, chemist, the beautiful Rose Cafe, a bank, hospital, and a butcher. The Village is open from 8am to 5pm every day, except Christmas Day. Just up the highway towards town is the region’s premier art gallery and library, Dogwood Crossing. Dogwood Crossing, Miles, is a centre for community, creativity and inspiration. Offering a first-class regional art gallery, library, IT centre event space, workshop room and social history displays, Dogwood Crossing is the leading cultural institution for the Western Downs

region. The centre and its staff play a key leadership, advocacy and advisory role in the region’s arts and cultural development. The innovative centre is strongly supported by the community it serves and is a destination frequently visited by travellers. More recently, the services it provides have been taken up by transient workers, resource companies and new families to the area. When it comes to natural attractions, the Chinaman’s Lagoon and Gil Weir just to the south of town on the Leichhardt Hwy should not be missed.


Trade Training Centre. The Miles High Training Centre provides a range of quality trade training opportunities for students in the areas of engineering and furnishings. Students in the centre work on projects that are used within the wider Miles community with quality projects ranging from picnic tables and seating that will be used in local estates, display cabinets for the Miles Historical Village and a range of products for other local organisations. The other standout in the Miles district’s educational capacity is Columboola Environmental Centre which all are proud of. The Education Queensland centre can offer full program support for up to 75 students. The expert teaching team runs activities such as water ecology, canoeing, orienteering, high and low ropes, problem solving and team building, to name a few, for visiting school groups from right across Queensland.

AS WELL as Miles’ own state school, the area also boasts thriving state schools at Drillham, Dulacca, Condamine, Wandoan and Taroom. In 2013 Miles State School became one of Queensland’s first Independent Public Schools. A trial program for a period of four years, the Independent Public School initiative aims to increase autonomy in decision making, cut red tape and remove layers of management to improve outcomes for students. The move has already seen great success among students. After completing their schooling with a tight-knit group of friends at primary school, many students go on to study at Miles State High School. A jewel in the school’s crown is the state-of-the-art



ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE: Miles State High School students Eva, Rebecca and Rosanna Courte with their awards.

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MARANOA REGION: THE PERFECT PLACE TO LIVE With a huge variety of industries, schools and things to do, Roma and Maranoa has it all. THE Maranoa Region, covering an area of 58,830km2 and home to roughly 13,000 people, has been one of the major economic centres for South West Queensland for decades. Renowned for its role in the agricultural and resource sectors, the region has since become a vibrant economic hub with its growing expansion into industries like energy and tourism.

A HUB OF ACTIVITY AND FUN Roma offers something for Everyone AFTER a long day of working hard, Roma residents love nothing more than kicking back and enjoying one of the many activities the town has to offer. MARANOA PCYC FOR those of you looking for a bit of fun and fitness, the Maranoa PCYC is the way to go for all kinds of sports. Started in 2012, the centre offers a variety of different services, from badminton to basketball to boxing and everything in between. PCYC branch manager Sgt Greg Caletti said the centre had grown since its creation. "By the end of December 2013 we had a membership of around 1000," he said. "All funds generated through our PCYC go back into the PCYC through crime prevention programs and to provide a safe environment for our youth." Sgt Caletti said the options for physical activity and fun were endless.

Teddy Robertson and Clarissa Woods make a splash during their lesson with Megan Robertson at the Roma pool. COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRE


LOOKING for something to do with your hands? Why not learn a new skill by taking a class at the Community Arts Centre. The Silversmiths Roma Group Inc. Leader Helen McEwan believes working with silver is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby to take part in. "I have a very stressful job that involves a lot of concentration and very long hours but coming down here just resets my mind," Ms McEwan said. "And at the end of the day you get to take home a beautiful piece of jewellery." The silversmith workshops operate every fourth Saturday from 9am-4pm and every Friday night from 6.30pm at Studio 2, Roma Community Arts Centre.

THE Denise Spencer Memorial Pool, named after the Roma Olympic athlete from the 1940s and 1950s, is open most of the year and runs classes and swimming squad for kids. There is also a water play park at the pool which the kids are sure to love.

The Adungadoo Walkway, which takes runners and walkers along the Bungil Creek through the middle of town, has plenty of greenery,BBQ areas and the famous Yarning Circle, used by the Mandandanji people for special occasions. The walkway leads into the Big Rig Parklands.

FIGHT CLUB: The Maranoa PCYC boxing club said it's family like relationship sets them apart from their competitors.




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With one of the lowest unemployment rates in Queensland and a 0.24% growth in the labour force since 2015, the region continues to expand into innovative new industries. Apart from Roma, some of the Maranoa’s most prominent towns include Mitchell, Wallumbilla, Surat, Yuleba and Injune.



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Star Gazing at the Charleville Cosmos Centre


Murweh Shire Council mayor Annie Liston.

A LITTLE further west and not too far from the Surat basin lies the Shire of Murweh. It is a major stopping point for visitors keen to experience life in the true outback, its rich culture, its history and art, not forgetting the natural beauty of our woodlands, rivers and native animals. Charleville is the main town of the Shire with Augathella, Morven and Cooladdi making up the shire’s smaller but equally welcoming communities. The main centre, Charleville, is a bustling market town of major historical significance. It is the land of the Bidjara people and was established as a township in 1865. It was named after the town of Charleville in County Cork Ireland. It is a pioneering town. Cobb & Co built their largest factory here, the railway line to Brisbane opened in 1888; It was a focal point for the early aviators; Qantas flew its first ever flight from Charleville; Rev. John Flynn established the Royal Flying Doctor Base here and the School of the Air (now School of Distance Education) continues to provide daily education for hundreds of children living on isolated properties and unable to reach mainstream schools.

Today, more than 150 years on, the town has developed into a major service centre and visitor destination. Schools, hospital, emergency services, medical and dental centres, shops and supermarkets bring people in from all over the region. The completion of Charleville’s new air terminal, major upgrade of the Cosmos Centre, the new Planetarium and Top Secret World War II Tours, the Royal Flying Doctor Base and the Bilby Experience, continue to draw visitors in from all over Australia. I really hope that you will find time to come and visit us in the not too distant future to experience the natural beauty and warmth of our shire communities. — Murweh Shire Council mayor Annie Liston

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123 King Street, Charleville this Queenslander with a classic front verandah and white picket fence always catches your eye everytime you pass by! Beautifully renovated inside and out, retaining original character and blended with modern features this home is sure to impress. So much room for the family - spacious lounge room with a wood burner for the cooler times and a stunning kitchen which offers a breakfast bar, electric cooking plus a dishwasher. the dining room flows effortlessly to the “must have� undercover back deck that overlooks the back yard with plenty of room for the kids to run and play. You will enjoy the well appointed bathroom with a corner spa bath and shower. the main bedroom has a large built-in cupboard and an extra dressing room and there is a second built-in bedroom and third generous bedroom. Keep cool with a combination of split system, ducted evaporative air-conditioning and ceiling fans. Set on a prime 1012m2 block with side access to the powered two bay shed and enough room to park a couple of cars underneath. the spacious rumpus room which is accessed via the internal staircase is located in the downstairs area as well. this beauty is surrounded by manicured lawns and gardens is only a short walk to schools and shops. give glenda a call on 0432 555 015 as she is keen to show you what this beautiful home has to offer.

$280,000.00 Negotiable


6 high Street, Charleville this great family home boasts four carpeted bedrooms with the main having an amazing walk-in robe and ensuite and the other bedrooms having that much needed built-in wardrobe. the family bathroom has a separate bath and shower as well. the spacious tiled living room with a gas connection for heating in the cooler months adjoins the well appointed kitchen and family room so there is ample space in this home for everyone. there is a combination of split system and ducted evaporative air-conditioning and wooden shutters on the sliding windows throughout provide the privacy you need. the remotely controlled double garage at the front of the house and lockable shed in the back yard allow plenty of storage space. there is a great covered area just outside the kitchen and family room overlooks the private back yard and provides a great spot for entertaining or just relaxing with friends. give glenda a call to arrange your inspection on this fine home.



148 alfred Street, Charleville this really is a solid home on a nice 1019m2 block of land and located within walking distance from the town centre and primary schools. all Of the fUrnitUre iS inClUded tOO!! With good stumps, new roof and guttering, insulation, new ceilings as well and the outside has been tastefully painted just recently. there are two bedrooms and two enclosed verandahs, combined lounge, dining and kitchen area and a bathroom with a shower over the bath. the good sized laundry is located downstairs. the double concreted and lockable colour bond garage is sure to appreciated - great place to park the car and also heaps of room for storage. Security screens and shade louvres have recently been fitted to this home and there is a good sized split system in the living area as well. Character home with unlimited potential. give glenda a call to arrange your inspection on this one.

$150,000.00 Negotiable


31 galatea Street, Charleville this lovely old lady sits on a 1012m2 block of land not far from the centre of town and primary schools. With classic Queenslander features - vJ walls and high ceilings, eye catching archway in the generous lounge and dining area, picture rails, french doors that open out to the enclosed verandahs and so much more!!! there are three bedrooms and an enclosed front and side verandah with louvres to allow the breeze to flow through along with ducted evaporative air-conditioning to keep you cool in the warmer months as well. the well appointed kitchen and meals area provides that extra space for the family to enjoy this home. there is a good sized bathroom with a walk-in shower, vanity and toilet. the laundry is located under the house and there is plenty of room for storage or the kids to play here as well. there is a single garage in the back yard and this property also has two street access this one could be just what you are looking for. has a lovely feel about it and just think what else you could achieve here!

$115,000.00 Negotiable glenda fill 07 4654 2455 | 75 alfred Street, Charleville |

ray White Charleville CR131606AA



4 STEPS TO CREATING YOUR ULTIMATE BARBECUE AREA it might benefit from having the barbecue tucked away in a corner or against a wall.” “If you’re lucky enough to have a large backyard – and the cash! – opt for the complete outdoor kitchen experience, featuring a built-in barbecue. Ensure there is plenty of space for prep work, cooking, serving and cleaning. Installing a range hood or fan is also a good idea to avoid annoying the neighbours.”

Erinna Giblin Your choice of grillers can make or break the space. Picture: Adbri


As the days grow longer life calls for some fun in the sun, right? There’s no better way to enjoy the warm weather than with a backyard barbie, we reckon.

If your space is limited then consider multi-functional ways to use it – think built-in seating and bench seats with storage.

The classic outdoor barbecue is a quintessential celebration of the Aussie way of life and the great outdoors.

“Garden walls can double as bench seating using Adbri Masonry’s AB courtyard blocks – they’re suitable for gatherings of all sizes,” says Karl.

As long as you have the right ingredients – friends, food, family and sunshine – an outdoor shindig generally goes off without a hitch. That said, having the right setup can certainly help aid the experience. We asked Karl Wood from Adbri Masonry for his top tips on how to create the ultimate outdoor barbecue area at your place. START FROM THE GROUND UP Is your backyard a bit of a blank canvas? Or maybe there’s an existing space that you feel needs some love? Reclaiming some of your grassed area to pave a small courtyard is a great way to create a defined dining and entertaining area. Karl suggests selecting a zone that is far enough away from your doors and windows to avoid smoke from the barbecue drifting inside.

TURN UP THE HEAT Sure it’d be nice to think it won’t rain on your barbie’s parade, but that’s not always the case, as we know too well – and it’s very hard to enjoy the party when your guests are shivering. Your options? Portable gas heaters are handy, but they’re hard to store and can become an eyesore, says IXL Marketing Manager Malcolm Russell. “For a more modern approach, consider opting for a ceilingmounted heating and lighting option.” “For true style, check out a two-in-one solution like the IXL Fresco Aurora Outdoor Heater, which combines heating and lighting into the one unit and can be controlled by your smart phone.” -

A solid ground , such as concrete pavers, will mean the area will tolerate heavy foot traffic and be hardwearing to the elements. Consider a paver with a smooth surface like Adbri Masonry’s Euro Classic – they’re easy to seal, clean and maintain over time. CONSIDER WHAT COOKING NEEDS YOU REQUIRE

Built-in furniture means you don’t have to worry about extra furniture cluttering up the space. Picture: Adbri

If you already have a barbecue that fits within your designated outdoor barbie zone, great! If you need to reconsider it or invest in a new one, the first thing you need to do is bear in mind the space you have to work with. “If you have a small garden or courtyard, consider the scale of what you’re putting in it,” says Karl. “If your garden is small, then

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What’s not to like about this contemporary shipping container home in Queensland? Picture:


Shipping containers are designed to be stacked. Picture: Samuel Zeller/Unsplash

Shipping containers or ‘intermodal containers’ are designed to be stacked over five metres high and directly on top of each other. The steel walls and reinforced corners allow for weight to be evenly distributed through the container when whole.

Dean Ipaviz The ubiquity and cost-effectiveness of shipping containers means that somewhere along the line an architect, draftsman or savvy builder was going to start using them as permanent building structures. Somewhere further along that line, someone was also going to realise that you can actually do something pretty cool and costeffective with what is a pretty boring rectangular hunk of steel. You could argue that shipping container homes give us an insight into the future of modular building – or at least made it common practice to justify stacking, or using something that is consistent in size together to form a home. If I’m honest, there’s a lot to like about these homes when they’re done well. However, it would be remiss of me to not mention that modifying the structural integrity of one of these containers without the sign off of a qualified engineer, could be more costly than you think.

When you start chopping out sections for windows and doors and re-loading them, the integrity of the whole system is compromised. You need to ensure that whatever has been removed gets replaced or reinforced so that the building won’t fail. Like any good building, container homes need to start with solid foundations. Although the container itself can be cheap to purchase (sometimes under $1,000), there’s still a lot of fundamental building work that needs to be completed in accordance with the code before your containers land on site. (Which, by the way, you’ll have to hire a crane for!) So are shipping container homes cheaper than traditional structures? It all depends on the team you engage and their ability to interpret your plans in a controlled environment where they can prefabricate the majority of the components with the intention of getting it to site ready to ‘click’ together. If your team can do this well and turn a shipping container into a cost-effective alternative for your home, then yes it will be cheaper than a traditional house. It’s for this reason I still suggest you engage the services of a good architect, engineer and builder who understands the complexities of what you are trying to do.

Most importantly, you’ll want to work with consultants who are willing to work with you and not put the handbrake on at times of difficulty. It’s important to understand the uniqueness of your foundation plan, get a visual understanding of what your building is going to look like and being able to tinker with it (on the computer) before everything comes to site. This is going to save costs in the long run. Working this way will also allow you to get the majority of the container shell prefabricated before it arrives, meaning you can crane it straight off the back of the truck and into place. Then all that’s left to do is install your windows and doors and complete the internal fit out. With prefabrication and the right project team, these homes can be put up quickly and cost-effectively. You can really start to see why people are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with containers. Go on, type “Shipping container home” into Google images or Pinterest and see what’s possible. I guarantee it will get your creative juices flowing. -

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5 HOME DESIGN MYTHS BUSTED 3. Timeless doesn’t mean safe Sometimes the will to create a timeless home ends in a lot of very ‘safe’ design choices like very neutral colour palettes, flat plasterboard walls and uninspired furnishings.

Carlene Duffy I’m busting myths in home design in a bid to set you free to take a chance and create a home that makes your heart sing. 1. White doesn’t always mean bright There’s a long-standing belief that if you have a dark space, paint it white to make it appear brighter and larger. In practice, this can backfire. If you have a space with low natural light and paint the walls white, the white generally ends up looking sad and insipid. White needs natural light to do what it needs to do and that is to appear crisp and fresh. If you have a space with very low natural light, don’t fight it. Instead, paint the walls a saturated colour and create ambience and atmosphere with a bold navy or deep green. 2. Mixing styles doesn’t always equal a confused home My clients frequently tell me they know what they like but are worried that they’re loves are conflicting in style. I say, bring it on. Ornate skirting boards aren’t only limited to classic homes and Parker furniture isn’t only for mid-century modern homes. Your only limitation should be that you stick to what makes your heart sing with the objective that at every turn in your home you love what you see.

Creating a timeless home means being true to what you love but stepping outside the cookie cutter. It means doing your homework, looking far and wide and being open to new ideas to create a home with interest. 4. Black doesn’t always mean bold Have you heard the notion you look through black and you look at white? In this way, I consider a white chair to be a bigger statement in the home than a black one. I always say that black in a home is an anchor. It’s like the glue that prevents your space feeling like it’s all floating away (visually). You only need to use it in small bursts for it to do its job. Black dining chairs with the timber table, black curtains rods, black door handles, and black kitchen cabinet knobs, can be enough to break up what is far too often a blanket of white.

Vintage furniture can sit alongside contemporary pieces. Picture: Mindi Cooke

5. Less isn’t always more Australia is experiencing an epidemic of under-furnished homes. Part of the reason for this is that our homes are getting bigger (and our backyards smaller but that’s a story for another day). This, in turn, makes it very difficult to fill our homes, which means what we end up with a home full of many thoroughfares. In our large open-plan homes, we need to work harder to create spaces within our spaces with rugs, side tables, buffets and generally more furniture. This comes at an expense, however, and is good reason to consider this at the planning stage of a renovation. What are you going to do with a bathroom so large that you could hold a dance party in it? -

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Are you one of those people that loves walking around barefoot in summer? Believe it or not, natural timbers can stay a comfortable temperature in the sun, especially when compared to other decking choices. Natural woods are also great for wet climates, and for those with pools, because although the wood will absorb a little water, it actually makes for a safer non-slip surface.

Bunnings offer a range of decking materials including ModWood, which is made from recycled wood and plastic. Picture: Bunnings

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST DECKING MATERIAL FOR YOUR HOME • Will you want to update the look of your deck on a regular basis? • Is choosing a ‘green’ decking material important to you? To help answer these questions, we’ve put together a simple guide to help you choose the best decking material to suit your needs. TYPES OF DECKING MATERIALS

Kristy Barratt An outdoor deck can make a fabulous addition to your home. Not only is it a great DIY challenge but you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits an outdoor space can offer, from reading outside in the sun, to hosting an alfresco dinner party for friends. A deck doesn’t just make your outdoor space more accessible, it can also add real value to your property when you’re ready to sell. We caught up with home improvement specialist Brad Byrnes to talk all things decks, from the best timber to use for decking to other decking material options such as bamboo and synthetic. FIND THE BEST DECKING MATERIAL One of your first steps will be to select the right decking material. Consider these questions: • How much repair and maintenance are you willing to do? • Do you want a deck that can withstand the elements?

NATURAL WOOD • Appearance – “Decking timber is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also extremely durable – so long as it’s well maintained. A high-quality timber can look gorgeous and is definitely worth the investment,” says Brad. • Installation – For the advanced DIYers only, a deck should be built by skilled and experienced carpenters. A medium-sized deck will take a number of days to build. • Maintenance – “Maintenance is something you’ll need to factor in with a natural wood deck. Exposed to the elements, it can weather over time, so if you don’t want it to split, crack or rot, you’ll need to stain and seal the timber on a regular basis.” Timber decks will last around 10-15 years before they usually need replacing. • Cost – Expect to pay between $170 to $200 per square metre for treated pine decking and around $320 per square metre for hardwood decking. “Wooden decks need maintenance over time, so be prepared to stain and seal the timber regularly.”

COMPOSITE • Appearance – Composite decking can be painted your choice of colour; it’s quite smooth in appearance but can have the appeal of wood depending on what materials are used in its construction. • Installation – Similar to wood, composite deck installations require a skilled DIYer or tradesperson to build. • Maintenance – Composite decking is extremely lowmaintenance compared with wood, requiring no oiling, staining or cleaning aside from the occasional sweep. They last around 25 years. • Cost – Around $350 per square metre. Although the initial cost is slightly higher than timber, composite decking will last longer so you won’t be replacing it as often. “Composite decking is a popular, environmentally friendly alternative to natural wood as it’s weather-resistant, stainresistant and lightweight,” says Brad. Being comprised of wood fibres and recycled plastics composite decking doesn’t have the same potential to rot or splinter like timber, which makes it a relatively low-maintenance option. “The beauty of composite decking is that it never needs staining or sealing.” The beauty of composite decking is that it never needs staining or sealing. It’s likely to maintain its wood-grain look, texture and colour for much of its lifetime. Simply wash the deck for great results. PVC OR SYNTHETIC • Appearance – “Also known as ‘wood plastic’, polymer vinyls and other synthetics are a great alternative for homeowners looking for an extreme low-maintenance deck. Plastic decks are designed to be scratch, mildew and stain resistant,” says Brad. • Installation – “Synthetic decking is also lighter than most hardwood timbers, which means less stress and strain for the first-time DIYer. Plastics are cost-effective and easy to clean but they don’t always last as long as the alternatives,” says Brad. Maintanance – For those of us who do a lot of outdoor entertaining, these decking materials are excellent as they’re engineered to endure a lot of traffic. Though they’ll need to be replaced earlier than timber or other decks. There are some eco brands available in synthetic fibres for those of us who prefer a more sustainable decking material option.

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Ultimate Real Estate and Renovators Guide 2018  

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