To Hire Or To Own – A Question That Needs To Be Asked

The capital cost of acquiring heavy equipment is a large outlay that many smaller companies cannot afford. Such companies, while being able to trade successfully in a healthy market, operate on very small margins and are often struggling to maintain cash flow. As the owners of the machines, they are also responsible for maintenance and other running costs such as fuel, insurance and registration.

Doing Small Construction Work in a Cost-Effective Way

When their machines are not actually working, they are also not generating income, so large amounts of money are effectively sitting idle. Typically, they also employ machine operators, so wages and employment on-costs must still be covered while the equipment that makes the money is slumbering through the night. Is it any wonder that specialist companies have sprung up to do the smaller jobs that are not cost effective for large construction businesses?

Dee Gees Bobcats started out over twenty years ago with just this type of situation in mind. From small beginnings of a truck and one bobcat to where we are now has been the perfect illustration of the benefits of hiring equipment rather than buying it. We are now in a position where we can offer our clients the best of both worlds. We can provide our equipment with an experienced operator, or just hire out what the client needs for the time it is needed.

Hiring and Rental Industry a Major Contributor to the Economy

We are now operating successfully in the hiring and rental industry, which in Australia is now worth more than $5 billion. The mining and construction industries are the two major contributors to this growth. With mining on a recovery trajectory and the construction industry enjoying a robust period, especially in the area where we operate, the future looks bright.

Smaller, Modern Equipment Creates Flexibility

The type of equipment now available has also had a big impact on the industry from the perspective of the small operator. Once machines only came in one size – big. Now, however, there are excavators in a range of sizes to suit small jobs such as trenching and drainage work, under-house and swimming pool excavations. These machines also come with a range of task-specific attachments that create flexibility.

Heavy Equipment Hard to Liquidate in a Falling Market

The old idea that hiring was wasting money that could be better spent on owning a piece of equipment is disappearing. Many businesses go under in a falling market when too much money is tied up in assets like heavy equipment that are not easily liquidated. Astute business owners are looking for a consistent return on their investment, so unless they are in the business of hiring out equipment to others, there are much more lucrative ways to get their funds working.

Modern Landscaping Features Add Style And Value

Real estate agents agree that regardless of a residential property’s design or construction features, the presentation of its surrounds is just as important as the building itself. When done well, this presentation adds thousands of dollars to the market value. So important is this impact that landscaping is now an industry on its own, with new features, designs and materials coming onto the market every year.

Smaller Block Sizes Require Special Landscaping Techniques

Modern landscaping has moved beyond a standard fencing, a driveway, some garden beds and a lawn. Suburban blocks are diminishing in size, so the trend now is minimalist, with the emphasis on accessories rather than large plantings. Home owners want a property that requires little maintenance, so landscaping trends are meeting that demand.

This is great news for companies like ours. Much of this type of work requires the assistance of earth moving equipment, and Dee Gees Bobcats has a comprehensive range of excavators, bobcats, tippers, post hole borers, rock breakers and soil levellers ready for hire. The placement of large pavers, rocks, boulders and timber is easy with the right equipment and we can dig an ornamental pond in minutes.

Water Features are Always Popular

Water features are a popular choice and look great in the right setting. A fish pond surrounded by ferns with a small fountain in the centre draws the eye, and a few lilies or other water plants on the surface adds colour when they flower. In a very small space, a waterfall gently cascading down a garden wall invokes a relaxed response and cools the immediate area.

Retaining Walls Just the Place for Extra Style Treatment

We do a lot of the preparation work for retaining walls, as many of the house sites in new estates these days are terraced. Once completed, these rock walls lend themselves to additional landscaping touches such as vertical gardens and hidden lighting. When illuminated at night, this throws both light and shadows across the garden, highlighting the varied colours in the stone.

Stepped Pavers Simply Elegant

Large stepping stone pavers are a simple and versatile way to create a path to the front door. They look stunning surrounded by small pebbles or simply placed into a healthy, green lawn. Their clean, straight lines blend perfectly with the sharp angles and understated exteriors of modern constructions.

No Planter Pot Size is too Big

The use of oversized plant pots is a clever way to add some style and colour, and because of their size, the average garden needs only two or three to make an impact.

These are just some of the creative possibilities if you are looking for landscaping inspiration. It is only limited by your imagination, and the money you spend will increase the value of your property as well as have it looking sensational.

Environmentally Friendly Methods To Process Wastewater

If, like most of us, you live in a well-serviced area where your garbage is collected every week, your water comes out of a tap fresh and clean, and your personal wastes are flushed down the toilet, you probably don’t think about wastewater. We only think about these things if the drains get blocked and effluent bubbles up through the pipes and spills inside.

Rural Users Need to Understand Their Wastewater Systems

Thankfully, that is not a common occurrence, but for people living in rural areas that are not connected to public drainage and sewerage systems, understanding how their wastewater systems work is essential. They may one day be in a situation where they have to manage a drainage system failure themselves, or at least do a temporary fix until a drainage expert can get to their property.

Wastewater Processing Covered by Government Legislation

Waste water drainage systems are covered by government legislation, with all waste water in Queensland required to be monitored and reported to the EHP (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection). Other states have similar requirements, with protection of our waterways and the water table the prime concern.

When we are digging a drainage system for a client, we must comply with all legislation to make sure that the end result is eco-friendly. Our plant operators at Dee Gees Bobcatsare skilled and experienced, as there are several different ways to construct an eco-friendly drainage system.

Worm Farm Septic Tank System One Solution

One method of environmentally responsible waste disposal is to install a worm farm septic tank system. This is a natural, biological system that processes sewage, household wastewater and organic waste, and converts it into a liquid fertiliser that is distributed underground throughout the property.

Sand Filtration Method

Another method is the use of a sand filtration system to process sewerage, bio degradable waste and wastewater. The waste flows into a large in-ground concrete tank where an anaerobic bacterial decomposition occurs. This primary-treated effluent then flows through an in-ground sand filter specially designed to suit the volume of the material. From there it moves to an underground well, where it is discharged to the required locations.

Constructed Wetlands Become Living Filters

A third option is a wastewater treatment system using constructed wetlands or reed beds. These are living filters that transform wastewater through natural processes that strip sewage effluent of bacteria and nutrients. This is a safe and cost-effective solution for people who live in rural areas.

As these systems have some of their components underground, excavation is needed, and this is where our trained operators excel. Eco-friendly drainage systems are not only good for the environment, but also once constructed, they cost little to maintain, so everyone wins.

Take The Time To Find The Right Pool Design

Private swimming pools were once the toys of the very rich, but as households in Australia became more affluent, the pool market expanded. Today, it is common for backyards in many suburbs to include a pool. The first pools were typically rectangular, but now, there are shapes and designs to suit any sized space and any budget.

Pool Safety Laws are First Priority

If you are at the start of your pool-planning journey, first consider the pool laws in your area. The design you choose must comply with the relevant regulations as safety and security should always be a priority. Installing the right type of pool fences and child-proof gates, for example, may influence the size, shape and location of your pool.

A Choice of Materials

Once this is taken into consideration, you then have the choice of three types of inground pools, with concrete the most durable. Fibreglass is quick to install but choice of sizes and shapes is limited, and vinyl is the most cost-efficient but requires the most maintenance.

From our point of view as the company that performs excavations, any of these options are suitable, depending on the space available for the pool. At Dee Gees Bobcats, we have a range of equipment suitable for manoeuvring in small spaces, as well as larger machines for bigger projects.

Modern Pools are an Extension of the Home

While some homeowners with plenty of backyard space still prefer a large pool set away from the house with an under-cover outdoor area and barbeque, the current trend is for a pool that is an extension of the home. Close to the living areas and smaller in size to fit on the small blocks so popular with busy families, these pools use all the modern automatic cleaning equipment, making them a breeze to maintain.

Don’t Dismiss the Humble Lap Pool

Lap pools are still popular where the only available space is a long narrow ribbon along a boundary fence. The users don’t need to be Olympic athletes to enjoy a lap pool, especially in January in Queensland. At this time of year, any body of cool water, regardless of shape, will be irresistible to anyone looking for relief from the heat and humidity.

Get the Best Use of Your Space

Where space is at a premium, consider the pool surrounds and allow enough space to enter and exit the pool with comfort. It may be tempting to put an over-sized pool into a small area, but the finished product will look cramped and limit the landscaping features, which are a key part of the overall ambiance.

Visit displays at pool centres, talk to pool designers and take the time to get the perfect pool that suits your situation and lifestyle.

Don’t Start An Excavation Without Checking With Experts

There are quite a few reasons why property owners may decide to perform an excavation on their land. There may be a landscaping project on the go that involves installing a fish pond or a water feature. There may be plans to extend living space by excavating underneath a high-set house or the lucky family could be looking forward to swimming in their own backyard pool.

 

An Excavation is Not Just Digging a Hole

 

Whatever the reason or project, we should point out here that an excavation in this context is not a simple hole dug for a new clothes hoist or letter box. This is something large enough that it needs to be behind temporary safety fencing and deep enough that, if it collapsed while someone was working in it, there could be a burying hazard.

 

As an excavating contractor with a business that spans over 20 years, we are not afraid to call ourselves experts on the subject. Dee Gees Bobcats have a reputation for doing quality work, which includes trenching and drainage works, and swimming pool and under house excavations.

 

Building Codes, Council Regulations and the Rest!

 

With all this experience behind us, we also know all the things that can quickly go wrong if an excavation is being done by someone who does not know the building codes and council regulations for the location in which they are working. Usually, they also do not know what infrastructure they can damage by digging into the ground without checking where vital cables and drains are situated.

 

There is No One Size Fits All

 

Knowing the rules around excavation is not as simple as it seems. All three levels of government, local, state and federal, all have various building codes, regulations and by-laws that may differ from one state to another.

 

As well as the laws surrounding the excavation and building process, there are also codes of practice and regulations regarding the health and safety issues arising from any excavation. These are consistent across the country as the states agreed several years ago to harmonise their OH&S rules, so they are now mostly the same.

 

Local Council is the Place to Start

 

If you are a property owner thinking about doing a major excavation yourself, we recommend that you visit your local council first. They can give you all the information you need about your project, including the building permits you will need and the fees involved to get council approval.

 

Too Much Trouble? Call in the Experts

 

Better still, you could bypass all this and hand your project over to an excavation expert. Companies like ours have the knowledge, experience and competent personnel to complete your project quickly, safely and with all the required council inspections and documentation in place.

 

Make an Environmental Statement With Your New Pool

A backyard swimming pool is part of the Australian lifestyle, and with our summers getting longer and hotter, our love of a convenient cool-off right outside our back door is not going to wane any time soon. However, we have also become conscious of the negative environmental impact many of our favourite pursuits have had in past years, and many pool owners are now looking for alternatives.

Eco-friendly Methods Popular with Pool Owners

Pool builders report that customers are expressing interest in techniques to preserve the environment at the start of the planning process for their pools. They want eco-friendly methods included in the pool build, rather than trying to adapt something to suit later.

This is no surprise to us as we are already working on pool-building projects, even though summer is still a few weeks away. At Dee Gees Bobcats, we do the excavations and any associated drainage trenching that may be involved. Because we are on site right at the start of a pool build, we see the different approaches to creating an eco-friendly pool and surrounding environment.

Salt Water Pools Use Fewer Chemicals

While some people prefer chlorinated pools, many clients are opting for salt water as an alternative, to reduce the amount of chemicals needed to keep the pool clean. There is no chlorine odour as the process used creates natural chlorine, which is dispersed into the water evenly and consistently. This keeps the water from getting cloudy and prevents the development of algae.

Fresh Water Sanitising System Uses Natural Minerals

Another alternative is a fresh water sanitising system that utilises natural minerals and oxygen, and requires no additional chlorine or other chemicals. It has a similar taste to drinking water, and swimmers find it does not irritate the skin or eyes. Pool equipment and swimwear last longer, and because it requires less maintenance than other systems, running costs are considerably reduced.

Pool Water Safe to Use in the Garden

While these attributes all benefit the environment in some way, another plus for this system is that it can be back-washed into the garden without needing to be diluted. As there are no harmful chemicals present in the water, the pool owner can use this water to maintain an eco-friendly garden that is kind to birds, lizards, frogs, possums and other wildlife.

Specialist Plantings around Pool

We have also noticed that pool owners are creating eco-friendly gardens around the pool perimeter. By using specialist plantings of trees and shrubs that use little water and benefit each other via natural pest control, there is no need for fertilisers and pesticides that eventually wash into the water catchment.

Every pool owner who opts for an eco-friendly pool in their backyard is saving money on running costs and also protecting our precious environment.

Want a Pool in Time for Summer? Best Start Now!

With everyone still rugged up against the chill of winter, this is not the time you would typically be thinking about putting a pool in the backyard. Getting into a skimpy swimsuit and voluntarily plunging into cold water is unlikely to be at the forefront of your mind, but if you intend to install a pool for summer, this is the time you should be making plans.

Supply and Demand Applies to Swimming Pools

Pool installation is just like any other commodity in the marketplace. It is driven by supply and demand, so if you wait until peak demand, that is, the beginning of summer, the work may not be finished for weeks. If you are lucky, you may have it completed by early autumn, and if the heat lingers you may get a few weeks of use before next winter.

Don’t Wait Until Summer to Order a Pool Build

There are several reasons for this. One is that every pool company in the state will have full order books, placed by customers who started their planning early. Another is that getting the necessary approvals and permits from the relevant authorities takes time to process. A third is the shortage of labour and equipment, with every available pool builder already working to capacity.

The Building Development Approval Process

As far as approvals and permits are concerned, all new swimming pools constructed in Queensland require a building development approval. This involves your pool builder drawing up plans and specifications for your approval, then lodging the documents with your local council, a private certifier and the relevant statutory authorities.

You will also require sewerage and water supply approval, also arranged by your pool builder. Before any approvals are given, your local council or private certifier will require information from the pool builder that the finished pool will be structurally sound. If the site is a difficult one, this may require structural advice from a qualified engineer.

Pool Builders Use Excavation Companies They Trust

As swimming pool excavations are a significant part of our workload, we welcome these busy times. At DeeGees Bobcats, we work regularly with many pool builders who value our professional approach to the work, knowing that when we excavate a site, it will be done according to the plans and specifications given to us.

Building a pool is a team effort, with many different trades and specialists involved, from the drawing of the final plans to getting the final approval to fill the pool. As you can see, the planning, the approvals and certifications take time, so if you want your pool to be ready for summer, the time to act is now.

Don’t Let A Lack Of Skills Stop You – Learn Landscaping On The Job

Have you just bought an older home with an established garden needing a make-over? Do you have a new home in Australia that needs landscaping from scratch? Either way, you have the perfect opportunity to be creative and build something extraordinary. Doing it yourself is a challenge, but as the saying goes, “satisfaction is its own reward”.

Acquire a Few Basic Techniques Before Starting

Having a few basic techniques up your sleeve before you start is an excellent way to build confidence. The first one is obvious to us, but many people start a landscaping project without this, then find themselves in trouble. We are talking about a plan, which only needs to be a sketch with some basic measurements.

Have a Plan with a Timeframe

Typically, a landscaping plan will contain a fence, a pathway, garden beds, grassed areas, possibly a water feature, and even an outdoor deck overlooking the yard where the family can relax. The other essential thing the plan should contain is a timeframe. Putting a deadline on the project provides a goal to work towards. Without it, there will always be something else getting in the way of completion.

We should also point out here that, doing it yourself does not mean that you must do everything manually. Every landscaping and outdoor building project will have tasks like digging post holes, carving out a path, excavating for a pond or removing rocks, to name a few. We do this type of work all the time, so hiring equipment from us at Dee Gees Bobcats is a great way to accelerate the work.

Hire Machines and Operators to do the Hard Work

We also have trained and experienced people available to operate our machines. Hiring a skilled operator to dig a row of post holes for a fence, for example, allows you to get on with the actual construction. Small jobs like these are not as expensive as you would think and create opportunities for an afternoon working bee with a few mates, followed by a barbeque and drinks.

Learn New Techniques and Skills

Paved areas and paths are a part of contemporary landscaping, so knowing in advance how to prepare the surface and lay pavers to a reasonable standard is another technique that is useful for the do-it-yourself landscaper. The internet is the best source of information, often with videos showing how it’s done. Watch out also for community groups and hardware chains that run inexpensive courses.

One Project at a Time

Other tasks such as making garden beds, constructing decking and building retaining walls require other techniques and skills that can be acquired the same way. Also, friends, family and work colleagues are great resources. Tackle each project one at a time and you will gradually acquire all the skills you need to complete your amazing landscaping and outdoor building project.

Installing A Swimming Pool – The Good, The Bad And The Indifferent

So, you are thinking about installing a pool and are wondering which way is the better way to go. Do you get in a contractor or try and build your own?

There are plenty of success stories out there from people who have built their own pools. There are also plenty of flops.

David Gardner, founder and owner of Dee-Gees Bobcats Pty Ltd has seen them all. The good, the bad and the ugly of pool building. David and his crew have vast experience in the excavation of a swimming pool or spa and have loads of tips and tricks to use.

Combat Gardening at its Best

The one thing they stress is that you must realise you are in for a bit of combat gardening until the job is done. It’s going to get mighty messy.

You will need to have patience and not stress about the grass and the garden as the excavator and truck roll in to dig up and take away the soil and other matter from the hole.

Specialist Pool Builder or DIY

Employing a pool building specialist takes all the stress and thinking out of the game. The only time you need to use your brain is to decide all the fun stuff such as where you want the pool, do you want a slide, and what style you are looking for. A builder will do the rest.

They will sculpt the earth, install the framework and concrete, they will finish off the surface and clean up as they leave. Some will even organise the landscaping as well.

The obvious reason for deciding to DIY a swimming pool is the fact that you will save a good portion of your cash. This cash can be used to maintain the pool once it is finished.

The downside to DIYers can be huge. You need to know the bylaws surrounding pool construction for your local shire. You need to know exactly what is required to build a pool and ensure that you get that from each contractor at each step.

Afterwards, it will also be your job to conduct the cleanup and install any gardens and landscaping you desire.

As you can see, one way you pay with your wallet and the other way you pay with your time and energy. Choose what works for you.

Getting the Perfect Lawn after Major Construction

There is nothing more exciting than building your new home or creating that worthwhile extension or addition to your existing home.

Once you have completed the building part of the project it’s time to paint and decorate the inside with nice floor coverings, add some window treatments and start arranging your decorative items and furniture.

But what of the outside?

In the trade we call what happens to the outside of your home during construction phase ‘combat gardening’. This is because after you have finished with the building part there is always a pretty good mess to get straight outside.

Materials and machinery can create large ruts and leave piles of dirt and soil behind. Sure, you can do the back breaking levelling yourself. It really is no trouble provided you are strong, healthy and have the time to get outside and indulge your love of getting outdoors for a bit of hard work.

This is not always the case. Time may be in short supply if you are still rushing off to work and organising the children. In addition, not all of us want to work in the hot sun spreading and levelling the earth.

Not to mention that if you don’t have the right tools, the levelling can be a real challenge. This is especially if your property has a slope to it. It is important to create the right fall to ensure that water does not flow onto your patio and in through your doorways!

This becomes more challenging if you are living on a small or medium sized acreage. The size of the task can seem quite imposing.

So, what is the solution?

Here at Dee-Gees Bobcats Pty Ltd, the staff and crew are well equipped to have your backyard looking like palatial grounds in hours rather than the days it may take you if you do it by hand. And, with a lot more accuracy to boot.

With our trusty bobcat we can have your property levelled and properly channelling storm water away from your home in a very short period of time. Not only that, but after your property has been levelled you will want to spread the correct mixture of top soil to get your lawn growing in super-fast time.

We can help with that too! Give us a call and relax in the shade while we get your property into tip-top shape for summer.