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.

Gearing Up For Christmas

Well the cat is out of the bag. Christmas is fast approaching and you want your backyard to be looking spick and span and looking fantastic in time for the celebrations. This is not a job to be rushed, however. Proper procedure must be considered.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many restrictions placed on the way an operator must conduct excavation? Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) have tightened up their act considerably and we can tell you why. It’s simple really. Over the years there have been a few cowboys who thought they could turn a quick buck by running a small or heavy machinery business.

Sure it’s true, accidents can happen to good operators but the real truth is that accidents happen when unaware operators climb into the seat of a bobcat, front end loader, or excavator. Inexperience can cater for a few incidents; we all may learn in a controlled environment and pass the test to get our ticket but the real experience starts on the job.

Monotony can be your worst enemy in this industry so it is incredibly important to maintain attention to detail. Horseplay or a casual approach to an “easy” job can mean the difference between going home and going to the hospital – if you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky you get a one-way trip to the morgue.

Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) – Looking After Us

We all might rile at some time or another about a “ridiculous” WHS requirement but the fact is that the rules have been put in place to ensure appropriate procedure is adhered to.

The only reason WHS was created at all was because someone had the foresight to make a record of what sort of accident happened when, the extent of injury including death, and how many times it happened. Based on this data, a set of procedures were required to be created to keep us all safe.

Preliminary Inspection a Must

To this end, Dee-Gees Bobcats Pty Ltd will always make a thorough investigation of a worksite before conducting any work.

Our skilled operators are able to conduct a thorough due diligence of any job, be it big or small, in an appropriate manner with minimal time. This is because we train our staff carefully and offer updates and refreshers on a regular basis. This is because we value our staff and want to send them home safe and sound every night.

Are You Planning A Garden Makeover?

Are you dreaming of sprucing up the backyard and making it look like a million dollars? We’ve all seen The Block__ _and _Better Homes and Gardens do it in one hour on a Friday night! How hard can it be – right?

They tell you all you need to do is have a plan and work on it. Simple. The solid truth is that those guys have been doing exactly this for years and they make it look simple. The other thing they have going for them is the behind the scenes worker ants powering away at whatever task they are assigned. And we are not talking about the grunt work.

They have someone to do the design, someone to make all the calls to source and order all the plants, rocks, gravel, cement, sand, pavers, sleepers, timber, water fountains and anything else they need and desire.

THEN the stars come in and join the crew to make something trashy into something beautiful and voila! Dream space in the back yard! The other bonus these TV shows have is an ability to outsource the hard yakka. You know – the earthmoving, the hole digging, and the trench making. Oh wait! So do you!

Outsource the Big Stuff

The crew at Dee-Gees Bobcats Pty Ltd just love getting dirty whilst helping people make their garden look like a winning entrant in the local garden competition. Our team of specialists are well trained in garden sculpting as well as garden maintenance. We even know a thing or two ourselves about design.

We can help you move some soil, shift and remove your debris, dig that hole for your in ground pool or the posts for that new retaining wall you are dreaming of. If it’s too big a job for a shovel and a wheelbarrow then Dee-Gees Bobcats are your man.

Keeping It Safe

The bonus in hiring experts such as ourselves is that we are well aware of the risks and necessary precautions for each and every situation. We cannot stress enough how important it is to adopt the correct procedure to ensure the safety of not only ourselves but everybody else who may be on site at the time.

Sure, we make it look easy – because we know what we are doing. We not only have the knowledge but also the confidence to cross every T and dot every I.

Big Garden Job? Need More Muscle?

There are many things that DIY landscapers can do themselves.

Building small rock or timber retaining walls, laying paths, building structures and planting plants is all physically intensive work that can only be achieved through your own, or someone else’s, manual labour.

Having our machines available just to move some of these items around a larger or rural yard can be a big help.

What about the bigger jobs you dream about getting done? Perhaps you want a larger rock wall built, or you are planning on installing an in-ground swimming pool.

These jobs are best suited to the professional operator as we are fully trained to operate the heavy machinery required to achieve your goals. Not only that, but our training and on the job experience has fine-tuned us to be aware of and constantly assess our surroundings.

What to Look for in a Good Operator

Every project will have its own little hitches and idiosyncrasies. This is why it can be difficult to give an exact price for labour to be conducted for any project.

What you should be able to expect is that an operator can assess the job and advise what it is that needs to be done, how they are going to do it, and what machine or machines they are going to bring in to achieve this goal.

At Dee-Gees Bobcats Pty Ltd we offer a fair and honourable quote for work to be completed at fair and competitive hourly rates.

What Else Should You Ask?

What qualifications or licences do you possess?

It is very important to employ a reliable operator who carries all the appropriate qualifications to operate his machine.

A licence should be able to be identified along with the clarification as to suitable insurance and workplace health and safety procedures.

Do they clean up the site after they have finished the project?

Often, after a pool hole has been dug, for example, there can be a lot of debris that needs to be removed or distributed to leave a neat clean worksite so the next part of the project can run smoothly.

Are their machines in good repair?

It can be quite frustrating to experience delays in your project due to machinery failure. You don’t need to inspect mechanics’ certificates but you do need to seek assurances of machinery capability and quality.

 

DIY Landscaping – Ways to Save Money

Engaging in do-it-yourself (DIY) work can help you save a lot of money. DIY landscaping is one way of enhancing your home and increasing the value of your property in a cost-effective manner. But while this may be seen as the inexpensive way to transform your garden, the way it is handled can change the overall cost. Here are some helpful tips on making sure you get the open area you want without hurting the budget.

Plan According to Budget

The good thing about landscaping is that there are many ways in which you can cut costs. You just have to be creative about it. Before implementing your plans for your front and backyard, be sure to set a budget for your project. It is possible to create a stunning garden without having to spend too much. Look for alternative materials that can still create the effect you want to see in your landscaped garden.

Costs can be minimised when choosing pavers for the walkways or when choosing the plants around the house. If you are not in a hurry to see the ultimate result of the landscape design, you can pick plants that are still young. They will cost less than the full-grown plants. Instead of sodding, you can space plants such as groundcovers and grass, and let them grow and propagate over time. Sodding gives that instant gratification, but it can be very costly. In a few weeks or months, the spaced plants will provide the full effect that is expected from sodding.

Get Help from Family and Friends

One advantage you can get from DIY landscaping is that you do not have to pay for labour costs. You can do most of the tasks on your own. You can also ask for help from friends and family members who will be happy to lend a hand. The project can then become an excellent bonding activity.

Renting can be the Best Option

When it comes to equipment you will need for the landscaping project, consider renting. Renting equipment per hour is more cost efficient than if you were to buy the equipment. If there are areas that need to be levelled, sloped or excavated for purposes such as pools, you can count on our earthmoving machines at Dee-Gees Bobcats.

Earthmoving work is one part of landscaping where you should be smart. There are factors and danger that could get in the way of your cost planning. Excavating, for instance, can damage the water lines if not done the right way. Trust our excavator operators at Dee-Gees Bobcats to assist you in your earthmoving project.

 

DIY Landscaping

There may be nothing more rewarding than seeing the work of one’s hand. This is one reason people get deeply engaged in DIY projects, especially in the home. The work itself can be a sort of therapeutic exercise for a person because of the concentration required, the trial-and-error, until finally, a project that usually gets done by a professional gets finished through hard work. One good DIY project at home is the landscaping of the residence. This project can be done by anyone as long as there is interest and patience for a project that needs time for full completion.

What to Know

DIY landscaping is perfect for people who find it enjoyable to dig the ground or learn about how plants develop. For people who do not have the patience to take care of plants, this DIY project may not be suitable. For beginners who wish to undertake a DIY landscaping project at home, it will be good to do some research on different types of plants that are endemic or locally suitable. It is also important to learn more about the types of soil where certain plants grow.

Creating a Design

Even if the garden is a DIY project, it is still a good idea to come up with a design just so the garden will have a cohesive look and not appear like the areas are not connected. Define pathways around the yard that will connect the different areas in the garden. Provide sitting areas if there is enough space available.

Landscapes are best when there are different components playing together. There should be a good balance between the softscape (the plant materials) and the hardscape (stones, rocks, wood or sculptures). Many DIY landscapes tend to focus too much on the plants such that the garden gets too boring or too green. Use structures such as a trellis and use interesting urns or sculptures to give contrast to the soft effect of plants. Be creative in using the usual landscape elements and try not to stick to regular or everyday designs.

Hiring the Right Equipment

Before any landscaping project is started, the clutter must first be cleared. In some cases, there is a need to do cuts and fills to the site, or perhaps, there is a need to dig to build an artificial pond or a pool. Such work requirements call for reliable earthmoving equipment hire. Dee-Gees Bobcats can provide the best when it comes to earthmoving work, whether it is a big project or a small one that needs land clearing or excavation. The range of Dee-Gees Bobcats equipment includes mini excavators, tippers, rock breaker and soil levellers. Hiring the right equipment will help complete the DIY project in a more timely manner.