house solar panels

Western Australia’s Energy System Is Changing

“Western Australians have embraced rooftop solar, and the government wants to make sure that can continue in a stable way.”

Key Points:

  • We’ve embraced rooftop solar but the speed and scale of installations are eroding the security and reliability of the current electricity system.
  • The DER Roadmap will help manage this and encourage more renewable energy uptake.
  • We’re moving from a system centered on large generators to one with 1000’s of individual generators on the rooftops of homes and businesses.

Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap

The WA government has recently created a Distributed Energy Resources (DER) roadmap to manage the fast uptake of solar and the affects it’s having on our current power system.

DER are smaller devices such as rooftop solar systems, microgrids, batteries and electric vehicles. These can generate, use or store power and are part of the distribution system.

The actions in the DER Roadmap will help ensure our power system is stable while also managing the new DER sources.

The taskforce are also working on various pilots plans including community batteries that will enable people to share solar power with their neighbors.


country style house

6 Features To Love in a Country-Style House

In both rural and urban areas of WA, many residents are designing their homes in a country-style to suit the land they have available to them. To create the look of a country-style house, you need a low-slung profile, large glass doors and windows, wide verandah as well as interiors that have an open concept.

6 Features Of Country Style Homes

  1. Wide horizontal single-storey design
  2. Large windows so natural light streams in
  3. Large open plan living spaces
  4. Seamless access from indoors to outdoor verandahs and patios
  5. Excellent for entertaining or having guests stay over
  6. Designed to take advantage of surrounding views

    “Country-style houses are often single-storey homes with a low-slung profile and long horizontal footprint.”

    Country Style Houses Perth

    IQ Construction specialises in designing and building country style homes around Perth and regional areas. In addition to the above features, our country houses also include water tanks, septic systems and long service runs. You dream it and we’ll build it!

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    PlanWA Interactive Planning Map

    PlanWA gives you free public access to planning, land, and heritage data from across Western Australia and can help you map it. The interactive interface lets anyone access the data to help learn how specific land is used and how it can be developed in the future.

    It can be used by government, industry, landowners, and more. Here is a list of its potential benenfits and an instruction video to help you understand its uses.

    Benefits of PlanWA:

    • It can be used by local government, industry and the community to make informed decisions.
    • PlanWA can help understand how the land is used and what future development may be able to occur in an area.
    • PlanWA links to a wide variety of planning, land and heritage policies and programs.

    “This interactive viewer links to the latest spatial planning, land and heritage information for any land parcel within the State.”

    Instruction Video

    To Launch PlanWA

    Go to the PlanWA page on the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website:

    kitchen benchtop materials

    Kitchen Benchtop Materials – The 11 Best Options

    There are so many choices for benchtops in the kitchen, and the material you choose for your renovation can make a big difference in the new space.

    11 Benchtop Options

    1. Engineered stone
    2. Laminate
    3. Timber
    4. Solid surface
    5. Stainless steel
    6. Polished concrete
    7. Marble
    8. Granite
    9. Porcelain
    10. Bamboo
    11. Ultra-compact surface

    Stone benchtops, for example, are famously easy to clean, and will last a lifetime. Best of all, stone is non-porous, so it resists staining and scratching.

    Laminate has recently made a comeback, with many different styles propping up, and it won’t stretch your budget too much. Timber is another “old fashioned” style that’s making a comeback.

    Some thoughts

    • Engineered stone — a mix of stone aggregate bound together with resin — is a sturdy choice for one of the most-used surfaces in your home.
    • Timber can be a warm and visually appealing choice, but it requires periodic coatings of oil or polyurethane to protect it.
    • Solid acrylic resin counter tops have the advantage of being easy to repair without a total replacement.

    “If your kitchen reno is on a tight budget then laminate is your choice, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on looks”

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    waterproofing commercial buildings

    Waterproofing Commercial Buildings

    The foundation of any building is a critical component and if isn’t prepared correctly, water and dampness can cause a lot of damage. Waterproofing your building is a critical step that can help secure the foundation and protect you from paying higher costs in the future. A building can be waterproofed at any point, but it is advised to waterproof your building when it’s built if possible.

    Waterproofing has many benefits

    • Improved structural strength
    • Enhanced air quality
    • Positive effect on energy efficiency
    • Complies with building codes
    • Can enhance the property value
    • Increases the life of the building

    Key Takeaways:

    • The foundation of a building is critical for its’ existence, and water can destroy the foundation of any building.
    • Waterproofing a building can be done at any time, but it is best to waterproof the building as early in its creation as possible.
    • Water can seriously damage the foundation which can lead to other parts of the building being affected, however, waterproofing helps to prevent that from occurring.

    “Although many take waterproofing for buildings as an expensive affair, it proves to be highly useful and cost-effective in the long run.”

    We have developed efficient and effective project management methods that ensure we complete your commercial build correctly, on time and on budget. Learn more about our commercial building projects around Perth.

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    climbing plants

    7 fast growing climbing plants

    There are plants out there that can offer you something more than just something beautiful to look at.

    7 recommended climbing plants

    • Wisteria
    • Star jasmine
    • Bougainvillea
    • Boston ivy
    • Crimson glory vine
    • Passionfruit vine
    • Mandevillas

    Climbing plants can serve several purposes like camouflage or for privacy purposes. They are strong and sturdy plants that don’t need something to hold them up, they can hold their own and climb over any surface.

    Vines are an example of the climbing plants that know to grow into their surroundings. If they overtake enough space they can also offer shade as well as add to the attractiveness of your home.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Boston ivy can cover backyard fences and walls in gorgeous green.
    • It’s important to know whether a plant loves the shade (e.g., Star Jasmine) or sun (e.g., Bougainvillea).
    • Passion fruit vines are warm-weather climbers that also bear edible fruit.

    “Most climbing plants, including vines, ivy and other flowering varieties are very hardy and adaptable.”

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    roofing materials

    A roof over your head: Choosing the right roofing materials

    The roofing you choose for your new home or renovation will depend on a few different factors.

    Considerations when choosing roofing materials

    • The overall look you want
    • Colours and styles available
    • Structural support of your home
    • Maintenance required
    • Fire resistance level required
    • Surrounding home styles
    • Heritage compliance if necessary

    Popular roofing choices in Perth

    • Metal roofing such as Colorbond and Zincalume
    • Clay tiles
    • Concrete tiles
    • Composite tiles
    • Wood shingles and shakes
    • Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
    • Translucent sheeting

    When choosing the right materials keep in mind that you will definitely want to use insulation to keep the elements and extreme temperatures from penetrating through to your home.


    • Steel roof sheets are light, strong and fire resistant, but can be a sharp hazard if improperly installed.
    • One advantage of roofing tiles is that, if damaged, you may need only to replace a tile or two.
    • Available in tinted colors, polycarbonate sheets range from transparent to nearly opaque.

    “Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, each has its own particular look, and each comes in a range of options for that particular material.”

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    natural stone wall cladding

    The benefits of using natural stone wall cladding

    Stone wall cladding has become a popular way to spice up both interior and exterior parts of the home. It gives rooms and spaces so much more character and provides it a nice touch.

    Stone wall cladding is cost effective as well and not time consuming to install. You won’t have to install it piece by piece because the individual tiles are adhered to a panel that interlocks at the corners. It’s cheapest and easiest way to give your home some added depth.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Natural stone wall cladding tiles come in set sizes and are easy to install.
    • The durability of stone wall cladding makes it suitable for exterior use.
    • Indoors, stone wall cladding works great for fireplaces and bathroom walls.

    “The natural texture and variation of the wall panels helps connect the architecture and interior to the surrounding landscape.”

    See top 12 cladding ideas.

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    cladding materials

    Top 12 Cladding Ideas for Australian Houses

    Nowadays a lot of people are choosing different types of cladding when building or renovating their homes. You can add cladding to the outside of your home to give it a whole new look. There are a variety of cladding materials and no matter what you choose it will add to the overall strength of the structure of the home.

    12 Popular Cladding Materials:

    • Stone Cladding
    • Vinyl Cladding
    • Timber Weatherboard
    • Fibre Cement Cladding
    • Metal Cladding
    • Brick Cladding
    • uPVC Cladding
    • Tile Cladding
    • Glass Cladding
    • Aluminum Cladding
    • Ceramic Cladding
    • Porcelain Cladding

    Key Takeaways:

    • Utilizing stone helps your home look more natural and creates and more classic style visually
    • A vinyl cladding is used as more of a protective addition to preserve the structure from natural elements
    • If you’re looking to match the exterior and interiors of your home, uPVC allows for multiple color shifts

    “Apart from being an aesthetic tool, cladding forms a protective shield around your house, adding to the mechanical strength of the building’s structure”

    Should you choose cladding or brick?

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    industrial interior design

    A Beginner’s Guide To Industrial Interior Design

    After the industrial revolution, there were several factories left abandoned, and with real estate being scarce, designers saw a chance to re-purpose these historic buildings. Thus, the industrial interior design was born.

    Large floor-to-ceilings windows let in natural light and exposed brick gave these buildings a character all to their own.

    Some other popular industrial design ideas include exposed piping, solid concrete walls, open shelving, and recycled materials. Although, when it comes to living spaces, it’s important to add a few contrasting design ideas or a splash of color, since industrial design alone may appear drab.

    Key Industrial Design Points:

    • Industrial design, or “industrial chic” consists of an exposed brick or metal design to give the feel of a worn-out factory.
    • One staple of the industrial style is exposed piping, which not only looks sleek, but can save money on excessive building materials.
    • Full industrially designed areas may appear drab, so it’s always good to add a splash of color to any design.

    “Two hundred years later, advancements in the construction industry allowed us to make bigger, better, and more efficient structures. The old factories closed down, giving way to modern manufacturing plants on the outskirts of the city.”

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