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Award winning builder gives tips on renovating your property

first_imgBudget, style and functional design all need to be considered when renovating.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor9 hours agoTo help out those who are looking to renovate their home, kalka has provided a list of five things that renovation builders really want to know from their clients:1. What is the style or look that you are going for?2. Are you aware of anything that might cause problems or add extra cost in the home eg asbestos.3. What is your realistic budget?4. Can you move out during the renovation period or do you need to stay?5. What are the non-negotiable items in your renovation?Kalka was established in 2005 with a vision to bring more functional and modern small-lothomes to the inner-city markets.Since then it has grown to become one of Brisbane’s premier building companies withdisplay homes in Wooloowin and Rochedale.Mr Bridle said they were constantly working to improve their business model to ensure clients received the highest quality and best designed homes in the market place.“Renovations by kalka is a natural extension of our passion for creating homes ofexceptional design and quality that embody the essence of Queensland living,” he said. Renovations by kalka is launching to fill the renovation gap and meet the predicted boom.“Since inception our mission has been to deliver functional floor plans, market leadingdesign and high quality features and now we’re doing the same for anyone looking torenovate,” Mr Bridle said.“The service includes specialist interior design advice at completion of the build fromfurniture selection to throws featuring our signature Scandinavian-inspired colour palettes.” Renovations by kalka give some tips for those looking at updating their home.RENOVATIONS are expected to boom over the next two years with figures showing expected growth in the industry of almost $2 billion by 2019.According to the Housing Industry Association’s “renovation roundup” report, the renovation market is the strongest it has been since 2010 with overall volume expected to increase nationally from $31.38 billion in 2016 to $33.37 billion in 2019.That is an overall expansion in the industry of 6.3 per cent.Award-winning Queensland home builder, kalka, is taking advantage of those figures and launching a new dedicated renovation arm, Renovations by kalka.Owner and founder Hugh Bridle, said the service would include all sized renovations from a simple extension to a large-scale renovation.last_img read more

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ABN Amro switches to CDC in €700m deal

first_imgDutch bank ABN Amro has struck an agreement with unions to transform its current €13.6bn defined benefit pension plan into a collective defined contribution (CDC) arrangement, as part of its new collective labour agreement (CAO). The change will take effect as soon as the unions have received their members’ approval and will affect both existing and new pension rights. Rabobank opted for a similar route for its pension arrangements, whereas banc-assurer ING chose to set up two new pension funds. Under the terms of the new CAO, ABN Amro will no longer have to address any funding shortfalls in the scheme. As compensation, the employer agreed to contribute €500m in a one-off payment.In addition, the pension fund would receive €200m in order to pay for the planned indexation in arrears without having to put pressure on its coverage ratio, which was 122% at February-end. The CAO negotiations have taken more time the initially expected. More than a year ago, ABN Amro consulted the unions about its plans for a new pension scheme.The new arrangements were scheduled to come into force on 1 January 2014, affecting the pension fund’s almost 85,000 participants in total.last_img read more

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UK roundup: Institute for Fiscal Studies, Aegon UK, PIC

first_imgAuto-enrolment has been most successful with respect to younger employees, aged 22-29, and relatively low earners, according to the IFS.It has also had a positive impact in terms of boosting membership of workplace pensions among those not directly targeted by the policy.Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon UK, said there were “some really positive signs auto-enrolment is working” but that contribution rates remained a concern, as even the total of 8% of earnings that the minimum contribution will rise to by April 2019 is “unlikely to be enough for an adequate income for retirement”.The auto-enrolment policy also fails to capture workers in increasingly common “non-standard working arrangments”, she said, so care needs to be taken to incentivise these workers to save for retirement. In other news, Pension Insurance Corporation has priced an issuance of £250m of subordinated debt with an annual coupon of 8% and a maturity of 10 years.It will use the proceeds to meet expected demand from UK defined benefit pension funds for wholesale insurance annuity products.CFO Rob Sewell said: “We have had a very successful second half and expect continued significant interest from pension funds for bulk annuities. “We have taken advantage of a window of market opportunity to bolster our considerable financial resources to be able to meet that increased demand.” Research published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found that the automatic-enrolment of employees into workplace pension schemes increased pension saving by £2.5bn (€2.9bn) per year to April 2015 as a result of a large increase in pension membership.The IFS said auto-enrolment increased pension participation among those eligible by 37 percentage points, so that, by April 2015, 88% of these private sector employees were members of a workplace pension scheme.Before the advent of auto-enrolment, the figure was around half, and membership had been falling, according to the research institution.  The research was based on data from April 2011 to April 2015.last_img read more

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The castle that needs a royal touch

first_imgThis suburban castle is located at 2 Lunar Place, Bridgeman DownsThe six bedroom residence has soaring ceilings, imported materials and ornate features, a grand staircase and a palatial floorplan. Hello down there loyal subjects.Inside you are greeted by soaring 20ft ceilings and a stunning two metre imported crystal chandelier encased by a circular butterfly staircase and exquisite Traveston tiles. One thinks this must be the throne roomIn the lobby a double staircase with carved cherry wood balustrades is illuminated by an impressive crystal chandelier. From here you can look out over Westeros, umm, I mean the Sunshine Coast hinterland.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex touched down in Australia this morning ahead of the Invictus Games, and while house hunting may not be on their itinerary, we are sure the king of this castle would be happy to give Harry and Meghan the royal tour. Blingy!There are seven kingsize bedrooms, a Porte Cochre entrance with circular driveway, a pool, sauna, outdoor kitchen, all within the poolside cabana area and billiards room.Finally, if the couple are more in favour of an escape to the country, Mountain Lake Manor at Clear Mountain could be the bee’s knees. And here it is from the backSplit over four levels, there is also enough parking for 12 vehicles. And in Southport, an “inner city country manor” can be located at 2 Charlton Street. Weddings cost a bomb so Ridgewood Castle, and its apartment price tag, might be just what the newlyweds are looking for.Also on the market is The Abbey, a 14 bedroom property being marketed as ‘Australia’s cheapest castle’. A dry moat surrounds this castleIT is no Kensington Palace but this gothic castle is just crying out for the royal touch. And it comes with its own moat. center_img Sure its nice but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have to share Kensington Palace with his brother and sister-in-law, cousins, and other notables. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)The Ridgewood castle sits on 3.4 hectares and has its own entrance bridge, soaring archways and even turrets.And it won’t cost the crown jewels. Coooooeeeee!And after a hard day serving your subjects, there is a poolside summerhouse with sauna, spa and outdoor annex adjoining the tennis court, a freestanding golf room, a bar and billiards game room, and a step up bath befitting a regal rump.At Bridgeman Downs, there is 2 Lunar Place — a suburban castle that could be Brisbane’s Buckingham Palace. Ridgewood Palace is on the market for offers over $850,000 making it a greater starter castle for the young royals.It is on the market for offers over $850,000, leaving plenty of gold bullion in reserve for a royal reno. All offers over $2.2 million will be presented to the owners of The Abbey in Warwick — a bargains hen you consider the amount being spent to renovate Buckingham Palace.The three storey sandstone masterpiece has 50 rooms including a chapel, a grand dining room and function rooms.It was designed by the same architect behind the Breakfast Creek Hotel, has stained glass from the Munich Royal Bavarian Art Institute for Stained Glass, who also made glass for the Vatican, a statue designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty, and Wunderlich pressed metal ceilings.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoThe royal suite is pretty sweet!One could call this home for an offer over $2.2 million.In Gilston, a grand manor on riverfront acreage is on the market at 392 Gilston Road.With the feel of a Spanish castle, the manor is set on five acres and has solid limestone walls, soaring ceilings and expansive living areas.The dining room is more like a banquet hall or culinary cathedral, with its atrium ceiling, water fountain and chandelier. That chandelier probably cost more than your car, seriously!Each room exhibits an individual decor theme using ornate ceiling and wall treatments, decorative panelling and exquisite wallpapers by Designers Guild and Ralph Lauren. Antique mirrors, imported high-gloss tiles and Perrin Rowe tapware are just some of the regal touches. Jaw hits floor …There are seven individually designed bedrooms including a master suite with a raised bed platform, crystal chandelier and an extensive ensuite. That ensuite includes a spa bath, double shower, toilet, bidet and floor to ceiling marble tiles. Outside there is a resort style saltwater infinity edge pool and entertaining pavilion, horse paddocks, a dam, underground water tanks and a designated area for a tennis court.last_img read more

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Maersk Line Boosts Canada-Europe Links with New Transatlantic Service

first_imgDanish shipping giant Maersk Line is expanding its presence between Europe’s Mediterranean region and Canada to cater for the growing demands on both sides of the Atlantic.The company is introducing a new weekly service that will be a five-vessel rotation stopping in Salerno and La Spezia (Italy), Fos-sur-Mer (France), Algeciras (Spain), Montreal and Halifax (Canada), and Valencia (Spain).The fully Maersk Line-operated service — the Mediterranean-Montreal Express — will have its first sailing on July 2, departing from Salerno and arriving in Montreal on July 19.Other Mediterranean markets will also be connected to the new service through the company’s integrated transshipment services in Algeciras and Valencia, with products to/from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, according to the company.“With one agreement in effect to fuel Canadian imports and exports in the Atlantic and another one in the works for the Pacific, this represents only favourable wind behind the expansion of our services in Canada and enable our customers to reach new markets in Europe and Asia,” Jack Mahoney, President of Maersk Line Canada, said.The new service will call Montreal’s Cast terminal, operated by MGT, which is located closest to the ocean and offers easy access to rail and trucking options.In addition, the service will make an Eastbound call in Halifax, Nova Scotia, catering for an important Canadian perishable market and facilitating refrigerated shipments of foodstuff traditionally exported from Canadian Maritime Provinces.In a separate announcement, Hamburg Süd, part of Maersk, informed it is revising the sequence of ports in its EMCS service between Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and North Europe.Beginning in June, weekly calls will be made at the following ports as part of the EMCS service: Puerto Moin (Costa Rica), Cork (Ireland), Tilbury (UK), Antwerp (Belgium), Bremerhaven (Germany), Altamira and Veracruz (Mexico), Port of Big Creek (Belize) and Manzanillo (Panama).last_img read more

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Rodgers not concerned by club debt

first_img On Monday the publication of the Reds’ annual accounts revealed a loss of £40.5million with overall debt rising by £21.8million to £87.2million But Rodgers denied that would impact on his spending, stressing owners Fenway Sports Group had already pledged their full support for his restructuring plans. “If you look where the club was at four years ago and where it is now it is a different place,” said the Liverpool boss, who has spent part of his first year in charge cutting the wage bill at Anfield by offloading high-earning but low-performing players. He added: “Of course there is still debt there but I think next year’s results will show further improvement on that. “In terms of me building the squad I’ve already got the assurances it won’t affect anything. “I think you have to give massive credit to the board and FSG because they took on an astronomical amount of debt – almost £400million – so where it is at now in their short period of time here is a huge credit to them while still supporting the investment of the team. “They have made every promise and every commitment to me that every single penny they have will go into generating the squad and making it better. “We won’t be able to do it like some clubs and throw out masses each year but that is something as a club we are looking to standardise here while still growing the club and bringing in quality players and that won’t stop in the summer.” Press Associationcenter_img Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists an increase in the club’s debt levels will not impact on his ability to strengthen the squad this summer.last_img read more

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Vidic discharged from hospital

first_img “Nemanja Vidic has been released from hospital after suffering concussion,” said a United statement. Vidic is not due to play again until November 24, when United visit Cardiff in the Premier League. However, no timescale has been put on the 32-year-old’s return to training. While there is no mandatory period for Vidic to rest, United’s medical staff will need to be satisfied the defender has fully recovered before he is allowed back on the pitch. Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic has been released from hospital after suffering concussion during Sunday’s Barclays Premier League encounter with Arsenal. Vidic left the field shortly before half-time after colliding with team-mate David de Gea. The Serbian was clearly dazed and was sent to hospital for examination by the club before later returning home. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Montolivo to miss World Cup

first_img O’Neill, whose side lost 2-1 against Turkey in Dublin last weekend, were the better team on the night and were unlucky not to claim the win when substitute Stephen Kelly saw his shot beat Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu but hit the crossbar. “We played very well indeed,” O’Neill said. “Italy started well and had two chances in the opening 10 minutes but after that, we settled down. “I thought we were excellent. We could have scored a few goals. “I’m very pleased with the way we played against Italy. “I thought the game was very competitive from start to finish, just what both teams wanted.” “All our thoughts are with Riccardo right now,” coach Cesare Prandelli said. “I haven’t spoken to him yet. “Montolivo is an important player for us. He has become in the past few years a reference player not only on the pitch but off it. Obviously, his team-mates are shocked.” Montolivo’s absence will no doubt hurt Italy in Brazil, but it immediately took its toll in London as they struggled to create a decent chance after his departure. “Everyone got distracted by the injury,” Prandelli said. “It’s difficult to assess the game right now, we will do that once we return to Florence tomorrow. “There were positives from this game but we wish there could have been more.” Prandelli, whose side are now winless in their last six international games, was set to name his final squad for the World Cup on Sunday. “I might take one extra day to name the squad but we will see tomorrow,” he said. Ireland coach Martin O’Neill applauded his players following their impressive performance at Craven Cottage. Press Association The AC Milan captain was carried off the pitch on a stretcher early in the first half following a challenge with Ireland’s Alex Pearce and was taken to a nearby hospital to have an X-ray. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) confirmed Montolivo has a fractured tibia and will be taken to Milan in an air ambulance on Sunday ahead of surgery. Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo will miss the World Cup with a broken leg suffered in Saturday night’s 0-0 friendly draw against Ireland at Craven Cottage.last_img read more

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Kearney defends Ireland try record

first_img Full-back Kearney claimed Ireland are not “massively underperforming in comparison to other teams” when it comes to try-scoring. The Leinster star is adamant Ireland can still retain their RBS 6 Nations title, with Scotland left to play in Edinburgh on Saturday. Rob Kearney has defended Ireland’s inability to convert intense pressure into tries in Saturday’s 23-16 defeat to Wales that cost Joe Schmidt’s side a Grand Slam chance. Press Association “We won’t be talking in any way history books over the coming days.” Wales beat Ireland at their own game in Cardiff on Saturday, dominating the aerial battle before easing home through Scott Williams’ try. Wales boss Warren Gatland put one over compatriot and Ireland boss Schmidt, but Kearney rejected the notion of any negative thoughts permeating the squad. Kearney warned Ireland any focus on the points-difference title race would “disrespect” Scotland, who are battling to avoid the Wooden Spoon. “Without a doubt,” said Kearney when asked if Ireland can still claim the title. “We need some things to go in our favour but winning this game is much more the focus than winning the championship. “If we win this game we are in with a chance of winning the championship. Whatever happens after attempting to win this game, will be. “There’s no pessimism within the squad. I think when you lose games and you underperform, you’re going to get criticism and some of those are probably warranted. “So I’m not surprised at the criticism but we’re fully aware of moods within our own camp and the main thing for us is that there’s no pessimism within the team room. “The points difference is out of our control: we won’t be focusing in any way on the outcome, or points difference or anything like that. “We have to be really professional and treat this just as a one-off game. As soon as you start talking points difference you disrespect the Scottish. “That’s something we don’t want to do, and if we do you’ll be punished for it. We certainly won’t be thinking or talking about any points difference. “We’ll be going to win the game, and however we do that and by whatever margin – be it one, two, three – that’ll be our focus.” Ireland can still record back-to-back championship victories for the first time since 1949 this weekend, but the title destination could again be decided on points difference. Kearney pledged Ireland will treat the Scotland game as a Test match in isolation, rather than worry about what will be required to retain their title. “If you look across the board at the other teams, I don’t think it is an area where Ireland are massively underperforming in comparison to other teams,” said Kearney. “The amount of tries scored in this competition, right across the board, over the last four rounds has been quite minimal. “While it is frustrating a little bit that we are not scoring those tries, sometimes you have to look where the other teams are and if you can see there is a little bit of a trend, it eases that frustration a little bit.” Kearney admitted securing a second straight Six Nations title would confirm Ireland’s place in history for all time – but said that is as far as any thoughts of rewriting the records books will stretch this week. “History and records are always very nice: once you have achieved something it is there in the history books for life but we can’t focus at all on those things,” said Kearney. “It is hugely important that we are focused on this one 80 minutes and whatever happens outside that will happen. last_img read more

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The Latest: Borussia Dortmund helps in fight against virus

first_img___Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang was among 20 people arrested in Kenya for locking themselves in a bar and drinking alcohol in breach of a curfew imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.Police say the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist was among those detained at a police station in Iten, one of Kenya’s famous high-altitude towns where distance runners train. They were in breach of a 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The group included a local politician.Kipsang, who is also a police officer, was provisionally suspended this year from track and field and charged with doping offenses that include tampering with doping samples. He has also won the New York, London and Berlin marathons.Twelve athletes were arrested in Iten earlier this week for breaching Kenyan government regulations on social gatherings during the COVID-19 crisis. The runners were arrested for training in a group, which has been banned in Kenya. Training camps have been shut down and athletes must train alone. April 3, 2020 The Latest: Borussia Dortmund helps in fight against virus The nine-day Swiss race was scheduled to run from June 6-14 and is designed to give riders a chance to prepare for the three-week Tour de France. The French race is still scheduled to start on June 27.Colombian rider Egan Bernal won in Switzerland last year ahead of his first Tour de France title.Organizers in Switzerland say its “the first time since the Second World War that the traditional event will not take place.”They say “the risk of additional strain on the Swiss health system due to possible crashes during racing is high.”___ The Russian anti-doping agency is preparing to freeze all testing until May to comply with new government measures shutting down work deemed non-essential.RUSADA deputy CEO Margarita Pakhnotskaya tells The Associated Press that her agency is looking for possible exemptions to instructions from President Vladimir Putin for all Russians except those working in essential sectors to stay home through April 30.Pakhnotskaya says in a text message that she “will check on Monday the possibility to receive special permission” from government bodies for staff to collect samples from athletes. There will be no testing this month if that isn’t granted.Testing has been suspended since March 27 under a previous round of measures.Isolation measures around the world have led to a sharp drop in anti-doping tests. That’s led to warnings that some athletes could take advantage of the situation. The World Anti-Doping Agency says it is trying to track gaps in testing. Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___German soccer club Borussia Dortmund is converting part of its stadium into a treatment center amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Bundesliga club says a space inside Germany’s largest soccer stadium has been made available for medical staff to examine people with virus symptoms.The move comes after an influx of suspected coronavirus cases put existing facilities in the city of Dortmund under strain.The center will open on Saturday.___The Tour de Suisse has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, removing one of the few cycling events left on the calendar before the Tour de France is due to start. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

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