The 5 best supplement combinations for muscle growth

The 5 Best Supplement Combinations for Muscle Growth

Most guys start working out with one goal in mind, to get ripped. The starting points sometimes differ, with some starting out skinny as a twig, while others start out looking to shed fat, but the ultimate goal is usually the same; to grow some muscle. The journey to large bulging muscles is long and requires a lot of discipline, coupled with a good number of hours in a gym. These are the dues you have to pay to play with the big boys, quite literally.

Once you have a mental image of your gym goals, there comes the nutritional aspect. As soon as you start lifting serious weights, the one thing that becomes a constant concern is your diet. Nutritionally, your diet needs to be balanced, with most of the calories you take in coming from proteins instead of carbs and the bad kinds of fat. This is where supplements come into play. They help you meet your daily calorific intake without having to result to unorthodox or unhealthy options such as fast foods. To help you come up with a proper dietary table, here is a list of supplements that are essential for muscle growth:

Whey protein

This is one of the most important supplements for anyone looking to gain muscle. It is full of amino acids that are essential for the building of muscle, while ate the same time providing you with the fuel to workout with heavier weights for a longer time. Whey being a milk based protein is also absorbed rather quickly in the body. It also increases the body’s ability to produce anabolic hormones that are essential in growing muscles. Whey protein also has the added benefit of containing Leucine, which has been known to activate muscle growth on molecular level.  For anyone looking to bulk up in a healthy way, this is definitely a starting point. For best results, take 20 grams of high-quality whey protein powder, such as Gold Standard Whey, before you start your routine, and 40 grams an hour after you are done with training for the day.


Another favourite for anyone looking to gain muscle is creatine. It is made from three types of Amino Acids, namely Arginine, Methionine, and Glycine. They way this works is that it increases the amount of energy that your muscles produce. This in turn makes it possible for you to perform more reps with greater weight at the gym, which stimulates muscle growth and lets you get bigger. Creatine also works by increasing the amount of water that gets drawn into your muscle cells, which stretches them thereby stimulating long term growth.

For the most efficient results, take between 2 and 5 grams of creatine immediately before your work out. It could be in the form of creatine monohydrate, creatine malate, or creatine alpha-ketoglutarate. It is best ingested right before your workout, in order to flood the cells and keep you ready for your workout and the increased reps you are looking for.

Branched Amino Acids

This is a broad group of amino acids that are essential for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue after the stresses of a brutal workout. They are referred to as BCAAs and typically include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Among these, leucine is considered superior, with research showing that it can stimulate muscle regeneration on its own. BCAAs provide the body with a host of benefits including increasing the energy needed for the workout, stimulating muscle growth, and reducing the effect of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that inhibits the production of testosterone while increasing the breakdown of muscles. They are best taken as 5-10 grams with your protein shake before and after a workout.

Casein protein

This is the other essential protein that is derived from milk. It comes in below whey in terms of importance, mainly because it is digested a lot slower in comparison. This particular quality however, makes casein the perfect supplement to take just before getting into bed. This is because it prevents catabolism by emptying at a slow and steady rate. It also boosts post workout muscle growth and recovery in a way that is similar to whey protein. Some people even suggest taking both in a post workout shake for better results. Casein protein is best taken at 20-40 grams right before you go to bed.

Beta-alanine supplements

This is a little known miracle supplement. When ingested, this amino acid is combined in the body with histidine (another amino acid) to form something called carnosine. Research has shown that having higher levels of carnosine gives your muscles more strength and endurance. This comes from its ability to enable the muscles to contract more forcefully and for longer periods without giving in to fatigue. Studies conducted on athletes showed that using Beta-alanine allowed them to have more power and muscle strength. When taken with creatine, it causes increased muscle growth and a faster fat loss. Take 1-2 grams before every workout, together with creatine for best results.  

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Are All Oil Filter Parts The Same?

Plain and simple, oil is the life blood of your engine, when it comes to truck spare parts all oil filters are not the same. As oil circulates around your engine it picks up dirt and contaminants and that can damage your engine, which if left can ultimately kill your engine.

In the early days of the internal combustion engine, they didn’t use oil filters which meant engines required frequent oil changes. Eventually the first full-flow oil filtration system was developed. This allowed oil to flow through the filter before it reached the critical working components inside the engine.

Oil enters the oil filter through a series of small holes on the outer edge of the base flange, where it is directed through the filter, exiting through the large centre hole. Today most oil filters are equipped with an anti-drain back valve, this valve holds oil inside the filter to prevent dry engine starts (where the engine is started with no oil).

Early oil filters were based on a replaceable element that fitted inside a metal housing, when you changed the filter, you changed the housing and discarded the element, cleaned the housing and added a new filter. By the mid-20th century, spin-on filters became popular – this was where the filter element and cartridge were self-contained. You removed the works, discarded it and screwed on a new filter during the oil change process.

Today there has been a move back towards earlier designs where oil is filtered through an element contained inside separate housing. Of course, todays vehicles require far less oil changes than those of the past.

Today there are a range of oil filters available but remember – not all oil filters are created equally – you get what you pay for.

Is there a difference between the different filters – standard, high performance, race filters and synthetic filters – yes, there is.


You need to consider your engine, for example when it comes to a race car – they seldom experience a *cold start*, oil is changed frequently, and the oil used is thicker. Racing filters are designed to work with these thicker oils, and some race filters are not fitted with drain back valves.

Filter media is different again, with some filters engineered with synthetic filter media, rather than pleated paper-based media. The synthetic media is believed to be able to capture small contaminants over a longer period of time, and some synthetic filters have special blends of rubber used for gaskets and drain back valves. The reason for this, as with filter media, they have been designed to last longer, with some filters having larger and longer bodies than conventional filters giving them more capacity.

There are many variables found inside oil filters – so what is the right truck spare part for you? It depends, you need to read and study the different specifications of each filter to determine the oil filter that’s right for your needs, and, for your truck. If your truck is newer you should also consider your warranty, use that as a guide and choose an oil filter recommended by your truck manufacturer. Not all filters are seen as compatible by your vehicle manufacturer and this is important when it comes to your warranty.

You may also want to consider the pros and cons of using high grade synthetic oil and a top of the range oil filter in an old truck, likewise it doesn’t make sense to use cheap oil and a cheap filter in a top of the range truck. In the end, choosing a filter is just like choosing oil – pick the one that’s best for your truck, and your budget.

Filter facts

  • Filters are not created equal – the intended application for a given oil filter has a big impact on the design and engineering component.
  • In an engine, oil enters the filter at the filter pad, from here it circulates through the series of smaller holes in the outer area of the filter. Oil is then forced through the filter element – from the outside in and then towards the centre of the filter.
  • When a filter does its job, internal engine components such as the valvetrain, camshaft and connecting rods are protected from any contaminants that can cause damage to your engine. These components are expensive, so it is important to pick the right oil and the right oil filter to promote your engines life.

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Looking After Your Car Can Save You Money In The Long Run

Most people do not understand the benefits of taking good care of their car. For some, as long as the engine runs, they are comfortable with letting the car be. They never take their car for check-ups or servicing, and continue to ignore any warning lights that go up in the dash. They keep doing this until the car suddenly dies on them, in most cases at the most inopportune of moments. Carrying out repairs on such a car ends up being very costly

It is therefore in your best interests to take proper care of your car, by making sure it is serviced. Here are some of the reasons why taking good care of your car is a good idea:

Increases your safety


One of the main reasons why you should regularly maintain your car is to ensure safe driving. You will be able to notice problems before they become debilitating and potentially deadly. Problems with your car’s breaking system or suspension are hazardous and could mean doom on the road.

You should keep in mind that just because your car is still running, does not mean everything is working the way it should. Such vital parts as brake pads, suspension joints, and bushes are usually hidden within the bowels of the car. As such, it is hard to notice the wear and tear since it is gradual. You end up being lulled into a false sense of security, thinking all is ok until one or more parts suddenly give up and you end up in a crash. Making sure your car is regularly checked could avoid such an eventuality. This includes checking tyre pressure, air and cabin filters and oil levels among others.

Lowers the cost of running

Most experienced motorists understand the value of running regular maintenance on your car. When a problem is diagnosed and sorted out in time, it saves money. First, it stops the program from aggravating and spreading out to other parts of the car. For instance, running a car without coolant could damage your engine irreparably, necessitating the replacement of the whole unit. This is a very costly affair overall.

Another way where regular maintenance saves you money is through fuel consumption. When a car is running smoothly, it consumes fuel more efficiently, and you are able to get more miles to the gallon. Putting in new oil and air filters increase fuel consumption efficiency, while running on properly inflated tyres will reduce something called rolling resistance. All these lead to improved fuel consumption.

Maintains the value

At some point, you may want to sell your car. It could be due to a number of reasons, including upgrading to a newer model. The second hand car market is notoriously competitive. Most prospective buyers always lead with the question, “What condition is it in?”.  For these people, it is not enough to say “everything works fine”

When your car has a full service record, it becomes easier to offload. You can produce this as evidence that your car has been properly cared for. Another way you can maintain the value of your car is by taking it for detailing. A proper cleaning, stain and odour removal and polishing once in a while could go a long way in changing the perception of your prospective buyer towards your car. Proper detailing when coupled with a smooth running vehicle also let you better appreciate your car.

Regular care will also improve the longevity of your car. Just like the better you treat your body, the less likelihood of you taking ill, well maintained cars run smoother for longer.

For insurance purposes

Insurance premiums are sometimes reviewed upwards in the event that your car fails an inspection. A well maintained car is likely to maintain the normal premiums. It is also less likely to cause you to rely on auto assurance, especially for instances like breaking down in the middle of nowhere, where a tow truck or flatbed is required. Such and exemplary insurance record goes a long way in when dealing with the same provider, even for other vehicles in your family or in case you change cars.

Read More: Car Maintenance Goals for 2018


Fast Food With A Twist

People who love exercise are better at healthy eating than the rest of us. It’s probably because they work so hard to achieve and maintain their lean muscle and trim bodies that they have an easier time ‘just saying no’. Of course getting into shape in the first place requires a lot of will power, so it makes sense that some of it is channelled into avoiding empty calories.

As for the rest of us, we have to be tricked into eating things that are good for us. We dehydrate fruit to make it sweeter, coat nuts in chocolate to make it more palatable, and dip whole grains in honey just to make it past our tongues. Fortunately, the exercise industry has been kind to us, specifically a firm called Quest.


Quest cake

If there’s ever a diet that lets you eat cake, you’re sure to sign up! Well, Quest Bars have been kind enough to develop protein bars in birthday cake flavour, and its packaging is good enough to eat! A small slice of birthday cake (about 60g) contains 200 calories with frosting. Similarly, a 60g protein bar has between 160 and 200 calories, depending on the flavour.

However, while the cake has 27mg of cholesterol, 10g of fat, 35g of carbs, and 2.6g of protein, your matching protein bar has 20g of protein, 0.5 mg of fat, and 5mg of cholesterol. It comes in vanilla almond crunch and chocolate peanut butter flavours. Yum! Plus, with 18g of fibre, it will keep you full far longer than a slice of cake, reducing your overall caloric consumption.

Quest cookies

No gluten, no soy, no added sugar … that doesn’t sound like much of a cookie. But it does give you 15g of protein, 9g of fibre, and 4g of carbs. They’re rather large cookies at 60g a piece, with each one bearing 250 calories. And it does have real chocolate and promises a soft, chewy texture. But because it’s such a large portion, you’d have to stop at one.

A single Maryland cookie weighs a little over 10g, so you’d need 5 or 6 to match one from Quest. And 6 Maryland cookies would clock over 300 calories, combining for a total of 45g of carbs and 6g of protein with no fibre at all. It’s interesting to note though that 6 Maryland’s contain 15g of fat while a single Quest cookie has 17g, so they’re not too far apart.

Quest chips

The trouble with chips (that’s crisps to us) is it’s hard to just have one. You’ll often end up clearing the whole pack. Nuts have the same problem, so while 6 to 10 cashews is a healthy snack, a 30g bag is less so. Still, it’s hard to resist the crunchy comfort of crisps. Their main trouble is they’re drowned in cooking oil. Quest chips are dried and baked rather than deep fried, so that’s one problem solved right there.

Every 30g pack has barely 1.5g of fat, none of it saturated. It also has 21g of protein and just 5g of carbs. It offers 120 calories and is flavoured with sea salt (that’s the good kind because it’s not processed and has no additives.) To compare, 30g of regular crisps offer 161 calories, 10g of fat (15% saturated), 16g of carbs, and 2g of protein.

Quest peanut butter cups

Planning to fill your Easter basket with Reese’s? At 515 calories for 100g, that’s a rich, decadent snack. So if you prefer them to chocolate eggs, you might consider getting the wholesome version. A single Reese’s weighs roughly 25g and has 88 calories, 5g of fat, 9g of carbs, and nearly 2g of protein. In comparison, a Cravings Peanut Butter Cup from Quest has 10g of protein, and just 2g of carbs. Yes, they contain real unprocessed chocolate, but they have no soy or sugar. You should note though, that each Quest cup has 120 calories so…

However you choose to ‘get your snack on’, healthy options are generally better. Still … keep in mind that while commercial health snacks have less fat and sugar, fewer carbs, more protein, and vitamin supplements, they often have more calories, so don’t gobble too many.

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Advantages Offered By 3D Landscaping Plans For Pool Planning

Building a pool is a major addition to your home and can be quite an investment. Therefore it is only natural that you want to go through different design concepts and placement options with your pool builder, as there are so many choices to consider. If you have a good imagination, it’s probably easy for you to picture your dream lagoon with all the features you want. But if you don’t, and you embark on the exciting journey to plan a pool, ask your pool builder if they offer to create 3D landscaping plans for you, as the advantages of powerful 3D technology are countless.


The virtual-reality software is now used by many pool builders to help the customer envision his new outdoor space as 2D pool drawings, building plans and deck layouts can be quite complex to understand. With the 3D modelling software, pool builders can present a detailed, virtual reality representation of what your investment will look like. Imagine being able to see your completed swimming pool, deck and surrounding landscaping before the building process has even started.


In this case, your pool builder will come out to the property and take measurements of the rooms facing your backyard, as well as landscape topography and property lines for the designer to produce a landscaping plan of your entire plot. Sometimes signature features such as large trees and existing entertainment areas, for example, outdoor kitchens are also added to the plan to help position the pool best on the site.


Once the initial plan is drawn, the designer will then place your pool into the landscaping plan with all its architectural characteristics like entry steps, Baja shelves, large decking and whatever features you would like to add. The digital landscaping plan makes it easy for you to picture what the new pool will look like from various angles as you can tour 3D through the new landscape to get a deeper understanding of the layout, as you are able to discover the entire design by scrolling through the landscape of your remodelled home.


To find the best position of your pool, the software is also able to depict the suns position in your backyard at various times of day to make you experience how the pool will look through the day whether it be sunrise or in the evening. If the designer has also drawn the rooms facing the pool, there is the possibility for you take a look at your future oasis from the second-floor window for better positioning, or maybe you want to check if it’s possible to see the children in the pool from the living room.


With the use of a 3D programme, there can be a lot of alterations and adjustments made throughout the designing process. Instead of having to re-draw the entire landscape old school by hand with coloured pens and templates, the designer is able to try out potential features and make changes on the spot to create different versions of your pool design such as different positions, finishing colours and material options for your deck, as well as any other details in and around your pool. To present the various design alternatives, pictures can be taken from various angles of the 3D landscape to help you understand all design details better and envision how all the pool features will come together and blend into the existing landscape.


With the help of the so-called renderings, you can then make your decision which design version suits your style and home best, all before the building process has even started.

Read More: How to Make Your Pool More Green (Enviro-Friendly)


Use truck and trailer stability control to save 148 lives

The Chair of the Australian Trucking Association – Geoff Crouch stated that the Australian Government could save a massive 148 lives this year by mandating stability control features for all new trucks and trailers on Australian roads.

The Australian Trucking association recently released its response to the Infrastructure Department’s regulatory impact statement on the mandating of stability control features for all heavy vehicles.

What is stability control? Stability control is a safety system for vehicles that monitors both the stability and sideways acceleration of a heavy vehicle, if the stability control senses a rollover starting it kicks in the brakes to stop, or assist stopping with a rollover occurring.

The regulatory impact statement has recommended that stability control systems should be required in all new prime movers that weigh more than 12 tonnes, and for newly registered trailers that weight more than 10 tonnes. The new technology will not need to be fitted to new rigid trucks.


The Australian Trucking Association recommends that the Australian Government should go much further than this. According to Mr Crouch – *The Government should lean on safety and mandate stability control for all new trucks and trailers, including rigid trucks with only narrow exceptions*

The Australian Trucking Association’s approach would save up to 148 lives this year and prevent up to 1,496 serious injuries. This means it would save 24 more lives and prevent 412 more serious injuries, then the amounts specified in the Regulatory Impact Statement.

Of course, this does mean that there will be an added cost on businesses – approximately $117 million in total, but this money would be spread over a period of many years and will cover every industry that buys new trucks. It is a cost we should be willing to pay. In reality, the additional outlay would be very small compared to the safety benefits, you can’t put a price on a life, or how a death or injury will impact on those left behind.

Mr Crouch added * The benefits from the Australian Trucking Association’s approach would be more than twice the costs. That’s more than the benefit to cost ratio of requiring electronic stability control for new passenger cars*

Due to issues in the technology and the rough conditions faced by road trains in rural and remote areas of Australia new road train converter dollies wold be exempt from the ESC requirement. Non-standard low loaders would also be exempt.

The Australian Trucking Association is the body that represents trucking operators. The ATA’s members include transport industry associations, major logistic companies and businesses with leading expertise in truck technology.

Following the Grafton truck and bus smash in October 1989 the Australian Trucking Association was founded to improve the trucking industry’s professionalism, safety and viability. This accident in 1989 at the time was the worst accident in Australia road transport history and claimed a total of 21 lives.

The Australian Trucking Association published its twentieth anniversary history, which covered all the key events that started the formation of the Australian Trucking Association, along with details and stories of the *larger than life* personalities that got involved.

How the Australian Trucking Industry is structured

  • ATA Constitution – as with many national associations, the Australian Trucking Association is a public company limited by guarantee. The constitution sets out the structure and decision-making arrangement in detail.
  • General Council – The Australian Trucking Association General Council guides the industries policies and consists of its direct and past members, past chairs and elected representatives of owner drivers and small fleet operators.
  • Board of Management – is responsible for financial oversight of the association and sets its strategic direction.
  • Industry Technical Council – consists of businesses with leading expertise in truck technology. The ITC provides the Australian Trucking Association with advice on technical issues and develops its technical advisory procedures.

Read More: How Buying Aftermarket Truck Parts Can Save You Serious Coin


Australia’s Most Successful Boxers

True grit, determination and the Aussie battler mentality are associated with some Australia’s finest boxing greats. Although a young country, Australia has produced its fair share of world class boxers. Some, operating on pure heart and instinct, others that have the technical prowess and flair that keep their audience on the edge their seat, as a knockout in the third-round looms closer.

This post is a tribute to those exceptional humans who have donned the trunks and have sacrificed, worked hard and succeeded in taking the boxing world by storm. From the unsung heroes of the past to the great of the present, who have started in a humble boxing club and through dedication have seen their names in neon lights in stadiums and boxing rings across the globe.

Rocky Mattioli

64-7-2 (51 KO)


The Italian born Mattioli’s impressive fight card of 64 wins with a staggering 51 KO’s earns him the Rocky title of one of Australia’s best boxers. In 1977 he defeated Eckhart Dagger to become the world light middleweight champion. He held the belt for two years, defending it twice before losing to Maurice Hope in 1979 by TKO. He retired 3 years later in 1982.

Tony Mundine

80-1-15 (64 KO)


Tony Mundine, father of football player, turned boxer Anthony Mundine, knew his way around the ring. He won the Commonwealth middle weight and light heavy weight titles. Mundine held three Australian titles at one time of light heavyweight, cruiserweight and heavy weight titles. Mundine had shot at the world title against Carlos Monzon only to lose. Mundine is one the greatest boxers never to win a world title.

Jeff “The Hitman” Harding

23-2 (17 KO)


Although Jeff the Hitman Harding’s career was short lived, it was filled with highlights. Jeff Harding fought his way into Australian boxing history when he won the WBC light heavyweight title defeating Dennis Andries by TKO and became the first Australian win a world light heavyweight title in the USA. As his name suggests Jeff “The Hitman” Harding’s punches were like a freight train. You don’t want to be hit by this man.

Anthony “The Man” Mundine

48-8 (28 KO’s)


The son of boxing great Tony Mundine and former professional footballer could also dance in the boxing ring.  Often loud mouthed and controversial, Anthony Mundine could fight as well as he could trash talk. Mundine held two world titles and it’s rumoured he amassed 30 million dollars in his career. Some say that Mundine never reached his full potential, although his impressive boxing career cements his name as one of Australia’s boxing greats.


Les Darcy

46-4 (29 KO)


Les Darcy notched up 46 wins by the age of 21. Unfortunately, Darcy’s career was cut short by a fatal bout of pneumonia.  Darcy held the Commonwealth middle weight title and also the Australian heavyweight title.

Lionel Rose

42-11 (12 KO)


Lionel Rose was the first indigenous Australian to win a world title. Rose defeated Marashiko Harada to claim the WBC and WBA titles. Lionnel Rose was a true ambassador of the aussie underdog. Rose also won the Commonwealth bantamweight title and defended three times. He retired in 1971 then made a brief comeback a few years later only to lose four of six fights. Inevidibly he hung up the gloves and will go down in history as one Australia’s boxing greats.

Jeff “Marrickville Mauler” Fenech



Jeff Fenech was an absolute powerhouse in the ring at his boxing club, and won world titles in three different divisions.  Fenech worked hard and trained relentlessly to become arguably Australia’s finest boxing export. A controversial decision stopped Fenech from attaining a fourth world title and goes down in boxing history as one of the most corrupt decisions in professional boxing history. Fenech’s hands slowly gave out and put him into early retirement after an amazing career and was inducted in the international Boxing Hall of Fame to the delight of his legion of fans. Fenech had a one off fight when he was in his forties with Nelson and won after a tenth round point decision. He was a true blue Australian boxing hero.

Kostya Tsyzu

31-1-2 (25 KO)


Russian born Tsyzu’s electrifying career produced a highlight reel of some of the best knockouts in boxing history and he won “knockout of the year award for obliterating Zab Judah leaving him sprawled out on like a dead lizard on the canvas. His ring presence and sheer speed and power saw him taking home a string of including light and welterweight titles. He was the thunder from down under and deservedly so, when you got hit by Tsyzu, you knew about it.

So if you think you have what it takes to be the next world champion or are simply after a great way to keep in shape. Pop on down to your local boxing club, strap on some gloves and who knows you could be on the list of Australia Greatest Boxers.

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Tips For Using Balustrades Effectively In Your Home

It doesn’t matter if you are building a brand-new home, or if you are adding a new area to your home, or simply thinking of redesigning an area, balustrades are a design that can be factored in. Apart from meeting any set building regulations, balustrades styles can add character to your home, but, before you rush out and purchase balustrading for your home, there are some things you should take into consideration, to ensure you will be happy with the end result.

The Space

Are you adding your balustrade inside your home? Or outside? If outside you need to consider using environmentally resilient materials such as aluminium or stainless steel – both are durable and can withstand changing weather conditions. If you want privacy and you don’t mind blocking out any breeze, then you should opt for a more solid structure style balustrade.

Is it going to be near or in a narrow space such as a balcony or staircase? When you are dealing with small spaces, every centimetre is critical. Glass and wire balustrades are perfect space savers. These small areas are also where people tend to lean or place their hands frequently, for this reason using a timber top balustrade is nicer to touch than metal, it doesn’t get as hot during the summer months, and isn’t cold in winter.

Combining vertical wire balustrades and a timber handrail is great for any high traffic areas around your home, and you also stop all those dirty hand prints you often see on glass balustrades.



What is it want to achieve with your balustrade? Is it purely to address building requirements? Or, are you worried about the safety of children, pets or visitors? Once you know why and the look you want to achieve, it’s time to consider how balustrades will work with the rest of your home.

Glass balustrades look good – they let a lot of light into an area and are a great contemporary design. On the down side – glass can be hard to keep clean (especially if you have children) and it can let a lot of heat into an area.

Stainless steel wire balustrades are customisable. If you have a set colour scheme often the handrails can be powder coated to meet your colour or design requirements. Wire balustrades let more light and breeze into an area and they allow rooms to flow together, because they don’t block the view they are great for balconies or upstairs areas of your home.

Timber handrails are a great addition to any balustrade design and can be the perfect addition to a country style home, or as a feature to a brand-new home.


One thing that does seem to get forgotten in the excitement of ordering a new balustrade is how easy – or hard – the materials you have chosen will be to maintain. Does the surface you have chosen need constant cleaning or rust protection? Are the wires self-tensioning? If something goes wrong, you need to know that you are covered for a repair or replacement within a set amount of time following your purchase. Check with your supplier what warranty they offer and if it covers the entire structure or just certain parts.

A balustrade is a row of repeating balusters – which are the small posts that support the upper rail of a railing. They are usually found around the pool, veranda, balconies and staircases. They are there to hold things up and to keep people and pets safe. In the last 10 years balustrades have become both a feature and a fixture in and around the home.

Using an entire glass wall will create a feeling that your space is larger than it is – it will allow light to flow through the room without blocking it. This style is great for a contemporary setting.

Vertical banners are also another great use for a balustrade, in different materials and finishes it can be quite innovative. By positioning timber slats closely together it creates an effective design.

The best thing about planning a balustrade is – the sky is the limit.

When choosing the right balustrade for you – remember

  • Safety – the width, height, depth and materials of your balustrade must be up to code to ensure everything is structurally sound and secure.
  • Blending – How is your balustrade going to fit in with the rest of your interior?
  • Costs – construction can be expensive and while you can take shortcuts with materials – never take short cuts on safety.

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How Often Should You Design New Catalogues?

Your catalogue is a structured compilation of your service and product offerings. It’s a virtual storefront, and it can be in the form of a printed document or an online portal. Ideally, it should display everything you have in stock. Regarding services, it should have a detailed description of the customer solutions that you provide.

Depending on the type of business that you’re in, your products and services may remain consistent or frequently change. For example, a provider of fresh fruit or seasonal flowers needs to change their catalogue more often than a car manufacturer or a fashion designer.

Follow the seasons

Top designers release a new line every season. Midrange retail brands may be more driven by changes in weather than commercial patterns. So, for example, you can design a catalogue for Winter, Fall, Spring, and Summer. Other products have event-driven sales cycles so that you might have a special edition catalogue for Christmas, Easter, or Black Friday.

Similarly, industries that are seasonal need to follow their calendar. In Australia, most weddings happen in Autumn and Spring, so a wedding vendor may time their catalogues to be released during wedding season. On the other hand, a global wedding service provider may release multiple catalogues to match different wedding seasons around the world.


Keep up with technology

In certain industries like mobile phones or laptops, a new product is released every two years or so. Other times, an update in a specific component can spill over into all related areas. For example, if a new microchip is released, then it’s likely all technology companies will cash in on it. Similarly, an advance in gorilla glass would affect multiple phone manufacturers.

If your business is related to phones, computers, or electronics, you should release a catalogue every time technology is upgraded. This could apply to operation system updates, individual components, or new technological discoveries.

You may not necessarily have products within that line, but you can cash in on related products. Say Android has released an update. You can produce a targeted catalogue that mentions the Android update and highlights all your Android phones.

Release an annual listing

Even if your product line or service list is consistent, prices can change due to market factors. Exchange rates, inflation, and other financial factors can change the cost of raw materials, components, and labour forces. It’s essential to adjust your pricing so that you can maintain your profit margins and keep your business running.

To ensure that your pricing is up to date, you should publish an annual catalogue with price adjustments. It may be tempting to use the same catalogue from the previous year and just change the prices, but that may confuse and puzzle clients. Update the catalogue with a few new models or some fresh photography.

Prepare for industry events

Is there a relevant exhibition or conference taking place in your neighbourhood? It might be a local product launch, an entertainment festival, or a trade exhibition. Industry events are planned months in advance, so you’ll plenty of time to prepare. Even if you don’t have an exhibition stand at the event, it may be possible to distribute marketing materials.

There are two ways to approach this. You could produce catalogues that will be strategically offered to event attendees, or you could capitalise in some other way. For example, you might produce a catalogue that contains information about the industry event, or you could tailor your theme and colour scheme to benefit from the event.

You could even offer limited offers and discounts for the duration of the festival and list them prominently in your new catalogue. This way, you catch a captive audience. Anyone aware of the event is already in a mind frame to learn about related products and services. Some come with the intent to buy, and having a convenient catalogue will help you cash in.

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