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Showing posts from June, 2012

Renovating 2nd hand doors

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Principle 6: Produce no waste

Painting doors are one of the last (internal) jobs to be done in an owner builder house. Ours were all second hand (except one which was a second) and needed quite a lot of work to bring them up to scratch. I'd kept some of the original door plates and handles from the old bungalow which I cleaned up and fitted on freshly painted toilet and bathroom doors. The old paint was difficult to remove, but the putty knife did the trick, with smaller flecs removed with steel wool.



Our front and carport entry doors are the same design. My glazing mate Dylan suggested that I replace the wooden panels with opaque white glass, that he could supply for me from left over stock he had laying around. I liked the idea and went ahead with it, completing the front door some time ago.
The carport entry door was a little more complicated as many of the beads had been eaten through by borers. I ended up replacing all of the internal ones with beads that I had recovered from…

Cool cupboad link to cellar switched off

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Principle 12: Creatively use and respond to change

Temperatures in the cool cupboard in May (late Autumn) were averaging 14º to 16º at 1300mm above ground level and typically a degree or two lower closer to the floor level. Humidity is fairly constant in the cool cupboard averaging 65-75%.
Now that outdoor temperatures aren't getting much higher than the earth surrounding the duct of 14º I have closed off the main duct and added a small air vent into the base of the cool cupboard so that air can be drawn from directly under the house. This has helped reduce temperatures to 8º to 14º on average, with a low of 5º so far. Temperatures and humidity fluctuate more than when the main duct is used. I will need to keep my eye on the temperatures to know when it's best to close of the vent and open the large duct, probably during early Spring.
I've also added some wire shelves at the top of the cupboard that will allow us to hang or store produce. I was thinking that it would be p…

Drinking unfiltered rainwater

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Principle 3: Obtain a yield

We collect and use all rainwater off the roof for drinking, washing and irrigation with no problems. Our house uses a pump to create water pressure, while we irrigate with gravity feed using 19mm (3/4 inch) hoses; which is quite slow but allow me to weed at the same time. We prefer to drink and wash with pure rainwater rather than contaminated mains water, which according to our water supplier Goulburn Valley Water, contains chlorine / fluoride / aluminium sulphate and flocculant polmer which is used to 'clean' the water. The water then goes through km's of old metal and plastic pipes before coming out your tap. Why go to all that effort and expense to clean and transport water when you can catch it clean from the sky right where you use it?
I calculated the surface area of our roof recently so I could figure out how much water we were collecting. The total collection area is approximately 176m sq, with about 97m sq going directly to our main…