Thursday, 11 April 2019

visual and practical improvements

People from other countries often don't understand the environmentally specific needs of regions, so with a little sharing in mind here's the current status of the small changes I've been making in my place.

Older houses in Queensland are often built on stumps (or piers in modern engineering parlance) because (among other reasons) its easier to make foundations when the ground is uneven or not flat.  When I bought it (in 2017) it looked like this:

with just the naked stumps allowing anything and everything under the house (which includes wind, rain, solar energy and the neighbors fucking cats).

This is the western wall (taken in the morning). So while one needs some ventilation under the house this is a bit excessive (and its surprising how much the sun heats the ground under the house contributing to more radiation) and the western wall cops a fair pounding from the sun in the afternoon too. Here is a measurement just between those windows.

which makes inside stay lots hotter than it needs to well after sun down.

So in the last few months I've completed these changes:

The shade cloth shields the western wall (although now that we're in Autumn its getting some influence from the tree) which means that kitchen (back window there) has dropped to just about "regular air temperature" instead of being 10 degrees hotter (which is no joke on 38C days).

The slats help keep out sun from under the house after it goes further down as well as adding visual amenity and wind protection (and has stopped the cats too). This also means I can store stuff under the house with "out of sight out of mind" security.

I did the Eastern side too

Which made a significant difference also to how bloody hot that got in the morings with the sun heating the ground and that radiating into the floors.

When the wood has finished "seasoning" (I bought it "green") I'll sand it and paint it white.

Win Win

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