lounge july 5The lounge is quite a large room with a Saxon woodheater and large aluminium windows. The room was totally repainted. An oil based sealer applied to the pressed metal ceilings and latex based sealer to the walls before top coats added. Resene paint was used throughout.

lounge 4 lounge july 4The fan was a horrible woodgrain 1980’s unit which when taken down was very thick with grease and dust. However with TLC and a screwdriver it was taken apart. the blades sprayed white and a new light assembly put on it with led globes put in. Quite a difference

lounge july 1The woodheater was looked at by our local chimney sweep Graeme Hancock who pronounced the woodheater as burnt out and the flu as not legal. He took the heater away, had a new back welded into it and fitted a new legal flu.

A thermostat was fitted to the heat transfer unit and has been tested in these cold winter days and it transfers heat very well to the three bedrooms.

Thermal backed drapes from Grays Online and a pelmet finish off the window furnishings. A tv antennae point was fitted in the wall.


Bathroom July 15 update

Three months after starting the reno’s the bathroom is well and truly finished. The last post dealt with the demolition and the start of the rebuild. this one will go through the rest.

From a renovation point of view a bathroom is probably the most expensive per square meter room to renovate.

It was easier to totally demolish the bathroom and decide what materials to keep and re-use (maybe in the bathroom and maybe somewhere else in the renovations)

You can then easily see what is needed to be done and save money on the plumber as they do not have to spend hours and hours trying to trace plumbing etc. Same for the electrician and you can insulate at the same time.

In the previous post we listed all that was going to go in the bathroom and why from a sustainable rental point of view. This list has been replicated below with a few additions

  • Large tiles on the wall all the way to the ceiling and large tiles on the floor
    • equals less grout which equals less places for mould and dirt
  • Wall hung vanity 
    wall hung vanity, mirror tiles, funky towel rack

    wall hung vanity, mirror tiles, funky towel rack

    • Easy to clean underneath
    • No timber contact with wet floors = less places for damp
  • Bath put into a frame that stretches the full width of the bathroom bath july 15
    • This elevates any furniture such as a cupboard and keeps it off the floor.
    • Less nooks and crannies for dirt
  • 1000mm square shower enclosure 
    100mm square shower enclosure

    100mm square shower enclosure

    • As large as we could fit giving better space to shower
    • Simple hinged door on shower – less to go wrong than sliding doors
    • Acrylic panels in corner – less grout and easy clean
    • Methven Satinjet shower head on wall rail.
      • This shower head is very low flow but because its water droplets collide and create a wetter experience it is like a fuller flow shower. Only 7 litres per minute
  • All tapware is ceramic disc quarter turn taps so no issue with tap washers dripping
  • Steel bath which holds the heat and does not scratch
  • Vanity is wall hung and has a complete porcelain top so yet again should be scratch proof
  • Three in one Fan/light/heat is a high volume, external ducted model with LED lighting.  Fan and light wired into same switch so more chance of fan being used. hence less condensation and damp.
  • exhaust fan
  • Back to wall toilet suite with less curves and nooks and crannies for dirt build up. Also 3/6 litres flush
  • Insulation possible with the walls off and the floor up
  • Bathroom door hinges changed to other side so that door would swing back against wall
  • Wooden towel rack installed in wasted space behind door. Made from repurposed ladder rails and other recycled timbers
  • rack

Curtains and Pelmets

In the 1980’s very large, in fact over large aluminium single glazed windows had been retro fitted to the house. Now on the north and east they let lots of light and winter sun into the rooms, but on the south they let lots of heat out.

They also create alot of condensation which can cause damp and mould and is not at all healthy. One of the main things we wish to do is to help lessen the condensation and heat losses through the glass and the aluminium frames.

A relatively cheap place to start is good thermal backed block out curtains instead of the horrible vertical blinds which thermally do nothing. Add pelmets that have tops and sides and it will help even more.

Box pelmets  prevent warm air being drawn down between the window and the curtain and bringing cold air back into the room.

Our pelmets were made from 12mm plywood, extending past the window architraves so that when the curtains are drawn back they do not obscure the window. Simply painted gloss white and screwed to the studs.

Plywood pelmets

Plywood pelmets

pelmets above dining room window

pelmets above dining room window

Pelmets and thermal backed curtains

Pelmets and thermal backed curtains

Further down the track we will cut the curtains down and have them sit on a plywood shelf screwed to the bottom architrave. This will stop cold air falling down from the window and make the window covering even more thermally efficient.

The thermal backed curtains we sourced from Grays Online, an online auction site that sells almost anything. Just look for the freight charges as they can be very high, especially here it Tasmania.


Heat Transfer Kit

One of the main problems with the house is the very large single glazed aluminium windows that were fitted sometime in the 1980’s. while letting in lots of light they are the perfect surface for condensation and the effects of this condensation can be seen on the window sills inside where the varnish has disappeared and there are lots of water stains.

This is only visual. the real harm can be to people’s health as condensation encourages mould growth. We found evidence inside the wardrobes and on the pressed tin ceilings. the latter was after a month or so from purchasing the property. To sell the house the bank had got somebody  to spray the inside with a coat of paint which hid all manner of things. By the time we had settled etc these were manifesting themselves and one of them was mould.

The only way to deal with mould is to deal with whatever is causing it. In this case damp air mainly caused by condensation. The living room has a wood heater as does the kitchen/dining. it makes sense to get some of the excess hot air that would sit up near the high ceilings (3.1meter)  flowing into the bedrooms.

A simple way of doing this is to fit an air transfer kit. Basically a fan sucks air through a vent in the heated room and blows it into one or more other rooms. This helps warm air to keep flowing through the house. Mould likes still, moist conditions so this airflow helps considerably.

Parts of heat transfer kit

Parts of heat transfer kit

I sourced the kit from Universal Fans in Melbourne. There are numerous kits available at very different prices. Universal Fans had an online shop but I rang them up and asked advice on heat transfer kits as i wanted a thermostat to control when the fan turned on and off. The fan arrived in a couple of days but had no instructions. A quick look on the net found them.Instructions.

Half a day in the loft cutting holes in ceilings and installing the fan was all it took. The electrician installed the thermostat and a switch on the wall so it can be turned off when not needed or if people go away.

Heat transfer kit ducting

Heat transfer kit ducting

The  thermostat turns on the fan when the preset temperature is reached and goes off if it falls below that temperature.  A simple way of helping with the battle against condensation