Update on a sustainable rental

Well the tenants moved in at the end of July 2015. It is now end of December 2016. The tenants have been very pleased with the results of our endeavours.  Time has flown and I have been very remiss keeping the blog up to date.

A quick round up of work done.

  • New roof tin and thermal blanket
  • R4 earthwool batts in ceiling
  • Heat transfer kit fitted
  • Wood heater repaired and new flue
  • Two Upvc double glazed units fitted to South side bedrooms
  • New bathroom from joists upwards
  • New secondhand kitchen bought from Gumtree
  • All tin ceilings sealed to prevent rust
  • All walls sealed with Resene latex based sealer then painted
  • All trim work sanded and painted gloss white
  • Rear aluminium door taken out and replaced with french doors
  • Pergola roof replaced with polycarbonate sheeting
  • Outdoor area clad in colorbond
  • Hot water service given new anode and insulated in a box
  • Heavy full length curtains and pelmets  fitted
  • Driveway resurfaced and new trailer parking area created
  • Exterior of house stripped and repainted


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.

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