Blog posts by catherined
Here is our wood store built entirely from old pallets - even the nails for the roof were re-used!!!
We could do with a couple more - it would be good to have one for each season's wood so that we can be organised in seasoning the wood and maybe one more for kindling!!!
We're taking part for the first time in the ecovation open days this year - September 10 and 12 2009. This is the fulfillment of one ambition but is utterly terrifying.
As well as information on what we have done and how I'm hoping to write information on what we hope to do next.
Perhaps people will be able to return in a couple of years and see how the project continues to progress...
When our tumble dryer went wrong in the summer last year we spent many weeks trying to find, contact and wait for an engineer to come and fix it. Unfortunately, despite being less than 8 years old, it was deemed to be beyond repair (the parts alone would have cost more than a new one, even without allowing for labour).
I started looking for the most environmentally friendly dryer I could find but then noticed that our electricity use had almost halved. We take weekly energy measurementsand enter them on to imeasure and this clearly showed that our electricity use had gone right down when the tumble dryer stopped working. (It was a very wet summer last year). So I decided to see if we could manage without - quite a challenge for a family with young children (we hadn't had or needed a tumble dryer before we had children!)
I bought some extra clothes (2nd hand) for our extremely active 2 year old so that we wouldn't run out of things for her to wear if we had a prolonged period of bad weather and set off on a journey of discovery...
We bought a wooden clothes airer to use inside
and made good use ofour existing washing line.
We've become far more in-touch with the weather now but have problems with condensation inside the house, especially in the room with the airing cupboard that we use for drying clothes on wet days. As this was becoming our daughter's bedroom we needed an additional solution.
The plan is to create an external undercover drying area, by buying a wooden pergola and adding a rigid, transparent plastic roof.
This pergola is FSC and guaranteed for 15 years (considerably more than the tumble dryer!) It is also considerable cheaper than buying a new tumble dryer (and that's before you take into account the energy use) and should look very nice with a kiwi vine trained up it...
The house has been much easier to heat over the winter - we've hardly had any heating on during the daytime, despite there being people at home pretty much all day (we have a small toddler and take it in turns to stay home and look after her).
Our gas bill for the year is around half what it was a couple of years ago (when we were at home less). We've also managed to halve our electricity bill although that probably isn't connected with the insulation!
The external insulation is now finally complete, having taken several months longer than the 2-3 weeks originally envisaged!
The final finish is K-rend ( http://www.k-rend.co.uk/ ) which is a high-tech, breathable render. The colour is "York" a light sandy colour.
I'd certainly advise anybody else doing this kind of project to make the decision on the final render at the beginning of the project so it doesn't hold things up - the render needed to be ordered and then wait for dry weather to apply it!!!!