May 29, 2011

It's the little things.....

It's been a hive of building activity here over the last few weeks, and blogging has been low on the list of priorities.

Building can be very stressful, but little things like the first daffodil of the season, and the moon through the trees at night are a constant reminder of why we're doing it!

May 18, 2011

Hydronic underfloor heating

Mount Glorious has cold winters, and we decided to opt for under-floor hydronic heating in the house and B&B suite, as well as a slow combustion wood heater. The gentle constant heat of the hydronics would warm the whole house, while the fireplace is an added delight and would provide extra warmth at night.

Finding someone who does under-floor hydronics in Queensland proved difficult.  Apparently it doesn’t get cold enough here! (they’ve never tried Stanthorpe in winter!). Those we found were not experienced at installing it under a suspended timber floor, which makes up the majority of the house. We contacted a company in Victoria who agreed to come up and do it. Pipes were laid in the cement slab of the kitchen-dining, and between the joists of the rest of the house.

We had hoped to heat the water with a solar hot water tank, but our cold misty winters mean we would have no hot water for heating when we most needed it. We opted for an energy efficient heat pump.

By the time we were ready to put in the heat pump, the company who installed the pipe work had gone out of business. We eventually found Ecological Solutions in Currumbin, who were able to install both the hydronic heating and our hot water.

It’s now getting pretty cold at night on the mountain, and our underfloor heating is working a treat!

Meanwhile this lovely thing has to wait a while till our lounge room is finished.

May 2, 2011

Visiting wildlife

It’s a delight to see the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos back again. Yesterday they were shrieking and swooping between the tops of the tallest gum trees, which swayed wildly from their enormous weight.
Unlike the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, which regularly come down to the house to feed, the black cockies stay well away. 

Meanwhile, this fellow made his way across the driveway this morning. 

He headed up the cedar tree, only to be swoooped by the kookaburras, which didn't seem to like him invading their territory.