Operation Homestead: Days 9, 10 and 11.

Saturday might have been frustrating but Sunday was glorious! Sunday was a day of HUGE achievement! I am so proud of all of us. Martin got a lot more of the mowing done. It’s sadly still slow going as the grass is so long and there are so many trees and several stumps, as well as 3 children all wanting a piece of him but most of it is done. Yay.

The kitchen is also gone too, as is the laundry sink and the carpets. It’s all gone to new homes now which is fantastic and the bonus is that the house is pretty much gutted – only floors and a few wardrobe doors to go for things to be completely gutted. With the builder starting tomorrow the timing is perfect. My job now is about choosing paint colours. The kitchen colours were chosen a few weeks ago so it’s all about matching colours now. We’ve chosen a nearly no VOC paint and low VOC undercoat to prevent off-gassing of nasties into the house. VOC’s or Volatile Organic Compounds are organic chemicals that have a high vapour pressure at ordinary, room-temperature conditions. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air. An example is formaldehyde. (Thanks Wiki 😉 ).

Next choice to make is the colours for the floors. We’ve opted to go with tiles as they provide great thermal mass. Thermal mass is how well the building regulates the temperature by absorbing heat/cool. Think of a hot summers day and how quickly a weatherboard house heats up when compared to a brick house. The brick house has greater thermal mass so it takes longer to heat up and conversely to cool down too. The house currently has floating floorboards which have poor thermal mass so we’re keen to help increase that. Tiles will absorb any available heat from the sun in winter when the sun comes through the back door and kitchen window but in summer when the sun is high they will be pleasantly cool to walk on and help keep things cool. The bedrooms will be carpeted so I need to research into carpet next. I dislike the idea of man-made fibres so I am already leaning towards wool, although I know there are corn carpets, recycled water bottle carpets and then the standard synthetics as well as blends but as much as I love the idea of innovative recycling, I just love the idea of lush wool carpets underfoot. Still, as I said, research needs to be done. If anyone has any advice…?

Out in the gardens we managed to nearly finish off 2 more no dig beds. I need about another 1/2 load of compost to finish them both off so I think 4 more loads of compost will have us done and dusted on the beds. We’ll see. I also got my compost bin built. 4 pallets, 8 stakes and hey presto, a cheap, easy and movable compost. 🙂 We got some of the old sub-division fence down too which makes way for the grapes too so I can wire that up next weekend, and we also have fence palings we can use to fix up the fence here in Spotswood. Reuse win! 🙂

The next big massive job on the cards is building the chicken house. I’m thinking about 2.5 x 2.5 metres, give or take as I am planning to build it using the superadobe technique. I am using old flat sheets sewn into bags but I need to source a LOT more flat sheets and a lot of clean fill soil too. The whole lot will then be rendered although I’ve yet to decide on the render material. I’m looking forward to building it as I love the whole natural building concept but I have a lot to do to get it ready to build then built.

We finally got home about 9:30 with 3 kids who transferred straight into bed. It as an exhausting day and we were both aching and stiff after all the manual labour but I feel so pleased with all we achieved.

Monday was a quiet day  but I managed a run up to Ballan today to deliver the builder his key and drop off a few pieces of outdoor furniture and some potted plants. Next job though is to organise fencing and that is my task for the morning. Time for me to head to bed though tonight. I’m still exhausted after all the work on the weekend and anyway, I’m sleeping with somebody new tonight who propositioned me in the sweetest way. 😉 “Mummy, can I sleep wiv you tonight please?” How can I resist. 😀

Night all.