Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Publishing House

The most recent issue of The Dominion Post’s Your Weekend magazine (Saturday 28 January) featured the third and final article chronicling our house build. Here is a selection of some of the photographs Loren took, at the beginning of this year. (all courtesy of The Dominion Post)


Made the cover! (kind of...)
A feature of the article was our 'scary price tag list' which is reproduced here:

What size is the house? 156.5 sqm

How long did the house build take? 6 months

What did the house cost? $360,000

Off grid and electrical systems: $42,000

Plumbing: $60,000

Waste water system: $14,000

Overspend: $16,000

How much power does the off-grid system generate? 4.5 kW hours per day

How does it work?
Our roof-mounted panels convert sunlight into an electrical current which is stored in a bank of 12 deep cycle batteries. The current is converted from DC to AC for our use.

How long will the batteries last? Up to ten years.

What happens on cloudy days?
Although the panels will still generate a little power, we can draw on the stored energy in the batteries. Once this has been used our generator can replenish them.

Where does the house water come from?
It is channelled from the roof into two 22,500 litre concrete water tanks. This is pumped back to a header tank in the house, creating a mains pressure system.

How is the water heated?
By a bank of 24 solar tubes in the summer and by a wetback system connected to our woodburner in the winter. Two radiators will also be run with the excess hot water.
The original unsanded floor and unpainted walls
I could have taken a picture like this - if I was a photographer.  Note the 'gang plank'
leading to our living room - this will remain until we are able to timber the deck.
Although the undisputed star of the previous Dominion Post photoshoot,
Ed was nowhere to be found, this time.  Afterwards, he poses near the new cat door -
sited in a sheltered spot near our own front door and giving access to the laundry.

Everything is still remarkably green for this time of year, meaning that our water tanks
are slowly filling while we wait to be connected to them!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I know this is years ago now, but I read of your 'journey' with keen interest as my partner and I intend to do a similar thing one day soon. Can I just ask you did the cost for the house quoted here include the cost of the offgrid electrical, plumbing etc or were they additional. I guess all prices have gone up a lot by now but I am trying to work out what a similar sized, offgrid house would cost.
    Many thanks and Happy New Year for 2018! I hope your house is still giving you lots of pleasure.
    Best, Nicky