About us

Mandy & I started this journey and blog in late 2008 and it has taken us many places. The house started as a two year project and six years later we have near enough finished. The last part of the external cladding around our heat pump hot water service is almost done.

Sustainably lots of things have changed in 6 years. When we started a 1kw solar system was $13000 now a 2kw system is less than half of that. My electrician did not know what LED lighting was really and thought it would never catch on. Now it is almost all he fits. Almost all paint companies stock a low VOC paint. Bunnings no longer sell pink batts insulation.

So this blog will now rarely get updated BUT………. we are now on a new adventure…or two. Check out the progress of our investment house at www.greentasrenter.wordpress.com as we investigate and renovate a weatherboard house built in 1932 so that tenants can be comfortable and keep their power bills down. This renovation should only take a couple of months and not six years. Also we are setting up a new business called DIY-Eco (www.diyeco.com.au) that creates personal tours of sustainable homes, their owners and their journey as well as creating hands on fun workshops to enable people to understand their electricity bills and how they might draught proof their homes.

our dog x vacuum cleaner "Jade"

our dog x vacuum cleaner “Jade”

Tessa our Mini Foxy
Tessa our Mini Foxy (rip 2011)

Like many other people, Mandy and I (Sean) and Tessa the Mini Fox Terrier have despaired at the evergrowing proliferation of overlarge, cheaply built, black roofed MacMansions that are sprouting like weeds in Australia’s cities, towns and suburbs. As we travelled Australia over the last 16 years these feelings grew, and so we started to research our options so that if the time came to stop our nomadic ways we would know what we wanted to do. Our research led us to two conclusions; we could build our own home on a block of our choice or we could buy a pre-existing house and renovate it in a sustainable, sympathetic manner.

It had been our observation that although more and more people were renovating their houses in a sympathetic manner with solar hot water, insulation, double glazing etc and that there is a bewildering & confusing amount of information available on the internet it was scattered everywhere and not easy to gather together. So the idea was born that we would buy a house that needed renovating or buy a block of land and build our own home and put our journey onto the web with our ideas, dreams, information found and all the twists and turns that the journey takes us on.

So this is the start of the journey and who knows where it will end but hopefully with a house renovated on a realistic budget that is warm, well insulated, powered by the sun, does not give off harmful chemicals and suits our needs for the future.

We decided that a renovation was our path at this moment in time. Please explore the pages as they become available to look for information whether it be on hot water, roofing, insulation or progress on the house and grounds.

Happy searching

Sean & Mandy & Tessa the Dog


7 thoughts on “About us

  1. Hello, I live in Wynyard and have nearly finished a renovation of our own. I was looking up paint stripping on goggle and happened upon your blog! I was wondering about the i-strip that you used on your exterior, did you buy it outright or hire it? The website that you have a link for did not have much info.

    Your house looks amazing, great job guys 🙂


  2. Dear Sean, Mandy and Tessa,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences and commitment to sustainable renovating. Great to keep in touch.
    Interesting to learn about the bamboo flooring in the kitchen; I’m glad to know that. Knowing what you know now, what you you use instead??
    W are still working on our one-room extension.. We waited 9 months for the contract builder to return and flip over the laminate beam that they installed with the “THIS SIDE UP” on the bottom!! Unbelievable …
    And so we progress slowly slowly.

    Lots of love Virginis

  3. Hi Sean & Mandy & Tessa,
    Great blog! Thought you might be interested in CENTs – Community Exchange North West Tasmania (although we do have members in Launceston/Evandale). We are a group of people who trade goods, skills and services with each other without the need for money. Many of our members are like minded folk on their sustainable living journey. Check us out on Facebook also – CENTs-NW.
    Cheers Tania (CENTs Admin)

  4. Hi guys,
    Amazing blog, we live up the road in Glengarry, had great plans to do the same thing till we found out we were living in an absolute hell hole of a road with horrid people all down it- so plans to move to Launy and build a self sufficient home are in the works! Looks great, and will be taking a lot of your tips into consideration!

  5. Hello Sean and Mandy, my husband Nick has emailed with you a bit, as we are in the midst of renovating our weatherboard house in Heybridge. I think we have met at a Penguin Organic festival a couple of years ago too.
    Anyway, today’s question: have you got suggestions for internal paints? I have looked at BioPaint but I’m not sure what other options are and how they compare.
    Love your website / blog, very helpful. Had a laugh at the rug story, what resourceful and inventive people you are!!
    Michelle Towle

  6. Hi Sean & Mandy,

    I’m living in Sydney, and interested in moving to Tasmania. Looking at this area , maybe starting off in Launceston though iwould like to buy some land eventually and build an eco house. My question Are : What is Westbury like ? How easy is it to find work for a horticulturist?

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