Sustainable House Tour May 10th Northern Tasmania

A chance to talk to the owners of two very different sustainable homes, ask them the burning questions you might have about aspects of sustainability in a home and enjoy some great morning or afternoon tea.


Sustainable House Tours – The inside story.

Saturday May 10th

10.30-12.30 & 2.00-4.00

From the folks that brought Sustainable House Day to Northern Tasmania.


Come along and pick the brains of sustainable home owners about the nitty gritty of their experiences creating and living in a sustainable home.


  • Cost:  By donation. You pay what you think the session was worth.
  • Numbers:  Limited. This ensures that in depth information can be discussed
  • Session Length: 90 minute session at each home. Each home open in the morning and afternoon. You pick the session that suits you.
  • Afternoon/morning tea:  Yum. Will be available
  • Bookings:  Essential. Contact Lisa on 0427 283 403 or email annelisa(at) Details of locations provided when booking.
  • House locations:  In the Meander Valley


Two very different homes.

House 1:        Transformation of a 1940,s weatherboard house that optimises energy efficiency and minimises running costs.

85 Meander Valley rd westbury 2


  • Sharing (by blog) extensive research on all materials used for sustainability and availability.
  • Owner built studio extension (mega anchors, double glazing, sustainable flooring, hardwood framing, wool insulation, plastic/wood composite deck)
  • Grid connect solar. Energy efficient lighting
  • Heat pump hot water unit, water saving devices
  • Up-cycled and recycled materials
  • Natural paints and floor finishes
  • Retro fitted insulation (roof and walls) and draught proofing


House 2:        Maximum sustainability with minimum environmental footprint. Purpose designed passive solar house.


  • Passive solar design
  • Recycled materials
  • Stand alone solar power
  • Composting toilet
  • Permaculture garden with swales
  • Onsite greywater treatment system
  • water reticulation system for house and garden using dams, tanks and solar pumps
  • Owner built

Interior of house is FINISHED!!!

Well finally after 5 years the interior of the house is complete. The last things that needed doing were the bathroom (see earlier posts) and the kitchen floor.

Originally we were going to continue our bamboo floor right through the kitchen but after a year of use in the studio we have found that although the bamboo itself does not scratch or dent, the polyurethane finish scratches and shows up white. We have found a product that can be used to disguise the scratches. It is called Tibet Almond Stick and it works really well. Available from My Tool approx $10.00

As our back door is the one we use constantly and we have gravel outside the likelihood of scratches was very high. Also we were worried about possible water egress around the kitchen sink area as time went on. So the search for sustainable and hardwearing floor coverings started.

Some of the coverings we looked at were:

  • Rubber (natural rubber covering made in France) very expensive and needs installer. Floor must be level. Around $180 per sq m plus install
  • Marmoleum. All natural ingredients but again needs experienced installer. Floor must be absolutely level
  • Plywood. FSC accredited, needs sealer. Can install ourselves. Floor does not need to be so level
  • Cork. Recyled available. Good colour range. GECA certified. needs to be glued
  • Sheet Vinyl. Needs installing. Plasticisers to make flexible not so very environmentally friendly
  • Vinyl Planking. Loose laid. DIY install. Floor can be a little uneven. Used in commercial applications. Fully recyclable. Lots of work being done by industry to make more evironmentally friendly. Around $90 sq m

In the end we chose a product  by Gerflor. Made in Europe Creation Clic is a vinyl plank product. It is loose laid over the existing floor and click into each other with a vertical groove arrangement. All that is needed for installation is a craft knife, white mallet, tape and straight edge. You can easily install it yourself.

I laid 9mm plywood over our existing floor to bring it up to level with the bamboo in the studio. this evened  out the slight heigh difference between the plywood in the extension and the hardwood floor in the kitchen which was not in  the best condition with gaps between planks.

Over the plywood we laid the Gerfloor. We chose a colour called Portobello which is a bleached, denim looking  plank, All the range are wood grained planks. Each plank is 1000mm long and 176mm wide and 6mm thick.

After laying the planks we fitted ramps down to the hardwood floor at the entrance to the sitting room and the hallway. Also made trims to go along the kitchen bench kickboard from scrap  plywood finished with the Haymes paint rust finish and added the skirting boards. Job finished and the house finished………………apart from loads of minor jobs that is.

Now onto the garden, single garage and cladding the western side of the house!!!

Creation clic showing connection groove

Creation clic showing connection groove

laying floor 1

laying floor 1

contrast between bamboo and vinyl

contrast between bamboo and vinyl

finished job with edge strip along kitchen bench

finished job with edge strip along kitchen bench

Kitchen Kapers part 3

Well I have been very remiss in updating this site as time rushes past at a rate of knots.

First a slideshow to remind what was and what is

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The kitchen is now completed

It all takes time stripping back old floorboards to become architraves, painting, doing the laundry (see seperate post) etc.

Just a quick recap as to how our kitchen is sustainable.

  • Recycled kitchen carcasses
  • Remilled timbers from demolition of original laundry/kitchen
  • reused collected timbers
  • Plantation Australian grown Hoop Pine Plywood
  • Livos natural counter top oil
  • Gilly Stephenson beeswax
  • Recycled kitchen dresser
  • Recycled Range Hood
  • Mini orb door inserts
  • Timber benchtops
  • Local cabinet maker used to make and install kitchen

Anyway here are some pictures that will save a hundred words

Along the west wall

Multi timber corner unit. Made from Myrtle,Black Hearted Sassafras, and others.

Recycled secondhand range hood. Stainless steel splashback right along wall

We have had sliding shelves and panels put in to make life a little easier. one carries the kettle and toaster. Slide it out, use it, slide it out of sight.

Now you see it

Now you don’t!

We also did this with the narrow cupboard next to this. It house brooms and mops etc and they slide out on two plywood board with hanging hooks.

Cleaning mops etc on sliding panel

Cleaning cupboard from other side

The other side of the kitchen is also finished with all the paraphernalia on display

South and East wall

And finally looking North through to the studio

Jelly moulds on display on bulkhead wall