Shadehouse complete

Over the last week, interrupted by periods of bad health, and with Marlon’s erstwhile assistance, I’ve put up a shadehouse that covers most of the northern end of the house. This is the end that usually gets blasted all day by the summer sun, so shading it has been on our to-do list for a while. We were lucky enough to get some cheap building materials, so went ahead and did it. It’s already making a difference. The other hot day I measured 46° on the exposed brickwork but only 36° on the bricks under shade. Thats a 10° difference! The best way to stop something getting hot in the sun is, of course, to block the sun and prevent the heat getting to it. While ambient air temps and humidity can offset the effectiveness if this technique, it’s still a pretty effective and simple technique to keeping the house cooler.

Through the roof!

Google said it was 37°C at midday, and who are we to argue? After all the changes weve made to the house to compensate for the hot weather, I thought I’d check some key points with my trusty temperature gun (in the pic above). For the record, we had: 22 on the interior walls 24 in the carport 40.3 under the new shadehouse 44.6 on walls exposed to full sun 49.6 on the back pavers The inside temp was without aircon. We’ll be keeping tabs on the temps every week. I think the places I recorded fron are pretty representative of a range of microclimates, so Ill stick to them. Might even add the hood of the car for good measure next time.

The ‘wirgola’

We needed a quick, very cheap way to shade the Western side of the house. The afternoon summer sun gets so very hot here. We have a thermometer under the small front verandah, this is in the shade at all times, though it’s post gets the sun.  It’s been as hot as 47 C  some days, according to this thermometer. We were more than a little broke and needed to use what we had around or that could be scavenged or bought for just a few dollars…Hmmmm… I had 3 recycled pergola posts from a friend,  one stirrup and a bag of cement and 9 metres of cable. Not quite enough to do anything with. We couldn’t afford to get council approval either . We had an idea…Maybe we could get by using vines for the shading and cooling the air…a plan was taking shape… Why not use the pergola posts to support wires that would, in turn, support the

read more The ‘wirgola’

Planting time is family time.


The family planting trees. 4 deciduous fruit trees that should provide us. In addition to fruit, they will shade the front of the house from the western sun that blasts it in summer.

I used tree guards around their bases. These keep water where it is needed and allow it to move down to the roots.

I’ve tried pipes over the years but have seen the local councils use these plastic guards to great success.