snifter

Couple of questions

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    We are looking to buy a house and have narrowed down the type of house we are hoping for, land size requirements and so on. We are not stuck to this hard and fast and are flexible for the right house in the right area. Already seen a couple we love but one went under contract by 10am on the Monday morning when viewings were on the weekend right before :err: and the other we feel is wonderful, fab location, views but is rather pricey for the area and its floor space given houses with an extra bedroom or living space have sold for around the same in recent times (and ok, perhaps requiring a bit of work but nothing we would not be prepared to do).

     

    My questions

     

    1) We are looking to live inland, but probably not more than 10-20 minutes from the coast or access to a good beach. Pool is not a priority for us at all but if a house comes up that fits our requirements and we love it, and it has a pool, would that be a pro or a con to you? As in pool running costs, amount of time used over the year, maintenance etc. Hubby would not use it much as his skin goes insane, son would love it, I'd use it and so would friends and family visiting. Might also mean we get more people coming to use to make use of the pool over holidays like Christmas and so on. Those with pools, what have your experiences been with them?

     

    2) What kind of air con/heating is the better form if its already installed? I've seen a fair few with those new fancy wall air con/heating set ups but also with vents in the ceilings in rooms (or both). And of course woodburners in the main living room. Does anyone use night storage or anything like it over here? Or run heat off solar panels (they seem to do it for water)? Or off woodburners? I used to run a few radiators from a woodburner in an old cottage in the UK and it was fab, wondering if the same might be possible here in the future.

     

    Thanks in advance.

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    Guest Guest12727

    Re heating. I would look at the overall design of the house rather than just concentrate on the heating itself. Look into passive design elements and see if the house fits any of the criteria as this greatly reduces the need for both heating and cooling. ie Living areas facing North with lots of windows to let in the winter sun. Good eaves plus extra shading west and east Trees / pergola) to protect from summer sun. Look at energyaspectliving.com.au Obviously you also want to check insulation is adequate and I would fix this before even thinking of heating.

     

    We have a wood heater and love it. It is the only heating we have in the house and is in the family room on South side. We are lucky to get most wood for free (cart and chop it ourselves, so not completely free, just doesn't cost money). You can put ducting that transfers the heat from the room with the woodburner into other rooms and we are considering this. The beauty of the wood heater is that the house doesn't get very cold overnight as it slow burns. We have slate floors and they really retain the heat, so we walk barefooted in family room no problem. The downside is cleaning out the ash and being organised with dry wood, but I am used to this now.

     

    Lounge room on North side can be lovely on a winters afternoon with sun shining in the windows, great for reading a book. Winter evenings we spend in the family room as it is a bit chilly in the lounge once the sun goes down, although it doesn't bother son.

     

    It is possible to heat water from a wood burner, my neighbour's brother does this, but not sure how common it is here and I think you need a pretty big wood burner. BTW, neighbour also has wood heater only - no other heating. You can run radiators from solar heated hot water, however, you need a big storage tank to store the heated solar water in the day so it can be used at night. You can do the same for underfloor heating. Generally if this is done, a low level gas booster is used to supplement the solar. The alternative is just to use gas heated hot water central heating, the same as you would in UK. There are companies here that do it.

     

    Ducted reverse cycle heating can heat a whole house, but is relatively expensive to run. Ducted gas heating also heats whole house and is cheaper to run (at present).

    The split systems on the wall are good, but just heat part of the house.

    Edited by Guest12727

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    I can only comment on our own experience:

     

    1. We have a pool and I love it. Over the last two christmas breaks I've swam, read and relaxed by the pool everyday and our son recently had a pool party for his 16th birthday. Having said that I don't know if I'd necessarily go for a pool again if we moved?? Our pool is salt water chlorinated and that's really no trouble at all. However we overlook gum trees which is very pretty but causes more work to keep the pool clean! If you do go for a pool I think solar heating for the pool is a must to get extended swimming times in the cooler months.

     

    2. Our air con in both our prior rental and our home is evaporative which I understand is more cost effective to run and is more than satisfactory for us. This of course doesn't heat the house. We found that the heating in our rental (gas fire and electric wall mounted heaters in the bedrooms) and in our own home - gas space heater were not sufficient. We had gas ducted heating installed last winter and it's soooo good. You can talk to them about your needs and find a suitable system eg I wanted a duct in the bathroom so its warm when you undress for the shower on cold winter mornings and we split the system so we can just put the bedrooms on to warm just before going to bed.

     

    Good luck with the house hunting. Don't forget your building and pest inspection (including pool compliance certificate if the house has a pool). We actually cooled off on a property we'd signed a contract for because there were issued which came up during the building inspection.

     

    Also if you want someone to look over the contract, form 1 (Vendor's Disclosure Statement) and searches to check there is nothing untoward I'd be happy to assist I do it everyday in my job!

     

    Kerry

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    Quick tip for those with evap systems - block the ducts in winter and make sure you have a snug fitting cover on the roof unit. This will help retain heat within the house.

     

    Also look at draught proof covers for those pesky fans in bathrooms and bogs.

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    Guest Guest75
    We are looking to buy a house and have narrowed down the type of house we are hoping for, land size requirements and so on. We are not stuck to this hard and fast and are flexible for the right house in the right area. Already seen a couple we love but one went under contract by 10am on the Monday morning when viewings were on the weekend right before :err: and the other we feel is wonderful, fab location, views but is rather pricey for the area and its floor space given houses with an extra bedroom or living space have sold for around the same in recent times (and ok, perhaps requiring a bit of work but nothing we would not be prepared to do).

     

    My questions

     

    1) We are looking to live inland, but probably not more than 10-20 minutes from the coast or access to a good beach. Pool is not a priority for us at all but if a house comes up that fits our requirements and we love it, and it has a pool, would that be a pro or a con to you? As in pool running costs, amount of time used over the year, maintenance etc. Hubby would not use it much as his skin goes insane, son would love it, I'd use it and so would friends and family visiting. Might also mean we get more people coming to use to make use of the pool over holidays like Christmas and so on. Those with pools, what have your experiences been with them?

     

    2) What kind of air con/heating is the better form if its already installed? I've seen a fair few with those new fancy wall air con/heating set ups but also with vents in the ceilings in rooms (or both). And of course woodburners in the main living room. Does anyone use night storage or anything like it over here? Or run heat off solar panels (they seem to do it for water)? Or off woodburners? I used to run a few radiators from a woodburner in an old cottage in the UK and it was fab, wondering if the same might be possible here in the future.

     

    Thanks in advance.

     

     

    I reckon you are going to have several differing opinions here.

     

    I can only share our experiences.

     

     

    We had a salt chlorinated pool at the old house and it was fantastic. A bit seperate from the house but it was like having a separate "room"

    Solar heated and salt chlorination are the way to go.

    Electric and water bills will make a dint in your finances by at least a good few hundred a year - I'd allow a thousand on average - takes into account a few chemicals/ salt / testing and minor repairs.

    It's a lifestyle choice - great when you have young children and friends with youngsters - you can teach your kids to swim at home and it keeps them busy when friends kids are visiting.

     

     

    Heating / cooling is another rich source of discussion.

     

    Our old house was double brick with big verandas and a slow combustion log burner that heated most of the house.

    We did have a virtually free supply of firewood and it was a wonderful thing.

     

    BUT - as you will know, it is dirty and if here if you don't have a source of cheap/ free wood it will be an expensive heat source as decent seasoned red Gum is around the $400 a ton mark .

     

    Our new house is a very different set up.

     

    We knew what we wanted ...

     

    Much more a "modern" house.

    Plenty of glass - but the payback is the view.

     

    We've installed a 5KW solar system and a large "hole in the wall" gas fire.

    We have reverse cycle aircon and ceiling fans.

     

    We are on the 25.6c rebate tarriff which helps.

     

    Two story house s0 the heat does flow upstairs - we have fitted a thick curtain at the bottom of the stairs to keep the heat down. We open it before go to bed and the heat rises to our bedroom + we have an electric blanket.

     

    Our gas bill - including heating cooking and hot water comes in at around $250 a quarter.

     

    Our solar has put us way in credit and pays for our gas and water bills.

     

    We don't waste electric but not scared to switch the aircon on.

     

    It all works for us and better than expected- would love plumbed central heating but it's not really here

     

     

    "Backboilers" from woodburners are great but I don't think there are many here - hence they will be very expensive.

     

    Solar hot water is very cheap - worth the investment - or install instant gas hot water.

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    I reckon you are going to have several differing opinions here.

     

    I can only share our experiences.

     

    Solar heated and salt chlorination are the way to go.

     

    Electric and water bills will make a dint in your finances by at least a good few hundred a year - I'd allow a thousand on average - takes into account a few chemicals/ salt / testing and minor repairs.

     

    It's a lifestyle choice - great when you have young children and friends with youngsters - you can teach your kids to swim at home and it keeps them busy when friends kids are visiting.

    .

     

    I agree with Tyke - and you, Snifter- a pool makes a great focal point when your kids are littlies. It used to be soooo nice to sit in the shade and watch them tire themselves out in the pool. I loved it! I thought Tyke made a good point with using the pool to teach water safety and confidence too. :notworthy:

     

    Now the kids are older they tend to go jetty-jumping (which I hate with a passion!) or simply stay on the beach. Neither of us can be bothered to go in as it's too much effort when it's hot and not worth the effort when it's cold - and to me, anything under 29C is cold! So I spend aaaaaaages testing, cleaning and on the yearly clean-up after I've let the pool winter (read: turn to a 55k litre vat of slime lol!) for no one to use the stupid thing.

     

    So, if I had my time again, I would definitely have one while the kids are young but fill it in when they grow up!

     

    FWIW, our pool was salt but, since the chlorinator broke down, is now reliant on a regular chlorine fling. I always had to top up the chlorine levels as well as add salt (for the chlorinator to work on) so I don't think it's been any more expensive. My experience has been way less expensive than Tyke's as our pool's running costs seem negligable and certainly not hundreds of dollars but then, as I said, I only really bother with the pool in the summer.

     

    Can't comment much on heating although the fact that we have a few trees around us seems to keep the house cooler in summer and means solar heating isn't worth installing so if you are keen on solar, maybe that's something to keep in mind? Although we are, according to the comparison chart on our bills, managing to keep electricity and water consumption under the average for our size family so go the trees!

     

    I love our hot water heater as we can change the heat according to use...up for washing up, down for showers...and because every degree makes a difference to cost, that makes me feel good :cute:

     

    Have fun looking and I hope you soon find that perfect 'fit' for you and your family.

     

    :wubclub: LC

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