What's all the fuss about?

Since 2009 we have been practising natural living. Our actions and activities focus on establishing and refining a sustainable, enjoyable and meaningful existence that works in harmony with natural systems.

Reciprocal roof (self supporting)

Reciprocal roof (self supporting)

The reciprocal frame is a roof structure where each beam both supports and is supported by other beams in the roof structure. A minimum of 3 beams is required to create a reciprocal frame roof. As each beam supports the next in a reciprocal manner no internal support structure is required.  Only the outer end of each beam requires support which will normally be a post used for the wall.  The roof loads are transferred to these posts and in turn to the supporting foundation. The beams can be fabricated from timbers, laminated wood, steel or reinforced concrete. A very inexpensive roof structure can be made from logs.

While building it you need to support the first beam temporarily; when the support is removed the whole structure should neatly lock together.   wood  construction  plans  design  calculator 
Shed upgrade

Shed upgrade

Details  Progress has been made on the upgrade of our chook and pig shed. The overall objective is to reconfigure the north facing side of the building as under cover growing space that we can rotate the chooks through.Date  July 31, 2015Tags    Construction 
Old iron sides

Old iron sides

The weather boards on the exterior walls of the house were looking tired and required patching in a few places. Also, white was not our favourite colour.
Rather than continue to patch new problems and run on the painting treadmill we decided to go for a more serious and long term solution. After much consideration and deliberation we settled on colour coated corrugated steel. Long lasting, easy to install, made of recycled steel (or can be recycled) and available in a range of non-white colours.
The end result looks good and should last for some time.
July 20, 2013  progress  house  weather  construction 


As the number of chooks steadily increases so too does the need for housing.
In attempt to prevent the family of bantams from visiting our garden everyday we decided to resurrect the old shed down the far end of the farm.
Click the photo to see before and after
March 09, 2010  Chickens  Construction  Renovation 

Inverted spiral

Details  Combining the popular parmaculture herb spiral concept and the desire to squeeze the maximum amount of edge into a given space, this excavated spiral will serve as an in ground water catchment feature and plant based sun trap with additional aspects such as shaped earth seating and potential fire 'pit'Date  May 24, 2015Tags    earthworks  spiral  construction  water 

Earthquake repairs

Details  Another project that can finally be crossed off the to-do list. The earthquake in November 2016 caused cracking in the brick wall behind our fireplace. While it was still standing and looked ok we were not happy about having this unstable stack of bricks there waiting to come down. I decided to remove most of them before another quake brought them down and caused damage to the hot water pipes that passed through to the log burner. It also allowed for the insulation of these pipes which had foolishly never been done in the first place.
The project required carefully chiselling the bricks apart and reducing he height of the wall to a satisfactory level. Than a concrete bond beam was poured, encasing the top layer of bricks, locking it all together. Finally, after adding some additional timber framing the opening was covered by mini corrugated sheet metal.
Date  March 18, 2017Tags    construction 
New roof for the guest house

New roof for the guest house

The revitalisation of the guest house has been under way for some time but a major milestone has been reached - the new roof is going on.

I had been putting it off for as long as possible (excuses such as waiting for chimney were used) but with summer waning it is clear the leaky old iron needs to go.

This project makes use of most of the recycled concrete roofing tiles I got back before we purchased the property.
February 26, 2012  Roof  Tile  Construction