This beautiful, large and stately home in Charlton is home to Agnes and Graham. It is tucked away from the Calder Highway in a quiet location, benefiting from the shade of large eucalyptus trees on the eastern street frontage.
In addition to the majestic eucalyptus trees to the east, there is also deep shading of the verandah on that side where the bay windows are situated. To the north each window has a protective hood to prevent direct sun strike and there is also a reasonable level of plantings that shades those windows. To the west there is very large enclosed back verandah that shields the home from the western sun. The kitchen is located on the north west corner, which is reasonably well protected.
Agnes and Graham live mostly in the large protected lounge room. They have air conditioning in the living room for the summer time and have a slow combustion stove and electric heaters for the extremely cold winters. Overall, they are quite well setup from the worst of Australia’s extreme weather conditions … that is, except for flooding.
“… Overall they are pretty well setup from the worst of Australia’s extreme weather conditions
… that is, except for flooding .”
As this home is set very low to the ground, it has the potential to be flooded and, indeed, it has been flooded twice already. While the direct impact of flooding has been dealt with and the home has been restored, the moisture has made the floors quite uneven and there are extensive gaps and cracks around skirting boards, bay windows and between skirting boards and the floor. There huge gaps to be found between the kitchen and back verandah wall, allowing lots of room for draught to compromise the couple’s comfort and the effectiveness of their winter heating and summer cooling, which can be costly.
The front and back doors as well as the living rooms’ doors are very draughty. The lounge room has a number of highly ventilated wall vents that are no longer required and allow air to flow in and out freely. There is also a west facing window that they feel lets in significant heat in the summer time. To access the kitchen, Agnes and Graham need to traverse the enclosed back verandah which has an un-insulated tin roof, making the back verandah extremely hot and uncomfortable to spend time in.
The key to making this home more comfortable in summer (and will provide significant winter benefit too) was to thoroughly draught proof with long lasting, quality products. The best result can only be achieved here when looking beyond the obvious sources of draught and taking the whole-home approach that ecoMaster is known for.
The front and back doors were draught proofed as well as the living room doors and significant gap sealing was undertaken throughout the home. The closeable metal wall vents where closed firmly. A blind was installed on the west facing window on the verandah to reduce the heat load on the home and on Agnes and Graham themselves, who will enjoy a much more comfortable home for years to come.