The Homestead

The homestead is constructed of two old weatherboard homes which we saved from demolition. We moved them onto the property in late 2007. Both homes came from nearby Gunnedah. Each home was split into two pieces for transportation, resulting in four separate pieces of house to be piered in their new location.

The four pieces were repositioned to create a V shape, leaving a gap between the two closest corners. That gap and the space between the houses were built in and a three metre verandah constructed around the entire house. The verandah posts are ironbark cut from the Pilliga Forest. Due to the two original houses being different heights and widths, a new roof was constructed for the whole building with a heat blanket installed under the roofing iron.

Steel bearers and joists were used in the new parts of the building and steel piers were used overall. Most of the original internal timber frame and a good deal of the timber flooring was salvaged. Cypress pine floorboards from Gunnedah Timbers were used in the new part as well as in the areas of the old parts that weren't being carpeted plus the verandah.

The homestead is north facing, with the least amount of windows along the western wall. To take the best advantage of the magnificent view, glass doors and large windows feature prominently. Dengate Joinery in Tamworth manufactured all the western red cedar doors and windows and all the insect screens on them. Because we didn't want to cover windows or doors with curtains or blinds, we chose a laminated glass called Comfortplus from Pilkington Glass.

All wall cavities and the ceiling were insulated using heat and acoustic insulation. Reversible ceiling fans are used throughout the homestead and an Arrow wood heater provides winter warmth.

A sixteen panel, twenty four battery solar array is used to power the house and shed and we are not connected to the electricity grid. The solar panels are constructed on a stand-alone shed that is approximately twenty five metres from the homestead. We purchased the solar array from New England Solar in Armidale.

The corrugated iron roofing from the original houses was used to build the shed.

Three galvanised iron tanks with a total 67,500 litre capacity sit along the eastern shed wall and harvest the rainwater that falls onto the homestead and shed roofs. The homestead uses 100% rainwater.

We installed a 5.5 star rated Rinnai instantaneous continuous flow gas hot water system with an electronic adjustable temperature setting and a Emilia gas oven and cooktop.

We use a Biolytix worm sewerage treatment system, which pumps the treated water out into the orchard.  

planet - community - identity - independence


Ngiyaani's Evolution

A diarised pictoral journey



old homes in place

work starts

taking shape

frame finished