Silo Home


How would you like to live in a Silo?

What about his house in Utah, built by Earl Stein.

If you want to find out more check out his blog about the house at:

For more Unusual House Photos, Wins, and Fails, have a look at: What the………………….?


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Air Locks

air lock I am away in the UK at the moment.

As I have been travelling round I was remembering something I felt was very strange when I first got to Australia. . . . . . It was as soon as you went through the front door you were in the main living space of the house.

In the UK most houses have an enclosed porch like this photograph; or an internal space with a door to the inside (a vestibule)

These ‘Air Lock’ rooms can be important in helping keep heating and cooling bills down.


Advantages of ‘Air Lock’ Rooms

The advantages of Air Lock Rooms are:

  • Acts as a Buffer Zone slowing down the rate of heat trnsfer through the door and side panels;
  • Slows down the house Ventilation Rate by reducing drafts (air loss around a closed door);
  • Stops massive heat loss when a door is opened (as long as you treat it like a true air lock and always keep one door closed). . . .useful when you have people at the door you don’t want to invite in.
  • A useful security feature as wide windows allow you to check out callers that might be hiding out of the view of CCTV cameras.

Types of ‘Air Lock’ Rooms

As well as enclosed porches and Vestibules mentioned above other common ‘Air Lock’ rooms are:

  • Mud Room;
  • Laundry;
  • Enclosed veranda:
  • Sun Room/Conservatory.

If you are serious about saving energy perhaps you should think about ‘Air Locks’.


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Monitored Burglar Alarms

burglar alarmI won’t be bothering with a monitored alarm again!

I had one at my previous home. . . . ‘Free Install’ with 3 Year Monitoring Contract. . . . Waste of money in my opinion!


From all accounts most thieves are mainly after a few valuables that can be moved quickly.

By the time the security service have:

  • Phoned you to check that it wasn’t a false alarm, say 3-4 minutes;
  • Contacted a mobile guy say, 2-3 minutes;
  • The mobile guy has driven to your place , say 10-15 mins;

Between 15 -30 minutes will have passed and most thieves will be long gone.

If they are still there whats the monitoring guy going to do? . . . . call the police that’s another 10 minutes.

Burglaries While You Are At Home

The latest scare tactic by security companies is to say “26% of burglaries are while you someone is in the home!”

Well all I have to say to that is:

  • Who has their alarm on when they are at home?
  • If you suspected a burglar was in the house would you think about getting to an alarm panel so the security company could ring you back? . . . and then wait for the mobile security guy? . .  I’d be ringing 000 on my mobile so the police would be arriving!
  • Rather than have a monitored alarm make sure that you lock all the doors, including the garage, when you are in the house; especially at night.

Alarms In General

Alarms do have their uses:

  • The sight of an alarm may deter some burglars.
  • The sound of an alarm will most likely cause the burglar to rush, so your losses, are more likely to be limited.
  • If you return to your house with the alarm going off you know there could be a problem, rather than walking into the middle of a burglary.

I’m not saving I wouldn’t get an alarm again,  but I would probably go for one with CCTV cameras that send a photo to your smart phone.

At least you would get a picture of the burglar, and you could phone the police straight away with the knowledge you had seen someone in your house.




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Vagina House

Vagina House


On the grounds of ‘keeping out of trouble’ I have “No Comment” about this photo other than WHY?

Originally found on Flower Power


For more Unusual House Photos, Wins, and Fails, have a look at: What the………………….?



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Want To Know More? . . . . Why not buy ANEWHOUSE Guide? ONLY $4

10,000 Visits A Month

Yesterday was a big day for this blog, and me!

This screenshot from Google Analytics shows I passed the 10,000 visits a month milestone for the first time.

10,000 visits

OK its not the hundreds of thousands that some websites get. . . . . . . but then the site is only aimed at people building a new house in Australia.

The number of visits is steadily growing with the growth being just over 24% in the last year

Thank you to:

  • All visitors, especially those that visit regularly.
  • Everyone who has bought one of my  $4 E-Book Guides  (2,150 sold to date)

It makes me very happy to think that over the past four years there have been a lot of people who have received useful advice from my hobby/long term interest.




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Solar Power – What’s Happening in Australia

I spent a couple of hours last week looking around the Australian Solar Council ‘Solar 2015 Exhibition and Conference‘.

So here are a few things which may be of interest if you are planning a new house.Rotex PV Hot water

Hot Water from Photovoltaic (PV) Panels

This is a Rotex Hot Water Service that uses Photo Voltaic Power rather than circulating water as the heating mechanism.

All very interesting as I was only wondering whether this sort of thing would be possible in the Hot Water Post back in April this year.

The company who are planning to sell this later this year are called Energy Smart Water.

fronius pv BatteryYou may have heard about the Tesla Powerwall for storing power from your solar panels for night time use but they aren’t the only company with battery options.

Fronius Solar Battery

On the Left is  Solar Battery from Fronius Australia .

The standard Size of the unit is 955 x 570 x 611mm

Capacities rnge from 4.5kWh (kilowatt hours) to 12.0kWh

If you want to use it with existing solar panels you will need to replace the Inverter as it requires a special Hybrid Inverter.

pv battery LGLG Solar Battery

LG’s Solar battery at 406 x 664 x 165mm is smaller than the Froniius Unit but only has a capacity of 6.4kWh.

It can however be supplemented by up to two expansion packs of 3.2 kWh capacity.

This increases the size to, a still relatively compact 966 x 664 x 165mm.

Again this unit requires a special hybrid inverter.

The local agent for the unit are ‘Solar Juice’.



Currently the companies that are promoting these products say they will be available later this year when full pricing will be available.

All these are interesting ideas but of course the real test will be when the prices are released.


For more posts check out Sustainability


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Clown’s House

Clowns House

Well this looks like a Clowns House to me! . . . . But if you like it,    it could be yours for around $870,000.
The address is 43A Beryl Avenue Oakleigh South Vic 3167.
The Real Estate Agent says “This residence delivers understated panache and undeniable appeal with a touch of Bali”.
Want to find out more? . . . Check this link:  Cooper Newman Real Estate.

For more Unusual House Photos, Wins, and Fails, have a look at: What the………………….?


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Want To Know More? . . . . Why not buy ANEWHOUSE Guide? ONLY $4

Protecting the Footpath

timber matAn issue that can result in grief from the Local Council and additional costs to you is damage to the footpath.


The last time I built any damage was covered by the Clause which says “The Builder must indemnify the Owner in respect of, and insure against liability for personal injury, death, property loss or damage arising out of the Building Works.”

I have heard that some builders now modify this clause to  exclude damage to the footpath.

If this is the case in the contract presented to you I would suggest that you make sure that the words “will take all reasonable steps to prevent footpath damage” are included.

NB, If there was originally no footpath crossing at the location of your driveway you will still have to pay for a new section of reinforced footpath at that point.

Method Of Protection

Normal practice is for the builder to use a timber mat, like the one pictured, at any point where they move vehicles over the footpath.

The mat is simply 95mm x 35mm, or similar, timbers held together by galvanised steel straps. The ends of the timbers are cut at an angle of 45 degrees to minimise the tripping hazard.

By spreading the load from delivery trucks there is much less chance of cracking, and the timber mat prevents scarring from caterpillar tracks.


See Contracts for more posts about issues in the Documents.



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