Monday, October 18, 2010

House Pictures

I neglected to add a few pictures. The interior is currently being painted. Once that's done I will post a few shots.

The first pic is a view from the highest hill on the property before the house was built. The house is located just behind the clump of cedars in the middle of the picture.

The grading was just recently finished and now we need to do a little landscaping, but the intent is to let most of it naturalize. We want to do a small formal garden off the basement walkout for both decorative and kitchen garden purposes.


Anonymous said...

Mila here (Google just won't keep my password for some reason): Love the photos! Thanks for posting them. Looks like you'll have plenty of space for gardening. What will you do with those downspouts? Don't know if you've ever tried them, but rain barrels (there are all kinds of them out there) are very useful for watering the garden. You could also direct rain water to a pond lower down.
It's awesome that the house remained relatively cool during the uber-hot days of summer -- I understand that Toronto had some pretty serious heat in July.

Envirofrigginmental said...

Hey Mila. Thanks.

Rihgt now the south downspouts go underground and empty at the bottom of the hill (whic hdrains towards a pond). We're still sorting out what to do about the northern ones.

Most of the landscaping is intended to go back to natural. We will reserve a small area to the south for a formal kitchen and flower garden. Putting in rain-barrels will perhaps come later. Friends of ours just put in a cistern fed from their roof run-off and I am anxious to see how well it works.

Our "problem" in this part of the world is that (generally) water is still plentiful and cheap. Water saving strategies tend not to have short paybacks (especially for large commercial projects) and therefore rarely get implemented. In Toronto proper however, many people use the rain barrels for their residences like yourself, as the cost of water supply has been steadily increasing.

Anonymous said...

Mila here again. Water is relatively cheap in Boston (at least I think it is...), but cheap or expensive, we try to conserve it for the earth's sake, to be honest. I don't mean to sound self-righteous, and I'm aware that it's difficult not to sound that way...but I want to save fresh water for the sake of the general water table. It always seems so wasteful to pour fresh clean drinking water on the ground outside. I think it's great that you have those downspouts going underground and to a pond, and I hope your friends' cistern works out. Hey -- if you are retiring there, who cares what the payback is, right? :)

Envirofrigginmental said...

I totally agree with you that pulling water from deep wells to flush down the drain is obscene.

The rain water harvesting system (from the roof) is relatively simple, but it requires a room for the tanks and associated equipment... and preferably on an upper floor so you can gravity feed instead of needing to pump. But that can be expensive due to the weight of the holding tanks and filter tanks. Here' s a link to a place where they did everything:

If you dig deeper you will find the piece on rain water harvesting.

All our toilets are 6 litre/flush and the washer and dishwasher use minimal water with current technologies. I kind of think of our place as "transitional" when it comes to being sustainable; unfortunately we didn't go all the way.