[LMB] OT: Houses was Recipe help

Katrina Allis k.m.allis at gmail.com
Mon Nov 28 08:36:24 GMT 2011

On 28 November 2011 08:25, A. Marina Fournier <saffronrose at me.com> wrote:

> <snip>
> This is priceless! Our first rental house up here
> •we called it the Stairmaster with a View--up the driveway, to the garage
> level. Up a flight of stairs to the first level. Up a switchback stairway
> (with loose railing and slats too wide for safe children), and when you
> were at the top, you saw the inside stairs to the garage and the laundry
> facilities...on the other side, two floors below, of a rickety railing. If
> the house hadn't sold when it did, we would have had to move anyways, as I
> had just become pregnant.
> •have heard the house was built/designed while the person was going
> through a divorce. Somehow, I believe it.
> •reverse floor plan, and the top floor had so many level changes it was
> annoying, because you couldn't PUT things where you needed them
> •so much Western exposure that no art could be hung, and the sun or glare
> would be in your eyes if you wanted to watch TV.
> •you could spend an entire fortune trying to heat the upstairs and still
> be cold, so we didn't try.
> •badly laid nearly spiral driveway, opening up on a blind curve people
> drove much too fast.
> •across the narrow road from a big stand of eucalyptus and its fallout.
> Turns out we're both allergic to the stuff, so when we look for a new
> house, we always specify that there be no eucalyptus within two blocks.
> <snip>

Apart from the floor plan and the driveway, this sounds like a lot of
houses in Wellington.  The more recent ones tend to have insulation though,
so aren't as cold.  Western, or north-west exposure is a good thing here as
it means you get afternoon sun.

Mind, our driveway is pretty bad (unless you've had practice) - it's up a
steep curving hill.  There's probably a 90 degree turn up the hill; it
would be 15 - 20 metres long and would go up about 10 metres.  Then there's
the (sloping sideways downwards) stairs up to the house.  We have a
gorgeous view over regenerated native bush that's part of the bird pathway
through the city, back onto the town belt, and get lots of afternoon sun.
But we have off-street parking here, which is better than the last place.

That was up a switchback access path that served several houses, across a
small bridge where a slip had taken out the path previously, and then up 58
steps.  The steps, at least, were straight up and fairly even, and once we
painted the edges white, fine in the dark.  The local Council maintained
the access path, the landlords maintained the stairs.

Both places are un-insulated.  We have a heat pump and a box fire here
(plus column heaters in all our bedrooms).  The last place had an open
fire, which is pretty, but completely useless for heat.

There's been a major campaign over the last few years in New Zealand to get
insulation into older, particularly poorer homes, through Council and
Government subsidies.  There's also been a campaign for clean heat - mostly
through heat pumps and making them more accessible to people.


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