ecoMaster Maurice Beinat holding a foil board, a DIY invention to insulate under their concrete slab floors

Underfloor Reflective Insulation Because this house is a slab on stumps, it gave us the opportunity to insulate under the concrete slab. It’s a great thermal mass but not a very good insulator. So normally under a floor, you would use the polyester rolls between the joists, which are fantastic. But under this floor is [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat in the ceiling and the Draft Stoppa fitted over their the exhaust fan

Draft Stoppa We’re currently in the roof, looking over the cathedral ceiling. And what we can see here is the original fibreglass bats laid on black plastic over the cathedral ceiling, and then on top, we’ve actually fitted R2.5 Underfloor Insulation Rolls that were pulled across the cathedral ceiling. You can also see that while [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat pointing up their cathedral ceiling

Insulating the Cathedral Ceiling We’re currently in the roof, looking over the cathedral ceiling. And what we can see here is the original fibreglass bats laid on black plastic over the cathedral ceiling, and then on top, we’ve actually fitted R2.5 Underfloor Insulation Rolls that were pulled across the cathedral ceiling. You can also see [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat showing their smoke alarm and insulated hot water pipes in their ceiling

Smoke Alarm and Insulated Hot Water Pipes Firstly, we decided to put a smoke alarm up here because if there’s a fire that happens to get started in the roof, this is likely to warn us a long time before a smoke alarm in the house would do. The other thing is the hot water [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat pointing out the manhole to their attic

Insulating the Manhole in the Attic We are just about to go up in the roof to have a look at things up there. But before we do, I’d just like to point out that in our case, we’ve got attic stairs, but nonetheless it’s a manhole. And in your home, you might have a [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat on the ceiling of their home

Testing Ceiling Insulation Before upgrading the ceiling insulation, we had to decide how much to upgrade it and what to upgrade it with. Without knowing very much about insulation products, we decided to build a controlled heat chamber and we hired a cool room. We built a simulated house and insulated it with all the [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat in their living room

Insulating the Top and Bottom Parts of the House One of the things that we did really early on was to improve the ceiling insulation. Some years later, we did underfloor insulation as well. So basically did improvements on the top and bottom of our home.  Now, before we look at those in detail, let’s [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat shows how air flows through the solarventi outlets

Solarventi Outlet This is the outlet for the Solarventi that we first saw on the roof. It’s a simple MDF box that leads from the ceiling down to the floor. The Solarventi has a flexible duct that adapts to the top of the box. So, the warm air comes down here, and maybe you can [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat in front of their bathroom door

Zoning Out the Bathrooms When we heat our home, it’s a good idea, not to heat areas that you don’t really need to heat. And for us, it’s zoning out the wet areas. It’s the laundry, toilet, and bathrooms. We treat the doors (as in draught-proof them) and keep them closed. Now here’s an interesting [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat discussing the improvements they did in their ensuite/bathroom

Ensuite/Bathroom Improvements There is a longish story of evolution in our ensuite (bathroom). There’s a little bit of an echo in here because there is no external opening to this room. You can see behind me that we can see straight out the back, but that’s because there’s a glass wall on the other side [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat standing in front of a cavity sliding door

Draught Proofed Cavity Sliding Door As is usually the case with master bedrooms, there’s often a walk-in robe. In this case, we’ve got a cavity sliding door that slides into an external wall, so almost always causes a draught issue. In this case, we fitted the Draught Dodgers for Cavity Sliding Door, so that we [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat standing in front of a double glazed door with installed blinds

Improved Air Circulation I’m standing at the east end of the home. One of the things that we did was to improve the cross-flow ventilation (air circulation) of the home. There used to be a regular awning window, which is really poor for ventilation purposes. We took out the whole awning window unit and replaced [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat showing their drapes in the bedroom

Double Insulated Heavy Drapes & Pelmets We’re probably all aware that amongst the most thermally effective window coverings are heavy lined drapes and box pelmets. The pelmet is very important because they eliminate the airflow going down behind the drapes. One way to rejuvenate all drapes is to simply sew the new material onto the [...]

ecoMaster Maurie Beinat points out the heating vent they sealed and draught proofed

Sealing Up Heating Outlets About a year after we stopped using the central heating system, we decided to have a go at blocking up the outlets. What you see here, is a typical ceiling outlet of a heating system. You might see a silvery part inside, or if I open these louvres, we can see [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat in their bedroom with a compact fluorescent lamp overhead

Bedroom Lighting In the bedroom, there are quite a few energy-efficient features to see. Starting with the drapes, the lighting treatment, an example of sealing up heating outlets, improving cross-flow ventilation and draught proofing a walk-in robe. When we first moved into this home, it was absolutely full of 50-watt halogen downlights. They were fitted [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat holding a Retroshield reflective wall insulation

Retrofit Wall Insulation One of the questions that we had was, “What exactly is in the walls of this home?” When we looked, we discovered a high-quality reflective house wrap. And while it was really good quality, it was not very well installed. It was not fixed to the bottom of the walls (so it [...]

ecoMaster Maurie Beinat in their study

DIY Projects in the Study Working in a study can be a reasonably uncomfortable experience. For a start, you’re just sitting sedentary. If space is cool, you’re soon going to be feeling frozen. There are a few things that have been done here to try and alleviate that. Firstly, on the window side. We have [...]

ecoMaster Maurie Beinat holding an LED downlight

Lighting Upgrade in the Kitchen One of the things that we did really early on was dealing with the lighting. We had about 40 of these halogens downlights fitted in a gimbaled fitting (that is they had the ability to tilt). But they were all 100% flat on the ceiling, and there was an enormous [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat placing his hand on their induction cooktop

Replacement Cooktop When we came here, this was an electric cooktop. We did change it for a gas one that runs on LPG. This has been here quite a long time now, and it is slated for replacement. LPG or piped gas is not sustainable and not great in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. This [...]

ecoMaster Maurice Beinat slipping his hand over an awning window

Awning Window Treatments Well as you can see, these are the kitchen window. We have a few things going on here. Firstly, as well as developing ecoGlaze (secondary glazing) in this home, we do continually test other things, and on this window, we’re testing one of the heat shrink films. You can probably see that [...]