|The small triangular area to the side of the house is where the huge oil tank is situated. When we moved in the area was mainly clear except for some odd bits of rubbish, for sale signs etc. The weeds quickly grew and overtook the area which we didn't really bother to deal with because there was no need to go around there.|
It was only after we had made some progress on converting the house to underfloor heating that we turned our attention to this area where we planned to locate the air source heat pump. We originally planned to have a ground source heat pump but decided the work involved was just too much so opted for the easier, but slightly less efficient air source.
|Unfortunately what we didn't realise is that the previous owner, in his rush to sell the property, had put down some tarpaulins and covered them with ballast. The neighbours said that the area, including the fence, had been very quickly finished off when they had decided to move. During September 2008 we had the job of digging out the entire area to lay proper weed supressing membrane and shingle. |
While karen and I did this Emma and Luke collected up two trailer loads of shingle from the back garden. We dug up what ever roots we could then covered the whole area with the sifted ballast before putting down multiple layers of thick ground cover membrane and finishing off with the shingle. Using the spare shingle from the back garden we only needed to buy the membrane so the whole area cost £20 to revitalise. Unfortunately, in doing this I over stressed my knee and was unable to walk or drive which will also put a dampener on my surfing trip to Cornwall the following week.
|The air source heat pump outdoors unit was installed in early November 2008 by John from Sustainable Technology and is basically an outdoors air conditioning unit. You can see the refrigerant pipes and armoured electricity cables running along the wall. Our ultimate aim is to remove the need for the oil tank completely so that will be cleared from the area.|
In the meantime we will put a gate at the far end leading onto the patio and install some water butts.