Thermahome: One Kiwi's solution to cold houses
We've got a big problem with our houses in New Zealand. Too often they're not built well enough, and they're not warm enough.
But according to one homeowner, building a warm house doesn't need to be expensive or difficult. In fact, it's so easy he did it himself.
Warmth was Paul Henson's first thought when designing his home.
"[That] is the complete opposite way people build a house," he says. "They go to a builder or an architect and they decide they want a certain sort of house and they get what they've always got."
It's been a labour of love, piecing together what he calls his "thermahome".
It looks like a regular house with plenty of personal touches, but it's what is hidden from view that makes it so special.
"It's a metal sandwich, with polystyrene in the middle. It's fireproofed, so the polystyrene won't burn; it'll just char."
It is, effectively, a residential coolstore.
"It's really good with the heat pump and the extra insulation. No problems at all; 20 degrees inside all the time."
Originally designed as a homestay, Mr Henson now shares the home with his partner and her daughter. It is a big house – five bedrooms, 450 square metres. Even so, the power bills are proportionately lower than normal.
"Average bill is about $270 a month, which is heating, hot water and all the electricity for cooking, lighting, whatever – very cheap."
What he'd like to see is council and Government ensuring these principles are applied more often to new builds.
Watch the video for the full Story report.