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€8,000,” he adds. Planning was obtained in early 2012 which is when construction started; the build was completed in October of that year. “Construction was undertaken by local skilled builders managed by Michael Mulligan, a family friend who acted as the project manager for the renovation and the new build,” says Noel. “We couldn’t have done it without him, unfortunately he has since retired. He had very good connections and would keep us updated and would visit us on site when needed.” The couple set up an account, paid monthly, with the local builder’s merchant for the provision and delivery of all the materials. The demolition of the extensions was undertaken by a family member with a digger. “Through Mark an engineer was retained, this combination proved very useful as we lived in Dublin and professionals signed off on progress. We tried wherever possible to use local skilled craftsmen,” adds Elaine. “The builder did however suggest that the new contemporary extension be attached to the house to save on costs, but Mark was adamant to have a gap between the old and new so we went with his advice as we agreed it was necessary. What we did take out was the glass finish for the bridge floor leading to the upstairs bedroom – for just a couple of feet it would have added about €6,000 which we felt was too expensive an addition.” The only problem that arose during construction was due to the need for steel

reinforcement for an upstairs wall. “This was priced at several thousand euros but after discussions between Mark and the engineer it was agreed to change the specification to a concrete floor with a ring beam to support the wall. This was a much cheaper option and provided a much better fire proof solution. Having the right professional advice for problems like this is crucial.” Elaine advises anyone embarking on a similar adventure to have fun with the design and enjoy decorating. “I like the notion of picking colours and above all, being involved in the design which gives you ownership of the project. I would love to see more farmhouses being renovated.”

AU T U M N 2 0 1 8 / S E L F B U I L D / 5 3

Selfbuild Autumn 2018  
Selfbuild Autumn 2018