Instagram celeb’s self-build tips

Irish musician Ronan Keating, who is building a family home in the UK, announced he and his wife Storm Keating were taking charge of their renovation-turned-new-build project DIY style.

“It’s so sad that after all these years [the renovation started May 2016] our home is still not complete,” reads the couple’s house Instagram account @thekeatingshouse. “There are so many opportunists in the construction industry who are happy to take advantage and take your money. Sadly we came into this project very naive and far too trusting. We have learnt the hard way.”

“So if you’re thinking about a build, extension or even a reno, our advice is always go with a recommendation and even then, check their references (or even visit previous projects they have completed if possible). One of our lovely subcontractors, Alessio, said always go local – that way you know where they live and they can’t run and hide! If only we had been given this advice before we embarked on our journey.”

In January 2019 the couple broke ground on their new build: “This came 4 months after walking away from the first set of builders (see previous post) and engaging our own architect to oversee the build the traditional way.”

In another post, the couple wrote: “If you’re embarking a large project and you yourself can’t be there daily to keep an eye on things, you should consider putting someone in place who can be…a good site manager or project manager who is independent, knows construction, and has your best interests at heart.”

“One thing we learnt the hard way is that not all trades can be trusted to not cut corners when no one’s looking. There are various things that came to light (after the event) during this project, which weren’t done properly the first time and had to be remediated (therefore costing more time and ultimately more ££). Having someone who only works for you, keeping an eye on workmanship would be well worth the investment.”

Plenty more tips and advice from @thekeatingshouse


Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email

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