Autumn 2020


lot of changes are happening here at Selfbuild – some we’ve planned such as this magazine redesign, replete with a brand new Selfbuild Guide section to help you navigate through the process of building or extending your dream home in Ireland (turn to page 100).

Others we’ve had less control over and, as everyone has, we’ve been busy adapting to the new normal of Covid-19. Some exciting news to follow.

And above all, we want to hear from you! Feedback on the redesign is most welcome, but also do get in touch to let us know how you are adapting on site with Covid-19, to share any design or construction details about your project, or just to see your home featured in the magazine.

We are here to share information, advice and inspiration from self-builders across the island of Ireland, showcasing how it’s done – warts and all.

Stay safe and happy building!


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At the movies – Building your own home has a lot of upsides. One is to have the luxury of adding a home cinema, as this self-build in Co Fermanagh showcases.

Part of the landscape – Co Wicklow is well known for being a difficult place to get planning permission; estate agent David Dobbs and his wife Alex managed to integrate their house into the landscape with a sprawling design.

15% discount – Anthony Cash’s extension and renovation project in Co Antrim was partially financed by a little known VAT rebate for homes left unoccupied for two years or more. It also boasts a unique black brick external finish and polished concrete floors.

The puzzle house – Martin and Saoirse O’Dwyer struggled to get planning permission to extend their home in Co Sligo but manged to get their design over the line with a barrel roof addition. The next step was to figure out how to build it!

The multigeneration house – This newly built Co Antrim brick house fuses an apartment complex for a grandparent and a fully functioning family home; three generations live under the one roof yet everyone has the space and privacy they need.

Standing out to blend in – This new build project in Co Cork was influenced by its forest setting thanks to a clever use of cladding alternating dark green corrugated metal with timber laths.

A keeper – The story behind how a lighthouse keeper’s house in Co Cork has been given a complete facelift, from increasing the level of insulation to installing a heat pump with underfloor heating.

Timber warrior- Chris and Serena Gillick took a very hands on approach to their Co Meath self-build – Chris built the frame himself, with the help of a friend, from timber lengths he cut to size and assembled on site. We also delve into whether this DIY approach is realistic for most self-builders.



Ask the expert – Get to grips with specifying your heating system and find out if it’s still possible to build a house for under 150k.

Cheap Irish Homes – Top house hunting tips from RTE co-hosts Maggie Molloy and Kieran McCathy.

Budget: Staircases – One of the most expensive items to budget for; here’s where you can save on costs.

Miscommunication – Top tips on how to avoid one of the most common self-build pitfalls, from a self-builder in Co Down.

The hardest working space in the home – The bedroom has to pack a punch to make sure you get a good night’s sleep.


Selfbuild Guide

Overview of the self-build process.

Can you build on the site?

What can you build for your budget?

How will you manage the project?

PROJECT: Building the dream