Building your own home is a very natural thing to do, and the process intuitive. That was the message from the self-builders’ panel discussion at Selfbuild Live Dublin (see p17). But with the building regulations now so demanding, visitors at the event were asking if it was still possible for self-builders to get their hands dirty.
Compliance is of course key but even though there are now a lot of constraints on how you are legally allowed to build your house, you can still do it yourself – as long as you follow the expert guidance of a building designer or engineer. In NI you’ll have the additional support of Building Control inspectors who will supervise key stages of the project.
This is not much unlike how our ancestors used to build their homes, with the best local materials available and guided by the experience of the generations that came before them.
But a self-build doesn’t have to mean you get stuck in; what it’s about is creating a home in the form of an extension, new build or renovation. The common thread is that you get to choose what goes into your new digs, what the place will look like and how it’s built. You put your stamp on it, in more ways than one. It’s an empowering experience that continues to bear fruit long after the housewarming party.
With Selfbuild. Dream it. Do it. Live it.
PROJECT: WHEN TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
Colm and Siobhan Hatton picked a flat pack solution for their house building project in Co Wicklow, making the construction phase as hassle-free as possible.
Tim and Claire Millen of Co Down found ingenious solutions to the planners’ house orientation requirements, and to their desire for clean modern lines.
PROJECT: PIONEERING SPIRIT
Matt Jones and Imelda Ryan-Jones really got stuck into their renovation and extension project in Co Sligo, with Matt doing all the construction work over a four-year period. Find out what kept them going.
PROJECT: GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT
Bruce and Roisin Crane of Co Antrim undertook a farmhouse makeover centred around family life and retaining the original cottage feel.
INSIDER VIEW: BUDGET
How much will your project cost to build?
NATURE AND NURTURE
To reduce the stresses of modern day life, consider designing your home along biophilic design principles.
PLANNING THE PERFECT KITCHEN
How to make sure your kitchen caters for family life in the decades to come.
Your vertical glazing guide, with a section on the latest technologies on offer.
Ways to bring more light into your home.
Want to know what insulation to go for? Here’s an overview of what’s available.
FROM THE BOTTOM UP
The foundations solution for your project and what it involves.
BASICS: SELF-BUILD ROADMAP
What to expect once you get on site.
BASICS: PASSIVE HOUSE CHECKLIST
The most widespread standard used in Ireland to design your house without central heating.
THE MIGHTY STOVE
Stoves are the most popular way to add a fire to an airtight home. Find out what they’re about.
INTERIOR DESIGN: TILING TIPS
What kind of tiles go where, and why. Plus a section on anti-slip tiles.
All it takes to get started on your own tiling project is a good deal of preparation. We show you how.
Daire Bracken is an accomplished musician, architect and dad whose work reflects all aspects of his life.
Decorate your home with what’s in the garden this winter.
Keep your appliances in tip top shape with this checklist.
PROJECT: NEW HOUSE, NEW BABY
We revisit the home of Ann and Andrew Healy of Co Antrim to find out why it’s a good idea to futureproof – even if you don’t always avail of the integrated features.
PROJECT: STRAW BALE LIVIN’
We revisit the straw bale home of Linda and Richie Murphy who self-built back in 2001. It’s a testament to what you can achieve when you pursue your dreams
IN A FLASH
In the wake of the Donegal floods, find out what you need to protect your property.
Ideas from the world of technology and design to make your house run more smoothly.