Built out of lengths of timber

Carpenter Chris Gillick constructed his family home with the “stick built” timber frame method. Here’s how he and his wife Serena did it in County Meath.

In this article, Chris explains:

  • What is a stick built timber frame house
  • How to design and engineer a stick built timber frame house
  • How much the stick build elements cost
  • Stages involved in a timber frame stick build, from floor to stud walls
  • How to take on a stick built timber frame project yourself
  • How the project was managed on a day to day basis, by direct labour
  • Services from wastewater treatment to drilling a well, and rainwater management with French drains
  • Details of the planning permission stage
  • DIY in frame kitchen design and build
  • DIY staircase design and construction
  • Air to water heat pump cost and specification
  • Ventilation system choice: heat recovery vs demand controlled

Construction: timber frame (stick built)
Ventilation: centralised demand controlled
Heating and hot water:
air to water heat pump
Build cost: €230k

Walls: timber frame, insulation 150mm mineral wool and 50mm PIR boards then 50x40mm battens for cables and services then another 50mm mineral wool.
Vaulted roof: 170mm mineral wool, 2x40mm PIR laid opposite direction, foil taped joints, counter battened for services and expanding foam and tapes.
Cold roof: 170mm mineral wool half inch ply on top, 100mm PIR foil taped with 18mm ply on top as attic floor.
Windows: triple glazed tilt and turn windows, RAL colour 7038 on the outside, white on the inside.


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 astrid.madsen@selfbuild.ie

Lighthouse keeper’s renovation in Cork

Modern construction methods in Ireland