Charred timber and stone new build in Co Down

Before they start a family, couples are often drawn to Aidan and Julie-Ann Rainey built their family home in the countryside, driven by the need for more space.

When we decided to self-build, we were in a terraced house that my great aunt used to live in,” says Aidan. “It had been left disused for 20 years when we got it, so we refurbished it. It was a great space and perfect for a couple.”

“But when our eldest was born, we started to realise it wasn’t practical. Then when the twins came along, it was clear we had to get a bigger house as we’d grown out of the one we were in. We were lucky to be given land to build on, off the family farm at home, and we looked at different sites.”


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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