Cottage renovation in Co Donegal

Cottage renovation

Sinead Campbell undertook a cottage renovation of her grandparents’ house in Donegal, turning it into a modern multicultural home.

In this article, Sinead explains how she undertook her cottage renovation project including:

  • Details of existing stone cottage and 1970s extension
  • How she retained the house’s character and what upgrades she undertook to make the house contemporary
  • How she tackled replacing the windows and what she chose
  • How she overcame challenges to replumb and rewire
  • How they kept the original shiplap timber ceiling
  • Upgrading the floor and installing a second hand kitchen
  • Direct labour DIY self-build: how to tackle it and tips to stay on budget
  • Timeline and supplier list
  • How to go down the DIY route on a renovation and what to expect from it


House size: approx. 100sq
Bedrooms: 2
Heating and hot water: oil combi boiler
Ventilation: natural 


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

Room by room design

How to secure your self-build site