What Micah Jones loves most about his Co Down ‘shed house’


Micah’s self-build journey started back in 2014 when he and wife Elaine found the perfect site. The construction process was as sympathetic to the location as was the design; here are some of the highlights.

1. Repurposed materials

This now iconic project was managed by Micah himself and took a year to build; he enlisted the help of friends and family to lend a hand on site and repurposed as much as he could to build furniture for the house, including timber offcuts to build the stairway, breakfast bar and kitchen. He also painted leftover pieces of exterior larch cladding to repurpose as wall tiles.

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2. Kid-friendly

“The boys have a tricycle that they tear around the living space; a cargo net above the study area also provides hours of fun,” says Micah. The structural nature of the Cross Laminated Timber panels means that a swing could be setup anywhere on the first floor.

The house’s compatibility with family life extends outdoors. “One of the biggest successes has been the bridge,” reflects Micah. “An upside down house with no easy connection to the garden can be a little removed. The bridge brings the garden right to the kitchen door.”

3. No overheating

Micah says he got it right for the solar gains too, avoiding the common issue of overheating: “The recessed balcony means the sun at midday in summer does not enter the house, while mid-winter the sun can reach up to 16 meters into the space. It was always a house that was designed around family living and not a monument to architecture, but it turns out there is beauty in that too.”

House size: 240 sqm

Site size: ½ acre

Site cost: £80,000

Build cost: £245,000

For the full article, get your copy of the Spring 2018 issue of Selfbuild magazine, out January 30th and available from all good newsagents or online here for delivery to your door.

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of SelfBuild & Improve Your Home 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

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