Architect designed modern new build in Co Down

Giving free reign to an architect to design your new build pays off. And as Kerri Farrell found out, it’s not nearly as expensive as your might think.

In this article we cover:

  • Buying a serviced site
  • Design process with architect
  • Hiring a quantity surveyor after the construction drawings were done
  • Decision to go direct labour and how they managed the day to day on site
  • How they kept on top of the budget and what they would change
  • Full details of window design and spec
  • Choice of heating and ventilation systems and energy use since moved in
  • Interior design process and lighting plan
  • Full supplier list and floor plans

House size: 2,700 sqft
Plot size: ¼ acre
Roof: attic truss, breathable membrane, counter battened and 12×24 natural slate covering.
Walls: 150mm cavity construction EPS bead filled, 2x100mm blockwork with phenolic board insulation, plasterboard with skim finish.
Floor: Radon barrier 150mm concrete sub floor, 100mm phenolic board floor insulation underfloor heating pipes 100mm concrete screed polished to exposed aggregate finish.
Windows: painted timber frames double glazed and solid timber opening sash.


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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