Thrifty renovation project in Kerry

For Mark and Elaine Coleman, this thrifty renovation project was all about putting the Pareto Rule into practice – getting 80 per cent of what they wanted at 20 per cent of the cost.

In this article Mark and Elaine explain how they renovated a tired old bungalow into a stylish family home.

Their choices were guided by the budget and achieving an affordable home to heat. In this article they cover:

  • Full costings and specification with before and after floor plans
  • Finding a house in the right location: tips to spot a bargain house in need of TLC
  • Full details of window upgrade throughout the house
  • Choosing where to spend money and where to save
  • Details of DIY work and what a novice can do
  • Choice of insulation upgrade: wall and roof insulation, and why he didn’t need external wall insulation.
  • Why he chose an LPG boiler based on payback times
  • Turning the garage into usable space in the home
  • His experience doing DIY work as a novice and why his project was a success
  • What to equipment invest in
  • Details of PV installation with costings
  • Mark’s fully costed and detailed analysis of measures introduced vs payback
  • Supplier list


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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