Well insulated self-build in County Cork

How Eilis and Liam Looney managed to hold down their full time jobs, raise their young children and undertake a well insulated self-build.

In this article, Eilis and Liam share how they tackled their insulated self-build project including:

  • How they managed to do their research and make choices before they started on the design
  • Details of the open plan design with children in mind
  • Process of changing planning permission to build a different house
  • Details of how to go to tender to get the best price from builders
  • Details of fixed price contract and how the build was managed day to day
  • Insulation details and resulting low heating costs
  • Windows mix including roof lights
  • Dealing with overheating in summer months
  • Choice of heating system and heat emitters
  • Managing the budget when their contingency was swallowed up by the foundations
  • Reasons for not installing a stove
  • Working with an interior designer and how it saved them money
  • Full specification, floor plans and supplier list

House size: 3,000 sqft
Plot size: 0.6 acres
Site cost: €100,000
Build cost: €358,000
Landscaping including tarmac: €30,000
Value: €600,000


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 astrid.madsen@selfbuild.ie

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