Mike and Helena Finegan decided to extend and reorientate the back of their property to maximise the light, make the most of the view, and to create an energy-efficient, contemporary kitchen extension.
Having gathered enough information, the couple presented a brief to six architects selected on the basis of their award-winning designs. ‘Each architect responded, but Garbhan Doran really understood what we wanted and met all our requirements,’ says Mike.
As the additional area of the kitchen extension was less than 40 square metres, it could be completed under permitted development rights. The foundations were excavated, the floor level lowered at the rear of the house, and the new kitchen extension built up incorporating steel supports and a huge amount of insulation.
The owners: Mike Finegan, a company director, and wife Helena, a librarian, live here with their youngest son Fionn, a student
The property: A five-bedroom detached house built in 1986 in Rathfarnham, Dublin
Building costs, including professional fees: £155,000
What we’ve learnt
‘That you can’t beat a good design, so make sure you do your homework and get the right architect.’
We couldn’t live without…
‘…the stone flooring. We love the look and feel of it.’
Our best buy
‘The thermodynamic solar panel supplied by LVP Renewables; we have piping- hot water all year round.’
If we could do anything differently…
‘…we would go for triple glazing rather than double in the north and north-west-facing windows.’
We’ve been most surprised by…
‘…how well the open-plan design works and how sociable the space is.’
Our Favourite spot
‘We love all of it and use every inch.’
Our Top tip
‘Insulate well and go for the highest possible energy efficiency values.’