Be Inspired - Farmhouse in Co. Kerry

This stone and mass concrete farmhouse was bought in September 2012, along with adjoining lands and outbuildings. It had belonged to the Collins family since it was built and had been maintained in perfect condition. We initially thought the house was built in 1922 but in fact that was just when it was taken up to second floor level. No one we've met can tell us when the original building was built! With the exception of the introduction of double glazed pvc windows and a downstairs bathroom, no further modernisations had taken place and many traditional features had been preserved.

The farmhouse comprises a rear porch, scullery and bathroom, kitchen and "parlour" style formal sitting room. Upstairs it has a bedroom in the one storey west extension, two middle bedrooms as well as a double bedroom (where one room was accessed via the other). There is also a single storey extension on the east side of the building, with access from the yard, which is used as a garage and includes an upstairs grain loft. The house has traditional Valentia slate roofs which are sound and rendered in the old style at rafter level. It faces north/east with views of the Shannon Estuary, Clare and Cnoc an Óir from all aspects.

The immediate renovation plans include the introduction of central heating (oil), insulating the floor and the roof and installing a bathroom at first floor level. We hope to renovate the house in stages, carrying out work on the two storey section first, to enable us to move in. Over time we hope to renovate both single storey extensions and incorporate them in the home.

Our initial decisions are:
(i) whether to remove the lobby in the kitchen and build an external porch to the front;
(ii) whether to move the stairs from the west end gable wall to the central wall inside the front door;
(iii) whether to insulate the walls outside and lose the fancy plaster work to the front, or dry line them, and have less efficient heat preservation;
(iv) how to incorporate the upstairs bathroom/s in the building.

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Last Update: 10th February 2013

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