The extension is a raised timber frame construction with a ventilated floor and monopitch roof at a diagonal over a non-symmetric floor plan. The roof rafters are resting on two glulam beams which are set in line with the rising plane – an engineering & construction quest!!! All materials are natural – wood, woodfibre board & sheep wool insulation and timber cladding. The raised floor level lent itself to a ventilated & insulated floor construction keeping the materials – walls/floor & ceiling the same and also proving to be the most cost-effective. The whole construction will be airtight and breathable top, sides & bottom. This should prove to be a space of well-being and comfort. We will soon see.

Concept for cottage refurbishment & extension

­The extension is to stand in contrast with the old farmhouse through a different shape and materials yet be connected through newly created courtyards and views. The intended works and refurbishment will give the property a nice balanced feel of old & new world.

The introduction of the extension to the front / south of the main house is to maximise sunlight to the interior. The extension is single-storey and shaped so as not to prevent light falling into the existing main house. Additionally the shape lines up with the outhouse to the west to create a new and well defined outdoor space which will catch the summer evening sun. To the east a proper entrance is created through a glass link between old and new. 

The extension consists of an entrance lobby and a single large room containing the kitchen, dining and sitting area. Additionally, the new main family room is stepped up to avail of the views of the Galtee Mountains to the south / west.

A level access terrace is created by raising the outdoor space to the south and west of the extension all the way to the boundary. This is achieved by removing the roof of one of the outbuildings and reducing the height of its walls which will act as a shelter from the south / west prevailing winds. Instead of a total demolition this wall will show the history of the outbuildings as well as their transformational use for new functions. The extension of the wall across the courtyard picks up the tradition of the dividing stone walls of the area and traditional farm culture as well as securing a strong context for the extension and the new quality of outdoor spaces it creates.

Site description & historical background

The house stands surrounded by many outbuildings on one acre of land. A shorter version of the main house and the outbuildings to the south / west are visible on the historic map of the 1840s. All the other outbuildings as well as the adjoining shed to the east of the main house were constructed after this period. Their construction is mainly of stone & lime mortar. The newer outbuilding to the north / east is of cast concrete. Unfortunately the roof of the main house is not the original slate but was replaced a few decades ago with cement tiles and new cement chimney stacks. An original slate roof can be found on the shed to the south /east, all other shed have corrugated iron roofing.

Design Team

EPA upgrade – Design & Certification by John Delaney of Geoenvironmental Consultants, Thurles


Mid West Lime Ltd. – Ground works for extension, EPA upgrade & lime render of existing cottage by Kevin O’Leary and his team

Tooman Built Pty Ltd. – Timber structure for extension by Des Tooman and his in-laws


Link to public website:

Planning Permission received November 2016 – Planning ref. no. 16600810

On-site with construction completion of extension due end 2017.