LATEST BLOGS

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Vent-ing frustrations the right way

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes looks at how renovating a home can provide a few unexpected and new challenges. Q. In our recent renovation we paid a small fortune for external insulation, new windows, etc. The insulation came with regulations on vents which naturally we fitted.

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Fixing cracks in the foundation

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice for fixing cracks in the foundation. Q. We’re looking to buy a home in a settled area near national schools in Cork City’s southside. Our choice is more confined to older houses. Lots that we have looked at

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The quickest and cheapest home improvements to cut your energy bills

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on the quickest and cheapest home improvements to cut your energy bills Q. we’ve just got our second massive electricity bill and we need help! I know we’re not alone, but this has left us stunned. How can

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Builders, architects, QS and project managers. Who manages what when building a home?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides clarity on Builders, architects, QS and project managers. Who manages what when building a home Q. Myself and my husband have a family site where we are planning to build our home. We have our finances in place and

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Do I have to have a flat roof on my rear extension?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice for the most-suitable extension to go with when adding to the ground floor? Q. We want to add a ground-floor extension, open up the kitchen to create the very popular kitchen/living/dining room and also a ground-floor bedroom with

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Sourcing labour for your home build or renovation

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on Sourcing labour for your home build or renovation. Q.Direct labour or contractor? I am carrying out a full restoration on a totally derelict house, with an extension. Which would be best for my project? A. In a

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Our old home has a G BER even after it was upgraded

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on how suspect ‘DIY’ wall insulation may conceal a whole host of problems. Q. We have bought an older-era home in the country that the previous owners did some upgrade works on. It’s pretty well insulated now in

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Where to begin with an extension

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on where to start with a home extension. Q. I would like to extend my kitchen… where do I start please? Do I start by getting an architect? Or a builder? Do I need planning? Please Help! Thank

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What to keep in mind when installing a heat pump

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on options for heat pumps in a new home. Q. I am just starting my self-build in Newbridge, do you need an MVHR (mechanical ventilation heat recovery) with a heat pump or is it a personal preference? A.

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Is it a bad thing that a home has been underpinned or should I walk away?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on what can strike fear into a would-be house buyer; rising damp, dry rot and of course our old archenemy, subsidence Q. I am interested in purchasing a home that was built in Cork in the 1970s. I

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Steel beams as part of an home extension

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on steel beams as part of extensions. Q. At what point does steel become part of the project rather than just bricks and mortar? We are in the early stages of looking at an extension into our back

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How do I convert my garage into a living space?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on converting a garage into a living space. Q. I would like your opinion on how best to go about converting my garage into a living space. It’s a single-block build with a slanting, corrugated roof (I think

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What does it cost to swap two rooms in the house?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on the cost of swapping rooms in your house. Q. My parents live in a poorly designed 1980s dormer bungalow in the Bishopstown/Waterfall area of Cork. The kitchen/dining room is north facing while the living room is south-facing

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How do I replace an old wooden patio?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on replacing an old wooden outside decking. Q. We are replacing an old patio. We previously had wooden decking laid but it didn’t weather well and we are hoping to install Mediterranean-style porcelain tiles instead. They are 7.9ins

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Where to locate the downstairs toilet?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on where to locate your downstairs toilet in your home build. Q. I live in a three-bed semi-d in the suburbs. The house doesn’t have a downstairs toilet. Where is the best place to locate it? I have

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What natural light options do I have for my attic?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on the pros and cons to choosing a roof light over a dormer window. Q. I am considering converting my attic but before I speak to a builder or carpenter I’d like to get your views on what

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Building in an area with a high level of subsidence

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on building in an area that is prone to subsidence. Q. I am living in a city suburb that is regarded by insurance companies as an area of high level subsidence. I am fortunate to have a very

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Build a new home or renovate an old property?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on whether to build a new home or renovate an old property. Q. My wife and I have recently inherited one and one-third properties: an old farmhouse we fully own, and a 1970s bungalow, approximately 1,300 sq ft,

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Reducing stress when building

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes looks at why project management is critical when planning to build a home extension to help reduce stress. Q. We are planning an extension to the rear of our three-bed property. However, we have a small child with another on

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Building and Renovating in 2024

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes looks at building and renovating your home in 2024. Q. As we draw a line under 2023 and prepare for the year ahead, perhaps you could give us an overview of the key issues that exercised our readers last year,

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How to pick the perfect patio

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on picking the perfect patio for your garden. Q. About 15 years ago we put down decking in our smallish back garden. It’s off the kitchen and has been an enjoyable space to sit out in. Unfortunately, it’s

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How to reduce heat loss in my conservatory?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on how to reduce heat loss in your conservatory. Q. We built a conservatory about 15 years ago which is sucking the heat out of our house. We had the roof insulated and plastered and lightweight tiles put

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How can I get more light into my home?

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on how to introduce extra daylight into an east facing semi-d kitchen. Q. I live in a semi-d where part of the kitchen is jutting out into the back garden and has a slanting, tiled roof. The only

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Getting the stages right in a home renovation

This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on getting the building stages right in a home renovation. Q. I am about to renovate my late grandmother’s house which I have inherited. It is a house in Wilton Road, Cork. I don’t think it needs an

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