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 extension as I am single and the house is a fine-sized four-bed, so my plan is to just renovate it as it is, to make it more energy efficient and comfortable to live in. I also propose knocking the wall between the kitchen and the dining room to create a little bit of open-plan space. However, even this relatively simple project seems daunting to me. I will be running the project myself to save money but I don’t know where to start. So, what are the stages of getting this house done up, who comes first builder, plumber, etc?


I would ideally check in with an engineer to review the house to ensure you have a good sense of any existing problems and to help design any necessary solutions. Next, a BER assessor is also a great investment to ensure you are using the most appropriate insulation, airtightness levels, and heating system to align with building regulations. So, beyond this, where to start?

Well, the first thing you will need is in fact the plumber and electrician. You will need to disconnect the electrics in the house and leave a source of temporary power on site. Similarly, with the heating and plumbing, these will need to be disconnected (radiators, taps, gas, etc) and again you will need temporary water supply left in place for site washing and wet trades (plastering, tiling, painting).

The next key step is the demolition and strip-out. You may very well be doing this yourself. This involves taking out any unnecessary furniture and fittings to begin with but gets a little more invasive after that. All these elements will be placed into a new skip which will take up residence in your front garden for now. The following stages would involve removing wall and floor finishes where no longer required and eventually being followed by the more substantial elements for example windows, and indeed existing joinery where required. Given that this house dates from the Arts and Crafts era, I am assuming you will want to keep this joinery for re-use later so be sure to number it and photograph it before you remove it.

View full article in The Examiner here.




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