Extending and improving the existing layout, coupled with a deep retrofit* of the existing house, has resulted in a significantly more comfortable and efficient home. The floor area of the house has increased from 130sqm to 185sqm while the Building Energy Rating (BER) has improved from F to A3.
This 3-bed semi-detached house in Blackrock had little insulation before work began, reflected in a BER F rating. On the ground floor, the 2 main reception rooms had been joined together to form a single elongated living room with a separate kitchen and dining area in the flat roof extensions to the rear. The original layout upstairs consisted of 3 bedrooms and the main bathroom.
The existing rear extensions were removed and a new 2 storey extension now sits to the rear and side of the existing house, extending slightly into the generous side passage. At attic level, a new zinc clad dormer creates a usable attic room. A deep retrofit* of the existing house was also undertaken and as part of this the existing house and new extension are both wrapped in external insulation and a new render finish to create a unified appearance for this extended home.
The elongated living room is now separated by new pocket sliding doors, with a separate living room to the front and an informal seating area to the back. The informal seating area has access and views to the garden and a wide opening to the new kitchen dining space. The side of the new extension is angled to face south onto a new patio area. An overhang to the side and rear of the extension is supported by a series of deep columns and provides shading for the new kitchen dining space. Access to the new patio area and garden is via sliding doors placed between these deep columns.
A new utility room and toilet are accessed from a small lobby off the existing entrance hall and a new contemporary stairs, with a simple solid balustrade, replaces the existing stairs in the same location.
At first floor level, 4 bedrooms are provided with a generous family bathroom and also an ensuite for the main bedroom. A new stairs with a clear glass balustrade leads to the converted attic room.
Multiple energy upgrades undertaken as part of the work provide for a comfortable A-rated home. A new insulated ground floor contains underfloor heating, all walls are externally insulated, new windows are provided throughout and the attic roof is now insulated. A discrete (decentralised demand control) ventilation system ensures a continuous flow of fresh air through the house and wi-fi enabled thermostats allow for the heating to be controlled remotely if desired.
Space and water heating is provided by a new air to water heat pump with the addition of solar panels on the roof and the main sitting room has a new wood burning stove. All other fireplaces are either removed or closed up.
*Undertaking multiple energy upgrades on an existing house at the same time to achieve an A rating.
Photography by Richard Hatch, ©.