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Farmhouse Rebuild and Extension - Longford, Ireland

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

I Prelude...

It was raining heavily, and I could not see the Sun, my hands were freezing and my toes

were numb. I was scraping off the shiny black one and a half inch tar that had formed over many years ago, from the caving in of the roof of an old 1850's farmhouse.

I was inside the chimney scraping for hours. After most of the tar inside the chimney's lower ground floor had been removed, I walked across the floor of rubble to the old wooden stairs, I walked up the stairs and picked up the pick axe once again. My hands were still ringing and aching from the day before.

Yesterday I had hit the walls with the pick axe removing one and a half inches of thick plaster. Fragments had broken off gradually. I had managed to remove over 10sqm of old wet plaster from the repeated hammering with the pick axe which now exposed the old stone walls. Damper regions had taken longer.

I was standing on the rubble of the wet plaster which had broken from the hammering. I looked at the pit we had created, there was no floor and no ceiling.

I realised large hailstones began hitting me all over my body. I started to walk towards the corner of the house, in order to protect myself from the stinging sensation of the hailstones, even though we had no roof, the walls themselves offered horizontal protection from the was freezing cold (-11 degrees) we had the open sky and the elements of nature at there best.


After three months of practical office experience, I returned home only to get a phone call from a colleague who had also graduated from De Montfort University. Patrick was currently working on an 1850’s Farmhouse conversion/extension in Ireland. The farmhouse was located on a 23 Acre site. As Part of House 7 Architects, Patrick was the driving force behind his own Architectural firm. This opportunity offered me the chance to practice construction technology on a more practical level; I decided therefore to visit Ireland and learn about construction technology in a practical sense.

My flight to Dublin was a rocky one. The propeller blades of the aeroplane steadied themselves against the crosswind, flying over the deep blue, ice cold Irish Sea. After landing at Dublin International Airport, I touched base with an Irish Architect and visited Longford, to the farmhouse that needed total structural alteration and a new structural ring beam to carry out the refurbishment and extension. I played the role of a labourer, a builder, a designer, a critic and a consultant at the structural stages of the project. My time in Ireland offered me the opportunity to be on site mixing and pouring cement, whilst doing all forms of construction work, including carving out grooves for the handmade granite windowsills, to creating new openings in the walls and building foundations, with the use of shuttering., a real first-hand experience…

Extension, Farmhouse extension
Rear Extension, Old & New

Rear Extension, extension, Farmhouse, Farmhouse extension
Completed Farmhouse

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