Many thanks for this- you are a star! I will let you know how I get on in building one in Turkey.
I wonder if white (or other somewhat reflective) cladding might be a better option in a sunny place like Turkey a cooling might be more of an issue than heating? Also some extra roof vents might help with (upwards stack effect) air movement on a hot day.
Hi Nesrin, how did your project work out?
Hi Nesrin, how did your project work out? Dan
Just saw this article in the Guardian and having built my own studio in the garden years ago - am amazed at the clarity of the whole project. Its also very VERY good of you to make available the very clear and concise plans and i would personally wish to thank you for this.
Dominic, thank you very much for sharing details of your fantastic self-build. Transition Derry kindly passed on the link, it's made my day!
Thank you, thank you for your generosity in sharing your knowledge, your house is wonderful and an inspiration, we've been wanting to self build for years but always were put off by the huge prices. The next problem of course now is to find land somewhere within reach of London for our jobs, perhaps we should look for a plot we can share with others. Anyway thanks again. xx
I am 21 and I am looking for the exact same answer as you and i am currently in conversation with a surrey boroughcouncil about doing just this. I am searching for a little community of people to be part of my idea of a self sufficient eco community within commuting distance to London. Dominics house has inspired my re the design would love to know what you think?
I have just read the article in 'The Guardian' about your place in Leitrim. It seems to be an answer to many of our concerns these days. I thought your comments about how some people locally understood what you were about, because they too had built their own homes, was most interesting, and also having a place which was warm and dry - a roof over one's head - harked back to a fundamental with which we have lost touch. A heartening piece.
Have a look at page 50 of this March's New Internationalist to see the native Ecuadorean version of Dominic's house
hi. great house like a farm building. I have never built a house but i live with the view of , one day. Im a fan of walter segal and you plans are the best that i have ever seen. Its great that you can share your work with us. Well done. I have downloaded the pdf files. Thanks Adrian
Just wondering why the outer membrane is necessary? I understand that the inner membrane is a vapor barrier to stop warm moist air from the interior causing dampness if it were allowed to escape to the cold parts, and the roofing material the building is covered in will keep the rain off, so why the outer membrane? Hope someone might be able to answer this.
If no one has yet answered your question the inner membrane next to the plasterboard would be for draughtproofing so that cold air coming into the interior can be controlled.
you are more or less correct, the outer blue membrane deals with drips and water blowing in during extreme weather , inside is a vapour barrier and airtightness
I simply feel inspired. What else can I say. Thank you.
I loved the house project as reported in the Guardian.
I have to build one in my Cornish Garden, it would be a perfect annexe to serve sons and a daughter, mothers-in-laws, cousins, a university lecturer and a podiatrist.
Thanks for your group wisdom, enthusiasm and all of the details.
Okay Cornwall County Council planning, here I come!
Amazing idea and unprecedented generosity , considering the times we live in.....! I'm off discussing with my partner.....:)
I'm a thatcher in Co. Mayo. I'm building a thatched, hexagonal garden shed at the moment, with thatched walls and floor, based around a timber structure using coppiced ash poles. Ongoing photos are being collected and diagrams will be published in time on my website, www.greenpeat.webs.com
In the next year I intend building a larger structure on bogland in Roscommon kindly donated by a friend. This will include cob in its structure. The design will contain no plastic or man made materials, staying dry by way of its weather protection from an overhanging thatch and by it being raised off the ground. This will be the prototype for the design of a habitable house fully compliant with building regulations but containing 100% natural materials, even if the rules have to be rewritten to accommodate such futuristic green ideas. The Chief Planner has already promised to give such ideas serious consideration. Watch this space! Hopefully we can share ideas and knowledge as things develop.
Hi Dominic, I remember meeting you - at Justin & Marina's Shannon House, I think, which would have been c.2000. This is a beautiful and generous thing; thank you for putting it up. I've posted a link to this on the residents page for Woodbrook "Eco" Village in Lisburn - as we need a lift given our present struggles with several things not least our willow burning biomass district heating and the unfinished picture we are left to work with.
Really inspired by your whole project and ethos Dominic. Thought I'd try onduline roofing for my garage conversion but find it's not possible to fix insulated skylights e.g. velux. Any ideas? I intend to insulate the single block walls and the roof.
I'm then thinking of extending my very small house to make a kitchen/living area. Apart from planning hurdles (black? in Donegal?!) would there be any problems tying this to the existing building?
I am definitely not able for DIY so have to pass all information onto my builder.
And, just to update you, the price of onduline from Irish Insulations is now at €13.00 a sheet!
All tips much appreciated. Carolyn
I've used velux windows with onduline, speak to velux they have a flashing kit for corrugated profiles and you will find cad details on their web site
Hallo Dominic. Just testing as I can't seem to get my comments submitted and not sure what I'm doing wrong. Carolyn
This just made my day - how fantastic!
It's so refreshing to see a creative, workable solution to what's becoming an increasingly more depressing problem.
Thanks for sharing :-)
What is your estimated life expectatancy of the house?
hi! I just want to ask you if you ever think to use solar energy to have electricity in your homemade house? thanks for answer
Can I visit this building to see it.
Hello Dominic and others!
I am building an CAD model of this house design at https://github.com/markvdb/openscad/blob/master/irishvernacular.scad using the free and open source http://openscad.org software.
Here whats the story with this gaff not a hope wud ye get it up for 25K.
A wonderful project, something which might be of more than theoretical interest in the present, but we would like to know the name(s) of the brain(s) behind all this......
Hi Dominic, thank you so much for sharing all this, it is very inspirational and congratulations on realising your project. Where would I find a copy of your book?
Hi Dominic, your house is great! I love its simplicity and efficiency. This website as an extension proves you are a man of impeccable taste and principle! Fair play and well done. ~:)
You've planted a seed. May 1000 flowers bloom.
Did you need planning permission for this build?
Fantastic project, congratulations.
Thank you very much for such detailed and understandable information! Would you estimate labour costs to be around (or more than) material costs for someone who would need to employ skilled labour at more stages of the build than you might have needed...?
The step by step guide is wonderful, just like the house it’s perfectly simple, honest and beautifully crafted by the hands of the author.
I loved mimetic house but the simplicity, honesty and affordability of this project is so current and an inspiration to all us 30 something’s with mill-stone mortgages around our necks.
Fantastic house for all the right reasons.
I’m off to start my foundations now…’string (nylon) check’.
I just love your house, iand it is my dream home of the future. incentive to buy a site and get my dream build ASP. First resident building thats made me feel exciting.
Exciting house! Do you still have a practise? And if yes where can I contact you?
Massive congrats. Have a place in Leitrim and this is what I want do as well.
How are the planning people?
I love it...well done
saw this maybe 2 years ago, inspiration then but huge inspiration now as I'm half way through something similar on handy budget...I want my independence for needing huge money to have basic life needs fulfilled...Also being an artist/graphic designer I really appreciate that stuff doesn't need to cost a lot in order to look well. Also you can always make improvements form your lived experience as you go along...Thanks a million for being an decent voice in all this mainstream shite that people have come to accept. I just want things done for the benefit of people to have good lives, rather than solely for profit.
A really excellent concept. Your sums are quite generous and I think it could be done maybe 3k cheaper. The only snag is finding the land. Any advice where suitable sites might be found and the likely hurdles with planning?
What a great project, building your house. I agree with Andy, finding a building plot might be. Huge hurdle.
Hey Dominic, just saw an article in the sunday times and have been going through the website. Wow is anyone woking on this or a similar project? Would love to hear practical details of how the work progresses. Was planning permission necessary? A beautiful inspirational project. Would love to follow your lead!!!
Congratulations Dominic, sharing is caring, thanks a million for it. Enjoy your house.
Love your house, small, simple and perfect. Hopefully will do the same some day!
Your a legend!I made a model of Mimetic House at college as a precedent its a cool building and concept but this one seems warmer in more senses than one! This is inspirational stuff lets spread the word
Well done, a fantastic inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing
Think i saw your house on Room to Improve. Im a reader of Segal and have seem his houses in London. I love the simpilicity of the plans and the step bt step is well thought out. Being used to working in timber i caould see the house taking shape in my head and my imagination. For the man or woman with no experience of timber, nails, nuts and bolts, it may seem too simple !! It really puts to bed all the baloney about houses in Ireland and you have hit the nail on the head as in being duped ! I can see warmth, coziness, great use of space and use of local suppliers and sawmills.
What is the timber used? Irish grown spruce ?
Your house is a revelation, both in price and in functionality. I loved the architrave and coving!
Congratulations for keeping it simple,
Hi Dominic ,
Thank you for sharing your inspirational idea's and your house plans with us ,this is part of a movement which people long for, sharing information ,bartering ,sharing skills etc ,it is truly altruistic ,
Well Done .
Q Is it difficult to get planning permission ?
Q Will I be able to have that as an extension on to an existing house currently being used as a garage ?
planning is really as per any house, the black Walls are a bit challenging to a planner though, you explain them as environmentally intelligent, and the building disappears in the distance. Buying a site depends on where you can live, counties like Leitrim are very cheap but only good if you work alot from home. The design could be modified as an extension
Thanks for taking the time to share your inspirational ideas, knowledge, and experience with us all.
Great idea. was wondering if it is likely that you would get planning permission for such a house in urban dublin?
The final cost for someone non skilled would also be interesting. Would say €5000 for architect fees , €15,000 to €20,000 for builder and €10,000 to €15,000 for planning levies bring the total to c. €50,000 to 60,000 be reasonable assumption for 600 sq.ft house in city.
Also what is the life span of such a house? Can exterior be altered or differnt finish used?
the exterior can be altered, it could be anything really.
You might be a bit light money wise. I reckon 1/3 material to 2/3 labour on a conventionally built project that's like €75,000 plus development levies etc...
Isn't it lovely to consider having a home without the noose of awful repayments!? I am wondering if you have insured this house? I have a timber home and am finding it difficult to find an insurance company that will take it on?
Insurance is not 100% straightforward. Lloyds underwriters have a special policy for non standard houses, the policy was designed for thatch houses initially. I can
check my brokers name if you get back to me. It's only a little pricier than a normal policy....
Thank you for publishing your stuff online...had a wonderful night's reading and it was inspiring, different and beautifully put together. Your project was mentioned on Highland Radio (The Red Room, afternoon discussion show) and like every other client on your blog would love to know where to buy your book (for my son...know he would love it).Bless you and thanks!
its out off print -- aargh!
I'm researching getting it reprinted though.
Funny though, I printed 500 am delighted all sold, then put up this website and have had about upto about 200,000 hits I think, might put more up as a PDF to print?
hello dominic. my sister put me on to your site ,god bless her.I am glad she did. it helps confirm my own thoughts what it means to have a home rather than own a house. That we all have a choice in,where,what and how we want to live.thank you for doing what you do and I hope more people take noitice.
I read the article in the Sunday Times then visited the website. Really interesting and practial stuff. Thanks for making the house plans for all to use freely. It shows great community spirit!
I'm also interested in what the life span of the house would be and can the exterior be clad in different materials?
Hi Dominic I LOVE YOUR HOME!!! my husband and I have been toying with the idea of doing the same for a while and we are so happy to see this website as we love your ideas on an easier way of life and bringing us all back down to earth and enjoying the simpler things in life.. My parents have a house just above your Mimetic house and I have always said I would love to work with you on our project you really are an inspiration.. Also on a practical not my hubbys 6ft 4" would he fit upstairs!!!
we would have to raise the roof!
thankyou for a fantastic generous gemstone of a website. your words and buildings have already inspired many of us far and wide. i look forward to spreading your thoughts to our archi students and my green toed friends down here.
Thanks so much for this, it’s definitely an idea I will keep in mind for the future. I absolutely love the shape and form of the building, it simplicity and the fact it can almost all be made from locally sourced materials.
Have to commend you on getting the house to look like Irish vernacular, speaking from someone who completed a thesis on the importance of Irish vernacular, I can tell you I came across some terrible modern examples.
This one is simply refreshing only wish
I could have included it in my research.
Keep up the good work.
A great reference for anyone who is considering a self build, myself included. A very open and much appreciated resource. Thank you.
Congratulations !!!!!! This is a fantastic concept and realisation.
Love your houseas reported in the Sunday Times.
The project interests me greatly and I would like to contact you further, is this possible?
This is ingenious, practical and really lovely. It is something I have been talking about for a long time - affordable, cheap housing. I really like the way you incorporated certain Irish architectural 'values' into the overall design and execution of your plan. This is very inspiring, an architecture of hope, if you ask me. Well done!
I like your house and I would be glad to live in it. And I appreciate the no-nonsense spirit and the openness of the venture. This is great.
Vernacular architecture and the knowledge that is vested in it are much underrated. To this day it remains to a large extent the architecture of the 99%. While the ambitions of architects have been concentrated on the architecture of the 1%.
But does this architecture need to be "Irish"? Does it need a "tradition"? For sure architecture requires knowledge - your house is a case in point. But even more so, architecture is justified by the expansion of this knowledge. Above all it is about invention. No invention, no pleasure, and no job!
Your house is so simple and funny outside, but inside it looks nicely. Is it comfortably to live in it? I am sorry, I found it a little strange for my taste...
Dude...really like what you've done. I'm in a suburb just out of Gay Paree stripping back an old French shitter of 1930. But eventually I'd like to build a holiday house on the South Coast and this is very inspiring. Reminds me of The Whole Earth Catalogue or The Complete Idiots Guide to the Volkswagen - both from the Sixties.
I've whacked this up on facebook and I'm about to Tweet it as well.
Really exciting project. Would love to do this. Has anyone in England realised this project? A home of my own - very heaven.
.could you tell me if onduline is expensive,and where to source it Thanx. think what youv done is fantastic and thanx for sharing it
its €8 per sheet from Irish insulations if you are in ireland, if you are uk check their website. Irish insulations sometimes try to charge €16 per sheet but they know you can get it from Europe for €8 on a pallet... Rip off ireland!
Onduline seems to almost twist & deform over time, well that was my experience. Great build, easily modified & subtly changed. Only just seeing it on Pinterest, so perhaps new fans could be drawn to your excellent design Dominic?
thank you so much for sharing this with the world. I love your house, and your philosophy! Truly inspirational at these tough times.
so true, this world has become so spiritless and bureaucratic. it's wonderful to see something that empowers people at a basic level. i come from a poor country and this is going to be a revolution for most of us.
I enjoyed your clear photos and descriptions of the owner built tradition. Here in Mexico we built a small house of cement block using a traditional design with tile roof and wooden windows and a small porch. Most people build cement boxes with flat cement foofs and aluminum windows. The neighboor admired the house and wanted to know where the design came from. We said from here! Thanks for the inspiration.
Found this after Saturday's Guardian article. Thank you soooooo much for a fantastic set of resources, very inspiring. Like John, I'm looking to build a garden studio and this has provided the inspiration I need at a fraction of the cost.
This has to be my next project.
I am now looking for land.
Also found in Saturday's Guardian article.
A perfectly planned and designed dwelling.
What else would one need?
I feel inspired.
Also found this in the Guardian Weekend 25.02.12.
Thank you for this really inspiring project for an affordable, DIY house.
We've been struggling to work out how to afford to self-build a house in rural Scotland for several years. 4 years ago we commissioned an architect to design an affordable, self-buildable, reasonably eco-friendly family home, for our rural plot. His design was steel framed and rigid corrugated fibre board (Eternit by Marley) clad, for which we got planning permission, but the banking crisis hit just before we started to build and the building society withdrew the funding - design too radical! We also realised too late that actually the design was not particularly self-buildable, eco-friendly or cheap! Been stuck in our temporary shed/caravan accommodation on site since.
Love this design and the ethos and especially the affordability and self-build simplicity, but doubt the local council planners (Angus) would allow it here.
Anyway, I hope this helps many people avoid the mortgage trap and gain the life-enhancing satisfaction of creating their own home!
Read your piece in the Guardian this weekend. Always thought it could be done and now I now it can! Fantastic and inspirational, Dominic.
Did you insulate under the floors and between the roof joists as well?
Maith thú Dominic, tá sé iontach go bhfuil tú ag roinnt d'fhís agus d'obair linn ar fad. Comhghairdeas agus gach rath! Fair play.
So inspiring to read the article in Guardian Weekend and your books on the website which I found most informative.
I am an Architectural Technician operating mainly in Kent and have been involved for many years in designing porticoes and timber conservatories as well as the odd house extension and a major concern of mine is obtaining planning permission.
It seems, particularly in this part of the country, that there is real resistance to Vernacular buildings or indeed any sort of eco homes.
I wonder if you have any advice for people like myself who would enjoy so much to build my own home in an area of the country where I live and work, but where I suspect there would be real planning issues.
Is this a project that you think could transfer from rural Ireland to the over crowded and over priced south east of England. I would very much appreciate any advice you may be able to offer regarding this.
Just wondering why the outer membrane is necessary? I understand that the inner membrane is a vapor barrier to stop warm moist air from the interior causing dampness if it were allowed to escape to the cold parts, and the roofing material the building is covered in will keep the rain off, so why the outer membrane?
Thanks for htis fantastic information. The project reminds me of Dualchas's work in the Hebrides. I'll buy you lunch.
Paula, London Fields, London
Interesting but of limited potential in most parts of the UK owing to building land costs and the challenges of gaining planning permission.
Also, a little naive to ignore market forces as a cause of the Irish property bubble.
Thank you for sharing this project "your home with us" I love everthing about it, interior and exterior and inspires me to start saving and planning for my one! Thank you, "artist based in dublin"
Inspiring indeed! Really interested in the books - tell us more!
Hello, My husband and I found your article in the Guardian very inspiring. We have been discussing self build for a few years but never felt that we could commit to the scale of some of the projects we have seen. However, your beautiful home fits in with our values and philosophy and has sparked our interest again. One thing we were wondering was how it works with electricity and gas, can you be connected? how easy is this? did you employ professionals for this part of the build?
thank you for sharing and inspiring so many people.
connections are like in any house. Yes I employed a plumber and an electrician to do their work, professionals have to do this!
Your house is amazing. Thank you very much for sharing, this is truly humanity at it's best!
Like most comments before, I have been greatly inspired by Dominic's amazing building and wonderful generosity in sharing it's desighn, but I wonder if there are any other people like me who are finding it difficult to purchase land in the south east of England on which to construct such a dwelling. Might it be easier for a group of like minded people to pool skills and resources to purchase property and build several houses.
How can I get in contact with you? I have a few questions to ask! Many thanks for your house, S
Hi Stephen, my personal email is email@example.com and you are very welcome to contact me, I am a bit worried about posting my address or mobile no for obvious reasons.
just contact me here, I will reply!
I like Jonathan Deacon's thought.
Any one else interested in forming a kind of cooperative to find land and get something more organised?
Further to my earlier comments regarding shared interest in procuring potential building plots and building skills, if anyone wishes to contact me directly, my email address is : - firstname.lastname@example.org
excellent build J and a good article in the Guardian too. Main problem in sussex, uk is finding the land as others have said. I wonder if a few more photos would be possible - particularly of the inside upstairs? thanks and best wishes
im working on that, will be up soon!
Great project, Dominic. Thank you so much for sharing this. I always knew it could be done, just didn't have the skills to do it.
Thank you so much for all this info, very much appreciated... and many compliments for your beautiful home!!
Dear Dominic, you rock. That's it. Is it available any publications of this amazing experience?
Many thanks for the whole concept including this blog.
Love your house, and the story of building it. Did you install an HRV system, or do the materials vent enough moisture on their own?
it stays very dry simply by being breathable, i must say i think mechanical ventilation is a gross over complication for the temperate Irish climate. We should make simple houses!
Hi Dominic, an inspiring project, hopefully this approach may become more mainstream in the future. We are using similar principles in 'Green Build' workshops here in Kilkenny and hoping to create a demonstration 'house' later this year. Would there be any opportunity to visit and discuss design and material details with you, are you planning any open days or training sessions in the future?
you are very welcome to call sometime, I would love to here more about your workshops... I did one recently in the eco village in cloughjordan where they are hoping to start a self-build co-op project, just tell me when...
The whole concept and project is inspiring. How having your own place does not necessarily mortgaging your entire family's future. Can you put up more photos generally, particlarly of the intererior..bathroom, bedrooms, pod kitchen, porch area?? Also a youtube Vid would be also be great. Thanks again, Jim
I've just bought an old cottage in N Leitrim to refurbish and extend - basically following your house design for the extension. Is there any chance you could visit and advise on how to insulate the cottage? My email is email@example.com
best regards, John
like your ideas very much. I'm about to sign with an architect with the intention of building in the same way. I have a good sized plot on my property just hope planning are helpful. i am a joiner/furniture maker but wish i was also an architect/surveyor (could save a few bob) but not enough years in ones life to learn it all. Many thanks for your logic and creativity. patrick
I really love your project!
I hope that it could be the first of economic - bio - wooden - house's series.
Have you try to find some financing to expand your project all over the world?
I also like your idea to use the web for share structures and sketches.
You make me smile and hopeful.
A great hug from Italy!
Hello Dominic, Could you let know if any of those books are available? and where to purchase it? I really would love to read it... Thank you! :)
Dominic - great site, great house. Am a little puzzled by something - the house in this article - http://openbuildings.com/buildings/stevens-house-profile-41356 - which is definitely also your house - and of which there is a plan in your book "domestic" - is this a predecessor to the current house? what motivated you to switch to the new house? Thanks, Andrew
I separated from my wife!
My name is Paul and I am currently studying a masters of architecture: advanced environmental and energy studies at the centre for alternative technology in wales. I am writing a thesis about straw bale construction and ways of potentially improving the process through the cladding of straw bales.
I was hoping to send you a questionnaire or chat about this form of construction particularly in relation to the hedgerow house.
We have 188 acres in east Texas and have a large house in town we wish to sell - I love your detailed instructions as we have been wanting to build a cabin on our property...and one dream I have is an artist's community..with an artist's residency program - and many artists coming in and out of perhaps 4 or more of these kinds of buildings - "Landscape and modern art" community (east Tx piney woods are pretty though not spectacular as we have only hills, ponds and lakes, not mountains. I am a physician and can't semi retire to work on these projects for a few years...but hope springs eternal!
Great site, was just reading and doing some work when I found this page
I live in an original irish vernacular in south tipperary, extended, rebuilt, and it's truly lovely, but I dream of selling, relocating and self-building one like this in different place ........ dreams are possible, dreams are what keep me sane. Thanks a mill for sharing. Best of luck.
Hi Dominic, I'm living in Co. Leitrim and have known of your house for some time, but just now have looked at the detailed drawings for the first time. So exciting and encouraging! Thank you so much for making them available.
How much more expensive would it be to make the house 12ft wide and 36ft long? 3650 x10950.
Hello, Has someone else built this house and was it not too hard? I have not built one before and I am in France but I am keen to get started and cannot afford to pay someone the whole way through the project. Thanks
Very inspired by your project and whole ethos Dominic. Am wondering if I can use the idea to add an extension to my existing house if I can tie it in and get it past planning (Donegal!!). Meanwhile thought I'd try the onduline for the roof of an outhouse conversion (single block/tinroof) and assumed I could have double glazed skylights, lke velux ( I'm making a studio). I now learn the onduline compatible skylights are only single glaze. I'm intending to insulate the roof and walls (Kingspan?). Any suggestions around this? I'm likely to run into the same problem with my extension roof.
I'm well past my DIY prime so am having to lead my builder gently along this path. All suggestions welcome.
By the way Onduline sheets are now €13 at irish Insulations, but very good people to deal with. Thanks, Carolyn
As above velux can be used with this product email if you would like some photos.
Yes pictures please Michael - thank you for replying and sorry for slow response. My builder's hibernating right now so it gives me time to gather more info to convince him this will work. I contacted Velux direct and they confirmed Velux was ok so I now have the windows.
Caroline could you send me an email to archmoco at yahoo dot co dot uk and I can forward photos
Hello there, we'd really like to produce a short case study on this for the Self Build Portal. Please drop us a line with your contact details - we can do it all via phone/email. Many thanks.
Dominic - very keen to feature your place on the Self Build portal website - it's the main independent site for self builders in the UK. There's no cost: just need perhaps half an hour on the phone to ask a few questions. Can you let me know best number to call you on?
We were so inspired by your house. We have land on a small scottish island and have looked at other low cost options such as SIPs and modular timber but we need an 'artic' for the delivery and there is no roll on roll off ferry. We have looked at the plans but cannot seem to figure out the room dimensions, could you possible give us some idea, also of the head height of the upper room, I have a 6'4" husband. I am going to contact the local planning and ask them to look at your designs - hopefully one day we will have the most northerly house of its type!
Looking to get in touch with you ... if you have a moment, maybe you can mail me a telephone number and I'll call?
I will send that on, though I have no mail for you, so I have facebooked Roisin for details....
Did you get proposed text for Self Build portal case study? Any tweaks required? Can you let me know the photographer's details
Hi Dominic I've just inherited land in Kerry and would love to relocate back home from London. Your website is very inspiring! Do you know if its possible to make the property slightly bigger? Are you available to work on new projects? It's a beautiful site that's been in my family for a very long time. I look forward to hearing from you. Best Margaret.
Fabulous house, I love the simplicity and minimalism. Great website too.
On the flooring, was the panelvents and the breathable membrane installed under the floor?
Irish Vernacular is awesome. Could I please have a number or email address to contact you?
you can email me...
dominicstevens (at) eircom.net
Just watched you on the culture show I think the work you're doing is fantastic. Just wondering if you heard anything about plans to frack Leitrim?
Heard about your project on a a program late last night - Great stuff! The interview mentioned that some found the building of a model a bit of a stumbling block ... Perhaps a tie in with a 'Fab Lab' would help? They provide free access to CNC machines, 3D printers etc and would build confidence.
I caught the piece on your work on the Culture Show and it really made my day! I feel inspired and optimistic, something to realistically aim for. Off now to buy some balsa wood.
First I want to thank you and congrats for your work and for sharing it. Was a pleasure discovering that there is other way to do things.
I'm a spanish architect working on a house inspired by your work. and would love to have your opinion and advice on it.
Would be possible to send you an email with the plans and model?
Thank you in advance!
I'm a massive fan of your website, and really admire the home that you have built. I wonder if it is possible to buy a copy of your book Rural anywhere? I'd be really interested to read it properly.
Hope to hear from you soon,
its out of print but I will be uploading a full pdf here soon...
I love this project and the detailed website. The low cost and low footprint of this house are fantastic. However, when I look at the lumber used, I don't think this is a terribly sustainable project, in that it is using some massive timber that looks like it was harvest from some 100+ year-old trees. On this, I am curious if engineered beams have been considered? Or, more sustainable construction materials--steel beams for load, aluminum studs for partitions, or other ideas?
The trees are quick growing spruce, the lowest grade of Irish construction timber... Not old or valuable....
Hi Enjoyed your story, your desgin is brilliantl and efficient, thanks for making this available,
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story and the plans to this house....very generous of you. I'm grateful to CNN for featuring your story.
I live in the U.S. and I'm curious to know if anyone has built here using your design? I have 54 acres of rural undeveloped property in Texas that is ideal for this project. I am also anxious to get a copy of your book when its reprinted. Hope to hear from you soon...be blessed!
Love the site Dominic, especially the hand-drawn instructions. Are there any videos on YouTube (or elsewhere)? I couldn't find any. Has anyone built a Sketch-up or 3D model? Are there any interior photos?
I've made the SketchUp drawings based on the www.irishvernacular.com guide
This wooden house was built following the guidelines provided by Dominic on www.irishvernacular.com with the addition of some predispositions and customizations. Ready to be modified and customized to your liking, inserting windows, doors, furniture and any redefinitions of the structure. The lumber and screws inserted in the model have been included in order to achieve a maximum estimate of the cost of the house and of the basic materials needed. Further additions and customizations can be evaluated directly using the convenient function of SketchUp to estimate and amount.
Any chance you would share the sketchup models?
Hi - thanks Stefano for building the Sketchup model. I have just downloaded it. For anyone looking for it, search "Wooden House" in the Sketchup 3D Warehouse, and look for author "Stefano M.".
Amazing website, Dominic - thank you!
Just wanted to add to what others have said in thanking you for your immense effort in sharing this information. It's inspiring.
can somebody let me know what detail was used on the corners of the onduline cladding? i'm buliding a garden office using onduline for the cladding and cant make out from the pictures if a "verge" piece was used vertically on the corners...
Hi Ray, I used a ridge piece vertically on the corners. It was fixed first and then the cladding on top of it. In another job that a contractor did for me he bent a normal sheet using a little heat ( hairdryer I believe)
Thanks Dominic. Both ideas sound good!..i might try the bend.
You mentioned you used hex screws instead of the nails....did you add washers or what size were the hex heads? I really like onduline for my project and I'm looking for the best solutions.. I don't see any close up pics on your site. Which is excellent by the way!
Hi, I am very thankful too you for this sharing..It is very useful for my writing project I get enough information for my writing..!!!
Love the site and very inspirational, thank you. I'm looking at doing something similar but single storey with a flat 'green' roof. I'm thinking that this should lower the cost further both in terms of build and the running costs. Just trying to compare building the frame using the same approach as yourself or using factory made structural sip panels. Did you consider this option? Cheers Peter
Do not be in a hurry to succeed. What would you have to live for afterwards? Better make the horizon your goal; it will always be ahead of you.
Its pleasant discussion about this piece of writing here at this webpage, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.
What is your estimated life expectancy for the house?
Similar to any timber frame. Could be there for hundreds of years if properly maintained. The cladding has the shortest life, Onduline has a stated life of 25 years but I have seen 30 year old onduline still in good shape. A building that is loved will last forever, Japanese timber frame buddhist temples are proof of this!
Id like to get your book and all of the instructions on your site (so I can use for a project) but I cant find copies anywhere?
Could you advise?
I can see the pdfs in the More section ... if that the only way I can persevere but hoped there might be a single pdf.
Happy to pay ... and will also share my project
Sorry about my recent absence...
PDF just on site, I have my book as a single PDF, it does not include the drawings though, you can email me for the book...
Greetings from the Philippines! I am inspired to build our own home. If its not too much to ask sir do you have a design that can withstand the extreme weather conditions in our country. Any help that you extend is greatly appreciated.
I'm really sorry about my absence, the frame was designed for Ireland's not too extreme climate... An engineer could beef it up I reckon, I'm prob too late getting back to you though, sorry about that...
Fantastic project Dominic and the way you have illustrated the design and build is superb.
Well done. All the best for 2014...
Congratulations on your new home, I hope you'll be very happy there. Brilliant generosity and kindness putting all this information up!
I'm interested in doing something like this for an extension to my house. I have a question about the floor. The walls are obviously very air tight with the moisture barrier, panel vent, insulation, vapour barrier, then plasterboard but what makes the floor air tight? I can only figure out hardboard, rock wool then t&g?
I would really love to get your book. Thanks again.
T and g with glue is pretty ok I think for air tightness...
Wonderful house, great of you to share the design.
I wonder if you have considered utilising this build method but instead of the various cladding layers using straw bales and lime plaster? Or use the external cladding and lime plaster inside.
This might mean building larger, to avoid losing internal space, but maybe be a greener build, and have that "??" extra something that straw house dwellers say their houses have?
Maith a bhuachaill! You have already been very generous and an inspiration.
Now I'm home in the post war house - one bathroom like yours - where I grew up. It's freezing. Wonder if you could post a rough guide of your power and heating bill? I wonder if anyone has offered to give you a BER#?
My guess is Irish housebuilding, even modern stuff, is still energy inefficient.
Its very highly insulated, 225mm of insulation and triple glazed, and an airtightness membrane, if tested the envelope would be A rated.
I heat the whole house using one 1.5 kw electric heater. havent calculated a full year heating but is pretty cheap to heat.
Fantastic - I've book marked this. Well executed, very well motivated!!
hello! yours is a great idea! I wanted to ask if the house had 2 floors or one floor and a loft. you can make two plans? manrico frm italy
Hello, my name is Slavko Majkić and I am from Slovenia, I am construction techniques, and I finsh 1. year for an architect, I am also martial artist and my passion is drawing. I am totally impressed with the house and the method of construction,and the detailed description of začetkado end. Your internet site is remarkable tool for people who have experience and also for those who do not. I think that any man on this planet have a right to build your own home to approximately € 10,000 or less. I'm only 2 and a half years spent so much money to rent two rooms in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. My parents live in a block 45km away in Postojna, where the famous Postojna Cave and a lot of nature around, as in the whole of Slovenia. I wish to build such a house.
I will need any help you can give me and regrads and respect from Slovenia
here you can find under "galerija" my work, its all diesign and made by me of course with a lot of help of my teacher and students.
well done Slavko!, looks great!
wonderful points altogether, you simply gained a brand new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?
Hi Dominic, love your website. I attended a few Segal construction method courses including one in Wales run by CAT. I have the Segal construction bible "Out of the Woods" by Pat Borer and Cindy Harris. Pat took the course in Wales in 2010 that I attended. How do you think that the Construction Act in Ireland (in force from 1st Match 2014) will impact on self-builders, especially with regard to the part that stipulates that you must provide to local building control a Notice of Assignment of Builder to confirm that a competent builder has been assigned to the build. I live in Galway City and my house was built by commercial builders and it’s a decent house, although one or 2 crazy things were done which I rectified. I have helped on the construction of the houses of my brothers-in-law who built their houses in rural Connemara and I tell you they are the finest of houses and have withstood the worst of the recent storms and are all 100 metres from the sea and are subjected to the worst battering the Irish weather can muster. These houses were all built by direct labour and my bother-in-laws installed their own "cut" roofs. They have no builders’ certs and the roofs were all built by them with help from neighbours (meitheal) who help each other with this stuff from time to time. The houses of course were inspected by an engineer and signed off. Skills are passed from neighbour to neighbour in the same way that skills are shared among men involved in the local "Shed" movement. I am concerned that this law is trying to kill the last vestiges of free spirit, rebellion and healthy cantankerous independence that now only seems to lurk down winding country bohereens in Ireland. I have remodelled my own house and hope to take the next step up and build in the future and I am considering the Segal method. I certainly have the neck to have a go. Will this act make it much too difficult to pursue the Segal method if I do a lot of the work by myself with my family?
Curious about this issue myself. Just purchased a site and am hoping to build using Dominic's house as main inspiration. I am now a bit anxious about this new addition to the miles of red tape already in place. Just what defines a "competent builder" ?
So in effect you have to have an assigned certified, who will be an architect. Who a competent builder is down to their judgement. In the uk where self building projects work within a similar legislative framework I believe this comes down to having a presence on site of a experienced foreman. So find an RIAI architect closeby who is operating as an assigned certifier
The comment above got posted unfinished!
The problem right now is architects are anxious and to a certain degree unclear about where the new regs will lead, so right now is a difficult time until it calms down a bit and clarity is restored
I write for this UK news agency and have penned several architectural stories. May we have some hi-res images of the the house both inside and out? It's a good story.
thank you Dominic, I lareday strat to make some drawing pand plans for the house. I hope I will be finsih this spetember or october this year. Regards and best wihses from Slovenia
I love both the project aspirations and the design. One concern would be the use of Onduline for the wall cladding and roof. I am in Ontario, Canada and the North American version appears to be known as Ondura. It has a very poor reputation. The general consensus is that it lasts about 10 years. Maybe in the Irish climate, it would last longer. Have you considered using galvanised steel instead or would that be cost prohibitive?
In Ireland Onduline seems to last well, I have seen 25 year old Onduline still holding together. It would cost much the same with galv ms BUT a) it is not as sustainable product as Onduline but more importantly MS is much more difficult to use for the self-builder re cutting etc, and most importantly when you cut or pierce it it comprimises the galv coating and in damp old Ireland rust sets in quite quickly....
Hi! I really feel such a warm heart from the sharing of your very in depth drawings and instructions for your house. I have no background in building, but the house i currently live in is a beautiful space, but bought at a time when i had lots of money and was still making some. Now i need to sell the house as between the mortgage and the running costs its close to €6k a month!! I can realise a reasonable amount from the sale.But because i dont want to work (ever) again...ha ha....your Vernacular house has been an incredible inspiration.Your generosity in sharing is to be deeply respected.Thank you from my heart.
A very inspirational project Dominic and such kindness to provide so much detailed information on the projects. After reviewing you build i have some questions:
1. What is the specification of the floor in the building? Is the bottom of the floor shielded from the elements or left open and if so at what stage was the Ply fixed to the underside? I would imagine it would be extremely ackward fitting the Ply from underneath.
2. Is the floor also airtight and if so how do you adequately ventilate?
3. How are the windows are doors finished with the Oduline Cladding?
Also. Why not the sprayfoam insulation for the floor also? What amount of rockwool did you use?
This website is a brilliant solution to the problem of expensive housing that exists in most of the developed world. Thanks.
One quick question regarding your design. The initial frame and the walls are both structural with the frame supporting the first floor and the walls the roof. By aligning the frame along the longer walls could it have supported the roof meaning less timber was needed in the walls? Or aligning the floor joist from long wall to long wall, the portal frame wouldn't be needed?
You're correct in principle, however being able to erect the roof first without walls is handy in the wettest county of a wet country, and the overall bill for timber as you can see from the costings is such a small percentage of the cost so that wasn't really an issue. It also makes the design adaptable as the walls aren't structural
hi congratulations for the project, but just one question ... what kind of fir did you use? White or red? in short, which features does it have?
thanks to you soon.
Hi, love the images. Im interested in how you finished corner details on the cladding, did you use the Onduline produces (verge piece), or something else.
Yes Lawrence, I used the verge piece, though I have worked with contractors who simple bent the standard sheet round the corner. I found I couldn't do that neatly...
At last I see the light at the end of the tunnel in my pursuit of building a house. This website of yours is exactly what I have been searching for months, infact for a year or two. My search took countless amount of my time browsing through hundreds of webpages( from tiny house to the various eco house), watching videos on youtube, various TV program on house design, construction such as Grand Design, etc. In fact even went to different house fairs ;) Though, I gained lot of knowledge, information and inspiration, however, I didn´t get what I was really looking for in terms of both economically and DIY, or rather should I say a dream to fulfill with a very limited budget and no experience in construction but eagerly willing to learn by doing with tips provided by professionals in the construction field. Well, my search has come to an end, thank you for sharing your professional knowledge.
What is the thickness of the panel vent racking?
Cancel that. Got it.
It is a very nice project but it is too difficult for me. Are you working on a kit to be assembled?
Part "J" - Top of wall - 3000mm.
You specify 16. Should this be 8? Or have I missed something?
Thank you for this website
I´d like to thank you for sharing all these informations. It is wonderfull project! I definitelly will think about using it when building my future house.
Thank you so much!
Pavel, Czech Republic
you inspired me 2 years ago, I have work in this time to do a 3D project of a wooden house with your directive on SketchUp ( a free modeler software to build objects ). I wanna send you the result for sharing your idea to the world.
Can you please contact me with an email addresses that can receive a five MB file in reply?
thats so great!
looking forward to it!
I could update the site to share it if you like?
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi would you be willing to share the cad sketchup files?
Hi Dominic, yes you can share to the world. It is your house, based on your idea, without you this cannot be do.
I'm excited to view if came on a lot of new idea from other net-citizens :-)
The mail is on the way
This base model are also published on the Google SketchUp Wharehouse from now
You are an amazing soul, my dear friend. I totally agree with you that knowledge of construction ought to be held in common and put to the service of providing good homes for everyone. I live in an expansive area where the cost of construction fueled by greed has artificially inflated it to a level that it is simply not possible for most to afford. Your project is a testament to the possibility that we can build very well on an astonishingly low budget.
I don't know how to thank you because anything I say will fall short of the gratitude that I have for your vision and example. I very much want to follow the lesson learnt here and put it to good use on my own remodel project.
Thank you Dominic. Thank you!
Hello Dominic and others!
I am building an CAD model of this house design at https://github.com/markvdb/openscad/blob/master/irishvernacular.scad using the free and open source http://openscad.org software.
A preview picture (not always up to date with the latest improvements) is available at https://github.com/markvdb/openscad/blob/master/irishvernacular.png .
Amazing, although Dominic has just mentioned to the roof, but then advised to contact an expert for its construction, however, I see that we got the exact same line of thought, and not just for the roof.
If I did not know that a project is recreated from scratch, I would be inclined to think that it is the result of an export.
really impressive, thank you for sharing!
Hi Dominic and greetings from Belgium! Thank you so much for sharing these plans and ideas with the world. You've inspired me to get off my backside and attempt an extension onto our cottage.
Just a quick question: did you use the same method to build the porch and what did you roof it with as I'll probably go for a flat roof due to height constraints.
Hello again Dominic,
I wonder how you feel about I-joists? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-joist .
It seems to me that at least in theory, they might help make the construction even faster, easier and possibly cheaper.
Hi Dominic, Thank you for sharing your knowledge. My wife and I would like to build a similar house in Co Clare. Could you tell me if it is a requirement that an architect and engineer be registered in ireland, as my wifes father, from france, designs and builds houses in france, and would like to help us with that aspect of the project. Many thanks. Kevin
Hi Dominic, I am a 69 year old fella from Nottingham who has completed 5 self builds, the first completed in 1981 and the last one completed around 1997. All have been traditional brick and block builds. In my retirement I have watched several TV programmes that cover design and build and this afternoon I settled down with a cuppa to watch a repeat of Grand Design's featuring the Walter Seagull building process which captured my interest as I still have an inkling to do another build. Anyhow, as I often do when watching the box, I reached for my iPad to gain more knowledge about the actual building process and within a couple of clicks I stumbled across "Irish vernacular.com" and thanks to you I believe that I have all the knowledge necessary to design and build my Clive Seagull home. Of course it may not happen because I don't as yet have the land but I just wanted to thank you for all your generosity in going to the trouble of sharing such a shed load of information with so many people. Thanks for relighting the fire in an old codger and inspiring me to think about having another go at my age! Brilliant ..... well done!
Thanks for this inspirational House which challenges usual in both method and high green outcome. I have just come back to site and have been unable to download and see the detail cartoon how to drawings and other info. Would there be any way to get copies please. Also interested in your book. Kind regards charlie
Hi Charlie, I found that the drawings and layouts are visible when viewing on my phone, but not on laptop with Chrome browser.
I am interested in building a small extension to an old-ish cottage in rural county Cork, perpendicular to the back wall, based on this design and method. Approx 2.5m x 8m, single story. Can you give any advice or examples for tieing in timber frame to a stone cottage, or would you recommend separating the two structures? I'm thinking the issues would be setting pad foundations close to existing house, assembling and sealing end of the timber frame, and preventing moisture between the two.
Thanks for sharing all of this!
I find myself in a similar situation to the one you outlined on the site (limited budget & I need to find/build accommodation quickly). I have so many questions for you, I wonder if it would be possible to correspond via email?
In order to gain a better understanding of the building, I'm currently building a model in Sketchup, with a view to making some minor tweaks later. To that end- and having lived with the design yourself for some time now- are there any changes you would make if you had it to do again?
Many thanks for providing such a fabulous resource and giving hope to many.
Would it be possible to design two pavilions for a stand I own in the Western Cape, South Africa.
Could this be done on a flat fee basis up to plan submission stage, which I will handle.
If so I can provide the Google map point for street view, tons of photos of the stand, the surveyors diagrams for the property, the title deeds with servitudes etc.
It is a magnificent view stand at the base of the Langeberg mountains overlooking a beautiful vista, all which will compliment your home and provide us with something special at a very good cost.
Thanks for sharing your real-life experience with the world. You mentioned in your write-up that your friends helped you build the house. How did you pay them, do you mind sharing that piece of information?
I am thinking of building one slightly larger than yours in the U.S. May I borrow your brain by that time, please?
Sincerely and very respectfully,
So happy I chanced across your site, I will hopefully start building this house soon, with a few alterations (another dormer window upstairs, or perhaps making an entire half of the roof a dormer), plus a solid fuel heater in the living area (I know it isn't really needed from a functional point of view, but I find them very cozy and comforting ), and perhaps a small-ish bathtub if I can squeeze one into the bathroom.
Just 2 quick questions - how did the house hold up during the 'beast from the East' cold winter, and exceptionally warm summer, of 2018? Anything you would have done differently if doing this again?
All the very best,
Hi Cormac, interested to know if you have built this house as I intend to and the alterations that you mentioned are something that I would also do. So any tips you could give would be appreciated particularly around cost as Dominic built almost 10 years ago eg the Onduline how much did you get it per sheet. Thanks
Just for info, the brackets that you use for the foundation, i.e. to take the posts, can be found also on ebay.co.uk now.
I think 3mm galvanised would be plenty strong enough.
I wish you excellent website had exited in 2007 when I started my Segal method house in County Clare, alot, alot of trial and error.
Thanks again for all the resources / Colm
Just re-commenting to have the correct e-mail associated, botched it first time.
Just another thank you from someone at the beginnings of planning. I arrived here via Walter Segal's method and approach. To see the photos of the construction process and have the step by step instructions is the best illumination I have yet come across, thank you very very much.
Like Steve before me, I'd like to add my thanks for this amazing resource. To be able to see so much of the project in your many pictures really does clarify many questions I had about Segal method building.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.