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Where to Start?

  • 10-01-2022 11:42am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,653 ✭✭✭ All_in_Flynn


    Hope this is the right place.

    Currently living in a property in Dublin where we have decent equity. There is an opportunity to build a house in Kildare which we are giving serious consideration.

    My question is where do we start? Is the first step to approach an architect to draw plans etc before seeking planning permission? Will they give us an estimated cost too? Just looking for some general guidance as to take the plunge we would want to make sure that it's financially feasible for the house we would want at the end of the process.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,537 ✭✭✭ muddle84

  • Registered Users Posts: 658 ✭✭✭ bemak

    It's very difficult to get planning for a new build house in Kildare unless the site in question is very close to where you're from (within a few kms) or where you have family. Even at that you will still have to jump through numerous hoops to get permission. At this stage it's like planners have a checklist of reasons not to give you planning and all you have to do it hit one eg, local needs, proximity to work/family, ribbon development, access and sightlines, site suitability etc etc. The list goes on.

    The only suggestion I would have is to try and avoid planning altogether by purchasing a house that needs work or else buy something small that you can extend which would be less of a planning risk because you'd be extending an existing property. I've seen an example of a small 20-30sqm 2-room cottage that was extended to become a 300+sqm house. The fact that the cottage was there already meant that a lot of the potential planning hurdles were avoided.

    Properties like these are hard to find and are often snapped up when they get listed. However if you really are keen to build in the countryside I would advise you drive up and down every road and laneway in the general vicinity of where you'd like to live; identify potential "2-room cottages" and approach the owners to see if they would sell to you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,084 ✭✭✭ RedXIV

    The opportunity to build in Kildare is probably key here. Are you getting granted a site? Have you just seen one?

    A good local architect will be very useful for planning permission rules etc. We did this recently and the architect was incredibly helpful in understanding what we could build and what rules to watch for when we were getting started and ruled out a few sites for us before we even looked at the actual house plans.

    If you know an architect in Kildare, I'd talk to them, show them the site and let them give you an idea how viable it is first. Wouldn't be surprised if they could rule you out or set you on the path in a 15 min chat

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,084 ✭✭✭ RedXIV

    Also, the architect will be able to give you an idea of the cost but they have criteria to take into account, such as materials, complexity of the build but the main one is generally size, as you'll get a €X per sqft/m2 and then based on your plans you'll have an idea of what your budget needs to be

  • Registered Users Posts: 591 ✭✭✭ C. Eastwood

    Do you own the proposed site in Kildare.

    If not, can you purchase the site with planning permission, or purchase subject to planning permission

    You could to get unbiased independent advice from a Registered/ Chartered Building Surveyor or Chartered Building Engineer. Have them draw up a Specification of Works, to include all Electrical and plumbing and heating, windows and ext doors and everything else, so that the builders can give a quotation/ estimate based on same. 

    Do not take biased advice from a Builder. 

    it is easier to sell a concrete block house than some modular house. 

    A concrete block house is perfect, and a Timberframe house (conc block outer leaf) is perfect. And there are many craftspersons / builders experienced in both.

    It’s very important that you should stay within your budget. Build only what you can afford. 

    A Bungalow with roof trusses gives a room in the attic that can be developed at a later date. (Fit all windows now). 

    The most important design in any house is getting as much free Sunshine ☀️ in to the house as is possible. Big Windows, -double glazing is fine. 

    A house must be designed to suit the site

    A view is second to sunshine 🌞.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,653 ✭✭✭ All_in_Flynn


    Thanks for the responses. So just to give a little more info. The site in question is in the immediate family. There is a small derelict cottage on the site but it hasn't been lived in for decades. The acre site is completely overgrown now. We have immediate family living in the area however neither myself or other half have never lived in Kildare ourselves. Is this likely to go against us with planning?

    I have always wanted to build my own house and would love to do it but it would have to be feasible and the house would have to be what we want in order for us to move from Dublin. I'd guess I'd have a budget of about 400-500k excluding the site and I have no idea what that would get me and at what level of finish in the current climate.

    So from the above responses I gather I should speak to a local architect and possibly attend a pre planning meeting with the local council?

  • Subscribers Posts: 36,591 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat

    however neither myself or other half have never lived in Kildare ourselves. Is this likely to go against us with planning?

    yes, very much so.

    look at the 5 different definitions of a local need person on page 86 of the above document.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,653 ✭✭✭ All_in_Flynn

    Thanks for the reply. Reading that, it doesn't look good. The property was the family home of one of my partners parents. It means a lot to them and they would hate to sell it outside the family. Would it be feasible if the parent got the planning permission and then sold the land to us that way or is that a no no? Apologies for the basic questions, it's just not an area I have any real insight to at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,537 ✭✭✭ muddle84

    Not something I know about, but how derelict is the cottage? You don't need planning permission to renovate a cottage unless there is no septic tank/ sewage treatment in the area, you'd need planning to add that i believe.

  • Registered Users Posts: 658 ✭✭✭ bemak

    I think your best option is to arrange a pre-planning with the planners and see what they think. They might give some leniency because of the cottage but it might depend on it's current state. If it's really bad it might be worth improving it a bit in the interim before you go for a pre-planning.

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