Making a connection.

extension walkway

In Ireland you are allowed to build a 40 square meter extension to an existing property without applying for planning permission. There are quite a few rules to follow; the extension has to be at the back of the house, it cannot be higher than the existing house roof and it cannot be too close to a neighbouring property to name a few. We bought our small cottage with this in mind. We wanted to build a roundhouse with a reciprocal roof and to get planning permission for that in Ireland might have been difficult. When you are building with recycled and found materials you need to be flexible and it would be very difficult to submit exact plans for an extension or a house like the one we wanted to build.

cottage and extension

Thus we bought our cottage and went about our build, following all the guide lines for a planning permission free, 40 square meter extension. As the house is square and the extension is round we needed a clever way to connect the two. We decided to make a 1 square meter hallway for that purpose. The floor in the roundhouse is just less than 39 square meters.

This also made our build easier as the existing house roof not needed any cutting into to accommodate the extension. The two roofs come together over the new hallway.

bottle-wall connection

We started by removing a wall in a bedroom and found a lovely old fireplace behind the dry-lining.  We then rebuilt the wall further into the room, creating a walkway, ending at the outer wall of the cottage. After that it was time to knock through to create a hole in the wall and connect the old and the new. Outside the hole we built the new 1 square meter hallway to allow for the two parts of the building to come together. One wall in this hallway is made out of bottle bricks and the other is a backdoor we got from friends. It is practical and safe to have a door there as when we moved in there was only a front door in the house as the old backdoor had been blocked up and is now part of the bathroom wall.

wall removed

building wall


knock through


We rebuilt the wall where we had knocked through and created a small doorframe, as we wish to be able to close off the extension from the rest of the house at times. After that we put plasterboard on the walls and added bonding to fill larger gaps in the construction. All that is left to do now is to plaster the walls and ceiling and paint it all a light colour to make the walkway as bright as possible. The old fireplace needed the existing plaster knocked off and some bonding added  to stabilise the stonework before it could be painted white. It will not be used as a fireplace as we already have one in the kitchen with a back boiler that heats all the radiators. It will just be a nice addition to the walkway and we will put some lights in it for night time use.


glass wall


extension detail

extension fireplace

extension chimney breast

One thought on “Making a connection.

  • Do you know, I’d just be tempted to put up the extension and say nowt. Ireland is so different in it’s attitude compared to other countries, yes it’s changing but it still has that lovely way about it especially this neck of the woods. We put our wooden place up without planning and we’ve now been here 10 years unchallenged so should be safe enough! Your place looks fantastic.


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