House of the week

THREE of the five purchasers of the new detached houses at Woodbury have been first-time buyers and one is a certain gentleman, and family guy, rugby star Donnchadh O’Callaghan, who has made his own design tweaks and bespoke rear playroom extension.

House of the week

Now, just one house in this scheme of six taken on with confidence by Rockforest Homes builder David Walsh is left to sell, with completion on all six expected for early spring after a smooth build process, on site since September.

Selling prices are €397,500 via Sam Kingston of Casey and Kingston, jointly with Jean O’Donovan of Trading Places, and finish levels are high, judging by work to date and a visit to two others he completed last year across the Boreenmanna Road (pics top left). It’s nearly a sign of the times the construction sector is only slowly emerging from, that his eight houses were the most active sites for new-builds in the flat of the city in 2013. It’s also Mr Walsh’s first house ’scheme’ (though his firm Rockforest Homes has been building 12 to 14 one-offs in Cork, Kerry and Tipperary during the downturn) and he’s actively scouting and securing a couple of other sites to continue his roll of sales and on-site momentum.

Right now, there’s 25-to 30 tradesmen on site at Woodbury, completing these six 1,800 sq ft homes on a rolling basis, and three of the buyers have also taken up the option of converting the attic to further space: this extra 500 sq ft can accommodate a very large master suite with dressing room, or two bedrooms with one en suite. Cost for the extra floor, finished out, is c €30,000.

Design of the adaptable houses is by Mallow-based Jerry O’Connor, and while they look slender from the front, they are deep and accommodating thanks to a rear single storey seating area, and internal room proportions are all good: in fact, it’s a floor plan worth emulating, especially on city and suburban sites.

Feature touches immediately noticeable are the painstaking stonework detail in Liscannor stone in the front sitting room window bays, but most else is hidden.

You don’t see the hidden stuff, though, like the four square metres of solar panels for water heating, nor do you easily gauge the extremely good air-tightness levels expected, nor ‘feel’ yet the impact of very high insulation levels. For the lagging junkies out there, there’s 400 mm of Earthroll in the attic, there’s 150 mm of insulation board in the floor, and the walls have pumped bead in the 150mm cavity, with 62.5 mm of Kingspan thermawall on the interior leaf. Windows, from Munster Joinery, are all triple glazed, and internal finishes include walnut flooring downstairs, and tiling to kitchen and bathrooms. Heating is via gas condenser boilers, with stoves/enclosed fireplace options in the main reception room. Internal joinery is in uncluttered, sleek profile painted MDF for skirtings, and architraves, with walnut doors.

Quickest to sell here (and all off-plans) were the four facing the Boreenmanna Road, all with south-facing back gardens and tall back boundary walls. Left to sell is No 5, west-facing in front — and after that, it’s on to other city and suburban sites, hopes Mr Walsh, who had to negotiate a lower density on this site than had existed with previous plans with the city planners. Alongside Woodbury a small apartment building is currently also reaching roof-plate level, and now most of the sites on the Boreenmanna Road have been developed, including O’Flynn Construction’s Belfield Abbey across the way.

Munster and Irish rugby star Donnchadh O’Callaghan got an early pick of sites here in Woodbury for his own FTB family home, and has added what will be a zinc-roofed contemporary extension with sunken seating area as a family scrum area for himself, wife Jenny and daughters.

LOCATION: Boreenmanna Road, Cork

PRICE: €397,500

SIZE: 168 (1,800 sq ft)




BEST ASSET: New build, good sites

VERDICT: New build, great location close to city and low heating bills into the future.

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