Cratloe, Clare, €385,000

Trish Dromey gets all cosy in a log cabin with Polish timbers and a multinational flavour and flair.
Cratloe, Clare, €385,000
  • Size: 272sq m; 2,938 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 4 + 2
  • Bathrooms: 4 + 1
  • BER: B3
  • Best Feature: Wooden it be lovely?

Built on a wooded Clare hillside with Polish timber and German bricks, to a Canadian design, the Log House is quite a multinational property.

Adding to the international flavour on the inside, is an Italian Scavolini kitchen, a Swedish geothermal heating system and a Norwegian wood-burning stove set inside a chimney made of Icelandic volcanic rock.

When they were building it in 2003, the Irish-Polish couple who own it left no stone unturned in their bid to make it as eco-friendly and energy efficient as possible. Using the internet they found a whole range of energy efficient features, many of which had to be brought in specially.

Planning started when they came across a beautiful tree-lined site on Woodcock Hill, in Cratloe Woods which looked perfect for the log home they had been longing to live in.

They didn’t just want a timber house, they wanted a natural log home, similar to ones they had seen in Poland.

“We wanted traditional logs and not milled uniform logs. With traditional logs only one tree is used per log and every log is from the core of the tree, which is the strongest part of the tree,’’ says the Irish half of the couple.

They say that they used only logs sourced from the Polish mountains where trees are slow growing and the timber, as a consequence, is dense and strong.

Deciding that a Canadian-style property would work best on their site, they found a design, got a Polish architect to adapt it for them and finally secured a Polish company to make the house, the doors and the double glazed windows.

As they were building on a sloping site, the couple felt that that their log home would look well with a basement. For this they found German Porotherm blocks which, their research informed them, were ‘sustainable’ and thermally efficient.

Starting in January 2003, the couple used direct labour to build the basement which is reinforced with steel. When it was finished, a team of carpenters arrived from Poland and spent six weeks building the spruce log structure.

Stretching over three floors, the property has 2,900 sq ft of accommodation, which thanks to the diligence of its owners has a high B3 BER rating. The most impressive room in the chalet-style property is definitely the front sitting room which has a double-height ceiling, a wall of windows, a pumice stone chimney breast with Jotul stove and a large chandelier made by a local blacksmith.

An archway leads through to a kitchen breakfast room with a contemporary brown and pale yellow Scavolini units. To the rear there is a dining room while other rooms at this level include a bathroom and two bedrooms: there’s a decked veranda at front and rear.

The top storey has two en suite bedrooms while accommodation in the basement includes a large integral garage, utility room, a Jacuzzi room, wine cellar and a two-bedroom apartment with a sitting room and a small kitchen.

Accessed by electric gates, the property in on a site of half an acre and has lawned gardens, a tarmac driveway and a timber gazebo with a stone BBQ.

Surrounded on all sides by woodland, the Log House is about 6km from Limerick city and 20km from Shannon Airport.

Guiding the property at €385,000, Sherry FitzGerald O’Malley say this scenically located, unique property is attracting attention from returning emigrants and some French buyers.

Verdict

Wonderfully wooded one.

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