€10k windfall for tiny-house shipping container conversion

Caitríona Bergin's DIY savvy sailed above the rest when she converted a 40ft container into a multifunctional outdoor room 
€10k windfall for tiny-house shipping container conversion

Overall winner of The Big DIY Challenge Caitríona Bergin with series host PJ Gallagher.

From skate ramps to travel pods and from chicken coops to fire pits, the size, scale and imagination was pretty impressive on The Big DIY Challenge.

But there was one project on the RTÉ One series that sailed above the rest and that was the multifunctional outdoor room created by Caitríona Bergin from a former shipping container.

The exterior of the 40-foot container.
The exterior of the 40-foot container.

Caitríona, an artist based in Rossinver, Co Leitrim, demonstrated an enormous range of skills as she transformed the 40ft vehicle into an inviting living and workspace — complete with an art studio, office and relaxation zone.

The office/studio features a stove.
The office/studio features a stove.

Judge Jennifer Byrne, a lecturer in Technological University Dublin, said: "The overall standard this year has just been incredible.

Caitriona Bergin in her converted shipping container.
Caitriona Bergin in her converted shipping container.

"It was such a tough decision to pick the winner! All the finalists and their projects simply blew me away.” 

But when the dust had settled, the title of Ireland's Best DIY-er went to the Leitrim participant, who also picked up the gong for Best Inside Project for the conversion.

Judge Jimmy Englezos, Ronseal, said: "Caitríona showed the widest range of DIY skills of all the projects: Welding, carpentry, plumbing, tiling, painting — you name it, Caitríona took it on! And she completed everything to such a high standard. She really is the ultimate DIY-er."

Host PJ Gallagher surprised Caitríona and presented her with her winner's trophy and a cheque for €10,000, which Caitríona plans to spend on even more DIY projects. "I can't believe I won! I'm just speechless. If I can do it, anyone can do it!" she said.

Caitríona was up against some tough competition in Michael Judd who built a crescent moon-shaped fire pit in Kilmoon in Co Clare with best friend Dave and partner Kate. Michael triumphed in the Best Outside Project category.

Michael Judd, Klimoon, Co Clare, who won the prize for best outside project with his fire pit.
Michael Judd, Klimoon, Co Clare, who won the prize for best outside project with his fire pit.

And there was a seasonal flavour to the best-upcycled project prize, which went to Stephen Hynes in Finglas for his barbecue unit made from completely upcycled materials including an old beer keg and chest freezer.

Also in the running was Fergal Megannety from Letterkenny in Co Donegal who won the best small project award for his Russian-inspired beehive made in honour of his wife Svetlana's homeland.

Grainne Wilson won the viewers' choice prize.
Grainne Wilson won the viewers' choice prize.

Fittingly, considering the year that’s in it, the RTÉ viewers' choice award went to Gráinne Wilson from Clonmel in Co Tipperary with her fab Travel Nod Pod.

Memorably, Gráinne told us she planned to set off into the west of Ireland for some wild camping with her creation as soon as travel restrictions allowed.

The viewers’ choice award was chosen by viewers on the RTÉ website.

The Big DIY Challenges series 2 is available to watch now on RTÉ Player.

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