House of the week: Rochestown, Cork, €675,000

THE owners of this aptly-named one-off home called Woodview, or 25A, in the long matured Rochestown Rise development in Cork, barely needed the Grand Stand view they had of its construction, as they lived next door and were building anew last year in their former back garden.

But, for all the view they had, they really only got to wonder at the speed of it all, as there was no need to be watching the builder: “It went up so unbelievably fast, and he was just so good,” they say with huge admiration of the build process of this c 2,964 sq ft insulated concrete formwork (ICF) house.

They highly rate Killarney-based Philip O’Connor, a seasoned Kerry developer who set up his ICF build firm Kompetenz several years ago, to get him through the downturn, doing one-offs: currently 65% of all new-builds in Metropolitan Cork are one-off homes, says the CIF. 

ICF is a type of building gaining ground in Ireland over the last decade or so, mostly for one-off builds, and essentially it’s a ‘sandwich’ build method where concrete is poured in between inner and outer leaves of aeroboard, giving huge rigidity, as well as double layers of insulation. 

The result, in this case, is a year-old house with an A2 BER, air-to-water heating system with heat recovery, and total energy bills for a year that the owners reckon will average out at about €500. And, that includes lashings of hot water.

This was a fast build: It was all finished in five months, job done, oxo, to a design where planning had been granted for a low-slung dormer (and subsequently reissued) back in 2006.

Even though the couple who built Woodview last year were traders-down, for almost anyone else this will be a trading up purchase as it’s such a decent and adaptable size. 

There are four dormer bedrooms upstairs (three of them en suite,) where ceiling slopes are inclined to eat a bit into the headroom. 

House of the week: Rochestown, Cork, €675,000

And, there’s there’s a fifth, ground floor en suite bedroom, so it’s adaptable still for all ages and needs.

Having realised their dream of building in a spot they’d lived in for years, now they are on the move again, this time going to live in Killarney, where the ‘woman of the house’ hails from, and it’s sort of the delivery of a promise made when they wed 40 years that they’d retire to Kerry.

Woodview/aka 25 A is right at the top of Rochestown Rise, above the roundabout access pivot on the Rochestown Road near the ‘new’ church, and now stands on a squared-off site of c 0.25 of an acre that previously had been the large garden behind the couple’s original home and granny flat.

 It has its own long, post and rail fenced entrance drive along the side of public green, and faces south, with council-owned forestry a few hundred metres away to the south, up hill, while the Mulcon Valley/Slí Carrig Dhonn runs along its tree-fringed eastern boundary. 

After the build, the garden and lawn is only starting to establish itself, and as the house is in ‘out of the box’ condition, the most any new owners might need to do is get busy landscaping over the summer months.

Woodview’s for sale with a €670,000 asking price, via Patrick Buckley & Co, and is fully finished internally, has a large kitchen/dining room with tiled worktops and island, and has large porcelain-style tiles on floors in much of the ground floor, although the couple opted not to go for underfloor heating as they felt it was too unresponsive for rapidly changing weathers. 

Instead, they went for traditional radiators, but make minimal use of them as the insulation and air tightness is so good. 

Plus, there’s triple glazing, sourced from Munster Joinery, who also did the oak stairs, adapted here to have a series of cut slots in the lower section’s risers, as a night-time lighting feature.

Other rooms include a large utility, a formal dining room with home office off it, and the the main living room is double aspect, and large, opening at the back to a garden patio. 

Both this living space, and the hall, have electric flame effect fires used more for effect than as a heating aid.

VERDICT: a few Rochestown Rise houses are getting revamps, one currently is getting a virtual rebuild on site, but top of the hill and the heap must be 25A, and its woods views.

Rochestown, Cork


Sq m 275(2,964 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4 plus den

Bathrooms: 5


Best Feature: Big, yet snug build


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