House of the Week: Beautiful bijou residence in Coachford is an ideal first time buy

Having a builder as a Dad was a big bonus when transforming this once-derelict two-bedroom cottage
House of the Week: Beautiful bijou residence in Coachford is an ideal first time buy

Clontead Beg

Coachford, Co Cork



63.5 sq m (684 sq ft)







AS an indicator of progress, there’s nothing like a “Before” and “After” photo to showcase just how transformative a home restoration project can be.

Take this charming bijou residence in the heart of Coachford village, which, when bought by its current owner, was pretty much derelict - no electricity, no plumbing, no kitchen, no shower.

"Before" pic of the cottage 

"Before" pic of the cottage 

It wasn’t a case of biting off more than she could chew. With a builder for a Dad, she could be confident that their father/daughter project would be a little bit more sophisticated than building a cardboard dollhouse or impressive sandcastle, which, no matter how elaborate, can never withstand the tide.

This would be a project where at least one half of the partnership knew exactly what it would take and what to do.

“My Dad is a builder and I always said I’d love to work on something with him and this was it. It truly was a labour of love and myself and my Dad enjoyed it so much,” she says.

She bought four years ago and they spent the bones of another two-and-a-half years bringing the two-bed, single bathroom, G-energy-rated cottage up to scratch.

The roof was thankfully sound, but they did plaster the whole house, as well as drylining it. Work was also done on an extension out the back “that looked like a prefab” - her father put a proper roof on it and built it up so that it now houses a very tastefully decorated bathroom and a separate office space, with the same attractive tiling in both areas.

New windows were installed throughout the house, as well two sets of French doors, one set in the kitchen, another in the office space, both of which lead to a small, easy-to-maintain rear patio. 

The French doors let in plenty of natural light transforming a once dark, dingy interior into a refreshingly bright space.

Father and daughter also did away with tiny rooms in the cottage, changing the layout to create an airy, open-plan daytime living space, while retaining and re-working an original chimney breast, which acts as both a natural separator between kitchen/dining area and living room, and as an attractive central feature.

Clontead Beg

Clontead Beg

“We put in a stove and the overall effect is a really cosy cottage that’s very manageable, where it’s very easy to grab a cup of tea and sit down and watch TV,” the owner says.

In fact there’s a lot about this 684 sq ft €245,000 cottage that makes life easy, not least its location in Coachford village, next door to the post office, with a Centra close by and a beauty salon, a Co-Op, a pub, a GP surgery, a GAA Club and schools. “It has everything you need to survive in a country area,” says selling agent Norma Healy of Sherry FitzGerald, who describes Coachford as “very vibrant” with more people moving to the area thanks to residential developments such as Cnoic Eoin and Vicars Glebe.

There’s also the nearby floral oasis of Griffins Garden Centre, temporarily closed due to Covid-19, but which in time may inspire a green-fingered buyer of this cottage to go wild in its fine south-facing front garden. 

There’s further opportunity to go wild in nearby Farran Woods or at either of two water skiing centres, or over the road at Ballyhass Lakes, where an aquapark is a huge hit among schoolkids. Or there’s the Lee Valley golf club for the more sedate at heart.

The owner has loved living here, but, having met her future husband shortly after she bought the house, they are now planning not just their wedding, but their relocation to a bigger family home.

“I will be sorry to go, Coachford is terrific, it has that little town aspect, a bit like the way Ballincollig used to be, and it’s a lovely community,” she says.

Ms Healy expects plenty of interest from first time buyers looking for something in the country that isn’t isolated. Or it may appeal to a retired couple.

She says the house is finished to a fantastic standard: “It is evident that great time, effort and money were invested... it truly is a credit to the current owners in the way that they have seamlessly combined style and practicality.”

VERDICT: Beautiful bijou home in an a bustling country village.

More in this section

News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up