Extensions and renovations transformed this €695,000 estate home on Model Farm Road

A fantastic rear living space is at the heart of this thoroughly modernised home
Extensions and renovations transformed this €695,000 estate home on Model Farm Road

52 Rossbrook, Model Farm Road

Model Farm Road, Cork

€695,000

Size

199 sq m (2,142 sq ft)

Bedrooms

4

Bathrooms

3

BER

B3

HOUSES, like humans, get to an age where no amount of fine-tuning can whip them back into shape.

Nothing less than a comprehensive makeover will do and it helps if the genes are good. In the case of Model Farm Road homes, the location is the key gene and it’s present here at No 52 Rossbrook.

No 52 began life as part of a development of identikit white render and redbrick detached homes in the late 1980s, built by O’Flynn Construction. These days it stands out from its neighbours, by virtue of a dramatic facelift.

 Its exterior now presents as a black render and redbrick combo and the effect is both striking and contemporising. It’s taken years off No 52.

No 52, following facelift
No 52, following facelift

The house has undergone substantial internal change too, and in this respect it has much in common with its neighbours. Plenty of home owners in this 40-year-old development have embarked on ambitious renovation and expansion projects, a feature of estates of this age.

At No 52, expansion and renovation took place in two stages. The first was in 2019, the year after the owners bought it for €411,000, as per the Property Price Register.

“The house hadn’t been touched since the day it was built, so we renovated it from top to bottom,” the owners say.

The 2019 remodelling project involved knocking a wall between two rear rooms — a galley kitchen and the adjoining TV room. The exterior wall was knocked too and the footprint of the house was pushed outwards, adding 400 sq ft and effectively doubling the space that was there.

Extended main living space
Extended main living space

 A trendy steel beam now marks the spot where the external wall once was. Instead of two pokey back rooms, there’s now one huge kitchen/dining/living space framed at the garden end by floor-to-ceiling glazing, with sliding patio doors and an apex window rising into the vaulted ceiling.

Veluxes boost light levels
Veluxes boost light levels

 A couple of veluxes draw more natural light into the vault. At the opposite end of the room, double glazed doors open into the hallway where the original staircase has been replaced by a floating staircase. There’s an airy brightness to the room which is not diminished by an electrifying navy-blue kitchen; the space is big enough and bright enough to accommodate it. 

The space is also cleverly arranged, so that the kitchen and adjoining cosy living space, with inbuilt shelving and wood-burning stove, are at one end, while the dining area is closer to the glazed patio doors, which lead to composite decking – handy for when dining moves outside.

Navy-blue kitchen units
Navy-blue kitchen units

Composite decking off extension
Composite decking off extension

There’s lawn beyond the decking with room for child’s play — the man of the house is a handyman who built the kids their own glamping pod, reached via ladder and exited via a slide.

With the paint barely dry on the first renovation, the couple undertook their second major project in 2020, converting the attached garage into a home office with room too for a guest WC and utility/laundry area. It was this move that allowed the floating staircase, as it meant they could relocate the under-the-stairs loo. 

The project also involved them building overhead, over the garage, eliminating a box room in the process, so that they now have four double bedrooms. Prior to the upstairs renovations, the main bedroom with ensuite was to the rear, but having knocked the wall between the front bedroom and box room, they moved the main bedroom front-of-house, and created better wardrobe and ensuite space for themselves.

Main bedroom with ensuite
Main bedroom with ensuite

And still they weren’t finished. They put in a new combi boiler and took out one chimney to improve the building energy rating (BER is B3, pretty good for a 40-year-old home); they installed new floors, doors, skirting and architraves . They put in new windows too and reclaimed space from the porch to create a longer hallway, which helps showcase that floating staircase; they put in shiplat panelling in stylish bathrooms and two bedrooms; they installed a Kilkenny limestone driveway and replaced a dull boundary wall with redbrick and matching pillars.

And they used reclaimed redbrick for the exterior of the rear extension which really sits well.

Location wise, they are over the wall from Munster Technological University (MTU) and Leisureworld’s swimming pool and gym; they are fronting on to a large communal green and their rear garden has a covetable south-facing orientation.

You could reasonably ask: “Are they mad to be selling?” But as the handyman’s wife says: “He likes a project and it’s renovating homes and moving on”. The move this time is with grandparents in mind and an element of future-proofing.

They’ve placed their house for sale with Kevin Barry of Barry Auctioneers and he is guiding at €695,000. (The highest price achieved out of a dozen sales at Rossbrook in the last decade was €483,000, according to the Price Register) Mr Barry says it’s “as turnkey as they come” and that anyone who had to take on the work already done to No 52, would be looking at spending in the region of €250,000, “against a backdrop of rising building costs”.

Separate living room at No 52
Separate living room at No 52

Mr Barry adds that the location is excellent and he is expecting interests from lots of quarters, given the work done to the house.

VERDICT: Terrific extension and quality renovation work have transformed this detached home. Great neighbourhood, ideal for family.

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