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On this page you will be informed, week by week, with our progress as we build our new house and farm beside Clonmellon. Please join us through our adventure. You will hear the good and the bad, we will tell you it all.

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Winter 2002 Firstly, here is our winter quarters ! 

This was taken at the end of August. The two mobiles cost a total of 4,850 but the plumbing, level area, gravel pad, septic tank, water supply and electricity all adds to a lot more on top, then there is the moving in! The basic hardcore of an avenue was already there so we didn't have to do that.

The house is planned to be positioned just left of where the avenue ends on the hill. We got our planning permission after submitting 'extra information' on 6th December, so it shows just how long things take to happen.

I have spent the previous year learning the different building methods, mostly those for houses. It was about this time last year that I came across Shay King's business at a stand he had at the RDS. It gives me what I want in house construction. I had worries about  timber frames, such as not knowing good work when it was being done. This may sound silly but they do differ, I have heard of the problems that can result in bad construction and assembly of timber frames. I also worry about vermin if they get into walls plus the lack of sound proofing. I also feel I want something more permanent for my great great grandchildren! I still have to say that timber frame construction was my second choice. Shay King's was my first choice. His system is a frame of steel which holds walls of specifically dense made polystyrene (now manufactured in Ireland) which slides onto the frame and forms a mold for a pour of cement. This system is already used in Scandinavia and the US (where it originated) but generally they differ and this is where Shay King's knowledge as a builder improved on this system to this present system. It is new in Ireland and was not going to be launched onto the market until next year, but people like myself just couldn't wait. 

The reasons for this choice of building method.


It is warm. It has a U value of .25, this is the measurement of heat retention, the lower he number the better. (better than timber frame)


It is fast to construct.


It is approx up to 30% cheaper than traditional block build.


It is easy to build with.


It has a permanency about it, that makes me feel a lot better.

Shay King's web site to show this method we are going for www.eurozonethermoforms.com

Christmas 2002

 We agreed to go ahead and the second week in January should be the start date. We want to contract Michael Rock from Slane, to do the ground preparation as he is a wizard with leveling and making arenas (very important!) We are going to put geothermal loops under the arena, more on that later. The yard and house will go up at the same time so that the cement can be poured all together. 

Our Proposed


3,400 sq.ft house.


Stable Barn (same construction method as house):


18 stables (with 'half grill' fronts)


Wash room with


Standing stall


Stocks (to examine mares)


Tack room


Feed room


Fodder area/room


20' x 36' covering area


'Five Horse' Walker


Arena 30m x 50m

All the above under cover, except for the arena.

Day-to-Day Diary of the building progress.

Day 1  7th Jan '03 Started to clear off the top soil.

Day 2 to day 6  13th Jan '03 Spent clearing and

Day 7  14th Jan '03 Just as they said in early December, they started. Brendan Kelly (builder) marked out the foundations and Michael Rock started to dig them. Shay arrived to finalize a few things and a new interested party looked on, also interested in building a house and yard in this same way.

Day 8 (picture below) Three cement lorries delivered the first pour of foundations (picture below). Rock worked on making a bank of top soil that will run along the length of the arena. 

Day 9 No builders today so it all felt a but quiet again. But Rock was still working on a pass out to the fields, which was one of those 'extras' that one comes up with !

Day 10 Michael Rock put  hardcore from our hill on the avenue as we have to lessen the steepness up to the site.

Day 11 Only a half day of digger work was done as the weather became very wet . Which means this side of things will have to wait now for quiet a while till things dry out. At least all the important bits were done so the build can start.

Day 12 Monday 20th January. Builders, geothermal company (Climate Master) etc. all arrived. It was decided not to put these loops for the heating system under the arena because it would mean making five trenches of about 1.5m deep which would then need filling with sand first then drainage stone, rather a lot, more than the arena would need. We are placing them west of the house where we have to lay top soil anyhow. We will then do the arena as normal. The place is very wet after the rain so tomorrow it was planed to get hardcore put down to make parking possible for all the workers expected to arrive !  At the moment my  job is to get final figures from Monarch and Buitenhuis, to make a decision as to which suits this project best for supplying stable fronts, windows and horse-walker. They both do a superb product but ordering at this stage means I have to allow a delivery time before the products arrive. Something I had overlooked. I will make a decision in the next few days though.

Day 13 Awful, nothing happened.

Day 14 Much more happened today, Connected the mains for the building, Foundation block work half done for the house, and the yard mostly marked out for the raft foundation. Hardcore delivered (in the wrong place) to make 'getting around the site' easier for those working here.


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