irish fascination with converting the garage

My main beef with Irish house designs is that the living rooms are invariably too narrow to accomodate a three seater couch *across *the room which makes for a more sociable seating plan. Also, the fireplaces tend to be too close to the front window (or at least it is in my house and it’s fairly typical) causing all kinds of logistical problems. The other thing with the fireplace is - it’s directly opposite the door from the hallway, which itself is close to the front door. All in all it makes that end of the room extremely draughty, so much so that during the winter months we close it up with draught excluders etc., and inpose a strictly enforced ban on using it! (We have the usual double doors into the kitchen which cause other problems when it comes to layout of furniture!)

Oh for a larger, square room!

Possibly because in the UK they actually value the car as an asset ( that they can enjoy ) rather than buying it for “what is says about them” ?

Ah lads, the UK are equally as bad as us Irish for buying cars as an extension of their wealth - it’s not just an “Irish” phenomenon. Just spend a week down the south of france and you’ll see it on an altogether larger scale with both cars and boats!

Yes - but there is no doubt that they look after them better - ie they actually care about them.

Well with the credit tide gone out I imagine people will take better care of the cars they have got.

I wonder if there will be reconversions to garages if property tax is done by the number of bedrooms?

The Semi-D is the bastard house of this Island and it is the most prolific edifice and I won’t call it a design. Its a failure nothing more.

Amazingly if the vernacular external doors where to simple to open out, there would be neary a draft in Ireland. Since no one has bothered to reassess accepted wisdom which it tunrs out is not wise at all.

From my knowledge it appears mainly the Scandinavians realised that air pressure & wind open’s the seal of an inward opening door systems as opposed to doors systems which open outwards seal is reinforced in the most serious conditions, it working better when its under pressure as the pressure/wind pushes the seal/door against the frame not away making it a tighter seal!

Do you feel stupid now? I did when I discovered this.

Its simple Aerodynamics. Its not rocket science… :angry:

So it wouldn’t matter if your door was Wood, PVC or Aluminum becasue the design is working correctly ias its desinged to work dynamically in its intended environment.

If this was the case no one would ever have had to build that porch on the front of nearly every Semi-D in Ireland would be unnecessary. All those upgrade cost down the line, from WOOD to PVC to Porches and so on would never have arisen.

Amazing really.

I’m going to go out on another limb and say I don’t think British architecture was ever suited to Ireland. I’m not sure they adapted it that much to these environs. Maybe they did. I am not a total expert but our climate is different. Its a lot more subtle than say Scandinavia versus the Med. I am talking, mainly of residential housing.

Its much damper than the main body of the UK. Its an important and with no vernacular tradition other than mud cottages building wisdom is thin culturally here.

Why would you waste a good extension/conversion on a bedroom - what you need is a full blown sound proofed cinema room :laughing:

When I built my house I specified outward opening doors throughout, but found that manufacturers were reluctant to supply as they found that they were getting complaints about wind damage.

As it was only the front door opens inwards, the missus wanted it that way.

I guess the “wind” damage was peopel opening it and not closing it and leaving it swinging and then complaining its broken ?

As a motorcyclist who does most of his own servicing I can vouch for the utility of a garage, even a dinky Irish one.(starter garage? a way to get on the garage ladder?)
A few power sockets are essential in there, though and some insulation doesn’t go amiss.
FWIW, I do not own a Playstation.

Surely it’s got to be the dormer bungalow… God they are awful!

The collective subconscious at work methinks, and obviously not just an Irish phenomenon…

Personally, I would like to be able to get out of the car when it is pissing rain, and unload the shopping at my leisure, without getting soaked. It is not about about protecting the car as much as it is about protecting me and mine from the elements. And I would like it to be large enough to house a proper workroom space, a chest freezer and a mudroom like area, not to mention the families bikes and storage of some stuff that you’d rather didn’t go in a shed. And if it were big enough, then a utility room and pantry could be between the garage space and the door that connects to the house, eliminating the drafts etc. The problem is (as others have pointed out) that like most houses in this country and the UK, we are not deemed worthy enough to have sufficient space to live our lives with ease and comfort unless we are fairly damn wealthy. Or rather we do not deem ourselves worthy enough to have sufficient space to live our lives with ease and comfort, which is why we keep paying above the odds for “3 bed’s” rather than an appropriate price per sq ft/m. :-GC

You have a point, though put like that, I wonder if I’d be better off living in the garage and moving the bike and utilities into the house. :laughing:

No no, it’s the semi D alright.

It makes sense but I’m suddenly stuck with an image of people shouting through the letter box, telling callers to get out of the way so they can open the door. Then again, it could be a very useful weapon when people come canvassing around election time.

I completely agree with you. There is nothing more annoying than having living rooms where they only place you can put the tv is in the corner so you get a crick in your neck turning to look at it. The amount of houses I have looked at that have 20’+ by 13’ living rooms annoys the crap out of me. The tv is in the corner and all the seats are in a row making conversation very difficult. In relation to garages, I am renting a house at the moment that has a double garage that has a separating wall between them. My car (which is large) can be parked inside and all the doors can be opened. It is a godsend when you are putting children in child seats and not get you back drenced when it is pissing rain. I asked the LL why he built it like that and he said that was what there were all like where he used live. (He was in Australia most of his life.)

Our back door at home opens outwards. Damn thing is like a sail in any sort of a wind, unless you hold it and hold it tightly it will slam either against its hinges or into the house. Dynamically that’s not working either. I’d be interested to know how Scandinavians solve that problem. It’s grand on the back door because you can slip in and out quickly, but I wouldn’t want it in a front door where you’d regularly be carrying things in and out from the car. There’s a sliding patio door on the front and an inwards opening front door. No wind problems, no draft problems, no dynamic problems. From a sealing point of view, that means there can be no draft at all, you can open one door and close it before opening the other. That makes it a better sealed solution then a single outwards opening door. (but doesn’t a typical scandinavian house have a small hallway once you enter to take off yoru shoes?, effectively performing the same function as an Irish porch space?)

You’ve also neglected to consider the biggest climatic difference between Ireland and Scandinavia - the level of rainfall. An outward opening door will get wet. If it’s left open for any length of time it’ll get wet on both sides. An inward opening door doesn’t. There’s also an issue with how you design the seal around the top of an outward opening door to prevent water getting in. The much damper climate also means our houses need higher levels of ventilation then Scandinavian houses, constant drafts may push our heating bills up, but without them we run into serious damp problems very quickly.

I’m not clear that their solution is really better than ours.

They mostly live in apartment blocks… :stuck_out_tongue:


I found this ,

Many reasons abound but in modern eco homes it seems to have been kept for drafting reason as I outlined.

Sliding doors are grand in my book. They may have a varied type of hinge is less lightly to get pulled. I don’t have an answer. I’ll try one next time I have the chance.

Why is that ceiling heights get smaller as we get bigger. The Georgions had 15ft ceilings and they where weeny, we are now hitting 6ft, and the ceilings are weeny.