Why is the semi d the norm in Ireland ?

Occasionally a thought wanders through my brain and then current one is why is the semi detached house the norm in Ireland. There is to me no logical reason why, having lived in a late 40’s built terraced house in England, apartments in various places, flats and bedsits as well as semi d’s and having grown up on a farm. I don’t know why most people are condemned to semi d heaven if we want an average house. Saying this I must point I don’t live in a anything like a normal house,it qualifies as a bungalow but only just :smiley:

Just wondering :question:

Cheaper to build than 2 detached houses because of the shared wall and roof, but without the potential stigma attached to terraced houses.
In theory you also get direct access to the back garden, which you wouldn’t get with a terraced.

Hi mikewest, insightful post.
It is only when you go abroad you start to realise the grimness you considered normal in an Irish upbringing.
In my own case I remember the strange looks I got when I tried to explain to Swedes the concept of semi-D.
“villor” means detached and “radhus” is terraced - they dont even have a word for semi-D.

As for build quality, a group of mates from Sweden spent a Summer in Dublin in 2000 in both an apartment block in King St. and semi-ds in the suburbs - they simply could not believe the appalling quality of construction - thin walls, draughts everywhere - and these were built not 2 years previously.
Is it a generalisation to say that much of the housing stock built from the late 80’s to early 2000 are sh*t boxes ?
So much for “concrete built is better built”.

The 40’s built terraced house in England had the second best garden of any house I’ve ever lived in with a “private” road to access the back garden" So apart from cheaper for the builder why the fup do we put up with them?

I like the semi d.
So what if they don’t have a word for it in Sweden. In Germany they don’t have a translation for “f*** off” but it doesn’t stop the rest of us from doing it on a regular basis.
I don’t mind a lot of what goes on here (on the pin) and I am a pretty easy going person - but it riles me to see people turning up their noses at what is a standard way of life in this country.
The semi - d is normal in Ireland because people like it. It’s a tried and tested concept that works for this culture and this country.

I can disprove that! In a later post…

Hey - I like the concept - I know what you are getting at!!

Irish people are extremely poor consumers so they take semi-d’s because that’s what they’re given. Just as right now lots of people are buying apartments because that’s what they’re given.

I don’t agree Sharper.
My reasons are communities, kids, and the social aspect of it.
A terraced is too compact - it reminds people who were raised in flats - of flats.
A detached, in the sticks, could not work for a large majority of people for basic social reasons - not near amenities, pubs in particular.
I thought the semi -D I was a European concept, not an Irish one.
I don’t think we settle for less by living in semi d’s, that’s ridiculous.

Are you seriously suggesting if given the choice you would rather listen to your neighbours teenagers:

  • fighting
  • slamming doors
  • playing speed metal
  • spanking their monkeys
    because it is part of our Irish heritage ?!?!?

There is more to my life than an episode of Fair City and a bowl to steaming coddle.
You can keep your Barrytown trilogy and your copy of Bill Cullen’s latest “buke”.

More of a UK thing going by wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-detached

I’m not talking about one off builds in the middle of nowhere but I think most people would go for a nice detached with a decent bit of space around it given the chance. If you look at the US for example that’s the model used outside of urban areas. Who wants to share a wall with random strangers?

It’s also not just the type of housing but also the quality. You’re really not supposed to be able to hear your neighbour take a piss you know.

Either people discuss the various merits / demerits of property types without resorting to assertions about various posters or this thread gets locked.

Seems rather strange Prof that you bring up sound insulation as a point against Semi-Ds as the OP mentions apartments and terraced properties which are worse off generally.

They are absolutely entitled to question whatever they want - and they are absolutely entitled to find it unsuitable for their tastes - what they are absolutely not entitled to do is run down those who are happy with it.

Well there a couple of points on that

-Are they happy with it? As I mention above the fact that people are buying them isn’t necessarily an indication that’s what they want particularly if what they want isn’t available.

-Are they making an informed decision. Are they aware of alternatives and norms for other Western countries? Given the tiny size of Irish houses relative to other countries I have to think not.

That must be your experience prof - and if you think that behaviour is exclusive to Irish people than I can’t say anything more.
There may be more to your life than the Barrytown trilogy and Bill Cullens “buke” but someone watches and someone pays the fkn advertising bill.

Alright, I’ll answer the OPs actual question…

They offered the best margin at the time, then it was apartments and terraced which offered the best margin and presumably with the serious oversupply and the likely lack of major new build, the most margin will be in properties that have some differentiating advantage to the Celtic Tiger housing stock, which might mean detached, it might not…

I remember seeing some estates driving into Sligo town, new builds in 2007 and of course, they were semi-ds and there was alot of space around but at the end of the day, our planning system and patriotic builders tend towards turning the biggest profit rather than developing any good for any social objective.

On the sound insulation thing, I had a heavy rock type party in an apartment once. There were newborn babies in the two properties either side but the only complaint we got was from across the road where the dentists hadn’t been invited to the party! Both neighbours didn’t even know that I had hosted a party! This did not occur in Ireland btw. Our sound insulation standards are below par!

O.K. thanks TUG but is this the only reason. Are we Irish congenitally programmed to accept any old shit thrown at us and called a house ? Or is the this the housing for the unquestioning herd. And before anyone mounts their high horse I’ve lived there as well

Relatively better. From my perspective anyway.

Detached → Semi-detached → Well insulated apartment or terraced gaff

So, really semi-d is the middle of the road? What’s your alternative to these options?

Is there such a thing as a well insulated apartment in this country?

Edit: This seems interesting constructireland.ie/articles/0210sound.php