Greystones period home lovingly restored... and the BER rating is a toasty B2
Bushfield House Church Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow: €1.2m
I was living nearby and used to pass the house all the time," says the current owner of Bushfield House, a charming period property located in the centre of the seaside town. "It looked as if it needed a bit of love."
Bushfield House is located in an Architectural Conservation Area, which means that the area is considered to have a special character and be of architectural interest worthy of preservation. At one stage, the house, which is not listed, incorporated two shops - a hardware store and an estate agent - one with an entrance on Trafalgar Road and the other on Church Road.
The original house was built on rock and, during the course of the restoration, the construction team found that the builders had used empty dynamite boxes as risers for the staircase. Waste not, want not.
The current owner says that it was his priority to carry out an impeccable restoration of the property, consistent with best practice in terms of building conservation.
To implement his vision, he retained the services of architect Neville Verdon of SBLM, and builders Higcon, who took on the underpinning and new foundations at the rear of the house.
Securing planning permission and completing the build took 18 months, a consideration for anyone thinking about purchasing a property in need of a significant renovation.
"Good restoration means putting things back the way that they were, to the extent that that is possible," says the vendor. "So where we could find fragments of mouldings, architraves and skirtings, we were able to have these replicated. They were so well done that you would think that they were all original."
The result of this comprehensive restoration is an elegant house with bags of period charm, but all the convenience and comfort of a modern home, including underfloor heating and custom-made triple-glazed sash windows. All the walls have been insulated with a breathable dry-lining system and the BER rating is a toasty B2, surprisingly snug for a period property.
The entrance hall has high ceilings and bespoke floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and there are two large reception rooms to the front of the house, one on either side. Both have original fireplaces and large sash windows.
To the rear is a modern, open-plan kitchen/ dining area, which opens out on to the south-east facing rear garden. The space is light-filled thanks to floor-to-ceiling glazing and a large roof light, and made cosy by a double-sided multi-fuel fireplace that separates the dining area from the television room. The custom-built kitchen has the obligatory island unit, granite worktops and a separate utility room, and the ground floor also has a handy guest loo and under-stairs storage.
A solid wood staircase leads to the first floor, where there are four double bedrooms and a family bathroom. The main bedroom, with views of Bray Head and the coast, is en suite and has a walk-in wardrobe, while the second bedroom looks out towards the Sugarloaf. The floors at this level are all original and restored.
Greystones is having a moment in the sun these days, and seen as one of the most desirable places to live within commuting distance of the city. The town can get so busy with visitors at weekends that the fact that Bushfield House has its own off-street parking for three cars, located behind an electric-gated entrance, is a major plus.
Greystones has good schools and shops, and a plethora of sporting facilities, plus the beach and marina, and there is a nice sense of community about the place.
A fine selection of pubs and restaurants means that, once people are home in the evenings and at weekends, there really is no need to venture back into the city.
Agent: McGovern Estates (01) 287 7088
Viewing: By appointment