Thursday 13 December 2018

Wexford hurler selling his Dublin home on the leafy banks of the Tolka

Successful transformation for modest end-of-terrace in Glasnevin, writes Katy McGuinness

10 St Ita’s Road in Glasnevin looks over the leafy banks of the River Tolka
10 St Ita’s Road in Glasnevin looks over the leafy banks of the River Tolka
The extension to 10 St Ita's
The dining area
The open plan kitchen and dining area.
The terrace overlooks the River Tolka and Griffith Park

THROUGH his firm Model Construction, Tomás Waters, the Wexford county hurler, has proven that he is able to make the grade with property development as well as on the pitch. He and his wife Maria are currently selling their home at 10 St Ita’s Road in Glasnevin for €595,000, having acquired it four years ago for €200,000, according to the Property Price Register.

What this differential doesn’t reflect is the sheer amount of work and the extent of the improvements put in in the meantime, including a generous and colourful riverfront extension which looks over the leafy banks of the River Tolka that runs alongside the property. The extension and the outdoor patio platform both offer the perfect spots to keep an eye out for kingfishers, otters, salmon and brown trout that live on the river.

Back when they bought it the rundown condition of the house meant that Tomas and Maria were not able to live there immediately, so they took their time considering the options that were open to them in terms of refurbishing and extending the house to provide a much improved home, but also to add value.

The result can only be described as a dramatically successful transformation.

St Ita’s Road is tucked away behind the pretty terraced houses on Botanic Avenue and lies within easy reach of Croke Park Stadium, Glasnevin Village, Drumcondra Village and The Botanic Gardens.

On the other side of the river is Griffith Park, which is lovely all year round, but particularly colourful at the moment; there are views across to the park from the new open-plan kitchen/living/dining space in the extension and from the outdoor terrace onto which this opens. The park is popular with local families and dog-walkers.

The extension to 10 St Ita's
The extension to 10 St Ita's

When Tomas and Maria purchased Number 10 back in 2014, they could see the potential in the modest house, and the fact that the site allowed enough room to add a substantial extension. They did not employ an architect, but Tomas’ experience in construction meant that he was able to design the extension and prepare construction drawings himself.

Although the couple considered the possibility of adding a two-storey extension, which would have required planning permission, in the end they decided on a single storey extension, and, as it was under the 40 sq m (430 sq ft) limit and to the back of the house, it did not require permission.

Waters, who first made the Wexford senior team in 2009, designed the extension so it could take either a second storey or a roof terrace at a later point (subject to permission). He made provision, for instance, for the roof light in the extension to be easily moved should  new owners wish to add another floor at some point.

Having his own construction company meant that Waters was able to do the building work himself, and since completion he has used the house and extension as a “show house” for his work.

The dining area
The dining area

What was a small two-up, two-down house now has a much more generous 1,206 sq ft of living space, with three bedrooms ­— two doubles and a single — and a bathroom on the first floor. The hall and upstairs landing are light and bright thanks to strategically placed Velux windows.

But it is on the ground floor where the house is most impressive.

The extension features floor to ceiling windows, Velux windows and a skylight that floods the space with light. A large central island differentiates the kitchen/dining area from the living space.

The custom-built Hacker kitchen was designed to fit the space and is fitted with integrated Miele appliances and one of those Quooker instant hot water taps that inspire almost religious fervour in homeowners who have dug deep and had one installed.

The open plan kitchen and dining area.
The open plan kitchen and dining area.

The dining area is roomy enough to accommodate a table for eight people, next to extra-large sliding doors that open out to the terrace, with its views over Griffith Park.

Off the kitchen, in the original part of the house accessed through double doors, is the living room, fitted with built-in surround sound speakers. This room, like the extension, is fitted with underfloor heating.

As one would expect in a house for a builder’s own use, much attention went into the energy efficiency, which now has an impressive BER of B3 thanks to insulation in all external walls and over the entire roof.

The Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin are one of the area’s best-known amenities, but the delights of the cemetery have become more widely appreciated in recent years, and tours around the final resting places of some of its famous residents are now popular.

The terrace overlooks the River Tolka and Griffith Park
The terrace overlooks the River Tolka and Griffith Park

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