Poynzpass, Newry

My name is Ian, I live in Poynzpass just on the outskirts of Newry, Northern Ireland, with my two pigs, Joe and Seb. 

What was your home improvement project


I bought this property once my two children went to University and no longer needed to be in the centre of town. The property is a detached, 2 storey home with an additional external outhouse/ old barn to the rear of the property. 

Why did you decide to do this work?


I deliberately bought to renovate, the entire property needed updating and modernising. Due to the old farmhouse walls of the main property being 2'6inch solid stone walls, the entire structure held onto moisture and damp. At the price I bought it for, it was a good investment, I have previously renovated numerous properties and so, I was no stranger to solid stone walls and damp issues. 


How did you manage this project? 

I managed it myself whilst living in at the property. As I previously said, I've managed numerous home improvement projects and so it seemed like a logical move. 


How did you approach planning and how was the whole process?


I didn't submit any Planning applications because of the nature of the works, it came under permitted development and remedial works. 

How long did the project take? 

The whole project lasted 18 months, with additional works added on top as I went along and uncovered unexpected issues, such as adding in a septic tank. 


Did you stay in the property while the work was being done? 

I stayed in the property and moved from room to room undertaking different DIY tasks which I could whilst the contractors were working elsewhere. 


 What would you do differently if you were to do it again?


Already planning my next move! I do suggest finding a trustworthy tradesman because you have to put a lot of trust in them to complete the project, within the timeframe and on budget. 


What advice would you give someone looking to do a similar project?

Get a few quotes from different contractors, invite them to the property and take note of what they suggest.  The prices may vary from each contractor but do not go for the cheapest option as normally this suggests they haven't thought of the project as a whole.