It is advisable to discuss any boundary work you propose to undertake with your neighbour, or neighbours, depending on its possible visual impact. Photograph: Thinkstock

QI have been living overseas for a number of years and in that time rented a house in south Dublin to tenants. I returned in recent months, and for me(...)

It cannot be assumed that low levels of lead in test results indicate the absence of lead pipework. Photograph: Thinkstock

Q As a pregnant woman with young children, I am particularly concerned about the recent media reports surrounding dangerous lead readings in d(...)

Planning an extension: Try to ensure that, prior to committing to the actual build, the design meets, as much as possible, their current and future requirements. Photograph: Thinkstock

Q My house insurance is currently up for renewal and I am trying to figure out the cost to rebuild. It is a Dublin semi-detached four-bed. The widt(...)

One of the house rules for a development says: “No animals which cause a nuisance and no dogs.” But what is the status of this “rule”? And has it any legal weight? Photograph: Thinkstock

Q We live in a small development in Dublin that is effectively all apartments. Each property has its own hall door to the street so there are no li(...)

Inspectors  get a closer look at a damaged balcony that collapsed at Library Gardens Apartments in downtown Berkeley, California killing six students. Photograph: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Six Irish students were killed after the fourth floor balcony of an apartment in Berkeley, California, collapsed. The balcony became detached from the(...)

There is no legislation in Ireland regulating the height of trees or hedges and there is no right to sunlight or natural light to your garden

QI have a very small garden which I frequently sat in and enjoyed, but not any more as the sun no longer reaches it. My neighbour, who has a massive g(...)

For sale: but are all buyers welcome?

Cash sales are a familiar part of the landscape when it comes to second-hand goods. But houses? It caught The Block’s eye recently when a number of pr(...)

Fortunately, the installation of solar panels on domestic properties is exempt from planning permission under the Planning and Development (Amendment) Regulations 2007, subject to certain conditions.

QI am considering installing solar panels on the roof of my home. Do I need planning permission for this and are there any restrictions or limitations(...)

During warm, humid weather, wood expands, during dry weather it contracts. In winter, when homes are heated and the air is dry, wood flooring gives up some of its moisture and therefore shrinks. Photograph: Thinkstock

  Q I have been renting an apartment for the past five years. I have enjoyed living in this apartment since I moved in and there(...)

It is the responsibility of the landlord to register the tenancy with the PRTB, whether he does this himself, or has the letting agent do it on his behalf. Photograph: Thinkstock

QMy wife and I were renting a house in North Dublin for some time, however we recently vacated the property due to the fact that I found a new job whi(...)