From the 1970s to the 21st century - in eight weeks


Gerard Masterson had done very little with his four-bed semi-detached 1950s family home at 13 Serpentine Park in Sandymount, Dublin 4 since the 1970s.

When he decided to sell, one hard look at his beloved home revealed that "it did not meet the standards demanded by today's discerning housebuyer. Once I had admitted to myself the need for a refurbishment, my pride drove me to do full justice to the house's true potential and make sure that it was seen in its best light."

Gerard got the experts in and, with interior designer Gwen Kenny and refurbishment consultant Thomas McGrath, he set out a plan to "pull it out of the 1970s time warp in which it had become fossilised and bring it right up to the 21st century".

Over an eight-week period all 112sq m (1,200sq ft) of number 13 was stripped back to its bare skeleton and a team of plumbers, carpenters, gardeners, electricians, plasterers and painters were called in. A separate toilet and bathroom were converted into one large stylish family bathroom. A downstairs cloakroom was turned into a guest bathroom and extra storage space was inserted under the stairs.

The old-fashioned yellow and brown kitchegot new modern kitchen units, floor tiles and kitchen appliances. A full-length picture window makes it bright and looks onto the newly landscaped garden.

The interconnecting livingroom and diningroom are decked out in soft yellows and creams, which complement the 1950s fireplaces giving them a retro rather than dated feel. The once dark house is now bright, with extra light gained from adding a sliding door in the diningroom and glass panelled doors in all downstairs rooms.

Gerard estimates that the work cost in excess of €75,000, with curtains and carpets costing an additional €10,000. "When various other costs were factored in the total did not fall too short of the €100,000 mark," he said.

He readily admits that he didn't know what he was letting himself into at the start of the project. "They were probably the most stressful eight weeks of my life, as the house literally became a building site. But thankfully, everything eventually fell into place. My only regret is that I did not carry out the work sooner, so that I would have a longer period to enjoy the fruits of my labours. Most people are dumbfounded when I tell them I am selling, wondering why anyone would want to move from such a beautiful house."

13 Serpentine Park, Sandymount, Dublin 4 will be sold by auction on Wednesday May 5th. Selling agent Bennetts is guiding €925,000.