Deceptive Dundrum bungalow goes underground for €1.295m

The owners dug deep to make this formerly ‘non-habitable’ site an energy-efficient wonder

  • Address: Woodview, 70 Sandyford Road, Dundrum, Dublin 16
  • Price: € 1,295,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

All that remains of the previous property on the site at 70 Sandyford Road in Dundrum are two window lintels – now repurposed to frame a winter jasmine in the garden.

An engineer’s report for the old house – documented in the planning section of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown council – states that the two-bedroom property was “non-habitable with no proper heating, bathroom or cooking facilities” and had severe subsidence and cracks due to the lack of foundations, with a “garage on the verge of collapse”.

Despite all this, it took the current owners – working with architect Grainne Mallon – four attempts over the course of 18 months to achieve planning for their new home.

One of the conditions was that the new structure had to blend into the streetscape – meaning the roofline must sit level with the single-storey ridges on either side.

“I knew then if we couldn’t go up we had to go down,” says the owner, and exactly that was achieved with the new build – completed in 2016.

“We dropped the house by 4m. The site was sloped anyway which helped with the new design, and as we had dug down 550ft for the geothermal heating system we knew there was no bedrock to contend with.”

What has replaced the old 70sq m (753sq ft) bungalow is now a 316sq m (3,401sq ft) house over three storeys with a Ber of A3.

From the roadside it still appears as a modest bungalow – it is only from the rear that it becomes apparent that this house is almost five times larger than the original property.

At hall level is a livingroom, master bedroom and a large triple-aspect open-plan dining/living/kitchen area overlooking the rear garden. This open-plan space has French windows out to a covered balcony allowing the barbecue to be used in all weathers.

The room is warmed by a Contura stove “which we rarely use as the house is so warm, but we saved almost €2,000 by importing it and a Stovax cassette stove [used in a livingroom at garden level] from Wales, even after taking in the cost of transport and the sterling rate at the time”, say the owners, who have decided to downsize.

Upstairs is occupied by a spacious bedroom set into the roofline. This room has a good-sized en suite and dressing area.

The garden level – dug out during construction – is tanked to prevent dampness. Here there are two further bedrooms, a good-sized utility and a large familyroom – complete with snooker table.

The A3 energy rating is a considerable achievement for a house of this size and it “costs in the region of €6.50 a day to run”. The entire house has underfloor heating and high-performance NorDan windows.

The gardens have been planted with bamboo hedging, Virginia creeper and hornbeam, and feature electric gates to the front.

Sherry FitzGerald is seeking €1.295 million for Woodview, which is in turnkey condition and lies a few minutes’ walk from both Dundrum shopping centre and Balally Luas stop.