When Sarah Clarkin bought number 36, Brian Boru Avenue in Clontarf in May 2015, it was a one-bedroom unit, as many of the surrounding one-storey cottages are.
Built as homes for tram workers, its layout needed consideration. The bedroom, for example, was windowless, so technically not a bedroom as having a window, not a rooflight, is one of the stipulations of current building regulations. Accessed via steps the kitchen, while large and separate to the living room, was set to the back of the house with no connection to the living room.
She and husband Mike Gaskin, who met as students at Trinity College, paid €195,000 for it according to the property price register, which by today’s market standards seems like a steal.
She was just 24 years old. But it wasn’t plain sailing, for shortly after they had moved in the roof fell in. This had to be addressed immediately and at the same time they rewired and replumbed the property.
Since then, she’s climbed the career ladder as head of social media for the Together for Yes campaign and for the campaign to re-elect Michael D Higgins as president. She is currently communications co-ordinator at the National Women’s Council.
It meant any further renovation plans were put on hold until recently, when the couple engaged The House architects to reconfigure the layout to give them an extra room.
While windowed and big enough to accommodate a single bed, it overlooks a small internal courtyard. This second space is almost five square metres in size, which is below the minimum floor area of 7.1sq m required under the regulations.
It is, however, plenty big to be used as a nursery, which suited the couple who welcomed their daughter Penelope a year ago. It is also really valuable as a home office, where you can close the door and shut out home life should you need to take video calls.
These recent works included levelling out the floors to create the same floor levels throughout.
It now opens into an open-plan living room cum kitchen where the ceiling height is 2.8m and the space is dual aspect thanks to southern light pouring in the front window, and more light washing into the kitchen from the staggered roof lights above.
A redbrick feature wall, made of reclaimed brick ends, warms the chimney breast and the marine blue kitchen units have been set in a u-shape to accommodate a breakfast bar cum island and have smart white quartz-look laminate countertops.
Underfoot is an oak-look laminate floor.
There is a compact shower room opposite the nursery and the main bedroom is now positioned to the back, where sliding doors open directly out to a small yard with pedestrian rear access.
The new layout gives you a home in walk-in condition, where all the works have been signed off on, leaving the next owner free to enjoy the sea, sand dunes and even wild swimming on hand along Clontarf’s linear coastal park.
Situated in a cul-de-sac, there is a lovely local pub, Pebble Beach, aka Grainger’s nearby, and the shops, café and restaurant culture of Clontarf’s chichi Vernon Avenue is less than a ten-minute walk away.
There are numerous buses that will take you into the city centre. The nearest Dart station at Clontarf is a bracing 20-minute walk away.
Now in walk-in condition the property, which extends to 48sq m and has a D2 Ber rating, is asking €475,000 through agent Karen Mulvaney Property. The same agent most recently also sold number 44. In need of complete modernisation, the 35sq m home, with a G Ber rating, sold for €305,000 in February 2020, according to the property price register.