Let there be light: Sigma Homes extension worked wonders at €720,000 Monswood

  • 1 year ago
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12 Monswood, Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown, Co. Cork

12 Monswood

This Rochestown home is definitely not showing its age thanks to ongoing investment by the vendors, writes Tommy Barker
Pictures Ted Murphy – Irish Examiner

Rochestown, Cork



184 sq m (2,000 sq ft)







THE benefit of using an architect when extending a family home is clearly shown in the case of 12 Monswood. The good-sized, four-square family home has come up for sale in a Cork development where resales have always been few and far between.

12 Monswood, Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown, Co. Cork

12 Monswood

The family selling after nearly 20 happy years here extended No 12 at ground level about five years ago. It’s set in the middle of this well-matured, mid-scale Rochestown scheme at the top of Mount Oval of just 33 large detacheds, including some bungalows, which was built about the time the very large 800+ unit (with some more apartments to come) Mount Oval Village development was only getting into its stride.

While the owners of No 12 got the extra internal space they wanted and a top quality space full of light with an easy flow, with a growing family, they’re making the move to a property with masses of outdoor space.

12 Monswood, Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown, Co. Cork

They bought here back in 2002, when Monswood houses were about five years old, built by the well-regarded Westbrook Housing firm. However, they bought off-market, from a sister of one of the couple, so they pretty much already knew everything about the location from family word of mouth and vouched-for approval.

It proved to be everything they’d hoped it would be, and the estate’s layout on the overall 10-acre original site, with several cul de sacs and greens, means good-sized gardens in the main, while planting of the internal approach avenue has lifted it even higher, with a very attractive birch tree boundary a particular feature.

No 12 faces one of those greens and, when they decided to upgrade and extend, they drafted in the services of one of Cork’s now very well-known design and build companies, Sigma Homes. They worked closely with Sigma’s in-house architect Patrick Robinson, who they say managed to get every bit of light available into their extended kitchen.

For example, they credit the architect with proposing a slight angle or kink to the add-on’s far-end glazed section, so that light gets ‘bounced’ or reflected across some of the top four angled glass panes, effectively above the sliding door height, at the start and end of the day, in the extra-height family space, now home to a large corner sofa and with an easy inside-out flow.

12 Monswood, Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown, Co. Cork

The family used Cullen View Interiors for their kitchen fit-out, as well as Celtic Interiors for other built-ins.

12 Monswood, Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown, Co. Cork

The work they tackled in 2016 includes new floors, some vertical-mounted rads, new doors (sliding pocket doors in one instance), skirtings and architraves, so the look and feel is far more contemporary than in the original build.

It was all done on time, on budget and without so much as a hitch, in just 14 weeks, with the family staying in their home during the process, using one of the four first-floor bedrooms as a living room.

The decision to remain in the house during the necessary upheaval was, thankfully, eased by the fact it was done during a very fine summer, they admit, while they also had a few weeks’ holiday for a break away from the building site.

However, they must have been relatively unscarred and unscathed as, after they were handed back their privacy at the end of the 14-week process and after they redid so much of the ground floor, they bit the bullet a second time the next year and replaced doors, skirtings and architraves up at the first-floor level to match.

Gluttons for punishment? No, well worth it, they enthuse.

No 12 has just come on the market with Trish Stokes of Patricia Stokes Auctioneers & Valuers (a new personal business venture for a very well-known estate agent), who guides it at €720,000.

12 Monswood, Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown, Co. Cork

Sliding, glazed pocket doors link the kitchen side to one of the two front reception rooms, each of which has bay windows and coved ceilings, while one has a fireplace and a well-finished oak floor, a match for the oak also in the central hall. There’s a second oak-floored reception room across the hall, with a single, opaque glazed door back to the dining room.

12 Monswood, Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown, Co. Cork

Up a carpeted stairs and off a softly carpeted landing are four bedrooms, one per corner, all with coved ceilings and built-ins. Two of the bedrooms have en suites, and the main family bathroom has neutral tiling and yet another shower, over the bath.

12 Monswood, Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown, Co. Cork

A number of the neighbours have, over time, extended up into the attics of these sturdy Monswood detacheds with roof trusses, allowing easy conversion, and the landing is big enough to allow for a second stairs without eating into any of the four double bedrooms.

Overall condition is mint: it’s a walk in and hang the hat job, says agent Trish Stokes, who adds that the B2 BER is pretty stand-out for a home with roots back to the mid-late 1990s.

That’s down to things such as the insulation upgrades, LED lights, solar panels and a charging point for an electric car.

External maintenance is minimal due to dash and brick finishes, while a section of the extension has well-finished cedar cladding, mounted vertically.

Also, when doing the works about five years back, the vendors went to the extra trouble of adding lots of feature external lighting, on the extension walls as well as above and at ground level. The walled-in back garden is well planted up for privacy, and has lawns and stepping flags, a shed and two different patio surfaces, one demarcated for outdoor dining.

12 Monswood, Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown, Co. Cork

The attention to lighting is carried inside, where there’s funky controllable LED lighting in a created shadow gap in the ceilings by the dining table, made possible after alterations to facilitate the necessary installation of steel RSJs after some of the original internal walls were taken down for the new open plan space: purple for parties and green for St Patrick’s Day festivities, anyone?

VERDICT: Like a brand new home, in a 25-year-old development many in Cork will never have come across before.

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