Forever home: Part 2: The Exterior


So the day finally arrived… The big “clear the site day” and the digging of the foundations!

This all happened in 2 days… We were blown away by how quickly the site changed… And it looked SO tiny… You could literally jump from one side of the house to the other in 5 jumps!

Fondations all poured and first block delivery!!
The wee man getting stuck in…
Random pic of our cornerstone…

Things started moving very fast and within a number of weeks the block work was finished and the roofers moved on site… Exciting!

The roofers have been busy…how they managed with the wind i’ll never know!

We didn’t build on the grip but we were always up at the site meeting with the builder and making choices.

Even though we thought we’d made all the decisions with the architect… We hadn’t really… On this blog I’m going to talk about the choices

Slate: we went for Spanish slate… It’s rougher finish but there are so many choices. You can go for plain terrocotta tile, but I wanted more of a country cottage look.

This picture shows the texture of the slate and also the look with no fascia board…so clean and crisp…you can also see the rough granire sills…

Windowsills: yep lots of choices here… I got overruled on my final decision as I wanted a really rough granite, but the builder suggested that water would gather and it would go green quicker, so I choose a medium rough granite sill. You can go for a plain concrete sill… But again I wanted a more rustic finish.

The granite Sills and the stonework

Field stone: this was a MAJOR decision… When the builder brought me a few samples I felt sick… Totally nothing like I wanted (I feel at this stage poor mark was wondering what he’d let himself in for) so I hit the roads looking at houses, to see what I wanted… Now this was a bit extreme but Rory Best was building beside were we were renting, and his stone was perfect….. I don’t know him from Adam, but I saw him walking his kids in Gilford one day and nearly ran him over as I stopped to ask where he got his stone from (my goodness I would let myself down), he told me to call up to the house and to speak to his foreman…. So we finally got in contact with Trinity stone outside drogheda and got our stone ordered (I would highly recommend these guys, Michael was excellent and the selection was huge, well worth the drive). We used the same stone inside for our fireplace… I personally love it and feel it makes the whole house!

Field stone madness!!
Stone work on the fireplace… we were going to stone the full wall, but so gald we changed our mind as this would have darkened the whole room!

Windows: This was a MAJOR headache for us. Now we were paying a contractor to build us our house, but the Windows we becoming a problem, so the builder let us work away with the architect to sort it out, hence why it took longer and put us back a couple of months…
Long story short, the house was designed for aliuclad windows (due to the double storey window in our kitchen) and we had heard so many bad reports we decided against them. We also didn’t want a big beam running through the middle of the window, so pvc was also out…. UNTIL we found a new pvc window system that was reinforced with steel (I’m probably omitting lots of techincal stuff here but I can answer any questions you might have directly). Our windows were manufactured  by glean and supplied and fitted by JP Duddy in Omagh.
I also wanted a bespoke colour, so that added extra time (and money), but I love how the colour turned out… It’s a lovely putty colour and it matches the field stone so well. I did want a burnt orange front door, but the foot was well and truly put down by the hubby!

Front door and render
Back view of the house as it stands today
Front door of the house as it stands today

Render: We opted for krend. Even now I’m not sure we’ve made the right decision….
If we had of just plastered and painted it, we would have saved money, but then you’d have to keep repainting which would have cost more money in the long term… You get an immediate finish with the krend and I do like the colour (there are lots again to choose from) and when the sun shines there is a lovely shimmer from it. The downside is the  krend is going to get dirty anyway and it’s hard to clean-  you can buy special krend paint but it’s something like £250 a tin (gasp).
So the rendering is a big one… Good luck with this one!!

Fascia: we opted to not put any on… This is a growing trend and I feel it lends itself with a more country cottage look… But again it’s a personal choice!

Lights:  we needed 14 outdoor lights, and they were the last of the items we needed to buy, and by this stage my head was well and truly melted!! I wanted something quite traditional and also something that didn’t break the bank (and to be honest it’s something that can be changed down the line). We went to JR Lighting in Newry, and they had a massive selection… Highly recommend.

So that’s the thoughts and feelings on the outside… Join me on the next blog for all the fun of the inside!!


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