How to Plan a House Renovation in Ireland?

by | Apr 4, 2024

how-to-plan-a-house-renovation-in -Ireland

Thinking about renovating your house in Ireland but not sure where to start? Transforming your living space doesn’t have to be a challenge. With the right plan in place, you can go through different designs, understand legal requirements, and budget considerations effortlessly. 

From the initial concept to the finishing touches, this blog post is your step-by-step guide to planning a successful house renovation. Whether you’re updating a single room or reimagining your entire home, we’ll help you manage your renovation project smoothly and efficiently. 

So, let’s explore how to turn your house renovation ideas into a reality with minimal stress.

How to Figure Out What Basically You Want?

Getting a clear picture of what you want is the first step in any home renovation. Start by deciding on the main purpose of your renovation. Do you want to modernise the outdated features of your home?

 Are you looking to extend the living space to accommodate a growing family? Or is your focus on conserving the historical character of your property? Once you identify your main goal, collect ideas through magazines, websites, and home improvement shows. Create a vision board—either digital or physical—to gather and visualise your ideas. This will help you communicate your vision clearly to any contractors or architects you work with.

Set realistic goals

It’s vital to set achievable goals. These should align with your budget and the time you have available. Start by listing what you want to change and rank these projects by priority. Not everything needs to be done at once. You might decide that renovating the kitchen and bathrooms brings the most benefit and return on investment, postponing other less critical projects for later. 

Break down your budget to see what you can realistically afford without overstretching your finances. Remember, always keep a buffer of around 20% for unexpected costs.

Consider future needs

Plan with the future in mind. If you’re planning to stay in your home for many years, consider what your needs might be as your life changes. Perhaps you’ll need more bedrooms or bathrooms as your family grows. Maybe accessibility will become a priority. If you plan to sell in the future, think about renovations that will increase your home’s market value. 

Updating kitchens and bathrooms, adding energy-efficient windows, and improving insulation are practical improvements that can boost resale potential. Always weigh the cost of any upgrade against its long-term benefit, whether it’s for your family’s comfort or future resale.

How to Budget for Your Renovation in Ireland?

While planning there are four ways to plan renovation. Here they are:

Estimating costs

Creating a budget is your roadmap to a successful renovation. Start by understanding typical costs in the Irish market. For basic updates, such as repainting and minor repairs, budget around €1,000 to €5,000. More extensive renovations, like redoing a kitchen or bathroom, can cost anywhere from €10,000 to €50,000, depending on finishes and appliances. For large-scale projects like adding an extension, the price can range from €50,000 to over €100,000.

Always include costs for permits, professional fees, and clean-up in your budget. A safe practice is to add an extra 10% to 15% on top of your initial estimates to cover any surprises.

Planning for extras

Renovation projects often face unforeseen issues—such as structural surprises, plan changes, or delays. It’s wise to allocate an additional 20% of your total budget for these unexpected expenses. This safety net helps you handle challenges without disrupting the financial flow of your project.

Financing options

Explore financing options to manage costs effectively. The Home Renovation Incentive in Ireland allows you to reclaim VAT (13.5%) on renovation costs ranging from €5,000 to €30,000, potentially saving you up to €4,050.

Additionally, banks offer home improvement loans with competitive rates, which could be a practical option if your savings don’t cover all expenses. Evaluating these possibilities can help you secure the needed funds without stretching your finances too thin.

With a well-planned budget, an allowance for extras, and knowledge of financing options, you’re set to fund your renovation securely. This financial planning ensures that you can focus on achieving the desired outcome for your home without undue stress over money.

What Are the Legal and Regulatory Requirements When Planning a House Renovation?

legal and regulatory requirement for house renovation
How to Plan a House Renovation in Ireland? 4

When you’re renovating your home there are four legal requirements you have to take care :

Building permits and regulations

Knowing legal requirements is essential for a smooth renovation. In Ireland, you’ll need specific building permits, especially if you plan to alter the structure or use of your home. For example, if you’re adding an extension or converting an attic, compliance with building regulations is mandatory. These regulations ensure safety and include rules about fire safety, energy use, and accessibility. 

Additionally, if your home is a listed building or located in a conservation area, you may face extra rules to preserve the historical character of the property. Always check with your local council to get the correct permits before starting work. This step is crucial to avoid legal issues that could delay your project.

Hiring professionals

Hiring qualified professionals like architects, contractors, and surveyors can make a huge difference in the success of your renovation. Look for well-reviewed and recommended experts who have experience with projects similar to yours. 

Make sure they are registered and insured. A good team will help you understand complex building codes and work through any issues that arise during the renovation. They can also handle the paperwork to apply for and secure necessary permits. Working with professionals not only helps ensure that your renovation meets all legal standards but also alleviates much of the stress associated with such projects.

Insurance and safety

Keeping everyone safe and insured is crucial. Before any work begins, make sure that you have the right insurance coverage. This includes updating your home insurance to cover the changes and getting construction insurance to protect against accidents during the work. 

Also, verify that your contractors have their own insurance, which should cover liability for injuries and property damage. Safety is another critical aspect; your team should adhere to all local safety regulations to protect themselves and your property during the renovation. Ensuring these precautions are in place and guards against unexpected financial and legal problems.

How to Design and Plan for House Renovation?

Now, let’s learn how to design & plan while renovating a home. 

Choosing a design style

Aligning your style with your home’s character is key. When selecting a design style, consider both your personal tastes and the architectural heritage of your building. If your home has Victorian features, for instance, you might choose fixtures and decorations that complement its history. 

Conversely, a more modern home might benefit from sleek, contemporary designs. Always enhance the existing structure rather than work against it. This approach not only preserves the character of your home but also often meets local regulations more smoothly, particularly in conservation areas.

Space planning

Effective use of space enhances home enjoyment. Carefully plan the layout of rooms to maximise both utility and comfort. Think about how you move through your house and what you use each space for. Arrange rooms so that frequently used spaces like kitchens and bathrooms are accessible and have enough space. Consider the placement of furniture, the flow of traffic, and the natural light in each room. Good space planning can make small spaces feel larger and ensure that each part of your home is functional and pleasant to use.

Sustainable practices

Adding sustainability is beneficial for both the environment and your wallet. Use energy-efficient materials and appliances to lower your utility bills and reduce your environmental footprint. Consider installing solar panels, using sustainable insulation materials like sheep’s wool, and opting for LED lighting. These choices not only help conserve energy but may also qualify for government incentives, further reducing the cost of your renovation.

How to Select Materials and Technology for House Renovation?

For renovating a home be careful while selecting material and technology.

Material selection

Choosing the right materials is crucial for durability and maintenance. In Ireland’s wet and variable climate, it’s important to select materials that will withstand moisture and not degrade quickly. For example, using water-resistant paint for exterior work or stainless steel fixtures in areas prone to rust can prevent future issues. 

Also, consider the thermal properties of materials; those that help insulate your home can reduce heating costs significantly.

Technological enhancements

Modern technology can significantly enhance your home’s efficiency and comfort. Integrating smart home technology, such as thermostats that adjust automatically and systems that can be controlled via smartphone, can increase your home’s functionality. Energy-efficient systems, like geothermal heating or high-efficiency boilers, are also worth considering. These technologies not only provide comfort but also help reduce ongoing energy costs.

Local resources

Support local businesses and reduce your carbon footprint. Source materials and technology from local suppliers whenever possible. This not only supports the local economy but also reduces the environmental impact associated with transporting goods over long distances. Many Irish towns and cities have excellent local craftspeople and technology providers who can supply everything from handmade tiles to the latest in home automation systems.

How to Manage Timelines and Coordinate With Professionals?

  1. Keeping your project on schedule is essential: Effective timeline management ensures that your renovation runs smoothly and finishes on time. Start by setting a clear timeline with realistic deadlines for each phase of the project, from demolition to the final touches.
  1. Communicate clearly and often with your professional: Make sure everyone, from contractors to suppliers, knows the schedule and what they need to do. Regular meetings can help keep everyone on the same page and allow for adjustments as needed.
  1. Expect delays: While it’s important to stick to a schedule, be ready for unexpected delays, which can come from material shortages, weather conditions, or regulatory issues. Adding extra time into your timeline for these potential delays can help keep things stress-free.
  1. Use technology to help you: Use project management tools and apps that can help you track progress and share updates quickly. This not only keeps you organised but also ensures that everyone involved has the latest information.
  1. Planning carefully and staying adaptable: You can manage your renovation timeline effectively. This proactive approach helps ensure that your project progresses smoothly, even when unexpected issues arise.


Planning a house renovation in Ireland requires clear goals, careful budgeting, understanding legal and design considerations, and managing timelines effectively. By following these steps, you can ensure your renovation project is both stress-free and successful. 

Remember, choosing the right professionals is key to transforming your vision into reality. If you’re looking for expert guidance and support through your renovation journey, consider reaching out to Coastal Homes. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to help you at every step to make your dream home a reality. Contact Coastal Homes today to start your renovation project in Ireland.


Do I need permission for a house renovation in Ireland?

For most renovations in Ireland, you’ll need planning permission, especially if you’re making structural changes or extensions. Always check with your local council for specific regulations and secure the necessary permissions to avoid legal issues.

How much should I budget for a house renovation in Ireland?

Budgeting depends on the scale of the renovation. Minor updates might cost a few thousand euros, while major renovations could exceed €100,000. Include a buffer of 10-20% for unexpected costs.

Are there grants available for renovating homes in Ireland?

Yes, homeowners can avail of several grants in Ireland, such as the Home Renovation Incentive which provides tax relief for significant improvements. Other grants include those for energy efficiency upgrades like the SEAI Home Energy Grant.

How do I choose a contractor for my renovation project?

Select a contractor who is experienced, well-reviewed, and recommended. Ensure they are registered and insured. Verify their previous work and discuss your project in detail before signing a contract.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in house renovations?

Common mistakes include underestimating costs, not obtaining proper permits, overlooking the need for a contingency budget, and hiring inexperienced contractors. Proper planning and expert advise can help avoid these pitfalls.

How long does a typical house renovation take in Ireland?

The duration of a renovation project can vary widely based on the project’s scope. Minor renovations might take a few weeks, while major renovations could take several months to a year. Set realistic timelines with allowances for unforeseen delays.

Building your dream home?

Trust Coastal Homes to make it a reality! Our experienced team of professionals is dedicated to providing top-quality construction services that meet your unique needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services.