Renovating an Old House in Ireland: Challenges & Solutions

Matt Keane
January 21, 2023

Transforming a historic property into a modern living space is an exciting and rewarding journey. However, renovating an old house in Ireland comes with its unique challenges. Our comprehensive guide will walk you through the process, helping you understand the costs, grants, regulations, and more.

Why Renovate an Old House in Ireland?

Ireland has many historic properties with unique architectural features and untapped potential. There are several compelling reasons to consider renovating an old house in Ireland:

Preserve Cultural Heritage

Restoring a historic property helps preserve Ireland's rich architectural history and cultural heritage for future generations.

Investment Opportunity

A well-executed renovation can significantly increase the value of your property, making it a sound investment.

Environmental Benefits

Renovating an old house is often more sustainable than building from scratch, as it requires fewer resources and generates less waste.


Renovating allows you to create a space that suits your needs and preferences while retaining the charm and character of the original building.

How Much Does It Cost to Renovate an Old House in Ireland?

The cost of renovating an old house in Ireland varies depending on several factors, including the property's size and condition, the project's scope, and the materials used. On average, you can expect to pay between €1,000 and €1,500 per square meter for a complete renovation. This includes costs such as:

  • Structural Repairs: Addressing issues with the foundation, walls, and roof.
  • Utilities: Updating or installing new plumbing, electrical, and heating systems.
  • Insulation: Improving thermal performance with insulation and draft-proofing measures.
  • Interior Design: Installing new flooring, fixtures, and fittings, as well as painting and decorating.

What Grants and Incentives Are Available for Old House Renovation in Ireland?

There are several grants and incentives available to help offset the cost of renovating an old house in Ireland:

Home Renovation Incentive (HRI)

This scheme offers tax relief on qualifying renovation and improvement works, allowing you to claim a tax credit of up to 13.5% of the eligible expenditure.

Better Energy Homes Scheme

This grant provides financial support for energy efficiency upgrades, such as insulation and heating system improvements.

Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS)

This initiative offers financial assistance for repairing and conserving historic buildings, provided they are listed on the Record of Protected Structures.

What Planning and Building Regulations Apply to Renovate an Old House in Ireland?

When renovating an old house in Ireland, it's crucial to be aware of the planning and building regulations that apply to your project:

Planning Permission

While many renovation works can be carried out without planning permission, some changes may require approval, especially if your property is a protected structure or located in an Architectural Conservation Area.

Building Regulations

Your renovation project must comply with Ireland's Building Regulations, which cover aspects such as structural safety, fire safety, energy efficiency, and accessibility. Ensure that your renovation plans adhere to these standards, and consult a professional if you're unsure.

Conservation and Heritage Considerations

If your property is a protected structure or within a designated conservation area, you may need to obtain additional consent for any alterations that could affect its character or setting. Work closely with conservation officers and heritage specialists to ensure your project is compliant.

How to Design and Construct Your Renovated Old House?

Successful renovation projects require careful planning, design, and execution. Here are some key steps to consider:

Assess the Property

Begin by thoroughly assessing your property and identifying any structural or maintenance issues that must be addressed.

Develop a Design Brief

Outline your goals, preferences, and requirements for the renovation, taking into account your budget and any planning or building regulations.

Consult Professionals

Engage architects, engineers, and contractors experienced in renovating old houses in Ireland to help you develop and refine your design and ensure that your project complies with relevant regulations.

Obtain Quotes

Request detailed quotes from multiple contractors, comparing their cost, quality, and timeframe proposals.

Oversee Construction

Carefully manage and monitor the construction process, ensuring that the work is carried out to a high standard and in accordance with your design and regulatory requirements.

Contact BuildTech Today for Your Renovation Project

At BuildTech, we specialise in designing and constructing beautiful, functional, and sustainable homes. Our experienced team can guide you through every stage of renovating an old house in Ireland, from initial assessment and design to construction and completion. Contact us today to discuss your renovation project and discover how we can help you bring your vision to life.

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