External insulation for a bungalow and a Log Cabin, Co Meath

It all started when Joe approached us regarding the house survey. He was looking on few options to buy a house and he was anxious to get a second opinion.

We did a site visit and had a good look at the house. There was few problems but nothing really stood out. And the house had a C1 rating. Everything was freshly painted and new floors. It was hard to say if that was just to get a sale or to hide something…

But location was perfect – very private and lots of space. Perfect for Joe’s family.


As one of the projects we spoke was to build a one bed “granny flat” for Joe’s parents to have their place on their own. But still attached to the house at close proximity.

He had a nice decking area at the end of the house and the idea was to build a Log cabin with doors out to the decking so the main house and the cabin would share the same decking . Of course the existing deck was pretty much absolute and rotten beyond any chance to repair. We agreed to install a new composite decking once the cabin is in place. Log cabin was supplied by My Cabin with upgraded windows and doors to uPVC  (with Rehau frame profile). Cabin’s base frame was made on the pillars with steel RSJs as main cross beams and 7×2 joists in between them.

The other job was to upgrade the existing percolation system. So many times we came across the same problem – a perforated pipe just laid underground without a proper soakage solutions or membrane and over time it just clogs up and that’s it…. And we had a pretty high water table in the property.  We made a semi-raised percolation and we still got away with gravity from the septic tank. Just needed 100 tons of extra topsoil to finish it right and percolation turned out perfect!

After Joe bought the house and lived for 4 month, he noticed that house walls were getting condensation on the inside.  Once you started to use heating during the winter, it brought up all the insulation problems. Or better – no insulation.  The cold from outside and warm from inside created a perfect cold bridge for condensation to appear.  To tackle the problem we recommended insulating house from outside. It would cure all the bad seals around the existing windows. When we insulate house, we remove existing reveals and replace them with reveals from insulation. And we install new insulated windowsills to achieve a total wrap. The best thing about the external insulation is that you don’t lose any floor space inside and your cold block walls become a warm part of the house protected from the cold. And no interruption to you living space – no mess inside the house, no shifting units or wardrobes and redecorating rooms…


The front of the house was getting a new insulated composite door. So it was installed first prior the house insulation. When we took out the existing door it opened the cavity in the wall and there wasn’t a single drop of insulation between the blocks.

No wonder the house had a serious thermal bridging problem.


Insulating the house from outside it gave a chance to level out all walls, to make sharp angles and to hide any uperfections to give the house completely fresh look!

There was an issue regarding the drainage at the driveway side. We created another soak-a-way and installed a drainage solution around the house. So any rain water running down the driveway would be channelled away through the perforated pipe to the new soak-a-way. Obsoletely ready for those bad showers during the winter now!

Heating wasn’t on our cards from the start, Joe had a local plumber to replace the old oil burner and to connect the boiler house with hot press. But after a very bad experience he asked us to finish the job. Plumber never did any proper pressure testing and heating system was losing pressure.  We located 6 leaks and half of them were in the new pipework.  And we split the heating system with motorized valves in 3 zones. Installed manifolds above the floor level in hot-press to avoid any possible connections under the floor.  Programmable timeclock and future proofing for  solar thermodynamics to be installed.


Please be careful with “cowboy” tradesmen and don’t be lazy to check the previous jobs and talk to previous clients before committing to somebody.

It will save you the money at the end…


Enjoy the gallery!