Teach Nollaig
Alternative Housing in Ireland: Tiny, Eco and a Little Bit Different

I have been doing lots of looking at Tiny Houses online recently, and it got me thinking about what types, shapes and sizes of them there may be here in Ireland. Invariably most of the pictures of Tiny Houses that I see on the internet are from the US, or occasionally some from Europe.

Here’s some of the places I found. Whilst not all qualify as Tiny Houses per se, each of them captures an aspect of the movement and its generally sustainable green ethos. I have no financial link to any of the below.

Teach Nollaig

Noel built his own small house on wheels. It’s pretty damn cool.

His Facebook page is well worth checking out for updates on the downsized life, including Tiny House workshops that have been taking place in Ireland. Very cool stuff.

Teach Nollaig

Teach Nollaig – Source

Timber Frames in the Vernacular Tradition

Home builder and architect, Peter Cowman has been designing and building houses in the vernacular tradition for many years both here and abroad. His website is full of great resources on the type of work he is involved with, aswell as writing on the relationship between between our lives and homes.

The concept of and accessibility of ‘Sheltermaking’ and the integration of this into our lives are central to the idea of a home as shelter for body and mind, but also a place that can represent the focus of our dreams, personality, and soul. Somewhere affordable that we do not have to swap large chunks of life to obtain.

I personally know Peter and have found his two Sheltermaker Manuals to be fantastic resources for gaining a grounding in many aspects of natural & self-building. He forwarded me this great radio interview he recently did, outlining the real meaning of Sheltermaking – the connection between heart, happiness, life, and home. I will be attending his Sheltermaker workshop in March 2016.

Irish Vernacular under construction

Irish Vernacular under construction

The house below was built by architect Dominic Stevens in the vernacular tradition. It took him 50 days to build, which he did over a period of two years. The total cost came to €25,000. His website relating to the build is full of great plans and guides that can be download by anyone interested. Very useful and informative, particularly relating to timber frame construction.

Irish Vernacular Source

Irish Vernacular – Source

Tiny Homes

Ireland now has a dedicated Tiny Homes maker at http://www.tinyhomes.ie/. Great news for anyone who is interested alternatives to the conventional. Nice website and exciting news for people who are interested in Tiny Houses in Ireland.

Tiny Homes Ireland

Loghouse Ireland now also offer a small home that could be used as a generous extension or stand-alone unit.

Bealtaine Cottage

The project to turn this small holding into a ’little Eden’ began in 2004. The before and after photos speak for themselves. Built along permaculture guiding principles the gardens now produce a surplus of year round food. An inspiration for many people and a true example of what a vision and dedication to a cause can produce. The website is a bit of a joy to wander about.

Bealtaine Before

Bealtaine Cottage Before (2004) – Source


Bealtaine After

Bealtaine Cottage After – Source

Mud, Wood, and Yurts

http://www.mudandwood.com/ – this website is run by couple Colin Ritchie and Féile Butler, with lots of great looking courses on offer by them relating to timber frame and cob construction. Their timber frame cob house is a thing of real beauty.

Inch Hideaway – I stayed there in yurts last year – a tranquil slice of the countryside tucked away in South West Ireland. Colleen and others offer courses in Pizza oven making. I ate so much pizza I pretty much passed out.

Tiny Apartments in Dublin

Quite apart from smaller do-it-yourself type projects the number of micro apartments in urban areas are also on the rise, particularly in Dublin. Purpose-built small and micro apartment complexes are already common in mainland Europe, Scandanavia, and even more so in Asia. Given the current property prices and rent fiasco in Dublin, high quality smaller properties would be an attractive option for many.

All-in-one apartments

All-in-one apartments – Source

If you know of any others in Ireland, leave a comment or send an email. I would love to know of others here on my doorstep.

Update 15/02/16

Here are some more interesting resources I came accross.



Irish Association of Self-Builders

Wow, there’s a lot of stuff on this one. Many properties for inspiration.

6 thoughts on “Alternative Housing in Ireland: Tiny, Eco and a Little Bit Different”

  1. Ellen Hanna says:

    I know that folk who were brought up in a small house now lives in a many roomed one. As I pass I wonder what they do with all of them.

    1. earthworldjim says:

      Hi Ellen,
      Yeah I suppose it depends on how they use the space and how many are in the house. I seem to prefer smaller spaces for some reason, and loved living in a small cabin a few years ago. Some cool stuff going on out there that’s for sure!

  2. Mags says:

    Oh my gosh, thanks for this!!! I was aware of Peter Cowmans property having passed it regularly and Bealtine aswell but the rest-epic!!! I am on the track now to start down this road soon please God! I cannot wait! I am looking into a cob or tyre earthmound structure. i have so many ideas for both internal and external design!! Just have to save up for the land, its pretty good quality here so that may take a while-but good things both come in small packages and to those who wait!!! Hope this movement increases here. it would be AMAZING!!!

    1. earthworldjim says:

      Hi Mags,
      Yeah Peter’s place is pretty great, I have never been to Bealtaine but it looks amazing from all the photos. Good for you – sounds exciting, and similar to what I want from a home. I’ve been thinking a lot about building my own place these days, it is still a bit away in the future – it’s a journey for sure. I would love to hear more about your plans and ideas. I have been taking some photos of places I come across for inspiration. The guys at mudandwood might be able to help you out?

  3. joe says:

    interesting stuff! great blog

    1. earthworldjim says:

      Thanks Joe!

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