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RTÉ One,Sunday, 9.30pm
Dermot Bannon: Architect

Programme 4 - Donnybrook

Room to Improve

Business analyst Emily Lavelle her husband Ashley Hayes, who works in IT, and their three kids live in what would appear to be an ideal home: a large Victorian terraced house in the highly sought-after Dublin suburb of Donnybrook.

The house, originally owned by Emily's father, has been in the family for 40 years. Emily herself lived here when she was a student at nearby UCD.

Structurally, the house is much as it was when Emily and Ashley took up permanent residence 14-years-ago. Apart from knocking through a few dividing walls and refurbishing the living room, they haven't done much to the place, and it shows.

The legacy of two flats and three bedsits, a cold dark kitchen and a frustratingly disjointed layout means that the house doesn't feel at all like the home Ashley and Emily desperately want it to be.

Architect Dermot Bannon's challenge will be to reclaim the old boarding house and its crumbling back yard to create a warm and welcoming family home. But with the clients describing his plan for an enclosed courtyard as a 'roofless conservatory' and a 'waste of space' along with old house filled with unpleasant surprises from rotting floor joists to a collapsing boundary wall and an old shed roofed with hazardous asbestos, the budget is under pressure right from the start.

In order to save money on the build, the family opt to live upstairs throughout the construction - a decision that brings complications they hadn't bargained for.

With holidays interrupting the decision-making process, endless delays and disastrous weather, builder Simon Chamberlayne worries that he and his crew will be 'eating Christmas dinner on site'.

For more information on the new series of Room to Improve please contact Jane Wardrop at COCO Television on 01-4970817 or email info@cocotelevision.ie

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