RTÉ One,Sunday, 9.30pm
Dermot Bannon: Architect

Programme Five - Firhouse

Room to Improve

Jimmy and Ursula Frawley's home at Firhouse in Dublin is as architect Dermot Bannon describes, 'jaw-dropping for all the wrong reasons.'

Desperate for more space, the couple engage Dermot, who much to Anne's consternation - suggests a separate extension finished in agricultural cladding to match the local rural landscape. Even as construction gets underway, Dermot's vision of the 'shed' - something Anne fears will end up looking like a farm building - remains almost impossible to sell to his clients.What started off as a standard 3-bed semi, was extensively remodelled - before the Frawley's bought it seven years ago - into a fifteen room, partially sectioned-off, two-staircase 'Frankenhouse' with a separate guest wing and a draughty conservatory.

Disjointed and chaotic, only a few rooms in the house are used by the Frawleys and their four children - one of which is taken up by Jimmy's pride and joy - a huge snooker table which he plans to keep, no matter what.

Dermot suggests a complete ground floor and first floor reconfiguration of the internal structure, but the ambitious plan is limited by a 118 thousand euro budget that demands the retention of existing windows, which, as he says, 'represent everything about windows that I hate'.

Meanwhile, to the architect's horror, Jimmy insists on a kid-friendly 'circus-themed' colour scheme for the internal walls. Desperate to encourage the couple to retain a muted palette and let the family's personality shine through via furnishings and artwork, Dermot takes them to see a minimalist architect-designed house in Dublin 4, but the Frawleys will be hard to convince.

With the budget already tight, a series of catastrophic health and safety issues emerge including unsupported bay windows and a first floor that's effectively supported by four bolts in the rafters of the ground floor ceiling.

Can Dermot turn this architectural nightmare into the dream family home?

Watch this episode of Room to Improve on the 15th December 9.30pm on RTÉ ONE.

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

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