A couple have chosen to build their home almost entirely of wood in a unique and imaginative style.

Carpenter Donie Corcoran and his wife Mary have designed and built their own home. The wooden house has a sedge reed thatched roof, the only part of the build with which they had help.

They say there's no place like home. Well, there's certainly no place like Donie and Mary Corcoran's home.

Donie and Mary Corcoran had no house building experience when they embarked on the project. Mary says they wanted something traditional but different. They wanted the house to blend into its environment.

The first year was spent digging foundations. Then the walls and the chimney went up. Halfway through the build, disaster struck when the roof was blown off by 100 miles an hour winds.

When I came out in the morning, the roof was on the ground.

The couple were determined and had no other choice but to start rebuilding. Donie Corcoran says a lack of experience in house building was why the roof blew off.

All the materials used in the construction are Irish including a front door made from railway sleepers, pitch pine flooring from Odlums disused mill in Cork, branches from beech trees, and native lap larch on the outside.

The original plan was to use slate on the roof but in the end the couple went with thatch to allow for a more curved roof. Donie Corcoran learned the trade of thatching while the thatcher worked. The thatched roof has a life expectancy of around 30 years before it will have to be replaced.

As a carpenter, Donie Corcoran dabbled with carvings around the house. Mary was very hands on throughout the project and has "fine hands" to show for her hard work.

While most of the house is wooden, the fireplaces are made from local stone and bricks. They wanted to bring as much of nature as possible into the inside of the house.

They have been asked if they are interested in selling the house. However, Donie says it is still not finished. Mary adds,

I suppose we'll never be finished.

Not content with building their own home, Donie Corcoran has also built much of the furniture in a restaurant and wine bar owned by Mary and her business partner. Again, natural materials were used similar to those used in their home.

This episode of 'Evening Extra' was broadcast on 5 March 1987. The reporter is Kevin Linehan.

'Evening Extra' was a nightly magazine programme which ran from Monday to Friday at 7 pm dealing with current issues and people in the news. The first episode was aired on Monday 13 October 1986 and it ran for 278 shows over 2 years until the final show on 29 April 1988. The programme had numerous presenters and reporters including Siobhan Cleary, Richard Crowley, Bibi Baskin, Aonghus McAnally and Shay Healy.