All over Ireland, there are properties in need of serious repair and The Great House Revival champions the bravery of those willing to take them on. But restoring old buildings is never easy.
The series charts the highs and lows of such complicated building projects, from tight timeframes to the relentless surprising challenges which older structures generate. Watch it back on RTÉ Player.
Last night, host Hugh Wallace met Frances and Tom Doherty, who have spent months bringing the local doctor's house and dispensary, which had sat empty for years, back to its full health. A Borrisoleigh native, Frances had grown up alongside the stately white house and kept an eye on it until purchasing the property for €67,000 in 2017.
Together with her husband, Tom, the couple’s dream is to create their forever home in Frances’s childhood village. With a coach house and numerous outbuildings, Frances planned to have the project finished in time for her imminent retirement so that she could unwind in style.
Did anyone else see all the vintage magazines (presumably from the waiting room) in the former doctor's surgery on 'Great House Revival' on RTÉ tonight, incl. 1950s Irish magazine 'Woman's Life'? Thankfully the owners appear to have kept them safe. So jealous. #greathouserevival— James Dillon (@noonofday) March 15, 2020
Being a listed building means that strict guidelines and traditional methods will have to be followed and used to bring this property to comfortable living standards, whilst retaining its original quirks and features, even trinkets from the past like women's magazines and advertisements.
When the couple bought the house, it was a sorry sight, with a roof to repair, 23 windows to restore, walls to knock, rotting timbers and decaying bricks to contend with, a collapsing staircase and dangerous working conditions for the building team, their restoration is no simple task.
An incredibly hands-on couple, the pair were involved in every stage of their rebuild, from painting and designing to fretting about a surprise water logging problem.
What a stunning transformation on #GreatHouseRevival tonight! Fair play to them doing so much of it themselves and keeping such fantastic character in the building ??— Catherine O'Mahony (@CatherineMatz) March 15, 2020
Frances and Tom plan to turn their hand to whatever work they can do onsite to help with their budget, which is €240-250k . This means that they will be able to keep a keen eye on the budget while engaging with very part of the restoration process. How will they get on?
Click through the gallery above to see the final results.