Hottest ar­rival of the sum­mer

Com­ing to market as the tem­per­a­tures picked up, No 57 Manor Grove, is a hot prospect, says Tommy Barker

Irish Examiner - Property & Interiors - - Property -

THE tim­ing of bring­ing No 57 Manor Grove, up in Cork’s Thorn­bury de­vel­op­ment in Rochestown, to market was for­tu­itous. Just as it got a soft launch last weekend, the sun came out, it stayed out, and it was bar­be­cue weather for days af­ter. That’s the sort of din­ing at which No 57 ex­cels, by the way.

Com­pletely de­cep­tive, this cir­ca­late-1980s Mcin­er­ney Homes-built dormer has been a fam­ily home that ap­pears to have grown and ma­tured with its oc­cu­pants, who are now seek­ing to trade up.

Since they ar­rived here at Manor Grove, they’ve taken very much a hands-on ap­proach to home im­prove­ments to suit their life­style and love of outdoor din­ing, and about ten years they ago worked with an ar­chi­tect to add on to the rear, in a very in­di­vid­ual and ef­fec­tive way, knit­ting the in­side with the out­side and de­liv­er­ing a place for all weath­ers into the bar­gain.

They’ve tee-ed a fam­ily room that’s about 14’ deep and al­most 11’ wide to the back of their once-stan­dard build home, off the sim­i­larly sized din­ing room which, in turn, links to the re­vamped kitchen for an im­pres­sive L-shaped fam­ily friendly space, com­plete with sun-room-type bay win­dow with up­hol­stered win­dow seat, all over­look­ing the grav­elled, land­scaped back gar­den.

A pro­ject­ing break­fast bar helps di­vide the func­tional uses of this now en­larged area, and the add-on wing has apex roof lights to bring light into this rear sec­tion, while the end wall and side wall are all glass, with a slid­ing tim­ber door to the gar­dens also draw­ing in light.

Out back, there’s fur­ther de­sign­led innovation, in the way the ex­ten­sion’s roof line and pro­file con­tinue out past the end gable glass wall to pro­vide an all­weather cover and for a-decked bar­be­cue and seat­ing sec­tion, with lime­stone strip-clad low walls. Show­ing adap­ta­tion to the va­garies of the Ir­ish cli­mate, this part-cov­ered area has a wood- burn­ing stove with a flue duck­ing out and just up over the roof ridge, which has a fur­ther apex-glazed sec­tion for good mea­sure.

It all com­bines to pro­vide that oft-sought af­ter ‘outdoor room’, use­able in the rain, the cold, and the heat... and we can get all three on any typ­i­cal Ir­ish day.

It’s taken up quite a bit of the back gar­den’s orig­i­nal area, though (and a num­ber of neighbours along the row have added on also, mostly with wider and less­deep ex­ten­sions) so rather than keep a small lawn, they grav­elled and land­scaped ex­ten­sively out back with a mix of flow­er­ing plants, shrubs, and trees, in­clud­ing ac­ers.

Back in­side, floor­ing in the main liv­ing rooms is in solid tim­ber, with a mix of tile and tim­ber in­sert in the kitchen floor, where units are re­strained plain and un­ob­tru­sive wood, yet con­tem­po­rary.

What also stands out is the level of join­ery in the glazed dou­ble doors, with glazed side pan­els, be­tween the house’s din­ing area and the orig­i­nal 14’ by 12’ front re­cep­tion room, which has a be­spoke low-level shelf and stor­age for TV and var­i­ous satel­lite boxes.

Across the hall from the liv­ing room is a play­room in what was prob­a­bly a sec­tion orig­i­nally set aside for an at­tached garage. This side of the home, to­wards the back, also allows for a util­ity and guest WC off the smart kitchen.

Over­head, this home was re­con­fig­ured to make one ex­tra-sized bed­room out of two smaller ones (room sizes in a lot of the Thorn­bury builds day one was on the com­pact side) so now there’s a mas­ter bed­room that’s 20’ wide by al­most 10’ deep, with built-in robes and ac­cess to an en suite shower room.

There are two fur­ther bed­rooms, the main bath­room has a spa-style bath with over­head shower, and there’s also attic ac­cess for stor­age.

Ac­cord­ing to Florence Gabriel of Sherry Fitzger­ald, No 57 “is a bright, gen­er­ous home which has been fam­ily owned and has been well main­tained from day one, and it shows”.

She guides at €390,000, say­ing that if new own­ers want to put it back to a four-bed con­fig­u­ra­tion in­stead of the cur­rent three it would be eas­ily done.

The Thorn­bury de­vel­op­ment has two sec­tions, one ac­cessed di­rectly off the Rochestown Rd, the other off Coach Hill, which is the ap­proach for Manor Grove. The Price Reg­is­ter shows sev­eral dozen sales across Thorn­bury’s many niches and nooks and house de­signs since 2010, so com­par­isons are dif­fi­cult: The high­est price show­ing to date is €386,000, with five re­sales in the €300,000-plus cat­e­gory since 2015.

Imag­i­na­tively re­worked, No 57 is seek­ing to go a bit stronger still.

VER­DICT: Those who don’t need a fourth bed­room will do best out of No 57’s cur­rent lay­out as the mas­ter bed­room’s a re­ally good size, and the ground floor lay­out is highly ef­fec­tive. Fire up the bar­bie.

Thorn­bury, Rochestown, Cork Price: €390,000 Size: 150 sq m (1,615 sq ft) Bed­rooms: 3-4 Bath­rooms: 3 BER: D1

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