Opening the door to better design

logo_riaiWhen Russell and Cliona Fitzsimons were looking for a new home for their growing family they viewed houses with extensions but were not impressed by what they saw. “We got very disillusioned because many of them were badly laid out and many seemed to be rooms thrown on as an afterthought and were not thought through,” says Cliona. “They say that an extension will add value – and lots of people were asking an extra 50,000 for them – but they won’t if they are not done right and would need to be pulled down.” So then the couple widened their search to homes without extensions, with a view to adding one themselves. They found two houses in Castleknock: a three-bed semi on a quiet street and a larger house on a main road. They decided to get advice from an architect about the feasibility of reconfiguring the existing spaces and adding an extension and that was when Cliona read about the Simon Open Door day. “We thought, what’s the worst that can happen and, anyway, it is for a good cause, the Simon Community is something I would strongly support. We also felt that if an architect is prepared to volunteer their time then they must be alright.”

The Irish Times