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Cork musician builds home with underfloor heating

Áine Duffy, a musician and songwriter from Cork, has built a house for just over £10,000 in Ireland that has underfloor heating.

Duffy didn’t have enough money to purchase a conventional home. Speaking to the Irish Times, she said:

“I decided to take things into my own hands. So when a tree fell on my parent’s land, I asked if they would mind if I built a small moveable home there. I said it would be secluded and beautiful and they said to go for it.”

Duffy borrowed nearly £10,000 from a Credit Union and used her iPad to draw the house plans. Tradesmen built a frame from steel and a fibreglass roof for the home, while the songwriter and her parents dug the foundations. The timber from the fallen tree was used for cladding. The bulk of the work was done by Duffy, as the coronavirus pandemic prevented her from hiring other workers. The tiny house measures 16 foot by 10 foot and is 11-foot high. It took her six months to build the property.

The home is located in a woodland and is insulated. It is heated by electric underfloor heating powered by mains electricity. Hessian bags are laid on the fibreglass roof with layers of sand, gravel and compost to form a natural green roof. Outside, there is a composting toilet.

Underfloor heating is often associated with luxury properties, but Duffy’s home shows that more modest properties can benefit from the even, warm heat and energy efficiency of this heating solution.