Aggie Flanagan



Lived in the cottage next door with her family. Cottage was too small and dark and they had always hoped to extend or build something bigger. They looked at the possibilities and had come up with a design for a family home and had got plans drawn up. They had a field next door that they applied for and got planning permission to build on. Then uncertainties happened and everything was put on hold
Aggie and her husband separated, after which Aggie started to rethink about building. As a diver, she also really liked the idea of living by the sea. For some time she looked at properties by the sea but didn’t find anything that she really wanted or could afford.
At the same time she had started the FÁS organic gardening course at the Organic Centre which she found really inspiring and which drew her towards a more alternative way of looking at things including building.
She still liked the idea of building in her field and would spend time sitting in the spot where she imagined her home would be considering her options. She knew of two people who had built Scan homes and was drawn to the idea of a passive house and the look and feel of them. After a number of visits to her friends places and decided to go for a Scan home. She liked the idea of a passive home – low or no heating costs- and of a kit that could be designed ahead and delivered.

In hindsight realised the considerable time that she spent considering what to build (which at the time felt like indecision) was in fact a good thing as it allowed time to change her mind a consider a lot of alternatives.

She has a huge sense of achievement and pride in her home which is entirely of her own making – design, payment, management, inspiration. 



Passive house - scanhomes kit


Once I made the decision that was it, that was the hard part, then I was on a rollercoaster…it was a daunting process’

She really needed to be ‘on top of the build’ and follow each stage to make sure it was done as she wanted and as it should be done. No one else was going to do that for her. ‘This was my investment, my dream..’. She wasn’t checking up on work as such but wanted to understand what was being built and how as this was going to be her home.

The build was a huge learning curve – since splitting with her husband she had become more technical minded- she had to site manage and follow every stage of the project in order to make sure things were being done properly. There were many problems on the way that she had to deal with. Contractors not doing the job as specified, decisions to be made constantly. Feels she should’ve pushed more for the engineer to do more, she felt she needed to know a lot about every stage of the build in order to check on it.


  • Semi passive - really wanted a wood burner and so had to have a whole in the wall for the chimney which means it cannot be completely passive.
  • Solar panels for water.


Having lived in a small cottage for years light was a big factor in designing the house. Along with some help from friends and the scan homes architect and a collection of magazines showing homes and ideas that she liked, she designed the home that she has today.
Is currently designing her garden.


Scanhomes design


Vincent McPadden



Foundations Raft foundation
Walls  Kit
Roof Slates
 Insulation  Warmcell
Finishings  Locally sourced by Aggie


House: Heat exchanger and wood burner. Feels that without the wood burner the house would not have been warm enough last winter. Wood burner heats house very quickly because of the heat exchanger.
Water:  Solar panels






Having done the growing course at the Organic center Aggie is nn experienced gardener. She is at the planning stage of her garden, has planted willow and a few potatoes this year. Will design a vegetable patch with a greenhouse and polytunnel. Also has space for her horse Basil to graze.


  • Time scale: Started April 2008 moved in Christmas 2008
  • Costs: see scanhomes for house prices then  add on  €20,000!
  • Anything you would have done differently?: Change angle of house and would’ve made sure the engineer did his job and was on site more.
  • Satisfaction rating: Very happy, can’t quite believe how much she has achieved. Loves her house. Although it is big it is comfortable for her when she is on her own. Separated areas means she is not ‘rattling around’ in a big house.
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