House in Ireland are in many ways built the same today as they were hundreds of years ago.
Today cement blocks have replaced cut stone and central heat has replaced fireplaces but
they are still sturdy buildings with thatched roofs giving way to tile.
Central heat here
is in the form of boilers where water is heated by gas or oil and run through radiators.
Some homes have electric storage heaters where bricks are heated then the heat gradually
released through out the day. (This is my simple explanation of storage heating but I am
sure there more to it!)
Outer walls in newer buildings are 6 to 8 inches thick while in older ones the outer walls
are closer to 3 feet + in thickness. This gives many older homes very deep window sills! In
towns some of the terraced houses (a row of multi-storied house with adjoing walls, similar
to what Americans would call townhouses) are very old, often 100 years or more. The insides
have been totally gutted and updated leaving the original outside structure in place.
Whether because of the sometimes dreary weather or the bleakness of stone and cement, or maybe both,
in Ireland you will find many of the houses painted bright, cheerful colours. Even those that are
not usually sport a brightly painted front door. Ireland's doors are so well known that a popular
gift item is posters showing dozens of different, brightly coloured doors.
A majority of housing is either the terrace houses or semi-detached (know in the states as duplexes).
With the upturn of the economy in the past few years more 'detached' houses seem to
have been built and grown in popularity, where not too long ago they were mainly
found in the country as farm houses or as homes of the more affluent.