Creagan Cottage

Location: Heanish, Isle of Tiree

Clients: Donnie & Janice MacInnes

Type: Renovation & Extension of Blacktop House

Completed: July 2013


Contractor: John MacKinnon Builders (Tiree)

Structural Engineer: David Narro Associates

Quantity Surveyor: Morham & Brotchie (Edinburgh)

Photography: Sebb Hathaway

Our Clients set us a challenging brief; they owned a derelict Blacktop house and wanted to turn it into a modern holiday home. The challenge lay in working with what was a small cottage with a low roof to gain as much space as our client's needed to make the project viable.

We began by maximising available space within the existing property. This was achieved by some innovative architectural design and engineering techniques.  We were able to raise the height of the external walls, raise the height of the roof, and lower the level of the first floor, this subsequently created a very functional upper floor that could comfortably accommodate two bedrooms.  

All of these changes were done with the utmost consideration for the exterior proportions of the building. Great care was taken to ensure the proportions of the design remained true to the characteristics of a true Tiree Blacktop house.

Within the existing cottage we were able to fit two first floor bedrooms, a utility room, bathroom, and kitchen.  All of which were made to feel more spacious than rooms in a typical cottage renovation of this kind.

A lean-to extension was added to the gable wall of the cottage to allow the kitchen to overspill into an open-plan living room with views to the garden and sea beyond.  From the exterior of the building, this extension appears appropriately subservient to the distinctive form of the traditional cottage.  Although conceived as part of one development, the house follows the pattern of other Blacktop Houses that have been extended on a piecemeal basis over the years.  Therefore the extension does not appear out of place and a carefully positioned floor to ceiling window helps to maintain the profile of the existing cottage. 

This project provided a great opportunity for Roots to reinvigorate an important piece of the island’s built heritage.


"No matter when you phone Roots you always get a good West Coast welcome and you can guarantee that they will always resolve any issues within days of your enquiry."
- Donnie & Janice MacInnes