A man's home is unfortunately not his castle…

Sorry to be sexist but that’s the way the saying goes: “A man’s home is is castle”

But why have I turned it on its head – a man’s home is NOT his castle.

A mans home is NOT his castle!

But where does the saying come from?:

It actually dates back to Roman times:

quid enim sanctius, quid omni religione munitius, quam domus unusquisque civium?
What more sacred, what more strongly guarded by every holy feeling, than a man’s own home?


Chapter 16 of William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England also said:

And the law of England has so particular and tender a regard to the immunity of a man’s house, that it stiles it his castle, and will never suffer it to be violated with immunity: agreeing herein with the sentiments of ancient Rome, as expressed in the works of Tully; quid enim sanctius, quid omni religione munitius, quam domus unusquisque civium?

There tends to be a prevalence of thought (especially in Ireland) that as a landowner you should be able to build what ever you want, wherever you want, however you want. This attitude has unfortunately become very prevalent with the difficulties in planning and the impossibility (often) of obtaining any or adequate form of finance from the likes of your local bank manager.

I don’t want to be a killjoy but unfortunately Planning is there for a reason – to ensure that inappropriate building work does not occur.

The Building Regulations are also there for a reason, to ensure safety and comfort for the people that occupy buildings for now and in the future.

The current problem is that with the difficulty in obtaining enough finance, economies are being made and often-as-not the economies are made in all the wrong places – insulation levels and airtightness measures for example.

But, I hear you say “I’m the one that’s living in it, surely I can build what I like?” Yes but what about when you sell your house and the people that will living in the house after you (btw I’d be a very rich man if I had a € for every time I heard “we’ll never sell”). You as a homeowner have a social responsibility to the environment and the future owners of your property to ensure that it’s built correctly. And that includes ALL Parts of the Building Regulations – from Part A ( eg use a structural engineer for foundations), Part F – ventilation, through to Part L (correct insulation & airtight levels) and access for the disabled – Part M).

Rant over. Comments welcome

4 thoughts on “A man's home is unfortunately not his castle…

  1. I find usually it is not so difficult to persuade client following building code, since authority will do inspections. But it is quite hard to proof the value of planning is actually extremely worthy.

  2. Oh, I see. That’s….. As architect, the professional liability your last weapon? While using it, put you in a disadvantaged position vs other designer.

    I am from Canada. I ran into your blog a week ago. Besides a thinker, you are a true practicer.

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