People experience all the trials and tribulations of life in their home. Building homes for people makes us, here at Declan Noonan & Associates, very proud.
Having a great design to work with is a key starting point. This is why, regardless of who designed it, we will not get involved in the construction of your home if we feel the design is incorrect for you, poorly laid out or an unsightly building. Our design team can work with you to make sure you have a great design starting out. Click here for information on our design team.
Before building commences there are lots of decisions to be made and many stages to go through.
Discuss your building options
Once planning permission has been granted, we meet with you and explain the various methods and options available to you in constructing your dream home or commercial building. People are not fully aware that there are different options available to them. It is only after explaining the options, the cost implications and what is involved in each method, that you are fully equipped with the information to make an informed decision.
Seeking mortgage approval is an essential first step. An offer letter from your bank should be secured before you commit to spending any more money. We can guide you through this process and work with your bank to provide them with all the relevant cost estimates and valuations needed for you to secure a successful offer letter of a mortgage. We have an excellent relationship with all of the main lenders and we can streamline this process for you. Once you have received an offer letter we work to ensure the buildcosts match the finance available. This can be achieved by adjusting the building specification and finishes accordingly. Our advice is to always have an emergency fund available to deal with any unforeseen events.
The next step is to ensure the plot of land where you plan to build is in your ownership and that you have unobstructed access to the property. We can facilitate the transfer of land by providing you with a land transfer map and a valuation for stamp duty purposes. We can also provide any other information your solicitor may need to complete the transfer.
Once these steps are completed, the exciting part begins; getting the build under way.
We formulate a detailed set of working drawings and and an accompanying book of specifications. Working drawings and a book of specifications is a detailed set of documents identifying every aspect of the construction process. They demonstrate how the building is put together, stating every material used and the method of construction. The working drawings and specifications sets a framework to ensure everything is clearly defined and in full compliance with all building regulation requirements. Click here for further information on building regulations.
Working drawings and a book of specifications is the medium for you to communicate to the builder what exact finishes and features you expect the building to have. They allow you to describe exactly what you want your house to look like. They also can be used as Building Control Compliance drawings.
Furthermore, the working drawings and a book of specifications contain all of the relevant information to achieve the desired BER. We undertake a provisional BER calculation and incorporate the exact specifications to achieve the desired BER. We do not recommend leaving it to chance. Detail your building and know in advance what the expected energy efficiency of your home will be. Click here for more information on BER certificates.
The detail within these documents sets out the responsibilities of each participant in the project; making it very clear if there is a problem during the construction phase, who is responsible for solving it. This avoids any conflict during construction. The more detail provided within these documents means you have greater price certainty and there is less risk of costly errors at the end of a project.
Detailed working drawings and book of specifications have become even more important in the current economic climate with building contractors cutting their tender bids to the bare minimum in order to secure the work. They then try to make up the shortfall on the extras. The greater the detail, the more difficult it is for the contractor to justify extras at the end of the construction process. Commencing construction without a set work working drawings and a book of specifications can leave you exposed to cost uncertainty and unscrupulous behaviour from contractors.
Once the working drawings and book of specifications are complete, you now have to choose you building contractor.
Tendering for a building contractor
If it is a traditional building contractor route you have decided to go for we will manage the tendering process for you. This involves sending the pricing documentation out to, ideally, five contractors and on return assessing the merits of each tender received.
We go through each tender price to ensure that everything is included in the price and all necessary insurances are in place. After assessing the various tenders we will make a recommendation to you regarding who we would select. From our experience, it may not be the best option to choose the lowest tender every time. However, it is your home or building and your money, so ultimately it is your decision.
If the tender bid exceeds your budget, we will work with the lowest and second lowest tendering contract to negotiate a revision to the tender to comply with your budget. This can often be achieved through slight adjustments to the building specifications or minor alterations to the scope of the works.
Once we have agreed the price we firm up on all the minor details to ensure all angles are covered for you and everyone knows their responsibilities.
We then proceed to drawing up a building contract with all timelines and payment structures within. The content covers all eventualities; no matter what happens during the course of the build, the answer is within the contract. This leaves everyone with a clear understanding where they stand.
Declan Noonan & Associates can build it for you
Of course, another option is to have Declan Noonan & Associates build your house for you. Ideally, our first choice is to supervise an experienced talented building contractor company. However, through our architectural service we have seen first hand where our clients were not being offered value by the traditional building contractors. We could not sit idly by and see our clients be taken advantage of. Out motto is if others won’t build it for a reasonable price, then we will. This gives our clients option and ensures our clients will ultimately get value.
Having Declan Noonan & Associates build your project for you give you peace of mind knowing that we are the single point of responsibility. This eliminates any confusion or mis-communication between subcontractors and suppliers. Furthermore, if we have designed the house or building we are familiar with the building and with you and know exactly what you want. Our track record of high quality bespoke construction speaks for itself.
We offer a diverse range of procurement methods when building. Whatever building service you are looking for, we can provide it. If you simply want us to look over someone else constructing your home we can do that. If you want the complete turn key construction procedure, then we can design your home to your specific budget and build it for you in all in package. We will even look after the ongoing maintenance of your home for you if you would like.
Here at Declan Noonan & Associates we pride ourselves on customer satisfaction and on keeping you as the central focus of any build. We will advise along the way, always keeping your ideas, plans and budget at the heart of the project.
Recent houses Declan Noonan & Associates undertook for our clients: