House Renovation Deansgrange

Customer reference for Simon Hoe Architect as told to pickapro by Brendan Griffin from Deansgrange, Dublin on 19-Oct-2011

When was the work done?
Simon started the design process in May, 2010 and had planning permission and the builders ready around October. The building work itself started in February, 2011.

What was involved?
It was a renovation. The house was not insulated, the kitchen was north facing, very dark and damp. We were very limited for space on the ground floor too. We gave Simon a brief on what we were looking for; to enhance the environmental performance of the house, reduce heating costs and create a utility room, ground floor shower, and storage for bicycles and children’s toys.

Simon came back to us with rough draft drawings which we made changes to and developed further. Simon handled the whole thing from start to finish, the design, organising the planning permission and he suggested a number of builders he had worked with. Simon was a big help with the tender process we held before awarding the contract. Once the work started, Simon supervised the building work and was here for all phases.

How did you choose Simon Hoe RIBA?
I had googled architects in Dun Laoghaire and found Simon on the Pickapro website. I liked the fact that Simon was local, and I liked what I saw on his portfolio. We were on the same page in terms on energy efficiency and light.

Had you definite ideas in mind before you talked to Simon Hoe?
We had a very clear brief in that we wanted the kitchen redone and more natural light added if possible. We also wanted the downstairs toilet to have a shower and utility space. Extra room was neeeded in the utility area to store child minding equipment as my wife minds children at the house. We wanted to maintain a place to store the bike because it's used regularly.

Did Simon introduce new ideas?
Simon took all of our ideas on board, followed the brief and came up with a very innovative design. He came up with ideas that we never would have come up with on our own such as a sloped, glazed roof over part of the old garage. Simon was able to achieve that which we thought was impossible, adding light into the kitchen and downstairs wet room and storeroom. It was fantastic.

Simon also had good practical suggestions. We had assumed we would get PVC windows and doors for the house. Simon suggested that teak would be better in the long run because if there's any damage it can be fully restored and made to look like new again. When PVC starts to show wear, there's nothing you can do about that.

How did the project run?
It worked out well. The process itself took longer than I had thought it would but that was due to the fact that the design process took awhile. I'm a detailed person by nature and with hindsight I'm glad the process wasn't rushed because it could have led to mistakes that we would have to live with. Simon stayed within the projects budget and was always reliable.

What was the biggest benefit to you of using Simon Hoe RIBA?
A number of things really. One benefit was Simon's design ideas which we wouldn't have come up with ourselves. Another was the fact that Simon set us up with a proper contract with the builder that gave us a lot more say than if we had just engaged the builder directly.

Lastly, I would say that it was a big benefit having Simon as a third party involved that could deal with the builder if problems or complications evolved. Simon would be able to spot things that we wouldn't be aware of.

What's your favourite part now?
The glazed roof. It's the huge feature that we wouldn't have had without Simon and it's great because it brings in light to the whole place.

Would you recommend Simon Hoe RIBA to others?
Yes, absolutely.

Any tips for other people?
I would advise people to be patient and to not rush into building until you have a very clear idea of what you want done and a design. Write a brief about what you're trying to achieve and the priorities that are important to you. This can be used to give the architect a better idea of what you want and you can use it to see if the project is progressing along as you want it to. I also think that you have to accept that you should be involved yourself in the project and you can't just hand it over to the architect and builder .

Our Customers Say

Garden Room Killiney

I reckon the job went a lot better because Simon was in the middle dealing directly with the builder.

Michael Cotter from Killiney, Co Dublin talks to pickapro .. See full interview

House Renovation Deansgrange

Simon was able to achieve that which we thought was impossible, adding light into the kitchen and utility room.

Brendan Griffin from Deansgrange, Dublin talks to pickapro .. See full interview

Extend, Renovate Cottage. Dublin

I wanted the ideas, creativity and expertise that an architect could bring.. and we got that in bucketloads from Simon.

Bebhinn Murphy from Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin talks to pickapro .. See full interview

Kitchen Extension

The extension is very bright. Everyone thinks it's magnificent

Helen and Pat from Glenageary talks to pickapro .. See full interview

Extension Design

We retained Simon for the building work - I definitely recommend doing that.

Mark from Glenageary, County Dublin talks to pickapro .. See full interview

Light Into Small Spaces

The final result was outstanding – thanks to Simon’s design, the formerly dark north facing side of the house is now flooded with light..In every respect, Simon exceeded my expectations..

Lucinda Bray and Deb Brennan from Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin .. See full testimonial

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