I wanted to find out what gets our home and garden professionals shaking their heads. I put it to them and got back a fantastically diverse set of answers. From structural engineers, to interior designers to landscapers, a lot of them had their say. I have to say, I'm guilty of at least one of these things myself...
Gardens, Interiors

Dripping external pipes. It's serious.

Persisent rainwater leaks do invisible damage to walls and woodwork and foundations that can be difficult and costly to repair. To prevent this do annual maintenance and take early action to repair any indication of that problem. Places to check for leaks are gutters and downpipes, whether from gutter joints or ends. Blocked and overflowing gutters are another problem area. So too are downpipes not discharging fully into gully trap. If evidence of a long standing problem is observed then specialist technical assessment and advice is needed.

Exposed Cables in Flower Beds

Garden lighting is great but exposed electricity cables in the flower beds are unsafe. It is better to bury the cables using the armoured type to protect against shocks.

Windows That Aren't Child Safe

In the last 3 years, 4 children have lost their lives in Ireland due to falls from windows. Window protectors which restrict the degree to which the window can open can prevent these accidents. The window can still be opened to provide ventilation. It can also be locked closed.

Easy Access For Rodents.

Rodents are not a welcome addition to your home. If you notice scratching, droppings or foul odours, you probably have unwelcome guests. We have equipment which surveys your drainage system and determines how the rodents are escaping from the drain and entering your house. We can also provide solutions to stop the rodents entering your house including lining, excavation or our rat blocker which is fitted to the inside of the drain .

Patios Above The Damp Course Level 

Raised paths or patio slabs or garden areas adjacent to external walls that are above floor level inside (& above the damp proof course level). Except in dry summer periods all create direct paths into the house and allow dampness to penetrate. Damage is caused to walls and woodwork (timber floors, skirting, architraves, door frames etc). To prevent this ensure that finished 'ground levels outside must be below (150mm +) the damp course level. If such a situation has been in place for some time specialist assessment and advice should be obtained. 

Garden makeovers that destroy a garden

Very often I shake my head when I see gardens which have been destroyed by the owners . Many people make a lot of mistakes when they are trying to makeover the garde. The most major mistake is not considering drainage. Sometimes the garden is transformed in a swimming pool. Drainage problem are common in lots of gardens around Dublin, and I suggest that professional advice be taken when it comes to drainage.

Copper Cylinders Wasting Money

I don't like to see copper cylinders that are not factory insulated i.e. with foam around tank not lagging jacket. I recommend upgrading as soon as possible. It will pay back within 2 years. I also recommend upgrading to a twin coil cylinder while you're at it, so that in the future when you have the funds, you can connect your solar panel straight into it.

Bad (and Good) Colour Choices

Did you know that the colour which you use on the walls of your home can influence your mood? Red can make some people irritable or hyperactive. Yellow soothes and gives an aura of happiness. Blue is a relaxing colour but can also be a cold colour in our climate, on our walls it needs to be a turquoise or aqua blue.

Good Driveways Going Bad

I don't like to see cracks in driveways left unrepaired. If they're not repaired, weeds, rain and ice will just make those cracks bigger. So nipping the problem in the bud is the key to keeping a driveway strong. Regular seal coating can also prevent small cracks in the first place.

Poor Design

One of the things that is bad for your home and garden is poor design. Good design creates usable practical space and with some brain storming this can be achieved. A lot of problems can be related back to individuals wanting something that doesn't work within the space which is why it's important for clients to work with their designers to achieve their ultimate goal.

Ivy and Insects

The problem I see is ivy growing wild up the wall. It seems to never stop. It's important to keep cutting it down from the wall a couple of times a year otherwise it will end up under the roof bringing insects with it.

Bamboo Trees near Patios

Bamboo plants are beautiful but if you plant it in the wrong place, it can cause lots of problems to the existing patio areas. Bamboo roots grow very close to the surface and usually spread out very far . I've come across many gardens were the patio slabs were literally pushed out by those roots.

Dangerous Decks and Large Trees

I don't like seeing a deck in a shaded corner under trees in a garden as it is just dangerous and in my opinion mis-sold to the client

I also dislike large trees being planted too close to the house. It reduces light in the house and increases the risk of damage to the nearby dwelling

Contributors

Interiors, Sandyford, Sandyford, Dublin 18

About Us

At Interiors, we believe that you can get designer quality and unique interior decor without paying expensive design fees. We also believe the process should be easy so we bring the store to your door with thousands of samples of soft and hard furnishings.

The curtains are beautifully made. But you're not paying the astronomical prices some of the stores are charging.
Clio Mitchell from Cabinteely
See Our Full Portfolio

Hogan And Associates, Olive Mount House, Olive Mount Road Windy Arbour, Dublin 14

Chartered engineering firm, Hogan and Associates provide a wide range of consultancy, design and project management services. We are directed by Michael Hogan, BE, MIE, MBA, C. Eng., FIEI, Hogan and Associates who has over 25 years experience in home and commercial building projects.
I wanted somebody with an engineering background because we were taking out walls and a lot of structural steel was needed...
Yvonne O'Driscoll from Mount Merrion, Co. Dublin
See Our Full Portfolio

Genius Garden Improvements, Co. Dublin

Whether you require a driveway, patio or path, our goal is to deliver a finished result the customer can be proud of at a price that suits a wide range of budgets.
To be perfectly honest, I'm very happy with all of it. Eugene really did what he said he'd do.
Brid from Lucan, Dublin 20
See Our Full Portfolio

Home and Garden Advice From The Experts

Paving For Driveways, Paths, Patios and Carparks pickapro
As every estate agent will tell you, your front driveway sets the tone to your house. It might also dictate whether you can park comfortably outside your house - or whether you squeeze out the door and then step right into a nice puddle or mucky bit of grass! If you've been thinking about tackling it, well read on. We've asked our professional pavers on pickapro.ie for some inside knowledge on driveways and patios. As every estate agent will tell you, your front driveway sets the tone to your house. It might also dictate whether you can park comfortably outside your house - or whether you ...
Furniture Makeover With The Upholstery Experts pickapro

Lumpy couches, wobbly chairs, scratched leather and dated colour schemes - it's all in a day's work for the team at Portmarnock Furnishings Ltd. We've presented our experts with 6 furniture issues to tackle. Read how your furniture can get a whole new wow factor, often for a fraction of the cost of replacing with new.

Lumpy couches, wobbly chairs, scratched leather and dated colour schemes - it's all in a day's work for the team at Portmarnock Furnishings Ltd. We've presented our experts with ...
Extensions...Advice and Ideas From A Structural Engineer pickapro
A successful extension can greatly improve a property in many ways. However there are risks to be addressed in the process. Structural engineer, Michael Hogan of Hogan & Associates has over 25 years experience in home and commercial building projects. We ask him to give us some advice and also some ideas. Learn about extending upstairs, and also about getting that perfect, "beam free" extension... A successful extension can greatly improve a property in many ways. However there are risks to be addressed in the process. Structural engineer, Michael Hogan of Hogan & Associates ...
Choosing The Right Contractor pickapro
Choosing the right contractor is the most important factor in determining the success or failure of your home or garden improvement project. At Pickapro.ie we've interviewed hundreds of Dubliners about their experience in choosing a home improvement professional. Here are some of the tips that we've picked up from homeowners who have made a successful match. Choosing the right contractor is the most important factor in determining the success or failure of your home or garden improvement project. At Pickapro.ie we've interviewed hundreds ...
Building An Extension In Ireland pickapro
They say space is the final frontier. Well, it is for many Irish homeowners anyway. For many of us, the solution lies in extending what we have. So, we've asked experienced Dublin builders from pickapro.ie to give us the scoop on planning and building a house extension. They say space is the final frontier. Well, it is for many Irish homeowners anyway. For many of us, the solution lies in extending what we have. So, we've asked experienced Dublin ...
10 Great Interior Design Tips pickapro
Decorating a room or home can be an expensive business! Small wonder that so many of us play it safe with neutral colours. Perfectly fine, but maybe not exactly what we wanted. So, we've summoned the help of an experienced Dublin interior designer to give us a little courage for the trip. Decorating a room or home can be an expensive business! Small wonder that so many of us play it safe with neutral colours. Perfectly fine, but maybe not exactly what we wanted. ...
Timber Flooring Essentials pickapro
A wooden floor must be one of the best home improvements any home owner can make. Yes, it adds immensely to the value of the house, but that's not the biggest benefit. They just look and feel so good. A timber floor is always stylish, and with a couple of rugs over it, is also incredibly cosy. Because of the range of colours in wood from purple to red to browns, timber will match just about every colour scheme. It's easy to clean, doesn't collect dust, and will probably outlast you. A wooden floor must be one of the best home improvements any home owner can make. Yes, it adds immensely to the value of the house, but that's not the biggest benefit. They just ...
Building A Sunroom Or Conservatory pickapro
We don't get too many sunny days in Ireland, so it goes without saying that you don't want to miss the sun when it does shine. We have asked our experts for some advice on adding a sunroom or conservatory to your house. We don't get too many sunny days in Ireland, so it goes without saying that you don't want to miss the sun when it does shine. We have asked our experts for some advice on adding ...
Attic Conversions pickapro
If you'd like some additional space, attic conversions are a great option. The beauty of attic conversions is that you are converting "dead space" without any impact on your garden or the rest of your house and at a lower cost than an extension. If you'd like some additional space, attic conversions are a great option. The beauty of attic conversions is that you are converting "dead space" without any impact on your garden ...
Preparing Your Garden For Winter pickapro
Some people believe that when the weather starts getting colder and the fallen leafs have been raked up, it's time to put away the gardening tools and wait until next spring to work on their garden again. Wrong! Winter may seem like the end of the road for awhile, but there are a few things left to do to protect your garden during the harsh months ahead and prepare it for the following spring. So before you go inside and shut the door on your garden for the season,make sure you or an experienced landscaping company puts your garden to bed. A little preparation can make a huge difference to your garden in the spring. Some people believe that when the weather starts getting colder and the fallen leafs have been raked up, it's time to put away the gardening tools and wait until next spring to ...
Dog Friendly Garden Ideas for Dogs That Dig pickapro
Geraldine contacted us with her problem - her dog and her garden are at odds. She tried to go for a low maintenance garden, but the dog keeps pulling up the black weed cover. She would also like to do something about an old concrete dog run on the side of the garden which is looking "a little worse for wear" Geraldine contacted us with her problem - her dog and her garden are at odds. She tried to go for a low maintenance garden, but the dog keeps pulling up the black weed cover. She ...
The Things Which Are Surprisingly Bad For Your House and Garden pickapro
I wanted to find out what gets our home and garden professionals shaking their heads. I put it to them and got back a fantastically diverse set of answers. From structural engineers, to interior designers to landscapers, a lot of them had their say. I have to say, I'm guilty of at least one of these things myself... I wanted to find out what gets our home and garden professionals shaking their heads. I put it to them and got back a fantastically diverse set of answers. From structural engineers, ...
Sell Your House For More pickapro
Decorating your house to sell is a completely different proposition from interior design for living. We've asked the professionals to tell us how to turn your property into a "must have" for buyers without breaking the bank. Decorating your house to sell is a completely different proposition from interior design for living. We've asked the professionals to tell us how to turn your property into a "must ...
Great Gardens For Children and Adults pickapro
Do houses actually shrink over the Winter or does it just feel that way? There is of course a fantastic relief valve, more commonly known as the garden but it's often neglected at this time of the year. Like adults, children aren't enticed by a muddy strip of lawn and some drippy brown trees. So we've asked experienced Dublin landscapers from pickapro.ie to give us some inspiration for a garden that will appeal to both children and adults year round. Do houses actually shrink over the Winter or does it just feel that way? There is of course a fantastic relief valve, more commonly known as the garden but it's often neglected ...
Decks For Irish Gardens pickapro
There's something intrinsically enjoyable about sitting on a wooden deck. It's back to nature - like a tree house for adults! www.pickapro.ie, the website of home and garden professionals have asked the professionals for advice on building the perfect deck. There's something intrinsically enjoyable about sitting on a wooden deck. It's back to nature - like a tree house for adults! www.pickapro.ie, the website of home and garden professionals ...
Ground Cover Basics pickapro
When it comes to gardens, an important element of the foundation, is what's literally underneath your feet - ground cover including soil, grass, bark, chippings and stone. We've asked landscaping supplies specialists to give us practical advice on buying these very important basics. When it comes to gardens, an important element of the foundation, is what's literally underneath your feet - ground cover including soil, grass, bark, chippings and stone. We've ...
Plumbers Tips For Energy Efficiency pickapro
There's a lot of us living with the joys and challenges of old fashioned plumbing. It's probably functional but it certainly isn't efficient. With fuel and oil costing plenty and new grants now available from Sustainable Energy Ireland to upgrade the efficiency of your home, it's worth looking at what can be done to upgrade the heating system in an older house. We asked several experienced plumbers what plumbing upgrades will give the best bang for your buck. There's a lot of us living with the joys and challenges of old fashioned plumbing. It's probably functional but it certainly isn't efficient. With fuel and oil costing plenty and ...
Roof Maintenance pickapro
One of the most common, costly and often times ignored household maintenance projects is the roof over your head. Unless you've had water dripping on your head, it's easy to put it on the back burner until it comes up and really take a bite out of you and your bank balance. Read our quick guide to preventative maintenance for roofs to find out what you need to protect your roof and house. One of the most common, costly and often times ignored household maintenance projects is the roof over your head. Unless you've had water dripping on your head, it's easy to put ...
Condensing Boilers Cut The Cost! pickapro
Replacing a 15 year boiler with a new high efficiency condensing boiler could represent a fuel saving of more than 25%. So if you annual oil fills typically cost €1,000, you're looking at a saving of €250 per year. Remember that there's SEI grants too. Interesting? Find out more from our boiler experts... Replacing a 15 year boiler with a new high efficiency condensing boiler could represent a fuel saving of more than 25%. So if you annual oil fills typically cost €1,000, you're ...
Garden Design Ideas pickapro
With the garden being the top priority for 2007 according to our survey, we talked to landscaper Dermot Strong about tips for homeowners planning to improve their garden this year. With the garden being the top priority for 2007 according to our survey, we talked to landscaper Dermot Strong about tips for homeowners planning to improve their garden ...
Soundproofing Your Home pickapro
With more and more Irish people living in high density apartments and houses, many of us are be feeling the pain of thin party walls. The long term solution may be higher standards in building but that won't help us now. Find out more sound proofing and how it can drastically improve your quality of life. With more and more Irish people living in high density apartments and houses, many of us are be feeling the pain of thin party walls. The long term solution may be higher standards ...
Sustainable Designs Reduces Running Costs pickapro
How can you use sustainable design in your home to reduce energy costs Architect, Simon Hoe RIBA explains how. How can you use sustainable design in your home to reduce energy costs Architect, Simon Hoe RIBA explains how.
Awake To Bird Song In Your Garden pickapro
Most of us don't know our blue tits from our chaffinches, but we still stop to watch the antics of our local friendly wildlife. They add colour and endless fascination to our gardens. pickapro.ie finds out how to entice birds into our gardens. Most of us don't know our blue tits from our chaffinches, but we still stop to watch the antics of our local friendly wildlife. They add colour and endless fascination to our gardens. ...
How To Choose An Architect pickapro
Dublin architect Simon Hoe talk about working with an architect. How to choose an architect? How much will it cost and when are the fees paid? What information should the client bring to the design process? What happens next? Dublin architect Simon Hoe talk about working with an architect. How to choose an architect? How much will it cost and when are the fees paid? What information should the client ...
Choosing An Interior Designer pickapro
How to choose an interior designer? What are the benefits? How much will it cost? And much more.. How to choose an interior designer? What are the benefits? How much will it cost? And much more..
How To Choose A Landscaper pickapro
Dublin landscapers give us the benefit of their landscaping experience. How to choose a landscaper? Is there a best time of year to hire a landscaping company in Dublin? What's popular in Dublin gardens now? And there's the all important top landscaping tips. Dublin landscapers give us the benefit of their landscaping experience. How to choose a landscaper? Is there a best time of year to hire a landscaping company in Dublin? What's ...
How To Choose A Garden Designer pickapro

We've asked our pickapro garden designers to talk to us about garden design. First of all, why is a design useful? Next - how to choose a garden designer. What are the right questions to ask a prospective designer? How much do garden designs cost? What questions will the designer ask? What information should the homeowner provide? What happens after the design process? What are their personal design likes and dislikes And finally, their top garden design tips

We've asked our pickapro garden designers to talk to us about garden design. First of all, why is a design useful? Next - how to choose a garden designer. What are the right questions ...
Garden Maintenance Tips pickapro
We've asked pickapro gardeners to talk to us about garden maintenance. First of all - how to choose a gardener. What are the right questions to ask? Next, how often should a gardener visit? Have they any tips to make garden maintenance easier. And how should we plan the garden in the first place to make maintenance easier in the long run. We've asked pickapro gardeners to talk to us about garden maintenance. First of all - how to choose a gardener. What are the right questions to ask? Next, how often should a gardener ...
Low Energy Extension Design pickapro
Architect Simon Hoe outlines the stages through which a low energy, sustainable house extension is designed from the initial meeting to planning application. Architect Simon Hoe outlines the stages through which a low energy, sustainable house extension is designed from the initial meeting to planning application.
Windows - How To Choose pickapro
It's hard to think of any other single aspect of your house that has to work harder than your windows. Windows provide security, insulation, light, ventilation, shield you from wind and rain, and allow you to enter and exit in an emergency Practicalities aside, they give your house character and make that all important first impression. It's hard to think of any other single aspect of your house that has to work harder than your windows. Windows provide security, insulation, light, ventilation, shield you from ...
Perk Up Your Garden For Spring pickapro
It's official - Spring is here. How do I know? I've just driven past my local DIY store and seen racks of tempting boxes packed with bright little Spring flowers. Those little yellow and pink primroses and pansies - don't they just say (or squeak!) Spring. If you want to start enjoying your garden nice and early this year, these bedding plants are as good a place to start as any. But we've also asked our expert gardeners what else we can do to get the garden off to a quick start this year. It's official - Spring is here. How do I know? I've just driven past my local DIY store and seen racks of tempting boxes packed with bright little Spring flowers. Those little ...
Made To Measure Curtains pickapro
Few home decorating decisions can cause as much soul searching as curtains and blinds! It's a long term investment which can make or break your room. We ask the experts for advice on choosing the right curtains and blinds. Few home decorating decisions can cause as much soul searching as curtains and blinds! It's a long term investment which can make or break your room. We ask the experts for advice ...

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Some people believe that when the weather starts getting colder and the fallen leafs have been raked up, it's time to put away the gardening tools and wait until next spring to work on their garden again. Wrong! Winter may seem like the end of the road for awhile, but there are a few things left to do to protect your garden during the harsh months ahead and prepare it for the following spring. So before you go inside and shut the door on your garden for the season,make sure you or an experienced landscaping company puts your garden to bed. A little preparation can make a huge difference to your garden in the spring. Some people believe that when the weather starts getting colder and the fallen leafs have been raked up, it's time to put away the gardening tools and wait until next spring to ...
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It's official - Spring is here. How do I know? I've just driven past my local DIY store and seen racks of tempting boxes packed with bright little Spring flowers. Those little yellow and pink primroses and pansies - don't they just say (or squeak!) Spring. If you want to start enjoying your garden nice and early this year, these bedding plants are as good a place to start as any. But we've also asked our expert gardeners what else we can do to get the garden off to a quick start this year. It's official - Spring is here. How do I know? I've just driven past my local DIY store and seen racks of tempting boxes packed with bright little Spring flowers. Those little ...
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Timber Flooring Essentials pickapro
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