Why Self-Build?

The self-build process puts in control of building your dream home. it means that you don’t have to settle for a standard house in a development. You are able to select your ideal location, design your home to fit your needs and you get to determine what size it will for the budget you have available. You choose how many rooms the house has, the type of materials to use and a range of other decisions which will ensure you achieve your dream home at the end of the self-build process.

We make every effort to ensure your self-build project is designed to match your dreams and within your budget. We can, if required, organise and manage all aspects of the self – build process and we will coordinate all the different trades so that you can be sure that your home will be finished to the highest standard, at the most competitive price.

Pick and choose from our list of services to tailor fit a package that suits your needs.  All will be laid out in writing and agreed before commencement of work on your behalf. We believe clarity is key to success!

What We Do For You

Our design and project management service will guide you through the entire self-build process. Whether you are self-building your dream home, renovating or extending an existing property, using our service will help you achieve your project on time and within budget. You can be confident that your home or building project will be designed and managed to the highest standard and at a competitive price.

The self-build process means that your finished home matches your requirements and specifications. However, it also means that you will be taking on a major building project that needs to be managed effectively.

Working with us will give you access to our extensive experience within the construction industry and self-build sector.  We work hard to make sure you achieve your dream home.  We look after every detail, we’ll keep you informed at every stage of the self-build process so that you are aware of what is happening along the way.  This seriously helps to reduce the amount of stress associated with a self-build process!

The Self-Build Process

There are 26 distinct phases involved in a self-build process and we can oversee and manage each of these phases. Using our services will make the self-build process as stress-free for you as possible.

Our project management service includes overseeing and coordinating the following aspects of the self-build process:

  • Designing your home, extension or building project within your budget;
  • Coordinating the planning permission process with your local authority;
  • Managing the tender process to secure the best contractors for your project;
  • Advice on the appointment of the most suitable builder and make sure that all contractors are properly qualified and registered;
  • Inspect all work on site;
  • Certify compliance on completion;

Ways to Self – Build

Using a Building Contractor

There are several options you can use to actually build your self-build home. The first is to enter into a contract with a builder which is what we recommend for anyone thinking of looking at the self-build process to deliver their dream home. This option brings a level of certainty to the project as it offers a fixed price, an agreed contract duration and the services of experienced professionals.

It offers the following advantages:

Fixed Price: If you have done your homework then you’ll have included all aspects items of the self-build process in the costs you agree with your builder. These should be clearly listed giving you a fixed price which means you have a total cost of the project. Any changes you make after that price has been agreeing will alter the cost. This is something we can help you with. We work with you at every stage of the design and development of your project so that by the time you get to tender for builders who will complete the build, you’ll have all the details included in the agreed costs.

Structural Guarantee: Using an experienced building contractor who is registered with the Construction Industry Register of Ireland (CIRI) means that your house is covered under a ‘Structural Guarantee Scheme’ called ‘Homebound’.  This is an insurance scheme that can cover any structural problem that might develop in your home. Most guarantee schemes last for a period of ten years.

Check Previous Projects: The contractor you use should be able to give you contact details of previous clients they have worked with. You should feel able to contact them about their experience of using your contractor and if necessary be able to take a look at their work. You need to feel confident that your contractor is up to the job and have the experience to be able to bring your build to complition

Some Possible Disadvantages Might Be: 

Less Control of Building: For some people, this could be an advantage but if you like to be in control then it will be a disadvantage. With a building contractor managing the build process, you will won’t be involved in the day to day activities of the site.  If you want to have more involvement in the actual build, then choosing direct labour would be a better option.

No Input to Selection of Trades People:  If you want to use a relatives or friends to complete certain aspects of the build, then using a contractor might not be for you. This is because contractors use their own trades people and so direct labour might be a better option for you to use.

Timing Issues: Although at the start of a building project the contractor should provide you with a programme of works. This sets out all of the timing for the trades and when they expect to start. However,  the contractor can sometimes lose time if they have to wait for a sub-contractors to become available. With direct labour, it’s possible for them to choose another trades person and so keep the schedule on track.

Budget Over-Runs: All budgets over-run and that’s a fact! It’s only when building starts that some issues become apparent. This can affect your starting budget. If this happens when you are using a contractor you have to wait for them to get a price to overcome the problem. However, with direct labour, you can shop around for the best price

 Managing the Build Yourself

Some people decide to project manage the build themselves but don’t undertake any of the physical building work themselves.

Some Advantages of Managing The Build Yourself

Have more control over timing issues: When you are the project manager you get to decide the pace of your self-build . You can decide to wait for six months for a specialist, bespoke features or you can speed up the process by switching to different materials if there is a shortage. This cannot be done using a contractor without incurring financial penalties.

Price Materials – While builders will be able to get trade prices for materials, it is possible for you to shop around and possibley be able to get lower than trade prices. You might even get some bargins on sites like DoneDeal!

Some Possible Disadvantages Might Be: 

Each Trade looks after its own section: Without a contractor overseeing the schudule, it is difficult to manage the squence of when each trade completes their serivce on site.  This can lead to you having to pay extra to follow on trades to overcome the difficulties this causes.

Ordering materials and coordinating trades: The sequence that materials and trades arrive on site can be very difficult to manage for an expereinced building project manager and so it is almonst imporssibel to get right for a notice manager. This can end up costing a lot of money to recifeiy and can lead to costly delays for the project.

A House is more the sum of its individual trades: It might seem tempting to follow the example of some of the projects featured on programmes like Grand Design and manage the project yourself, but remember, it takes a lot of experience and expertise to pull a building project together. While being involved in the build is an benefit of the self-build process, it is essential that if you are thinking of self manageing your build, that you are realitc about your expertise and use a professional if you don’t have the level of experience needed to bring your build to completion.

Completing Some Building Work While Also Supervising The Project

This role is sometimes called a Working Project Supervisor and is where you supervise the build and take on some aspect of the build work.

The advantage of this type of person is what they know the building game and have worked in it for a long time.


Saves Money: When working project supervior is able to complete some work onsite it can help to reduce labour costs. And when they have has experience within the construction sector, they may have good contacts with other trades people and suppliers which can also help to reduce costs.

Some Possible Disadvantages Are:   

Serious Stress! As outlined above there is a lot involved in the build stage of the self-build process.  Undertaking so many aspects of the process can create a huge amount of stress. And instead of saving money it can actually end up costing more money. Before taking on such a major role in your self-build project think long and hard about what you’re getting into. We can even put you in touch with a previous client who did just this and lived to tell the tale!


Before you contemplate any of the above, answer this – “Would you perform surgery on yourself after reading a book?” The answer is, of course, NO. It takes years of training and experience.

Please take good advice and engage the services of a professional to guide you through your self – build process. Protect your family.

red-button- arrange-your-consultation

Building A House In Ireland: The Planning Process

The Citizen’s Information website provides good advice about the process of applying for planning permission and I recommend this as your starting point.

Building A House In Ireland: The Self – Build Process

The Irish Association of Self Builders website provides a lot of useful information.

Building A House In Ireland: Planning Legislation

The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government website is a very useful site with links to, building control, building regulations, construction product regulations and much more.


Gerry Gleeson Site Managment


The Project Management Process

Stage 1– takes approx. 3 – 4 weeks

  • Make an appointment
  • Meet clients
  • Listen
  • Design proposal
  • Meet clients
  • Listen
  • Apply for planning

Stage 2 – Approx. 4 – 6 weeks

  • Meet clients
  • Listen
  • Develop working drawings
  • Advise on Tenders
  • Meet clients
  • Appoint builder (yourself or contractor)
  • Register project with BCMS
  • File commencement notice

Stage 3 – Approx. 6 – 9 months (or several years if building Yourself)

  • Meet clients
  • Commence on site
  • Construct family home
  • Move in

Stage 4 – A Lifetime

  • Cut grass
  • Do maintenance
  • Extend home

How Much Does Self-Building Cost?

As in all walks of life, you get what you pay for and the old adage holds that if you pay peanuts you will get a monkey!Pay Peanuts Get Monkeys

Every self-build project is unique and that means there it is not possible to give no one size fits all price for a self-build project.  To help give you some idea of the costs involved, the example below will give some indication of cost from our initial meeting to when you receive your final certificate of compliance on completion of your self-build project.

Sample Project

A 1,300 square foot bungalow typically costs approximately €90 per square foot to build, giving a total build cost of €117,000. Our fees, for this example, are 6% of the build cost, at a total of €7,000. The scales of fees vary with the size of the house. These are written down and will be presented to you following our first consultation.

Our fees, for this example, are 6% of the build cost, at a total of €7,000. The scales of fees vary with the size of the house. These are presented to you following our first consultation.

The €7,000 breaks down roughly into €3,000 for planning & €4,000 for a site inspection. The fees are further broken down into smaller amounts for each stage. You only pay for the stage you are at. Spread over 12 – 18 months our fees are very affordable.

At our first initial meeting, we will explain all fees involved and then give you a written quotation. We have, service level agreements (SLA) for all phases and our clients can choose at what level they wish to engage our service – totally flexible.

The real question is, can you afford NOT to engage our services?

Please visit our, “Book a Consultation” to Contact Us and begin your journey.


Are You Ready To Begin?

Book Your One Hour Consultation Meeting

When you arrange a consultation meeting it is really helpful if you bring as much detail as possible with you. If there are any photographs, maps, previous planning red-button- arrange-your-consultationhistory you have that will help us to understand your vision for your self-build home.

Discussing the main issues at the outset helps to avoid typical mistakes; you wouldn’t go on holiday without a plan so why should you stumble and fall your way through self-building your family home without a good plan.

“Plan your work, then work your plan.”

Each project is unique and our proposal will be broken down into stages that correspond with the client’s requirements. The no obligation, one-hour meeting in Ballymore Eustace will be helpful for you to understand what’s involved in a self-build family home project.

The cost of this consultation is €50.00, which is paid at the meeting. This fee will be credited to your account should you wish to proceed. A meeting plus site visit can be arranged at a higher fee, agreed prior to visit.

Why the Fee?

The advice given is useful no matter who you choose to engage.

The consultation will consist of:

  • Establishing your needs, your “wish list” and the level of service you require.
  • Discussing your site and preferred house design type.
  • Discussing the building control regulations.
  • Discussing the building regulations.
  • The planning process
  • Your build budget.
  • Services and fees.

The consultation will not include any designing or designs. A number of printed guides will be given to you to take home and study

Contact us today and let the journey begin.