Considering a Remodel?

If you’re considering some remodel work, you might be startled by some of the possibilities available to you when you’re working with a builder who is using modern design principles and methodologies. This is our livelihood, so you’d think it’s normal for us. But it’s still a moment of excitement and anticipation for us on handover day. Remodelling the old confines into bright, open, warm spaces that make you feel like you’re stepping into a zen garden. On handover day, we get to present the finished space to the homeowners. The best is when some members of the family are seeing the space for the first time since work began; You get to witness their faces light up when they see the old building completely transformed.  

Feel the Design Come Alive From The Moment You Step Inside

Using modern remodelling principles, you’re no longer confined to what you’d expect from an Irish home. You have an opportunity to break beyond your expectations. Design is essential for us. We love to tie-in the great things about the old with the spectacular things about the new. Home extension and remodelling work are usually about adding another room — which is fantastic. Or adding more space — which is great…but it can be all that and much more.

When Considering a Remodel, It Can Be More Than Just Space…

Because it’s not just about having more space, it’s about being able to plan out that space so that its angles, contours and surfaces give your system a sense of openness. A perfectly good, spacious house or bedroom can still end up feeling somewhat claustrophobic. With poor lighting, low ceilings, narrow hallways, spaces can seem to shrink. Then once you start adding in gear, clothes, ornaments and toys that don’t have well-thought-out storage, it can starts to look like an ‘object orphanage’ —  a place where things go when they don’t have somewhere to call their own. The solution isn’t just to add more space, though that will help tremendously. To truly break free of the dreaded clutter, it helps to bring modern design principles to bear on the problem. When you hire the right architect, every room in your house will feel brighter, more open, more liberating. Everything in your home will have its place. With excellent design, it will feel like coming home.

Bedroom Remodelling

Bedroom remodelling is an essential aspect of a home renovation project. Your bedroom is your sanctuary. It’s where, and how, you wind down after a long day. It’s where you go to read, to repose, to recharge. We’ve seen it enough times to know that it’s no exaggeration to say that having a home designed around who you are will profoundly improve your life. That potential is there for the taking in every space in your home, from the utility room to the kitchen — and not least of all in your bedroom. Your bedroom is the environment you wake up to each morning. It sets the tone for the rest of your day, day after day, week after week. Your bedroom sets the tone for your life. As such, we treat it with the level of care it deserves. It’s important to us that your bedroom supports you, accommodating and encourages the things that give you energy, inspiration and joy. 

Bedroom Remodelling Is About You4 Bedroom Remodel Ideas To Incorporate Into Your Home

At Sigma Homes, when we think about remodelling and extending a home, we are constantly asking ourselves how this will improve our client’s quality of life. What we excel at (and are genuinely passionate about) is delivering the perfect space uniquely tailored for each of our clients. When we first sit down with you, we listen. We learn about what you’re looking for, what is going on with your space that you would like to be different, what is working for you, what is not. How would you like to feel in your new home? Listening to you, we learn about your style preferences. Sometimes after our clients describe their needs they add, “but I’m no expert”. That’s simply not true. Even if they don’t know the jargon or specific terms for a decor style or finish, they always know what they like and what they don’t.

Our Process Sets Us Apart

Before we begin any physical work, an important part of our process is to understand your style preferences and reflect those back to you in a complete concept. To refine the design, we listen to your feedback. What elements reflect your needs? What parts, if any, don’t quite hit the mark for what you’re after? By the end of this process, we will have helped you create a seamless, complete concept based borne from your preferences and lifestyle. A bespoke space created especially to let you relax, sink back, and sigh a deep breath of relief.

If you’re planning for a home or bedroom remodelling project, give us a call today on 021 436 5866

Build Management

Build management is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to efficiently and effectively building, extending or renovating your home. We started Sigma Homes because there were many problems in the industry that we wanted to solve. Looking critically at the industry, we sought to understand why builds so often went so wrong. Why exactly did the majority of construction and renovation projects end up having major mistakes, delays and disruptions? Why was construction typically so stressful for the customer? While there are many reasons, one of the critical aspects we identified was build management. On paper, a build seems deceptively straightforward. But the reality is far from it. It’s very easy to look at the plans and think, “we just need these traders and these suppliers, and then we’ll get the job done”.  Many experienced industry professionals have also made this assumption on their own home projects. But very often they discover the reality is a lot more complicated than that.

Cutting Costs

We all want to get the best quality work for the best price. For those managing their own build, this might mean sourcing different traders and suppliers for various tasks. A dozen quotes from different builders, another dozen from plumbers, electricians, plasterers, fitters for the kitchen, etc. Because you’re getting the best price by shopping around, it can feel like you’re saving money. But this unlikely to be the case. It’s easy to get a date from traders and suppliers in the planning stages. But each one is an individual operating in their own best interest. They may say they’ll be available today, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be available in six months when you need them. Attempts to cut costs by finding the best person for each job often results in added stress and unforeseen delays which end up costing far more time and money later down the line when one trader is waiting on another before they can proceed.

Good Build Management Is About Trust

Most builders and traders are overbooked. They know that even without delays on other projects, the project will likely run on longer than the customer would like or expect. While the reasons for this may be understandable from the perspective of a trader trying to make ends meet, for the customer, the result is delays, obfuscations, miscommunications and a breakdown of trust. A typical builder jumps between multiple projects. This often happens without clarity and focus. It often results in mistakes and miscommunications, adding to delays, and the feeling that this builder is not the trustworthy person you had met initially. And it’s stressful when you feel stuck in a relationship with someone you can’t trust.

Build Management: The One Stop Shopbuilding management

Sourcing different, independent experts to work on a single project means you’re almost guaranteed to have delays and miscommunications. At Sigma Homes, we are committed to putting our relationship with our clients first. We saw that effective build management was critical to exceeding their expectations. In order to orchestrate everything smoothly and remove the stress from our clients, we knew we had to be a unified team. Our architects, builders, plumbers, plasterers, electricians and fitters work together as one coordinated unit. We plan our activities as a team to ensure that you get the home of your dreams delivered to you, our client, on-time — and to the very highest quality. 

If you’d like to discuss your project with our team, feel free to call us today on 021 2348 095.

Building Project Management: Aiming for Excellence

Building project management can be one of the most stressful parts of a home renovation — especially when you’re doing it yourself. At Sigma Homes, we have examined the building industry in Ireland. We identified its most significant issues and used modern systems design principles to eliminate the cost, time-wasting and uglier aspects of the industry.

We aim for nothing but excellence. This is an easy thing to say, but we believe we have shown this is true through our results.  Our aim is to make everything easy. We will work closely with you throughout a redesign, new build, extension or renovation. Starting from planning, throughout the build, down to your experience after we leave and you’re enjoying your home, we aim to make everything about the experience pleasant and easy for you.

Building Project Management That Exceeds Expectations

It’s not enough to surpass expectations and get the job done on-time. We want to give you a lovely experience through and through. Everyone on our team showcases exceptional workmanship and professionalism. Our team of electricians, plumbers, plasterers, tilers, roofers and other building professionals each individually deliver quality work, delivered on-time while giving you a positive experience.  If you’re staying at home during the work, we’ll do our best to coordinate the project around your life. 

Building Project Management

You may have an existing space and looking to build an extension, or you may already have some ideas of what you’d like to do with it. We can call out to get a sense of the space and draw up plans based on your ideas. Our architect can ensure that whatever design you choose, it will maximise light and space to your specifications.

We’ll meet up with you regularly to follow-up on what has happened. We will provide a timeline so that you know what to expect – and we make every effort to ensure that dreams match reality. This is really important to us, especially when we know you have a busy life or kids. If we give you a timeline, we will hit it. We provide a 10-year warranty on a build or renovation. If you ever have a problem, you will always know that we’re only a phone call away. 

To find out more or to arrange a consultation, contact us today on 021 234 8095

Sigma Homes Wins The Best Of Houzz Award For Design

Sigma Homes of Cork

Awarded Best Of Houzz 2020

The Annual People’s Choice Award from the Houzz Community Highlights Home Renovation and Design Professionals with Most Popular Designs and Top Ratings

Cork, Ireland, 13 February, 2020 – Sigma Homes of Cork has won a “Best Of Houzz” award for Design on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design. The incredible Cork-based design and build team was chosen by the millions of homeowners that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.5 million active home building, renovation and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz badge is awarded annually, in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design awards honour professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community. Customer Service honours are based on several factors, including a pro’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews submitted in 2019. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognised with the Photography award.

A “Best Of Houzz 2020” badge will appear on winners’ profiles as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“We’re really happy here at Sigma Homes to receive this award, it’s really good feedback and it lets us know that we’re moving in the right direction. I want to thank Houzz but most importantly all of our customers and all of our staff. Stay tuned for an even bigger year” – Patrick Sigma Homes

“This year’s Best Of Houzz awards go to an incredibly talented and service-oriented group of home renovation and design professionals, and we’re proud to highlight the winners on the Houzz website and app,” said Inés Cid, Managing Director for Houzz UK. “This award is particularly meaningful as it reflects the sentiment of the millions of homeowners in the Houzz community who are hiring home professionals for their projects across the UK and around the world.”

Follow Sigma Homes on Houzz

About Sigma Homes

Sigma Homes’ design and build team has over 40 years experience completing one of a kind home extensions and renovations. They utilise this experience in every project to ensure they maximise the potential in your home and deliver a high-quality bespoke product. Their attention to every detail of your home ensures that they offer a high-quality complete project meeting all your requirements on time and on budget. Their high level of performance has earned them not only this award, but also the coveted Cork Construction Company Of The Year award for several years in a row. Whatever the project, Sigma Homes never fails to meet and exceed expectations.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, discover products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz is a registered trademark of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.co.uk.

Does Your Extension Need Planning Permission?

Will you need extension planning permission for your home? While all builds must stick to building regulations,  not every home extension will need planning permission. Be careful not to take planning lightly. Newly built extensions have been ordered demolished having failed to meet planning regulations. You do not want this to occur in your situation, so take your time to familiarise yourself with the requirements.

Home Extension Planning Permission

Most extensions smaller than forty square metres and under three metres in height are probably exempt from planning permission. But there are some situations where this is not the case. If for any reason you have doubt (and you should take special care if you do), you can get a Section 5 Declaration Form from Cork City Council.  In the Planning and Development Act, 2000,  Section 5 declaration states:

5.—(1) If any question arises as to what, in any particular case, is or is not development or is or is not exempted development within the meaning of this Act, any person may, on payment of the prescribed fee, request in writing from the relevant planning authority a declaration on that question, and that person shall provide to the planning authority any information necessary to enable the authority to make its decision on the matter.

In other words, if you’re unsure if your plan is within regulations you need to declare this. Otherwise, you may risk serious issues later on down the line. Here is the Section 5 Declaration Form available from Cork City Council. There is a fee of €80 for the processing of this form. If you’d rather avoid this fee, you can contact us today for some professional advice.

Extension Planning Permission: Ensure You Meet Fire Regulations

Once you are sure you’re compliant and you have planning permission (if required), you may need to go through the building control process by filing a commencement notice. Building  Control Regulations require that you file structural work (including insulation) for home extensions. There are a few exceptions, including whether or not you need a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC), or if the works are exempt from building regulations, or you do not require planning permission.

At Sigma Homes, we aim to simplify all aspects of building an extension. We can handle almost everything, including the planning application if needed — so that you can rest assured that you don’t run into any unwanted situations.  If you would like more information or advice on your own project, feel free to contact us today on 021 4365 866

Choosing a Builder: 4 Important Tips to Consider

Choosing a builder can be tricky. We’ve all heard stories or had bad experiences with contractors. As builders in Cork working in the industry, we’ve had our fair share of encounters and experiences. We’ve seen time and time again how the wrong builder for the job can cost you time, money and peace of mind. Here are a few tips to consider when choosing a builder.

How to Choose a Builder: Seek Out Reviews

Whether referrals, recommendations, testimonials or reviews, make sure that the builder has some sort of evidence of previous work for you to go by. When you get an in-person recommendation for a family member or friend, be sure and compare the scope of your own project. Check the reviews for comparable projects so that you know you’re comparing like with like.

Choosing The Best Builder for the Project

Some builders can be excellent at a specific type of project, whether an extension or kitchen, but they may lack the skill or experience for larger builds, they

choosing a builder cork

 might not have the experience or finesse to get it done to your exact specifications.  If you can, ask if you can inspect the builder’s finished projects and pay special attention to the finer details and finishes. The proof is in the pudding, but the devil is in the details.

Check The Builder’s Skills and Experience

We’ve heard some horror stories. carpenters selling themselves as building managers and costing time and money and creating unnecessary stress for clients. Always check that the builder is fully insured. When hiring a project manager, be sure they know their craft. A skilled and experienced project manager will be able to read plans and communicate clearly. Do they listen to your questions, ideas and suggestions? How open are they to your ideas?

Clarify All Aspects of the Contract

Ensure that everything is clear and written on paper before hiring. For example, if it’s a new build, who will do the finishes such as plumbing and electrical services, piping and cabling. Also consider plastering, cabinets, sinks, fixtures, tiling and appliances?  What are the specific deliverables? Are they offering any guarantees? What is the agreed procedure for changes? It’s best to have everything clearly laid out so that both parties are on the same page.

We hope this was helpful. If you have any further questions or you’re just seeking clarity, feel free to give us a call today on  021-2348095. If you’re seeking a builder, please check out our testimonials page. We’re proud to be recognised as the 2018 Cork builder of the year.

 

Move Or Renovate? How to Decide

While buying a new home can be exciting, when possible, it’s often more cost-effective to do a full home renovation. Moving has hidden costs of time and money, and selling an existing home raises the issue of hefty fees and taxes.  So is it wiser to move or renovate? It all depends on what makes the most sense for you and your needs. Here are a few pros and cons to help you decide which direction makes the most sense for you. 

One of the biggest reasons to move rather than renovate an existing home is the fact that you can pick a new location. This can mean a smaller or larger home, or a different neighbourhood, close to schools or amenities — closer or further away from town, depending on your preference.  

Move or Renovate? The Disadvantages of Moving

While you can usually find a home that ticks some of the boxes. You’re unlikely to have a layout that’s just right for you. If you do find a space that suits your needs, it’s rare to find one in an ideal area. Buying a home and moving is time-consuming and stressful.  Between searching, viewing, applying for the mortgage, closing on the new home, trying to sell your existing home, etc., it can all end up being a huge hassle.  To make it all worthwhile, there have to be really good reasons to leave your existing home and location.

The Advantage of Home Renovation with Sigma Homes

With Sigma Homes, you can plan a renovate to meet your exact specifications. Renovation lets you choose how everything is laid out to suit your needs and tastes. If you love your existing location, you don’t have to move. Home renovation lets you stay where you are while avoiding the costs of moving and selling your home.

A typical downside to home renovation is that it requires a period of time with mess and activity around the home. For example, a major kitchen renovation could leave you without a place to prepare food for days, or even weeks as tends to be the case when dealing with various contractors. Typically (though not with us), you have to deal with various contractors and no matter how much vetting and planning you do, you tend to run into hiccups which can cost time and additional expense not planned in your original budget.  With Sigma Homes, we aim to take the stress out of renovation. We can manage the entire build, and our team of experts take care of everything ‘in house’. We are used to working together with the aim of getting the job done to the highest quality and with the least amount of disruption to you. By minimising costs and build time while increasing build quality, home renovation can be made relatively pain-free. Especially when compared with the time and expense of moving. 

If you’re unsure whether to move or if a home renovation can offer you the changes you’re after, we would be happy to examine your existing home, listen to your ideas, then present to you a plan based on your existing structure. To find out more, please call us today on 021-2348095

5 Tips Before You Remodel Your Kitchen

The advantage of doing your kitchen remodelling with Sigma Homes is that we can help you reduce build cost and time while avoiding many of the common pitfalls. Still, if you decide to go it alone, here are a few important kitchen remodelling tips.kitchen remodelling tips

1. Don’t Underestimate Your Budget

Of all the kitchen remodelling tips, this is number one. It’s common for people to start a build or remodel with the best of intentions, but no matter how frugal you are, without experience managing a build, there are simply too many factors that can be overlooked or just go wrong. We’ve had clients come to us frustrated after spending way beyond their intended budget before realising they were better off seeking help. If you’re going it alone, it’s not uncommon to pay 40% more than you originally planned. Things do go wrong, there are things you will overlook, and when you’re doing it yourself you’re the one who foots the bill. (This is one of the issues you can avoid entirely by going with Sigma Homes). 

2. Don’t Underestimate the Time Involved

When you factor in the design, the build, the inevitable issues that arise, not to mention the appliances, fixtures, managing different contractors, getting them back to fix a bad installation, etc., you are often talking about extended periods of time. Sourcing great, reliable contractors is a job in itself. When you are managing the kitchen remodel with separate contractors, it can be an ordeal getting them to show up in good time, and come back when they’re needed. We have worked with clients whose home became a building site as they waited for unreliable contractors to finish the job they had barely started. 

3. Make Sure You Have a Solid Plan

Kitchen remodelling is a big investment in time and money. To get it done in good time, you’ll want to ensure that you have the various contractors in and out in the right order to minimise disruptions. In addition to the kitchen, you may find that there is disruption in other areas of your home too. Also, remember to have a plan for food preparation as there may be times when this is unavailable to you. 

Once your contractors get to work, you don’t want to chop and change as you go. This can lead to serious delays and additional expense. It’s vital that you have a clear plan in advance so that you increase the speed of your build while minimising cost and disruption. 

4. Don’t Overlook Your Infrastructure

When ordering new appliances and fixtures, it’s easy to forget about the plumbing and electrics. Consult with an electrician and a plumber to ensure that you have adequate access (and capacity) for your water, gas and electricity. This is especially important for older homes which may have outdated systems that are incapable of handling an increased load. 

5. Call Us For Advice and More Kitchen Remodelling Tips

If you’re looking for guidance, feel free to call us. At Sigma Homes, we’ve seen the many issues that can plague kitchen renovation projects. We aim to solve these problems, giving our clients a superior quality build, on time and with zero stress. We will help you plan, producing an architecturally designed, high-quality renovation plan for your kitchen.  Because we manage the entire project with our own contractors, we can ensure that everything is completed on time and on budget.

When you arrange a free consultation, we’ll call by, take a look at your kitchen space and offer you some kitchen remodelling tips. There’s no pressure and no obligation. Give us a call today on 021-2348095

Building Ireland Magazine – Sigma Homes

We were thrilled to be featured in Building Ireland magazine, and even more happy to make the front cover. See what they had to say about us and read the full story below to find out what makes Sigma Homes so different to our competitors and why everyone is talking about us in Cork.