Do You Need Planning Permission?

We’re often asked by clients, “Do you need planning permission to get an extension?”. The worry is, of course, the stress of all the paperwork, the hopes of getting approval, the dismay and disappointment if you’re not approved, and then having to repeat the whole ordeal again. When you’re looking at the big picture at the early start of a home renovation or extension, it can feel intimidating, to say the least. Thankfully, we can assure our clients even at this early stage with two answers that are equally true.

Do You Need Planning Permission?

Our first answer for many of our clients is this; You absolutely don’t need to get planning permission to completely change your home. You would be amazed what adding just two or three hundred square feet to your home can do when it’s done strategically and with an overall vision in mind. You can create a home that really works. A common problem with traditional Irish houses is that the proportions are all wrong. You have important rooms like your living area that are too long and narrow, hallways that are too tight and small, kitchen and living rooms that aren’t centred, poorly placed doors that can make your living room feel a bit like a corridor. By strategically adding space to your home, the other rooms and partition walls can be reconsidered. Together, we can look at how you live, how you’d love to live, and we can re-envision your space to support you and your family.

Our Second Answer

So, do you need Planning Permission? Our second answer is for you if perhaps you need more space. Say you have a bigger family or more ideas of what they’d like your home to be. For you, we’d say you might need to get planning permission — but this absolutely does not have to be a source of stress for you. Sure, if you were doing this alone it could be problematic. But the reality is we do this every day. We know what the planning authorities need and want in a design. So we take your dream and ideas, and together we can create a plan. We ensure that what you want can be achieved with swift and painless approval. We are happy to manage the planning application process. Rest assured that no matter what steps you need to take, we’re here to help you. If you’d like to see what’s possible, feel free to give us a call today. We would be delighted to stop by to meet you, discuss your ideas, and give you an opportunity to see what we can accomplish. 

What Do You Need?

What Do You Need? At Sigma Homes, we’re constantly seeking better ways to answer this question. We constantly ask ourselves what can we do to make your home more comfortable. What can we do to make the renovation experience feel easier for our client? We work to stay at the cutting edge of the latest building technologies, materials, designs and finishes.  A big part of our job is to do the painful work for our clients so that, for them, the entire experience from start to finish is seamless, easy and enjoyable.

We are always looking out for better quality building materials that will improve the quality of our client’s home and their life. We constantly add and add to our skills, our materials and our repertoire of products and styles. We know that each new client we work with has their own unique preferences, and we strive to make it as easy as possible for them to find the exact thing they’re looking for. No matter how big or small the job, from a full renovation to a bedroom remodelling, we learn from the experience so that we can make it even better the next time.

What Do You Need To Make This a Pleasurable Experience?

Everyone knows that renovating can be one of the biggest (and potentially most stressful) projects you will undertake in your life. There are a hundred little things that can become difficult. Take one example: choosing your finishes. We all know that it can be an exhausting process that can easily take up hundreds of hours of your time. When you think about it, the bulk of this time is wasted. As you pore through catalogues and websites, you must view hundreds and hundreds of products, colours or ideas that are not even close to what you want.

We have found countless areas like this in the renovation process, where we have been able to improve our client’s experience. During our initial meetings, we get to know your preferences; We learn about your style, your ideas, your wishes, expectations, as well as what you don’t want. From there, we can go over our massive library of possibilities and, after deliberation and discussion, we will present to you some ideas we think are most in-line with your tastes and preferences. Very often, we get such a good sense of what our client wants that they are thrilled with one of the ideas we present to them — or they only need to make a few refinements. And in the rare times when this doesn’t quite match, we are often able to pinpoint what isn’t matching their needs and present a different idea that is exactly what they want.

Whatever the hard work entails, we can bear the burden for you. Whether it’s sorting out planning permission for you or helping you find the best styles and designs, we listen to what you need and do the painful work — so that you can enjoy the experience. 

Fully Customised Kitchens

At Sigma Homes, we produce fully customised kitchens that have been designed from the ground-up to suit you, your family and your lifestyle. As bespoke kitchen renovators, we know that you have a vision and we’re here to help you make it a reality. Our client’s satisfaction is what matters to us.

An Unfortunate Reality In The Industry

We hear so much positive feedback every day, and we use this feedback to ensure we are always providing the best service possible. But we’ve heard too many stories from clients who, before meeting us, had a bad experience when hiring a builder on a different project. As we listened, we realised we were essentially hearing the same story over and over again. The gist of the story is this. The client has an idea of what they want and what they don’t. They are careful about the builder they choose. They have call-outs and meetings and receive quotes, and finally, after countless hours and discussions with different builders, they chose the one who seemed like the best fit. The contractor was polite, seemed to be very knowledgeable, open and enthusiastic about the ideas discussed. They genuinely seem eager to work with them to fulfil their vision. Great!

But once the renovation starts, things begin to go downhill. The original plans and designs, which had been discussed and agreed upon, seemed to go out the window. It seems the builder has his own way of doing things; the placement and sizes of units, which was agreed prior to building, are altered without discussion with the client. Colours and finishes are changed. And often, the client only found this out after the contractor has ordered the units are already installed. When the client raises an issue, pointing to the original agreed plans, the contractor argues, becomes defensive and instead of promptly rectifying the problem, they instead become difficult to reach. The build gets delayed by weeks or more as the builder seemingly disappears off the surface of the earth. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual story, and it’s one of the “norms” in the industry that we have always sought to disrupt. 

Fully Customised Kitchens That Delightfully customised kitchens

We are constantly evaluating what goes well and what can be improved in our processes. That is why when we won the Best Of Houzz Award for Design, we reflected on what had got us there. We realised one of the key factors was this: When a client chooses us, we are on their side.

From the very first meeting, our goal is to use our knowledge and expertise to fulfil our client’s wishes. We want our client to see their newly renovated home for the first time and feel delight. We want what’s best for our client based on their needs. No cookie-cutter solutions, no “standard” design. Just high standards and designs which we can feel confident will, at the very least, reach our client’s highest expectations.  In the early stages of design, we will, of course, offer suggestions if we think it will better achieve our client’s vision. But it’s just that; a suggestion. And from the initial meeting and throughout the planning phase, we will be making sure that the plans we agree upon are precisely what our client wants. Of course, we are open to making changes later in the project — but that will be on our client’s terms. 

If you’d like to meet with us to discuss your ideas, give us a call today on 021 4365 866

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.

Home Renovations Worth Waiting For

While we currently have a waiting list of clients for home renovations, we provide home renovations worth waiting for. When you arrange a date to work with us, we stand by it. As a client-focused design and renovation organisation, we put our efforts into streamlining every aspect of the renovation process. We use process-improvement techniques to ensure that with every build, we get more efficient at delivering top tier results. What this means is that we know how long something will take; and when we provide a start and finish date, we can stand by it.

Home Renovations Worth Waiting For. A Passion for Design

We have a huge passion for what we do. We are about professionalism, quality craftsmanship, and incorporating excellence in everything we do. As our architect listens to your needs and wishes, they are already visualising the end results and thinking of ways to meet your requirements while maximising light and space. One of the most stressful aspects of renovating a home is spending dozens if not hundreds of hours calling around to shops, poring over catalogues and going online in search for the right tiles, floors, paints, windows, fixtures, and colours to match the space and your taste. With our knowledge of what you want and our own wide-ranging selection, we can provide you with some samples, specific suggestions that we think will match your taste and your requirements, and complement the build beautifully. We want you to love the light and space in your new home, so we go the extra mile for you. This is why last month we won the Houzz Award for Design

Whatever design you go with, we will complete it to an exceptional level of quality. We will go through the snag list and make sure everything is completed to perfection before we finalise the handover. For us, the handover is not the end. We consider the completion of your home renovation at the beginning of our relationship with you. This is why we include a 10-year warranty on all our projects. If there’s a problem with any aspect of the renovation, including any fixtures that we’ve installed, we are just a phone call away — and we prioritise all existing clients as highly as our potential clients.

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

How to Choose an Architect

Knowing how to choose an architect is essential. A good architect will ensure that your project goes smoothly, stays within budget, and matches your dreams and expectations. You need an architect to handle the parts of the project that most people don’t even consider. Whether it’s negotiating complicated planning and application procedures and regulations, you need someone who knows the ins and outs.

Management is crucial. Even a small extension can create serious issues if done improperly. Think of the disruption that can be caused by having a painter in or having a roof repaired and multiply it a hundredfold. A new build or renovation can be one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. Your home should add to your quality of life. An architect can help you achieve this, but you must ensure you have someone you like, trust, and can comfortably discuss the project with. 

How to Choose an Architect: Ask for Referrals

In Ireland, we still primarily seek recommendations through word of mouth. Ask your friends and family who they used for their build, but be sure to consider your own project. Be sure that you’re comparing apples to apples. Someone may have had an excellent architect for their home extension, but is it the same type of project as your restoration or renovation?  Get a good close-up look at the work that was done so you can judge for yourself if it matches your tastes and expectations. Some of our clients share their experiences

View the architect’s portfolio

Check for the quality of the finished work. Again compare apples to apples. If the portfolio shows extravagant, complex designs but you’re looking for a straightforward design for your 3-bedroom semi-detached, ask for examples that are more in line with what you want. We offer full transparency. We keep our architectural portfolio publically visible for everyone to see. 

how to choose an architect

Make sure they are communicative

Hire an architect who listens and is willing and able to interpret your ideas into the designs you want. At the end of it all, it’ll be you who will be living in the house. So you need to make sure that they’re helping you realise your ideal home and preferences, not theirs. Make sure you can agree on a design together and then be sure you both stick to it.

“Their workmanship was incredible. When it came to the snag list nothing was too big, nothing was too small. Every single detail, they took as seriously as if it was their own house, they were just an incredible bunch to work with”.
— Irene Galvin, Client

Knowing how to choose an architect is the difference between having a beautiful home that suits your needs and is in keeping with its surroundings, and having a never-ending nightmare of disruption and disagreement. Your architect’s job isn’t just to come up with nice uses of the space; they should help you through the planning process, ensure you conform to building, health and safety requirements, and essentially, manage the building contractors to ensure a smooth and efficient process through and through. 

At Sigma Homes, we spent years analysing the many pitfalls of the building industry. With a client-first approach, our organisation aims to take away the delays, stress and trouble out of a home renovation or extension. If you’d like to find out more about how we work, experience first-hand how we approach a build, feel free to arrange an obligation-free consultation today on 021 2348 095.

Renovating an Existing House

When it comes to renovating an existing house, we’ve helped hundreds of families hit the mark. We provide a “one-stop-shop” for all aspects of renovation; from the design to the finish, we can stop by, assess your space, listen to your needs and ideas, and provide plans that will meet and hopefully exceed your wishes. Here are a few words from some of our happy clients.

Irene’s experience

“Sigma made our dream a reality, which was a lovely family home. Patrick is an incredible architect, and there are things I wouldn’t have done that he convinced us to do, and while at the time I couldn’t visualise it, he could. Their workmanship is incredible. When it came to the snag list, nothing was too big or too small. They took everything as seriously as if it was their own house. They were just incredible to work with.

They were unbelievable when it came to timing. They estimated it would be 20 weeks from start to finish, and they actually finished beforehand. You felt like you were working with your father or brother. They minded us; they looked after us. The meetings they held with us were incredibly helpful. If at night you were getting a bit stressed thinking about the renovation, you’d go into the meeting, and they’d just smooth out all the creases and guarantee that everything would be fine — and everything was. I couldn’t recommend them enough; they were brilliant.”

You can view Irene’s full testimonial here.

Renovating the Boland’s House

“We lived in this home since 1978. When the kids were up and gone, we looked around and decided we’d try and do something. We started with the idea of just doing an en-suite, but that vision expanded thanks to Sigma’s architect, Patrick O’Brien. He showed us that nothing was a problem. He said, “Yes of course — if you want it like that you can have it like that. You don’t want to hear anyone say, ‘No, it can’t be done’.”

“My experience of builders have been mixed, but I found the lads in Sigma were excellent. They were very professional, very organised. And if we did have a problem they’d make a phone call, solved, problem gone. That, to me, was great. They were a one-stop-shop. From planning to finish, the job was absolutely brilliant. One of the beauties of the build is the outside space. There have been a couple of mornings when, being retired and not under time constraints, to be able to sit out the back in the morning with my cup of coffee is absolutely brilliant. I’ve had a few calls from people, and I have absolutely no problem recommending Sigma. And that doesn’t come easy from me. I would be fairly critical, and I find them excellent.”

View the Boland’s entire testimonial here.

If you’re planning on renovating an existing house and would like to discuss your project, feel free to contact us today on 021-4365866.