S J Carroll & Co Architects provides architectural services on new houses and on renovations and extensions of existing houses across the Southside of Dublin and Co. Wicklow. If you would like to discuss your project with us, please contact us via email
To embark on a building project is to set out on a great adventure. It requires clear vision to see it to completion. We bring our considerable experience of designing new houses and of renovating and extending older properties to help our Clients achieve that vision.
At the beginning of the project, the Client will have a range of objectives in mind and it is the understanding of this and the subsequent formulation of the brief that is surely the most important phase of the design process. We believe the building process is necessarily a collaborative one and we work with our Clients from the outset to achieve their aims. Our Clients appreciate our professionalism, expertise, ability to listen and our clear communication.
The design and building process can be divided into the following stages:
We recommend that a feasibility study be first undertaken to establish the general nature, scope and cost of the proposed project. We can carry out such a report. The report would cover the following areas:
A statement of the Client's brief, requirements and aspirations as they are understood.
Based on the above, a very outline description of the nature of the actual project. A diagram might be provided for clarification. Note that design work is not started at this stage.
An indicative and very approximate costing of the proposed works including a breakdown of the costs of the main elements of the work.
Whether any other consultants are required apart from the Architect. Architects and other fees.
The intention is to present an overview of the project requirements in advance of the appointment of the Architect and the commencement of design work in particular to identify the budget needed to achieve the project objectives.
This is the start of the design process proper.
The first step is to review the original brief again in order to get the fullest understanding of the Client's needs and wishes.
The site gets documented by survey.
The site is analysed in terms of its orientation to the entrance, the position of the sun and the views etc.
We look at the options and advise on a strategy for the property taking into account the Client's brief.
We use 3D computer models to explain the proposals as well as the concept and logic behind them. We find that these 3D computer models are very comprehensible to Clients - particularly those less familiar with traditional construction drawings.
At the end of this stage, the design will have started to take shape and the strategy worked out with the Client will have become clearer.
The initial design is developed further during this stage.
More developed drawings and 3D computer models are prepared and agreed with the Client. At this stage materials for the construction and finishes are being proposed and discussed.
The design drawings and documentation are developed to a stage where they can be lodged for any statutory approvals required such as Planning Permission.
This stage is primarily concerned with the obtaining of tenders for the construction of the project.
The preparation of construction documentation which are mainly comprised of drawings and specifications. They are prepared in detail to ensure that the project will comply with the various parts of the current building regulations and the other statutory regulations. As an example of the level of detail achieved, the drawings would include such detail as positions of each electrical socket.
The incorporation of low-energy technology and construction into the design.
The preparation of building contracts and other documents necessary to set up the contractual relationship between Client and builder.
This stage covers the construction of the project on site:
We inspect the work as it progresses from when the builder first lays the foundations to when the building is completed and is ready to be handed over to the Client.
We review and record progress on the site in liaison with any other consultants on the project.
We certify interim payments to the builder.
We issue certificates on completion.
Our Services are tailored to suit our Client's individual project requirements. We offer a wide range of services including
As can be seen from the range in our portfolio we love taking on projects of all types and sizes. We try to identify the best design solution in each particular case working closing with the clients at each stage in the process. Please look at the sections below to select the category which best describes the services you need.
Your home provides a backdrop to many of the most important events in your family's life and it is important that it is designed in accordance with your particular requirements, aspirations as well as your budget.
Typically a new house will:
Be organised with the best and most efficient layout
Use the site in the best possible way
Take maximum advantage of available views: both to and from the house
Take maximum advantage of available sun and light
Have a minimal energy demand
Sit comfortably in its setting
We have completed a portfolio of well-designed one-off houses - many of which are located in very sensitive settings - and we look forward to helping you bring your project to fruition.
We have completed a considerable number of very successful extension-and-renovation projects on existing houses and other buildings.
We believe that two of the most important issues in planning the renovation of the house are:
The need to listen very carefully to the Client's brief and needs. The Clients usually have a very clearly thought-out idea of their requirements before we even meet them - often as a result of living in the house for an extended period of time and knowing many of the possibilities and limitations of the house.
The need to set a clear limit to the scope of the refurbishment. A total and complete renovation of the house may not be possible - or appropriate - and it is the line between what is to be replaced and what is to be retained that needs to be clearly defined. 'Creepage' is the informal term used to describe the crossing of that line.
Renovation & Extension
Working with an older building - be it a designated Protected Structure or not - requires great care, skill and diligence.
In the case of Protected Structures, the process is closely regulated under the Planning Acts.
The first steps in a development project associated with an older building include the preparation of detailed survey drawings, the assessment of the character of the structure as well the compilation of the relevant history insofar as is possible.
We are sensitive to the protection of the character of the structure and the particular features of the building. We have a good knowledge of the relevant historic repair techniques and are experienced in gaining the necessary statutory consents.
We are accredited in Conservation to RIAI Grade 3 to work on Protected Structures and would be very interested in explaining what we can do to help you with your project.
In the case of large projects, the Client will typically - but not always - want to engage a landscape design professional. However, we generally provide landscape design on our smaller projects in conjunction with providing architectural services.
Typically the landscape design will be explored in 3D form at the design stage and subsequently construction drawingswill be prepared that show the 'hard' landscaping elements such as paths, beds, pools etc as well as the 'soft' elements such as trees, hedges and lawns.
We can prepare a sensitive landscaping scheme that is complementary to the architecture of the new house or renovated / extended house working closely with the Clients.
Planning permission is generally required except in the case of certain simple works and certain designated Exempted Developments. A planning application should have professional assistance in the research and design development stages and in the preparation of drawings and other necessary documentation. We can help with all of this by
Reviewing neighbouring planning applications and monitoring the progress of the application through the planning system as well as observing the subsequent works on site.
Making submissions in respect of e.g. Draft Development Plans on behalf of our Clients. Preparing and lodging Pre-Planning submissions to obtain the view of the local authority on prospective developments.
Reviewing the development potential of a property.
Self-builders are people who choose to take more direct control over the construction process. There are many reasons why they might choose to do this. These include:
That they may want to use their own skills or their time in the construction process.
That they may feel that they can benefit financially through their own input.
In addition to the standard architectural services outlined elsewhere on this site, we can help with the typical issues that accompany self-build projects: site selection at the initial stage and bank certification as the project starts to materialise on site, for example.
Pre-purchase Condition Reports: If a building is about to be purchased, it is important that the client appoint an Architect or other appropriate construction professional to carry out such a report. Many of the defects and issues with the building that may not be apparent to the Client can be identified at this stage and this will help in establishing e.g. the costs of upgrading the property. Such a report would normally be required by the lending institutions in any case.
Pre-purchase Visit: Sometimes we are asked to visit a property and give our initial informal impressions about the property to our Client.
Typical subjects that would be discussed are:
First impressions of the condition of the property and its environs
Suggested planning issues to investigate
Suggested paperwork to obtain from Vendors
Future development ideas for the property
Availability and nature of services; site and geographical constraints
Issues to investigate further
These visits are not a substitute for the Pre-purchase Condition Report
We can provide a range of drawing services.
3D Visualisations of particular buildings or sites that may be required. These can be in paper or video formats.
Photomontages - perhaps showing a proposed building or structure in an existing setting that may be needed to explain a particular project.
The marking up of Land Registry compliant maps for land transfer purposes.
WORKING WITH AN ARCHITECT:
where can you find Advice on working with an Architect?
RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland)
RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)
what Grants are available to assist you in the sustainable upgrading of your house?
HRI (Home Renovation Incentive)
SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland)
where can you download information on the repair and maintenance of your Period House or Protected Structure?
AHG (Dept. of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht)
Click on the 'Department of Housing, Local Govt and Heritage Advice Series' to select and download pdf-format manuals on historic windows, roofs, brickwork, ironwork etc.
where can you find more information on Sustainability?
IGBC (Irish Green Building Council)
SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland)
where can you find easy-to-read information on a Homeowners particular responsibilities under Safety, Health & Welfare at Work 2013 Legislation?
HSA (Health & Safety Authority)
where can I find information on interior design ideas?
Simon Carroll B. Arch MRIAI