- "Have a meeting with your architect, and see if you are on the same 'wave lines', as it is a long process."
- "The design brief was to create a comfortable ground floor and remove small rooms, to create an open plan kitchen dining living room as a family space."
Architect and Interior Designer Patrycja Rogala of Patrycja Rogala Architects Ltd. who are based in Rathfarnham, County Dublin has more than 20 years experience working on projects from inception to completion with her services including new build, remodelling, extensions and interior design.
Here, Ms Rogala discusses an extension project that she worked on in Foxrock, Dublin 18.
“The design brief was to create a comfortable ground floor and remove small rooms, to create an open plan kitchen dining living room as a family space. Have a utility/pantry off the kitchen with rear access to the garden.
Ground floor extension to create a separate bedroom with en-suite and office, and must – have WC for guests. First floor needed to have 3 comfortable double bedrooms and a Master suite, with an en-suite and walk-in wardrobe.
Upgrading dated, and the tired look of the original house, but keeping with the character was also important,” explained Patrycja.
“There were no major delays, just usual sequencing of trades, subcontractors and deliveries, but with excellent Contractor’s project managing skills all worked out perfectly”
Now that the project is completed, is there anything the homeowners would do differently?
“I have actually asked that question, and the answer was, no, no changes, they are very happy with the result, and how it turned out.
The house is beautiful, comfortable, really warm and energy efficient.”
As to any advice Patrycja would have for anyone who may be about to embark on a similar type of project to this one?
“The advice is to firstly have a competent contractor, whose reputation speaks for themselves, as often the cheapest tender is the worse choice.
Cheapest contractors, from experience, are working on extras that occurred during the build, or they don’t include something in the bill of quantities.
To avoid that, it is wise to have a quantity surveyor. QS will prepare a bill of quantities as a part of the tender package, and then analyse Tenders submitted, plus advice on every claim, change, variation, omission addition, during the construction.
His/hers fees, as high as they seem to be, are ‘paid,’ for in savings during the project, or early negotiations.
“Plan your budget wisely, leave 10-15 % contingency for unforeseen items, as working with existing buildings is very complex, and even with excellent, detailed tender packages, something could be hidden in the fabric, structure, ground condition, that could not be uncovered before full demolitions, or excavations. said Patrycja
“Have a meeting with your architect, and see if you are on the same ‘wave lines’, as it is a long process, and you need to feel the architect understands your needs as a person or a family, then something amazing will come out of it,” concluded Ms Rogala.