All Posts By

Good Brother

Why is it taking so much longer than planned…?

By | Inspirations

Welcome to the world of building your own home. If you haven’t done this before it can be the most exciting and frustrating process to ever challenge a person.

Once you commissioned a builder and they tell you everything you want to hear, the architect has recommended them and the QS is giving you everything you want and all within budget you literally couldn’t be happier… well maybe not!

As we see regularly on building shows such as Room To Improve is that it’s really rare that things go directly to plan, it takes longer and costs more!

Have a rock-solid plan

From finding a suitable lot to build on, to getting all the required paperwork and permissions in order, to finding a building contractor, to selecting a design and finishing scheme, pretty much every aspect of the construction process must be planned for well in advance.

Create a comprehensive action plan with budgets and timelines for every desired outcome and leave nothing to chance. Don’t just plan for the expected – plan for the unexpected as well.

What happens if your builder accidentally cuts through a water mains during construction? What if certain permissions do not come through on time? What if certain materials are not available? Planning for every eventuality is perhaps the most important step toward eliminating delays and keeping things on plan.

Be intentional and decisive

When you make a decision after giving it due thought and consideration, make sure to stick with it and follow through on executing it. The easiest way to create delays and bottlenecks in your house building project is to change your mind about something midway through. So you chose ceramic floors, but midway through you start to wonder whether hardwood floors would work better even though it wasn’t part of your plan. Don’t. Do. It. Really.

Apart from the fact that you can expect to tack on a few more weeks onto your construction schedule, even a tiny change can have all sorts of unintended consequences that can dramatically escalate costs or even threaten the entire project altogether. Once you decide on something with your builder, follow through on it single religiously.

Make sure you have all the money you need

This is a surprisingly common mistake that home builders often make during the planning stage. Even if the bank has committed to crediting your mortgage account on a particular date, or you are expecting a payment before a specific date, do not plan as if you already have that money.

Wait for all payments you are expecting to come in first and then you can start to execute your budget.

The last thing you want is to be left red-faced with a returned cheque or failed debit, struggling to explain to a supplier or tradesperson that you’re really not trying to stiff them, but there must be a mistake from the bank…

 

Ensure that everything you will order is available

This is particularly important for materials that are key to your build, or cannot be replaced easily. Weeks before commencement, you should do a spot of research to confirm that all the materials and items you will order in the course of the build are available in the quantities that you need.

Never assume that a supplier must have something in stock because on the off-chance that they don’t, you could be facing expensive delays to your project while you run around sourcing it from elsewhere.

Communicate constantly!

After selecting a winning bid, your communication with the contractor has only just begun. It’s not a good idea to assume that “they know what they’re doing so I’ll just stay out of their way”.

In many cases, you need to be in constant contact to properly communicate what you want and how you want it. The contractor’s job is to render their services and get paid – not to read your mind. If you don’t get your builder to observe your vision, they still end up with a cheque regardless, while you end up with an unsatisfactory house.

 

If you would like any more info please give us a call or call to our brand new showroom based in Briarhill, Galway.

It’s better to think earlier than later when it comes to finishes…

By | Inspirations

Because it takes a lot of time!!

Paint colours, carpet, counter-tops…for many people, choosing the finishes and selections for their new home is the most fun part of the building process! This is the opportunity to make the home truly yours. The best part of choosing finishes for your home is that you can be as creative or conservative as you wish—it all depends on your personal style, and how you want to live in your home.

Whether you’re building a new home or renovating your current one, finishes are like the icing on the cake. If you’re feeling intimidated by the thought of choosing the perfect home selections and finishes, never fear! These five tips will inspire your creative juices.

Your choice should reflect your personality

If you’re going to live in that house with your family and have your friends over from time to time, you probably want to put a few customising touches on it. It should reflect you, which in turn helps you feel more at ease.

If you’re a quiet indoors person, soft colours and comfort-first furniture should be right up your street, but if you’re the more extroverted type and you’re likely to have a house party every now and again, you probably want a bold colour scheme with artsy, visual furnishings.

Use the Internet to get a second opinion

A number of design and photo-sharing websites give you a gateway to a world of options and design concepts. Your builder might possibly be less than thrilled to you second-guess their opinions based on something you saw on the internet, but remember that once their job is done, they don’t have to live in the house – you do.

Always make sure you have seen a good number of options before making a choice, so that you don’t see a kickass concept on Pinterest two weeks after moving in and then start having regrets. While you’re doing this however, keep in mind that you should probably…

Limit your options to keep your sanity

Now it’s all well and good poring through hundreds of options on Pinterest, trying to decide on a single design that fully encapsulates your desires but keep in mind that the number of available options is literally unlimited. If your decision is dependent on going through all the options you can find on the Internet, you will probably never get round to building your house.

To avoid the paralysis of excessive choice, consciously limit your options to a manageable number and then start eliminating them one by one. When you are down to two or three options, you can also involve your builder to help you make a selection.

Always keep your budget in mind

It is very easy to get carried away by the euphoria of creating your own living space and overseeing how it is put together. So easy in fact that you might end up several €000 out of pocket if you’re not careful! When making your merry way across photo sharing internet sites and examining options with your builder, always have your budget in mind as your primary selection parameter.

Never make the mistake of telling yourself, “I’m sure I can squeeze out a few extra €00 for this…” because it will not stop with just that one item.

Reduce your time window and just do it!

As a rule, the more time you have to get something done, the more likely you are to procrastinate or vacillate without actually achieving anything, which ends up in either a rushed decision at the last minute or changing your mind several times during the period.

To avoid creating unnecessary stress for yourself and your contractor, it is better to simply give yourself a reasonable time window to make all decisions and lock them in. Once you are done making your choices, force yourself to move on and attend to other things.

To avoid the paralysis of excessive choice, consciously limit your options to a manageable number and then start eliminating them one by one. When you are down to two or three options, you can also involve your builder to help you make a selection.

If you would like any more info please give us a call or call to our brand new showroom based in Briarhill, Galway.

Building a new home? You need this!

By | News

Often times people begin to build their house using a notepad, at best, as the budget monitoring tool. There are so many different bits and pieces that impact on the budgets and its really easy to loose track of a few smaller things, all which end up adding up to €000’s come the end of the build.

It isn’t the big stuff either, as many discover when they embark on their home building project. Generally, the price advertised as the starting point will not vary dramatically from what you will pay if you select base options for everything. The problem is, that will never happen. It is extremely unlikely that you will be happy to go with the default options for your cabinets, flooring, counter-tops, doors, electrical outlets and attic storage, amongst others.

Nobody really wants to spend €110,000 on a building project only to end up with a house that looks like it came out of a bargain catalogue. Everyone who goes through the trouble of building a house definitely wants to express their tastes and personality in its aesthetics, and if the price of doing so is a few extra Euros, well so what?

The trouble is that builders know this too, and so they make sure to offer only the most basic, often bordering on unattractive design options with the basic price package. If you want a fancy screen door instead of a slab of wood separating two rooms, or you want tiles laid in a pattern instead of a thin brown carpet, you have to pay extra. As the house takes shape, such decisions have to be made several times, and before you know it, you have a few €000 of unplanned expenses burning a hole in your finances.

To help you avoid this, we have developed a detail spread sheet that will help you to become a budget tracking ninja over the next few months of your build. This spread sheet not only helps you keep track of your spending, but also ensures that at every point during your build, you know exactly where your money is going and you can keep your builder accountable.

Click here to download the budget tracker for Free.

Don’t say we never did anything nice for you.

Show them you are the Jones’s!

By | News

We all like to show off a bit every now and again and it’s just a really nice feeling to invite your friends and/or family around to have a nice meal and maybe even a glass of wine or two!

With technology and design pushing its way forward at a faster rate than ever, it’s actually now quiet affordable to be able to have a really elegant, swanky looking “Heart of the home” on a realistic budget…

You don't have to spend an arm and a leg to achieve the look you're looking for. In fact with just an open mind and a few hundred Euros, it is possible to transform your home into the deluxe twin you always wished it was.

You can’t go wrong with paint…or wallpaper

A fresh coat of paint, or a new wallpaper can convert a disused, cold attic into a warm family space, or an old dark living room into a bright space beaming with light. It’s nothing short of amazing the things you can achieve with a few hundred quid in paint or rolls, and when you are done, the neighbours won’t stop coming over.

Cushions and sofas look better with throws and pillows

Regardless of how old or uncomfortable your furniture is, the use of a few brightly colored and strategically placed comfort pillows can completely alter the dynamic and make your sofa look like the most attractive chill space in Ireland. Add a couple of well-designed throws to this strategy, and what you have is a successful attempt at conning the sensory abilities of the neighbours. All for less than €100.

It’s all in the windows…

Like paint, lighting is everything in terms of manipulating people’s senses to see a particular picture that may or may not actually be there. Generally you can’t go wrong with enhanced use of natural lighting, and the windows themselves can be an added source of décor. For an evening dinner, you can go for a heavy ornamental look with the curtains, and for an afternoon hangout you can choose a light, airy set that permits light and ventilation through easily. It really is all about the lighting.

And speaking of lighting…

Your light fittings and colours are themselves an inexpensive but extremely impactful way of enhancing your décor. You could decide to ditch the conventional yellows and whites and try something bold like red light in some parts of the house. Installing dimmer switches is also another way to play around with the intensity of your lighting, which allows you to play with shadows and colours.

Don’t skimp on the decorations and accessories

Counter top crystals. Table-top figurines. Shelf gnomes. The little things really do count for a lot in the end. At their most basic level, these cheap but beautiful (if not functional) trinkets allow you to give the room character. Your guests will always have something to look at and engage, which creates the temporary illusion of being inside an impressive residence.

Your kids will love you for it…

By | Inspirations

We all know the feeling of when we were younger when our parents embarrassed us or we were slightly embarrassed about bringing our friends to our home because of what they might see. Research has shown that these days, kids are a lot more aware of their social status, with the huge rise of social media, images, brands, fashion etc.

A recent study in the UK shows that children aged between 11-16 years old were very aware of their surroundings at home with regards to feeling proud or in some cases ashamed of where they live.  It shows that kids that are happier to invite their friends around have better and stronger bonds with their family and therefore spend more time at home both alone and with their friends…

The place is a mess!

When you share a space with your family, it’s hard to escape that well-meaning chaos that results in the living room, bathroom and other communal spaces. Toys, keys and clothes find their way all over the house in some sort of systematically chaotic non-formation and when Callum brings his friends round, he might get very self-conscious about it. He has after all, seen what a respectable middle class family house is supposed to look like on TV and Netflix…

The colour scheme is tacky

One of the things about belonging to a different generation from your children is that your ideas about style and design are generally about 15 years out of date.

The neighbourhood isn’t great

Much as you may try not to show it, kids know when they live in the ‘wrong’ part of town. Apart from your overprotectiveness whenever they have to step out of the house, the other kids at school are probably brutally honest about their thoughts on where they live. To your eyes, it may not quite be Boys In The Hood, but in his opinion you might as well be living In the ghetto…

The house is too small

Emma watches TV and goes to school with people who live in plush 5-bedroom houses with nannies and helpers. You might not realise it, but even at her early age, she can tell that there is a bit of a difference between her house and Caoimhe’s house. Enough to make herself conscious about it.

Add €40K to your home value! Really??

By | News

I mean this is serious. Let me explain.

Let’s say you’re living in a house and it could do with a bit of a refresh, whether it’s a new floor or bathroom suit or carpet etc, you get the picture. Why not consider these 3 things!

We spent time doing research and interviewing a number of estate agents about what tricks we could do to make our house more appealing to buyers (if we decided to sell) or to simply just increase the value of our home. The feedback was very clear, if you want to increase the value of your home, there are 3 things which should be the priority as these are the first things the estate agent will look for…

Clean your house

As obvious as this might sound, this is actually one of the biggest ways of tacking a few thousand onto the value of your home. A visit from an Industrial cleaning service, which generally costs under €1000 can yield an increase in your house price of up to €5000, based purely off the perception of a neat, well-maintained house. A pleasantly maintained bathroom and kitchen in particular can only help your case.

Increase your kerb appeal

Kerb appeal is basically what the buyer or assessor sees upon pulling up to your house that makes them assign a subjective value to it. Don’t forget that inasmuch as real estate likes to portray itself as an exact science, It is actually anything but that. Something as simple as planting a tree in your backyard or having a well-maintained front lawn can add thousands of Euros to the list price of your house, as these can be advertised as features of the house. Every estate agent wants to advertise a house that has a “recent paint job and is surrounded by greenery”. More importantly, that’s what buyers want to see as well.

Upgrade your bathroom

Spend a couple of thousand quid on a new bathroom, and you could potentially be adding up to €10,000 on the value of your house. It’s not hard to see why. The impression that buyers and agents have about a house Is heavily Influenced by the bathroom because that is often taken to be the canary in the coalmine. If the bathroom looks mouldy and poorly maintained, chances are that’s what they’ll think of the entire house. If however, they walk into a gleaming room sparkling with fancy porcelain and smelling of lavender that instantly ratchets up its desirability and price.

Why We Won’t Be Beaten On Choice, Quality or Price!

By | Inspirations

Living in 2017 and being what we like to think a modern day kitchen company we have decided to be a fountain of unbiased knowledge when it comes to selling our kitchens.

As mentioned in a previous blog, nearly all kitchen suppliers across Ireland are supplied by the same handful of suppliers when it comes to doors, counter tops & accessories. This means that nearly all companies can supply you with the exact same kitchen (literally) as the competitor up the road. We are about to let the cat out of the bag and think more about the customer than ourselves!

This month, we are going to trial an offer that see’s us guarantee you, the customer, a like for like price match from any competitor and we will cut the cost to you even further. We are aware that people shop around, we know that buying a kitchen whether it’s for your new build, renovation or simply for a rental property, most will shop around trying to get the best deal possible. This is not a scam, nor is it a marketing ploy, it’s a simple offer that allows you to get the best possible value for your money.

Let’s talk about the 3 areas mentioned:

Choice..

We have the same suppliers and manufacturing capabilities as every other kitchen company in Ireland. This means we can provide you with exactly what anyone else can in terms of style, design, door type, carcass & accessories!

Quality..

We work only with the best quality material. Our doors, carcasses, counter tops (Stone or Laminate) and even down to drawers and hinges are of a quality that cannot be argued with. We are very picky about who we allow supply us because we genuinely want you to receive the best quality product your money can buy! We have a lifetime warranty in some cases on our product and that means the world! Our fitters are the best in the businesses and are highly meticulous when it comes to fitting your kitchen.

Price..

The age old story. People are hardwired to get the best price they can for whatever they buy and we are no different.  While all businesses are here to make money there is a cutoff point. Again nearly all kitchen suppliers have the same cost to buy or build the material of which inevitably ends up becoming your kitchen. The cost of the kitchen material is practically the same to everyone.

With this in mind, why would some companies be more expensive than others?

There are 3 very simple reasons;

  • They are pricing you for a different spec kitchen with different doors with more units and more work required to fit.
  • They have bigger overheads than the other guy! Why should you foot that bill?
  • They are trying to take advantage of you! This should never happen!

We want to remove all of the toing and froing for customers. In fact, we are suggesting that people go and get other quotes to compare. If the price is different it’s because of one of the three reasons mentioned above.

What we will do is if you have visited a showroom in Galway and you have received a quote for your dream kitchen but haven’t yet visited us, we invite you to come into our showroom in Briarhill with your quotation and allow us to give you our price of that exact same kitchen. Let’s put it this way, we haven’t lost a kitchen to price yet!

You can get in touch with us in many ways, we have tried to make it easy for everyone…

  1. Book an appointment: CLICK HERE
  2. Send Us Your Plans & Quotes: CLICK HERE
  3. Call Us: 091-766637
  4. Email Us: [email protected]

NB: Please note, coming to us with a basic email with no detail only a guide price will not give us enough information to price like for like so be sure that you have a breakdown of the spec of everything you are being quoted for.

Understanding The Kitchen Game

By | Inspirations

If you’re thinking about buying a kitchen whether it’s next week, next month or next year, it’s really important that you understand how things work.

We have found that many people think that because a company has a fantastic and expensive showroom display that somehow they have a better more luxurious range of kitchens. Well in fact nothing could be further from the truth!

The vast majority of kitchen supply companies have access and stock to the same suppliers. In fact, the suppliers may only be 3-4 in most cases. These 3-4 suppliers provide accounts only with the trade and provide, for the most part, a really fantastic product at a very affordable price. The job of the main suppliers is to ensure that they have their finger on the pulse when it comes to trends, finishes and colours.

Each kitchen supply company has access to all of these doors from both the most modern to the most traditional and everything else between.

Typically, the bigger and more expensive the showroom of a kitchen supplier is, would mean that their cost are significantly higher than a smaller more efficiently ran business and therefore must command higher prices to pay for their overheads! Makes sense right?

The thing to remember is that the majority of kitchen supply companies can all offer the same door types, colours and variations and are all buying at the same price!

What makes any company different then?

Well at Good Brother we believe that Good customer service, Good pricing & Good quality are all things that should be expected and not our USP. We know we can provide a professional service to beat all others as well as competitive prices on a range of every kitchen type imaginable, so we go “One Gooder”!

We will match any price you have gotten from any other company and possibly do a little better, all while putting you in for the competition.

If you would like anymore info please give us a call or call to our brand new showroom based in Briarhill, Galway.

It’s more than just a place to cook!!

By | Inspirations

It’s about making life so much easier, such less hassle, making you feel happy and proud…

There are 100’s of thousands of kitchens right across the country that are still in their old dated design of the late 80’s or early 90’s. This does ad some character to the house, but if you’re anything like me you will be sick of the sink in that place, or the fact that the doors bang when you push them that bit too hard or that drawer is always too sticky. I need to go to one side to get the bread and back to the other side to have a decent space to make my sandwich, it’s just all wrong!

A little rug can brighten up your day

It may not seem like a massive change to make, but you will be surprised at just how different your kitchen will look when you change the appearance of the floor using a simple centre rug. A little rearrangement along with a bright new source of colour on the floor will go down surprisingly well if you’re trying to shake off monotony.

Restyle your shelves to make everything better

This is a huge hack. Basically, to get your kitchen to look uber chic, avant garde and post-modernist, or whatever they describe that sexy spaceship look as, all you have to do is make your shelves see-through. You can do this by replacing the shelf doors with clear glass or plastic panels, or you can go one better and simply remove the doors altogether. Radicalissimo!

Lighting makes you happier

It’s an obvious tip, but still the most important in any sort of home improvement. If you’re into the avant garde spaceship thing, you can remodel your curtains to let in more natural light and emphasize the whites and bright silvers. If you’re more of an indoors person, you can experiment with different types of coloured lighting and dimmer switches to achieve a more sensual effect.

A new paint job is more than just a dash of colour

In fact, when carried out alongside a change of lighting, a fresh paint job can completely alter the look of a kitchen, making it totally unrecognisable. Feel free to let your personality shine through as you choose the colour mix that will define your new-but-not-really kitchen.

Add some colour to your cabinets

This could be one of the cheapest ways to drastically alter your kitchen’s appearance. All it takes is a fresh plastic finish over your cabinets in the colour of your choice, and your kitchen can overnight turn into anything you want it to be, from the warm brown reminiscent of a family house to a bright red evoking the image of a bachelor pad.