Everything you wanted to know about working with Dooley Cummins Architects + Engineers but were afraid to ask.

Engaging a consultant is an exciting first step in the process to design and build your home but initially it can be quite daunting if it is your first time. If your question is not listed here, feel free to email or call us and we will do our best to help.

How do you charge?

Having discussed your project with you in detail we present you with a written lump-sum fee, broken down according to the various stages of your project and the agreed services that you require. We find that people appreciate the peace of mind that comes from knowing the entire project fees upfront.

We will be in a better position to give you an idea of costs once you have discussed what you would like to achieve, and we have assessed what is involved.

Indicative costs for turn-key full-service projects would be in the following ranges:

ProjectDesignPlanning PermissionTenderConstruction
Small Extension <40m2€ 1,800+N/A if exempt€ 1,800+€1,800+
Large Extension >40m2€ 2,700+€1,800+€3,600+€ 3,600+
New House <150m2€ 2,700+€3,600+€ 3,600+€ 4,800+
New House >150m2€3,600+€ 4,800+€ 4,800+€ 7,200+
Note: there can be a good deal of variation on fees depending on issues such as VAT, expenses, and complex site conditions. Costs may be incurred for additional professionals such as archaeologists or ecologists if requested by the Council. We can usually anticipate these and advise you at the outset.

We also have starter pack fees for those who would like to dip their toes in before any major commitment. Check out ‘Where to Start’

Are you more expensive than other consultants?

Generally, yes – relative to less qualified and experienced consultants. But spend a little time researching the sale prices of architect-designed homes and you will see that the adage ‘you get what you pay for’ holds true.

More importantly, we design long-term homes for our clients, who are understand the value good design can bring to their family and lifestyle. Well-designed homes make life easier and more enjoyable. Think of it like a custom suit, tailored exactly to your preferences about you like to live, look and feel – not those of the general population.

Trying to save on the professional fee may be a false economy when this is such a small part of the overall cost of building. In many cases, by making smart design decisions and having an someone on your side who is experienced in negotiating with builders, the cost of our fee is offset by the savings made regarding the building construction cost.

What qualifications or experience do Dooley Cummins have?

We are university-educated professionals, qualified as Architects and Engineers (Protected Titles) with over 50 years of experience in the construction sector. We have been in business separately and together for over 25 years having provided services to 500+ clients.

If you are researching other providers, it is important to compare like with like. Some providers of ‘architectural services’ may not have relevant qualifications.

We are the right choice for people who are looking for a home that has been tailored to the specific needs of their family and can design for a wide variety of different sites and environmental conditions. We are also trained to create buildings that are sustainable and efficient in terms of materials and energy.

Can we get references from former clients?

Of course, please read or listen to some of the testimonials on this site. We can also arrange for you to speak with former clients if required.

We aren't familiar with the design and building process, can you explain?

Sure thing, we have laid it all out here on our ‘How We Work’ page.

From watching Dermot Bannon on "Room to Improve" it seems he never sticks to budgets. Is that true of Dooley Cummins?

A common misconception is that designers are creative types who are not as adept at cost control. Our client testimonials can attest to the fact that this is not the case with us.

It is essential to find a consultant who respects your budget and has a proven track record of maintaining them. We do, much to the frustration of some clients as we are not afraid to say ‘no’ at times to variations to keep things on track.

How involved are you during the process?

Past clients have reported being pleasantly surprised by the amount we manage on their behalf. Our service is comprehensive and begins early; we can help you collect reference images and create your design brief. We will navigate planning and other permissions on your behalf and run the tender or engage in pricing negotiations with builders. Finally, we oversee construction until the day you move in.

Our clients tend to be busy people who like us to take care of the little details and reduce their stress to a minimum. Based on your input, we can select everything from taps and door handles through to lighting, built-in fittings, flooring, and paint colours. As part of the feedback process, you will be presented with images and 3D perspectives that give a clear picture of what the design scheme will look like.

We generally find most clients are simply happy to sign-off on the options that we present to them, as we have already spent plenty of time getting to know their likes and dislikes. It is about tailoring the design solution to your personality and lifestyle, not ours.

Can you recommend a builder?

That is all a part of the service. We work with a select group of builders and can suggest those who will be a good fit for your project type and budget. We are also happy to carry out due diligence on any contractor you may wish to suggest.

We are selective when it comes to builders; reliability, honesty and build quality are key factors that determine who we work with. We are not interested in putting tenders out to a heap of builders and hoping for a bargain – lower price usually means lower quality and may possibly be a false saving.

They are people we genuinely like and get along with – and we are sure you will too (which is important, as they’ll be hanging around awhile!).

What areas do you cover?

We are focused on Co. Kildare, Laois, Carlow, Offaly, Kilkenny, and West Wicklow. For the right project, distance is not an issue.

This all sounds good, but what next?

Just give us a call, send an email or check out our page ‘Where to Start’.