Filtered by Category: Advice

Should I stay or should I go?

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Posted by stephen under advice

Move or improve? Make something from what you’ve got or pull up stakes and head off into the wild blue yonder of a new house? This is a question I’ve found myself helping to answer quite a lot over the last few years…

New Enquiries

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Posted by stephen under Advice


The reason for writing this post, and asking people who’ve gotten in touch with me to read it, is that there has been a big build-up of new enquiries. I don’t really feel that it’s acceptable to ignore these. I don’t want to just come back with a one-line email saying I’m too busy to talk to them and good luck finding someone else. And I do believe that a call like what I describe below is what is required to get any project off on a good footing. These calls are like a sample of what it’s like to work with me – they give a solid impression of where I’m coming from, so I see them as important. I wouldn’t commit my money to someone selling something so intangible as design (and advice) without getting some confidence that they understand where I’m coming from and that they have the know-how to help me. The problem is that these calls can take around half an hour each, and when you start multiplying that it makes it very difficult to find the time to get back properly to everyone who gets in touch, not to mention keeping on top of work that is already underway.

So the intention for this blog post is to try and short circuit the process, so that people know what to expect. And to allow people to rule me out early if the timeline or the costs look unworkable for them, so that they are not hanging around waiting for information. And finally to ask for a little forbearance – I’d love to drop everything and have a really interesting half-hour phone conversation every time a query comes in, but it’s just not possible. So for now I’ll be steering people towards this blog post first, and then we can have a more focused call… for those who want it.

A house that is good for you

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Posted by stephen under advice

This being the first blog post for quite a while, I find myself taking stock a small bit…


How long does it take to get planning permission?

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Posted by stephen under Advice


At the outset of a project, when things are being discussed in a general way and nothing too specific has been nailed down yet, it can often happen that the question of planning comes up. Usually this takes the form of me suggesting that some things are possible without applying for permission, but that other things (very often better solutions) are possible, but only with an application being made. And I’m not sure why this is, but I find that the general impression out there is that getting planning takes eight weeks. In one sense that is correct, but it’s only half the story...

The Home Renovation Incentive Scheme

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Posted by stephen under Advice


As you might expect, since the announcement in the budget of a scheme to incentivise home improvements, I have been discussing it with plenty of interested homeowners. Anything that eases the burden of making changes to a house is welcome in my view, particularly at the moment when those changes are not generally being done for the sake of it, but because there is a real need to do something to a house that you didn’t imagine yourself still living in. So here is a quick guide.

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Ideal Homes Show at the RDS

As promised, a little feedback on the Extension Advice Centre at the Ideal Homes Show. From listening to the people looking for …

Greek sea-view

Ok, so this is not in Ireland, but it is how you capture a view...

Ideal Home Show

I’ll be manning one of the desks at the Extension Advice Centre at the Ideal Home Show in the RDS between 2 and 6pm on Sunday.

Ideal Home Show in the RDS

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About Small Spaces

small spaces is a one-man architectural practice dedicated to helping people find the best way to add space to their home, or to make the most of what they’ve got. You can find out more here.