Posts Tagged ‘ballymena planning consultants’

Client’s Case Study Martinstown house

Client’s Case Study at our Martinstown house takes us to, Self-builders Ciaran & Catherine. They give us an insight into what it’s like to build your own grand designs.

case study martinstown house architects ballymena

Why did you decide to build your dream home?

We were given the opportunity to build beside my parents. While it has always been a dream to build my own house I didn’t expect the opportunity to arise so soon! As the plot is on family land we felt we really needed to honour the site and ensure that the house would be a home for life.

How did you come about Slemish Design Studio?

I had seen some of their work online and I liked the style of architecture. When I went to meet Steven and Joe I felt we clicked and would work well together, they are both really lovely guys and I felt that we had really similar taste in material finishes and designs. They were really supportive throughout the building process and really approachable.

When putting your brief together, what was top of the list?

My list was about 4 pages long! I was careful not to impose limitations on what they could create but I outlined how I wanted the house to ‘feel’ and work as a home. Some priorities were that I wanted to be able to reach the gardens from any point in the house. I wanted to be able to see through the house to the view upon entry. I liked single storey buildings and courtyards and I wanted a contemporary house which borrowed from the local vernacular.

What is your must-have feature you wouldn’t compromise on?

As with most things in life budget can dictate how a project becomes a reality. There are always compromises to be made! One thing I was determined we would include is black timber cladding and I am so glad we did as I love the finish.

How have/did you found the experience so far.

Many people say building a house is the most stressful experience of their lives but I genuinely loved it. I feel really fortunate to have had the opportunity to build my own house and I really tried to relish every moment, there is nothing quite like poring over the plans for your home or visiting the site as the design drawings become real walls and windows. I remember seeing my views framed for the first time by walls and realising that this was what I would wake up to every morning!

What was your favourite part of the process?

I find it really difficult to pick just one, I so enjoyed the process of working with the architects, liaising with the builder, designing the kitchen etc. I suppose having the opportunity to work with people who are passionate about their jobs was the best part.

During the whole process, what did you find the worst

As this was going to be a ‘forever home’ I got myself tied up in knots about where to prioritise budget. There are very important decisions to be made in terms of the spec of the house as insulation/windows/roof decisions can only be made once. We had to really wrangle with this to ensure the budget was allocated sensibly. In the end, we decided to invest in the ‘bones’ of the house and accept that certain aspects such as the landscaping and some rooms would have to wait until after we moved in.

Have you used anything different such as MVHR/Eco etc in your house

We installed a BEAM MVHR house, invested in a deep cavity and lots of insulation in the walls and roof, the windows are triple glazed and while we currently use oil for our underfloor heating, long term we will explore more eco-friendly options like a heat pump.

How would you describe your project

It was a pleasure to plan and build and is a pleasure to live in.

Have you any tips for any future self-builders

Just really enjoy it, make sure you have a positive mindset towards the project. Choose your architect carefully and encourage them to push the envelope with your brief a little. Remember they have trained to create new and exciting buildings. Look at lots and lots of architecture online and challenge your tastes. I read that your taste will change every 5 years.
The builder will make or break your experience, do your research and speak to past clients to check out how the houses they have built are standing the test of time and how they found the builder to work with. I struck gold with John (ESTCO LTD). I would build another house in the morning but only if I knew John would be my builder, he was wonderful.


Planning rules eased to help reduce home heating costs – Durkan

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today announced a boost for people seeking to save on their energy bills

planning rules eased
From 10 March homeowners will no longer need planning permission for installing, altering or replacing air source heat pumps in homes. These pumps absorb heat from the outside air and help save money by reducing heating costs. They are also better for the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and using a sustainable energy source.
Mark H Durkan said: “This really is a win-win, a boost for the environment whilst removing red tape to help households enjoy the benefits of renewable energy and cheaper heating bills.
“Increasing the range of renewable energy technologies which homeowners can install without the need for planning permission should encourage more people to turn to a more sustainable energy supply. This will all help create a cleaner, greener, more energy efficient Northern Ireland.
“These new rights strike an essential balance by freeing up homeowners to install, alter or replace these pumps whilst putting in place safeguards to protect neighbours and the wider environment.”
The Minister concluded: “I have already cut through much red tape and these rules announced today are further evidence of this as they will speed up planning decisions by reducing unnecessary applications. Just recently I announced a consultation on a shorter, simpler planning policy for the North which will make the planning system clearer and easier to use. This is all part of my vision for a fast, fair and fit for purpose planning system that will create a better environment and a stronger economy.”
The above statement has been taken from the planning ni website

check out our social media pages for more informationplanning rules eased planning rules eased planning rules eased Ballymena Planning Consultants  Planning Consultants  Planning Consultants Ballymena  architects  Planning Consultants 

new dwelling & garage in armagh

new dwelling & garage in Armagh

Ballymena architects & planning consultants Slemish Design Studio are pleased to announce that we’ve been appointed as architects for a new dwelling & garage in the Armagh Countryside


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Lambeg swimming pool concept

Concept images for a planning application we’ve made for a private swimming pool in Lambeg, County Antrim

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check out our social media pages for further information

should you have any projects you’d like to talk to us about, please feel free to contact ourselves.

New project Orby Road, Belfast, County Antrim

We are delighted to be appointed as architects to design a new dwelling on a site on Orby Road, Belfast, County Antrim


New project Orby Road, Belfast, County Antrim

New project Bally Road, Ballymena, County Antrim

We are delighted to be appointed as architects to design a new dwelling on a site outside Ballymena County Antrim


New project Bally Road, Ballymena, County Antrim

Ballymena Borough Business Excellence Awards 2013


We’ve been short-listed for the “most promising new business award”

by the Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry and sponsored by Into Business Magazine. A Local magazine that concentrates on local businesses… We appeared in the last magazine 🙂
This time last year we were short listed for the best new website (which were finalists, after 3 months of starting up) this year, in our eyes, we’ve went one better to be short listed for the most promising new business.
We were interviewed last week on everything about our business & the judges we’re shocked to hear we’ve only been going just over a year!!
We were judged on

• Business profile and objectives
• Innovation & individuality
• Business structure and management
• Business performance to date
• Sustainability

This will be another great night at Tullyglass Hotel for the Ballymena Borough Business Excellence Awards 2013!!

Ballymena Borough Business Excellence Awards 2013

check out our Facebook page for more information on all of our projects & what we’re up too

New project in Templepatrick

We’ve been appointed as architects for our clients exciting extension & renovation project in Templepatrick, County Antrim …. can’t wait to get started!!

New project in Templepatrick



check out our social media page for more information on all our projects!!

new images for Poseyhill house Doagh

Poseyhill House, Doagh, County Antrim

Check out a sample of an image of our clients project on outside Doagh on the Poseyhill Road.
poseyhill 01

Check our our project page – Poseyhill Road, Doagh



New project – dunfane park ballymena

We’ve been appointed as architects for an extension & renovation (NIHE Grant) for a project in Dunfane Park, Ballymena

ballymena architects planning consultants celebrate 1st anniversary

ballymena architects & planning consultants, Slemish Design Studio celebrate thier 1st anniversary

today’s our official 1st anniversary!!

from being made redundant over a year ago, to starting up our business, we’ve been through a few ups & downs.
but over this past year, thankfully more ups 🙂
We’d like to thank all those that have came to us about all types of planning & architectural projects & also to everyone else in helping get our name off the ground.

Steven & Joe

ballymena architects planning consultants anniversary


remember as part of our anniversary give-away head to our Facebook page to see what you can win!!!

Attwood announces easing of planning rules for farmers

Environment Minister Alex Attwood today announced the easing of planning rules for farmers

The new rights, known as permitted development rights, will come in to operation in August 2013. They will increase the range of agricultural development that no longer needs planning permission.

Farmers will now be able to undertake new build or extend agricultural buildings including sheds for hay and straw, storage and maintenance of agricultural machinery and plant, milking parlours, slurry storage tanks and chicken and other livestock sheds without having to go through the planning application process.

This means farmers can construct buildings up to 500 square metres without the need for a planning application (the equivalent of over 5,000 square feet). Currently they can only erect up to 300 square metres without the need for a planning application.

Alex Attwood said: “These new rights, the most generous on these islands, will eliminate unnecessary red tape to enable agriculture to grow in a challenging economic climate. Extensive research has been carried out and I have listened and met with various groups and these changes are warmly welcomed. I want to help expand our agri-food business by 40% in the next few years. That is what producers tell me they hope to achieve – these changes can help the industry to do so.

“These new rights strike an essential balance, they free up farmers to make improvements with safeguards to protect neighbours and ensure that development is of an appropriate scale and character.”

The new rights will also provide for the installation of structures of up to 500 square metres to house anaerobic digestion plant on agricultural units. Put simply, anaerobic digestion is a treatment process using, for example, farm crops and animal waste to produce biogas which can be used as a fuel to power and heat the farm.

Alex Attwood continued: “Renewable energy and technology is our single biggest economic opportunity. This is why I am working hard to get planning better fit for purpose with more renewable approvals. Statistics published this week show an increase of 90% in renewable energy applications with almost nine in ten of these approved. This will help our economy and meet Executive Renewable Energy targets.

“These new rules will help farmers seize the benefits of renewable technologies such as anaerobic digesters which can help to make savings and reduce running costs in the longer term.”

The Minister concluded: “This year I have already paved the way for schools, businesses and farm buildings to install solar panels without planning permission and announced further rights to boost mobile phone and internet coverage in Northern Ireland.

“This is further proof that planning is turning corners. Over the past two years I have driven through changes and set challenging targets to speed up the planning process. Whether it is Article 31/ ministerial decisions, renewable energy decisions or new policies on tourism and heritage, reform is working. Planning is delivering benefits to the economy in an efficient and timely manner whilst protecting our environment. The DOE is leading in protecting the environment and in supporting economic recovery. These new rules further demonstrate this.”

easing planning rules for Northern Ireland farmers

information taking from the Northern Ireland Executive wesbite

Ballymena Chamber of Commerce welcomes Slemish Design Studio architects

Ballymena architects slemish design studio join ballymena chamber of commerce and industry

Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a welcome meeting for new members in the Adair Arms last week.
In the last few months Chamber has recruited 14 new members.
Chamber President Thomas McKillen welcomed the new members, saying: “It is great to see so many new members here this morning. New members are the lifeblood of any organisation.
“There is a wealth of experience and knowledge in this Chamber and I hope you find membership to be both enjoyable and beneficial.”
The new members then introduced themselves and Thomas presented them with their membership certificates.
Unfortunately we couldn’t attend due to having site meetings that morning, but Chris Wales from the Chamber came out to our offices on the Woodside Road, to Ballymena architects, Slemish Design Studio us with their certificate.
We’re now listed in the Chamber as Architects & Planning Consultants, so should you need any advice on either, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Ballymena Architects Slemish Design studio

Steven Bell, Joe Magill (Slemish Design Studio), Chris Wales (Chamber of Commerce)

Click here for more information on the Ballymena Chamber