Since its inception in 2005, Healy Construction has earned a stellar reputation as one of Kilkenny’s premier residential building contractors. Building Ireland travelled to Knocktopher and met founder / proprietor Brian Healy to find out more about this exceptional, industry-leading operation.
Renowned for their craftsmanship and attention to detail, Healy Construction invariably deliver high-quality projects within budget, safely and on time. Brian and his team boast a wealth of experience working within the residential sector, specialising in one-off houses, from prestigious new builds and extensive refurb projects to conservation work, carpentry and roof construction
Coming from a carpentry background, Brian insists on a high-quality finish every time and this results in a steady flow of business through positive referrals and strong working relationships with key architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and assigned certifiers in Kilkenny.
“A lot of our work is routed through local architects, which results in ongoing repeat business” the amiable Kilkenny contractor confirms. “We have built our reputation on quality, using highly-skilled tradesmen and proven subcontractors. We have a keen eye for detail with the fit out and finish being an area that we strive to excel in, especially where we bring a project to a turnkey finish.”
The result is a series of beautiful modern homes completed all over Kilkenny and beyond- and just as many glowing testimonials. “We started predominantly as a carpentry contracting firm, doing domestic one-off fit outs and new roof construction,” Brian reflects. “After several successful years, mainly involving work on bespoke homes and with a skilled team built up within the company, I felt that we could provide a complete quality building service.”
Thus, in 2014, Healy Construction became a main contractor. This has proven to be an inspired move and Brian has never looked back. Does he feel that carpentry is perhaps the best background for a building contractor to come from?
“In fairness, it probably is. I was always hands-on as a carpenter and remain hands-on today. When you are involved in the fit out and finishing of buildings and also the structural side that comes with roofing, you tend to get a really good idea of how a house comes together. This gave me a great foundational knowledge of what main contracting would entail.”
By consistently delivering homes of a very high quality, with stunning finishes, Healy Construction has organically evolved into one of Kilkenny’s most in-demand residential building contractors. “It’s all residential work at the minute – specifically high-end new builds and extensive renovation work,” Brian continues. “We’ve also completed some conservation work as well and it’s always nice to work on these listed structures.”
While conservation work is prestigious, it’s also quite time-consuming and meticulous and as a result some contractors prefer the more straightforward work that comes with a new build. Brian sees it as a great way to keep the company challenged and maintain a good mix of work, “When conservation work comes in to us for tendering, it’s definitely something I’d have an interest in, as there’s a real challenge in going into an old building and restoring it to its former glory. Yes, it commands more of our time but I find it very rewarding personally and it’s always worth it in the end.”
To this end, Healy Construction masterfully renovated and extended the old parochial house in Ballyhale Co Kilkenny, painstakingly transforming this listed protected structure, while retaining the character and eminence of the original building.
With regards to the catchment area covered, most of our work is based in the Southeast with an occasional project taking us further afield. At the time of writing, Healy Construction had numerous new builds at various stages of completion. “We try to keep a bit of separation between them, so that we can work on them simultaneously. We work with a core group of subcontractors who maintain the high standards we’d expect. Between our own tradesmen and general operatives, we have six direct employees and we then bring in the specialist trades such as mechanical and electrical contractors and plastering specialists etc. We have all our own modern plant and equipment. I’ve invested considerably in this area over the last number of years and feel it is worthwhile in the long term, as it also helps us stay competitive when tendering for new contracts. ”
Brian notes that safety on site is of paramount importance to the company. “All our staff are regularly briefed on updates to site safety and are actively involved in upskilling where they can in this area. This is essential to maintain the safety of our employees and clients every day on site.”
As for the attributes that elevate Healy Construction above much of the competition, being upfront and transparent ranks highly, as well as providing a personal, friendly and honest service. “First and foremost I have a hands-on approach, which begins with meeting clients and sitting down with them before we turn a sod. I like to talk things through and get a real feel for what the client wants as opposed to just looking at plans exclusively. I like to get into what they want and what they would like to see out of the project.
“We are always available to take a call at any time of the day or evening and clients will often avail of that as they may be tied up with work during the day … I am happy to speak to them any time. I’m more than happy to provide that personal touch and I am generally in direct contact with clients on a daily basis to ensure that we are giving them exactly what they want.
“We don’t ever assume that because something is on a drawing that it will definitely go ahead. We will give the client the benefit of our experience. We may have an idea that will improve their design or finish and we are willing to discuss changes or will flag a potential issue if we identify one in the interest of the job.”
Brian’s outstanding reputation precedes him and he intends to preserve, nay embellish it… “It only takes one misunderstanding for your reputation to be tainted, so I aim to keep my clients happy and to deliver a high-quality building with a great finish, to programme and on budget. The feedback we’ve had to date from both clients and architects has been excellent. We look after all our own pricing in-house where we strive to be competitive for the quality of workmanship we provide.”
Brian insists that every home he builds is finished to the highest standard – with no exception. “I’d be of the mindset that quality is of utmost importance,” he concludes. “We are known for genuinely leaving quality work behind us and that’s why most of our work is through referrals from previous clients and architects.
“We pride ourselves on having a keen eye for detail and maintain a continued presence on site throughout the build. While the tradesmen and subcontractors all know their respective roles, I will have a picture in my mind of how it should all come together at the end in accordance with the client’s wishes.
“To be successful in business you need good people around you, to this end we work with the same core group of subcontractors and specialist trades who know our way and know the standards we expect. Once we all have the same understanding of what is required, it’s easier to get the desired results.”
Countless owners of dream homes in the Southeast will readily testify that Healy Construction has successfully brought their concept to creation.
Tel: 056 7766811
Mobile: 086 8562574
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, January 2021, Vol 7 No 1