Based in Daingean, Co Offaly, Heather Homes is a housing development company which was established to build quality and sustainable housing throughout Ireland. Building Ireland touched base with its Managing Director Mark Feely to learn all about this venture – from its origins to the state of business at the moment.
Business is good these days at Heather Homes and the plan for company owner and founder Mark Feely and the rest of the team in Daingean, Co Offaly is to try and keep things that way right through to 2023.
A housing development company that was set up two years ago with the aim of building quality and sustainable housing throughout Ireland, Heather Homes specialises in design, construction, roofing, carpentry and timber frame building in residential developments, commercial and hospitality developments.
Today, the business employs 12 full-time staff and currently has projects in the works all throughout Co Offaly.
Building Ireland spoke with Mark Feely to hear more about the company’s current projects and its nomination as a finalist at this year’s Irish Construction Excellence (ICE) Awards.
“The development company is established two years now and the sister company is going since 2005, with All-Star accreditations over the last three years,” Mark outlined.
“We’re developers on one side and then on the other side of the business we have a carpentry company as well.
“I live in the parish and we finished eight houses in seven months down in Daingean beside for Offaly County Council.
“At the moment, we’re down the road from that site in another eight units. We’re doing the whole designing from start to finish and we’ve a good little team going here.
“They finish the job efficiently and quickly and I think the projects that we’ve done are a very good achievement for a business like us in the space of two years.”
Indeed, Heather Homes has hit the ground running even in spite of being first established in the early part of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company has managed to grow over the past 24 months to the point where it now employs a dozen staff and has its books filling up with more and more projects.
Mark revealed that it all started off with one ambitious development which went exactly according to script for Heather Homes.
“We bought an old hotel in the middle of Daingean, renovated it into apartments and that’s what got us going really,” the Managing Director explained.
“We’ve a good relationship with Offaly County Council here and we’re on another couple of sites for them in Daingean and there’s planning for more now in Walsh Island, Tullamore and Banagher.”
Last year saw the company named as the All-Star Offaly Small Business of the Year, recognising its “outstanding contribution to the business life of Offaly”.
The success saw Heather Homes included in the AIBF Register of Irish Business Excellence for a second year.
Not bad for a company still very much in its infancy.
So, all of that considered, what has been the secret to success for the business?
How has a small start-up grown into a thriving company which has grown its staff into double figures so quickly and, not to mention, now has a glowing reputation amongst its clients?
For Mark, much of it is down to the experience that he and his team provide on each project.
“I think it comes down to the experience we have of knowing how to build a house and complete a job both on budget and on time,” he said.
Earlier this year, Heather Homes were announced as finalists at the 2022 Irish Construction Excellence (ICE) Awards in its Residential – Social & Affordable Housing Under €3m category.
The project nominated was Heather Drive, Main St Daingean, Co Offaly, which was a design and build project on a green field site.
Built to the highest standard, the homes offer a generous 1180 sq ft for each three-bedroom unit, achieving a very good Airtight Test 3.2 reading with natural ventilation and heat pumps the homes have an A2 energy rating.
“It was eight social housing units that we designed and it was a timber frame building method that was used on the project,” Mark outlined.
“It would’ve started on January 6, 2021 and was completed on November 7, 2021.”
Looking towards the months ahead for his business, Mark is eager for more of the same when it comes to the rate of projects they’ve been undertaking and completing over the past 24 months.
As well as that, it’ll be about continuing to carry out projects within the timeframe and budget.
“The hopes for the coming months ahead are to secure sites of scale and size that we want here. We’re just looking to deliver for our clients on time and within budget, as usual,” he concluded.
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This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, July 2022, Vol 8 No 7