There are many things we take for granted when it comes to our homes like electricity, water and heating to name just a few. However, without the three mentioned, panic can set in and for the latter two, the phone is immediately being dialled for a plumber.
In Ireland, there are a host of plumbers around the country, some with not only more experience than others, but ones that take great pride in the work that they do with customer satisfaction high on their list of priorities.
People often tend to stick with businesses that they trust, it’s in our nature to do so as the Irish are generally known as a loyal bunch, but that is not to say if the quality of work drops in anyway, a change will be made.
So it is essential for any company to ensure they maintain the standards that they have set for themselves and their customers; indeed they must try to improve on them also.
For this month’s edition of Building Ireland, we focus on the heating and plumbing sector where we profile a long standing Galway company whose reputation for providing a quality service has earned them many prestigious contracts in the west over the years.
Based in Oranmore, Co Galway, H&R Heating & Plumbing have been trading for the past 10 years, but the company’s experience goes back many years beforehand.
Directors Martin Hughes and David Raftery had previously worked for many years with Martin’s uncle Brian before deciding to set up their own business.
“Brian was finishing up around 2007 and this was just before the recession hit the country. If we had known then what was around the corner, we probably wouldn’t have taken on the business, but fortunately our first contract was 90 council houses for Atlantic Developments and that last about 18 months,” said Martin.
“The council work really kept us going during those lean years as we had another job with them soon after the first contract finished and was 20 units on a halting site in Galway.
“Along with this, we got a lot of renovation work, particularly bathroom renovations and wet rooms. We worked on a number of projects that included wheelchair accessibility and we became something of a specialist in this area. We would do a lot of renovation work now and we would use the same sub-contractors, guys that we trust and know will do excellent work.”
Obviously, Martin and David like everyone else learned a lot from the recession as it forced businesses to look at certain situations from a different perspective.
“The one thing it definitely made us was more punctual and reliable. When we give a customer a time and date, we endeavour to be there as requested.”
Currently, the main project that H&R are working on is 103 houses for Burkeway Homes. This is the biggest housing development in the west of Ireland and is located in Knocknacarra.
“We started that project in October 2015 and we will be there to April next year. It is a huge project to be involved in and hopefully it can lead to more work.”
H&R offer the full range of heating and plumbing services both for the domestic and commercial markets, while Martin revealed that renewable energy was the way forward.
“About 10% of our work would be installing oil systems, the other 90% would be renewable energy and more so for air to water systems. Gas is still very popular too. The air to water system is more costly, but it is far more efficient than oil in the long run and what you spend on installing it is got back on savings over the years.”
H&R have a workforce of ten experienced plumbers who work on their own initiative, a fact that Martin and David are keen to have within the company.
“You need lads to work on their own initiative for a number of reasons. Firstly, they can go do a job without having to call us or us having to check up on them and secondly, the customers are more at ease when they realise that the plumber knows what they are at.”
As stated the company provides the full list of services within the trade ie, Boiler Service/Boiler Upgrade, Stove Fitting Galway, Solar Panels/Solar Tubes, Air to Water Heat Pumps Galway, Maintenance (Domestic & Industrial), Bathroom Renovations Galway, Heating Control Upgrades (Zoned heating), Heating control upgrades, Multi Fuel Boilers and Underfloor Heating.
Martin revealed that the future for the company looks bright, but he stressed that it was up to them to ensure that they maintain the standards their customers have become accustomed too.
“We have a good bit of work on at the moment and the builders we work for are relatively busy, so we are happy enough with the direction of the business. Ensuring customer satisfaction is and always will be one of our main priorities.”
H&R Heating & Plumbing
Office: 091 483838
Dave: 087 9825136
Martin: 087 2286888
Email: : [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, November 2017, Vol 3 No 10