With offices in Dundalk and Newry, McGahon Surveyors have delivered exceptional results for clients over the past 42 years, helping them keep construction costs at a minimum and looking after that all-important bottom line. Building Ireland had a chat with MD Joe Beggs to get an insight into this exceptional, longstanding, award-winning firm.
For professional, dependable and value-for-money quantity surveying, cost advice and construction contracts advice, nobody does it better than County Louth headquartered McGahon Surveying, an industry-leading firm of Chartered Quantity Surveyors and Construction Economists that was founded in Seatown, Dundalk by local man Damien McGahon in 1977 and has gone from strength to strength through the decades by providing clients with unrivalled results.
Since formation, the company – which continues to secure a large volume of prestigious projects from public sector clients – has built upon its proven record for successfully delivering projects within budget. This has been the source of many long-established relationships with a large and loyal client base drawn from right across the construction landscape, including a large volume of public sector projects – schools, courthouses, nursing homes, residential schemes, urban spaces, town halls, community buildings, primary care units, Fire stations, etc.
Last December, in The Public Sector magazine, McGahon Surveyors were voted Best Surveyors to the Public Sector – an achievement which speaks for itself!
A proactive and innovative practice with a major focus on innovation (including BIM), quality (operating an ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management system) and in-house training (every staff member is encouraged to work towards the Assessment of Professional Competence, MGS has a strong presence not just in the Republic of Ireland but also in Northern Ireland (where they are on a number of public sector frameworks) and across the water in the UK.
McGahon Surveyors’ portfolio of projects is both exhaustive and impressive and the frequency with which they receive repeat commissions speaks volumes for the high esteem in which the Louth and Down based firm is held island-wide and beyond. This is due in no small part to the effort and commitment invariably invested into ensuring total satisfaction and value for money for all clients on every project large or small.
“Quantity surveying is the core of the business and, after that, cost advice and construction contracts advice are our main thrust,” reveals MD Joe Beggs, who became a partner in 2005 and managing director four years later. “We do a lot of work for the public sector, including schools, healthcare, housing units, etc. At the moment, we have over 1,000 public sector housing units on our books and a further 2,000+ for the private sector.”
Indeed, McGahon Surveyors have worked on schools throughout the country that today accommodate more than 30,000 pupils!
Some recent projects undertaken for the HSE include the 100-bedroom, €20m Tymon North Community Nursing Home in Tallaght, Leopardstown Park Hospital nursing home in Foxrock, new ambulance station in Ardee and new development (including the Labs) at the Coombe Hospital. Meanwhile, MGS have also been appointed to the OPW National Archive Building and have worked extensively for all Government departments – including the Department of Education and Skills, Department of Defence, OPW, HSE and Local Authorities (on fire stations, swimming pools, etc.), etc.
Including a long list of public sector projects, the work is literally from coast to coast. At the time of writing, Joe and his team were working on projects from Moville to Waterford, Buncrana to Tralee and Galway to Tipperary as well as a variety of projects in Letterkenny, Sligo, Northern Ireland, etc.
Members of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and certified to BS EN ISO 9001:2015 (quality) standards, McGahon Surveyors have always provided an excellent service for commercial and leisure projects, ranging from multi-million-euro town centre developments to leisure centres and hotels.
They specialise in education projects and have a wealth of experience at all levels across the country, from Kerry to Donegal and from Dublin to Galway as well as working on housing projects ranging from bespoke one-off homes up to largescale €200m developments.
The secret to securing so much repeat business? “Giving a good service first time around,” comes the instant response. “We pride ourselves on good service delivery and having the experience to get the job done properly. Our service has always been dedicated to the public sector, with some private clients as well. We didn’t abuse that during the boom times. We resisted the temptation to chase private work and stuck with public sector projects predominantly. I’ve always found that you have a better guarantee of getting paid on public work.”
Today, direct gainful employment is generated for a team of 20 between the Dundalk and Newry offices. Joe says the success of the business has been built around adapting a customer-friendly approach, where clients are given options on how best to remain within budget rather than having one path dictated to them:
“Getting the numbers right is obviously vital for every project and it’s always challenging getting it over the line. You have to be able to provide the best advice to hand as quickly and accurately as possible.
“At the moment, one of the biggest obstacles is Brexit and the uncertainty it has caused as a lot of contractors have businesses on both sides of the border. When you have so much risk and uncertainty it can be much harder to predict what the final cost of a building is going to be.
“But we have to give our clients options on how to reduce their costs. Houses and buildings have to be delivered regardless, and we are here to make sure that the end result is a good product achieved with the best possible value for money. It’s important to give clients good advice on how to remain on budget or get back on budget and they are then free to proceed as they feel fit.”
Aspiring to the highest level of professionalism to ensure the diligent and vigilant management of money, McGahon Surveyors’ team of award-winning professional quantity surveyors and technical support staff can draw on their wide spectrum of experience and expertise, together with continual professional development.
Each individual project has a dedicated team allocated to it, which guides the project from inception to completion.
“Our excellent staff are at the heart of the business,” Joe concludes. “The core staff have all been here for over ten years and that’s important because they’ve been with us through the last boom and also through the bad times. They have amassed vast experience and they are the reason we keep winning projects. We always keep the same team on a project from start to finish and they are all highly-qualified, experienced and upskilled regularly.”
15 Seatown Place
Tel: 042 9331192
Fax: 042 9332897
Email [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, November 2019, Vol 5 No 10