1st Choice Builders in Tallaght, Co Dublin has quickly built up a reputation that is second to none in the construction business. Its Managing Director Frank Farrell filled Building Ireland in on the details of his business venture recently.
They “couldn’t be busier” right now at 1st Choice Builders, according to MD Frank Farrell, and it’s no real surprise given the reputation the Dublin native and his company have grown in recent times.
Frank himself has been in the construction game for two decades now and, in that time, he has consistently grown and established his business as a well trusted, delivery orientated, high quality, and experienced firm.
Indeed the aptly named 1st Choice Builders has a reputation which is second to none in the construction business.
Past projects which the company has completed are made up of large and small projects, including new build, one-off, commercial buildings, restoration and structural repairs.
1st Choice Builders have undertaken projects all across the country, but generally focus on the Dublin, Kildare and Meath regions, as its owner and founder explained to Building Ireland recently.
“We’re based here in Cookstown Industrial Estate just behind Tallaght Hospital and we’ve 10 working in the management factory itself and then maybe another 40 sub-contractors,” outlined Frank.
“My sister Jackie Farrell runs the accounts for us and my father Frank snr was the original builder before he retired a few years back.
“I was a sole trader for many years and I’ve been going at this for 20 years in total now. In 2018, you could say that work got so busy that I decided to go limited.”
That makes 1st Choice Builders just a two-year-old company but its origins run much deeper than that.
Its growing list of clients shows that semi-state bodies, local authorities, small and large developers, as well as the private sector, are all availing of the company’s services nowadays.
They provide competitive prices for ‘1st Choice’ work, which had been the plan from the outset when Frank set-up the company.
“We were the ones that promoted the family room, where the whole family can meet together,” he said.
“It’s a room that brings the family together and that was the original idea when we started here. We designed a package for what people could afford and I suppose you could say it has seen me working alongside women of the house for the last five years.
“The woman knows what she wants with the house, let me tell you, and very often it’s them that you end up dealing with when it comes to installing family rooms in a home.”
It’s not just family rooms that the company specialises in – 1st Choice Builders can work on large and small projects, including new build, one-off, commercial buildings, purpose-built, restoration and structural repairs.
It’s this range of services that sees Frank and his team busier than ever at the moment.
“Right now we are flying. It couldn’t be busier for us,” he enthused. “One thing about Ireland is you could be flying one day and down the next, so you just have to keep going when you’re busy.
“We had seven jobs going before we went into lockdown and we just had to get back into them when it was lifted.
“We have some exciting projects coming up now around Dublin which we’re looking forward to starting.”
Past work has saw Frank and his team venture outside the capital on many occasions.
However, with plenty of work on inside his home county at the present, 1st Choice Builders’ MD is choosing to stay closer to home, while also outlining his honest view when it comes to pricing for clients outside of Dublin.
“We’ve done work outside the city plenty of times but we work namely in and around Dublin these days,” he said.
“As I say to a client, there’s no point in paying Dublin prices outside of Dublin. We’ve done a lot of work around Swords and Lusk, but it’s generally Tallaght we work in and we’d be lost without the M50.”
The capital is certainly where it’s at for builders these days. However, that’s not to say that it isn’t an ultra-competitive environment for those immersed in the construction industry.
1st Choice Builders is a relatively new player in the game but has already grown a reputation for the high quality of its work.
So what has been the secret to success?
“I think the extra expense we spend on PR counts for a lot. We spend on how we showcase a project with top quality photography and videos,” Frank stated.
“With regard to the sales part of it, we do not deviate or change from what we say we’ll do. I suppose the proof is in the pudding and right now we’ve a lot of people talking about us in this line of work.
“It’s all transparent and very clear. We’re not really selling ourselves anymore because they know when we arrive what they’re getting.”
And what marks the company out as being different from other builder?
“We are a one-stop shop from design, planning, to helping arranging finance and then building. We offer a seamless process and then provide an engineer’s certificate of compliance upon completion of work.”
The story has certainly been a success thus far and the months ahead look busy too for 1st Choice Builders.
The Covid-19 pandemic shutdown Irish construction businesses overnight for the best part of 10 weeks between March and May of this year.
Frank, however, is as optimistic as ever about the future.
“Hopefully everyone will be safe going forward. That’s first and foremost,” he pointed out.
“We will try and come up with a few more ideas for the months ahead. We’re always re-inventing ourselves at 1st Choice Builders.
“We enhance the building ourselves and we want to deliver something to be proud of.”
1st Choice Builders
Cookstown Industrial Estate,
Tel: 01 525 2812
E-mail: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, November 2020, Vol 6 No 6