With extensive expertise in both building and insulation, Finlay Ecofit offers one-stop shop solutions across a wide range of areas including external insulation, extensions, windows and doors as well as any other retrofit work a client might require. We caught up with director Kevin Finlay at their Tullamore base to find out more about this exceptional, multifaceted, forward-thinking family business.
Channelling more than half a century of family tradition, Finlay Ecofit has adapted to the prevailing economic landscape to establish itself as one of the most-progressive and sought-after contractors in the greater midlands / Dublin region, providing an array of high-quality retrofit services, from the installation of new A-rated windows and doors to wrapping homes in external insulation, building extensions and / or new floors, doors or bathrooms.
Rising to the significant challenges posed by the economic slowdown, they also have the capacity to offer outstanding re-plumbing and re-wiring solutions, attic conversions and insulation, cavity wall insulation, home refurbishments, fascia, soffit, gutter and dowpipe installations, stoves and fireplaces, rainwater harvesting systems, boiler and heating upgrades, the installation of solar energy systems and any other service that would increase the energy efficiency, comfort and value of an existing home. New builds can also be handled from start to finish, if required.
The real beauty of the services provided is that there is no need to involve other subcontractors as Finlay Ecofit possesses the experience and expertise in-house to deliver every project in a professional and cost-effective manner, employing a strong team of qualified carpenters, plumbers, painters, tilers, plasterers, insulation installers and general operatives.
As members of the Construction Industry Federation and Construction Industry Register Ireland as well as approved installers of Kingspan insulation products, Finlay Ecofit can arrange SEAI grants on behalf of customers and all work undertaken is fully certified and guaranteed.
Having taken the strategic decision to zone in on retrofit work during the worst years of the recession, the company has enjoyed significant growth during the most difficult period in living memory for any businesses associated with construction. This speaks volumes for the enduring nature, versatility, viability and quality workmanship of this long-running family operation.
Kevin Finlay, who runs the business alongside his brother, Damien, reflects on the genesis of Finlay Ecofit: “Our family has a background in building going back to the 1950s and we took the decision in the late ‘noughties to concentrate on the insulation and retrofit side of things, having observed the market move towards fewer and fewer new builds. To be honest, things were very difficult during the downturn and that’s probably why we decided to diversify and reinvent the business. We started to concentrate on insulation and other ways of boosting the energy efficiency of homes and that’s still what we do today.
“With our building background, we also take on a lot of renovations and extensions, with the occasional new build thrown in as well. We can gut a house, renovate it, build an extension, put in new window and doors, and wrap the outside in external insulation – that would be the common theme on a lot of the bigger jobs we take on. We also do a lot of insulation-only jobs, including attics and pumping beads into external walls.”
Typically, clients range from private home owners to local authorities and developers, with a vast catchment area catered for covering counties Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Laois, Kildare, Dublin, Wicklow, Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Leitrim, Cavan, Roscommon and Longford. “We’ve insulated hundreds of homes for Offaly, Laois and Westmeath County Councils and we’ve also provided external insulation and window installation services to other contractors on new builds.”
Finlay Ecofit are certainly creating a good impression and their reputation for excellence now precedes them. They benefit from a substantial amount of repeat business and positive referrals and have recently been appointed as main contractor on a major project in Tullamore for none other than Dermot Bannon (of Room To Improve fame). “It’s the biggest we’ve undertaken to date and comprises a complete renovation and a number of extensions to a large house,” says Kevin. “The project will take around twelve months to complete and it involves a massive internal renovation with high-spec finish as well as new windows and doors.”
With the ability to turn their hand to literally any kind of retrofit, home improvement or building work, Finlay Ecofit are truly deserving of the oft-misused cliché one-stop shop. “That’s what we would like to be seen as – that people might come to us due to our ability to deliver the complete package instead of needing to call three or four different builders or insulation companies.
“We are flexible and multi-skilled and all of our tradesmen [gainful employment is generated for a crew of 15] are direct employees so we are in full control of the quality of the workmanship as well as the design and spec and finish on every job.
“As members of the CIF and CIRI as well as approved Kingspan installers, we have to maintain very high standards, which we enjoy because we want to be as good as we possibly can be in everything we do. We fully understand that you are only as good as your last job and we bear that in mind at all times because we want people to recommend us to their friends and neighbours. This approach is paying dividends and thankfully we get a lot of repeat business in the same catchment areas, which is positive.”
As for the key to the ongoing success of the company, Kevin points out that quality is at the heart of everything Finlay Ecofit does: “We always strive for a very high-quality finish,” he concludes. “The most important thing is to listen carefully to the customer to find out exactly what he or she wants and then to follow through with the quality element and get everything finished in a reasonable amount of time.
“Being flexible is also important. Sometimes, for example, we might go into a house just to insulate an attic but we could end up getting two or three jobs out of it because we can turn our hands to so many different tasks. We can literally complete any retrofit job on an existing house and that all comes from us recognising the fall-off in new builds and deciding to focus on work that would enhance the energy efficiency of homes.”
That wise move has given the family business a new lease of life and the prognosis looks extremely encouraging for the County Offaly headquartered insulation / retrofit / building specialist’s long-term future.
17 Cloncollig Industrial Estate,
Tel: 057 9324796
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, December 2017, Vol 3 No 11