David Kane - West Kirk Presbyterian Church
Re-modelling of Church Access, Belfast - c. 32k
In order to reach out to the significant numbers of passers-by on the Shankill Road, the Kirk Session decided that the frontage of the church needed to welcome the community. The front entrance of the church was concealed behind the original large timber roller doors and heavy wrought iron gates. James designed bespoke replacement doors. He also remodelled the approach to the entrance by removing the gates to allow the area immediately outside the front of the church to merge with the public pavement, delineated by the use of different materials. He also designed new steps and a ramp to comply with the legal requirement for disability access, constructed in stone to exactly match the original stone. James tendered the building work and saw it through to completion. We were very pleased with James’s entire approach. He understood our vision, quickly identified the problems and designed a very attractive solution, which helps us welcome people with open arms.
Ken McBride - Building Concepts
Housing Development at Friar's Wood, Newtownabbey - c. £850k
We purchased two adjacent houses, expecting to replace them with a mixed development of 15 new homes. In spite of resistance from the planning department, James was confident that the site could accommodate 17 new homes and persisted with his designs until this was comfortably achieved, designing a ‘one-off’ house to turn a corner between two rows of terraces. James’s knowledge of planning legislation and building regulations and his attention to detail and professionalism were apparent from the outset. We had great peace of mind having him lead the design team and have high regard for his creative and technical abilities. We would commend him without reservation.
Conversion of Cattery to Holiday Accommodation, Ballyclare - c. 8k
Before employing James, we had made the original planning application for the change of use and had already refurbished the outbuilding to make it habitable, part of which was fixing Kooltherm insulated plasterboard to the inner face of the walls. We had to employ an architect when the planners asked for drawings. James prepared the necessary drawings and guided us through the remainder of the planning process to obtain approval. He also made the application to building control. When building control informed us that the Kooltherm boards we had used were insufficient and did not comply, James was able to make a case, using building control legislation, to prove that the completed work did indeed satisfy building control requirements. Thanks to James, we did not have the expensive job of replacing or upgrading the insulation boards. We were impressed with his general approach to our project, but especially the tenacity with which he met the issue of the wall insulation. We would definitely recommend his services.
Sunroom to Rear of Dwelling, Newtownabbey - c. 30k
When we approached James, it was with a view to building a conservatory and obtaining advice on how we might be able to improve our kitchen layout. James advised an alternative to the conservatory; a sunroom design with a solid insulated roof, which can be used all year round. His design included the removal of a wall between the kitchen and dining areas, opening them up to the new sunroom area and creating a large open plan living/dining/kitchen area, which has subsequently become the hub of our family life. We enjoyed the whole process of working with James and continue to enjoy the result of his work. We unreservedly recommend his services.
Extension to Rear of Dwelling, Ballysillan Road, Belfast - c. 45k
From the outset I found James's professionalism exemplary. He grasped the concept of my project immediately and in a brief time had composed a scheme with vision and innovation. His self-imposed deadlines were impeccably adhered to throughout and his project management invaluable. Thank you James.
Property Manager - Castlereagh
Factory Re-roofing Project, Castlereagh – c. £370k
Our 11,695 sqm (125,884 sqft) factory roof at Castlereagh was at the end of its life expectancy and the roofing fabric had deteriorated to the point that water ingress threatened operational efficiencies. James designed a method of roofing over the existing roofing material, taking account of commercial realities and ensuring that productivity was not affected. Water leaks were eliminated and, at the same time, insulation was increased to comply with current building control requirements. James also administered the contract to completion. The project was delivered successfully in an efficient and professional manner, within the set budget and contract period. Since completion of the re-roofing project, James has carried out a feasibility study and condition survey, with a view to assisting us with further construction and refurbishment projects.