When I first visited County Kerry years ago I was mesmerised. It was so fresh and rugged and green. Having grown up in Nigeria, it was definitely a new experience for me. I returned again two years ago with the idea of finding a property to buy and renovate somewhere in West Kerry.
I spent a few months searching and eventually found an old farmyard with stables and some land. I decided that this was the perfect place for me and wanted to put my own stamp on it. I envisioned gutting the stable and could see the wide open plan living space, the patio and the courtyard out the front in my mind’s eye.
What I didn’t envision was how complicated thing are here in Ireland. In my hometown of Nigeria, if you want to build a house, you build a house. Here I was told i needed planning permission and that I had to fill out forms. It sounded like a lot of work and bureaucracy that I had not anticipated.
As I wandered down the street in Killorglin arguing with myself over whether this was a good idea or not I spotted Dingle Homes’ office on Mill Road. Their sign said property management. I thought maybe these people can point me in the right direction. I am so glad I trusted my instinct to call into them.
Dingle Homes were really excited to take on my project. They explained simply how the planning system works here and that it takes some time. But they reassured me that with their experience they could handle everything from design to planning to construction.
They listened to all of my design ideas and worked some particularly unusual requests I had into the design. I also explained to them that I had to return to Nigeria but I was eager to have as much input as I could to the project. We agreed on daily photographs from the site and Skype conversations when major decisions were to be made. They could see that I was very passionate about what I wanted but I just had no time to invest in it.
True to their word once the planning went through I received daily reports and once building started I received daily photos from the site. I really felt that I was part of the project. I could see all the progress they were making and they made sure to schedule Skype conversations which allowed me to make particular decisions. I absolutely had full control over my house in Killorglin from Nigeria.
I was particularly impressed with their attention to detail. I wanted an unusual fireplace, something like we have back home in Nigeria. It is very different to the Irish fireplaces. But the Dingle Homes team used all of their expertise and made it happen. They did the same for a bathroom feature. I wanted the sink resting on a tree trunk. They used their local contacts to get the tree trunk for my bathroom feature. They really worked hard to incorporate everyhting I wanted into the house. I was so excited when I received my daily photos of the house.
When it came to finishing the house, I was able to choose all of the interior fittings from tiles to curtains to beds and lamps. They were delivered to my house and Dingle Homes took care of everything. When I arrived back from Nigeria, it was such an amazing feeling to walk into the house that I had envisioned; that I chose the colours for; that I had followed through the daily photos. Now here it was in reality. I couldn’t believe it. Dingle Homes had even cut the grass before I arrived.
Now when I have to travel, I know I have a team of really great people who will look after my house. I know that they have a key and will call around and check on it for me when I am not there. All I have to do is ring and let them know that I am heading away. I get to chose whether I want them to go in and do a full check or whether they will just walk around the outside. They will even take in the post and water my plants if I am gone for a few weeks. What a great team of people to have. It’s such a luxury to have no stress and total reassurance that Dingle Homes has everything under control.