Chris Reilly


Building Contractor

Frequently Asked Questions

Mullingar builder house builder residential construction project

Below we answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.


I want to build a house on my own site, where do I start?

First,establish if you can get Planning Permission on your site. You will need advice from someone who has experience of the planning process in your locality. We may be able to help, or recommend someone who can. There are many factors effecting this, and you will be wasting money if you proceed with the design and planning application process without first knowing what the planners require.

The next step will be designing your house, we would recommend you engage an architect for this, but if you are sure you know what you want you can do the drawings yourself or engage a draftsman/planning consultant. We know some, so feel free to make contact if you wish. The drawings and maps produced at this stage, along with a few other test results and documents, must be submitted for planning. You will get a decision within 8 weeks, either refusal, grant of permission or a request for further information. If further information is requested, you have 8 weeks to submit this and a decision is made within 4 weeks of receipt.

Once planning is received, you must wait 3 weeks before starting construction. You must build your house in accordance with the planning drawings and any conditions specified by the planner.


How to get a quotation?

Since we are a small business trying to keep overheads as low as possible, we do not price every job sent in to us, as there are times when a project is too far away from our other work at the time or workload might not facilitate carrying out the project in the timescale the client requires. We would appreciate if you could give us a call or an email with the rough details of the job before you send in plans for pricing.


Can I extend my house/erect solar panels or a wind turbine?

The Planning and Development Act allows you to carry out certain works without applying for planning permission. These include:


  • Extension less than 40 sq m (12 sq m if a terraced or semidetached house), note that this must include any other extensions built to the house. It must be 2 m from any boundary. There are conditions regarding height which are too complex to get into here, but we would be happy to offer advice on these if you contact us.
  • Front porch not exceeding 2 sq m & not less than 2 m from any public road or footpath.
  • Garage/carport/shed etc behind the building line of the house, under 4 m in height (tiled or slated pitched roof) or 3 m (if it has any other roof type), and less than 25 sq m in area.
  • Solar panels and wind turbines less than 10 m in height and situated in such a way that if it fell, it would all land within your property
  • We strongly advise that you consult with your neighbours before carrying out any such works to your house, this will save bad feelings and costs in the long term


The list above is not exhaustive and is our interpretation of Leaflet PL5 available from your Local Authority or on the web. We give this information without any liability, implied or otherwise. The planning authority can give advice on whether it considers any particular change of use is significant enough to be “material” for planning purposes.


What energy systems do you install/recommend?

We have had good experience installing domestic solar hot water systems, air-to-water heat pumps and certain solid fuel stoves. Please feel free to contact us to discuss in more detail.


How to prevent or solve dampness problems in older houses?

Dampness in old houses may come from several sources - condensation, rainwater penetrating the building fabric, groundwater penetrating the building fabric or indeed rising damp. We will be happy to inspect and offer our advice on any particular damp problems you may have. If we can help, we will propose a solution, or advise on contacting a damp specialist.


How to avail of the Home Renovation Incentive tax relief scheme announced in Budget 2014?

While the details are still being finalised, works must be over €5,000 and must be carried out by a tax registered building contractor, such as Chris Reilly Construction. More details are available on the Home Renovation Incentive section of the website of the Revenue Commissioners, or feel free to contact us to discuss.



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Contact Details

Chris Reilly,

Building Contractor,




Co. Westmeath.


T: 044 9226154