Joanne Mob: 0787 214 6116
Tel/Fax: 028 8673 5851

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a number of questions which we often encounter during the building or planning process of any projects situated in Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland and the UK. If any of the questions listed below do not present answers which you find satisfactory, or if there is an area of concern which is not touched upon, please don't hesitate to e-mail us on, for future inclusion on the site, and to receive a direct response by e-mail.

1. How does McQuillan Building Contractors differ from other building contractors in Northern Ireland's construction industry?

Attention to detail is foremost at McQuillan Building Contractors. As a founding member, Joanne has 27 years experience in the construction industry, seven of which were spent working as a control officer.

Of course not only does this background help to guide our own building practice, but it also means that any questions our clients may have, can be answered on site, in real-time, meaning that the decision-making process, and ultimately the build of our client's houses is a streamlined, efficient process.

McQuillan Building Contractors view each project as a means to engender further work; we are simply not satisfied with the ' knock it out' mentality prevalent with many building firms in Ireland, the UK and beyond. Testament to this fact, McQuillan Building Contractors claimed the Federation of Master Builders 'Builder of the year' in category number one for 2008; the new build section. Further to this McQuillan Building Contractors have taken the award for Federation of Master Builders 'Heavenly Builder' award, which is the regional award for Northern Ireland.

Aside from a technical and physical expertise which McQuillan Building Contractors offers, we also have vast experience in helping clients choose the correct finish on interiors of their project. It helps to have a woman's insight within the team!

2. How comprehensively is McQuillan Building Contractors insured?

McQuillan Building Contractors, Northern Ireland possess indemnity as required. Essentially, what this means is that clients choosing to work with McQuillan Building Contractors enjoy full insurance, irrespective of any unforeseen eventuality, right up to the point of our disengagement from the site.

We enjoy full combined liability insurance as well as contract work insurance.

3. I do not live in Northern Ireland, does McQuillan Building Contractors undertake construction projects outside of Northern Ireland or Ireland?

Currently, McQuillan Building Contractors is team is set up to handle a number multiple projects which may or may not run concurrently in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the UK. We are also happy to announce that we have recently secured contracts in the UK and hope to expand in this market.

4. How long does it take to build a house in Northern Ireland?

We are often asked how long it might take to build a house in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. We find that generally speaking, the answer to this question is 6 to 9 months. Many clients are surprised to learn that - when building a house - size, generally speaking (and within reason), has very little bearing on the requisite leadtime.

Most often, the limiting factor on the leadtime required to complete a building project are the logistical issues such as drying time on plastering and screeds, which can tend to halt progress intermittently.

The specification of a given project may also have a bearing on the required time. Obviously more intricate and complex construction projects may require longer to complete. However even in more basic projects, we find that the procurement of building materials can often present unexpected delays, since, given the current economic climate, many manufacturers of products such as slates, bricks and roof tiles, operate a 'just-in-time' model which means ultimately that they carry a limited amount of stock. Clients requiring fast turnaround should be mindful of the materials which they specify, or which are specified by their architect.

Feel free to contact McQuillan Building Contractors today to discuss the implications of your approved plan, on the time required for completion.

5. I am based in rural Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland and wish to build a red brick home. I've been told my local council may have issues with this; does my location affects the type of finish available to me?

The area - and perhaps more accurately the immediate vicinity - in which you live in Northern Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland may well have a bearing on the finishes which are available to you when building your house. For example it tends to be more 'creative or aesthetic freedom' available in towns than in rural areas, however it is probably fair to say that this question would be better directed toward your chosen architect. The requirements of planning change so frequently that it would be difficult to advise, particularly on a website, as to the actual requirements of your local council. We would advise that you seek counsel of your architect on this issue.

6. What are the regulations surrounding sightlines in Northern Ireland?

The regulations regarding sightlines vary from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland, and indeed from house to house, however your architect will be happy to advise in this regard.

7. Does McQuillan Building Contractors supply all required machinery to complete the job, or must this be viewed as separate.

Yes. Patrons who have received a tender for quotation from McQuillan Building Contractors, can be certain that it includes everything required in terms of man-hours and peripheral materials such as plant and building materials, to construct the house as set out in the approved plans. Furthermore McQuillan Building Contractors are fully insured for all third-party plant rental which may be required the completion of the project. It is worth noting that in actual fact, many plant rental companies do not ensure vehicles or plant which they lease to building firms or the general public, in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. McQuillan Building Contractors' insurance guarantees that this does not become a problem for its clients.

8. If I chose to work with McQuillan Building Contractors, must I work with the materials which are provided by McQuillan, or is it possible to source building materials independently?

McQuillan Building Contractors Northern Ireland have no firm allegiances in regard to the supply of materials on a given instruction project. Many clients in both Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and UK choose to supply their own materials, or have in place a relationship to at least facilitate this. If required, Building Contractors can supply a list of preferred partners whose materials and services we know and trust. Where possible McQuillan Building Contractors Northern Ireland are happy to help our clients avail of any trade discounts offered to us.

9. What certificates or other documentation must I have in my possession before McQuillan Building Contractors can proceed to work on my house build here in Northern Ireland?

Ideally, before any construction takes place, clients wishing to instruct McQuillan Building Contractors in the build of their new home, should have the following elements in order.

• Purchase of site
• Any existing covenants are assessed and removed where required
• Northern Ireland electricity
• British Telecom
• Water service Northern Ireland application
• Sightlines finalised and agreed

At this point clients should also have a general idea the style of house they require, and the budget at their disposal in order to make this happen.

10. Is there a limit to the size of construction project which can be undertaken by McQuillan Building Contractors in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland?

In short, there is no limit to the size of the job at McQuillan Building Contractors can undertake, either in terms of cost or scale. McQuillan Building Contractors is scalable to facilitate several concurrent projects at any one time within Ireland. We are at home working on smaller renovations, as well as on larger projects.

11. I am based in Hollywood County Down, Northern Ireland which I appreciate is quite some distance from your base in County Tyrone. Does McQuillan Building Contractors undertake smaller jobs such as renovations at this distance or cover all of Northern Ireland for such tasks?

McQuillan Building Contractors is happy to cover all of Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and UK and projects of all sizes. Potential clients, whether based in the most northern point of Northern Ireland, or the most southern point in the Republic of Ireland, can happily contact McQuillan Building Contractors representative today for a no obligation project quotation.

12. Does McQuillan Building Contractors have any experience of the commercial sector within Northern Ireland? If so, does McQuillan Building Contractors carry out work in the commercial sector?

McQuillan building is not a commercial building firm per se, although we are happy to undertake commercial building work on small to moderate scale. We have worked on several commercial and retail projects within Northern Ireland (mid Ulster region) and both references and examples of our work in this regard can be forwarded upon request.

13. Does McQuillan Building Contractors undertake work on listed projects in Northern Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland?

At present, McQuillan Building firm has not undertaken building work on a listed project. However, one of our founding partners enjoy a long history in building control in Northern Ireland, and as such we have substantial knowledge of the area and are confident of our ability in this regard. Clients who require a building firm in Northern Ireland to work on a listed project, should contact

14. Does McQuillan Building Contractors have any experience working with wooden timber framed houses in Northern


Whilst this is not our core business, McQuillan Building Contractors has considerable experience dealing with timber framed housing and are happy to undertake such work.

15. How does McQuillan Building Contractors Northern Ireland require to be remunerated for a project?

As with many building firms in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the UK, McQuillan Building Contractors terms and conditions are such that payment is typically phased. This offers peace of mind to our clients, and enables the workflow to continue unabated for the fast and efficient turnaround of your building project.

McQuillan Building Contractors understands however that building your own home can sometimes be complicated in terms of financing. In some circumstances, McQuillan Building Contractors, Northern Ireland is willing to negotiate terms of payment in order to help prevent its clients from having to deal with the headache of bridging loans etc, since mortgages are often not released by the bank until your building contractor reaches wall plate and roof level. Contact a McQuillan Building Contractors representative today to discuss the terms of payment for your individual building project.

16. Do I have to pay VAT on my new house build?

Actually no. Any new house built within Northern Ireland is zero rated, which means that absolutely no VAT is applicable on the cost of building. Further to this, the majority of houses which are built with the aid of grant money from the Northern Ireland Housing executive are also immune to taxation.

House extensions and house renovations are however subject to VAT in the majority of instances.

Clients whose building projects are subject to VAT, should be advised that McQuillan building contractors submit VAT payment to HM revenue and Customs on a quarterly basis on all building work conducted within Northern Ireland.

17. What happens if McQuillan Building Contractors delay my building project for any reason, am I entitled to compensation?

We are happy to report that at the time of writing, McQuillan Building Contractors have not missed an agreed deadline on any project which was not affected by inevitable variation or client requests not laid out within the initial specification. Our commitment and our ethos is to do the job well, and to do it on time.

If agreed within the initial contract, McQuillan Building Contractors will be happy to honour weekly remuneration to the client for each week that the project runs over as a result of any issue which is deemed to be exclusively within the remit of McQuillan Building Contractors. The amount payable by McQuillan Building Contractors is subject to contract.

In order to assist with the planning and purchasing of materials such as fixtures and fittings will, a programme of works can be provided if required.

18. I am planning on building a house in rural Ireland, is there anything I must do to ready the building site prior to the engagement of McQuillan Building Contractors?

Absolutely not!. Given that the all paperwork is in place from the relevant authorities (building control granted) McQuillan Building Contractors Northern Ireland is happy to commence work on a greenfield site.

19. What happens if I want to change something in the middle of my house build?

This is actually quite common in construction projects. The protocol (when a change to an agreed plan arises, either by means of a client's change of heart, or as a result of technical difficulties unforeseen at the time of planning approval), is to have all parties agree on the scope of the problem, the proposed solution, and the resultant costs.

At this point, all parties will sign off on a 'Variation Order Form' which details and agrees the required additional work and resultant costs.