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‘It’s all extensions these days,’ said young Wexford builder Kevin Cooney of Lambstown, Glynn who did the construction work.

‘People want to improve their living space. They’re looking at a house not as an investment but as a home.’ ‘ A few years ago, if they needed more space they would buy a new house.’ Siobhan’s extension cost less than two-thirds of the price it would have set her back during the property boom. ‘It’s definitely cheaper to get something done now,’ said Kevin. ‘The price of building materials hasn’t gone down and the regulations are the same – you still have to meet the required standards but you’re not paying anymore for the fella driving around pricing jobs or the secretary in the office helping him .’

‘He doesn’t exist anymore. When I hire a plumber, he comes in his own van, he gives me a price and he’s the same fella who turns up on site the following week to do the work.

Kevin who previously worked as a project manager with his brothers, set up his own building firm three years ago and is one of the new breed of post-boom builders operating in an industry which is slowly rising from the ashes. ‘You have to go out looking for the work. It doesn’t come to you,’ he said. Dermot could be forgiven for regretting his decision to become an architect just as the construction industry imploded.

”The timing certainly wasn’t great. I finished college and thought -where’s the queue of clients.’ ‘But having said that I really like what I’m doing now.’ His sister Siobhan is certainly not complaining about his career change as she proudly enjoys every moment in her beautiful new kitchen and spacious bedroom overlooking Wexford harbour.

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