Established in 1998, Laghey Construction Ltd in Co Donegal provides its clients with services in new builds, extensions, roofing, attic conversions and all carpentry contracts. Building Ireland spoke with company directors Joe and Bridie Doherty to learn more about the ins and outs of the business and the projects it has on-going at the moment.
Business is good these days at Laghey Construction Ltd and the plan for directors Joe and Bridie Doherty is to try and keep things that way right through to next year.
Operating with four direct staff, the company specialises in new builds, extensions, roofing and carpentry services throughout Donegal and beyond the Tir Chonaill County’s borders.
Next April will see Laghey Construction Ltd marking its 25th anniversary since its inception and its directors are keen to keep delivering for clients as that landmark approaches for the company.
Building Ireland touched base with the Dohertys recently to hear about how business is at the moment, the impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on it and the overall hopes for Laghey Construction going forward.
“Extensions, renovations, new builds is what we’d be doing and we also do Council bathroom grants, small extensions, reroofing jobs and it’s mostly residential that we do,” outlined Bridie Doherty, who runs the business alongside her husband Joe.
“We do a bit of commercial but, as I said, it’s mostly residential projects that we’d be doing here.”
Indeed, residential work is very much the company’s bread and butter so to speak, with grant work coming from Donegal County Council.
Joe Doherty himself had worked for modern construction specialists Glebe Builders in Donegal before taking the decision to go out on his own with Laghey Construction.
As for Bridie, she worked in the accounts department of the Donegal Democrat newspaper, as well as in reception, for a similar amount of time before joining her husband in the business and taking over its accounts.
The rest, as they say, is history and, right now, business is thriving but it’s not without its challenges given high cost of construction materials at present.
“It’s very busy but, at the same time, material prices have got very unpredictable,” Joe stated.
“We find another thing too is that getting materials to fall into place when you want them doesn’t really happen now.
“It’s very tough in that way at the moment I have to say, but hopefully it can come back to a bit of normality.”
The Covid-19 pandemic, and the government lockdowns which were enforced by the government to try and combat the spread of the virus, impacted businesses nationwide and Laghey Construction were another to feel the effects.
The company’s projects were stalled for months at a time during the lockdowns and it left it “playing catch up” to try and get jobs completed.
“It would’ve been hard to source materials during that time and then during lockdown it put us back on jobs that we were supposed to do three months at a time,” Bridie said of the company’s challenges during the pandemic.
“So, you were always playing catch up. Jobs that we had further on, one was catching up with the other and it was difficult in that regard.
“Then when we did get back in to work, we had staff off with Covid, so it was a very minimum staff as well at times. It was the same for every industry, I suppose.”
As restrictions eased more and more, Laghey Construction would eventually get on track with its projects and today the family-run venture has enough work to keep it going well into next year.
Much of the company’s work is situated in and around Donegal Town, with its name synonymous with carrying out excellent projects all throughout the county.
“We’re just after completing two extensions in Donegal Town and we also renovated the Kelco Vodafone shop in the town,” explained Bridie.
“We’re actually on a sunroom extension in Donegal Town at the minute and have done numerous bathroom renovations and reroofing jobs for Donegal County Council this year so far.
“Right now, we’re in the process of doing another extension and renovation projects in Ballyshannon and one in Rossnowlagh.
“We’re doing an extension to Killymard Play School at the moment and we’ve a few jobs to start later on in the year as well.”
So, the burning question is, what has been the secret behind the success of Laghey Construction after nearly quarter of a century?
How has a small construction start-up stood the test of time, coming through a recession and pandemic, to the point now where its renowned for its excellent work and busy with projects in its books all the way until next April/May?
“We’ve a good name and we’re established nearly 25 years now,” Bridie responded. “We’re competitive and I suppose it’s word of mouth as well with our clients.
“Joe’s been in business himself for 25 years but he had also been working local for another 20 years or so with Glebe Builders, so he would have a lot of experience.
“There’s also the fact that the client is dealing with us directly when it comes to their project.”
The personal touch goes a long way in the line of work, according to the Dohertys, and they’re keen to keep applying the same approach going forward.
Looking towards the coming future for the business, they see busy times ahead and the plan is to keep delivering for clients while also holding out hope for a reduction in material costs sooner rather than later.
“We’ve a good lot of work lined up and it should keep us busy up until next April or May.
“In this business, you can’t really plan more than six to eight months ahead but we have some jobs to start around the beginning of October and they should take us on until at least next May.
“We’re actually in the middle of pricing three or four projects as well.
“The hope is that material prices will come down and I suppose people are holding off as well on those kinds of things, so we’ll see how it goes,” Bridie concluded.
Laghey Construction Ltd
Tel: 074 972 3589
Mob: 087 283 8163
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, October 2022, Vol 8 No 10