Delivering high-quality, bespoke new build, extension and renovation projects across Dublin, Meath and surrounding counties for coming up on two decades, Mark Gilleece Construction is firmly focussed on listening closely to customers in order to invariably achieve optimal solutions. Building Ireland touched base with Mark to discuss the history and current well-being of his exceptional general contracting company.
Quality construction and maintaining strong lines of communication with customers have been consistent trademarks of Mark Gilleece since the Meath man set up his own building contracting company almost 20 years ago. By combining industry-leading workmanship with an unbeatable personal touch, Mark Gilleece Construction delivers bespoke projects that always meet, nay exceed, client expectations.
“We pride ourselves on the quality of all of our projects and we always strive to make sure that everything is done right,” Mark confirms, when asked about the unswerving ethos underpinning his business. “We work with our clients to bring their project from a drawing on a piece of paper to their dream home.
“I’m good at talking with people and it’s very important to build relationships and work with them through every stage of the process. When you make yourself available to clients and keep them in the loop, they get to trust you and they know you are going to do the job properly.
“I believe our main strength is how we work with clients. We know they are making massive decisions on their forever home and that it’s an incredibly important process for them. If they are doing a smaller extension that is exempt from planning permission and where an architect has not been employed by the client, we can project manage the job and help them to make all the right decisions.
“We focus on understanding what a client needs. To this end, that initial meeting is so important in getting a sense of what the client wants to create, so that we can come up with a plan to bring it to fruition and on budget. Trust is so important with both clients and the subcontractors we use, so that we all understand the vision, the timeline and the budget.
“Every project is critical and once you complete it to the best of your ability and to client satisfaction, then you’d hope to get repeat work off the back of that.”
A carpenter by trade, Mark worked as a carpentry contractor on large sites in the capital before taking the decision to expand into general contracting. His late father, Frank Gilleece, who was a major part of the business for many years, was not only an inspiration and driving force but also proved to be an excellent sounding board on projects.
Excellent, experienced and skilled staff contribute enormously to the success of Mark Gilleece Construction. Mark recently expanded to take on additional full-time workers and he anticipates further growth in 2023. Many of his in-house and subcontracted workers have been with him long-term, including his right hand man, John Farrell.
“We have five men full-time at the moment and also use a number of subbies. We’ve had the same crew of trustworthy and knowledgeable subcontractors for a number of years now and tend to use the same guys on every job. I’ve been dealing with them for a long time. They know exactly how we like to work, which helps keep things efficient and is obviously very important, especially for the smaller jobs that are more time sensitive.
“If you are doing a small extension, for example, and you’re hoping to get it finished in five or six weeks, you’ll want each guy in for a day or two and our subcontractors all know one another and can work together.”
From their base in Trim, County Meath, Mark Gilleece Construction specialise in new builds, extensions, renovations, internal & attic insulation, small housing developments and basements, generally covering counties Meath, Dublin and Kildare. Business is going very well at the moment and Mark has a number of nice projects both ongoing and in the pipeline.
“We aim to have a mix of jobs at all times, from small building developments to one off builds and lots of renovations and extensions,” he reveals. “We’ve had a lot of repeat clients and are currently working on an
extension for a client who is replicating an extension we did in the house where they lived in 2017.
We did a fantastic bespoke architecturally designed family home in Meath with lots of glass to bring the outside in. It was finished to very high spec and the clients had a strong vision and exacting standards for the materials they wanted to use, such as stone work cladding outside and they also brought it through to the inside wall.
“We also completed a large extension and renovation on a land-commissioned cottage near Navan. This was an exciting challenge to blend old with new. The architect had come to me with an excellent design and it was a real joy working on that one.
“Elsewhere, we just gutted a 1970s three-bed semi and brought it up to an ‘A’ energy rating. The
first person to view it bought it!
“I worked in London for a few years and gained experience in building basements,” Mark continues. “We built a house back in 2013 where I advised the client to include a basement as they had a sloping site. I am now back on that job to finish out the basement with a cinema room, utility room, shower room and a five-metre slider to open the basement to the back garden and allow for entertaining. The clients’ kids have grown since the initial build and they now need to update the home to meet their growing needs.
“Indeed, with more and more people continuing to work from home, we’ve been doing more garage conversions and renovations to create additional space as people are now using their houses in different ways. We love working with clients to find new ways to maximize their space and make their homes work better for them.”
Mark Gilleece Construction also boasts an exemplary track record in completing commercial jobs, including a recent pub renovation and a yoga studio. Additionally, the Meath company has experience working on multi-unit residential sites, having acted as both developer and builder on a development of three terraced houses in Longwood, County Meath – a project which was finished in early 2020.
Mark is open to building more such developments in the future – either for himself or in conjunction with a stand-alone developer. “I’ve just done a largescale renovation on a house I bought recently and now more than ever I understand how important attention to detail and the finality of making a decision on lighting, window placement and kitchen layouts is,” he concludes. “Whilst we pride ourselves on removing the stress from a job – and clients often mention how stressful the decision-making process can be – that now resonates with me more than ever!
“Going forward, we are in a good place and I’m anticipating further expansion of the team as we continue to get busier. We’re working in Dublin more often of late and a lot of these jobs involve opening up houses that were built in the 1970s/’80s and had a lot of rooms. As people spend more time at home, we’ve seen a big trend towards open plan living, where the kitchen is an even bigger part of the home than before.”
Whatever the end result sought – be it a new build or reimagining an existing home – Mark Gilleece Construction has the expertise, experience and wherewithal to deliver it!
Mark Gilleece Construction,
14 Abbey Close,
Tel: 085 1281288
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, January 2023, Vol 9 No 1