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Design outer space online - Irish Times article

Thursday 04 March 2010

Design outer space online - Irish Times article

One of the country's biggest timber frame home builders has constructed a clever way of working around the recession.

During the boom Cygnum was building between 40 and 50 houses a week in Ireland, mainly for developers. After teh foundations of the economy cracked Cygnum set up an office in the UK but is still picking up one-off, self-builds in Ireland and has just turned to the outdoor room market. People who are finding it difficult to trade up can get extra space in their existing home. They are also often used as home offices and now that people are being "let go" into entrepreneurship, there's a bigger need for such rooms.

These outdoor rooms range from around €18,000 to €30,000 and the company sat that they keep costs down by getting customers to work on the design themselves. Get Outer Space offers lower prices if you design online - it cuts out having a sales rep who discusses all of the options with you. It's more sophisticated than it sounds because an architect has already drawn up all of the design options, you just have to choose the layout, size, type of roof pitch, the cladding, type of windows and so on.

Every time you choose an option the overall price alters along with it and then, when you've finished, you know exactly how much it's going to cost.

Cygnum took the idea from the way lots of car specs are chosen nowadays, says MD John Desmond. From ordering the garden to moving in takes siz weeks and, while the company leaves you to compile your ideal home online, its staff will do everything on site, from foundations to first fix electrics and plumbing. The price quoted is the price you pay, they say. getouterspace.com