Thursday, 22 August 2013

New Heath and Safety Regulations (Dates)

The Safety, Health and Welfare at work (Construction) Regulations 2013 came into effect on the 1st of August 2013.

Just for Clarification, if you already have planning permission and if you start and finish within 12 months then the regulation does not kick in yet !

From a Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) e-mail:
Q.3 Does my client have to appoint a Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS) for a domestic project going on site after the 1st August 2013, where I have already done the design work?
No. The revised regulations are not and cannot be retrospective. The requirement to appoint a PSCS applies only to projects where the design process commences on or after 1 August 2013. Informal conversations with the H.S.A. have confirmed this. Please note
if a project runs on for a period of 12 months, or more, after 1st August 2013, then there is an obligation to appoint a PSDP and a PSCS after the 12 month period.

From the HSA web site:
What if I've started my construction work prior to the effective date?
The requirements/obligations under these Regulations are applicable for all construction projects on homes which commence on or after 1st August 2013. If the design or construction stage of a project has started prior to the effective date then the duties of the client with regard to appointing project supervisors do not apply for a period of 12 months.

In other words from the 1st of August 2014 all eligible projects, no matter when the design (or construction) has started, will need to register the construction with the Health and Safety Authority.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Safety Guide for Homeowners wanting to build

Have you started on your domestic project & informed the HSA?

There is a guide that tells you what you need to know and do when you
are having construction work done in your home. The Health
and Safety Authority (HSA) developed this guide in light of new
responsibilities for homeowners under the Safety, Health and
Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013. The regulations
apply to construction work that you pay to get done in your
home. They do not apply to DIY (Do it yourself) jobs.

Here is a to do guide you must follow since the 1st of Aug 2013.

Home owner Guide

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Testers to flush out tank issues

Some 1,000 residential septic tanks are to be inspected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) between now and July 2014 under new waste water treatment rules.
Owners of septic tanks selected for inspection will be notified by an inspector 10 days in advance of the inspection.

Read below for more info.
Testers to flush out tank issues -

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

410,000 septic tank owners can claim grant

Only those who registered before the deadline of February 1  can apply for grant aid.

More than 410,000 liable households – 82 per cent of septic tank owners – have registered their systems to date

The new scheme allows householders apply for up to 80pc of the approved costs, with a maximum cap of €4,000 for households on an income of up to €50,000. The amount will be reduced to a maximum of €2,500 aid for households on incomes of up to €75,000.

Ireland is still liable for daily fines of €12,000 for failing to comply with EU rules on septic tanks, because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not completed its inspection plans.

Irish Independent

The Journal

Monday, 1 April 2013

Window Tax on the way.

There is talk of window tax coming back. In recent times House windows have become bigger and bigger. Especially on south facing elevations. Proposal are being considered to tax windows that are over 25% of the total floor area on Dwellings.

Modern Living room window
Also commercial buildings will come into the net. Window tax will kick in for windows over 35% of the floor area.
A tax of 10 euros per sqm over the permitted percentages will be charged per year.

The talk in the Dail took all day without conclusion. There were heated arguments for and against this new tax.
Cottage Window.

Also read:

Friday, 22 March 2013

World Water Day 2013

Now in its 21st year, World Water Day 2013 will takes place today 22nd March 2013 and will focus on the need to conserve and protect fresh water supplies.

Water Cooperation is part of the UN Year of Water Cooperation.

What is Water Cooperation?
Water Cooperation recognises the need for a trans-boundary and multi-disciplinary approach to water management. This holistic approach aims to incorporate all the aspects of how we use and manage water from cultural, educational, scientific, religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and
economic. It promotes cooperation between different countries and disciplines to work together under a shared goal of water conservation and an equal access to clean water for all.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Local Property Tax (LPT) Valuation 2013

Winkens Architecture designed House
The media had a bit of fun with the address only based assessments. The Revenue online interactive guide is based on that.
To access your properties worth, stay realistic. You are responsible for valuing your house for the property tax.

If your  house is bigger and in better condition to the house next door, it is worth more.

Pretend you are selling your house, then you  see all the good points that your House has above your neighbours.
Make a  HOUSE VALUE FILE. Gather info to ascertain your true property value and keep it in that file. This will help you should the revenue doubt your valuation.

I have gathered a few tools below to help you access your House value.

Taken from the THE LOCAL PROPERTY TAX leaflet:
The market value of the property will be based on self-assessment by the liable person.

Liable persons will be required to self-assess the market value their property as at 1 May 2013 and  will  not be required to re-value their property for three years i.e. valuation in 2013 will be valid up to and  including 2016.

This will mean that any additional work that is done to improve or renovate a property will not alter the valuation of the property for LPT purposes up to 2016."

MyHome shows what properties sold for 2010 to 2013  
Myhome property value
Almost depressing way to figure out what your property is worth.
For example - a house purchased in 2000 for €175000 would be multiplied by 0.86 to arrive at an estimated value in 2013 of €150,500
Price Change Estimation Table
This is the calculator which is quite good.
Daft calculator
Revenue online interactive guide (only):
Revenue valuation-guide
Enter the Estimated Property Value to find out your tax liability.
Local PropertyTax 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Local Property Tax 2013

The Local Property Tax (LPT) will come into force on 1 July 2013.
A half year payment will be due for the second half of 2013.
A full year payment due from 2014 onwards.
The property owner will be liable for the LPT.
This includes local authorities and social housing organisations.


The exemptions from the LPT will be the same as those applied to the Household Charge, with the following additional exemptions:
  • New and previously unoccupied homes purchased between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2016 will be exempt up to the end of 2016.
  • Second-hand property purchased by a first time buyer between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2013 will be exempt until the end of 2016.

The Local Property Tax (LPT) is payable at a rate of 0.18% of the market value of properties (by reference to bands of €50,000) up to €1m and 0.25% on any balance above €1m.

There is a property tax calculator on this site:

What's a typical timeline to design and build a house?     #ArchitalksIE Winkens Architecture approach: This is based on our exper...