My wife and I first saw Eric Davidson from Reinco speaking at the Self Build Ireland Exhibition in Belfast in February.
He really caught the eye for a number of reasons.
1) He spoke about building a complete home, making a home that was comfortable to live in and economic to run.
2) He spoke about the entire build, and not individual aspects of the build, and from the viewpoint of the home owner, not someone trying to sell a certain product.
3) We really liked the way he described building and insulating the home in a practical way that made it easier for builders to get right.
4) He was very forthright and direct in his views, as to things that can go wrong in the house building process.
After that first encounter, we decided to call Eric to discuss our house plans. These were not yet finalized. I feel it was a great time to get Eric involved, because he has been able to point out several factors in our design that could be improved, and also confirmed that some of the aspects of the house we wanted, including vaulted ceilings and large windows, would not add much cost to the overall domestic heating bill, provided we followed a build spec. that would suit the style.
He came to our site in Kilkenny, and listened to our views as to what we wanted from our home, and was then able to recommend best practice approaches for the build.
The meeting lasted about three hours, and we discussed all aspects of home living, and building the house from foundations to roof.
After the meeting Eric created a specific report for our build, complete with detailed diagrams that we can refer to, and use to communicate with builders, engineers and architects.
He was also able to recommended installers and suppliers of many parts of the build, from windows to mechanical ventilation systems, whom he knows have good track records.
This is critical knowledge to have. I also feel, if we tell these companies upfront, that Eric is involved with the build, they will make sure all work is performed to a very high standard.
Looking ahead, we now feel more able to take on the daunting challenge of the self-build right from the foundations up, given all the information and help we have received from Eric.
During the build, Eric will be contactable to answer many queries that will surely arise.
We know the quality of house that can be built, and we feel good that we know what to look out for, to make sure the home we really want, becomes a reality.
As a first-time self-builder with little knowledge other that watching the odd Grand Designs I could have run into all sorts of trouble.
Then I meet Eric Davidson – The fee I paid to Eric at Reinco was one of the best investments of the project and literally saved me tens of thousands of £’s. He suggested materials, building systems and processes to use, such as wall construction, insulation, types of windows, primary heat source, roof construction and exterior finish. Some of these weren’t conventional and didn’t cost the earth but had great thermal benefits when compared to other methods. But best of all Eric is independent, he has seen first-hand the results of using the systems, products and contractors he recommends. During the build if I needed confirmation that a method of construction was suitable for my project, Eric was only a phone call away, to discuss and offer advice, guidance and reassurance as required – this service I used on many occasions.
Today I have a beautiful, warm and draught free house, with low running costs that without the help of Eric at Reinco I would not have achieved. I would have no hesitation in recommending Eric Davidson’s services to anyone who is about to start on a self-build project, YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED WITH THE RESULTS YOU ACHIEVE.
My fiancé and I are starting are our first, and hopefully our only self build, and honestly had no idea where to start with regards to insulation, heating systems etc. We met with Eric, who kindly visited our site in Mayo, and gave us excellent and impartial advice on how to proceed. We are building a house just over 3300 square foot, with 200mm cavity walls, and grey bead insulation.
Eric has helped us on sourcing suppliers for this. We are also going to use ground source heating, combined with underfloor heating and a heat recovery ventilation system.We have listened to everybody either loving or hating their systems, so it was great to get honest and impartial advice, which has given us clear focus on what we are trying to achieve with the build (even if it is raising a few eyebrows from builders along the way!) Hopefully we will reap the rewards of what we are putting into this, and it is great to know that Eric is only a phone call away should we need assistance….
Thank you so much for all the vital information and helpful advice which you gave us in order to maximize the heating insulation and ventilation efficiency in our new house.
We are delighted with the result and know that we could never have achieved the high standards produced without you.
On a personal level, it was a pleasure meeting you. Your friendly patient attitude was greatly appreciated and it took much of the stress out of a challenging project.
I hope our paths cross again in future. We are truly indebted to you.
I sat at my child’s swimming lesson with my plans (and my head) in my hands. We had received planning permission four months previously. Having spent that time trying to determine the best route forward in terms of construction methods and materials, we had just received cost estimates before going to tender. How was it that our dream home was now projected to be so far outside our budget? Why had no significant cost elements and potential cost overruns been flagged before now? Why were there no clear recommendations, tried and tested construction plans, methods and details produced in four months? As these problems had not come to light before now, who were we to talk to? We didn’t even have a builder involved yet and already the situation was stressed and appeared unsolvable.
Another parent leaned over to admire the plans. I explained that it looked like we would have to go back to the drawing board. “Have you heard of Eric Davidson?” she asked. We have never looked back.
A couple of phone chats later (phonecalls are always promptly returned) we met Eric for a three hour discussion of our project and his experience and ideas. The meeting lasted over five hours (but the cost didn’t change). We came away with confidence and renewed faith in ourselves and our vision for a passive high quality home at reasonable cost. Two days later we had a tailored plan emailed to us by Eric to suit our build. Always available to run things by and answer the “stupid questions” (there are no stupid questions, just things which need more teasing out!) and as a sounding board throughout our project, Eric proved to be the best professional investment we made. He always seemed eager that we would understand the decisions we were making so that we were happy with our choices and knew the battles to pursue or forsake. As someone we could return to time and time again and who would give his view but live with our decision, we found that his service, whether we used it on any particular day or not, meant that we were more brave and convinced of our choices and we had the determination to see it all through.
I had done much research, studied and worked in the industry some years ago so we did not go into this project completely green. The online blogs of people who have built one-off houses, from planning to finishing touches by themselves, are inspiring and misleading at the same time. I am sure those people exist as I am sure some projects run completely smoothly. However, mere mortals like me need a little reassurance now and again, need a strong sense of direction on such an expensive project, need help to maintain conviction and take on any disagreements and quality issues which arise on site, need a more experienced person to determine who, if anybody, is in the right or wrong and help with how to negotiate, need a friendly, fair, assured voice at the end of the phone, and need an independent advisor. Eric was all these things to us. Without hesitation, I recommend Reinco, Eric’s business, very very highly.
I was tasked by the local community with project managing an €800,000 Community/Heritage Centre new build. Prior to work commencing on the site, I visited numerous similar-sized projects in a number of other counties. There was one over-riding theme in all of the projects that I visited -that was, the astronomical sums of money being spent heating these buildings with oil. One particular centre in Donegal – their bill was €17,000/year for oil alone. I had done some online research of my own with regards to various types of heating systems and was overwhelmed by all the conflicting information.
Fortunately a local couple who were using the services of REINCO on their new self-build home recommended a meeting with Eric Davidson. On first meeting Eric, I was highly impressed by his knowledge regarding insulation, air-tightness and heating systems and his obvious passion and experience on renewable energy and every aspect of achieving a super- efficient low running cost comfortable building.
After our initial meeting, I was convinced that we needed Eric to guide us through the whole process.
Eric was only ever a phone call away day or night, always on hand to offer advice, allowing the project to progress within a scheduled timeframe. It was refreshing to work with someone who has a professional, practical, common sense, no-nonsense approach in an industry that’s becoming increasingly difficult for the novice to navigate.
The Sliabh Sneacht Centre has only recently opened and everyone who visits remarks on the comfort and cosiness of the building given it’s size, and the management/directors are very pleased with such low running costs. The Centre has been nominated for a national award in ‘’The Pride of Place Competition which will take place in Co. Clare. (Nov 2014) The judges remarked that the low carbon footprint of the building played a major part in the selection process.
I would strongly recommend to anyone out there considering embarking on a building project to first engage the services of Eric Davidson from REINCO regardless the size or scale of the project, it will be the best money ever spent.
(Kevin Doherty is a building contractor with 35 years experience!)
Kevin Doherty, Chairman/Project Manager, Sliabh Sneacht Community Heritage Centre
REINCO provided one of the most essential and best value services during the planning and construction of our new home. From our initial meeting, review of plans, site visits, inspections and ongoing support, Eric Davidson delivered a professional and friendly service at every stage. His no-nonsense but informative approach to the various tradesmen was also invaluable.
Eric’s knowledge in terms of independent product recommendation also saved us time and money whilst investigating what for most people are not the most exciting of new home products – insulation, boilers, solar panels, UFH, ventilation and heat recovery etc etc!
We all learnt a lot from his input on the project, which was reflected in the energy performance of the finished product:
- Air Tightness results exceeded even Reinco’s expectations.
- Whole house warm and comfortable to live in year round.
- Cost to integrate Eric’s recommendations minimal (less than 5% of overall build).
- Total heating and hot water cost during first full year 2011, less than £800 (gas boiler, solar thermal panels, block built 400m2).
A highly recommended service from a very knowledgeable, industry experienced professional.
As we began our Self Build journey, it became apparent that even though James was a house building professional, there was still much to learn about the most up to date methods when it came to building a ‘future proofed’ home for ourselves. We decided that embarking on the project under Eric’s guidance would be money well spent. Luckily we had the initial consultation and received our report before we began to build the foundations, from Day 1 there were many small details which we would not have done had we not spoken to Eric first. The technical drawings he provided were invaluable and so clear that everyone on site from an amateur to a professional were able to work from them and they also gave some concrete backing as we tried to get all Tradesmen ‘on board’ with building techniques they would not normally have used.
We found Eric easy to work with, readily available to answer any questions throughout the 2 year build and even though there were times we went ahead and did our own thing, he was always there to point out the pro and cons. It is certainly good to have a third party voice at the end of the phone when your need some reassurance or knowledge; self building can be quite a lonely process and you need all the friends you can get!
After living in the house for 2 years, we can verify the methods of construction we used have created a really warm, easy to run, very comfortable home. Running costs for the oil heating, including hot water are around £450 per year at current prices (2850 sq ft house), bear in mind this means the house is lovely and warm all the time, not just for a few hours morning and night. We truly believe there are only a very small amount of properties in the whole of the country that would be up to the standard that Eric can help achieve, an investment that will pay you back year after year.
We wanted our new home to be comfortable to live in, easily heated and draft free. After finding Reinco on an internet search we first met Eric with our plans, months before going to tender. His advice resulted in several changes including cavity width, type of heating, and use of warm roof. His presence at the contract meeting ensured thermal mass considerations and our wish for an airtight house were paramount to all. Eric’s advice and support throughout the build has been invaluable to us. I held my ground on many issues with sub contractors armed with his advice. Reinco was the best investment we made by far. Thank you Eric
We are about to build our family home and aim to use a contractor. We started to research what heat source and ‘renewables’ we would use and the more we read the less we knew; each person/advert/article appeared to have a different opinion and we could not see clearly. We came across a small add in ‘Self-Build’ magazine and called Eric in Reinco. From the first conversation to the first consultation with Eric we now have a clear picture of what we can achieve and more importantly we are confident we have the full support of a trusted independent aide who has the expertise and passion to help us achieve ‘our’ dream family home with emphasis on quality and value for money.
Our decision to engage with Eric and REINCO, when we decided to undertake a self-build family home, was by far the most productive and worthwhile decision we made during the entire project. We found Eric to be very professional, informative and supportive throughout the entire process.
He was always available to give advice, support and instruction. The service he provided was excellent from start to finish and I know things wouldn’t have gone as smoothly if it wasn’t for him.
We now live in a highly efficient, warm and comfortable home thanks, in no small way, to REINCO. We are thrilled at the service that was provided to us and would not hesitate recommending their service to anybody embarking on a building project.
Having done much research on self-build and eventually finding a place to build we thought it would be a good idea to avail of Reinco’s Consultancy Services. We found Eric Davidson’s consultation invaluable in helping us reach informed decisions and expectations on fundamental aspects of what we would ultimately be building.
Engaging such experience and expertise helps to eliminate much of the uncertainty that can come with building your own home and to an extent empowers you to know “what you are asking for” and why.
I cannot reccomend REINCO highly enough, no one should build a house without a consultation. It was by far the best decision we made in the build and has paid for itself many times over.
Nothing prepared us for the amount of conflicting advice we received when we began planning our build. We eventually decided that the only way to get impartial guidance was to pay for it and hire a professional. Word of mouth brought us into contact with Eric Davidson and we first spoke in November ’08. Six months later we finally started building. Eric’s advice has been absolutely crucial in every stage so far and will be right up until we move in. He has opened our eyes to how inefficient modern houses are built and has challenged the seemingly endless amount of bad habits that seem to be endemic within today’s building industry. Best of all, Eric remains in contact throughout the entire project which is invaluable in the many situations that crop up where decisions need to be made quickly on site. We simply couldn’t imagine doing this project without Eric’s guidance.
Eric was recommended to us by our architect at the very early planning stage of our self build. We were very confused as to which way to heat our new home. With the help and support of Eric we chose Geothermal. We have been in the house 3 years now and the output of our heating source has exceeded our expectations.
He played a significant role throughout in solving a lot of our queries and problems not only with heating and insulation but also a wide range of house issues throughout our self build journey. He was not only very supportive and knowledgeable but was one of the very few during this stressful time who you could get hold of easily and who always returned your call promptly. Would highly recommend!
Without doubt the best money spent on our renovation was to engage Reinco Consultancy. Eric was always available to answer questions throughout the project as unexpected problems arose, much more so than our architect or builder. He designed specific to our project and we saved money by avoiding incorrect systems. He has helped us create a beautiful home that is warm and very comfortable.
In 2012 we inherited the block shell of a 3000sq foot house. Thanks to Eric’s help we where able to adapt the existing structures and insulate the house maximising its energy efficiency.
We have now been living in the house for a year, it has cost £355 to heat and £43 for a years hot water. We couldn’t have managed these managed these figures without Eric’s help and encouragement throughout the build.
Eric was referred to us by a self-builder friend and we have been very grateful to have had Eric’s input on our self-build from an early stage through to completion. Eric has been a useful touchpoint on all things self-build but an invaluable advisor to us on our energy efficiency. Having done our own research on energy technologies, we found ourselves unsure of the best combination of these for our particular house design and Eric very ably guided us through the best options for us. Eric liaised with our architect, our structural engineer, Building Control, our contractor, the various tradesmen on site and suppliers along the way. As well as being a very amiable character, we found Eric a very efficient and competent advisor, with a full knowledge of the construction industry, promptly answering our queries and providing as much detail as we needed.
Now that we have been in our house for a year, we find it to be a very comfortable and secure house. The initial hefty outlay on the technologies has been worth it as the house is efficient to run. The background comfortable heat and fresh air is incomparable and the health benefits are clear for our family.
We would happily recommend Eric to anyone contemplating a self-build. Engage him early in your planning and keep him on throughout the build and you are sure to have a house that will last the test of time and money!
We are currently six months in our new home and with the help, knowledge and experience of REINCO comfortable living has been an amazing experience to date.”
We completed a 3600 sq ft new self build over a nineteen month period in the West of Ireland. We were pleasantly guided through this process by Eric Davidson from REINCO. He was recommended to us by a friend in the building industry currently living in North Down who had numerous positive encounters with Eric. We were extremely cost conscious and decided we were going to stick to a budget with the build, however reducing on-going running costs were also a priority for us. We wanted a comfortable home with low running costs. By consulting with Reinco we got just that!
At first I personally was of the opinion one could research energy efficiency and various heating systems on the internet, but we had no experience in this area. With good recommendations, years of experience and over 700 houses behind him, we decided Eric Davidson from REINCO was the man for us. There was a lot at stake and no room for error!
Initially we had a consultation on a green field site for a small fee where we were guided in the right direction in terms of Air-Tightness and a suitable heating system for us. We were then sent a detailed report for our records and also for our builders to refer to during the build. Our aim was to achieve total Air Tightness. We had un-limited contact with Eric during the build and he pleasantly guided us through every difficult situation! On request Eric also recommend excellent suppliers for our build. Hence receiving top quality products at competitive prices.
- Extremely comfortable home 24 – 7
- For an extra over all building, labour and material cost of €12,000 we have achieved heat running costs of €350 to date (6 months including winter period). We estimate €500 – €600 annually
- We have a labour free heat system in place (imperative to our circumstances)
The detailed knowledge and information you receive from REINCO is not provided to you initially from your Architect. Building a modern enery efficent home is not standard practice in this country so it brings many challenges which include financial challenges and negioting with people in the building industry. For a small fee REINCO will guide you in the right direction.
We would like to thank Eric Davidson for his contribution of knowledge and experience before and during our build. We do not plan to build again! We now know we would not have been able to coplete this project without REINCO
We retained Eric Davidson to advise us on the eco-sustainability and general construction of our house which we commenced building in 2015. We found Eric to be very knowledgeable in his advice and passionate about our project. He has been dealing with our contractors and ourselves in a straightforward and practical way, giving clear explanations to clarify his advice, and he is always open to considering alternative suggestions.
Our building project (2,800 sq. ft house in Westmeath) is now nearing completion and we are happy to say that it has been completely stress-free, and this is mainly due to Eric’s involvement. He has recommended various contractors to us for various aspects of the project and they have been extremely professional, accommodating and reasonably priced. He is engaging with all of our contractors in a straightforward and personable manner. We have told all of our contractors that they don’t have to please us – it’s Eric they have to please. By this we know that the construction and installation standards will be very high indeed! And that is the way our house has been built.
We wholeheartedly recommend Eric as an advisor for any construction project, large or small.
18 months later…
The house, adjoining office and bookstore has total heated area of 3600 sq ft. The electricity required by the heat pump to heat all of this was €274 for the first year. And all on a tight capital budget!
We have recently installed a biomass burner system to heat water for the wash down of production equipment. We began the process of choosing burner package with limited knowledge of biomass. We asked for quotes from a number of suppliers. When we started to receive quotes we quickly realised that there was a wide range of equipment and very different specifications.
We employed the services of Eric to act as our consultant on the project and help us draft up a tender document. His advice and support were invaluable throughout the process of assessing the tenders and meeting suppliers to identify the system that would best suit our needs. We are very happy with the new equipment, the installation and the service.
Eric has proved to be an invaluable asset when planning our new build and in subsequent dealings with suppliers of renewable technologies. His experience has helped guide us through the maze of information and helped deliver a home we are very happy with.
With Eric Davidson’s unsurpassed knowledge of insulation systems and renewable energy technologies, a tailored solution was developed for our new build project. We now have a home that can be heated economically without costing the Earth
Eric Davidson gave us excellent advice and nothing was ever too much trouble. He provided a reliable follow up service and kept his word on each time frame he gave us – something which is essential when building a house. I would recommend Eric and have done so to many people. I am 100% pleased with the outcome and service. We have a well heated home, ample hot water supply and most importantly a pocket friendly heating system!
Eric Davidson gave us invaluable guidance at a time when we were overwhelmed by facts and figures. His knowledge and experience of insulation and renewable heating methods enabled us to make confident, informed choices for our individual build
Building a house and thinking of renewable energy? To maximise the benefits and minimise the costs both now and future running costs, you will need the expertise of someone who has wide and varied practical experience of designing and implementing such systems. Even though I thought I had carried out in depth research into using renewable energy efficiently Eric Davidson was able to point out a number of areas where significant additional benefits could be achieved for relatively small additional investment. His advice was invaluable.
Despite an engineering and construction background, we were finding it very hard to distinguish between facts, opinions and sales pitches when it came to the most cost efficient and suitable means of building, insulating and heating our new home.
By chance I spotted Eric’s small advert in the self-build magazine, and after one phone call I knew that his impartial advice was a must before the build went any further. His comprehensive report provided a great template to complete the build with great regard for air tightness and insulation, but in a very cost effective way. His ongoing advice throughout the build has helped us to select what I would regard as some of the most professional contractors in their fields, as well as saving us his fee several times over.
We are very pleased with our results so far, and have had no hesitation in recommending Eric’s unique service to several friends and colleagues, even a large scale local project has been very pleased with the advice and input. The earlier that Eric becomes involved the more impact and savings that can be made, without his help I don’t think we would have been able to install heating, ventilation and comfort systems that would otherwise have been on our ‘dream home’ wish-list, but at sensible prices.
With the plethora of systems out there I was overwhelmed and unsure as to whom to go with. Unfortunately when dealing with companies I found they want to sell their system and not necessarily the best solution for me, this was obvious from their conflicting information. Eric laid out the facts, specified the right system & whom to contact. Best money I have spent so far!
Eric Davidson of Reinco came to our attention when we were planning our new home build. He came recommended by our architect who in turn had used Eric’s services in the build of his own house. As with most home builds the bills start with land price, registry, auctioneers fees, taxes, architect, engineer, quantity surveyor etc. All of these bills before one brick is purchased.
It can be quite daunting watching money which had been reserved for landscaping, furniture etc disappear. So we were cautious about employing someone else for advice. However our architects praise of the money which Eric had saved him was so impressive, we decided to go ahead and arrange a meeting. Eric was punctual, polite and to the point. He painstakingly went through each aspect of our home and where savings could be made, where improvements were necessary and which companies he would recommend.
Eric’s particular strengths lie in the understanding of our buildings use. We needed heat all day, not just for an hour in the morning and in the evening. We wanted a cheap renewal, locally sourced, means of heating our home. We had some fixed ideas on which treatments we wanted and Eric patiently explained the new methods of installation, ventilation, and costings on each. We adamantly didn’t want underfloor heating as we always found it hot on the feet and chilly if turned down. We discovered that this was because frequently it is installed incorrectly.
During the boom years many skilled jobs were handed to the most inexperienced apprentices. Reinco’s report to us included a listing of skilled professionals who all pass Eric’s high standards. This made choosing sub contractors much easier for us. When we eventually narrowed the choice of builders to two, we brought Eric along to the final meeting before making our choice. It was particularly comforting to have someone there who understands all the terminology and was able to ask difficult questions on our behalf.
We found Eric’s expertise saved us a considerable amount of money and many mistakes were avoided. We would have purchased incorrectly in many of our insulation choices. Eric and our builder had a great relationship throughout the entire build. We requested Eric to make spot checks throughout the build of our house. This reassured us that everything was in fact being completed to our specifications. We cannot recommend Eric highly enough.
Two years after our initial home build meeting, we decided to renovate a small farmhouse for our business office. We again employed Eric. Some people would question this decision as we already had Eric’s previous report to hand. To use the same report for a completely different building would be to completely misunderstand the service Eric offers. The specifications for the use of the building are completely different so different heating systems are needed. The building is a renovation job not a green field site and comes with certain restrictions.
Immediately Eric spotted some things which our new architect failed to see and saved us the cost of his fee plus ensuring a better standard for our building. His fee was money well spent. Eric attends many conferences and trade shows and keeps his information completely up to date. Reassuringly he does not accept finders fees, back handers or commission from anyone or any product he recommends. He operates with compete integrity
There is a lot of information out there regarding energy efficiency in modern homes. Eric prioritised this information for me so I could spend my budget appropriately and effectively. He also provided unlimited and invaluable, online and phone support for the many queries I had during the build process. Building materials ( blocks / mortar / timber etc ) have not changed a great deal over the years. However the attention to detail required to make a modern, well insulated, airtight house and controlling the ventilation and heat recovery aspects is something which Eric understands and went to great lengths to educate me as to their importance.
It has been very enlightening for me to discover where to spend money effectively during the build process in order to minimise the long term running costs ( i.e., heating ) of my property.
All in all time & money well spent with Eric – before starting to build.
Eric’s reviewed our house plans and guided us through decisions, concerning heating, insulation, air tightness, ventilation and heat recovery, and rainwater recovery. He provided the sensible, balanced, detailed advice of someone who has long experience in the building industry. He reduced the stress of making decisions and made us more confident that we’ve done our best with the build. His advice is a best buy.
Dr Steve Collins and his wife Claire are building a house into the side of a rocky mountain in West Cork.
We are in the middle of our self build in West Cork and Eric is an invaluable member of our team. At the start of the project, we discussed a plan for our needs and wants and he proposed excellent solutions to achieve these, all detailed in a comprehensive report, which I am referring to almost daily as the build progresses. He has been invaluable in helping us make choices between different suppliers and product brands, reviewing quotations and data sheets to be sure we have all the information we need to make an educated decision. This has potentially saved us thousands in remedial and repair work that might have been required in time to come, had we chosen inadequate products. He is on hand via phone and email to provide support and advice on the specifics of each element of the build. His response time is practically immediate, enabling us to make decisions quickly, never delaying the build. We are confident that we will end up with a fantastically comfortable house, that will last us long into the future and cost us very little to run. Every self builder should have Eric on board.
We asked Reinco to advise on a particular type of heating system. Eric Davidson not only answered the question but he also answered the other questions we should have asked.