Significantly superior designs with a reputation for excellence


Significantly superior designs with a reputation for excellence

I have dealt with two other local architects and have found that the product and service offered by Des Ewing to be significantly superior. Even though his office is very busy I would always prefer to wait for a 'work slot' from Des Ewing than have another architect undertake the work immediately.

Design Image: The designs that Des Ewing has provided me with have all been stunning. What differentiates Des from other architects that I have used has been his ability to produce a variety of styles - Contemporary; Victorian; Regency and so on. The proportions within each of these designs are always correct leading to an end product that appeals greatly to homebuyers. The advantages of this in regards to planning are also significant.

It is in the 'details' that a proportion of the added value emerges. The use of light within a design is always evident so that buyers immediately feel happier in a room without being aware why. Ceiling heights create a feeling of size in rooms with a very small footprint. Materials are chosen effectively so that an appearance of quality pervades while costs are not necessarily overrun.

Business Aware: As a developer I have found that Des Ewing is very conscious of the constraints that I have to work within. He understands that I have to make the most of what a site offers and that I need to construct a product that appeals to a wide market but which is efficient to build.

The designs that I am building are both attractive and simple to build. Using his 'sunroom' design as a case in point - this is more attractive than any that I have seen, yet is designed cleverly so that the build is inexpensive and quick, using readily available materials.

Business Conduct and Culture: I enjoy working with this office because the team reflects a business culture that I enjoy and relate to well. It is important to me that I can talk through architectural issues properly so that the correct course of action can be understood and agreed. There is a high level of integrity visible in the organisation with a clear intention to act correctly with client and partners.

The effectiveness of the culture is revealed by the ease with which various business relationships are well managed by this office. In my projects, liaison has been managed between Road Services, landscape architects, concerned neighbours, the planning service, selling agents and so on.
Responsiveness: At times, business life throws you unexpected opportunities and issues that require an immediate response. I once required a site layout plan inside a working day to submit with a 'covenant' negotiation. Not only did the team provide me with this by 4pm but the layout was so thought through that little had be altered prior to the eventual planning application.

On other occasions I have requested an 'opinion' on a site very close to a bidding deadline. In these cases Des has been very willing to provide this, despite being clearly busy.

All calls are returned as soon as possible - I have never had to leave a second message. Des has never cancelled a meeting with me at the last minute and always appears to be in control of his diary and workflow.

Brand Value: Des Ewing has a reputation for excellent design across Northern Ireland. Re-sale particulars for his houses will generally include the phrase 'designed by award-winning architect Des Ewing' as agents consider this to be an important selling feature. I have found that customers also like to be associated with a local architect who has been recognised in a national arena. There is a definite cache to living in a Des Ewing designed home.

The designs that Des Ewing develops yield a higher return on investment. I recently sold a site in Comber with detailed planning for three houses. The designs had been undertaken by another architect and the selling agents acting on my part indicated that I would have secured a higher price if I had offered houses designed by Des Ewing. Knowing that a Des Ewing design would have provided a premium in the market builders would have bid more aggressively.

Planning: Having used a number of architects it is evident to me that planners talk to some architects and not others. My first development was in Mountain Road, Newtownards. I used a Bangor architect whose designs were consistently turned down by the planning department. Of interest was the fact that the first they knew of the 'refusal' decision was when the council list was published. When he tried to engage the planners in dialogue, calls were never taken or messages returned.

In contrast to this experience, I am presently mid-planning process on a tricky site in Stormont. What interests me is the Des Ewing team member who is managing this particular project is able to talk freely with the planning department and has been given signals all along the planning process as to progress.

My experience is also that Des Ewing designs are generally liked by the planning department and approval is achieved 'event free'. This is one of the reasons that I would be happy to wait for a 'work slot' with Des Ewing rather than use another architect immediately - I feel that I will quickly make up the time by a swift ride through planning.


Charles Eves
Managing Director

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