Wood working11.06.2012

Ireland market: traditional and modern side by side


“Ireland is a country where the "traditional" and the "modern" sit side by side and established customs still have a strong influence, says Alan Dorman and Joe McCallion from Koskisen Ireland representative office, DM Timber.

  -  The timber Industry in Ireland reflects this mix with traditional values and roles well respected while at the same time up to date levels of professional service are demanded, says Alan and Joe.

DM Timber Ltd is a new 'Agency Venture' started by Alan Dorman and Joe McCallion in early February after both were unfortunately made redundant at the end of Jan this year by UCM Timber when it went into administration.

Alan & Joe who are both well-known and having between them have over 75 years combined in the timber trade and 40 years combined in timber agency decided that they should remain in the timber trade if possible and hence the new company was formed. One of the agencies that they represented successfully for over 20 years when in their old company and which they have been fully supported by in their new venture is Koskisen Oy. It was the backing of such companies like Koskisen who spurred them on to remain active in the timber trade.

DM Timber strives to combine the best of these traditional values with a modern, competitive service based on the latest information about supply availability and market demand. DM Timber is not content to stand still and it is a combination of service and values which seems to appeal most to their customer base here in Ireland and therefore any future success.

Unstable economy

The economy in Ireland like many countries in Europe at present is not in a strong position. The main blame for the dramatic Irish drop (apart from world economic slowdown) was largely based on the Irish Banks.

It was not unknown for developers to ask for various size loans, but be offered amounts of up to ten times what they had requested. This fuelled an unprecedented non-sustainable rate of borrowing with subsequent rise in the cost of land and rocketing house prices.

In late 2006 early 2007 Ireland started to hit the wall. At one stage in 2008 it was thought the country could or would go bankrupt.

 - We are now in the fifth year of recession in the construction industry with no sign of improvement and if anything it is predicted the next 6 to 12 months could be the most difficult for the construction Industry in Ireland since the 1930's. Houses starts now are mostly one off for the private sector, there are practically no housing sites being built now in Ireland by property developers. House prices today have now fallen for the 61st month in a row and are now back to on average below the levels when things took off. This of course creates zero confidence and major problems for those caught in negative equity.

Positive thinking

Architects continue to like to design and specify timber in buildings but traditionally they lean more towards the hardwood or exotic species when doing this in Ireland on new projects.

Building professionals whether in the private, commercial or public sector, are now on the lookout for longer term, environmentally friendly, high quality and cost effective solutions. Timber is the only renewable building material and we should be using this to our advantage and plugging the environmental aspect as much as possible.

- Koskisen of course meet all these criteria!, Adam and Joe says.