Friday 28 October 2016

Home show blunder by TV's Bannon costs €100k

Room to Improve’s Dermot Bannon Picture: Marc O'Sullivan
Room to Improve’s Dermot Bannon Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Dermot Bannon admitted he made a crucial measurement error on the first day of renovating a home on his TV show Room To Improve.

Mr Bannon, who is Ireland's top "starchitect", made the comments while working on the house in Rathcoole for the RTE show.

The revamp eventually led to a High Court damages case - and the homeowner received a settlement of €100,000.

RTE has refused to comment, while Mr Bannon was unavailable when contacted by the Herald.


Mary Moore, the owner of the home, sued Mr Bannon and a number of other team members after claiming she was forced to pay out for remedial work to repair structural damage caused by the project.

The home, which was featured on the architect's hit RTE show in 2009, had to undergo works at a cost of €100,000.

The episode documenting Mary Moore's three-bed home described the transformation as "one of the most challenging problems probably ever presented on Room To Improve."

The redevelopment proved difficult from the start, and Mr Bannon admitted that he had made a mistake in his measurements of the house on the very first day.

"I got the dimension wrong on day one, so now I always come here with apprehension," he said while visiting the home on the programme.

Mr Bannon's design for the house was described as "one of the most unusual and interesting" he had ever come up with.

Before and after the TV renovation
Before and after the TV renovation

"By the time it's finished Mary's house will be no ordinary semi-d," he said at the time.

He added that: "It was a big job and something I had never tackled before ... I didn't have a clue whether it would work until the end."

Ms Moore sought the show's help in a bid to renovate her home and reduce noise from the nearby N7 road. She had been living in the house for over 20 years.

At the time, Ms Moore said she wanted to "revamp [the house] and embrace new ideas".

Later in the episode, it was revealed that a problem with the window order delayed the schedule by two weeks.

Claims made by Ms Moore against the team, where she said she had to carry out extra repairs as a result of the build, eventually went before the High Court.


She sought damages against Bannon, who trades as Dermot Bannon Architects, and Room To Improve producers Coco Television Productions Ltd.

She also sued the principal contractor, Kelly O'Connell Developments Ltd and a director of the contractor, Brendan O'Connell.

The claims were denied.

The case briefly came before Ms Justice Caroline Costello, during a vacation sitting of the High Court yesterday. The court was told by barrister Peter Shanley for Ms Moore, that the action had been settled.

He said €100,000 had been lodged into court by Mr Bannon, Mr O'Connell and Coco TV in February.

Mr Shanley said while it was Ms' Moore's case that the amount lodged did not cover the cost of the necessary works on her home, she had agreed to accept it by way of settlement.

Ms Moore was unavailable for comment after the case.

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