From their base in Skibbereen in West Cork, B&D Sheds provide a full range of unrivalled agri building solutions, including new builds, extensions and repairs. We touched base with proprietor Bernard O’Donovan to get an update on this industry-leading operation.
During the twelve years since its inception, B&D Sheds has established itself as one of Munster’s premier agricultural building specialists, with a sphere of influence that spreads from West Cork into neighbouring Limerick, Cork and Tipperary. Indeed, they have even erected farm buildings as far afield as Wexford and Meath!
Providing professional, customer-orientated solutions – be that in the design and erection of a new shed, adding an extension to an existing one or carrying out necessary repairs to bring a damaged building back to life – B&D Sheds possesses the expertise, experience and workmanship to achieve outstanding results every time.
This is why the company – which is CE certified, fully insured and complies with all Health & Safety regulations – has gone from strength to strength since it was established by Bernard O’Donovan and Donal Kelly in 2008.
Leaving a quality product behind on every project large or small, B&D has managed to consistently pick up work through repeat custom and positive referrals without needing to advertise. Word of mouth, of course, being the best form of advertising of all!
“It’s going very steady at the moment,” confirms Bernard. “We’re working on a lot of milking parlours – both extensions and new ones. Generally speaking, dairy farms are our biggest growth area and, between the expansion of dairying enterprises and the increase in housing, that would account for about 60% of our work.
“We’re also taking on some commercial work, including a building in Skibbereen recently with insulated panel work. We’re equally comfortable working on agri or commercial buildings.”
Agri is B&D’s bread and butter, however, and there appears to be strong demand for all kinds of farm buildings at present, with machinery storage being another growth area…
“There’s strong demand for machinery storage sheds,” Bernard notes. “Contractors have invested a lot of money in their machinery. The cost of this machinery has soared. It’s all high-tech equipment now and it needs to be kept dry. They can’t afford to spend that kind of money and then leave the machinery outside. A shed doesn’t cost an awful lot of money compared to the value of the machinery. You’d build a substantial shed for a fraction of the cost of one of the machines going into it. Even slurry tanks – with trailing shoes and dribble bars – have to be kept dry now. Contractors can’t afford to take any chances with their machinery.”
One thing that Bernard prides himself on is the quality of the work provided and this means there’s a lot of demand for B&D’s services. So much so that he never has to venture far from home… “We always do a good job. We’ve been as far away as Mullinahone and Cahir in the past twelve months, but we’re being kept going in Cork. We’ll travel for longstanding customers if they have a job up the country but by and large we are kept busy close to home.”
Working in conjunction with highly-skilled engineers, fabricators, welders and erectors using the best materials on the market (including cladding and sheeting from Tegral, Euroclad Ireland, Irish Rollforming and Newell Roofing as well as fixtures and fasteners by GWS and Toolfast), B&D Sheds plan and design each shed in accordance with customer specification. They can advise on the specification of materials to use and deliver all farm buildings on time and within budget, with no job too big or too small.
B&D Sheds has earned a reputation for providing quality products and a great service at an affordable price, whilst also ensuring peace of mind both during and after construction. The company’s sheds are built to last and Bernard and his team of subcontractors provide a tailored service to suit every client’s needs – whether the customer is looking for a complete project development from design stage to fully-operational end use or just the supply and erection of structural steel and cladding.
The ability to provide repairs separates B&D from a lot of the competition and brings added value to customers. “We do a lot of repairs. Our highly-skilled erectors can weld and cut on site and can mesh two buildings together if required,” Bernard continues. B&D recently replaced a wind-damaged roof on a building in Carrigaline. This was a complicated job as the round-roof building in question with curved lattice beams went up in the 1960s and had a number of anomalies. But, with their ability to improvise and work on site, Bernard’s team really came into their own:
“All the lads on site and erectors are highly-skilled,” the Cork man states. “They are great lads. Cornelius Crowley is the head man and he has five other full-time lads with him. They put up every building as if it was their own and you couldn’t ask for better men.
“We work on repairs for insurance companies and some of the storm-damaged buildings could be in an awful mess due to wind. In this case, you can’t fabricate in a workshop; you have to be able to do it on site. In an ideal world, every job would be a new building on a greenfield site – but of course not every building is like that. You need to be versatile and skilled.”
B&D also carried out the steelwork on a couple of 50-cow rotary parlours recently. “We have earned a reputation for quality work but you have to be highly competitive as well, although farmers do realise that you have to pay for quality and that quality work with a good back-up service represents long-term value,” says Bernard.
Also an agent for Croom Concrete cattle slats and underpasses, the personable Cork man identifies high insurance costs as one of the difficulties facing B&D Sheds. “I suppose everybody in business has the same complaint,” he comments. “It’s classified as high-risk when you are working at height and the nature of this work is that the risks are higher than when you are working on the ground. Insurance is high but that’s just the nature of it and we are very conscious of Health & Safety and extremely compliant with all regulations.”
As for the key to B&D Sheds’ ongoing success, Bernard points to the company’s stellar reputation: “Our reputation is what we go on,” he concludes. “Reliability is what most people want and we are known for being reliable. We provide quality work and we are able to complete any function or task on the building from dismantling to setting out sites to measurements and getting levels and angles right for extensions on existing buildings. We are very precise and can take on any work when it comes to farm buildings.”
That’s’ why B&D Sheds are the first port of call for a full array of farm building jobs across Cork and beyond!
B&D Sheds Ltd.,
Tel: 087 7753629
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 8 No 3, October/November 2020