They’re best friends now, but Majella O’Donnell has questioned it Dermot Bannon‘s mathematical understanding after doubling the original budget for the renovation of their Donegal home.
A special episode of Potential for improvement: Constructive criticism airs tomorrow as the series finale, in which a trio of well-known viewers turn the tables as they revisit some of his most memorable moments from the past few years.
Dermot renovated Majella and Daniel O’Donell’s four bedroom family home in Kincasslagh with an original budget of €200,000 but it ended up costing nearly €400,000.
“I don’t think he knows anything about pricing to be honest,” Majella said.
“He just has the dream and the project manager has to do all the numbers. He sums up his plans, but then they go to the project manager and they don’t say: ‘What can I do for 200,000 euros?’ He designs something and then says to the project manager, “Can you make that cost €200,000?”
“He wants to give you what he thinks is best, so he does it and hopes you’ll agree and scrape off money here, there and everywhere.”
“Obviously we were lucky that we could increase the budget, but we did a lot of stuff that you can’t really see on TV. We re-insulated the whole house inside with underfloor heating and all that stuff, that boosted it. If you give Dermot a budget, you should know that he will completely ignore it and it’s the poor project manager who has to rein it all in and keep him from doing expensive things. But he’s so exuberant and passionate about what he does that it’s hard to contain him.”
But she said that four years later she loved her renovated home and wouldn’t change a thing about it.
“No, I’m very happy with everything. It’s so practical, so user-friendly, so sociable.
“It’s fantastic when a lot of people live in the house and everything is open, the children have space to run around. Before it was a very dark house with small rooms, so no, I just love everything he’s done,” she said Irish Independent.
“I love Dermot. He is really adorable, he is very charming and always in a good mood trying to make you happy. We became friends and still text each other – it was a fantastic experience.”
Majella, who is currently holidaying in Tenerife with her famous husband, said her heart goes out to everyone trying to renovate their homes now as construction supply problems are sending budgets skyrocketing.
She said her own daughter and husband have been hit hard by their construction project, which has been delayed by more than six months and has now doubled in price.
“I just feel so sorry for everyone. This is not the time.
“If people can hold out for a year or two, I think that would be very wise. Hopefully things will turn sane again, but having to do something like this now is ridiculous. So yeah, we were very lucky,” she said.
She’ll be joined on tomorrow’s show by RTÉ presenter Nuala Carey and journalist Patrick Freyne as they sit down with Dermot to relive his greatest water cooler moments.
Room to Improve: Constructive Criticism airs tomorrow at 21:30 on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/you-can-give-dermot-a-budget-to-renovate-but-you-know-hell-totally-ignore-it-majella-odonnell-dishes-on-architects-pricing-skills-41464053.html “You can give Dermot a budget for the renovation, but you know he’ll totally ignore it” – Majella O’Donnell discusses the architect’s pricing skills