Popular contractor and foreman on RTE’s Room to Improve Ian Hart

IAN Hart, the popular contractor and foreman on RTE’s Room to Improve, has a no-nonsense approach when it comes to design and renovation, and his evident skills and creativity makes it no surprise that he has secured a long-standing role in the TV home renovation series.
Aside from TV work, Ian also operates his own construction business Hart Of The Home, and produces a helpful blog of specialist advice on construction and home improvement.
For this week’s Day in the Life we caught up with Ian to get a feel of what it’s really like to be involved in the hit TV show, alongside architect Dermot Bannon.
I first got onto the show back in 2007 when myself and Dermot were approached while working in the same office in Dublin.
“When you’re on the programme it’s not easy by any means and Dermot is certainly not the easiest man to work with.
“It can be brutal at times, but you just have to keep the head down for three or four months and think of the end result.
“The biggest challenges are probably when we have to price projects.
“A lot of people think you’re getting loads of money for it because just because you’re on a TV show, but that’s anything but the truth.
“You have to go through a tender process and get the most competitive price for the project.
“You don’t just get handed a job, you have to go through the entire rigmarole of pricing everything.
“Keeping tabs on Dermot is actually the hardest thing. My no-nonsense attitude around him doesn’t work at all.
“He doesn’t care who you are or what you do he’s just a very hard man to get through to.”
Ian added that at times there is conflict on the show, especially when he doesn’t meet eye to eye with architects.
“Every job we do is for an architect. An architect has their own vision for a project and obviously the clients get to see the plans at the very beginning, but to see something in a plan and to visualise it is two different things altogether.
“Dermot mightn’t show up for two or three weeks at a time when the development has already been built, but at times he comes in and wants it completely different which gets very frustrating.
“I’d say the most gratifying part of my job is the whole buzz around a job when the cameras are rolling – it’s great for morale and I think everyone gets a kick out of it.
“It’s also really great seeing the homeowners moving into their new house and loving it, which is very satisfying. It gives you such a great sense of achievement.

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