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Posts tagged “renovation

The Makeover…It’s Personal – Moving Forward 1 (Roof and Programme)

The weather in the Philippines was very unpredictable and it was crucial to complete the roof once and for all.   I was on Christmas holiday when we started working on it.  Some change in plan was consider like including covering the slab above the garage to provide a den, an extra room for guest, a TV room or study room as our previous one will be used as bedroom for one of the boys.   I left the country without finishing the work.  Eventually, a roof over my family’s head were screwed and riveted in place.

Since my family lived in here during the whole duration of construction, the architect came up with programme, doing the whole house in four (4) phases.  He prepared plan for each phase starting with the master bedroom with walk-in closet and ensuite bath (Ph1 – The Masters); the laundry, service kitchen, maid’s quarter with T&B, formal kitchen, dining and common T&B for the kids (Ph2 – The Service Area); the living room and the courtyard/airwell (Ph3 – The Front Room) and the kid’s rooms and the den (Ph4 – For the kids).  We did not include works in the facade (The Envelope) and the apartment at the back (For Rent – Back of the House).

(To be continued…)


The Makeover…It’s Personal.

The House has gone through a number of extensions, renovations and repairs.  From a humble 25 square meters house on 69 square meters lot to about 700 (including a proposed 5-doors apartments at the back), can you imagine how many has been done through all these years?

With the generous help and support of Arch. Butch who provide an almost free assistance, we finally came up with plan to do what I can say “the realization of our dream”.  We were so scared as we know our budget seems not enough to start the project.

It was sometime October 2016, when we had the discussion and came up with the plan to have the renovation.  We just wanted to re-roof and improve the facade that would make all previous extensions looks like it was done at one time.

The sketches were drawn and shown to us by the architect.

November 2016 from these initial concepts, it started to snowballed into Olympic scale.  These drawing started to take its form as Juni, my well-trusted contractor, started to demolish, break, and rebuilt.   Deliveries of materials started to filed up our space and the first hollow block has been set.

What makes us finally decide to have this major decision of rebuilding our house?  It’s the leak.  This bungalow was actually designed and proposed for  another storey in the future.  So, obviously all the extension has been covered with a slab roof that would serve later as the flooring for the next phase.  Unfortunately, budget did not allow me to push with the rest of my plan yet and it’s a fact that a slab is not a wise idea as a shelter from rain.  The leaked damage our ceiling and other stuffs below it.  We have to bear that for several years, whilst spending money for repairing and repainting till the next rainy season, again and again.

Hence, we came up with the solution, to cover the roof of the whole house and forgo the idea of the having another floor.

From paper…

To the real thing (with long time business partners, Edgar for the trusses and Apollo for roofing installation).  The roof was a combination of Banawe and Multirib from Puyat Steel (0.50mm).

(To be continued…)


The 100-Square-Foot Kitchen: A Dark Space Sees the Light

Our 100-Square-Foot Kitchen series profiles kitchens that measure about 100 square feet, one of the most common kitchen sizes in the U.S., according to Houzz data.

Architect Lauren Rubin says the original cramped kitchen in this pre-World War II apartment in New York was so sad-looking that anything she did to it would have made it better. Still, that didn’t keep her from making sure the new design received lots of love and attention. She took square footage from a nearby dining nook to slightly expand the room, freeing up space to create an L-shaped layout and recess a new refrigerator. Next, she employed design tricks she’s learned working in small New York City spaces to visually expand the room and give it a feeling of lightness.

Kitchen at a Glance
Location: Hudson Heights neighborhood of New York City
Who lives here: A family of four
Size: About 72 square feet (6.5 square meters); 10 feet 10 inches by 6 feet 8 inches (new kitchen)
Designer: Lauren Rubin Architecture

BEFORE: The existing galley layout lacked counter space, storage, adequate lighting and style. Rubin removed the arch and half wall to encroach several feet into the dining area, seen in the foreground. This still left the homeowners plenty of room for their dining table.

AFTER: Adding length to the space allowed Rubin to remove cabinets to create an L-shaped layout with more counter space and a wider middle walkway. Extending the kitchen into the dining area allowed Rubin to add the recessed fridge on the right and a cabinet with a countertop and microwave drawer to the left of the range.

Standard upper cabinets typically hang 18 inches above a counter. Rubin chose to hang these 22 inches up to create more openness. “I find for small kitchens hanging cabinets 18 inches above a countertop makes things feel small and congested,” she says. “You lose some storage, but it’s important to make those small spaces feel as light and airy as possible.”

Rubin and the homeowners splurged on the custom cabinets, which Rubin designed and had a woodworker build, as she does for most kitchens. “Pre-manufactured cabinets, you’re stuck with their dimensions,” she says. “Here, every inch is taken into account. There are no filler panels.”

Customizable inserts maximize storage in every drawer and cabinet. Pullouts beneath the sink hold garbage and recycling bins. The microwave drawer helps keep the counter clear. “Most clients would rather lose a drawer than have a microwave on the counter or hanging below a cabinet,” she says.

A new pantry around the corner from the refrigerator stores food and small appliances, such as a toaster oven and juicer.

Custom open shelves provide space to charge phones, store spices and cups and display art and plants. Rubin had the woodworker who built the cabinets create the sets of white and gray floating shelves. “That way they match perfectly,” she says. “Everything happens in the same shop with the same can of paint.”

Taking the tile to the ceiling gives a sense of brightness and height, despite the fact that the ceiling was dropped slightly to accommodate new recessed LED lights. “Good, even light in a kitchen is worth dropping the ceiling versus keeping it high and having just a light fixture,” Rubin says.

To enhance the light further, she chose the whitest countertop she could find. She went with engineered quartz for its even color and durability. “For anyone who’s a cook or wine drinker I won’t put marble down,” she says. Some homeowners find marble counters difficult to keep free of stains and other damage.

Next to the sink, the paneling that covers the dishwasher prevents too much stainless steel from breaking up the flow of the lower cabinets.

Stained oak floors replaced the checkered vinyl, and they match the floors in the adjacent dining and living spaces, creating cohesiveness.

Lower cabinet paint: Worsted, Farrow & Ball; upper cabinet paint: Chantilly Lace, Benjamin Moore; ceiling paint: Super White, matte finish, Benjamin Moore; wall paint: Wimborne White, Farrow & Ball; lights: Contrast Lighting; microwave: Sharp; range: Wolf; hardware: Richard Watson

Looking toward the kitchen from the living room, you can see the double-door pantry around the corner from the refrigerator and get a sense of the more open interaction with the dining and living spaces. “It’s a compact kitchen, but you never feel that way,” Rubin says.

Parker, Mitchell. “The 100-Square-Foot Kitchen: A Dark Space Sees the Light.” Houzz. N.p., 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

Choosing Color: 1 House, 5 Exterior Paint Palettes

I recently showed what a cute little blue house would look like in three different exterior color palettes. This week, we look at a handful of palettes on a recently renovated ranch-style home in Austin, Texas. The homeowner wanted to make her house stand out against a sea of white and tan homes in the neighborhood, and having a bold-hued front door was also of upmost importance. Check out four renderings of potential palettes, as well as the final, winning scheme.

Ott, Jennifer. “Choosing Color: 1 House, 5 Exterior Paint Palettes.” Houzz. N.p., 14 Nov. 2016. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

5 Clever Small Loft Ideas

Crunched for space, the residents of these homes—mostly under 1,000 square feet—have the same ideas: look upward and compartmentalize. Lofted sleeping areas, closets, and reading nooks are among the smart space-saving solutions.

“7 Clever Small Loft Ideas – Interior Design Inspirations.” N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.

Express your tastes and your personality…

RENOVATION TIPS by Design Uniform

Renovating your apartment is an exciting process. You are able to express your tastes and your personality. Your emotional well-being improves in a new, fresh environment. If you own the apartment, you will most likely add value to it by renovating it.

Keep in mind though, that renovations rarely go smoothly and are without problems. Below we list several issues that may arise. We believe that being prepared for those challenges will help make your renovation go as smoothly as possible.

The Budget

Plan your budget carefully. The main reason for underestimating the cost of the renovation is underestimating the amount of work involved. This is especially true for bathrooms and kitchens, where a lot of the work will eventually be hidden from view. This may include but not be limited to relocation of plumbing lines, installation of plumbing fixtures, electrical wiring, framing of wall areas in preparation for recessed cabinets or wall hung toilets.

The Contractor

The most important decision that you will make in the renovation process (following the decision of your design of choice) is the selection of the right contractor. Regardless of how extensive the renovation is, it is crucial that you have a contractor who performs quality work, but that is a person with whom you can also communicate well. Please see our tips on how to select a good contractor here.

Time

When will the renovation start? How much time will it take to complete? Discuss these questions with your contractor prior to signing the contract. The answers to these questions depend on the contractor’s availability, the number of people that will be working on the job at any one time, the hours in which the work can be performed, and of course the project’s size and complexity. Be prepared, however, that renovation projects sometimes run late, because of so called “unexpected field conditions,” delays in material deliveries, and other unpredictable circumstances. Always give your schedule some latitude – for example do not plan to move into your apartment on the day after the renovation is supposed to be finished.

Bids

The industry standard is to ask at least 3 contractors to price your job. This way you will assure that you are getting the best and competitive price. The contractors should meet with you and look at the apartment prior to giving you a price, so they can asses existing conditions which may have an influence on the price. Ask the contractors to list what they understand the scope of the project is. Also ask them to give you a bid with numbers broken down into categories, i.e. electrical work, plumbing, fixtures, accessories, tile work etc. This way you will be able to compare apples to apples when it comes to comparing the bids from various contractors.

Know what you are getting for your money

We realize that reading design drawings may not be your forte, but we encourage you to make an effort to understand what is included in the design documents, and request that the entire scope illustrated in the documents is accounted for, priced, and built by your contractor.

Negotiate

At least give it a try. Of course negotiations are possible only prior to contract signing.

The Contract

The expression “contractor” derives from the word contract and for good reason. It is extremely important to have a written contract in place with your contractor (builder). Depending on the size of the job, the contract may range in size from a one page document (for a small size bathroom) to a multi-page document with many appendices and riders. You can prepare the contract yourself, or purchase and fill out a document from a design association. Make sure that the contract contains at the minimum the following information:

  • The client’s (your) name and the address of the renovation
  • The contractor’s name and address
  • The total cost of the project
  • The schedule of the project (when will it start and how much time will it take to complete)
  • The scope of the project. This can be a description of what needs to be done. Do reference the design documents you have – this way they become part of the contract and the contractor is obliged to follow them. Be as specific as possible. (For example you can state: Scope of work is to complete a bathroom renovation, including removal of existing fixtures, accessories, lighting, tile etc, and installing new fixtures, accessories, lighting, tile etc as shown on design documents 1-8 attached to this contract).
  • Work excluded from the contract. You may be supplying some of the items listed by yourself or through a vendor. Those items should be clearly listed.
  • A payment schedule. Usually the contractor requires a deposit to start the work, and then receives one or more payments while the work progresses. Never pay the contractor the full amount until the work has been completed and inspected by you and you find it satisfactory. This is the best and often only way to make sure that your work will be completed!
  • Any other information that may be important for the project, for example that the contractor must follow renovation rules required by your condominium association, that work must be performed by licensed individuals, that the contractor must carry a certain amount of insurance, etc. For larger renovations we do recommend that you purchase a contract prepared by a professional association, which has a lot of the above information already built into the document.

Changes

If you want to make changes in the design – try to make them before you sign your contract with the builder. Changes during the course of construction may be very pricy, but sometimes unavoidable. A document that lists additional cost due to a change is called a Change Order. Request that the contractor issues a Change Order and you approve it before the contractor proceeds with the additional work.

Permits

The work you are performing may require permits by your city or county agencies and/or by your condominium/coop association. Make sure you have all paperwork and permits in place before the work starts. For city/county permits you will most likely need the services of a registered architect.

Materials

Purchase or have your contractor purchase all materials prior to renovation so that there is no stopping once the project starts.

Samples

Request samples of tiles. Keep in mind natural stone varies as it is a natural material. Some stones are more uniform than others.

Supervision

If you hire an architect or designer, their scope of services usually includes construction supervision or observation. If you did not retain a professional for this purpose, you will need to perform supervision yourself. Stop by on a regular basis and observe the quality of craftsmanship, the speed in which the work progresses, and whether you can spot any problems, errors or omissions.

Something goes wrong

Even highly experienced professionals who have been working in construction for many years will agree: mistakes happen. To avoid disappointment try to understand that this is normal. Usually the contractor will admit that he made a mistake and will fix it at no additional cost. However, you will want to carefully watch what the contractor is doing, and notify him immediately if you think something is wrong. Changes are much harder to make and much more costly if they are discovered at a later time.

Payment

Request a waiver of lien for each payment you make. As mentioned above, the final payment should be made after you have inspected the completed work and are satisfied with it.

Uniforn Design. (n.d.). Renovation tips. Retrieved from http://uniformdesign.us/renovationtips.php