Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

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Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

Postby SK » 24 Oct 2008, 23:01

I am considering buying an old apartment in a 25-30 year-old building and completely remodel it to live in. Need some advises from people who've done it regarding:
- how usually is the architect's fee calculated (by ping, by %...)?
- what is he usually suppose to do? Only drawing and advises or is also normally suppose to supervise construction work including getting ride of some walls, adding partition, re-doing plumbing, electricity, gas...
- in some countries buying furnitures, kitchen equipment, air-conditioning system through the architect is cheaper since he is getting cheaper price... but is that similar in Taipei? I quickly checked with 1 kitchen equipment supplier and 1 air-conditioning wholesaler and they both told me they gave the same price to an individual than a 'professional person', i.e. the architect. Is it the norm? What is best for me to do?
- any rough estimate about the remodeling price per ping? I would like to re-do all plumbing, electricity, gas, air-conditioning, consolidate and extend the room to the balcony, get ride of the existing wooden floor and tiles and put new ones, repaint, re-do entirely the 2 bathrooms, the kitchen... nothing luxury, but modern and nice. I read in some magazine they usually mention 10% of the apartment value as remodeling work. But does this include all the equipments (i.e. sink, bath, oven, air-conditioner...) or only the materials (i.e. tiles, wooden floor, wall, paint, cable...)
- are the construction companies responsible for electricity and gas certification/guarantee? Or is the architect responsible?

Thanks in advance for any comments and suggestions.
SK
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Re: Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

Postby kage » 27 Oct 2008, 20:49

SK wrote: how usually is the architect's fee calculated (by ping, by %...)?

By %.
I can put you in contact with someone if you are interested.
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Re: Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

Postby Eiger John » 25 Aug 2009, 16:01

I and Eiger Nathan have both with our own homes done extensive renovations, essentially gutting the places where we live with our families. This is actually a great topic rich in a lot of legal and non-legal issues.

Some quick notes:

1. Architect's fee: by %, and that is often negotiable and may depend on how and whether you know them.

2. What is the architect supposed to do: Some guys are really more "idea" people, while others are more like general contractors. It's good to find someone who has nice, beautiful plans and yet knows how to work them within the limitations of your home. I found it important to have a guy who understood how homes really are used and need to work, and so we have electrical outlets in the right places and rooms and storage spaces are appropriately sized.

3. Prices on the architect's side of things: Architects will normally get some discounts, but keep in mind that many suppliers may have some form of kickback setups by which the supplier essentially "thanks" their source of regular business. We had an architect who agreed upfront that if we found a better price somewhere he'd try to work with his supplier to match it or else he'd be willing to work with the supplier we found. My wife did enormous amounts of private research on air-conditioning systems, windows, tiles, kitchen cabinets, doors, the glass shower area walls and doors, etc. and was able to cut down a huge amount of our costs for our renovation. Most indicated that there were some discounts from when they sold to the architect.

4. Remodeling price per ping depends greatly on the quality of the work to be done, the materials, and whether you are willing to hear every snore or other noise from other family members in bedrooms nearby. I've heard some people renovate for approx TWD 30,000 per ping, but that often means simply sprucing up an existing layout, having kitchen cabinets of the very local type (and somewhat lower height) made of sheet metal with the plastic doors, and perhaps not changing around the electrics or plumbing (and perhaps getting some rather odd pipe layouts). TWD 50,000 to 70,000 will of course be more expensive but get a pretty huge improvement in the quality of what you get. Materials chosen have a huge impact on the eventual cost, so it's important to sort out the costs broken down to a very fine degree.

5. Regarding certifications, we made our architect overall responsible for making sure that everything worked and checked out.

Some separate issues that could be good for discussion include disruptive and/or crazy neighbors trying to interfere with renovation projects, how to respond if a neighbor tries to report an alleged "infraction" of their rights, and so on. Many foreigners are somewhat enamored of the top-floor properties which often may have exclusive roof access or even rooftop structures -- and renovation of an apartment can often lead to neighbors coming about to try to assert long-dormant claims to rooftop rights. Even the politics of "building meetings" and how or whether to communicate with neighbors about an upcoming or ongoing construction project is rich grounds! :)
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Re: Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

Postby TPECentral » 09 Jul 2012, 18:28

Hi Folks,

We're finally getting around to remodeling our apartment. Any recommendations for a contact/designer who knows how to remodel an older place. Our apartment is the first story of a 5 story building. Everything needs to be redone including electrical, pluming, concrete, sheetrock, air con, technology, flooring, ceiling, windows, and the list goes on. If anyone has a good designer who has experience revitalizing older apartments (30 years), please feel free to share.

Thank you.
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Re: Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

Postby Milkybar_Kid » 11 May 2014, 15:02

I don't know if the original posters are still around, but how did this turn out for you? Got any before and after pics? :lol:

Is it worth buying an older apartment to remodel and refurbish? Or is it better just to use the money that would be spent on remodeling to buy a newer place? At the end of the day, you can create an amazing environment inside, however when you open your front door you are still going to be stepping back in time by 30 years.
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Re: Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

Postby *monkey* » 11 May 2014, 17:28

Milkybar_Kid wrote:I don't know if the original posters are still around, but how did this turn out for you? Got any before and after pics? :lol:

Is it worth buying an older apartment to remodel and refurbish? Or is it better just to use the money that would be spent on remodeling to buy a newer place? At the end of the day, you can create an amazing environment inside, however when you open your front door you are still going to be stepping back in time by 30 years.



Post refurbishment:
On my second burst bathroom pipe in as many years. This time, I can stop the water with a valve but can't repair the pipe without ripping out the bathtub (and that would require refurbing half the bathroom again.)

The cultprit is a flexible rubber pipe in a braided steel jacket. The steel jacket had rusted away in places, and the rubber hose burst in one of those spots.

As I mentioned before in this thread, expect third-world workmanship and third-world materials. That way, you won't be disappointed.

A burst pipe can wreck your apartment and damage the apartment below.

And if the pipe burts in the vicinity of mains wiring (such as power sockets in the bathroom or a jacuzzi tub), it can start a fire or electrocute someone.

I was lucky to be at home this time so I could cut the water pretty much straight away.

:2cents:
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Re: Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

Postby Milkybar_Kid » 19 May 2014, 09:56

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Re: Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

Postby Abacus » 19 May 2014, 10:14

I love the woodwork that they did on the first two houses but I would strongly advise against that. It's just too damp here and water always seems to find a way in especially in those older houses. Remodeling is fairly easy until you have to start moving walls. Unfortunately most Taiwanese houses/apts have an absolutely awful floorplan.
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Re: Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

Postby Hokwongwei » 19 May 2014, 10:33

It's saddening that people seem to think remodeling is only worth it for a businesses, not for a home. I just don't get the mindset of working in the first world and living in the third -- by choice.
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Re: Need advises for remodeling an old apartment

Postby *monkey* » 19 May 2014, 12:38

Hmm .. the guy obviously put a lot of effort into that first place.

And now he has a little palace amid a slum.
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