Town planning, TABA, TAMA 38 and urban renewal are some of the topics we covered in the last issue. But what if you can’t count on these options to increase the value and aesthetics of your property?
A comprehensive interior makeover can be an asset, either for your own enjoyment and comfort or for resale. High-end residential renovations can make your home a haven and bring it into the 21st century, but might involve a number of extra challenges–and rewards.
Israel is notorious for red tape, and while the result may be worth it, the process can be time-consuming. Structural changes, building on to an existing structure and alterations that affect shared infrastructure will all require building permits.
If you think inside the box and make only interior changes, you won’t need building permits even if you redo your entire home. You’ll cut renovation time in half and still gain a fresh, new home space.
Regardless of the need for permits, design is the first step. A good architect will draw up a plan based on your needs and offer you alternate layouts to find the one that works best for you.
A renovation can’t be based on architectural plans alone and should incorporate specifications from all relevant professionals. Electrical, air conditioning, plumbing and other relevant consultants are essential at this stage of the process.
Decisions regarding heating and cooling systems—such as underfloor heating, central air-conditioning and smart home technology—should be incorporated in the plan at the design stage and all these consultants should be coordinated by your architect.
The process of turning a plan on paper to a house of brick and mortar (or, more appropriately for Israel, cement and Jerusalem stone) is the work of a good contractor. He must be trustworthy, familiar with current building practices and able to work amicably with others. He must also be able to maintain a tight schedule and smoothly integrate his subcontractors into the project.
No contractor, no matter how good or honest, can catch every mistake during construction. Even though part of an architect’s job, particularly in high-end construction, is to make periodic visits and oversee the progress on the ground, it’s vital to have a qualified building supervisor who will be on-site every day and will ensure quality work and adherence to all specifications. Your architect should be able to recommend a few reliable supervisors.
Natural stone and marble, kitchen and closet carpentry, hardwood or tile flooring, doors, windows and metalwork are some of the items that require installation during or after construction. These finishes determine the look and atmosphere of your home and can transform the end result from pedestrian to transcendent. There is, of course, a wide range in quality, cost and customer service. Your architect should be able to guide you in sourcing the best suppliers and craftsmen within your budget.
Heat exchange pumps offering low-cost water heating, inverter air conditioners, energy-efficient split-control central air, and underfloor heating to maintain a constant and comfortable temperature throughout the winter… these are just a few of the innovative climate control systems available today. Correct planning can integrate these systems into the design of your home, according to your family’s specific requirements.
High-tech home systems are constantly being developed and refined. The idea is that the homeowner can have full control over various systems, from any room in the house, or even through your mobile phone or computer. Shabbos timers, air-conditioning, lighting, heating, blinds, audio and alarm systems can be seamlessly incorporated, controlled, monitored and adjusted conveniently and remotely—from anywhere and at any time.
Selecting the right furniture is like choosing a basic wardrobe. Some like a classic look, while others prefer a contemporary or eclectic aesthetic. The furniture and accessories you choose to dress your home are a reflection of your own unique personality. Balance off-the-shelf solutions with custom-made pieces to reduce costs but make the space personal and charming. Upholstering wall panels with the same fabric as your bed bases, for example, or coordinating armchair legs with your stair railing, are simple touches that can make an extraordinary impression.
From front door to bedroom closet, dining room table to kitchen, walk-in closet to living room breakfront—high quality carpentry can serve as a practical and striking feature in your home. Your architect will have worked with craftsmen who are experts in their field and specialize in the specific items in your overall design. By using tried and tested professionals who have worked together before, you help ensure the quality of the end result.
Miles has been working in the field of architecture in Israel and overseas since 1992. His 25 years of experience has provided Miles with an extremely broad palette for design and problem solving which he now apples to every project large or small.
Miles can be reached at 054-436-4492 or through his website www.mileshartog.com