New False Ceiling in your Home

If you’re remodeling an old house or apartment, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about false ceilings. False ceilings have become a central feature of modern homes today, and come in various shapes and forms. False ceiling, coupled with the right ceiling lighting helps give your space a cozier feel. Here’s a quick intro to the types of false ceilings out there today for homes.

POP False Ceilings

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Plaster of Paris false ceilings are typically found in residences today. The ornate patterns you see on some ceilings, and along the edges of ceilings are done using POP. It takes a good quality craftsman to make elegant/intricate patterns, so choose wisely. POP is applied to a metal mesh (murga jaali), and suspended from the ceiling on metal channels. POP ceilings allow a lot more options in terms of design as compared to Gypsum ceilings. The picture above represents one type of ceiling possible with POP. You can do many more, including the one you see below under Gypsum ceilings.

Gypsum False Ceilings

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Gypsum boards are manufactured by pressing gypsum between two sheets of paper or cardboard. Something you may not know is that Plaster of Paris is actually gypsum as well. Gypsum boards are easy to work with given they are light, and can be cut/drilled into easily. These boards are usually placed on a metal grid and fastened, and the joints between boards are filled and smoothened. The joints if not done properly can start to crack and give a shabby appearance some years down the road. Gypsum false ceilings are easier to construct, and take less time to dry and waterproof than POP ceilings but don’t allow the same range of designs that one can achieve with POP ceilings. So if your false ceiling design allows for both options, one would recommend using Gypsum boards over POP.

POP Cornice

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You may hear the term POP Cornice used and wonder what it is. It is the POP edging one sees usually along the edges of the wall & ceiling. Some part of these may be readymade and installed by a craftsman.

Wooden Panel False Ceiling

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Wooden false ceilings can give you a great look, however they are expensive not easy to maintain. As with most things wooden, they are prone to attacks by termites and other insects, and can wear out quickly in the presence of moisture. Regular termite protection is essential, and one must hope that the room isn’t prone to seepage from above.

Alternatively, if you’re just interested in a wooden look, you could consider High Pressure Laminate (HPL) or PVC options with a wooden finish. Both HPL and PVC ceilings will be cheaper and more resistant to bugs and moisture than wood. Between the two, HPL will likely be more expensive than PVC.

Other types of False ceilings include: PVC false ceiling (in other non-wooden styles), Glass false ceiling, Acrylic false ceiling, and Metal false ceiling. These are less common in residential spaces, and tend to be used in offices, shops, and other commercial establishments.

Interior design to match your personality

Interior design matters. After all, the environment you create for yourself ends up shaping you. So be mindful of what your preferences are. To help with this we have some suggestions on what interior design style will match your personality.

For the creative extrovert
The creative extrovert loves being around people. They relish change and use their imagination to solve problems. They don’t believe in To Do lists, and want everyone around them to get along. They also tend to avoid commitment.
Your interior design style
Your home should reflect your infectious enthusiasm. You are a risk taker, so use bold colors and forms to decorate, your space should excite you! Infuse your home with personal memories, photos, objects and maps that reflect your journey. Make sure to secure a command center to keep yourself organized, weather a desk or a room, have a space that’s just for you. Create multiple sitting areas around the house as you will most likely always have company.

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For the introvert who is in control
You love your ‘me’ time, have fact driven conversations and live in the present. Overall you tend to be task oriented and are obsessed with getting things done.
Your interior design style
You strive for tranquility, so choose peaceful colors and decor. Use heavy doors that make you feel secure. You appreciate structure and logic so arrange your furniture symmetrically and create a uniform theme for your apartment. Display pictures of loved ones to stay reminded of their presence. You crave for order so keep your interiors minimal and de cluttered.

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For the relaxed introvert
If you think a lot before every move, prefer one on one chats to large groups, are creative, sensitive and don’t get things done till the last minute.
Your interior design style
You like to decorate with unique pieces that reflect your socially conscious personality. You like to reflect on things by writing or sketching (or some other creative but quiet hobby) so make sure you have the right space for this. Your interiors need to be restful, so use neutral and subtle colors. You like uncluttered spaces and tend to prefer beauty over function, so go ahead and get that marble counter you love even if it’s more expensive and harder to maintain.

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For the extrovert who loves their to-do lists
You draw energy from larger groups, use common sense to get to practical solutions, base all decisions on facts and accept conflict as part of relationships and life. Generally you get things done on time.
Your interior design style
Your home should reflect strength, so keep things neat and organized. You love entertaining big groups so plan a large dining/ gathering area. A guest bedroom is key to maintaining your status as a great host. You aren’t an out of the box kind of person, so avoid crazy decorating choices as you won’t appreciate it. Stay on top of things with calendars, clocks and mirrors. Display your achievements for all to see.

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Hope you are able to find the right tips to suit your personality. Of course these are generalized assumptions that might not always hold true, but if nothing else this will get you thinking about design in a much more personalized way.

 

Renovation Project Estimation: Things Contractors Say

You’re starting to think about renovating your space, and like anyone who isn’t from the industry you might be wondering how to wrap your arms around the s#!^ contractors say to you during the estimation process. Here’s a brief guide on preparing yourself for your contractor conversations.

Your Project will cost <some unreasonable amount>

Money

This is always the starting point for any renovation discussion. Contractors will throw out a number just to try to anchor customers with a large figure and leave some room for negotiation. What you should do at times like this is get extremely analytical and ask them to break down the figures in detail so you understand what all goes into it. E.g. break it down by task, discuss measurements, unit rates of labor, products needed along with their costs (BOQ).

I will use the BEST quality material, don’t worry

Compromising on product quality is an area where contractors commit the most fraud. It’s an easy way for them to make more money because you aren’t monitoring them 24×7. Ask them to make a Bill of Quantities (BOQ), containing the product list and prices, for your project. This will allow you to buy products on your own if you find a large cost difference. Note that when you provide the material, wastage tends to be higher because workers care less about how much material is used (they aren’t paying for it).

I will deliver on time 100% guarantee

On Time

Contractors almost NEVER deliver on time, so you will need to do two things. First, ask them to make a written commitment on the schedule and accept a monetary penalty for each day of delay. They likely won’t be willing to do the latter but its worth a shot. Second, be prepared for a 25% extension of the timeline so delays don’t hurt you as much. Finally, try not to change the scope of work too often and let them go about their business. The more you micromanage, the more likely they are to miss the overall deadline.

I can do all kinds renovation work not just painting

Be very careful of this one. A lot of contractors who specialize in one area (e.g. painting) will try to take on complete projects to make an extra buck. They will then try to find people to do the other tasks. However, teams who have not worked together before are at risk of making more mistakes leaving you suffering. Ask the contractor about their last few projects, the kind of work they did, what went well, what went wrong, pictures from site, and references of clients.

This wasn’t in scope and will cost extra

Scope discrepancies can lead to major battles between you and your contractor. Its best if you write it all down on paper up front and make him sign it. Later on he cannot come and add on extra costs saying that something wasn’t included in the scope of the project.

Please give me money (payments every other day)

Unless agreed on before starting out your project, contractors will arbitrarily come and ask you for money – sometimes when they have a cash crunch on another project. Create a schedule and agree to milestone based payments, this will also incentivize them to achieve their milestones on time.

Budgeting your kitchen renovation

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It’s never easy to commit to a kitchen renovation. One is always concerned about the noise, disruption and the cost of renovating. While some disruption during the process is inevitable, at least when it comes to budgeting your project we can help. Here are a few tips on how to establish a renovation budget.
Identify what you want to keep
If looking to do the project within a budget one should consider re-using parts of their existing kitchen. Your oven, fridge, chimney and hob could be reused if in proper condition. If you are fine with the location of your water inlets and outlets then you can save on redoing the plumbing, and the same is true for electrical work. You might even consider reusing the original flooring.
Set priorities
What is the goal of the renovation? Do you want to Increase space, change the look and feel, or make it more functional for your changing requirements? Make a priority list of what you care about, this will help you pick and choose tasks when fitting the renovation into your budget.

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Modular Kitchen Renovation Cost Breakdown
Most modular kitchen companies will give you a rate that seems quite low, but one must note that they are only referring to the cabinets. When it comes to a holistic budget one needs to consider the cost of plumbing, electrical, tiling, painting etc.
The cost of renovating a typical 8’X 10’ size kitchen with branded materials and midrange specifications should be around Rs. 4 Lacks. The budget break down per task is as follows:
Modular cabinets: 40% (includes good quality hardware, and laminate finish)
Electrical: 17% (includes hob, chimney, fans and geyser)
Plumbing: 11% (includes kitchen sink and faucet)
Tiles: 7% (floor and walls)
Doors and Windows: 12%
False ceiling: 3% (includes recessed lights)
Kitchen Counter: 3%
Misc. civil work: 7% (includes demolition of existing kitchen, waterproofing, painting etc.)
Please note that this budget doesn’t include larger appliances such as a fridge, OTG or microwave oven.
Also it is always advisable to keep an additional 15% of the budget available for unplanned tasks that might come up once your old kitchen is removed.
This basic thumb rule guide should get you on the right track in terms of preparing a budget, you can go high end with your cabinet finishes if your budget allows it, or cut some costs down by choosing not to redo the electricals and plumbing as mentioned before.
And finally to avoid going above budget, stick to the plan
How much extra you spend is completely dependent on you, once you have decided on a reasonable number, stick to it. Making changes through the course of a project leads to cascading budget increases that will surprise you at the end.
Hope these tips help you plan your upcoming kitchen renovation.