There is a lot of buzz around the Vancouver housing market and often we forget to mention Burnaby housing and Burnaby Renovations. Burnaby housing is also booming and for good reason! This is Sasen’s neighborhood. We have seen the range of what can be done to personalize a Burnaby home, from modern to Tuscan. What’s so great about Burnaby Renovations? Staying put might be the best plan! Burnaby has great access from street parking to transit Manageable permitting Secondary suites Burnaby’s great views perfect for outdoor renovations Permitting and Access in Burnaby: We have renovated from New Westminster to West Vancouver. Each district has different guidelines for building and renovating. In our experience, the pre-job work for a Burnaby job is relatively easy. As the City of Vancouver works toward its environmental goals, the process for receiving and complying with building permits has become more demanding. The City of Burnaby in comparison is more manageable. In addition, due to better access to street parking, access to the home for debris removal, demolition and equipment access is easier in many residential neighborhoods in Burnaby. More manageable access and an easier permitting process can save time and money on any renovation job. Secondary Suites and Staying Put: Selling a home can also accrue costs. By the time you’re finished paying capital gains on the values that housing is experiencing now, realtor fees, storage and transport of your belongings and moving expenses, you have what amounts to the cost of a custom kitchen. Selling and re-entering the market can be difficult right now. If you already live in Burnaby, perhaps the best way to move is to renovate. Move up or out, or even just move some walls! There is a lot that can be done with Burnaby homes, and we have done it all: modern renovations with a suite, basement renovations for growing families, Tuscan style renovations and entire gut and renovation. In addition, as of 2014, the City of Burnaby now allows for secondary suites. These suites have specific rules and regulations, however, they allow for an additional rental income. As it becomes more difficult to retire, downsize and get back into the market or break into the market as a first time home buyer, the secondary suite might also be an option for aging family members or adult children to help save costs. Outdoor Space: Burnaby is a great place to take advantage of the B.C. longer outdoor seasons and best bang for your Canadian buck when it comes to landscaping. We have even seen hummingbirds into the winter in Burnaby! An investment in your outdoor space with Burnaby renovations that includes a deck or landscaping allows you to enjoy the mild Vancouver weather for longer. From gardening to BBQs to full outdoor kitchens with pizza ovens, many of the Burnaby neighborhoods have yards large enough to make use of the great outdoor space. Outdoor renovation and upgrade options: Outdoor patio Covered outdoor kitchen Pizza Oven Hot tub Veggie Garden
Every client we meet has a goal for their renovation, and frequently the focus is the kitchen. Kitchen designs can tell you a lot about the way the home is used, from style to layout. Not only does each home have a unique style, but that style is often a product of the homeowner’s lifestyle. Is the focus entertaining? A busy family? Relaxing? Working from home? We recently completed a kitchen and living area renovation and we spoke to the homeowner, Heather, about why they wanted to renovate: “We moved in with two young boys and never intended to stay. After living in the home for 16 years and doing only cosmetic changes I thought ‘if I have to look at that dusty rose tile one more day!’ I began to hate it!” So they took the leap! They decided to use Sasen because of a referral. They knew if we were up to the standards of their friends, we would be perfect for their job! We designed the project, focusing on the kitchen. The clients had Houzz images and photos of kitchen designs and knew the general style and aesthetic- modern and light, eliminating the warm tones and moving towards cooler gray. Our cabinet maker met with the clients to choose cabinetry and provided detailed kitchen cabinet drawings. “For the first time, my home aligns with my life. I work hard and am busy and when I come home I want an uncluttered space. This is me.” The clients were able to demo and find homes for the existing cabinets and flooring, allowing less material wastage or disposal costs. In the end, we opened up the kitchen space, re-did the fireplace, changed the front door and installed new flooring and carpet throughout the home. One of the key details was opening up the kitchen to allow a flow of access from the kitchen to the amazing view. We also turned the formal living room into an everyday family room allowing for less wasted space. “I don’t know why we didn’t think of this before. The kids are older now and they have friends over. They can hang out in the TV room watching the game.” The features of kitchen designs tell you about a family’s lifestyle. We asked what small change had made a big difference to this busy family, with two teenage boys. “I had seen the idea somewhere to make four built-in drawers, one for each family member. Now I just throw the boys’ stuff in a drawer and when they ask ‘where’s my assignment?’ or ‘where’s my wallet?’ they already know the answer!” “The millworker’s attention to detail was amazing!” While the guys have the TV room, she has her own private relaxing space or as we called it, ‘Heather’s Happy Place.’ We designed the room off the kitchen to become a lounge area, the focal point being a special painting. “Every summer as the kids were growing up we went to Savary Island for three weeks. This was the chill place to reconnect.” The painting of the vacation spot became a relaxing reminder that no matter how busy life gets, you can always go to the happy place. “One rule: No TV in the happy space.” This place is just for relaxing. Overall, the space reflects the people and no matter what the trends, you have to be true to what flow you need out of your home. And it often starts with the kitchen! What kitchen designs reflect your lifestyle?
Everyone loves having their hard work recognized and we at Sasen are grateful to be named 2016 Georgie Award Finalists. Sasen Renovations is a finalist in two categories: Best Kitchen Renovation over $100,000.00 and Best Outdoor Living Space. Both of these projects, Casa Luminosa and La Dolce Vita, have distinct feel and show the breadth of design options for an eating space that connects with the outdoors. Casa Luminosa, located in North Vancouver, is a modern kitchen renovation and addition that focuses on the home owner’s existing landscape features. The landscaping incorporates a variety of plant species and takes advantage of Vancouver’s hospitable climate conditions. For these discerning clients, the complete reinterpretation of their kitchen was so expansive and central to their living space that an entire addition was built solely for it. All the services were moved from the original location at the front of the house to accommodate the new, open-concept layout of the kitchen which now faces the expanded living room and the serene back yard greenery. Every effort was made to maximize light and circulation with new, oversized skylights and a unique, custom window surrounding the suspended hood vent. The show piece of this new kitchen is the cabinetry. True to the modern, mid-century feel of the rest of the home, the grain matched, quarter cut, black walnut cabinetry exhibits a unique, repeating “stripe-like” pattern that is subliminally underscored by other features in the space such as the dry stack rockwork on the central fireplace and the bamboo grass feature wall at the far end of the living room. This striking pattern, along with the volume of light filtering through the space, gives the sense of an over-height largeness to an area which is no more than 200 SF in size. We are proud that this project is one of the 2016 Georgie Award finalists particularly because of the home owner, who welcomed our team and forged an ongoing relationship as we worked. In addition, we partnered with numerous trades and Synthesis Design, whose design choices made this project what it is. La Dolce Vita, located in Burnaby, is a Tuscan outdoor kitchen that incorporates a family’s Italian background with the ultimate goal of hospitality. From the chameleon like colour of the curved, stamped concrete walls and stairs right up to the wrought iron handle accents on the cabinet doors, it is plain to see that this Tuscan inspired, back yard retreat was conceived of by people who love to cook and who love to eat even more! The gracious and inviting space was created around an open, outdoor fireplace and kitchen complete with sink, fridge, BBQ and side burner and is anchored by a full sized, dual fuel forno (pizza oven). Unending split-faced granite masonry and natural Sicilian Anzio granite are complimented by the custom Kaya Batu millwork fronts and carved bolster elements. The hand worked copper detail of the chimney caps and hood vent cover catch and throw light from the fireplace and pizza oven up onto the coffered ceiling laid out painstakingly around the 6 skylights. The careful shaping of the post and beam wraps blends an old world Italian feel to the open structure and the architectural bolsters which adorn all the post and beam connections were inspired by the owner’s trip to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York city. In the evening, when the sun is setting and the oversized, amber glass carriage lamps are dimmed low with the fireplace crackling and the smell of fresh pizza coming out of the oven, one would almost believe they were living la dolce vita in Tuscany....
Sasen brought home our first 2015 Ovation Award win for Best Heritage Renovation! The restoration of Queens is the kind of work Sasen loves to be part of. New Westminster is home to wonderful heritage homes that are being restored to their former glory, and we are incredibly proud of our work! We love awards because they are super rad! However, the primary reason we are excited about our 2015 Ovation Award win is because it reminds us of the experience that we all take part in when transforming something at a high level of craft. When most people think about renovation, they think about either the end result or the woes of the process. We, on the other hand, think about the team of people, including the clients, and how to navigate through the process. This process is what we do, and we enjoy the challenge! The end result might be an award winning project or a family’s basic new recreation room. They are all exciting experiences that connect our company with amazing clients. Our Vancouver renovation projects are about changing the space where our clients live, entertain and care for their families. Each renovation is driven by a different motivation: how is the space going to be used? And as a team, we apply the process to the individual situation. Are you looking to unearth the lost heritage elements of your ageing home? Do you need a space for your family to relax on weekends? A suite for your in-laws? What rewards us is when we navigate this process, the technical aspects and the tricky bits, and produce for our clients exactly what they dream up; A beautiful project that suits their needs, displays craft and style and changes the way they use their space. Once again, this is also an opportunity to thank our talented team who work together to make it happen! We want to give special thanks to Eric Pattison of Pattison Architecture, Bob and Sheila the home-owners, Yoshi, Peter, Tony, Stephan and Shawn and all of our talented sub-trades that made this project a reality. Thank you!
As we move into the new year, we want to take a look at some of our accomplishments of the last year, and the 2014 Royal City Builders’ Awards mark a wonderful achievement. Sasen Renovations has been recognized once again for our strength in heritage renovations. We took home the 2014 Royal City Builders’ People’s Choice Award this year. The 2014 Royal City Builders’ Awards acknowledge professionals building in New Westminster. New West is home to a variety of beautiful heritage homes, many of which require updating. It takes both talent and patience to work on heritage homes and is something we are fond of at Sasen. This year, the 2014 Royal City Builders’ Awards were hosted by Todd Talbot, known for his presence on Love It or List it Vancouver. We are especially grateful to our hardworking team here at Sasen Renovations for the talent and adept ability to craft something new while respecting the existing heritage properties of the home. We would also like to thank Eric from Pattison Architecture, whose knowledge and experience allowed for the success of this project. Pattison Architecture has won many Royal City Builders’ Awards over the years, a testament to their experience. Of course, we also want to thank Bob and Sheila Innis, the homeowners, who hold a strong appreciation for the heritage value of the home and who have updated this property with the ability to envision the new with appreciation for the old. Bob and Sheila, thanks! This project in particular was interesting due to the artifacts we were able to source, including photos of the original building. As we worked on this project, Sasen Renovations found key pieces of the original building hidden behind a variety of a new changes. We were able to restore the heritage home to be a younger, more updated version of what it was in its glory. In addition, Sasen was able to modernize the kitchen while still allowing for the flow of the home to transition seamlessly. The end result was fantastic! We look forward to taking on more heritage projects, and projects that allow us to practice and respect the craft that is at the core of what drives Sasen Renovations!
We are excited about working with our clients on finishing the renos on their heritage home. This house has so much history and was so excited to discover behind their stucco was amazing hand detailed craftsmanship. Can’t wait to bring it back to it’s original glory. Can you believe that this was all underneath the stucco?!