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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  
Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan Photo from: http://www.mayorofvancouver.ca/news/greenest-city-action-plan-updated-2015-2020 In Vancouver on Earth Day, it’s hard not to discuss the goals to become a greener city. Most people in Metro Vancouver are aware that Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan, a plan developed by the City of Vancouver, aims to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020. The goals are very ambitious, positioning Vancouver as a city that cares about the environment. And Vancouver does! Vancouver culture is focused on the great outdoors, mountains to ocean; working to reduce emissions and improve building practices is a priority for many Metro Vancouver residents. One of the major changes aimed at reducing emissions is the City of Vancouver building code update  which came into effect January 1, 2015. Most of the code changes for both new build and renovation are focused on accessibility, safety and energy. Implementing the codes has been a challenge for the city, home-owners and builders, but overall, moving in a positive direction. How Sasen is adapting for Earth Day: Attending workshops and training Staying up-to-date as part of the GVHBA groups, panels and discussions Practice and implementing new policy changes Sasen is adapting! We have many on-going renovation projects in the City of Vancouver and have adjusted to the code. Our permit process protocols now factor-in the ASHRAE energy check-list. The city-required paperwork is onerous, but Sasen has attended information sessions in order to be prepared for changes and is putting what we know into practice what we have learned through multiple permit submissions. Practice makes permit! Sasen has attended several workshops to stay up-to-date regarding insulation, window requirements and green building practices. The Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association (GVHBA) as a great resource for information regarding changes in both permit and building practices. On Monday, Sasen’s principal, Matthew Senf is attending solar energy training through local Burnaby company, Amray Solar, in order to pick up some tips on renewable energy options. This training will focus on tie-ins to the existing grid, in order to harness solar power and send to an inverter. For more information regarding solar panels, check out Amray’s solar technology FAQ. Whether it’s Earth Day or any day, saving money is great! BC Hydro’s Net Metering Program will credit home owners’ account for the power you produce from a renewable or clean source, such as solar. They will even pay you back if you produce more power with alternative energy! This allows home owners to use hydro as a back-up to your solar energy. If you are looking for solar, it’s something we can build into as part of your renovation. Just in time for Earth Day: Province of BC funding announcement Just in time for Earth Day, the province of British Columbia announced that it would be allocating $1.4 million from the Innovative Clean Energy Fund (ICE) that will be for home owner rebates and industry training.  Both the industry and home-owners will both be able to decrease their impact on the environment. See the Province of BC’s news release  for more information.
Sasen Renovations modern kitchen addition
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!
Check out the SPACE magazine. You can access it online. Small spaces, outdoor furniture and other renovation and design ideas!
Sasen Renovations is a finalist for this year’s GVHBA Ovation Awards. The Ovation Awards recognize excellence and innovation within new home building, renovation and design. It is an opportunity to showcase the hard work that goes into this industry. It takes an extensive team for each one of these projects to come together and the Ovation Awards are a place to recognize the value of these challenges and successes. This weekend, the finalists, along with the sponsors, will come together to find out who will take home the prize! Of course we are crossing our fingers for a win, but at the end of the day, it is a privilege for any team to be up against other talented and hard working Vancouver renovation companies. This year, we are Ovation Awards finalists for Best Heritage Renovation. We are up against Shakespeare Homes & Renovations and Reid Developments. Heritage renovation takes finesse and patience and we applaud our competition for also being involved in restoring the well crafted buildings. Heritage renovation is a place where a company really shows their skill in being able to work with and around the building’s existing intricacies, while updating systems and styles to be consistent with modern building requirements. The 2015 Ovation Awards will be held this Saturday, April 25th at the Marriott Vancouver Pinnacle Downtown Hotel. And we hope it will be as exciting as it looks from past years! We again would like to thank the owners of this heritage home for their dedication and value of heritage renovations. We are now working again with these clients to update a bathroom. Stay tuned for photos of this project and more, including photos from the GVHBA Ovation Awards gala.
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!
Technology has truly advanced the finishes and furnishings that can make unique renovations truly special. Trending online in the area of remodel and design has been some chat about the touchless flush kit by Kohler. Now here at Sasen, we aren’t much for potty-talk. It isn’t very often though, that we see anyone get that exited about the toilet portion of a renovation, but technology has changed that. The fact that technology has made toilets a noteworthy design topic is pretty amazing. We have in fact, installed the Kohler Numi toilet, described as the “Ferrari of toilets” with the addition of heat, music and lighting. Design is now such an important aspect of so many common place fixtures. But these interesting design components often come with unique installation requirements. Some, like this no touch flush kit, are manageable. Others can be a DIY nightmare. The reality is, the less a product has been tried and tested, the more knowledge and experience required  to properly install these various components and ensure they are going to fit seamlessly into your design plan while allowing for installation modifications. When planning your renovation, be wild; choose some interesting finishes and fixtures. If your contractor is really as skilled as they say they are, they won’t shy away from these projects. Experienced renovators will, however, prepare you for any modifications and additional costs required for any unique or uncommon finishings. Be imaginative and talk to your designer about your dreams. A renovation isn’t a time to throw caution to the wind, but it is the time to get what you really want and if it’s a fancy toilet, such as the one we installed on a past project, then go for it! Whether it’s a wine room, a custom cigar case, a media room or a kayak shed, make sure you are getting what you want. Be bold, and by all means, be germ free! That’s well worth a little potty talk! We will update you when we have more feedback on this new gadget, but for now, take a look at the ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=148iQAhGbhI&list=PLd2TSsbDn0gAPqUscubYMTV569rV2ubln        
Looking to show a special woman in your life how much you care? Consider contacting Sasen Renovations to assist with your Mother’s Day Vancouver Renovations. If you are already considering making some changes to your home, to increase its value and to create the dream home you have been imagining, now is the time to do it. Understandably, a home renovation project isn’t as simple as picking up flowers and a card, but for us, this is what we do. We know how to make the process manageable and comprehensive, assisting with the design phase, applying our knowledge and experience during the permitting phase and then completing the construction itself. Heck, we even won a Georgie Award for it! During the entire renovation process, you, the home-owner, will be well informed. We are accessible, providing candid information that will help you make the best decisions for your renovation needs and most of all, renovation budget. It all starts with the first consultation, where we will meet with you, no matter what stage of the process you are at, for a free consultation. This is where the relationship begins. Our previous clients will tell you, we honour this relationship, understanding how valuable it is to the success of the renovation project. The consultation is the fun part; you share your dreams with us and we tell you how we can make it happen. This stage is also crucial because it allows us to help you focus your ideas and work within your budget. It’s important to be wary of contractors who are not diligent enough at the initial stage in forming clear deliverables for a reasonable cost. This is often a sign that there will be a lot of hidden costs that build up over the phases of the renovation project. Whether the Mother’s Day dream is a bathroom renovation, kitchen renovation, outdoor patio or a major change to the structure and finishes, we are prepared for it all. Both modern aesthetics and traditional design, we specialize in home renovations of all styles, all crafted with quality. If you are looking for Vancouver renovations or you live in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster or anywhere in the Vancouver area, please fill out the form with your renovation requests and contact information. We look forward to helping you give the gift of a dream home and look forward to meeting you!  
Sasen Renovations has become a Georgie Award finalist! Sasen has been repeatedly producing high standards of craftsmanship and our hard work is soon to pay off! Two of our recent projects have now been contended as finalists in two separate categories that will hopefully become award winning projects. The renovations include both interior renovations and an exterior renovation portion. Becoming a Georgie Award finalist is our dream becoming a reality. It seems dreams come full circle. We know exactly how our clients feel when we bring their dream homes into reality. As we have grown and developed Sasen Renovations into the balanced, consistent and reputable renovation company it is now, we are grateful to see more and more happy clients enjoying their dream home. We have worked side by side with them to build these dream homes and our clients to come will know how hard we work to make our renovation projects and our company something to be exceptionally proud of. Tune in for the upcoming results of the Georgie Awards. Below is one of our New West Renovations that is a contender for the Best Residential Renovation under 300k. Before….           After…             This was only the exterior! This renovation is a heritage renovation and as such, required a lot of considerations. The homeowners wanted to turn their home into something that would be true to its character while modernizing and making the required adjustments. In doing so, of course, we focused on the practical aspects bringing it up to code, while refining the esthetic aspects. The exterior design elements flowed into the inside renovation, allowing the home to maintain continuity between both, while bridging the divide between modern and heritage.