Repurposing a building or structure into a picture-perfect home should be good enough to be featured in a magazine cover. Do you want to convert that old barn into a roomy, two-story loft? Do you want to build a pool on that grassy slope behind your house? Maybe you want to transform the old building you inherited into a rental apartment complex to add to your passive income?
Whatever dream renovation or repurposing project one may have, it can be made into reality with the right general contractor.
But if you think your ideas are too wild or out-of-this-world, don’t fret. There are many examples of brilliant architecture around the world that defy convention. Still, the outcome of the repurposed plan became more than just a product of construction work. These artistic repurposed structures are now functional artwork that their owners love, and spectators genuinely appreciate it.
Consider the old paper box factory with a clock tower erected in 1915 on One Main Street, Brooklyn, New York. With inspiration, it was rebuilt into a three-bedroom penthouse with the four corners adorned by each face of the 14-feet gigantic glass clock. Last time the Clocktower Penthouse was offered in the market, it commanded a hefty purchase price of $18 Million.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina stands the El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a classic example of theater architecture that was constructed in 1919. In 2000, it was elegantly transformed into a large bookstore with the stage intact together with the balconies and other theater fixtures.
How about the swanky Liberty Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts which evokes exquisite luxury, impeccable service to guests, and interesting history. This high-end hotel was formerly known as the Charles Street Jail (later renamed as Suffolk County Jail) built way back in 1851.
Across the seas in Asturias, Spain stands the centenarian Church of Santa Barbara. For years, it suffered neglect and was almost totally ruined. Its renaissance came when a group of community volunteers started a fund drive and got a corporate sponsor. They converted the old church into a vibrant, multi-colored skate park called Kaos Temple.
These are only a few examples of how imaginative architecture and construction work can bring new life to an abandoned building or unused space. With today’s crop of construction professionals, nothing seems to be beyond reach. It only takes the right materials, crew, plan, and time to get it done.
The first step towards realizing that fantasy project or grand home design is to choose a qualified company to do the job. These are some of the most important characteristics of a skilled builder:
The first thing to check is the credentials of the firm, which can be easily read on their website. In many cases, they can present industry-level or profession-based certifications. The certifications prove their technical expertise in the field and good standing in their professional community. In many cities and counties, there are registries of government-accredited firms that offer legitimate, safe, and cost-effective construction work.
Of course, the company experience is so essential since it is the evidence of their capability to do a project. Many of the qualified firms have been involved in projects with varying scales and types of construction. Some have built a reputation in doing residential projects, others specialize in commercial buildings, and others might have a longer track record in civil works that involve the construction of bridges, roads, and other infrastructure.
Having extensive experience also means that the crew or firm already passed through situations when they had to improvise, adjust, or work around a particular obstacle or difficulty. Having gone through various construction projects, the contractors have already developed strategies, techniques, and methods to address most, if not all, work-related concerns.
Looking at the firm’s portfolio is also a must. Through its collection of completed projects, one can get a glimpse of the kinds of clients that they have served, the actual photos of built structures they have finished, locations of projects, and in a few cases, even the project cost. Their portfolio could also be a source of inspiration for a design.
Knowing about management is also essential. Whether it’s a large firm with a CEO or corporate officers, or a modestly sized crew led by an engineer and a foreman—it is always helpful to know the background of those who will supervise the construction tasks from start to end. It also builds a more open, collaborative working relationship between you as the client and them as the contracted firm. In this way, if adjustments need to be made in terms of project scope or budget, the details can be discussed right away.
Another way to make sure you hire the right company is to ask friends and associates for referrals. It is possible that in a city, people in your work or personal circle must have hired professionals whose job they found to be more than satisfactory. Their recommendation or referral is another good indicator.
So whether one is building a house, an office, or any other structure—artistic designs can be balanced with functionality. Not only are repurposing projects fun and exciting to the owner, but they also add value to the life and culture of a neighborhood or community.