PHOTO Even the ruins can be saved. 2000 euros per square meter to build a house from a cottage in the center of Sibiu

To intervene in a building in the historical center, the approval of the Directorate of Culture must be obtained, and this means a lot of time. When reconfiguring a space and giving it another utility, the electricity, water, sewage and possibly gas networks, if not installed from scratch, must be changed. Not to mention damp, mildew, repair or repair of multiple walls and floors. Then the furniture was made specifically for some spaces that most often did not match the standard ones, designed for classic apartments.

The price for rehabilitating a space in the center of Sibiu starts at 800 euros per square meter and can exceed 2000 euros. Deserves?

Siby engineer Theodor Șt. Buba, the restaurateur and interior designer, presented a project designed for him, with the intention of renting it out as a hotel, and we were interested in the conditions under which the forgotten space in the city center could be reused. And with how much work. and money.

“A few years ago, I succeeded in bringing part of a building, a historical monument, to life when I first saw it that shocked me. It was an abandoned building, the basement had been flooded, and the brick vault had partially collapsed as water seeped through for the last years of He knows how.So it’s a real risk.

It is true that when I decided to save the house, I knew that an unlimited budget had to be allocated, without realizing exactly what this unlimited means. That’s right, the final showed a total of approx. 2500€/sqm, but I don’t think with any regrets about what it was and what it has become.

“A normal person wouldn’t get involved in something like that,” said the neighbors when I took on the project to reconfigure, arrange and… revitalize the space in a sophisticated state of decay. Tudor said on his blog, where he introduces Sibiu people to various topics related to architecture, interior design and urban planning, but I saw huge potential in the abandoned apartment for many years and I think I took advantage of it.

This site became a hotel style apartment with 1.5 bedrooms, arranged on two levels, but many interventions were required to make it functional.

Now you can’t see it, but the basement was a real engineering challenge: We doubled the existing walls to create a ‘curtain’ of natural ventilation between them; we removed moisture completely from the soil by making successive layers of compacted sand, gravel and insulation; we created a complete drainage system that would to lead to any traces of the flood to the buried pump in the ground, and we reconstructed the treasury according to a traditional technique, using only hand-made bricks, which had been burned in a village in Braشوفov County,” says Theodore.

Turnul Sfatului spoke with a Sibiu engineer to find out why he invested the money to convert the “văgăuna” in the center of Sibiu into a five-star apartment.

Do you need more approvals than a normal project? We are talking about a protected historical area, perhaps other links are needed …

It must be known that in order to intervene in a building in the historical center, the approval of the Directorate of Culture must be obtained, and obviously a building permit must be obtained where functional or structural changes are to be made. Even in the case of minor interior repairs, valuable ornaments or frescoes can be discovered on the walls and ceilings. This is where the architect’s experience comes in to enhance it, and in no case should it be damaged or covered with washable paint. Any such historical details add to the value of the space.

How much does it cost to create a living space from an area that was not intended for such a thing?

When you reconfigure a space and give it a different use, there are usually changes to the existing electricity, water, and sewage systems and therefore more repairs to the walls and floors. All this adds additional costs to the interior design project. Costs can range from 800 to 2000 euros / m².

How would you rate whether the transformation is worth doing?

Usually when people open a construction site without having prior experience, the initially thought budget for expenses is greatly underestimated.

My most important question when meeting potential clients for the first time is: What is the budget? Many frowned, not knowing what to answer, as if they were really bothered by the question. But it is their reaction that can tell me if they are really prepared for what is to come. Unfortunately, I also have cases where I have had to explain to people that it is not possible to do everything they want with the budget they have.

I, for example, also handle project management on my projects and work with owners and on the investment budget. Not only do I give them the project of planning and interior design, but together we also work out the costs for the teams of craftsmen, procuring building materials, furniture, and decorations. We also offer them alternatives to other finishes when those contemplated by the project exceed the budget. This makes it easier for us to keep costs under control and see the project through to completion.

Is the decor and furniture created before or after the furnishing?

I think it is important that the entire construction site takes into account the project. There are countless ways you can provide a benefit to lost spaces. Light is also very important, so electrical installations should be drawn in accordance with the position of the furniture.

The healthiest thing is to order furniture when starting a construction site. Otherwise, it is possible that you will end up in a situation where the parquet is polished, but the furniture arrives in just a month. Or to force the artisans to take a week off due to the lack of tile and porcelain arrival. Unfortunately, we often encounter such situations since the coronavirus and the war.

From a tourist’s point of view, if the site is for the hotel system, how important is it that the site is well designed?

There may also be owners who think that it is not worth investing a lot of money in a hotel apartment because it will break down anyway. But they don’t realize that it is precisely the way an apartment is designed that chooses its clients. If you have cheap furniture and shower curtain then obviously the rental price is also lower, so the tourists who book will be less keen.

How much is paid for a more private space?

When you end up booking your apartment precisely because it is so well furnished, the tourists are sure to take better care of it. I, when I go on vacation, am willing to pay more for a designer apartment and am very careful not to spoil anything. I’m sure there are other people like me.

Where do you find builders, craftsmen, and installers? How hard is it to program them to get into the place, how much do they cost?

Ah, now we get to the part that really burns us. There is a serious shortage of craftsmen, and the demand is for those who are good and know their trade. If you’re lucky, you can find free dealers, electricians, or plumbers within two weeks. If you’re unlucky, they have scheduled work for at least the next three or four months, so they can’t help you.

I have built up collaborations over time with some well-equipped and specialized teams so that I can give some assurance that the outcome will be satisfactory, and the period we work on the interior design project is just right to be able to schedule them to start the construction site immediately after we also arrange all the details .

Beware of dealers who initially make a lower offer to take on the job and then supplement the job listing with all kinds of budget-increasing details. Even details like 45-degree cuts in panels or oversized tile trim are good reasons for craftspeople to ask for extra cash. It’s a good idea to find a company with which you enter into a contract and take on any faults on the construction site without incurring additional costs to the beneficiary.

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cost engineer,
Square meters ,
hotel system
Home furniture,
electrician ,
a house ,
price ,
the prices ,
Historic Center

Aline Prato

by Aline Prato

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Article – Commodity[at]

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