Project 5


Remodeling or adding to a property is always more complicated than new construction.  Many times people think it is easier than a new house because they see it as a smaller project.  However, remodeling or adding is actually more complicated than new construction because the new project has to tie into existing systems.  And in residential work nothing is more complicated than a condo remodeling.

Let’s do a case study.  Here are the "before" and "after" floor plans below.

"Before" floor plans to a 2-story condominium
These are the floor plans by United Architects after the remodeling

Above on the left are the plans for the condominium as it was prior to the remodeling.  The client wanted to convert this into a three-bedroom condominium instead of the two-bedroom condo that it was.  You can see the photos of this Coral Gables home above and below.

In a condo the plumbing lines are fixed and do not belong just to the one owner who is remodeling.  The plumbing lines come from the units above and then go on to the units below.  In this case, this unit was not above another unit, but above the parking garage.

The client thought that the kitchen in the back was too out of the way so she wanted to move the kitchen to the center of the space.  To complicate matters, the structural floor slab was post-tensioned concrete which makes cutting any new holes a problem.  The slab needs to be x-rayed to determine where the post-tensioning cables are located prior to cutting any holes.  In this case, the client was lucky, the condo association allowed her to expand some existing holes and to make one or two new holes in the slab.

Instead of adapting the existing A/C ductwork, the client chose to tear the ducts out and put in completely new ones.  The ducts were old and dirty so this was the client’s choice.

Sometimes the plumbing pipes had to be run above the slab, as in the new bathroom downstairs.  This means there is a step up to the shower.  Normally, in a regular house, this would not happen but this was the only way to put in the new required plumbing for the bathroom downstairs when it went from a 1/2 bath to a full bath.

One of the plumbing pipes ran in a partition in a closet in the Living Room.  With the remodeling the pipe is now running in the walls surrounding the new gas fireplace.  Again, this plumbing line could not be moved.

You can see below, the new layout for both floors.  

There are some very nice features to the new condo.  The Kitchen/Dining Area has a banquette for people to sit while the client is cooking, which she loves to do.  The Laundry Room was moved upstairs.  The Master Bathroom was expanded and a “spa” was created with the shower and tub.  There is a second bath and bedroom upstairs for the son of the client.  

You can see in the plans where the structural columns had to be respected since they could not be moved.

All in all, the client was quite pleased with the remodeling.

Interiors or the apartment after the remodeling and the front entrance by United Architects
Photos of remodeled bathroom, bedroom, hallway & stairs