Sunday, 24 May 2015 00:00

Very interesting door design

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This door really opens right up.

Sometimes I am lucky enough to get a client with a wild idea. I love them.
In this case they wanted a door that tilts right up and forms a roof over a verandah when open.
Yes sure, lets do it. 6 meters wide? Why not.....
And this is the result!

The House and landscaping is not yet finished.
The door is 6x2.4meters in size. 2 hydrolic rams fixed to a steel portal frame provide enough power to list the door safely. The door is operated by pushing a button on the inside of the room. The operator has a good view of the door when pressing the button so he can see any obstacles. The door stops when the button is released. each ram is fitted with a counterbalance valves to prevent runaway door closing.

The door is part of a100 sqm  house extension we were involved in.


Friday, 24 April 2015 02:49

Designing for AirBnB?

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New websites are changing the way we live.

We are living is a time of huge changes and shifting boundaries.

You probably have heard of a website called “AirBnB" or another similar site?

These sites are revolutionizing the way we live and think about accommodation.

Public space has become more private and private space has become more public.

The needs and options for housing have changed dramatically. As house prices go up, more people are looking at options to gain extra income from their house by renting a room or part of the house using a website like AirBnB. The rental periods are very flexible and the rents paid are generally higher compared to a “normal” rental property. A great way to earn passive income without the need to go out and purchase a rental property. It is difficult to find a cash flow positive rental these days in most areas.

This offers many opportunities for homeowners as not only the financial gains can be used to pay of the mortgage but different rooms can be rented out at suitable times.

Or even when the children have left home, these rooms can be rented out during their absence. Home owners will also have more control over the renters as they will reside on the same property.


What does this mean for the way we design our houses?

The interesting part would be to design a spatial flexible house that allows for private space for the owners as a well as for the renters, but communal spaces can also be integrated eg. cooking facilities/laundry etc.

Part of the house could be separated with individual bathrooms and perhaps a separate entry?

Perhaps the rooms should be close to (semi)self containing? All within council regulations of course!

I believe there are lots of design options to help first homeowners to be able to afford a house and provide options for renters at the same time.

One shift I have already noticed  is a removal from rental property from the market resulting in less rental properties on offer and making renting more expensive.

And of course the hotels, some are now offering medium term rentals for a competitive price to avoid having empty units.

Warm regards, Stephan Meijer

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 06:22

Why is reversed brick veneer so good?

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What is reverse brick veneer?

Traditional a brick veneer wall is placed on the exterior of the framing, fixed with anchors.

A reverse brick veneer wall is positioned on the interior side of the framing.

The outside walls can be finished with cladding, stucco or whatever you choose.


What are the benefits?

Timber framed houses are quick to heat but will lose the warmth very fast because of a lack of thermal mass in these houses. Thermal mass is a high density (heavy) building material that absorbs any surplus heat and releases it slowly so the house has few or little temperature swings. These houses tend to be comfortable.

By now placing a brick veneer wall on the inside of the insulated wall framing, the house will be much warmer and comfortable. The interior walls can be finished in many ways; plasterboard, stucco exposed brick etc. You can even use earth blocks on the inside!

On the outside you can choose any council approved wall finish as for any timber framed house.


If you are worried about the performance of brick walls in an earthquake; modern brick veneer walls have actually performed really well in the Christchurch earthquakes. Ref.Link below

Monday, 29 September 2014 01:37

How can we build better, affordable houses?

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Have you noticed how expensive it is to build in New Zealand while the quality is often lacking.? For starters and people with low / average incomes, it is almost impossible to build a new home. And that while there is still plenty of land available.

Whether you have a large budget and you want something unique to live / work or you want an affordable shelter, I am able to surpass your expectations due to my innovative and original ideas.I am an expert in designing houses on steep hills and sloping sites.

Clients often come to me asking if I can design an affordable home for them because they can not find a suitable design from one of the housing companies.
I have proven that it is possible to design an individual home that meets all the requirements of the customer for the same or a lower price compared to a standard home over and over again.

If you have a larger budget, feel free to contact me. I can help you getting value for money and I really enjoy designing awesome houses / buildings using innovative solutions and the latest technological developments that may or may not be available yet in New Zealand.
Or sometimes we even invent new solutions if they are not available!

Due to my European background, I am able to design technically sophisticated, modern buildings and houses. I am an expert in providing difficult or new solutions to achieve the highest value for money in many situations.

It is common in Europe to engage an architect for the design of homes for people with smaller budgets. Clients in NZ often think engaging an registered architect will be out of their budget.
You may be surprised to find out about our low fees for small budgets.
Architect fees can further be reduced by eg. early involvement of external parties in the design process and by you doing the leg work. I have proven time and again that I am able to design a unique, quirky home that is affordable and user-friendly.

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