Earthbag Construction for Circles and Curved Designs
Earthbag construction is used for several very good reasons but one of them is the ability to create structures that are made up from flowing curves.
These curves can be on the horizontal, such as an elegantly curved wall. Or they can be compound curves where the structure curves in both the horizontal and vertical plane at the same time, such as a dome structure.
To obtain the beauty of these curves with other traditional building materials used in the Caribbean is difficult.
Masonry can be arranged to create curves and if you are willing to pay for expensive form work it is also possible to create curves with poured concrete. However most other building materials are much better suited to creating straight vertical walls, and used for the majority of construction projects in the Caribbean.
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Two Architectural Workplace Designs from the Caribbean Islands
Architectural workplace design for Caribbean office spaces and commercial units is in dire need of lots of fresh creative air blown through it!
Architectural Workplace Designs for the Caribbean. A small St. Lucian Studio.
Labour Laws in the Caribbean are still somewhat archaic on many islands. They are based on a ‘Workers Charter’ that goes back to 1960s industrial Britain. Some Labour codes have been updated with a more balanced employee/employer structure, but then it takes more than the letter of the law and its interpretation to change old attitudes and prejudices.
Perhaps we should look to our Caribbean architects and spatial designers to lead the way out of the dark working habits of old, and introduce the light! We include two fine examples of how this can be done. These bring shape, colour and the tropical environment together to throughly impact how we work together in a shared space.
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Before your home is put onto the market, prepare it!
In the UK, there used to be a television program named ‘House Doctor’. The House Doctor was Ann Maurice and she would video unsuspecting buyers as they toured an unprepared house on the sales market. Taking into account any negative remarks that these buyers candidly made, Ann would set to work performing low cost visual miracles on the home and many of the potential buyers would then want to change direction and buy the home. The one downside was that some of the sellers then wouldn’t want to move house!
Preparing Your Home for Buyers to See
Before your home is put onto the market, it is always wise to prepare it well. To do this, it’s best to look at your home like a buyer. You’ll need to make a list of what needs to be done in terms of taking care of minor repairs, giving it curb-appeal and making it irresistible to the largest audience possible. This could result in a faster sale with less negotiation and a larger profit.
You might not like changing your home to suit others, but remember this is purely to sell your home faster and to make it less likely that you will be haggling over the asking price with the buyer. You won’t always have to live with this new style, it is just until you achieve the goal of getting it sold.
Staging and preparing your home is a creative exercise and can be fun. Many sellers have been known not to want to sell their homes after having spruced it up. It will be some work, but afterwards you could very well be pleasantly surprised with the results.
General points to apply
- Organise your home and de-clutter. Packing away what you don’t use on a daily basis will give your property a sense of space and it will appear more peaceful to potential buyers.
- Take down some of your photographs, the potential buyer needs to be able to visualise living in your home, otherwise they won’t buy it.
- Go around your property taking notes on any minor repairs, such as repainting shutters or doors, filling any cracks and fixing any fallen guttering. Ask a friend to make notes also, just in case you can’t see things for having lived with the property for so long.
- Clean your home and make it sparkle including windows both inside and out
- Neutral colours such as cream, white and beige allow your buyers to imagine their furniture in your home. Again, if a potential buyer cannot envisage themselves living in your home, they will not buy it.
- You want to give your home a spatial feel as buyers like to feel that they are getting a good deal of space for what they are paying out. Fortunately many Caribbean homes have an outdoor space also, and this can be used as an extra room.
- Plants can be used as a very attractive finish for both inside the home and for the entry. If you don’t have houseplants, use fresh flowers in simple vases.
The outside of your home
- First impressions count and how your house looks on the outside will have a BIG impression on potential buyers. Anything that you can do to improve this will make a difference and could sell your home faster.
- Paint anything that needs to be freshened up.
- Tidy up the garden and have the grass cut regularly.
- Pot some flowering plants near the front door, then you can move these around and even take them with you when you move and it will do a lot to beautify the entry.
- Wash the windows both on the outside and inside including the frames, repaint if necessary.
- If you have any railings on a verandah or steps, be sure to wash them down and repaint if necessary.
- Using a power washer can really be a great aid in sprucing up concrete areas, washing down walls and shutters etc.
- Rake up any loose leaves regularly and cut back any overgrown hedges and bushes especially if they are blocking doors windows or walkways.
- If you have a porch or verandah, make it a comfortable and relaxing area that would encourage people to sit down and relax.
If you perform the previous tasks, you will be well on the way to being able to make an impression with potential buyers. The impression you make could bring you extra return on the price with less negotiation and could sell it faster. Put yourself in their shoes and make yours a home that will appeal to an audience as large as possible and that you can leave behind you with pride.
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