Kitchen Remodeling in the ASEAN Sector: A Genuine Experience

I have worked as an NGO partner ever since I graduated from college. I have never looked back ever since, because wherever the assignment takes me, I’m sure I get treated to something new. I am not talking about new landscapes and locations, but new experiences that offer something to value.

My first taste of development work was with the renovation team, which was tasked to handle remodeling projects for dilapidated homes in the Southeast Asia sector. Until then, I never had much travel experience, except for a few out of state excursions.

gray standard color book near green eraser - Kitchen Remodeling in the ASEAN Sector: A Genuine Experience

Still, I took it upon myself to face the challenge head on, thinking that this could be the opportunity I had been waiting for. The next thing I know was that I found myself on a plane bound for Thailand.

I was a scrawny young interior designer trying to make a name for himself, in a country thousands of miles from where I was born, and the initial thought I had was “What now?” My body was beaten by jetlag and I couldn’t even walk straight to the awaiting service van that would take us to the project site.

The village was only a few miles east of Chiang Mai. It’s a small collection of shanties that looked very quaint on account of the colorful decorations that were hung on the walls. When we arrived there, I was stricken by the simplicity of the place. It looked unassuming, but maybe because it was a Sunday and not a lot of people were active.

Nonetheless, I got to see a few houses that Loveland Habitat for Humanity was building, but I didn’t come there for that. I had a job to do and that involves giving the Anusorn household a new kitchen.

white wooden kitchen islan - Kitchen Remodeling in the ASEAN Sector: A Genuine Experience

The team acted immediately, assessing the kitchen like excited schoolboys. I spent time trying to get a good feel of the place and toyed with a few design possibilities that take into account the needs of the Anusorns. The patriarch, Mr. Gamon Anusorn, was very warm. He served us a kind of tea that was slightly acidic for my taste, but it was a refreshing beverage no doubt, what with the weather.

It was my first doing actual interior design work, and I have never worked with kitchens before! But what consoled me was the conversations I had with Mr. Gamon during breaks where he narrated humorous stories in broken English that, somehow, I was able to understand. These are the kinds of connections you build as you work with other people and discover different characters you came to remember fondly.

That is why I felt sad when the project had finished. Mr.  Gamon told me he’ll visit me in Oregon someday, so I’m counting on him to make that happen.

The Keys to Effective Housing Construction

Building houses is nowhere near simple and easy as building a bridge using LEGO bricks. Still, when it comes to construction, engineers know better than to ignore a few important principles. Sure enough, it’s important that housing construction has to be done in the most technical and straightforward manner, especially when it comes right down to providing people their need for sustainable housing.

If you’re planning to work in the development sector, you will have to learn these keys to creating high quality dwellings for the people who need them:

Assessment and field validation

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Before you start building homes, you will need to find a great location where they can stand. Our goal is to provide sustainable communities as described in this Wikipedia article. For this, it’s important to conduct a field survey and validation as part of your feasibility study. This allows you to determine if a site is suitable for housing construction. This will involve studying the soil and knowing the topography of the site.

Availability of livelihood

boats business coast dock - The Keys to Effective Housing Construction

If residents are living near or within hazard zones, then it’s understandable to relocate them to somewhere safe. However, you will need to do so without having to disrupt their sources of livelihood. Fishing communities, in particular, are highly vulnerable to tsunamis and storm surges. Bringing people from the shore to the hills is obviously bad practice, so you will have to make sure that the livelihood they already know is easily accessible.

Environmental consciousness

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When constructing new homes, it’s important to remain a good steward of the environment. In other words, you should be able to find construction sites without having to disrupt whole ecosystems or affect the food chain. What’s more, it’s important that you spend time exploring alternative energy sources so that recipients can break free from their dependency on fossil fuels.

Importance of Kitchen Renovations on a New Home

Part of our work at Loveland Habitat for Humanity is to teach people the most important skills needed to become effective homeowners. On that note, we give important tips that should help them improve the functionality and feel of their homes.

Sure enough, people will often focus more on the most visible areas of the house like the living room and the exterior walls, but often, they overlook the need to renovate the kitchen. After all, it’s where delicious meals are made, so it’s only important that you make this area more comfortable to the people who use it.

Here are a few things you need to consider if you’re opting to learn how to do a kitchen renovation which we’ve taken from some of the resources on a local home, custom, additions, basements, bathrooms and kitchen renovation company Ottawa General Contractors.

Replace dilapidated wood

gray nails beside beige wooden planks and hammers - Importance of Kitchen Renovations on a New Home

Wooden cabinets and other wooden fixtures can wear down over time. Ion severe cases, termites can eat away at old wood, so it wouldn’t be a surprise that your cabinets become brittle, especially if it has been a year since they were made. Still, this is a quick fix you can easily do on your own. You can simply give your cabinets a fresh coat of varnish. For severe damages, you can simply replace your cabinets using new hardwood material.

Change your tiles

person holding pencil - Importance of Kitchen Renovations on a New Home

Nothing renders your kitchen brand new quite like new tiles. You can opt for laminated or vinyl tiles which are usually waterproof and are fairly easy to clean. Hardwood is also a great option, but it requires extra care and maintenance on your part. So, it’s better to stick to stone or fiberglass tiles can be cleaned thoroughly using a mop or even a dry rag.

Replace your appliances

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If your refrigerator or microwave has been around for 10 years already, maybe it’s time to make a change for the better. Sure enough, old appliances consume more energy since they run on deteriorated parts that require more power.  Sure enough, buying new appliances can be a costly investment, but you will have to think in the long-term here. You only need to look at all the money you will be saving by using Energy Star-certified appliances and machines.

Keep these ideas in mind and you will have a kitchen that’s clean, efficient, and functional. That way, you can cook your meals the way you’re supposed to – with a smile