My Apartment is Finished!
After four months of renovations, my apartment was finally finished today! Only a few details remain, but I'm happy that it was finally done. For the last 15 days, I've actually been living in my apartment as the construction was going on. When I bought my apartment back in July, I had the naive notion that maybe it would take a month or so to finish all the work. I also figured on spending about half of what I ended up spending.
In the end, though, I'm very pleased with the way everything turned out. Just like every software projects, construction and renovations hinge on three different variables -- time, cost, and scope. My apartment suffered from a very bad case of "feature creep", as we say in the software industry. I started with the expectation of adding wood floors in the bedroom, replacing the maid's quarters with an office, and buying decorations. In the end, I finally finished by:
- Replacing & resurfacing everything in the master bathroom
- Changing every surface in the kitchen
- Tearing down and then rebuilding 1/5th of the apartment, which would become the office
- Replacing the plumbing, hot water heater, etc.
- Replacing every electrical outlet in the house, adding U.S. & European plugs to the Argentine ones
- Adding a 5.1 surround sound system and home theater
- Adding a home bar
- Replacing all the lighting fixtures
The Cost of Renovations
Even though I spent about twice as much as I thought, in the end, I was very happy with how things turned out. Much of the expense was related to my home theater, which I was very keen on having here in Buenos Aires.
In general, the cost of renovations here was far less than what it would cost for something similar in the United States. There is plenty of labor expense that goes into a project like this and there is a big benefit of paying in pesos for that labor rather than in dollars. Throughout the project, I also tried to use locally-produced goods whenever possible, to avoid the costly imported furnishings.
I was very impressed with the work of my architect, who is also an interior designer. As such, she was able to manage the entire project, from the construction all the way through the purchasing of all the decorations. Having someone to take care of all this for me was a godsend. I couldn't imagine trying to do all this myself. If anyone plans on renovating a property they purchase, I can highly recommend her.
Pictures Coming Soon
I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow and I'll be gone for two weeks, but I'll try to have pictures online of the apartment when I get back, so you can all see how it turned out. By the end of the year, the apartment will also be available for rent, so if anyone is looking for a very nice place to stay in Recoleta, you'll be able to rent out my apartment.