Do you want a smart home with all the convenient technology or a green home that is more eco-friendly? Serge Syjuco takes us through the process of constructing homes and his advice on building one

Kindly share with us your background and the driving principles behind Excalibur Builders.

Excalibur Builders is a premium luxury residential design and build firm. We handle everything from architectural design, interior design and construction.

We are an innovative boutique-style firm focused on avant-garde design tailor-fit to our clients’ unique lifestyles and aesthetic standards. We also pride ourselves on personalised service before, during and after constructing your dream home. We only accept a set number of clients per year to ensure quality and to maintain our commitments to home turnovers.

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Above Asian modern three-storey home in Ayala Alabang

Building from ground up seems more daunting than a renovation; however, some say it’s much easier. Is this true?

I’ve completed dozens of brand-new homes and major renovations, and in my experience, building a brand-new home is less challenging than a renovation for both the owner and the builder. In a renovation, you are potentially constrained by the existing structural design of the home. An example would be a homeowner who would want an open layout but the previous design has multiple columns in that exact area. Another common issue with major renovations is that the previous structure, which may be decades old, has to be audited to ensure the integrity of the new home.

The positive side of a renovation project is that you’re able to expand upon and preserve the key qualities of a property that is near and dear to your family. And a lot of times, this is worth all the effort for us.

Building a completely brand-new home allows you to have so many possibilities in terms of the design, the layout and the structure. For example, you can opt to have a Scandinavian, Japanese, Spanish or an Ultra-Modern Home.

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Above Serge Syjuco

Is it more difficult to build on a small space or a larger space? What are some of the things one should consider when space planning?

We have built on a wide range of lot and floor areas, from 400 sqms all the way to 3,500 sqms. From our experience, both have their own unique challenges.

Read also: 8 Southeast Asian Furniture Brands that Celebrate Local Craftsmanship

When building on smaller space, you should consider the design relative to your neighbours’ houses. You wouldn’t want your Master Bedroom window facing one of your neighbours’ balcony. You can also maximise your amenities in a smaller lot by having a basement which will open up your ground floor to a more expansive living and leisure space.

A larger lot offers a lot of possibilities for building around central outdoor amenities like a swimming pool and gardens. You now also have the option to consider having multiple structures like a separate guest house and even an entertainment area or gym.

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Above Reverse view of the home in North Forbes

Based on your experience, are there certain styles or designs that are easier or more cost effective to execute than others?

We pride ourselves in having designed and built a wide variety of homes that range from Asian Modern, Scandinavian-Inspired, Ultra-Modern, Spanish-Themed and Classical Homes. From our experience, not one is particularly more challenging than the other.

The current trend since the past decade is modern homes with a Scandinavian or Asian theme. These designs are customised and tailored to the unique personalities and aesthetic standards of our clients. We are very flexible in making sure they get what they want.

From my experience, what elevates the design to the next level is the premium craftsmanship and customisation that goes into the construction of a home. In addition, what makes these homes stand out is that we make sure the materials and finishings used are of top-tier quality. Our clients have exemplified excellence in their lives and they expect nothing less in their homes.

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Above Spanish modern home in Ayala Alabang

There has been a rising trend in “Smart Homes” and “Green Homes”. Can you share a bit more about this and what it means? Would you suggest embracing such features when building your home?

A smart home is essentially a home that makes your life easier and more convenient. This is possible with features that can be controlled remotely through devices like your phone. A green home on the other hand is a house designed to be environmentally sustainable through the efficient use of water, energy and environmental-friendly / recyclable materials.

We’ve done extensive work with smart features in our homes. These include LED switches that control the lighting, air conditioning and music. Sensors can also be placed around the house to control and customise lighting.

This year we have made use of our “Green Home” plan which includes rain water recycling, smart electricity, smart water consumption and solar panels. Yes we would recommend green features to strike the ideal balance between a beautiful design with absolute convenience through smart features and environmental sustainability.

How does a Design and Build Firm like yours stand out in today’s world?

As a designer and builder of luxury homes, what I’m most proud of is that I have a great relationship and reputation with my clients. That is priceless in any industry.

+63917 138 8858
excaliburdb.com
@excalibur_builders
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This story was originally published in Tatler Homes Philippines Vol. 28. Download it for free on Magzter

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