Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Special New Years Offer to Make your Renovation Planning a Breeze

Special 2015 New Years Offer 
Wo-Built's Roadmap for Your Renovation

The New Year is here and true to our New Year’s resolution we would like to start the year off by giving back and offer something truly unique.

Spring, the busy renovation season, is only 4 months away. If you are planning a renovation, now is the time to start putting all the pieces in play. Four months is not a long time and contractors get busy very soon in Spring as everyone wants to start then. It does not matter where you are in the process, you will have many questions. Who do you ask? Your friends and family who may only have anecdotal information or an independent professional who has your best interest at heart?

Over the last weeks we have introduced our ‘Roadmap to your Renovation’ process which is a great planning tool for your renovation. As you know, the wrong decision in a renovation can cost you $1,000's of dollars. Good and thorough planning and getting the necessary know-how of the process, pitfalls and risk management will save you a lot of your hard earned money.

The Wo-Built ‘Roadmap for your Renovation’ Assessment helps you formulate your ideal home and your ideal home renovation and enables you to communicate your visions to your contractor. In addition it outlines the process for you, teaches you what steps to do when, plan the project in great detail and gives you the confidence to embark on your project to achieve your ‘Dream House’.

We developed the ‘Roadmap for your Renovation’ Assessment to provide you with an invaluable tool which will enable optimum understanding of your dream house and your own abilities to deal with the renovation. By exploring your individuality and your unique problems and situations you can really determine what you want and what will suit you ultimately. Communication will be so much more effective between all parties and the results so much more satisfying.

The Assessment will enable you to voice your vision so much better than just showing the contractor magazines articles, pictures or design references from home improvement shows. This is seldom effective as the shows and magazines represent someone else's taste and situation. So the concept is the same, but different and the difference is left to the interpretation of the contractor. Hence, often the results will fall short of expectations and disappointment is possible as everyone envisages similar things differently according to his or her own experience.

The findings of the assessment are captured in the Wo-Built ‘Roadmap for your Renovation’ Report. If design options are required concept designs are explored in Wo-Built ‘Roadmap for your Renovation’ Design Options.

The Wo-Built ‘Roadmap to your Renovation’ Assessment is the basis for the detailed design by an Interior Designer or Architect, a rough estimate of the costs and construction process, methods and timing. Having gone through the Assessment you are ready to proceed with confidence with your own designer/contractor or if you wish continue with Wo-Built into the Design and Build phase.

We like to celebrate the New Year and we always have something special* for a limited time for our clients.

From now to Chinese New Year 2015 we offer a great deal on our ‘Roadmap to your Renovation’ Assessment and the ‘Roadmap to your Renovation’ Report. You not only save on $1,000's of dollars during the renovation with the know-how you are getting, you also get a great bargain on the education.

* For $350 you will get the ‘Roadmap to your Renovation’ Assessment and the ‘Roadmap to your Renovation’ Report in a bundle. You save $125.

Invest in your peace of mind. Get a truly unique education and let us help you beat the system.

Call us now to learn more on 416-402-2679 for more information. We would be happy to help.

** Offer valid for the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga, Brampton only. Applicable taxes apply.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays

Image: Season's Greetings and Holiday Wishes from Wo-Built Inc.
Credit: MS Office ClipArt MH900440289

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Another year comes to an end and we at Wo-Built are contemplating the many good things that happened this year. We did some fantastic projects and met and worked with amazing people.

During this season, we want to say 'Thank You' to our wonderful clients – we would not be here without you.

For me personally, the Christmas season is full of joy and good will. I spend time with my friends and family and think of the great people I encountered during the year. At this special time of year, I am very grateful for all the help and advice I received on the way, both to advance personally and, of course, in business.

Very often it felt like that the spirit of giving which is so prevalent during the Christmas season was extended to me during the year. I hope I will be able to give some back in 2015.

Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to all!

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

To view our Season’s Greetings e-card, please click on the following link:

Thursday, 11 December 2014

What to Do When You Outgrow Your Home?

When you outgrow a house or it doesn’t work for you anymore. - What do you do?

Well, you could go two routes – one is to throw the towel and look for another house or you can renovate/ extent the old one. Just like on Love It or List It which I quite like watching. I am usually not a great fan of renovation shows, but this one is at least shows some of the realities of renovation. But this is still TV.

In real life we can offer something that is BETTER than shown on TV. Part of the issue with renovations is that most times there is not enough planning and investigation done beforehand. Decisions are made with incomplete or assumed facts and this leads inevitably to disaster. When doing renovations and when with buying houses.What is the key – planning and risk minimization.

Feasibility Study of Your House - to Make an Informed Decision

So the decision “to love it or list it” starts with a feasibility study of the old house. What is possible, what will it will cost, what are the risks, even doing investigative explorations for possible problems down the line, what is the process. There are a lot of memories in your old house, your friends, neighbours and social networks are usually close by and your kids’ school is nearby. Doesn’t that house deserve a fair shot to see what is possible?

With our Roadmap to Your Renovation we look at your lifestyle, the house, your wish list, your tolerance level, your renovation knowledge and comfort level, the design possibility, costs, financing, contractor concerns and many more planning issues.

If You Do still Want to Buy a  a New House

If after this you still want to leave and look for a new house we will start planning for that – from arranging your mortgage to realtor services to renovations. And we do this through our Casavant Corporation partners (a one stop shop for home buying). More about this option in a later article.

If your home deserves a makeover

The feasibility study is a factual and unemotional tool for you to make an informed decision. And unlike in Love it or List It you do not have to do the renovations to make the decision. A feasibility study is a lot less expensive than a major renovation and, if a renovation is a go, it can mitigate a lot of risks during the construction phase.

Let’s say you would like to do a second storey addition. 

Here is the planning process you need to do:

1)    Determine what your needs versus wants are.
They are usually different from each other. Your needs are determined from your life style or a change in life style. Let’s say you would like to have another bedroom, but your kids are flying the nest soon. Do you really need the bedroom or could you use the extra space for something else? Maybe you don’t need to extend, only to rearrange. 

2)    Determine the possibilities and options.
a.    Know the implications on
i.    Costs
ii.    Finances
iii.    Timelines
iv.    Disruptions
v.    Obligations
vi.    Risks/Risk Mitigation

b.    Decide on a preferred option.

3)    Investigate the construction feasibility for your preferred design. Only then start the detailed design.
4)    Design the option
5)    Investigate and decide on the contractors.

We can help through all of this through our Roadmap for your Renovation packages.

If you want to talk to us about doing a feasibility study, please call us on 416-402-2679 for more information or, if ready, book your 'Roadmap for your Renovation Assessment' Now!

We would be happy to help.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

An Interesting Read:
@wobuilt: How do you budget for a home #renovation? @TDNews_Canada has #RenoTips for you! … #infographics

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Roadmap for Your Renovation - Your road to a peace of mind.

Image:  Relax During Your Renovation! Give yourself the gift of peace of mind. 
Wo-Built: The Vision Builder

Why do You need a Roadmap for Your Renovation?

Last week we introduced our ROADMAP for Your RENOVATION service, geared especially to women and their families.

We are a women centric design and build contractor and speaking woman to woman, haven’t we all been in situation in which we felt out of our depth? Uncomfortable isn’t it. The feeling of a lack of control that comes with not enough knowledge. Having to trust the person on the other side of the table, but knowing that something is off, but not being able to lay a finger on it? If only I knew more about what he/she is talking about.

What about the time you may have had a bad experience and are reluctant to repeat this, but not sure how to go about this. Or even know what really went wrong.

You may have dreams about design, spaces, lifestyle, you know what you like, but can you afford it? ‘Will I be able to see if someone is going to con me?’ you think. Or to take advantage of your inexperience.

The ROADMAP for your RENOVATION can answer all of these questions and concerns. In addition to exploring the project, it addresses something even more important: your OWN COMFORT LEVEL with the plans you have. What is driving you, what is holding you back, what could be done to make your concerns go away. We are all our worst enemies and usually we are all very good at putting up roadblocks for our dreams.

The ROADMAP will show the obstacles, will point out detours and short cuts to make your dream renovation come true. Knowledge is power or in the case of a renovation can SAVE you thousands of dollars. Every wrong decision, every hesitation, every indecisiveness will add to the cost of the project.  

The ROADMAP will empower you to ask the right questions and evaluate the answers.

And it all starts with a 2 hour consultation, really an exploration of the possibilities, your first step towards making your dream come true. Your road to a piece of mind.

Call us on 416-402-2679 for more information or, if ready, book your 'Roadmap for your Renovation Assessment' now. Click here to book, We would be happy to help.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Wo-Built's New ROADMAP for Your RENOVATION Service

 Roadmap for your Renovation helping you to evaluate any design or contractor and give you the confidence to deal with the situations.

After having been in business for 8 years now we are continuing with our original mission to help women.

A lot of ladies have mentioned to me over the years that they find renovations scary and that they would not know where to start. In the past we ran workshops to answer questions and give design and renovation advice, but we felt that this only scratched the surface.

So we have decided to offer a new service. We will prepare a ROADMAP for your RENOVATION.

We show you the pit falls, the process, what you have to be careful about, what you will need to decide on.

We will help you through the process, not as a contractor (only if you want us to) but as your advocate and your guide to make your dream home come true with far less stress than if you had to do it all on your own.

The beauty of it is that it does not matter where you are in the process. We can help you at any point and it can be as little or as comprehensively as you want, since we are offering modules.

Module 1 - $175
Initial consultation

  • Defining and framing the issue
  • Design consultation
  • Construction consultation
  • Next steps
Module 2 - $350
Road Map Report

  • Summary of discussions
  • Includes one sketch design for up to two spaces
  • Estimate

Module 2a - $500
Road Map Report

  • Summary of discussions
  • Includes one sketch design for up to five spaces
  • Estimate

Module 3 - $500 plus
Road Map Report - Two or more Options

  • Summary of discussions
  • Includes one sketch designs for two options
  • Estimate for two options

Module 4  - After Road Map Report
Consultancy time on Retainer @ $50/hr 

Minimum retainer $500. Any tender evaluation, design management and project management services will be covered by the retainer contract.
    * expenses, travel costs and HST are extra. Prices can change at Wo-Built's discretion.

    As we said, it can be as little or as comprehensive as you would like to make it

    For example, if you are at the beginning of your project you may need help in deciding what option to go for. We can help you by giving you the information you need to make a decision.

    The road map can be taken to evaluate any design or contractor and give you the confidence to deal with the situations. And if you need further help you can always call us to be in your corner.

    Call us on 416-402-2679 for more information or book your 'Roadmap for your Renovation Assessment' now. Click to book, . We would be happy to help.

    Martina Ernst
    Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

    Tuesday, 7 October 2014

    How to Avoid "Handyman Horror Stories"

    Video: "Weird Al" Yankovic performing Handy. (C) 2014 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
    “You need only two tools in life: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn’t, use Duct Tape.”
    ~ Unknown

    Image: Basic Home Repairs Engineering Flowchart.

    Whether they’ve watched an episode of Holmes on Homes or not, it’s safe to say EVERYONE has seen, heard or experienced a “handyman horror story” at least once in their life.

    And on some level, the whole self-image of the handyman is funny. After all, whether they adhere to “the-duct-tape-and-WD-40” school of home repair or are of the “A-type-military-grade-equipment-and-preparation” variety, they all seem to have a kind of “can-do attitude” which borders on the mythical.

    Image Collage by Wo-Built: Multi-armed Handiman…mystical powers for fixing things!?

    But there’s a real problem with having an “I can fix anything…” attitude, especially if that statement is finished with the words “…Duct Tape and WD-40.” But it’s just as bad if it’s completed with the phrase “…just look at my awesome toolkit.”

    Unfortunately, “experience” doesn’t count for much these days, either. If someone has been doing cut-rate, patch-up repair and/or contracting work all their life, it doesn’t help—it makes matters worse! It’s like a musician who’s been playing out of key for twenty years. Their twenty years’ experience doesn’t mean they qualify to play in London’s Philharmonic Orchestra, it means they’re tone-deaf!

    We all know people like that, have meet people like that, or have been on the receiving end of their work. Some of them honestly mean well. Many of them just don’t care. It’s not that they don’t care at all necessarily…it’s that they don’t care enough.

    People who think they are god’s gift to renovations but have not made the effort to really observe what it means to do “a job well done,” simply don’t know what it takes. They just don’t know how to “make it right,” as Mike Holmes would say.

    Following codes and guidelines with precision and attention to detail is one thing, but then there’s also a “feel” that comes into play. Like anything creative, one must put one’s heart into it—to really want to do the best job one’s capable of. It takes focused attention on oneself, the project, and of course, the client.

    Anyone can follow a recipe, but it takes someone who loves cooking to make the ingredients and directions on the page spring to life in a way that’s almost magical. And we can ALL relate to that: mom’s home-cooking, grandma’s baking, our own signature dish. You know: the one you make when you want to really treat friends, family, or a romantic partner. The one you know how to do the best. Or if it is a completely new recipe, you make sure your approach it the same way: you, at your very best.

    What you want in “handyman” is someone who approaches anything and everything they do with that same spirit…that sense of care and dedication; not just someone who thinks they can do anything and everything, in any old way. The slacker’s attitude “it’s good enough” is a slippery slope.

    What’s true for the handyman goes DOUBLE for a designer and contractor. 

    Do you want someone who looks at your requirements and says—without so much as a pause to consider the job—“oh, I can do that no problem!” Then proceeds to deliver you a ridiculously low quote, knowing full well their “can do” attitude hides a “what I know I can get away with” approach?

    Or would you prefer someone who takes their time to really understand you, get to know your needs, desires, tastes, preferences, timelines, and budget, then come up with a realistic estimate—including those sub-contractors they need to bring in on the job who REALLY KNOW how to deliver what you’re looking for?

    In short, would you prefer to work with a team who LOVES doing amazing work? Or do you want someone who likes making money at the project’s expense?...Your expense? Which do you think will make you feel special? Whose work will give you a real feeling of satisfaction?

    Remember: at the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with it.

    So picking a contractor must be something you put your love and commitment into. You’ve got to feel it. It’s a relationship, a bond of trust and an expensive commitment. You wouldn’t get into bed with some sweet-talking “hottie” who tells you EXACTLY what you want to hear! So don’t fall for the gimmicks and rationalizations that “sounds really good” in the head. Don’t fall for the nonchalant charmer (“hey, relax, it’s no problem”), or for the pushy expert (“trust me, just look at the tools I’m packing”).  

    Go with your gut instead. Go with the one who shows heart. Your life is a labour of love, and anyone entering it in a capacity where they have the ability to affect you and yours in any meaningful way should approach you and your life with the same level of commitment as you do.  

    The choice is yours: Your renovation / building project can be a story filled with joy to share at your first dinner party in your newly renovated home; or, it can be another in a long list of handyman horror stories.

    To see the difference LOVE makes to any project, check-out the latest article by PeapodLife on “Organic Landscaping.”

    Image Collage by PeapodLife, Division of Wo-Built Inc: Organic Landscaping in Bloor West Village, Toronto

    Tuesday, 19 August 2014

    PeapodLife BEST HOMES …Show Me the SLOW MONEY!
    Investing in the Future via Grassroots Organic Growth Makes Dollars and Sense

    Video: TED Talk by Ari Derfel, Executive Director Slow Money

    “Combine poisonous factory-farm tomatoes with disgraced investment banker Bernard Madoff. Throw in a stock market disaster. You get a public spooked by the dangers of industrial food production and investors wary of risky business. This may be the recipe for a Slow Money revolution.”
    ~ David Gutnick, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

    If you have just watched the above TED Talk and did not pause to consider the gravitas of Ari Derfel’s introduction, here’s what you missed:
    “Too much and for too long, we seem to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product…counts air pollution and cigarette advertising and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage…Yet, the Gross National Product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play…It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything…except that which makes life worthwhile.”

    The quote, we soon learn, was from Robert F. Kennedy, and we cannot accept the truth of Derfel’s assertion that it could had been written half an hour ago and still be completely relevant today (perhaps even more relevant then when Kennedy first spoke those words).

    Image: Robert F. Kennedy

    Just how relevant? Derfel is certainly not the only TED Talk presenter to use this quote. Be it U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s TED Talk on The next age of government or Chip Conley’s TED Talk on Measuring what makes life worthwhile, Robert Kennedy’s famous 1968 speech is practically a prophetic treatise on the state of our world.

    In fact, Chip Conley was so inspired by Kennedy’s Speech that he created a kind of balance sheet for GDP (GNP)…

    Image: What GNP Counts and what GNP Doesn’t Count

    So what does all this have to do with Wo-Built?

    If we look at The Slow Money Principles, we discover that local investing and investing for the future—and food security—are key.

    Wo-Built’s PeapodLife initiative is already a step this direction, from our team’s social entrepreneurial standpoint. However, taken to the next step, we have Wo-Built / PeapodLife BEST HOMES initiative: a way for almost any investor to make an investment in their local community via green real estate investment, social responsibility, and an ROI focus creating a positive feedback loop and future social, environmental, economic investments (“SEE” Investments).

    PeapodLife BEST HOMES (Building EcoSystems & Technology via Home Ownership for the Masses that's Economical & Social) offers Toronto and Southern Ontario investors an approach that is truly unique, and offers a slow money approach to alleviating the infrastructure burdens on municipalities and taxpayers!

    Together with our partner, Casavant, we can help investors profit from converting old, derelict, crumbling, toxic houses into the healthiest, most stress-free, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly properties imaginable.

    Imagine the difference it would have made for the City of Toronto during 2013’s flood disaster had thousands of homes been equipped with their own rainwater capture infrastructure and indoor rainforest ecosystem?  Imagine how many hundreds of millions the insurance companies would have saved (costs that will ultimately be passed along to consumers through higher premiums).

    Now, imagine if you, as an investor, had refurbished, converted, built and flipped and/or rented those life-saving properties? And imagine if Wobuilt’s PeapodLife BEST HOMES unique all-in-one green real estate investment program meant those green renovations and ecosystems could be rolled into the first mortgage, greatly reducing your up-front capital costs (and risks)!

    Here’s the break-down:


    PeapodLife BEST HOMES Investment Benefits:
    • Buy, renovate and sell green properties at a fraction of the cost of a typical capital investment, and even less time and effort, and headaches.
    • Peace of mind: PeapodLife and any affiliated contractors / subs we use are performance bonded to 1 ½ times the cost of the renovations.
    • The system our Architectural Technologist uses is the same one as the insurance agency and is featured on W Network program The Property Brothers.
    • Working with the right investors, PeapodLife can also convert existing properties into green rental, rent-to-own, condo, co-op, mixed residential-commercial, or commercial properties.
    • Legal Second Suites possible (most likely in the basement) that benefit from all the green technologies on the property, including the ecosystem!

    If we’re looking at a simple home buy, renovate & flip scenario, imagine what potential buyers will experience when walking into a PeapodLife BEST HOME (and the IMPACT IT CAN HAVE ON PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE IT IN PERSON)…

    Video by Wo-Built/PeapodLife: Living Wall EcoSystem Fitch Street

    Imagine hundreds, if not thousands of homes with the healthiest, most vibrant and beautiful living spaces imaginable. Imagine residents with boosted immune systems, lowered stress, rich relationships with living breathing ecosystems, and growing their own organic food via hydroponic umbilical systems!


    Contact Wo-Built and/or PeapodLife TODAY to learn more.

    You can contact us by phone 416-402-2679

    Thursday, 10 July 2014

    Toronto Real Estate Market Ripe for an Investing Revolution —
    the Smart way to Invest in Canada’s Hottest Housing Market

    Image Collage by Wo-Built: Estimated Year-over-Year Increase in Toronto Real Estate Prices
    Sources: Microsoft Clipart 00196324.wmf; India: Binary Options Broker: Investing In Toronto Condos; Toronto Real Estate: Guide To Toronto Real Estate
    “Toronto is on track to end 2014 as the hottest housing market in the country, with prices likely to rise 8.1 per cent, year over year” Business: Toronto housing market on track to be hottest in Canada for 2014: report
    According to Royal LePage’s House Price Survey and market forecast, Toronto will experience another red-hot housing market in 2014.

    Only 6 months into the year, and the largest price increases were 8.3% for two-storey homes (at $730,806 on average) and 7.2 per cent (or $611,906 on average) for detached bungalows.

    Some of these averages have been skewed, according to Royal LePage, because of “irrational bidding wars that have propelled prices further into the stratosphere” (Source:

    So why does all this matter? If you’re in the market for a home, it means greater competition for fewer desirable properties, bigger mortgages and down payments, and bigger mortgage payments.

    If you’re a real estate investor, however, what it means is an incredible opportunity to work with Wo-Built and its Partners to employ a revolutionary approach to buying, renovating, marketing and selling homes.

    The key to the investment opportunity are performance-bonded home renovations which can be rolled into a first mortgage. This means tremendous REDUCTION IN RISK to you, the investor. YOU ONLY NEED TO INVEST A DOWNPAYMENT AND CARRYING COSTS UNTIL THE HOME IS SOLD.

    Here’s how it breaks down:

    •    First, get pre-approved for a mortgage.
    •    Next, sign an agency agreement and work with one of Casavant Corp’s 300+ top realtors to identify an undesirable property in the GTA or Golden Horseshoe.
    •    Locate a property and make a conditional offer.
    •    Property inspected by Architectural Technologist & Design Changes Drawn Up.
    •    Close on Property.
    •    Performance Bonded Renovations by Wo-Built or Performance-Bonded Contracting Partners.
    •    300+ top Realtors vying to market & sell your upgraded property.

    Now, let’s talk about these “irrational bidding wars.”

    Just imagine having a newly renovated (or rebuilt) home in one of Toronto’s more desirable neighbourhoods, with an open house hosted by a top Realtor, properly staged by a professional staging company, and potential home buyers entering the home experience something an indoor rainforest ecosystem by our PeapodLife division like this…

    YouTube Video: PeapodLife Living Wall EcoSystem Fitch Street
    This recently completed Living Wall Rainforest EcoSystem was installed at 235 Fitch Street in Welland, Ontario. Like most PeapodLife EcoSystems, it features orchids, moss, bromeliads, African violets, cacti, aquatic plants, fish & more. Like all PeapodLife EcoSystems, there is no soil, chemical additives or fertilizers of any kind.

    And by the way, videos and photos CANNOT do PeapodLife Ecosystems justice. You have to experience them in the flesh to appreciate them. But once you do, you’re hooked. And no, there is no one else, ANYWHERE that has ANYTHING that compares.

    We call them BEST HOMES, and they are YOUR OPPORTUNITY to create one-of-a-kind GREEN REAL ESTATE properties with a financing, design, marketing and sales team backing you all the way; managing the process from beginning to end for you.

    Check out The BEST HOMES Investment Case Study for a house in trendy/desirable Junction area in Toronto (based on an actual property available for purchase, real world renovation costs, real estate fees, etc. and greenhab investing with PeapodLife BEST HOMES Program).

    Visit for more information, pictures, videos, testimonials and much more.

    Contact Wo-Built for more information.

    Tuesday, 20 May 2014

    Narrowest House puts a Broad Smile on our Face
    Keret House by Jakub Szczesny ekes out a place in our Hearts

    Image Collage by Wo-Built: Jakub Szczesny’s Keret House

    "I started to think who could live there. It had to be a person that would like to be a hermit, someone who would like to spend time alone doing something…It requires a sense of humour, as you cannot stay long in a place like this"

    The Keret House, squeezed into a crevice between two buildings in the centre of Warsaw, is a perfect example of how light can transform even the smallest of spaces into a place perfectly livable.

    Image: Etgar Keret in his house, Photo by Bartek Warzecha

    Well, okay, claustrophobes need not apply. But considering that the house, designed by Polish architect Jakub Szczesny, is a mere 122cm at its widest point, one cannot but smile at the ingenuity of design and clever use of space—what little there is of it.

    Image: Keret House: Entrance Hall & Stairwell.

    According to the official website, Keret House was an exercise attempting to “fill the cracks” of a disjointed Warsaw.

    “Jakub Szczęsny decided to fill such a crack, to restore its existence by turning it into a perfectly functional living space and by inviting somebody to take care of this space. The architect designed a House, which, despite its microscale caused by the size of the plot, constitutes a functional space – a place to live. Szczęsny invited an Israeli writer of Polish descent - Etgar Keret to live in the House. By doing so he imparted one more function to the House – the function of a study.”
    Source: Keret House: Settle in Void

    Image: Keret House: Looking down on staircase.

    Szczesny paired up with Israeli writer Etgar Keret and began developing the triangular house which could reasonably accompany a single person to live and work—the kind of work a writer might do.

    Image: Keret House: Main level after staircase “hatch” closed.

    All the furnishings in the house are custom, which is how they managed to fit all the furnishings, according to Szczesny.

    Image: Keret House: Custom furniture is as minimalist as the house is narrow.

    We here at Wo-Built think that Keret House is more than just some novelty or one-off art project.

    Image: One would have to be very friendly with anyone sharing Keret House’s only bed.

    We think Keret House demonstrates what can be achieved with the use of natural light and how remarkably tight spaces can be made to feel more open and inviting (if not exactly “spacious”).

    Image: Keret House.

    There are many homes in old Toronto, Etobicoke, Markham and elsewhere build on long, narrow lots. While none of these houses are as extremely narrow an example as Keret House, a great deal can be learned from its example in opening up the feel of these old houses, and making better use of space.

    Image: Keret House in Warsaw, Poland rendering.

    Just how useable is the space? See the Keret House “in action,” below:

    YouTube Video: The world's thinnest home has been built in a Polish alleyway Published by ITN

    Attila Lendvai
    VP of Strategic Development
    Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build
    Project Director
    PeapodLife - Advanced Human Habitat via Building EcoSystems & Technology

    * Image Photography is by Bartek Warzecha, © Polish Modern Art Foundation, The National Centre for Culture.

    Tuesday, 13 May 2014

    A Unique Look at Living Space:
    This Box Gives New Meaning to “Outside the Box”

    “Think outside the box” is so inside the box!

    So you’re confronted with it: an empty room with only a rather innocent-looking (or is it ominous-looking?) box awaiting you.

    You approach it with trepidation and perhaps some tepid curiosity. It looks innocent enough; there’s nothing particularly special about the markings or materials. Entirely unremarkable. But curiosity gets the best of you. Moving in for a closer look, you find latches and hinges.

    You really have no choice but to begin fiddling with it.

    Well that was unexpected. It’s clearly a configurable box, and it’s beginning to configure itself in the empty space of the room.

    A little more configuration reveals the contents of the box. They will need to be removed and arranged, but into what?

    Removing the top piece, you seem to have created…ANOTHER BOX! This is either a very good sign or a sign of regression.  But let’s continue…

    Great. MORE BOXES! Still, I doubt anyone would have gone to these lengths to play a practical joke on you. There must be SOMETHING worth getting at, so let’s continue our configuration.

    Still more boxes within boxes.

    Is that a little stool for the desk? Things are beginning to look up.

    A closet appears to be forming in the corner…

    I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to get the sense there’s more to this box than meets the eye: is that a mini wardrobe and a shelving unit?

    I’m getting the distinct impression this box belongs in a college dorm room…

    …or a Jr. bachelor apartment in Tokyo.

    If our eyes don’t deceive us, that’s a bed…

    …complete with wardrobe and plenty of storage…

    …for all the stuff you could need in your bedroom!

    At Wo-Built, we’re all about clever use of space and get a kick out of innovations like this complete bedroom set in a box.

    We hope you got a kick out of it too. And for more kicks, checkout the video, below! (Also for those sceptics who are thinking to themselves: “yeah, but it probably takes FOREVER to take apart and set-up!”).

    Well, the video is UNDER 3 MINUTES, so you be the judge!

    VIDEO: Room in a Box: complete room packs into a small cube! by UpBeatnik
    Source: YouTube: Uploaded by UpBeatnik

    Attila Lendvai
    VP of Strategic Development
    Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build
    Project Director
    PeapodLife - Advanced Human Habitat via Building EcoSystems & Technology

    * Images and Original Story Source: It Looks Like A Boring Box In A Room. But What Came Out Of It Blew My Non-Engineering Mind.

    Thursday, 20 March 2014

    A Celebration of Life:
    Happy International Day of Happiness!

    Momentification. A celebration of Life: 8 days of growing a new leaf.
    Image:  Momentification. A celebration of Life: 8 days of growing a new leaf.
    A new leaf arrivals in our office EcoSystem.
    Photos: wobuilt @ 2014

    On the first day of spring which is also the International Day of Happiness: a celebration of life.

    As we had such a cold winter, there are no buds on trees and bushes outside yet; but we have timely leaf arrivals in our office EcoSystem.

    This plant has not produced any leafs for about a year.

    It was a potted plant rooted in soil, but once transplanted into our hydroponic EcoSystem (which by the way also cleans the turtle tank) it started growing again.

    So we welcome spring with our EcoSystem, a happy occasion.

    Martina Ernst
    President/CEO and Co-founder of Wo-Built Inc

    Momentification. A celebration of Life: 8 days of growing a new leaf.
    A new leaf arrivals in our office EcoSystem.
    Photos: @wobuilt

    Thursday, 23 January 2014

    One-Stop Shop for Home Buying and Renovation
    Seven Issues You Face and the Solution to Your Dream Home

    Wo-Built & Casavant Make Your Home Renovation and Buying Process Easy
    Image: Wo-Built & Casavant Make Your Home Renovation & Buying Process Easy
    Image Credit: Microsoft Hands passing model house

    We know all too well having the home of your dreams is no simple matter:  whether you’re buying a new home, renovating your existing home, or plan to purchase and renovate a resale home.

    Here are 7 issues to consider when it comes to buying/renovating an existing home:
    1. 1. Can you afford it, really?
    2. 2. How will you find it?
    3. 3. How will you know that the home that is being sold to you is the one you’re actually buying? (That is, what aren’t you being told about it? And don’t think a home inspector is the answer.)
    4. 4. What about the renovations? How much are they REALLY going to cost?
    5. 5. What is lurking behind the walls, in the attic, underneath the basement that no one has bargained for, and that no self-respecting contractor will “let slide?”
    6. 6. Are you planning on making a basement apartment? Do you have the funds to, as Mike Holmes would say, “make it right?” Or, will you fall into the trap as so many homeowners do, and get a cheap contractor in to do a cut-rate half-ass job resulting in yet another illegal second suite?
    7. 7. Do you want to have an indoor rainforest ecosystem from PeapodLife, complete with a fully integrated suite of sustainable home management and green technologies? Would you like your indoor ecosystem to connect with landscaping, eco-pond, and permaculture garden?
    The Solution:

    Wo-Built has joined the Casavant group of top-tier Realtors, Financial Institutions, Insurance Companies, and Grade-A Contractors to deliver you, the consumer, the world’s first fully integrated home buying, financing, renovation and ownership system.

    Casavant’s program offers advantages to each stakeholder group mentioned above. Its vertically integrated system means:
    • Consumers like you have a one-stop, no-haggle, no-fuss, headache-free home ownership experience. No more hunting endlessly for homes and financing; no stress guessing quality of homes and costs of renovations; no more dealing with cut-rate and half-baked contractors.
    • Realtors have business sent to them and get to participate in revolutionary programs which help alleviate the dire need for affordable home ownership and available social housing units.
    • Contractors have business sent to them, get to help more people become home owners responsibly (NO SUB-PRIME MORTGAGE SCHEMES HERE!), build/convert/upgrade desperately needed affordable rental inventory, all without dealing with emotional home owners, and potentially volatile disputes, thanks to professional third-party verification by certified Architectural Engineers.
    • Financial Institution and Insurance Companies are able to get more high-quality homes and home-owners on their books.
    • The Government gets more tax revenues and alleviates pressures on the rental and affordable housing markets.

    For more information, visit

    Wo-Built is proud to be a part of Casavant’s revolutionary paradigm shift. And, we are happy that through this program, our revolutionary new paradigm in buildings, PeapodLife becomes INSTANTLY AFFORDABLE and ACCESSIBLE to almost EVERYONE.

    Win-win-WIN, indeed.