Kenya: ceilings under KES 30/ft²

We had a lovely client the other day who had a tight budget for a residential ceiling. The client wanted the final finish to be functional, rather than aesthetical, affordable and moderately durable. We were up for the task and went around looking for local suppliers. Here’s what we found:

1. Plywood ceiling

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The ceiling work well if you don’t mind the visible joints. Choose a minimum sheet thickness of 6mm. Any lower and warping will be your constant roommate.

The final plywood can be stained and painted or embossed in future. Be sure to get in touch with us! Don’t install this alone.

 

2. Makuti

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My grandma warned me about these ceilings. She said they catch fire easily and can raze an entire community. The good news is that they can be treated for fire resistance. It’s also a good idea to ensure that the roof pitch is elevated and water proofing material is used. They can last up to 25years if installed correctly.

3. PVC Ceiling

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Source these from reputable importers (like us). There are many fakes in the market. The difference between a fake and a real PVC Ceiling is the amount of PVC Content in a tile. Some brands sell tiles with PVC Content of below 40% and do not brand their products to avoid detection.

The advantage of of these tiles is that they are Fireproof, Heat Insulation, Moisture-Proof, Mould-Proof, Sound-Absorbing, Waterproof and can be affordable.

4. Chipboard/MDF and related boards

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Go for a minimum of 9mm and you will enjoy added sound proofing. If you have installed coated mabati roofing, you’ll really need this chipboard especially when it’s raining and you can’t hear your own voice ( due to the rain pounding on the roof).

5. Reclaimed wood

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Source easily from the roadside vendors, your neighbor with a demolition, shipping pallet planks etc. We have successfully completed a ceiling in pallet wood planks. We stained each plank to the client’s specification. This is by far the most labor intensive option.

The key to cost efficiency is ultimately in planning. Ensure all materials are on site, plan work schedules, manage your team and expect the unexpected.

 

 

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Stroika’s 2015 Forecast on Lighting Trends

1. Go Solar

Apart from being green products, the new breed of solar lighting solutions are guaranteed to ensure savings on electricity bills. We see this in application with the solar lanterns with new features including mobile phone charging capabilities, garden lights, indoor lighting ( reliant on solar panels) and even security lighting like our outdoor wall lights with motion sensorssolar-motion-lighting_STRKLGHT_032

2. Think Smart

Your mobile phone should be able to control your lighting. If it can’t , you need an upgrade. Your lighting system should be so intuitive that they know when you have left a room or need to get that coat from the back of your closet. We have great installers and fantastic new smart lighting that can be customized for your office, home, car or garden. Contact us here

3. Lead with LED

LED lighting simulate natural daylight, is less harmful to the environment and saves energy compared to incandescent light bulbs. Commercial spaces such offices are now adopting LED panels in favour of the commonplace fluorescent tubes.

New market entrants like the LED strips work well for staircases, corridors, counters and any other suitable surfaces. We see an uptake in these for 2015.

4. Pendant, chandeliers and wall mounted lighting

Previously a reserve of the lounge areas in hotels and homes, these 3 types of lighting are streaming into other common areas including showers, kitchens, bar areas, stairwells and corridors. The designs for these lighting types are ever increasing and clients are constantly in search of affordable but high quality lighting.

The statement chandelier pieces are remarkably in demand for commercial projects and pendant lighting being a star performer in residential housing.

5. Automotive LED lighting

Car lighting for the headlights, interior and body are all going LED. We have had success with our rim stickers which mimic LED.  LED strips, especially for the interior of cars,are a potentially healthy niche market. We see an upsurge in LED in other numerous applications.

What do you think we missed? We’d love to hear from you!