The Matterport camera system is our new favourite tool.
If you’ve been looking at real estate listings over the past few years, you’re probably very familiar with the virtual walkthrough that many REALTORS® are using to promote their listing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are even using it as a replacement for the traditional floorplan, offering a 3D tour of the home instead. Whether you call it a dollhouse view, 3D perspective, or virtual 360° walkthrough, it was probably done using a Matterport solution.
Marcel Comeau of Resonance Reflection Photography is our Matterport expert. “We chose the Pro2 3D camera for the high-quality and high-precision imagery it captures,” explained Marcel. “This camera is amazing, as it lets us create 2D schematic floorplans as well as a highly immersive tour of the home. With the images, the MAC designers can look closely at the space, with multiple angles to see different perspectives of things like counters, windows, doors, and other features.”
While the Matterport walkthrough is a pretty standard feature on homes for sale, at MAC Reno, we saw an opportunity to provide a thorough before/after for homeowners remodelling their homes. This has become especially useful for our projects where the homeowner isn’t in Victoria. They’ve either hired us to remodel their home before they move here, or they’re out of the city for other reasons. The Matterport photography brings the site walkthrough to them, so they can review and explore from wherever they are.
A Powerful Tool
One of the features included with the Matterport software is the ability to check information after we’ve left the home. “I’ll often meet clients a few weeks prior to the design phase of the project,” explained Azu Saavedra, MAC Renovation’s design professional, “and one of the features I really like about the Matterport system is it gives me the ability to virtually tour the home, jogging my memory about details we discussed on site. It’s a great tool to reference back to. Since the system measures everything as it builds the virtual tour, I can check the dimensions without driving to the home. It’s not accurate enough for design-level measurements, but it is super-helpful in other stages of the renovation, especially for checking to see if a piece of furniture will fit through the doors as I’m staging for the reveal.”
More Productive, More Efficient
Having detailed photos of the entire project helps us be efficient with our design team, as they can refer to the images to confirm layouts and design elements as well as electrical, HVAC, and plumbing considerations. In previous years, the designer might have to drive back to the home to confirm details that can now be found quickly and easily via the Matterport system. And as the Matterport technology improves, so will its accuracy, adding even more value to our design and build teams.
The additional data also helps us be more consistent with our documentation across projects, giving easy access to the information we need on your current project but also providing a foundation of information for future projects we do on your home. Through our Contractor-for-Life program, we might be back multiple times to help you update your home to match your lifestyle without changing your address.
How the Matterport Improves the MAC Renovation Experience
Here’s a renovation project we recently completed near UVic. With the Matterport, we took detailed pictures before, during, and after construction to share the journey that turned this house into a home. The Matterport allowed the homeowners, who were living overseas, to check the design and see the progress in different stages, which made them feel connected to the project.
Small rooms, wooden wall-panelling, bulky pelmets, and tiny baseboards are common with homes of this era, built in 1964. At first glance, you wouldn’t know the tired carpet is hiding a fantastic surprise. While this home has had some updates over the years, the interior structure is relatively unchanged.
The keen eye will note that there are nine doors in the main hallway upstairs – and most of them are tiny cupboards: one was barely 20” deep, and others offered about 8” of storage space.
This walkthrough is quite impressive, as it shows how much a house can be changed in a relatively short period. You can see where a new patio door is being framed in to replace the small dining room window, as well as the electrical wiring for the new lighting in the living room. Homes of this era rarely had one, if any, overhead light. With the new layout, the homeowners can adjust the lighting to suit their lifestyle.
It’s fascinating to see where some of the junction boxes are located and what the plan is for them in the final construction. The floor-mounted electrical gang-box in the bathroom layout is definitely intriguing.
Note the floor protection and hardboard we used to prevent damage to that fabulous flooring hidden under the carpet.
The final reveal is just spectacular, with the quality finishes in place, the new kitchen layout just begging for a family dinner, and the natural light and illumination strategy making everything look perfect. That floor-mounted box in the bathroom is there to power the under-vanity lighting, a simple touch that adds style and safety to the home.
And those oak floors – hard to believe they were once covered with carpet. Now that they’ve been refinished, the unique patina and the way we laced in the sections to eliminate the gaps from the original walls make them look better than new.
For another fun tour with Matterport, check out this Vacation Home on the Lake
We’ll be using the Matterport system on many of our upcoming renovations as it helps us document the entire renovation process, and we can share it through BuilderTrend, the online project management tool we use.