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Kitchen Reno (Urgent): Your Advice Is Appreciated


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#1 elkcin

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:23 PM

Hi folks, I'm a newbie here. I'll start to reno my 5-room HDB resale flat this month soon, which is my first flat. I can't quite decide about my kitchen renovation, so I'd like to seek your precious advice to help me make a decision. There are three choices I'm facing:

1. Use my contractor who is doing the whole flat for me. His quotation for the kitchen is $100/sqf for the kitchen cabinets and $150/sqf for Indian Granite for kitchen worktops. Soft closing mechanism for all swing doors and extra charges are needed for soft-closing drawers. Hinges are imported from Mainland China and Taiwan. NO GST.

2. Outsource my kitchen to Closetrobe. I walked in Closetrobe showroom in Unos one day by accidence and was impressed by their work and hence asked for their quotation. They quote me as follows: $120/sqf for the cabinets and $120/sqf for Indian granite. Soft closing mechanism for all swing doors and 2 drawers. Including 2 Blum hinges. Other hinges are Excel's. We can require the number of drawers as we like. I also feel the cabinet plywood is also a little thicker. They use 7-layer solid plywood for the door and 6-layer for the frame(? not sure though); and my contractor offers 6-layer for the door and 5-layer for the frame. With GST.

3. Use my contractor to do the kitchen cabinets but buy granite from Granite Stores. Ocean Granites sells black galaxy or Indian black granite at $90/sqf.

The above three quotations about granite all include installation, back-splash and edge treatment of 20mm granite. They can provide samples but we cannot self select granite slabs.

My plight is should I outsource my kitchen to Closetrobe for their supposedly better craftsmanship. And also about granite. They all claim their granite is imported from India. But even from Indian, the quality can vary. How can I make sure the quality of the actual granite I bought is the same as that of the display piece? Then I can only count on their reputation and conscience.

Please give me your advice generously. Have anyone used Ocean Granites? Do you have other recommendations about granite worktops? Thanks a lot!

    

#2 MrsLoo

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

Hi folks, I'm a newbie here. I'll start to reno my 5-room HDB resale flat this month soon, which is my first flat. I can't quite decide about my kitchen renovation, so I'd like to seek your precious advice to help me make a decision. There are three choices I'm facing:

1. Use my contractor who is doing the whole flat for me. His quotation for the kitchen is $100/sqf for the kitchen cabinets and $150/sqf for Indian Granite for kitchen worktops. Soft closing mechanism for all swing doors and extra charges are needed for soft-closing drawers. Hinges are imported from Mainland China and Taiwan. NO GST.

2. Outsource my kitchen to Closetrobe. I walked in Closetrobe showroom in Unos one day by accidence and was impressed by their work and hence asked for their quotation. They quote me as follows: $120/sqf for the cabinets and $120/sqf for Indian granite. Soft closing mechanism for all swing doors and 2 drawers. Including 2 Blum hinges. Other hinges are Excel's. We can require the number of drawers as we like. I also feel the cabinet plywood is also a little thicker. They use 7-layer solid plywood for the door and 6-layer for the frame(? not sure though); and my contractor offers 6-layer for the door and 5-layer for the frame. With GST.

3. Use my contractor to do the kitchen cabinets but buy granite from Granite Stores. Ocean Granites sells black galaxy or Indian black granite at $90/sqf.

The above three quotations about granite all include installation, back-splash and edge treatment of 20mm granite. They can provide samples but we cannot self select granite slabs.

My plight is should I outsource my kitchen to Closetrobe for their supposedly better craftsmanship. And also about granite. They all claim their granite is imported from India. But even from Indian, the quality can vary. How can I make sure the quality of the actual granite I bought is the same as that of the display piece? Then I can only count on their reputation and conscience.

Please give me your advice generously. Have anyone used Ocean Granites? Do you have other recommendations about granite worktops? Thanks a lot!


If you want to use Ocean Granites I think you need to do more homework yourself because the sales being sales always will say their product is good.
As for outsourcing kitchen, you can do it yourself, or if your contractor willing to co-ordinate for you, then why not? Get something that you like. The problem with outsourcing sub-con is, most ID or contractors not willing to co-ordinate for you because they don't earn.

#3 elkcin

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

If you want to use Ocean Granites I think you need to do more homework yourself because the sales being sales always will say their product is good.
As for outsourcing kitchen, you can do it yourself, or if your contractor willing to co-ordinate for you, then why not? Get something that you like. The problem with outsourcing sub-con is, most ID or contractors not willing to co-ordinate for you because they don't earn.


Thanks for your reply. Yeah, I haven't communicated with my contractor about the kitchen outsourcing, but the kitchen worktop. Then I wanted to install quartz, and he never did that before, so he could not get a good price at all. He suggested me to find someone else to install the quartz top and he's quite ok with that.

Do you have any recommendations about where to buy high quality granite tops? Because I also have the worry if he would like to coordinate the sub-con. My husband and I both work, so we want to be hassle free. Thanks again!

#4 elkcin

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:17 PM

If you want to use Ocean Granites I think you need to do more homework yourself because the sales being sales always will say their product is good.
As for outsourcing kitchen, you can do it yourself, or if your contractor willing to co-ordinate for you, then why not? Get something that you like. The problem with outsourcing sub-con is, most ID or contractors not willing to co-ordinate for you because they don't earn.


Even if I do more homework about granite, I can do nothing about the actual granite I can buy. They don't allow buyers to select the granite slabs, but only be shown the display pieces. When the actual granite is carried to my doorstep and if I don't agree with them about the quality, I'm afraid it's hard to reject them, as they will, as you said, claim their product is good. So how can I supervise the quality of granite? Do you have any insights? Thanks a lot!

My husband's preference is Indian Black granite to Black Galaxy. I have no preference though. Today I read this link in which it says some black granite is dyed deep dark. It makes me feel even harder to make a decision. This link is from Dupont official website so I believe it's true.

http://www2.dupont.c...ck_granite.html

#5 Batman

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:09 PM

Interesting reas... being in the specialty chemical sales trade for >10years and I must agree that the article does hold some truth.
However, as with all chemicals, it is better to test it out before venturing into the unknown. Meaning to say that would you use bleach
immediately on your beloved dress/ suit without testing it out on cheaper or less loved garment? Same theory applies here.. :sport-smiley-003:

Coming back to your question, I'd used black galaxy previously and have no complaints. Did not have any dis-coloration or whatsoever
as a result of cleaning my kitchen top using JIF and other kitchen top cleaner products out there in the super-market. Not sure about
the Indian Black though. I am also not aware of the different countries or quality of granite because it never occurred to me that
there will be a difference in performance when put to daily use. Hence I cannot comment much.

But about engaging another company to do up ur kitchen, let's just say that it is YOUR kitchen and u can decide ultimately on who to
award the job to. Just explore the pros n cons before making ur decision.

All da best in ur reno sista! :sport-smiley-004:

#6 elkcin

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

Interesting reas... being in the specialty chemical sales trade for >10years and I must agree that the article does hold some truth.
However, as with all chemicals, it is better to test it out before venturing into the unknown. Meaning to say that would you use bleach
immediately on your beloved dress/ suit without testing it out on cheaper or less loved garment? Same theory applies here.. :sport-smiley-003:

Coming back to your question, I'd used black galaxy previously and have no complaints. Did not have any dis-coloration or whatsoever
as a result of cleaning my kitchen top using JIF and other kitchen top cleaner products out there in the super-market. Not sure about
the Indian Black though. I am also not aware of the different countries or quality of granite because it never occurred to me that
there will be a difference in performance when put to daily use. Hence I cannot comment much.

But about engaging another company to do up ur kitchen, let's just say that it is YOUR kitchen and u can decide ultimately on who to
award the job to. Just explore the pros n cons before making ur decision.

All da best in ur reno sista! :sport-smiley-004:

Thanks for your reply. So now I wanna go for black galaxy granite to avoid any potential problem. I'm inclined to use Closetrobe for their professional layout, but my husband doesn't want it, because he claims he doesn't want to do business with dishonest people. It's true that the sales woman did a small trick on us in order to attract us back to her. That day when we walked in by accidence, we were not only impressed by their showroom but also by the price she gave. She told us the price of Caesarstone quartz is $130/sqf. There is no misunderstanding about that, cuz I was pointing the Caesarstone top and also asked her the prices of other colors by pointing the samples on the Caesarstone pamphlet. I also said Caeserstone quartz not others'. Later when we were back to her, she claimed she meant iquartz. She also gave a very low price for the sliding door we want to install in the kitchen area to attract my husband, though I knew they were not talking about the same thing in the first place. But I didn't bother to clarify, as she didn't work that day and had appointments. So we only had a few quick exchanges. Later, we found the sliding door price was even much higher than that quoted by my contractor (though it may be understandable. So even I use them, I will not ask them to install the door which is way too expensive). I think she did a small trick a salesperson may do to the customers, but in general, I'm ok with that. Not big deal. But my husband has objection to this kind of practice and claims if she's dishonest in the first place and you have to worry about her work in the whole process. Any advice? Thanks!

#7 Mrcontractor

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

Thanks for your reply. So now I wanna go for black galaxy granite to avoid any potential problem. I'm inclined to use Closetrobe for their professional layout, but my husband doesn't want it, because he claims he doesn't want to do business with dishonest people. It's true that the sales woman did a small trick on us in order to attract us back to her. That day when we walked in by accidence, we were not only impressed by their showroom but also by the price she gave. She told us the price of Caesarstone quartz is $130/sqf. There is no misunderstanding about that, cuz I was pointing the Caesarstone top and also asked her the prices of other colors by pointing the samples on the Caesarstone pamphlet. I also said Caeserstone quartz not others'. Later when we were back to her, she claimed she meant iquartz. She also gave a very low price for the sliding door we want to install in the kitchen area to attract my husband, though I knew they were not talking about the same thing in the first place. But I didn't bother to clarify, as she didn't work that day and had appointments. So we only had a few quick exchanges. Later, we found the sliding door price was even much higher than that quoted by my contractor (though it may be understandable. So even I use them, I will not ask them to install the door which is way too expensive). I think she did a small trick a salesperson may do to the customers, but in general, I'm ok with that. Not big deal. But my husband has objection to this kind of practice and claims if she's dishonest in the first place and you have to worry about her work in the whole process. Any advice? Thanks!


Since granite is a natural stone, it is quite impt to get a good supplier as the stone varies( they will usually state a clause stating that natural stones come in variation so it is quite diff to reject like what you mentioned). Sales people have their own tatics. its not totally wrong but doesnt seem very nice to do small little tricks. If your hubby is objecting. Best is that you forego her services or perhaps change another sales person? Another issue is that if you engage your own granite supplier, do make sure your contractor will be ok with it as you would not want them to push the blame around when there is scratches or defects on your cabinet.

Hope this helps!

#8 eaglef18

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

Thanks for your reply. So now I wanna go for black galaxy granite to avoid any potential problem. I'm inclined to use Closetrobe for their professional layout, but my husband doesn't want it, because he claims he doesn't want to do business with dishonest people. It's true that the sales woman did a small trick on us in order to attract us back to her. That day when we walked in by accidence, we were not only impressed by their showroom but also by the price she gave. She told us the price of Caesarstone quartz is $130/sqf. There is no misunderstanding about that, cuz I was pointing the Caesarstone top and also asked her the prices of other colors by pointing the samples on the Caesarstone pamphlet. I also said Caeserstone quartz not others'. Later when we were back to her, she claimed she meant iquartz. She also gave a very low price for the sliding door we want to install in the kitchen area to attract my husband, though I knew they were not talking about the same thing in the first place. But I didn't bother to clarify, as she didn't work that day and had appointments. So we only had a few quick exchanges. Later, we found the sliding door price was even much higher than that quoted by my contractor (though it may be understandable. So even I use them, I will not ask them to install the door which is way too expensive). I think she did a small trick a salesperson may do to the customers, but in general, I'm ok with that. Not big deal. But my husband has objection to this kind of practice and claims if she's dishonest in the first place and you have to worry about her work in the whole process. Any advice? Thanks!


I engaged BMS is AMK Industrial Park 2 earlier last year for my in-laws house at Chai Chee. Initially when I first visited their factory, I wasn't really impress as place looks pretty run down. But after talking to their boss, Mr. Chan, my confidence grew.

My in-laws are very picky and even he agrees to do the busineess with Mr. Chan. Their service was pretty prompt and their work is pretty good and more importantly, their price quoted was very reasonable. I got the quote from the contractor for Korean Solid top was S$1500 for 14 ft and BMS did this with Granite for just above S$1K !! only problem is BMS don't do chemical coating on the granite to surfaces and have very limited choice of Granite. But black galaxy is now very common in the market.


Personal experience with Black or Dark surfaces for kitchen top is negative as you cannot see the dirt on the surfaces and makes cleaning a problem. You can't even see an ant when it is on the surface.

Just to share my personal experience. :sport-smiley-004:



#9 Newt

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 11:07 PM

Hi eaglef18,

Have u decided who to use in the end? I've been quoted 2200 for 15 ft of India black granite and beginning to feel like I'm being ripped off.




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