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cleong last won the day on November 7 2014

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About cleong

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  1. Bumping up the EM thread - any new EM owners and new renovation concepts?
  2. Apologies as I have not been checking this page after so long. What do you need to know? It all depends on the condition of your apartment and how much you can tolerate to retain, and how much your budget is. I would highly recommend changing the electrical cables. Everything else - is up to your choice. Built in furniture costs, but the rooms are spacious so you can get away with buying standard furniture if you aren't fussy. Give the home a new coat of paint and polish up the floors, you would be surprised how much of a difference that makes.
  3. You have a second-generation EM (square balcony/service yard) with no bomb shelter and in-unit rubbish chute. Depending on your usage patterns, it might be feasible to buy items from JB if you travel there regularly for cheap petrol and groceries anyway. Many electrical items these days have only a one year warranty but if you don't use it often, it might not accumulate wear and tear to take advantage of warranty coverage. Take for example the KDK ceiling fan I got from an authorized distributor in JB - it was Malaysia warranty only, different in model number, exactly the same specifications, and half the price. If I was so inclined, I could bring it back to JB for warranty repair, or buy a second one and still be cheaper than an authorized fan in Singapore. And guess what, it has been in use for 5 years without a hiccup. The current exchange rates are just icing on the cake. Scout the prices there and see if the savings are worth the trouble, but don't make one huge purchase that attracts Customs attention or you might get hit by GST... I highly recommend changing piping and electrical wiring, but the costs can be staggering, it could run you $3,000-5,000 (IIRC) depending on the amount of re-routing and in particular lighting points you want to have. Keep in mind that an ID that connects well with clients is only half the equation, he/she has to exercise good project management skills to realize the design within your budget.
  4. Consider how safe it would be to change the bulbs, which you would eventually......
  5. Unlikely. 5 years ago I did it for just over 40k and did not do the flooring (except for kitchen and bathrooms). I repolished the marble and relacquered the parquet. I also redid the staircase and windows. If it is the first owner you are buying from (I suspect it is, since the extensive makeover) then you must allocate money to redo the 20-year old electrical wiring for safety's sake. We need much more powerpoints now than 20 years ago and extension plugs and cords are just a fire waiting to happen.
  6. Normally you can do that, but when I applied to transfer my season parking over via the online portal, the request could not go through because the carpark allotment for season parking was full. Therefore I need to go to the Branch office and show some paperwork (cannot remember which), proof I was staying there. HDB staff said priority is given to the first car of each unit in such full situations.
  7. Hi and welcome to the neighbourhood, both potatoes and I live across the carpark. Plenty of schools and other amenities in the area, but I am sure you already factored that into your purchase decision. If you own a car, you may have to go to Bishan HDB branch office in person to purchase a season parking lot. Good luck!
  8. Rather than protect from the rain and elements, may be a better idea to opt for outdoor furniture and cabinetry. Costs more but looks better and will be more durable. Even if you protect laminated cabinets from direct rain, the high moisture levels and heat due to exposure will cause the laminates to peel pretty fast.
  9. Any hardware store should be able to supply those rubber pieces, ask the uncle behind the counter and he will show you. I buy mine from the neighbourhood hardware store. Its nothing more complicated than a rubber wiper blade, or nylon bristle-like brush. I'm aware that Toh Guan near IMM have one of the last batches of EM - you might find them in Choa Chu Kang North as well. I think HDB stopped building it pretty much around the same time that Walk-In Selection of flats ended.
  10. The Kovan ones are the Generation 2 type. The later generations don't have their own private rubbish chute.
  11. Water proofing never do properly for your upstairs toilet. Probably going to be a big hacking job for the floor. Make sure they do a proper job.
  12. Parquet flooring is standard for the era and in my opinion pretty timeless and comfortable to step upon especially when you wake up in the morning. Today's flooring try to replicate that kind of feel with laminate or bamboo, but they are cheaper substitutes in a cost-cutting effort. There are pros and cons between Gen 1 and Gen 2 with regard to the balcony position - Gen 1 has a larger balcony while Gen 2 provides better connectivity because the balcony can be accessed via the kitchen or the living room. I would caution against glassing in your balcony. If you get any sun it would turn into a greenhouse. Plus, it would be exceedingly hard to clean the glass panels beyond 2 metres, and the external glass surfaces would probably be impossible to be cleaned (by you). Saving on electricity and water bill? Do the standard stuff - buy low-consumption appliances, dual mode efficient toilet flushes. Forget bathtubs and rainshowers. Skip installing mulitple downlights that you have to use - opt for energy saver bulbs placed in function-over-form positions to provide optimal lighting coverage in the main activity areas. Install rubber/plastic gaskets under doors of air conditioned rooms to maintain minimal cool air loss. Intelligent usage patterns help too. I set my aircon to cool my bedroom when I go to bed, but have it turned off two hours before I wake up in the morning. I have my stand fan set on a timer so it takes over room air circulation in those two hours. By the time I wake up, the room has warmed up to near ambient temperatures and I don't get out of bed from under my covers feeling cold, or let all the cold air in the room "go to waste" when I open the door.
  13. Actually, with BTO apartments looking pretty much identical to each other, you can simply cruise the reno T-Blogs looking for something that you like and can afford. You might save a bundle in design fees if you just emulate someone else's design.
  14. Mine was a Gen 1 EM and does not require A/C application because it was mounted in the void at the balcony. However, the depth of the apartment proves to be a problem because of the distance between the compressor unit, blowers and drain pipes. Gen 1 EMs often encounter electrical systems that do not support more than a single System 4 (and only below a certain power limit). I'm not sure if more choices are available now, but back then I could only choose between Mitsubishi Starmex and Daikin. I had my own A/C contractor which I had to coordinate with the renovation contractor but it was not that difficult though it requires at least two visits - one to lay the trunking during construction and another time to install the blowers after your flat has been painted. You will want to inspect the insulation and piping before they seal it up - especially if you bought "upgraded" stuff. But more important, make sure the drainage pipes have a gradient so that condensation water can flow unimpeded from each blower.
  15. Unfortunately, EMs are generally asking for exorbitant prices now. The fact that none are being built makes the supply limited and keeps the prices high, so I reckon buyers and sellers are probably holding off until someone blinks. I have owned my EM for 5 years now and asking prices have increased by about 30-40% from what I paid.