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Umaisarah last won the day on July 1 2016

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About Umaisarah

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  • Renovator Engaged
    Cadine Lim, Inner Room
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  1. I engaged them abt 6 years ago to do decking for my balcony. No complaints about their service. But things may have changed. Suggest you go down to their showroom, and talk to the people there if you have not done so already. Good luck!
  2. Hi everyone Something happened to me last Friday that got me quite upset that I'm compelled to write this as a fair warning to everyone. I went down to this flooring company to get a quote on some flooring works I want done in my living room. It was my 2nd visit; on the 1st visit I didn't bring my floorplan so this time, I remembered to bring one so they can give me a more accurate quotation. The person who tended to me wasn't around so his colleague served me. I gave him my floor plan and he went to make a copy, as is the usual practice. He took some time to come back which got me curious. Make photocopy take so long meh? Anyway, he came back and we talked a little bit. He asked me what was the quote his colleague gave me, and I said it was abt $13K for estimated 600 square foot area (I was asking for engineered wood floor). So, he started using his ruler to measure the area in the floor plan, I was sitting right in front of him when he did that, and then when he finished, he made a face and announced that the area is actually more than 600 square foot, it's actually 700+ square foot. My jaw literally dropped. I told him he must have made a mistake because lo and behold, I unveiled my secret weapon, which is I've done my own measurement and know roughly that the area is about 538 square foot, not even 600! And just a few days before, I had gone to another reno contractor, and he also measured, using the floor plan, that the area to be floored is about 500+. So how can my house suddenly expand by more than 20%?? I still didn't suspect anything, in fact I asked the guy if the area is high because they've already factored in wastage. He said yes but then I realised even with 10% wastage, the area cannot be off by so much. So I asked him to compare the areas with my measurements, section by section, and when he put the ruler on the paper and start measuring, that's when I noticed it with my own eyes. THE FLOOR PLAN HAS BEEN MAGNIFIED. One of the area was 4.4 x 1.2 m in my floor plan. In his it was 5 x 1.7. I asked him "Did you magnify the floor plan?" He just kept quiet, and that silence was all the answer I needed. I remained calm even though inside I was quite angry. I told him that although this quote is just an estimation, and the actual price will depend on onsite measurement, I would still like to have a rough idea of how much it'll cost, and don't want to be turned off by such a high price, that I don't even want to proceed anymore. So instead of gaining a customer, he's losing a potential one. He reassured me that yes, actual price will be based on actual measurements, but inside I've already discounted this company. If they can't even be honest with measuring the floor plan (when I can verify their calculations so easily), how can I trust them to be honest in their other dealings with me? When I went back, I keep thinking back to what happened, and trying to understand their motive. What is their plan? To use the inflated measurements to give the quote. And then what? When they need to calculate actual price do they have an inflated measuring tape for onsite measurement? Or is the inflated quote the binding price? Did they think I'm not the type who'd bother or know how to use a ruler or measuring tape to find out the dimensions of the floor myself? I may be way off in my assumption that he was trying to fraud me. But the whole episode just left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I'm just so disappointed with the company because I had hoped to engage them since they're the only direct supplier I can find which supplies both engineered wood and resilient flooring.The guy let me have the inflated floor plan with the prices so that I can refer to them. Yes, as evidence you're trying to cheat me! When I have the chance I'll upload the pic and compare it with the actual floor plan so you all can judge for yourself. My question is - is this an isolated incident, or is this the norm? Am I over-reacting ? Could this have been a misunderstanding? Anyway, let this be fair warning to everyone. If you have a floor plan, do your own measurements so that the contractor doesn't have a chance to bluff you. And monitor what they're doing. Don't leave everything to them. If something feels fishy, it probably is. Thank you for reading and if you have similar experiences, do share!
  3. Hello. I want to redo my TV console / feature wall and have looked at so many designs on Pinterest and the internet that I'm so confused with options. I want to pick the brains of a legit ID who doesn't mind designing small items like a media entertainment cabinet. I'm willing to pay, of course, as long as its reasonable. Anyone has names to recommend or if there're any IDs out there willing to take on a small project, please PM me or reply to this post. Many thanks.
  4. I just placed order for this dining table in shabby chic style The shop recommended me to match it with this chair (but with wood seat) I'm having second thoughts about the chair because then it'll be too matchy-matchy. I was planning to give it a modern twist, like in this picture. But my hubby hates the chairs as he thinks it's not strong enough. Anyone with a good eye for interior design has any recommendations for other modern-looking chairs to pair up with the table?
  5. Umaisarah

    Apartment Therapy

    Photo collections for my blog Apartment Therapy
  6. I'm planning to buy a dining table from taobao. The design I have in mind will be quite heavy (marble top with pedestal base in solid wood). Have read up about how to order rom taobao (direct vs agent vs own FF) but my worry now is how do I assemble the table when it arrives coz most items are flat-packed right? I want to convince the hubster that ordering from China is no problem but if I tell him he has to assemble himself, for sure I kena scolding. So anyone got any lobang for good furniture assembly service? Or I can just call up handyman service to do the job? Anyone got experience to share?
  7. Hi, your house is really lovely. I especially like the dining table and barn doors! For the furniture pieces you ordered from Taobao, was it delivered to you fully assembled or you have to assemble them yourself?
  8. Posting my floor plan in case anyone's interested.
  9. So yesterday I invited Nori to come down and after much discussion, we finalise the contract. 14 ft bottom cabinet with Texan Ash Kompacplus countertop + skirting, Blum drawer and hinges and Excel hardware. I'm also asking them to redo the vanity cabinets in all three bathrooms (I'll post some 'before' pics later). Total damage $9000 including GST. Also bought my single bowl Siligrant kitchen sink at Hoe Kee last evening.
  10. Yay, I found a Kompacplus fan ! They do look gorgeous don't they? I just hope the quality stands up after time. Given our weather, wood tops are impractical. But I do love the look and feel of it. Kompacplus would be the closest choice but I'm worried that it's so thin. The advantage is that I can get more room in the cabinets
  11. The third contractor has the same name as Kanye West's daughter, so you know which one ah? I will call them Nori coz that's what K&K call their girl. So, I went down to Nori's showroom at MacPherson yesterday and the guy who served me was really friendly and patient. What I like about Nori's package is that their bottom cabinets come with 4 drawers with Blum fittings in the price, and all of their doors come with Blum soft closing mechanism. Of course I ask them whether there's limit to the width of the drawer. Was told it's up to 2 feet, so that's like 4 x 60 cm drawers, or 2 x 90 + 1 x 60 cm drawers, depends on what I need and want. I didn't check what the other contractors offer, but if it's worth mentioning (like Blum fittings), then they would have, right? Nori's prices are also quite competitive. Chew charged me $150 pfr for the Caesarstone Quartz, Darwin $180 for iQuartz and Nori is $130 for Lianhin quartz. I'm not too sure about the qualities of these different brands/companies. Anyone would like to enlighten me? By the way, sidetrack a bit. I did ask if I can keep my granite countertop coz so sayang but was told it's highly risky coz the countertop will be damaged during the dismantling process . So, the closest option to granite is quartz. I'm not going for granite again coz it's expensive and not worth it if I'm planning to move out in 5 years' time. But then the guy at Nori introduced me to this countertop called Kompacplus when I asked if he has any woodgrain top. It was love at first sight . It's cheaper than quartz too and quality-wise is comparable. It's not too popular in Singapore it seems. In the 2 years he's been promoting Kompacplus, he has only installed it at 3 kitchens. I went home and read up about Kompacplus - its very thin about 6 mm only (unlike granite and Quartz which is usually 38mm) and it has limited range. But I still love it though. I can have my butcher countertop! There are 3 colours I like - the NY teak, American Walnut, and the riskier Texas Ash. You can view the range here http://www.kompacplus.com/#!collection/cwqx I love Texas Ash but hubster made a face when I suggested it. He'll come around..... Nori's guy was open in sharing with me what's the labour costs to install my own fittings - $30 per set, and I can deal directly with the installer so no need to include in his bill and pay GST for it. And he also never quote me for chemical cleaning which I noticed the other companies did which I don't understand is there a need to do it. Oh, another thing which I found to be a good deal - the interior is colour PVC finish instead of white and based on what's in their showroom, it looks very nice . As you can tell, I'm like 80% sold.
  12. Having a big, open kitchen is a big deal to me. My dream home would be one with a big-*** kitchen with a nice island, a butcher countertop, a Moroccan-inspired backsplash and floor tiles, tall larder unit, special cabinets with all-Blum fittings for my pots and pans and plates etc. Other girls dream of being a princess, I dream of having that kind of kitchen. (Contrary to my dream, I'm not actually that great of a cook though most of my cooking experiments do turn out okay). I guess that dream will remain a dream for as long as I stay in this apartment. But that doesn't mean I have to put up with what I have now. So, as a sign of my total commitment to remain in my current home, I'm throwing in money to renovate my kitchen. My initial plan was just to change the doors - don't need to spend a bomb since the carcass is still in good condition, and the countertop is granite so it's a waste to throw it away. I won't feel the pinch too much if I decide to sell the house. Then I wanted to change the interior fittings as well. You see, in a few weeks time, I'm going to have a big change in my life. I WILL NOT HAVE A MAID ANYMORE. It's a scary thought, having to cope with household things on my own (and my 3 girls, but they're unreliable as far as teenagers go). I've put up with a sub-optimal kitchen because I'm not the main user, but now that it's back to me, I want to make sure it serves my purpose. So I looked through the Blum catalogue and got inspired by all the smiling women and their beautiful drawers and gorgeous cookware and dinner plates. Yesterday, I decided I'm going to redo the whole kitchen - or at least just the bottom cabinets. If I just change the doors, the kitchen will look unsightly with mismatched trimmings (no way am I going to replace the discoloured doors with white doors). And I'm afraid the body will be damaged once the contractors start putting in fittings which may or may not be the ideal size. Some of the cabinet are odd-sized (another peeve of mine). I've talked to a few reno contractors - some big ones, and some direct-factory types. I haven't got any quotes from the latter (supposed to come back to me yesterday), but so far, here are the quotes I got from the big companies: Chew Interior - $5000 inclusive GST, Quartz Countertop, Excel wire baskets and corner baskets Darwin Interior - $6K+, GST, Quartz, standard shelf fittings * Interior - about $5k, depending on what options I choose. Will talk about them in a while Hamid and Sons - quoted me a ridiculous $9000. Buh-bye! I'm not looking for an ID this time round coz I don't need one. I just need a reliable reno contractor. (On a related topic, looks like my previous ID is getting a lot of bad reviews here in Renotalk She was okay when I worked with her. Nothing fantastic, a bit overpriced, but no major disasters. Wish her good luck in handling angry RTers )
  13. Have I mentioned I hate my kitchen? It’s one of the bigger sacrifices I had to make when I moved to this apartment. The new condo kitchen is like half the size of my old 5A HDB kitchen. And the design is so impractical. It’s already so small and lacks counterspace, but the ‘clever’ people who designed it thought it would be a good idea to plonk a double-bowl sink in the middle of the cabinet. The floor is this dirt-trap tiles in an ugly brown-orangey colour that defies description. The very wide drawers underneath the hob were already not working well when I moved in. The worst thing is it’s all in white. Okay for families who hardly cook and want their kitchens to look all pristine and glossy but for my family who eats at home almost 7 days a week, it’s a nightmare. And we’re the typical Malay family – spicy food, with lots of deep-fried stuff. This is what my kitchen look like when we moved in. See how glossy and nice the white cabinets look? Take special note of how pristine the microwave is. Here are the pictures of my kitchen now: the floor looks grimy and dirty even though we mop it every day after cooking. You can see the yellow discoloration clearly on the doors. This door is worst-hit. But surprisingly, the doors next to it (underneath the oven) is still looking good.