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About blackwhite

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  1. When i decided to re-build, I did not accept the GFA approach. The reports citing these costs also states many assumptions. So what I did was discuss the concept with my architect and based on this final concept drawing , I prepare a Bills of Quantity and calculated the construction cost myself. I have BEng(Civil) although I am in IT so I was able to determine the structural design too without having to wait for the structural engineer to give me the drawings. You can get the price for laying bricks, laying concrete, etc from Corenet but not the electrical, water and other piping. You can approach BCA to subscribe to Corenet as an individual. They are quite helpful - went down to their office in Maxwell, fill up a form, hand over a cheque and I got my account within 2 days. I was told the rates in Corenet were from the various Quantity Surveyor firms in Singapore and not from govt projects - so they shld be reflective of the market - not govt prices. And the data is updated every quarter. For those unit prices that i cannot get from Corenet - I searched the internet, walked the shops - eg you can get price of PVC pipes (for bathroom) etc from plumbing shops. There are items I could not figure but it was more or less complete. Then my architect called tender, of the 6 submissions - 2 were quite close to my estimates, 1 was higher by about $200k while 2 were double my estimates. The 2 highest bids seemed to be based on GFA approach - you tend to get the higher end price if you use the GFA - so the only comfort using the GFA approach is that your price should not be higher than this! My approach gave me some control and I can see what are the cost drivers. This is my first time doing my own house so still a learning process. House still being build and I am mulling over the high quotes for air-con - $12k-$13k for 3 units.
  2. My neighbour's semi-d has a full height glass wall - wife joked that she can get a suntan without going out - and it is very warm inside. So if you are putting skylight, consider how much heat comes in too. We are in the tropics. My brother had a skylight in the bathroom - but he put louvre and a roof over - so air moves, light comes in, but not hot.
  3. I don't know any contractor who can do this but my colleague told me he installed one of these in the 1990s and that it reduces his electricity bill for air-con by about 3-5%. The idea of a dormer window is a good one. What I am doing is to put a dormer in the middle + 2 sets of full height windows at both end of the attic. Based on the wind direction, I expect the warm air to be pushed out the back of the attic. The dormer faces into the general wind direction and although there is a semi-d nearby, the dormer window is slightly higher than the neighbour's roof. The other important things is to ensure the roof insulation is laid correctly - such that there is air-movement between the roof tiles and the insulation.
  4. On original question of whether the professional fees covers the soil test, survey - no. I paid for the soil test and site survey - each about $1200. These are in addition to professional fees to architect and engineer. Then have to pay PUB for water pipe laying to house, PowerGrid for power line laying.
  5. Hi, can anyone tell me where I can buy metal switch covers. 1 Am installing rocker switches (eg MK Slim Plus) but electrician tell me cannot find the champagne colour metal switch cover unless I order 2000 pieces. He said he called the MK distributor in Singapore already. 2 Is the colour cover from MK plastic or metal? 3 Also, saw from a shop some unknown brand (JYHAWR) - with stainless steel cover - sales exec says it is PUB-approved but I did not see any label. Anyone used this brand before? Price is about $3 more expensive than LeGrande. Thanks.
  6. Hi Summerforce, you reply is very useful for me too, especially this - "Typical HDB bedroom - 9000 BTU, masterbedroom 12,000 BTU, 15m piping per indoor unit." Have been trying to make sense of the quotations I got for putting air-con into a new landed property - still under construction - so no need to hack holes etc. I got one quote - 4 x 9000BTU, 1 x 12000 BTU, 3 x 18000 BTU with 2 x 38,000 BTU outdoor units (all using Mitsubishi Starmex Invertor) - cost quoted was S$13.5k. Then another quote - 4 x 2.5kW, 3 x 5kW and 3 x 8kw Outdoor units - also Mitsubishi - total S$12k. Way above the typical prices I see on newspaper for HDB/Condo. My bedrooms are not much bigger than the older HDB 5-rooms. Not sure if they priced based on where you live. Also not sure why quote 1 use 2 x outdoor unit, while quote 3 requires 3 x outdoor unit - how do you determine this?
  7. From their 2010 and 2011, I see that IKEA has a whole range of complete kitchen design options. Went down to their Alexandra store to take a look - saw that some were solid wood whiles others are compressed wood. Anyone had experience with IKEA kitchen - ie installed a kitchen design from IKEA. Saw other post on specific kitchen items but not a full one. Wish to know whether if it was durable, whether one shld include them before or after the kitchen has been built. My current kitchen is customed built (by a Malaysian contractor) - about 9 year old and already lamination is coming apart. Otherwise the workmanship was good - I inspected the works as it was being built so knew what they did "behind". Thank you.