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About nokomis

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  1. Hello All, I'm trying to find a good tiler. We plan on using top-line tiles and I'm looking for someone with the experience to do good work. The ability to work with stone is a plus since we're incorporating a fair amount of marble and granite in the design.. Also, will a tiler cut away the existing tile? We need demo works in six bathrooms and a kitchen, as well as tiling. Any help is appreciated. We're ready to start any time. noko
  2. We are renovating a landed property now. I want to remove all of the grills on the house. I don't care for that caged in feeling and believe that a few motion sensing lights do as good a job of keeping out unwanted visitors. I don't worry much about falling out of the windows since I and my family have made it this far without grills. I know that I can get a contractor to take out the grills. My question involves whether I can negotiate a salvage fee for the grills. With aluminum scrap prices up and more than 20 windows, quite a few of the 3m in length, that's a lot of beer cans worth of metal. Anyone have experience with this? Any insight into going grill-less? noko
  3. We recently bought 99-year property in D16. Before we bought, I ran the numbers using all property transactions in Singapore for the past 15 years. I used psf prices. When I charted freehold against 99-year property, I found that 99-year property trades at a fairly steady discount. The only caveat was that during stronger parts of the cycle, the discount narrowed, while it widened during weakness. This has already been mentioned. The amount of that the discount widened or narrowed was dwarfed by differences between the sales prices of different properties. I further checked this by looking at older 99-year properties. I found the same thing for those now entering 30-40 years. This far exceeds my likely holding period. I also considered that any stigma over 99-year property is eroding as an older generation stops buying landed properties. I feel that the younger generations will probably take a far more pragmatic view of property ownership than the previous generation. I felt that this is especially likely as property prices rise, which will erode affordability. If that wasn't enough, we clearly saw that we could put the excess funds to better use. By generating return with any funds that we did not spend a downpayment or mortgage payments, we further reduce the overall cost of the house.
  4. As we go through this process, I'm doing my best to get the best value for money. The quality of the materials is extremely important to us. I am making every effort to incorporate the high quality materials. For me, instead of replacing granite with cheaper tiles, I'd consider spending the 10k on handmade rugs. We're trying to use the best of what's there and improve the rest. I'm after consistency and quality. After all, this is an asset that I intend to sell on at some point after we've enjoyed the house for the years we live there. I am concerned about the kitchen, though. I know from exposure that they seem to be based on lots of rules and formulas that I'm still hesitant to dig in on. I'm most comfortable starting from a theoretical understanding and then fleshing in the design from there. Better yet, it would be good to have someone else handle this part of the job. Counter heights, relationships between islands and counters, setbacks, ledge depths, workflow patterns, non-interference of cabinet doors and between workstations, the latest cupboard technology, along with an understanding of best practice in terms of layout and colour schemes seems like a deep hole of information that I'm not sure I want to crawl down. I'll talk to some kitchen designers and start reading at the same time. Who knows, I may tumble into the darkness inadvertently while fooling around at the edges. Is all of this learnable without taking over your life? Livinstyle, how did you identify a contractor you could work with as you did the design work? Anyone else have any advice on this. I've getting fairly proficient in X2 (new career perhaps?) and can produce full specs, layouts, materials lists and design schemes. I've been able to combine this with a basic understanding of structural engineering to create what I think is fairly solid design. Obviously, like any amateur, it's rough around the edges and will be adjusted by a contractor to fit their preferred implementation. I'm familiar with how this works after helping my parents build a house. I'm easy to work with and understand the importance of flexibility, but I intend to drive this. Still, it sounds like my approach is going to cause problems in terms of finding firms to do the work. Can anyone offer advice or contacts? Techwizard, have you had any luck finding contractors? Your list and mine are similar: 1. Change Tiles for Living room and Dining room. 4. Varnishing of Parquet for entire 2nd and 3rd floor; 5. Change of 5 Toilet bowl and sink; 6. Misc plumbing works; 7. Misc electrical works; 10. Patio - Wooden deck with roof; 11. Painting of whole house. I'm very interested in any advice on the process of finding people to do this work. Any luck finding contractors? From my side, I just pulled down 3 large palms at my house for 350 each. The work was good and I have the contact.
  5. Livinstyle, Thanks much for the info. I'm also planning to do the design work myself. I have a fair amount of construction-related experience and renovation and construction runs in the family, so I've had exposure to it most of my life. I'm not a bad designer and am a materials buff. I'm planning on handling much of the design work myself and hope to follow your lead on hiring contractors to complete the work. I will, however, bring in a kitchen specialist as we'd like to combine the wet and dry kitchens and bring the whole thing up to state of the art. I want to get this right. The designers I spoke with have already shown me a lot of ideas that I would have never thought of. I'm leaving this work in the hands of professionals. I've got a good grasp on the rest of the work. I've done a pretty thorough inspection. The house is about 10 years old and hasn't been repainted in years. I looked carefully for repair work and signs of leakage. I've checked above the false ceilings and near the risers. The top floor got especially close attention as did ceilings and walls near bathrooms. I haven't found anything yet. Obviously, that doesn't mean something won't turn up later, but I've checked beyond the cursory. From your comments, I understand leakage is a big problem. What was your experience doing the design work and hiring contractors? Did you use a GC or did you hire sub-contractors yourself? Were contractors receptive to this sort of thing? We'd like to select things like sanitary sets and tile ourselves. I'm aware of the problems buying elements that eventually must be installed. My life is filled with the intricacies of purchasing obscure and complicated fixtures and fittings. Any tips or contractor contacts you can pass along for someone following the same path? Once the work started, did a lot of unexpected problems arise?
  6. I suspect we'll lay tile over the old tile in the bathrooms. At long as the tile is solid enough to form a decent substrate, this is the way it's now done, accourding to my dad, who worked in the building trades. Does that remove the need for additional waterproofing? I understand that the kitchen will be a complete start-over, still, the water will come up in the same place, which should remove some need for relaying pipe under the floor. I've scoured the house for signs of leakage, previous water damage or repairs and checked at the ends of the various headers for cracks. I've also crept along all of the foundations looking for uneven settling or signs of repair. I didn't find anything worth mentioning. What would it typically cost to repaint the interior of a 3800sf house? The exterior was recently painted and is in good shape. What would it cost to sand and refinish the wood floors on the upper two floors if no substantial repairs are required? On another matter, would you bring in a GC or an ID? Has anyone had any luck GCing this themselves and bringing in their own subs. I'm fairly familiar with design, construction and project management. I'm not sure about the best way to proceed here though. We understand what we want, what can be done, the materials we'd like to use and have photos and well-drafted designs. I'm in the process of costing the elements now.
  7. We've just purchased a corner terrace and are making our first stabs at costing a renovation. The house is about 3800sf on three storeys. We want to do the following: Replace the kitchen with something more modern. Involves hacking out one wall; not moving any water. Can we do this for 25k or thereabouts?Retiling four bathrooms and replacing fixturesRepainting entire interiorRemoving about 25 window grillsRefinishing wooden floors on first and second storeysAdding wooden decks to front and rear of house Any rough idea what this sort of work this costs and how long it might take? Also, I've worked in the building trade so have a solid idea about what we want. I can project manage this, but is that the best way to go? Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.