Even before we got the keys, I had start to source around for ID and Contractor firms with the floor plans on hand since January 2011. Guess I am just to exciting and couldn't wait.
From help of the forumers I had manage to shortlist a few design firm and some design firm which I randomly come across while buying "Yu Sheng" during CNY period.
Following are some of the design firm amd commemts from the very first visited ones to the last.
Warning: This is quite a lengthy post, for ID selection result please scroll to bottom.
1. * Design
2. Summit Design Studio
3. Idea House Design
4. 2form Design
5. Joo Huat
Disclaimer: Below are just my personal true experience, they might varies from yours
This is the very first design firm that I visited, happen to come across them when I was around the area buying Yu Sheng for the Loy Hei. Located in trade hub 21 they have quite a big unit hence went in. Being green, I was show around the showroom and explain what are specialised in which i was quite impressed. When I told them I would like to have a quote on the reno of my 3NG flat, I was told no one is around and gave me a name card of the ID Alex. I was quite suprise and ask in this case how do I relate my requirement. The person tell me to just attach my floor plan and email my requirement to Alex then he will be able to quote me. So well just left and went home tosend them an email with my floor plan attached. Weeks after receive no quotation and call them up several times and was told they will send me a quote asap. After a week call again still can't manage to locate the ID even thru phone. Well as all can expected even till date after I had signed with a sign design firm still no quote.
Summit Design Studio
After bad experience I try to contact Summit, couldn't get hold of anyone on the phone probably due to CNY season hence drop my enquiry on the website. Thought it would be the same case that no one will reply me, but suprise me was a unfamiliar number called me. It was James from Summit design, a very polite voice apologising for the late reply. He initiate to meet up with me at my new home to understand more about my actual requirement but having a bad experience I told him I will meet him in his office. During the meeting he was very professional and accommodating, before I can finish he would understand what I want, and he would tell you his alternative ideas which I learn alot as well. He even went to the extend to touch on things to look out for during a RENO, like asking what kind of materials are they giving and what are the hidden cost to look out for. Totally convinced by him and he actually sent me the quote within the same day! But sadly his price was quite high burst my budget.
Idea House Design
Went to their office and it was empty, I was attended by Danny. Sat down told him my requirement and he told me his other idea which I quite like it. He seems very experience and would tell me the pros and cons of my ideas. I feel it was a very rush session and we wrap up the meeting in like just 20mins?
Everything is straight to the point no side talks or anything hence nothing much to write or comment on. A week later receive the quote, was even more expensive with the same design idea from summit. Again burst my budget.
Was at the verge of giving up and wanted to do the RENO ala carta thinking of saving some money but dun tink I will do a good job, so when down to trade hub 21 again. Visited 2form, they also have a very big showroom and was attended by Elcy, the meeting was good and she sounded professional as well and even showed me some of the work that they do. Told her my requirement and said will get back to me by next week so left the place and went to Joo huat which is along the stretch. A week later I received no email from her, just as I wanted to call her she called me. Told me the quote is ready whether if I could go to her office for a discussion. Another different way of doing business again, so no choice went down again. Was feeling sian why have to go all the way down to see a quotation, but things bright up when she go through the quote with me. She had propose a good idea and I like it wanted to sign with her on the spot but decided to hold back awhile as no deal is complete without a bargain. Wanted her to requote and send to me but in my heart I was ok with discount and very slightly above my budget and decided it will be her I will be using. However when ask for the layout so that I can show to my partner to discuss, she refuse and say it is the company policy that they only give client the layout when they had sign with them. Something new again but I was like W.T.H!! its only a layout whats there to hold back about.? She insist on not providing the layout drawing even after hearing my reason, so I left.
As usual place was quite empty, was attended by Winnie. Pretty much the SOP telling her my requirement and she will provide me a quote in a week. When I receive the quote I was delighted as it was the cheapest and below my budget. So I was like finally I can start the renovation, but then again after comparing the quote with the previous few I found that there are some items not quote which hope that they are included. but I look closer they are not, I was told that if I want them items not quoted they will be charge extra. In there end after adding up the "Hidden cost" they are as expensive.
Well after all my above ID hunting adventure there is still not one selected till one fine day James from Summit called me to follow up and told me that he had a new idea which is slightly above my budget. He was the only one that call me again after the quotation and suggested to meet at one of his client's place which work is in progress and he would be able to show the work quality. So I went down and we discussed, his new idea was fantastic and I really love it although it burst my budget by 3K plus. Seeing his interest and initative in my project and even revert to me with a different design to meet my requirement and having saw the contractors workmanship I decided to sign up with him. Th best part is he is always reachable or will call back when you call him.
So conclusion, ID selected James from Summit Desgn Studio currently waiting for 3D Drawing