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About iamken

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  1. Block 2 Low floor 2 bedrooms + 1 utility room Partial renovated 2 years ago Same size as current new HDB 4rm Prime district. Rub shoulders with the rich and famous from nearby landed zone. 1km to Henry Park Near universities, Polys, good JCs. Walk to Holland V, Fusionpolis, Biopolis, Mediapolis. Asking $405k neg. PM me or sms 97613856. Owner
  2. Nice. Great info for the rest. Although I was blur blur at first, but I knew I wanted a builder from the very start. Did invite two ID companies to view and quote, but as expected... they have the highest quote and the least building knowledge (save for the interior stuffs). No money to engage architect and do re-con or rebuild. So not fated to that option. This Wednesday will be Demolition Day for my A&A... Huat ahhh!!!! Cheers, Ken
  3. Hi Lee... thanks for the info on the GST. But I guess it is their way of putting it in my invoice to make it attractive (as pantieileen suggested). Since they are BCA registered, and in business for the past 20 years, they should know what they are doing. Anyway, as the norm, this uncle will collect progressive payments after every stage of construction. Which means I will not pay anything until the first part is completed, which will be the demolition. "Pay only for the work I shown you I have done", that is what he say and in the contract too. I guess he is the one with deep pockets. If worse scenario if they flipped or under investigate, I guess my losses will be minimal under such payment modes. For what I know, I may get things done and not paid yet... hahaha. Find another contractor loh. But then again there may be some implications which I may not know. That's why I am learning from the experienced forumners here. Twothumbs.... yeah, lots of people told me not financially logical to get solar power. Nevermind, I will wait. My shelter will have both flat and sloped tiled rooftops. Ready for whatever solar designs what-come-may in future when the price is right. pantieileen.... (can I call you eileen? easier to type).... noted on your advise on floorings. Maybe at the later stage I will be asked to select the floorings. Wow, you got marble floorings. I reckon your ground floor is about 2000sqft.... which translate to $4.80 psf for marble..... cheap!! But I understand that marble is quite porous, so if got spills and not cleaned up fast = stains. The reason I am concerned is that we are actually a young family (me, wife, mom and maid). First kid coming in Sept, and hopefully a couple more in the near future. So the house has to have 'strong defences' (at least for the next 10 yrs) against pesky toddlers and kids. gong.... let me start the project first before I pass you the contact. By then I can better advise you.
  4. Well, I dun mind having good builders who drive flashy cars. But the problem is builders with flashy cars with not-so flashy house designs/quotations. Pantieileen... kudos to your good builder. Sigh.... I did ask you on your construction thread who is your builder, you didn't reveal (until recently). How to wait for you to receommend this good lobang? I am targetting CNY move-in. So no choice got to find on my own loh. But seriously, building costs is really increasing at an alarming speed. One of the factors is the big jump in foreign worker levy. Yup, Thanks for the tip. My contract no GST, price include QS, RTO, termite treat, landscaping. I will try my luck on asking for air-con I have actually wanted to cut cost by perhaps sourcing for my own flooring tiles. But the nightmare of ending up with defective ones put me off. Rather play safe, go with the builder's. But the uncle did hint to me that we can choose a better grade flooring. We will see how it goes. Ok lah, reputation-wise, like I have said, this builder has built several houses in the vicinity... in fact, he is completing one before moving on to do mine. All the home owners whose homes we visited, gave thumbs-up. Lee.... thanks on the LED info. Appreciated. No deep pockets like you guys, so must save abit here and there. Will definitely welcome any tips and advises from experienced forumners. By the way, anyone using solar power?
  5. Yup. There are other costs, and bills will come fast and fury. Already broke my piggy bank to buy the house. Really envy those who bought their houses a couple years ago when houses were still cheap. Already paid down payment for the PE when she submitted the drawings (progressive payments as the construction goes along). And also the submission fee too (aka my contribution towards nation building). Expecting SingPower letter to ask for money, since I just got them to open the supply. And I heard reconnecting city gas at the later stage of construction is another $5k. Man, I have never felt so broke in my life. Fortunately this builder uncle is very honest…. He told me he will definitely complete the project even if anything crops up during construction. I have learnt from frens that some builders stop work and ask owner to pay more money once they encounter unexpected issues that require extra work (eg structure or sewage). No extra payments, work will stop, cos they will say the contract did not specify the works on those issues. I guess $399k is a decent price for A&A, considering the whole house will be torn down except for the stairs, ground floor and second floor. Shift the kitchen from back to front (meaning total re-do of sewage line. Frontal and back extension to the house. And of course adding a 3rd level. Sounds like a Recon than A&A huh? And because under A&A we can’t heighten the height of the ground floor, this uncle has a trick…. He will scrape off the floorings and lower the ground level by a good 30-40cm until he sees the footing. He says the developer who did the vicinity houses 30 yrs ago, applied a very thick layer of cement under the flooring tiles. I have got quotes around $360k to $460k, but their works are very superficial. Basically just putting up an extra floor, while minor structural change or just adding balconies to the existing rooms on level 2. And the problem with these builders who quoted me, are not on-site people. Meaning they outsource the drawings and they dun oversee the construction themselves. They are either the companies’ bosses (one drove mercs 300, one drove mercs 200 and one drove BMW!!!), or they are sales rep. So during shortlisting, when I asked them questions about changes to their proposal, they have to ‘get back to me shortly’. For this uncle (he drives a pickup), he is the site person, running from site to site. Whatever amendments I popped, he will take a minute to think and immediately tell me if it’s feasible (whether a beam or column will be in the way) Ok lah, there was one that quoted me $280k. But when I asked to see his drawings, have not revert until now. Anyway, can tell from a look on his quotation that hidden costs lurk. Anyway, I did not bargain with him when he presented me the quotation. I simply told him “I am not going to bargain with you. You and I are businessmen, and credibility is important. I trust you will do a good job”. Anyway, those are already history. Now we are just waiting for 6th July for the official demolition work. It’s a feng shui thing to start work on a auspicious date and time. By the way, can anyone advise on LED downlights? Worth the money? And I heard its light path is rather narrow, so you need many of these to light up a room compared to downlights using energy saving lights?
  6. Hi all, After 2 mths of selection... i got myself a builder. This fella has been doing constructions for houses in the vicinity. So he has a good knowledge of the current house structure and terrain. He even brought me to view 6 already-done houses in the neighbourhood, which the owners warmly welcome him and me as their guests. Now talk about good rapport with past customers.... that is one builder I can trust. Price $399k for A&A Include 2000sqft to 3000sqft built up 2 sty to 2.5 sty option of tiled (German flat tiles) or flat concrete rooftop Airwell and super big sky light DB to each sty auto gate all bedrooms, toilets and main door chopping down of two existing trees electrical wirings and plumbing pipings only the staircase is retained... all other walls will be torn down 'envelope' facade walls all the way to the setback boundary 800 x 800 homo floor tiles (opt for all tiles as I dun like parquet) Not Included PE $18.5k (builder's partner... abit pricey, but since they got years of experience in the neighbourhood, they knew where are the problematic beams and columns... so can 'tackle' it, and submit for a-first-try-can-get-approve design. aircon toilet and kitchen vanity lightings carpentry Will update all on my building progress. Oh yah, to put up your construction for tender may not mean cheaper quotes. Tell you all next time.
  7. Good for you. Busy roads are always a question mark. You never know when LTA needs you. And also bad from feng shui aspect too.
  8. All, Decided to draft out my design and pass it to the builders to show to their architects/PEs, and get back to me with the quote. Mine is just a small 2000sqft terrace, not a 4000sqt land where you can build external wings, water features surrounding the house, spiral stairs, real garden rooftop, lofts here and there, or a pool smacked in the middle. So I don’t really need an architect who charges daylight robbery just to insert those features into the building. All I need is someone who charges a down-to-earth fee to feed his family, and not his Ferrari. At the end of the day, the value of the house is based on GFA and land size. The who-and-who who designed the house counts nothing in the eyes of the evaluator, and even the buyer. The design options for a 2.5 sty 2000sqft terrace are limited. And we probably see them all by poking our noses into Open Houses of newly built terraces currently on sale. And get inspirations from flipping some local architecture mags. Having done that I have a good idea of how I want my house to be. Besides, I am adopting a minimalistic house design with double volume and glass skylight roof top. So how difficult can the designing be? Of course I have to practice common sense by minimising structural change and grouping all the pipings together. Anyway, I have already briefed the builders that any of the current beams or columns that gets in the way of the new design, just remove and reinforce with new ones. Just get it done or propose an alternative way, and tell me the cost. Most important is to get the interior structure fixed. Once that is done, shaping the exterior façade for an arty farty look is easy. Just my 1 cent worth. I may be wrong. I am just speaking from a new bird’s point of view. Will update all on my house building project, including names of builders. I don’t understand why forum-ers are hush hush about discussing names openly. The purpose of forum is to share. Bro GreenTurf, for the part of being cost-efficient by banding a few projects together sounds weird. I believe you can only be cost-efficient, if you are building a few houses of the identical design and land size. Unless if we are neighbours of a row of terraces, it is unlikely your land size and shape is the same as mine. And hence the house configurations will be different.
  9. Hiya, If Iam not mistaken, setback from back boundary is 2m. If there is a road behind, the setback can be more. Currently at the initial stage of doing up my house too. Cheers, Ken
  10. Hi Petunialee, Great blog. But it will be better if you can tell us who's in your wonderful building team.... PE, architect, builder. Cheers
  11. Hi all. Just bought a 2 sty terrace 2000sqft land. Want to convert it into a 2.5 sty with the usual touch up to the current interior. Have approached a few builders who have took copies of my structural drawings to conceptualise (with their architects and PEs) designs and get back to me on the estimated costs (no obligations). However, another builder strongly suggests that I get my own architect to design the new layout. Then base on that layout, I go approach builders for building quotes. Can anyone advise which is the better option? Kinda blur here. Any recommendation on architects or builders? The builders I have approached: Aaeon Koong Yee Eurobuilders Acespeed John-Best Appreciate any help from forumners. Cheers.