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sillbeers15 last won the day on January 8 2019

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About sillbeers15

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  1. To employ an Architect is the safer and hassle free route. You will need to employ an architect to 'project manage' for you. For me, reconstruction was a passion I've always wanted to do it once in my life. Therefore I planned out all things and carry out on site project supervision daily. It was fun for me and honestly I wanted my way of things to be done. I've challenged the engineer over removing unnecessary columns at unsightly locations and redesign the staircase accordingly. I've challenged the contractor on using 12mm glass panel accordingly to specification written in contract earlier against the acrylic he wanted to conveniently substitute it with. I've seen too many home owners pass the decision making rights to the contractor under the understanding of 'trust'. It often started with miscommunication and eventually ended with blaming the contractor for being untrustworthy.
  2. I've successfully completed my Reconstruction project to my 3 storey Semi D well within my budget and am somewhat reluctant to share the contact of the contractor I've used cause I do not think there is such a thing as a perfect contractor. All I can say is four of my neighbours also employed the same contractor to carry out A&A and recobstruction work after I've completed mine. Perhaps I can share my experience with all rather than contact of contractor. It is important to set one's expectation right before the start of the project and communication is important. I am a beliver of laying down specifications and requirements as detail as possible before entering into any writtern form of contract. Through this forum I've purchased the Renovation accessociation contract to be used as template and modify the contents before finalizing it with my contractor. Even that, I cannot cover all corners but eliminate miscommunication as much as possible. I took the project as a passionate task to materialise my vision in the project rather than finding it as a chore. I sketched and labelled all the exterior, interior space with dimensions and specifications. I provided clear locations of power sockets, lighting points, cable tv, len points. I've provided water pipe routing diagram, aircon compressor & blower locations myself. The architect drawings translateed my ideas and I do site visits daily over the 1.5 years period to ensure all that I've wanted was properly translated into progress. For those owners that are uncertain about whay they want and do not know what you do not want, it is best to employ an architect to safe guard your interest. The downside is you need to pay for the services.
  3. Let me share my experience with you as a home owner who has completed a reconstruction to my 3 story 4000sqft built up from 2 story 4000sqft land SemiD. With a $300psf construction budget, it would be in your best interest to hire an architect yo project manage the contractors through tender exercise. If you deal directly with contractors on 'design+build' projects, lay down your requirements as detail as possible in s written agreement with specific timeline and penalty on late delivery ( commonly $2500/week) to protect your interest. Construction cost wise can range widely due to the finishing materials required. Generally the structure cost will go up by $100k if foundation piling is required after soil test. $150 psf construction cost is achievable w/o piling. An experienced builder knows how to be lean and manage cost. Usually the bulk of builder's cost comes from his workers (fixed cost) other than material cost. In the event that the builder cannot secure his projects and occupy his workforce well, that cost gets passed on the the projects so the cost goes up. So a seasoned builder can at times offer attractive price to the next project for him to schedule his projects well. The same logic can mean that contractors can many times delay completion of projects as he needs to time it well to move his workforce over to the next project ( especially housing foreign workers on site). I hope the above information can help you source for the right builders as there are many good and experienced ones out there. You just hv to make sure you get value for money and manage them well.
  4. I've completed a Reconstruction (URA asked for resubmission as Recon instead of earlier A&A as GFA expansion was too close to botherline of 50%) A&A to my 2 storey 4ksqft land Semi-D into a full 3 storey built in 4ksqft (from 3ksqft) 20mths ago. Firstly, I must say that the cost of construction varies irregardless of size and materials used. It all depends on the contractor willing to accept the quote and have the ability to complete the job according to specification. If one wants to have a reasonably priced construction project, it pays to do homework. Start with knowing what you want. It is costly to have a unclear idea of what you want. If so, pay for an architect to do the job for you ($40k to $70k). I sketched the remodelling floorplan and exterior to passed it to the engineer / structure designer to transform it into construction dwg (I paid $25k for all that work and argued back and forth with the structural designer on the number and location of additional pillars and staircase design ...). Next is to get a copy of the contract / agreement from Redas or renovation association and add in details as much as possible to specify what you want, what finishing materials, marble tile size, types of tiles to be used, I specified clearly the number of power outlets & LAN, TV connection and locations in every room. Aircon compressor locations, CCTV points (lay cat6 cables), decise on the route of plumbing/water supply, types of bricks used for exterior walls clearly in the agreement. I also added late delivery penalty clase of $2.5k per week as protection. In planning, itemisation for costing does not work to the advantage of the owner as lumpsum / project quotation is so much less. An example would be cost of built in cabinets. Minimise changes and additions after the quotation is final and work has started as contractor typically will charge you itemised cost for any additions and changes which work very much not to owner's advantage. An example is when I asked for a quote for swiming pool while construction was in the way, my contractor quoted me $50k, which my neighbour just added into his yard for $35k at the same time. My construction cost was $550k excluding cost for lift ($68k), recabling by SP ($6k for single phase 100A supply). It is also important to carryout daily site visit. This way, you will be the first to know when work is carried out not according to what you want and can make alteration before the rework gets too major and your contractor reluctant to make changes and threaten to delay project. Daily site visit also let you know the progress as contractors are know to move their workers to other sites on priority, so minimise that.
  5. Besides regular plucking off weeds (including roots), I have not found an easier way. I have seen youtube clips showing pesticide being sprayed across lawns to remove weeds, but not sure if any available in our location and the effectiveness. I used to grow carpet grass, it is not easy to maintain, also often filled by weeds. Now after reconstruction, I selected pearl grass as I was told that it is easier to maintain. Still weeds grow but the rate of pearl grass growth is slower. Bot I had another problem of millipedes in pearl grass. I was told that, there is no problem of millipedes in carpet grass due to the sand filled lawn. Cost wise, 'm told that both pearl grass and carpet grass is close.
  6. When home owners want to save money, they must be prepared to be involved in the project and follow through. Most importantly, homeowners must do homework and decide on what they want instead of not knowing what they want. For information, I sketched the interior, exterior floor plan to scale and 3D perspective drawing for the contractor to translate into building plan and worked with them on where to position pillars before the built. I also provided the lighting points, power supply points, internet LAN points, TV cable points, garden lighting & exterior lighting locations, air-conditioning compressor locations, plumbing route specifically to my contractor. I'm not professionally in the trade, but was active enough to do daily site visits. Once the construction progress found not according to plan, I strictly ask for the work to be removed and redone.
  7. After my 4000sqft semi-d reconstruction experience, the psf cost I paid for D&B did not exceed $200 today with moderate expectations on finishing (included marble flooring for living rm & dining rm, but excluding the cost of adding in a lift). Finding a correct contractor makes all the difference!
  8. I drafted a contract as detailed as possible listing down materials, size and period of construction and gotten my contractor to sign before first payment. I did not engage a project manager as my Reconstruction project did not exceed $800k on my 4000sqft semi-d (added 3rd level on existing 2 storey) as I did not see the worth since my total project cost did not exceed $1m. I was glad I did the contract as I went into construction phase a few months down the road and neither my contractor or I can remember well what was agreed verbally in the beginning, to avoid unnecessary disagreements and confusion, the contract was recalled several times and my contractor could not disagree with my requirements. Most obvious was the duration of built, in the contract was 9 mths provided by my contractor. Actual TOP came after 18 mths. I managed to clawback some of the $10k per month delay penalty stated in my contract ( I did not wanted to ask for full sum due to the good works provided by my contractor and the reasonable timeline of 9mths seem too tight).
  9. Thanks! I fully agree,..what is landed w/o a garden. I've spent the last 12 mths Recon + 24 mths planning before the commence of the Recon,..now I plan the next 12 mths in doing up my garden. In my careful plan and built, I've added 8.5m (for level3 & roof) to my original 7m (minus the original roof ) and no additional in front , back and side on my overall building footprint, such as to preserve as much garden space as possible.
  10. I'm at the end of my Recon for my 4000sqft. Semi D, looking at doing up the landscape now. The front, side and rear turf area combined is approx. 2000sqft with a mature frangipani trees which my builders managed to preserve for me going through the year long recon. I'm looking at getting trees (more frangipanis and others) and plants to complete the garden. Anyone to recommend me source to buy plants and trees at reasonable price locally? Has anyone with successful purchase or engaging landscape service from across the cross way to share? Thanks in advance.
  11. There are generally 3 cat. of home lift available here. 1 Vacuum Lift Fixed glass structure, small dimension & load capacity (2 pax), only platform rise & decent ~ $40k using vacuum principle 2 Conventional lift Build walls & 500mm pitch, lift-car rise & decent by cables, carries 3pax ~ $40k + 20K (walls, pitch cost) 3 Platform lift Fixed glass structure, carries 4pax (400kg payload), only platform rise & decent using leadscrew ~ $60k and motor
  12. Lauer, I'm almost complete in my Semi D Reconstruction program now that I'm in the 13th month since permit for commencing work was grated. I agree with you completely but believe that the homeowner must firstly enjoy the project than consider it a chore to clear. It took me two years to plan, budget, design, schedule and source for contractor and looking back now I'm glad I did not rush into things. I searched through forums to pick up tips including Renotalk. One particular useful tip was to self write and establish a detail contract / agreement which I based on the renovation association's standard contract. More than 6 months into the works, I appreciate a written agreement as often my contractor and I forget what we had first agreed upon. In my built, I remember arguing with my designer / PE to reduce and relocate columns for astatic reasons. Positioning skylight to illuminate my stairwell / glass lift. Providing power supply for all bedroom windows for the provision of power curtain and roller blinds and even installing roller shutters to all glass windows and doors at ground floor. I also also learned on the fly that My built that I could confidently tell my contractor not to install a water tank or pump for my additional floor as my DIY experiment of hooking up a rubber hose to tap water supply from ground level water supply and bringing it to top level provided me answer on top floor water pressure. Frequent site visits also helped communication and reduce the chances of built deviation from design. All in all, my experience was positive with a very reasonable and honorable contractor. Till date I've only exceeded budget by $5k and a little longer than agree to build. That is when I can choose not to exercise my agreement's LD clause with a $2.5k / wk LD charge written in my renovation agreement when my contractor's overall workmanship and cost remaining within my requirements and expectation.
  13. Hi All, I'm near the completion for my Reconstruction program an am looking to do up the garden in my Semi-D, Landscape land area should be about 2000sqft after taking away building and driveway. Any good Landscape / Plants supplier to recommend in SG? Anyway to get supply from Malaysia? I hear tough Ava rules that deter. True? Anyone with experience to share?
  14. Thank all for providing me valuable information for consideration. I have finally gotten approval from URA for Recon instead of A&A due to bother line GFA increments and have decided on the builder to erect a 3rd storey for my existing 2 storey semi-d. The agreed cost of build came to 600k excluding submissions, architect cost, PE cost & Aircon for a complete make over for the entire house.
  15. I was asked by my designer to top up $3k in Architectural fees as URA advice to convert my A&A application into recon due to bother line additional GFA increase. Is it reasonable? I was told that there is more drawing and details to be submitted to authorities for recon over a&a to justify for more service fees. Can anyone advice me?