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amirahpaul last won the day on July 12 2019

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About amirahpaul

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  • Renovator Engaged
    Daniel, Ideal House
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  1. Hi everyone, very sorry for not updating our blog for several months -- once work started piling up, it's tough to keep up with many commitments. Our sincere apologies to those who sent us queries -- I guess it won't be very useful for us to reply now as the time lag is several months. However, we're back with a final update because of recent reno matter. We've had trouble sleeping well because of the noisy road next to our bedroom. We didn't change the windows when we renovated because the previous owner's sliding windows were still ok. But two weeks back, we decided to change the bedroom windows to double-glazed, panel windows, which keep out noise more effectively. It worked really well -- noise is down by around 60%. To get the windows changed, we went back to our ID, Daniel from Ideal House. Readers of our blog would recall we had a very good experience with him. He exceeded our expectations this time as well. Firstly, the quote was very reasonable. Secondly, he arranged for the wall around the window frame to be repainted for free, along with some other parts of our wall which needed repainting due to wall seepage (HDB/town council issue -- we've fixed that). Lastly, he remained very helpful in checking our place for other things that needed rectification. We really really appreciate his fantastic service. We've also gotten his permission to post his mobile number here in case you would like to consider him. Daniel's mobile number is 96616034. You can see our detailed review of Daniel here: http://www.renotalk.com/forum/topic/63649-pastels-wood-cats-a-soothing-3-room-flat/?p=834433 Here's a pic of our new windows -- more 'messy' than our original, but much better sound-proofing.
  2. amirahpaul


  3. @Trish, Thanks for the encouraging words. We hope you find your dream flat in the west! Grilles can be customised although for window grilles the ones with patterns are usually more precast moulds. It is very nice to design and live in your own pad. Let us know if there are any ways we can help with info. @jameoz, the dining table is a marble and wood one. Trying to get a bit of old fashioned coffee shop feel. We customised it from Summit House at International Furniture Centre at $800. There was a round version with beautiful legs which we loved. But went for the rectangular as it fit our home design and better use of space. The chairs are extremely solid heavy wood, for $120 per chair ( package) and they are a steal, as we saw several other marble/wood tables like the kind at Ya Kun style, and the chairs were of lesser quality at $200 per chair. These are seriously good chairs. The marble is beautiful too. If you do shop there -- be sure to get the handphone number of the shop owner/sales guy. The shop allows you to select the marble piece of your choice before they mount it onto the table, but setting up the appointment to select the marble is not easy and best to have a way to call the shop owner directly. @Domokun541 and Danmify, PM-ed both of you our ID's contact! @weezersg, soothing and comfy -- yes yes yes... a home is a place of relaxation and it's very quiet here also.
  4. Hi Mellenur, The colour of the study room wall was Seaweed from Dulux. Hi ptqbe, PM-ed you. Hi Nataliecheo -- thanks much -- i checked out castlery, looks cool.
  5. Blackiwi: no problem, it's our pleasure. We have PMed you Daniel's contact. peacejr: Ok all the best with the grilles. For us we chose the thinnest available aluminium grill choice. We thot it looked nicest. The thicker options may be good for security -- if choosing those, the contractor may wish to adjust the grille spacing to take the extra width of the grill into account.
  6. tarzanboy and AnnieOoi, have PMed you. Thanks and all the best for your grilles, peacejr!
  7. Hi Xiaop, PMed you! Tarzanboy, I could not PM you -- not sure if your mailbox is full?
  8. Lesson learnt: Whenever there's a middleman involved, see if it's possible and worthwhile to liaise directly with the source company.
  9. 4. Hau Hau Parquet Our first stop in selecting our flooring was Hafary. We were interested in their water-resistant, wood-like laminate, i.e. the Berry Alloc range. We love wood for how it feels, and looks. But we’ve heard how it’s very costly – we saw the genuine wood range at Hafary and the prices were off the charts for us. Thus, it was about hunting for the best alternative. We also looked at Vinyl planks – they do have a wood-like feel! We still recall our visit to Floorrich. When we reached the entrance, we weren’t sure if the flooring was genuine wood, or Vinyl. It turned out to be Vinyl. That’s how real their planks seem to laypersons like us. After speaking to be very good Floorrich salesperson, we thought our search has ended. He quoted us $6.90 for their click-on vinyl range, which compares very well to the Hafary Berry Alloc selections. They look and feel nicer, in our view. But we were jubilant but didn’t decide on the spot as we wanted to check out another Vinyl range which cost half the price – apparently it’s from a wholesaler. There’s a funny twist to the story. We met with the wholesaler at his run-down industrial warehouse (good sign, since it probably means you aren’t paying for post showroom rentals). Sadly, his vinyl range felt and looked rather plasticky. Interestingly, vinyl was just a side business for his company – they are really in the wood business. We spied lots of wood flooring and planks in his warehouse/office and thought: if his vinyl cost half the market price, might his wood be likewise? It turned out to be true. He quoted us $6.50 for Indonesian parquet, inclusive of laying. The size is similar to what you find in HDB BTO parquet flooring. We found ourselves in a dilemma: the parquet which we love costs less than the vinyl we were all set to buy?! This opened up a totally new option for us: parquet wholesalers. We did some research and decided to visit Hau Hau parquet. We got a similar quote for the same plank size, and decided to pay a bit more for a larger plank. Here’s the breakdown: Our Indonesian teak strips are 12mm (depth) x 95mm (width) x 500-650mm (varied length). Cost psf: $4.50. Glue: $40 x 2 Delivery: $40 Optional skirting: $1.40 per foot Parquet laying: $800 for 2 bedrooms. (HDB 3 rm flat bedrooms) Hau Hau supplies the wood, and helps you engage an external party to lay the parquet. In our case, they helped us engage Mr Lee, who did a fabulous job. Even our ID was impressed. He said the planks were laid very tightly together, especially at the corners. The floor feels very even, and the finishing was gorgeous in our view. Mr Lee is a real pro. We were so happy with his work that we repeatedly offered him a tip. But he flatly refused. My mum joined in to persuade him, and they eventually had some ridiculous shoving match, i.e. she tried shoving him the money and he kept pushing off. It was hilarious, but pretty memorable. We’re very happy with Hau Hau and would recommend them. Their parquet is good, reasonably priced and their salesperson struck us as honest and knowledgeable (she wouldn’t make it as a high-performing salesperson as she’s very matter-of-factly). http://www.hauhauparquet.com/aboutus.asp We enjoy the parquet everyday… really love the feel of it and the warm and natural look. We must add that we take some care in cleaning it and avoiding serious scratches. In case you’re wondering, cats usually don’t scratch parquet. But if they run around lots, they will dig in to stop and leave scratches. Thus, it may not be a good idea to have parquet flooring in their main playing area, i.e. living room in our case.
  10. One of the most draining aspects of renovation is running all over the island to search for suitable items. We were wonderfully helped in this by many recommendations from renotalkers. Here's our chance to add to the collective store of wisdom. We've compiled a list of shops we would heartily recommend, and those we wish to caution others against. Like several others, we were disturbed to encounter companies that treat customers awfully, knowing they are very likely to get away with it. There's just too little ordinary folks like us can do to hold them accountable. On our own, that is. But when we join with many others, the critical mass might get rogue companies to be more responsible. Likewise, excellent service deserves to be better known. Our list is quite long, so we'll post in parts... *Recommended* (1) Second Charm We started our furniture hunt in this shop. The place is like a treasure trove, helmed by the magisterial Sharifah and her excellent assistants. We chanced upon a newly brought-in, but pre-restored sofa set. The curves were very charming, although the wood tone was dull and the age clearly showed. Apparently this was a mid-century piece by Scandinavian company Diethelm. And after some intense discussion and a bit of negotiation, we had purchased our very first furniture items. A 3-seater and an armchair from that set. But we had to wait several weeks while they were restored. The result pleased us – here they are. Some weeks later, we also bought a custom-made school bench. We foresee visiting Second Charm many times in the future. We would strongly recommend Second Charm to others. Sharifah is a straightforward and fair person (although super busy). We also interacted much with Hasli who is knowledgeable about wood furniture and an incredibly nice person. Incidentally, our sofa was ready before we could move in – we found ourselves in a bit of a fix. But Sharifah kindly allowed us to collect the furniture only when we’re ready some weeks later, although the sofa took up precious space in her crowded store. This is solid customer service. www.secondcharm.net (2) Kia Meng Trading We were looking to custom make cushions for our sofa, and revarnish our many-decades-old rattan 2-seater (from orange-brown to dark brown). This company is a family business and we liaised with JJ, who seems to be the owner’s son. He was very easy to talk to, and genuinely helpful – happy to put up with our prolonged search for the right colour and fabric at his shop. In the end, he delivered exactly as agreed and we’re happy with the outcome. http://www.kmtrading.com.sg (3) Fotohi Carpet Gallery Massive range of carpets at their shop in Tanjong Katong Complex #03-38. From ultra costly hand-sewn Persians, to more affordable/ modern Belgian machine-made ones. We spent more than an hour poring through dozens upon dozens of carpets, with a very patient salesperson guiding us through the many options. He was passionate and knowledgeable and happily provided an in depth tutorial on carpets (the handmade ones are passed down generations and each are unique), even though he knew we were picking one of the cheaper machine made ones. Our choice is in the photo above.
  11. Study Room Some pictures of our study room. Chose a more vibrant wall colour. The right side of the pictures are bookshelves which are outside the frame. Got a 2m table and a 1.8m table to create a L-shaped table. Restored old rattan 2-seater and lacquered it a dark brown. Posters from society6.com. Before: After: Parquet floor from Hau Hau Parquet:
  12. She is beautiful and that is a super farnie photo... so cute and huggable!