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Posts posted by rapala1982

  1. This post i will be focusing on all my purchases from Taobao..extremely easy to get hooked but nonetheless, saving are quite a plenty provided you find the cheapest deals from taobao and your freight agent is cheap. My total spending on Taobao was around $2000+ which includes tons of stainless steel, wooden items, all my Led lights, toilet accessories, kitchen accessories, miscellaneous items like rugs, hooks, tapes etc. I will try to break them down a bit to let newbies have a rough idea how much it would cost and what to get.

    Almost everything can be bought from taobao but i read up on toilet vanity issues and washing basin issues of cracking etc. thus i skipped anything that is easily broken and go straight to stainless steel and wood. but one thing for sure was to try my luck on getting Led lights from taobao and cross my fingers. i have seen same LED lights that cost $20 maybe $30 at most with shipping etc from taobao as compared to $200 dollars light in singapore. savings 50%>. in the end as advised from fellow reno members. get items whereby you can get the most bang out of your bucks like 50%> savings.

    Please note that  in singapore all these may have cost $4000+ at the very least. one set of stainless set cost maybe around 40+ bucks in taobao, drop by hoe kee etc and set yourself at $200-$300 per set. Please do venture and explore taobao, just don't get things that cost $400 here and $300 at taobao. 

    Google 65daigou or peeka guide now! have fun. item that you should get from taobao to maximas savings.

    1. shower set stainless steel
    2. basin taps and kitchen faucet
    3. toilet stainless steel accessories
    4. LED lights
    5. solid wooden planks
    6. solid wood coffee tables
    7. kitchen stainless steel accessories like spice rack etc etc
    8. toilet mirror cabinet
    9. chandelier

    Following are just a few of the items which i have gotten from taobao. Been a couple of hit and misses but over still a pretty good experience. item which are a miss can be easily sold at carousell to reduce damages. Cheers.


  2. Following are some of my purchases for my new flat. Some have already been purchased for a year plus as i am renting a unit from HDB prior receiving my BTO. I will write up some basic reviews on the item purchased and price if i can remember. I will also provide the place and person to look for cheaper deals etc etc. 

    If you realise, i decided to go for all electrical set up for my kitchen. no running of pipes no gas no nothing. every month i believe i will only see electrical bills and nothing on gas unless leaking...

    Note that Hoe kee sales by the name of Qing is very very well experience and practical in her explanation. young but very patience with all the recommendation. plenty of my stuff are secured with her with additional discounts.

    Sony 2013 flag ship TV 55hx955. I got it free from my from my cousin as he is upgrading his TV so yeah, just grab it before he decided otherwise. He personally send it over to my place and **** the tv is a massive and i would say if it ain't broke, i can definitely live with this sony tv. Everything is working flawlessly 


    R-VG690P3MS Hitachi Fridge from HN Suntec, got it at offer around 1200 with free rice cooker. as i have mentioned, my wife loves to cook and frankly speaking there are times that it is really filled up with food. overall good fridge and very very silent.


    Brandt TI607BU1. two zone hob at 16amp which is still reasonable but don't overload it. Remember that HDB is 13amp and try to get appliances at 13amp. you have the check, don't blindly listen to what the sales tells you. some european appliances using 20+amp. you will trip your home. everytime you switch it on. 


    brandt oven fe1011xs, most basic of brandt range of built in oven. no catalytic no nothing advance..i am pretty prepared to do cleaning every now and then. got the budget get other range that maybe cost 2000+ for catalytic. if going for pizzas, cakes, occasionally chickens etc. this will work pretty fine. 


    Samsung ecobubble washing machine WW80H5400EW/SP. my first ever front load washing machine. washes clothes really clean as what most people recommended. try to get 8 kg and above. i initially got 7kg and luckily manage to change it to 8kg with free vacuum cleaner. Got it at 899 from courts and sold the vacuum cleaner at $160 so around 739 which is quite alright.


    Panasonic NN-DF383B microwave oven with grill and bake features. study a lot on microwave before i got it at $369 courts and panasonic microwave doesn't fails. works excellently and works wonder like defroze, normal microwave, bake cake, pizza, grill etc. amazing piece of machine but very hard to clean as some parts couldn't be removed. 


    Blanco pleon 8 - one huge silgranite kitchen basin, main reason is easy to clean as only one huge area.


    Joven 35L HE - after so much comparison with gas heater and storage heater, i decided to go for storage heater for instant hot water without waiting and without wastage of water.


    Mitsubishi Heavy Industrial system 3. I will be placing a fan in my living room and due to the higher level which i am in couple with an unblocked view. i decided to skip the system 4 and save more money on other stuff. good saving with 4 ticks. got it from fellow air con group buy tim. 


    Fujioh FS-700/890 made in japan and fits my specification of my length and width of my hob. i think this hood is a monster..


    KDK ceiling fan R48SP. wanted a reputation brand and kdk...enough said. 48inches, small enough and powerful for a living room fan as i placing it in the middle between my lights. got it from hoe kee!


  3. Renovation ID Selection  :)

    Its finally time for the daunting ID selection process which really drained my life's energy through the weeks. my requirements was minimal with renovation involving flooring, master bedroom cupboard, kitchen full top and bottom both side, windows grilles, tv console, Quarts Table the rest are pretty much the basic stuff like piping, toilet accessories and electrical etc.

    Newbies Guide - Try to meet up at less 5 IDs and seek different views on your desired ideas and requirements. Everytime I pick up one of two ideas from each IDs. Once you combined everything together, you are good to go for the one and only IDs which you have shortlisted and have a final quotation.  

    In the end after meeting up with all the IDs, i manage to conclude my renovation and remove items like overlay toilet, false ceiling, downlights etc, yeah i actually did remove my false ceiling for downlights. not an easy choice due to the cost, i choose to get better ceiling lights.

    After meeting up with a couple of IDs, you will start to understand that almost every item they place will have a profit margin like 10%-15%. You have to be very opened to the concept and speak your mind with your IDs. They need to make a living and you need to make savings so don't make too extreme comparison with other IDs to start a price war. the most important i believe is trust, transparency, rapport, details of the quotation and of cause usual market rate. 

    Newbies - You HAVE to visit at least one of your ID's project! nothing beats the real thing. My id has no compliant and happy to arrange with his client - This is a fully handed over project with owners living in it.
    . Try to keep it at one renovation forum for free quotation, you have no idea how many people will be calling and emailing you. emailing still can handle but the calls are crazy!!!

    D****G Interior Design
    Cheapest Quotation i have received online by far at $16000/- after their in house discount. Meet up with the ID Z and I think the ID was kinda young and inexperience but manage to get another more detailed quotation at $23000/-. So far the cheapest in doing homo tiles and cement screed i have come across. Didn't have a good feeling with the ID but still short list and may find another ID within the firm with more experience if deems fit.

    I*****S Interior Design Pte Ltd
    this place is freaking ulu, if you don't drive or ride, don't bother coming to this place as it is really way into private housing estate. Meet up with lady S, nice showroom and nice walkthrough with the materials etc. Sat down and had a fruitful discussion. Very friendly ID, asking about family members, childrens, requirements etc. Quotation was $30000/- and i couldn't take anything from her unless i sign her up. not very flexible thus left the place and strike her off. I think she good for huge renovation budget.

    A* C****** Design Pte Ltd

    Meet up with ID E 2 times and he was very persistent in his proposal, Pricing seems to be marked up high and low on some items. Makes it very deceiving to a newbie with no experience in renovation. He was always running back and forth to check with his colleagues which is kinda disturbing. in the end strike him.

    Renotalk members recommendations and self source

    T**** S*** Interior Design
    Quite active in the forums, giving recommendation and views and ideas. decided to PM him and gotten his contact to meet him up on my renovation requirements. Very experience guy, by far a extremely detailed quotation HAND WRITTEN on a4 size paper. Everything add up to $28000/- which was on the high side but really appreciate how detailed he can be and even throw in free electical if i go beyond $30000/-. imagine a normal electrical cost around 3K 4K..it would be a huge savings. Pricey but still KIV for future reference.

    R******S Interior Design

    Famous ID N from renotalk so got the number from another member. Contacted and meet up with my requirements. Guess it is extremely true what most people have commented, he is blunt blunt blunt, straight to the point and yeah he does have the "huuuuh???" looks when you give him some of your requirements and ideas. His quotation was done on the spot and Total damage was around $25000/-. couldn't find the click like others do so strike him off.

    U****y Interior Design Pte Ltd
    Got the contact from another member, meet up with J and lots of rapport and tons of very good ideas. he had another partner sat down during the discussion and share a lot of views. The discussion lasted 1 hour plus , showing materials, projects on hand etc. Agreed to give me a quotation in a week time but no sound and sight of him, maybe my budget was kinda low. As recommended by renotalk members, if ID dont get back to you, don't bother signing

    O********* Interior Design the one and only ID

    Finally ID K has arrived. I did another intensive search on D****G Interior Design and manage to find some senior IDs working within the firm so decided to hook up with one which seems like a reasonable chap. Send a message and to my surprise, he just left the company and start up on his own with the support from his previous boss. meet up with him and quite a very genuine fellow with quotations and layout planned in advance. Not much hidden agenda within the quotation which i like. Flexible in ideas and my requirements as i might look into individual lobang to save cost. very understanding and very outspoken. 

    Manage to visit one of his handed over project in SK. Had a nice chat with the actual owner to leech out any negative feedback during renovation and was nice to hear that everything was kinda smooth. nothing major or minor that K couldn't handle. Did a visual and physical checks on the doors and floor and cupboards and lights and toilets etc. everything seems to be in order. very tidy and very nice carpentry. Thereafter had another discussion and another review on the quotation. one thing about K is that he is very prompt..very very prompt quotation within a day and highly respectable that his message come in timely everytime. 

    Did manage to meet up another 2 more round before signing on the dotted lines. in the end, i lay it out to him that i will be sourcing a lot of items on my own and he is obliged to be my ID and will do what he can to ensure everything is in order. Will still act as the middle man to my other lobangs but i did promise him to do more referral and he is more than grateful. I am pretty optimistic that he would do pretty well during renovation.

    Updated Review May - very efficient fellow. almost no delays in his replies and always have something planned out after the next after next renovation. so far workmanship has not compliant whatsoever. i would highly recommend him to anyone going through renovation phase and newbie to start off with. I am not speaking highly of him but i can vouch for his experience and efficiency and flexibilities. will do a final review soon!

    Quotation ended at $15000/- by my ID. the following are self source

    Source own cement screed - roughly $2600+ - this is the killer quote as i couldn't wait for hdb to screed due to high waiting period. i need to move in fast.

    Source own vinyl floor with skirting - roughly $4300+

    Source own window grilles - roughly $1200

    Source own timber classic door - roughly $1080 3 pieces

    Source own aircon - roughly 2850+ system 3 3 ticks - discount $120 from MHI yeah!

    Total damage was at around $27000 move in condition

    $5000 - $7000 would be the rest of my items which some are given free by my parents in which i will discuss further in my Tblog. so my total cost is around 32000 - 34000 which is within my budget. just to note i did not apply for any renovation loan...everything in cold hard cash!!!

  4. Finally to start off with my Tblog for my humble abode. Been reading up Renotalk forum for 2 years plus and bless you all for the knowledge i have gained in preparation for this renovation journey for my first flat for my family. :D

    It will be very basic and very simple 4Rm budget of around $30k- $35k all in with electronics, which most are self sourced to save overall cost. If you find any information useful in my Tblog, you can always drop a PM or quick reply. It will be updated periodically as renovation hasn't started so i can't grade my ID just yet as it would be favouritism and plain lying. ;)

    It looks like replies are coming in and fortunately i manage to reserved 9 post for my Tblog thus i will cover everything in the first page of 9 post so all renovation newbies need not click click click and click like i did in the past to leech information from the forum. :P


    Update as of 1st week april - finally gotten my keys from hdb toa payoh.

    1. remember to get your fire license and activation of your gas/electrical/water and you are good to leave the place and start off with your renovation journey.

    Took some photos of the view from my unit. the following is taken from one of my bedroom room. kinda near to the building on the right..lousy design and placement. people can see my masterbedroom from their service yard.well done hdb..force me to get curtains liao..;)


    this one is taken from my service yard. not to bad i got a semi unblock view with wind coming in..maybe my clothes will dry faster...


    this is taken from my living room.one of the better views by far of all my rooms but too bad i can see puggol park pond. 


    • Like 1

  5. hello bro,

    can quote me on V56VK, V60WK and R60VW? i am looking for something with LED to double up as light and short for HDB ceiling height.

    Can you guide me through which one is more worth it, function, cost saving etc?

    Bro changes, looking for Crestar as can fit E27, cheaper. can recommend?

  6. hdb only allow free screed for laminate n vinyl flooring, to get the correct level you wan u need to talk to the hdb screed contractor else they just top up 40mm. if u r doing homogeneous or ceramic tiles ur contractor has to settle the rest for you. i paid 5k+ for homogeneous tiles for living & corridor only + haulage

    Freb, is what you are saying really true about free scrred for laminated flooring? Can chare your appeal letter? wouldnt mind trying it out before i get my unit.

    Thank you very much in advance.