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kovan4us last won the day on November 20 2016

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About kovan4us

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    Interior Design / Architecture, Home Appliances, Home Maintenance

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  1. It is quite flexible. There are 'holes' along the outside rails for your to insert hangers. You can put in 10 of those. However, once you use the hangers, the 2 outer poles are useless. The 2 poles in the middle can come off the holder so as to fit large item like bed sheet. Also, you can extend the poles if you have space on either sides. All in all, good for maybe 20 pieces of clothes? Installation is quite straight forward. You just need to make sure there is an electrical point for them to connect to.
  2. "Almost Perfect" Laundry System Part 2 -- The Performance and Process Performance -- Front-Load vs Top-Load Front-load is better. We had been using top-load all these years and now we knew why those who use front-load swears by it. The clothing comes out much much less wrinkled. Performance -- Dryer for extra straightening effect. When you combine it with a dryer, the result is even better. This is because the heat from dyer straightens the clothes further. Is it not good enough to wear? Ok, this white school shirt may not look that good on photo, but this is so much better than what's coming from a top-load (I did take a picture but just couldn't find it). And trust me, it is good enough to wear to school already. After you put it on, 5 minutes later, they all look like this right? The "Perfect Laundry Process" Washer --> Dryer --> EZ Bella for assistance to put them on hangers --> Wardrobe There! If you still don't think it is awesome, just think about it: No more laundry racks of any kind around. No more clothing out to dry. No more messy and wet laundry area. And the most awesome -- no more ironing! Is it not the perfect system? Perfect System Ruined "You need to iron my shirt, it's a little crumpled. I put it in the laundry basket." "Ok. But why are the rest of the clothes here?" "Well, since you are ironing, might as well do it all." What??!! She couldn't stand it that I was out of the picture with this Perfect Laundry Process, she had to create some excuses to make me do work. The process is perfect. It's just ruined by pure, unadulterated jealousy.
  3. "Almost Perfect" Laundry System, Part 1 -- The Gadgets Miele, by accident It was mid September, 2015, just a month after placing our option to purchase for the new apartment. Although we had been browsing the kitchen section of Harvey Norman's, Best, Gain City... we knew we were not in a hurry. Where to put them if we do buy? Then we saw the ad for warehouse sale for Miele. We had never notice Miele and decided to go take a look at what they had to offer. We reached the sale location at around 11am. Almost half of the items, mostly demos and showroom sets, were gone! Even after the price reduction, they still cost more than a brand new set of other brands. However, my wife was mesmerised by this: She said it just felt right. I was pretty angry actually, I had wanted her to get a front-load and she resisted. Now, just like that, in mere seconds, she's converted. I, on the other hand was busy being mesmerised by this: Specifically, this: I did not expect to find this many ticks on... a dryer. I also couldn't recall if I had any appliance that spots so many ticks. I want this! They looked really good stacked together. We hesitated because we had not own a Miele before and the price, even after 60% discount, was still 50% more than what we had budgeted for. For warehouse sales like this, it would be best you come prepared. We were discussing, all the time standing right in front of the set we were interested in, a lady walked in and bought it. We ended up waiting for almost an hour before getting confirmation that someone was letting go a reserved set. -------------------------------- The dryer uses a heat pump technology: heat is returned to the unit unlike conventional vented or condenser type and therefore more efficient in energy consumption. Another thing to look out for is whether it comes with a drain pipe. Since our units are stacked, we could connect the drain pipes of washer and dryer to the same outlet. This way, you don't have to clear the water tray. ----------------------------------- ** Also bought an oven. Couldn't help it. It is built like a bank vault. Door is heavy. So solid... EZ Living We had one of the pull down and out system before. My wife instantly recognised the same salesman, Jeff. This time, we got the EZ bella S5. All the pieces were in. Next, the perfect process.
  4. Hi Stream, It's Geberit... sorry about the spelling mistake. Good question about the pipes... I did kinda ask, but no one seemed to want to do it. Maybe because we are not allowed to conceal them? As for the aircon, here's a pic from on of the bedroom. We shifted the aircon for these 2 bedroom to the top of the doors. The other room's pipe went through the wall to this bedroom. So, unfortunately, this bedroom gets the ugly trunking, mostly near this area. The rest of the way is somewhat flushed with the wall, so it is not too bad. Anyway, there will be shelving here. The living room set is moved so that the trunking can goes through the wall into master bedroom. We had carpentry done to somewhat conceals it too. For two of the aircon (living room, the further bedroom), the distance to the compressor is drastically reduced. I believe it had an effect on the delivery of cold air. In the living room, with aircon set to 25C and fan on, it gets cold very quickly.
  5. Hi Changbp, Nailing is cheaper and also faster. Doing so would let them finish 3 bedrooms in 2 days. Glue is definitely more work, I think. But my main gripe about it is that the flooring system comes complete: clip for flooring and clip for skirting... It's a system, and they choose to do their way. haizzz... sell "European" look and deliver "Asian" workmanship.
  6. Hi JohnJohn, Get a front load, it is more gentle on your clothing. Brand wise it should not matter much. I am using Miele, bought during their warehouse sale. I will be writing a piece on my laundry system: washer, dryer and auto-hangers. I love it because my laundry area is practically free of clothing.
  7. Neufloor Update and Verdict It's been a month since the touched up. I believed that's enough time for me to calm down. Trip to Showroom Before the Neufloor guys come down to fix the problems, we went down to their showroom in Guillemard Road. The salesman explained the product and gave us a demo: lighting it on fire and scratching it with a coin. I examined the system and got a better idea how to put the system work. Fix-it team The same two guys came down. Found out the supervisor's name was Q? or sounded like it. He didn't seem to want to let us know. He also said that the first guy who came down was Andy, his GM. At this point, I didn't know if I could believe his words. How to install skirting If you don't already know, these days, the vinyl floorings are mostly using clip-on: easier, faster. In the showroom, the skirting, or side board was also clip-on. Something similar to this: I didn't had the chance to take photos while the salesman was explaining it to me in the showroom. In the case of Neufloor, the metal clip was nailed to the floor. Then the skirting board was pressed down onto it. In either system, no nails will show. Not like this: Then they had to cover the nails with coloured silicon. It was so badly done it was like screaming out to me, "check me out! Nail inside!" An Unforgettable Conversation When asked, the supervisor replied: "We only do that (the clip-on for skirting) in Europe. We don't do that in Asia." Then why did the showroom use the clip-on? "That was wrong. We told the salesman already." You had a clip-on system for floor tiles. You also had a clip-on system for skirting. Can't you see that someone had already thought of the installation process and designed the system, why didn't you just follow it?? "It's like that one, we don't do it in Asia." .... "We have done hundreds of houses in Singapore. All like that one." ... "Really, we have done HUNDREDS of houses in Singapore..." After the third time he mentioned it, I shut up. There was an epiphany... I should not be angry with him. Instead, I should be angry with YOU... The hundreds of YOU who had done it before me. If enough of YOU had spotted it: the nails, the sharp and uneven corners, the mis-matched colour between the floor tiles, gap-fillers and skirting... then the less I had to deal with it. It's like passing the problems on and on... They did tried their best I was sure they did. They got hold of some of my boxes to weight the tiles down in places, tried to use razor blades to smoothen the corners... By then, I had given up. Because without the right techniques and tools, there was no way they could fix the problems. European Standard vs Asian Standard Macbook vs Acer/Asus/Lenovo... When I mentioned this incident to my brother. He had the same experience when his condo in China was being renovated. "We are not up to the European standard and renovation workmanship in China is not quite up to our standard." He had to show the workers there pictures of how things are done here. Even then, they didn't know how to do it -- no expertise, no tools. Conclusion Material wise, it was good: comfortable to walk on and none of the 'stickiness' on a hot day when your feet are a little damped. Conceals dirt pretty well too. However, I could not condone the bad workmanship and equally bad excuses. Verdict: Avoid.
  8. Home WiFi Woe Update 3 -- Woe no more! I showed off the dual router setup to my wife and she shot me a thoughtful question: "Really? One more power eating thing?" Hmm... ok then. SingTel to the rescue! I called up SingTel to see if there's something they could offer. After hearing my wifi problem with the modem, the customer service officer did a line test - there were some error packets! "It does seems like there is a problem with the line or modem. We will schedule an engineer to do a modem swap." New Modem Are Dual Band: Aztech FG7003GRV(AC)-J With the new router in the same position, I did a quick test on just 5Ghz band: Aztech vs Dlink 868L Living Room - 134Mbps vs 139Mbps Bedroom 1 - 84Mbps vs 112Mbps Kitchen - 42Mbps vs 58Mbps Dlink is marginally better but hey, Aztech comes free! Connection Dropped! After just two days, complaints mounted. Moving from room to room, connection dropped. Sight... another call to SingTel. This time round, it was a bit more difficult to convince the customer service agent. Nevertheless, she reluctantly agreed to get an engineer to come and have a look. Signal Strength vs Download Speed The SingTel engineer armed with Xirrus Wifi Inspector, me armed with Speedtect.com. I told him about the connection drop and he told me to use 2.4Ghz instead. That's right, there are articles online touting the same thing: if you are far from the router, use 2.4Ghz because the signal travels further. The SingTel engineer showed me the measurement on Xirrus: 2.4Ghz had twice the strength of 5Ghz. I showed him the measurement on speedtest: 5Ghz had 10x the download speed of 2.4Ghz. 5Mbps vs 50Mbps -- which one would you choose? He relented and asked me, "so what do you want me to do?" "Ok, can we try another modem? If the problem persist, I will resort to my dual modem setup." No two modems are alike! The second modem fared worse: it look longer to connect to the internet and the wifi speed immediately started off with just 5Mbps of connection speed before slowly rising to full 100Mbps. The SingTel engineer went downstairs and brought up another modem. Third time a charm This modem was blazing fast: fast to connect to the internet and almost as fast on wifi vs Dlink: Living Room - 142Mbps vs 139Mbps Room 1 - 98Mbps vs 112Mbps Kitchen - 58Mbps vs 58Mbps As of the time of writing this article, it has been operational for more than five days. No more complaints. Case closed.
  9. Kitchen -- Pantry Table We spent many hours arguing about what should be used to separate the cooking area and pantry: should it be a counter, bar top or table? Doing an extension of the kitchen counter or adding a bar counter would be the easiest decision. However, both are not very useful. A counter (extension of the kitchen top), makes it hard to find a suitable chair, whereas bar top (bar counter) though looks nice, it is quite useless. Hehe, sorry people, there was a time where bar counter was so popular, we had done it, my brothers, in-laws... all did it. As soon as it was completed, nobody uses it: bar-top surface is too small and bar stools are uncomfortable. European Design Ideas Inspiration came from EuroCucina 2015 -- most of the designers went for a conventional table. This was what we had in mind: Yep, a table would be 100% useful. Easy to find chairs too! And so we did it: Sure... the legs could be something sexier like these: but I don't know where to find someone who would do power coated steel table legs. Anyway, we were just too happy that our carpenter agreed to do what we asked for: On a typical day, it sits two: breakfast or a quick bowl of instant noodles during supper time. Other days, if need be, all four of us can still fit in: And if my wife so decides to finally take out her Kitchenaid after ten years in storage, she will have no more excuse that there's no space for weighing scale, measuring cups and a whole collection of baking pans of various sizes. Because the table can be morphed into an island... 1000% useful! And it was my wife who thought of it. Well done wife!
  10. TV Mount -- LG LSW400BG Three types of mount in the market: Fixed, Tilt and Full Motion Correspondingly S, M & L -- size of the mount, weight and thickness. I picked the LG mount because it was exactly what I had wanted: Slim And just enough tilting motion up/down and left/right for access and in case there's unwanted reflections. Mine is a 55inch Sharp. As long as the TV comes with a Vesa mount, 400x400mm, it should fit.
  11. Home Wifi Woes Update 2 - Dual router setup Left over food for dinner -- ok. Messy house -- ok. No lights, no fan in the room -- ok. Everything is OK as long as wifi is working. Problem with Wifi Repeaters I had a Powerline repeater in one bedroom and a wifi repeater on the other. If you start to move around, your session can easily get dropped. This is because even when your laptop switches to a stronger repeater, the session will not be handled over. It may mean you have to reset the connection. Matter is much worse if you are in between your wifi modem and repeaters. Internet is not working! Few days into setting up the repeaters, complains mounted and they simply switched the repeaters off. One night, after another round of complaints, I decided to make some changes. Dual router -- one to face SingTel and the other to broadcast wifi Overkill? Yep, but doing this actually solved two problems: 1. Keeping the SingTel modem to face the internet makes it easy for SingTel customer service to conduct tests. 2. Keeping the SingTel modem near all my Ethernet connected devices will mean less unsightly cables on the outside. With the Wifi router outside, dead center of the house, time for another round of test. New Wifi Router -- Dlink 868L. For this test, I decided to keep both routers side-by-side. Connecting to http://www.speedtest.com.sg/. Mine is a 200Mbps plan. Living Room, 5ft away from router, unblocked. 77.68Mbps - SingTel Modem 87.16Mbps - Dlink 2.4G 139.67Mbps - Dlink 5G Bedroom 1, 15 ft away, room door in between. 14.28Mbps - SingTel Modem 81.33Mbps - Dlink 2.4G 112.57Mbps - Dlink 5G Kitchen, 20-25ft away, 2 walls, next to a fridge, washing machine and dryer. 5.51Mbps - SingTel Modem 11.83Mbps - Dlink 2.4G 58.56Mbps - Dlink 5G Wahaaaa!!! I cannot contained my joy! 58Mbps at the furthest end was totally unexpected even though no one would be using wifi in that spot. Ok, one more test to see if my theory is correct: broadcasting ONLY 5G will yield better results. Living room -- 148Mbps (better by 9Mbps) Bedroom 1 -- 93Mbps (less by 9Mbps) Kitchen -- 72Mbps (better by 14Mbps) Mixed results. Improvement is marginal. Nevertheless, less radio waves moving around is better right? So I turned off the 2.4Ghz on the routers until...we need to print. Yep, printers don't support 5Ghz.
  12. Kitchen Basin - Top-mount or Under-mount? Under-mount of course! Ok, we initially agreed on top-mounting because it would be easier to replace. Also the previous owner's under-mount sink had so much stained in the joint between the counter and the sink we thought we had better avoid it. There's so much debate on this forum already and I shall not repeat the good and bad of both. What should we do? Luckily, we had our carpenter to rely on. "Leave it up to us." said Mr Chua. Now that we have used it for three months. Let's take a look: Under-mount - for the look and the convenience of pushing whatever leftover on the counter top directly into the sink! Top view The quartz top just hovers a little bit over the sink. This was done so that water would not easily get trapped and stained the silicon seal. It worked very well and we don't really have to bother much with it. It's so good to have an experienced carpenter on your side.
  13. Plumbing Part 2 -- Fixing the basins and pipes The company that my ID engaged for doing the plumbing work was quite a big company. So I requested for a different group to come down to fix the issues. They sent down a guy called Ah Meng, late 30s? He worked alone and fixed the tilted washbasin in the common toilet. He also put in valves (mistakenly called them switches) below the washbasins and shower heads. Something I thought was a standard but then they made you ask for it. ----------------------- All cold water pipes leading to faucets SHOULD be fitted with a valve. If not, when you need to change the faucet or when it breaks, you will have to run outside to switch off the main supply to the entire house. Hot water pipes only requires a single on/off valve next to the exit point on the hot water tank. ----------------------- At the same time, he also helped to put in the rest of the racks and hooks to the wall. All went well without a hitch. A second group came later in the week to change the pipes. Before After Other than just look 'nicer' it also fixed another issue: Hot water pipes should be at the bottom and on the inside for safety reason. How do I know this? The bunch that installed it told me. And yet, they still installed it with the hot water pipe running 'outside' (see the Before pic). This second group was also a bunch of young guys but they did a much better job.