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About meeko

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    Alan Design
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  1. Love what you've done with your space. Just goes to show that grey need not be "cold", if themed right with other interesting textures and clever pops of color! I'm also a fan of the lemon grass scent thingy
  2. Wise words, Retchlow. I've also indirectly been in the service industry for the last 10 years or so. I can relate to customers and their demands. I think, at the end of the day, a little bit of courtesy never kills y'know? But true what you said about the internet. Sometimes it's best to just pull up a ring side seat and sit back with a box of popcorn- yum, Garrett's, no less. I chope the macadamia mix I know, from your blog that you have furkids, and I totally get what you mean about them being spots of sunlight in an otherwise sometimes dismal reality. I have 2 cats myself. Would love to keep a big dog, but not sure if my current schedule would allow for that level of commitment. Maybe one day....
  3. Hi Retchlow! I think your house has plenty of character, without seeming "much", if you know what I mean. I think the Scandinavian tone is there, but you've added your own personal signature to it. Which is the exact right thing to do! It is a home that you are living in, after all. I think your home looks cool- wouldn't mind it myself Yeah, haters are always gonna hate. Sad isn't it? It's not so much the fact that they seem to enjoy the misery and the commiseration part so much. I do get that they're upset and want to have things done well. But it really irks me to see how some react to a different view or experience. It's like they're missing the forest for a tree. If Alan hadn't done SOME good in his career as a contractor, what the **** influenced all of them to engage him in the first place? Pretty sure he didn't threaten them with a measuring tape to the neck or a drill to the head, in order to get them to sign with him Ah well, life has taught me to keep well away from these negative types. Nothing ever good comes out of it. Yeap, the whole reno process was not flawless. As mentioned, there were a few bumps in the road. But I guess, like you, I chose to remain calm and positive, and made sure that Alan knew that I totally believed in his ability to deliver. I guess certain things like the laziness of his sub cons, can't be helped. Of course, one might argue that it is his job to check on them regularly. But my view is that it is MY home, so if I want everything done the way I want, then some of the responsibility should rest with me too. I drove down at least every other day to inspect the works. And immediately communicated any dissatisfaction to Alan. I guess, to a certain extent, it made his job somewhat easier as he was juggling several projects at the time. To give him credit, he never once lost his temper or raised his voice- and I can be pretty persistent (or as hubby puts it, annoying ). Surprisingly, up til today, I have not had the need to call him or his guys up to do any major rectification. Thankful for that. And you sound like a really happy, positive person! Exactly my kind! And looking at the pics of your home, it kinda reflects that you know? Your home looks like a happy place Anyway thanks for the support. I totally look forward to hearing from you again! Til then, have a fabulous weekend ahead!
  4. Thought I'd just post a few more tiny pics before calling it a day. Common bathroom: this is the guest bathroom, which is also used by hubby and our little one. It's a comfortable size, with a good sized shower area. We chose a darker theme for this bathroom as we wanted a more "masculine" feel to it. The shower shelves you see in the shower area was originally a weird, cut in space. We got Alan to get his tilers to create concrete shelves to use to put our shampoos and what not. We also relocated the shower to be on the same side as the WC, separated by a shower wall.
  5. Hi Songz! Thanks! Ya lor, been posting pics using my phone and imageshack. Can't seem to post using the interface on my laptop. Can't even cut and paste for some reason. Not even text! Please excuse the tiny pics! Hope someone can help me figure out how to post pics correctly soon. Anyway, back to your question about my water fountain. Bought it quite a few years back from IMM. Think the shop was called Zen Tradition (?). It was actually in my previous home as well, which was more of a Balinese resort style. We bought 2 at the time. This was the larger of the two. Unfortunately for us, the smaller one of almost the same design, broke when we were renovating our flat 5 years ago. Very heart pain! If I remember right, the larger one cost me about $500 and the smaller one $300. I think they might have some newer designs at the shop. Saw a couple when we were shopping for house stuff last year. Hope this helps! And thanks for dropping by!
  6. A "hot" area- the kitchen! Really love being in my kitchen. It's breezy and has a clean feel to it. Think that's pretty essential from a food preparation perspective.
  7. My antique Chinese fish carving, which hangs on one of the dining area walls.
  8. A shot in the day time of the living area: Dining area: Close up shot of my dining table, custom made and shipped direct from India:
  9. Finally managed to wrestle some free time out of my schedule to sit down and do some serious writing. And when I say "serious", I mean "serious"! Lol. Promised that I would give my (and by extension, my hubby's) take on my whole reno process. I'm sure that there are quite a few people out there who are currently searching for their dream ID/ contractor at the lowest possible cost and best possible workmanship. Well, as mentioned in my earlier post, we engaged a contractor- Alan from Alan Design- to renovate our home. To summarise, we chose him instead of the other guy (ID) because he seemed honest, sincere and gave us a really competitive initial quote for the same amount of work required on our new home. He came across as pretty patient as well because I made him amend his quotation several times and sent my queries about details before we even agreed to confirm him. It also helped that he had good reviews on a few other reno blogs in this forum. From the start, we had decided that we didn't need or want any built in shoe cabinet, TV feature wall or consoles. Our theme was a pretty strong one and we felt that it should be able to stand on its own two feet so to speak. I'm also the type who enjoys moving stuff around once in a while to freshen up the look in my home. So basically, no fixtures. The only fixtures we required were the lights, bathroom accessories and WC plus other bathroom fixtures, our bedroom wardrobes, and kitchen cabinets. What we really paid for were things like our new marble flooring for the living/ dining area, tiling work, paint work, electrical, basic carpentry. Working with Alan was quite a smooth process. As with any renovation, we had our share of minor and major hiccups. Minor to us were things like the plumber installing the heater the wrong way (rectified within a day or so), while the major boo-boos include the electrician forgetting to install certain points and the plumber drilling a hole in our newly tiled bathroom then patching it up with putty when he realised it was in the wrong place (both were immediately rectified the next day. Alan had his tiling guy come back and re-tile the affected areas). Other than that, we hadn't much to complain about. Everything went more or less according to schedule with no noticeable delays. In fact, I think we would have had the handover sooner if not for the various restrictions imposed by my condo management. So working hours for the sub cons were limited. Communication with Alan was mostly via phone. I must be honest and say that he's not the type of contractor who is super hands on and who will come by your place everyday just to check on progress. He did pop by a couple of times of his own accord. At times it was also because we requested to meet him to sort out certain details. Initially he came across as quite a reserved, brisk type of person. But as the reno progressed, and we started chatting more, hubby and I realised that he was quite a warm person and could crack a few jokes himself. He also responded to all my messages and calls, if not immediately, then at least within the same day. Now comes the important part (at least to me ). His after sales attitude, quality of workmanship and service. It's been 5 months or so since we moved in. About 4 months since we gave him the final payment. First, his after sales service. So far, I've only had cause to contact him 3 times. The first was when my bathroom shower system started dripping. He arranged for the plumbers to come down the very next day, and they changed some parts at no cost to me. The second was when my built in oven tripped and then gave off a burning smell. He didn't hesitate to send his electrical guys right away. After some investigation, we discovered that it was actually a fault with the oven itself and not the electrical works. The third time was when one of my LED bathroom lights stopped working. Again, Alan got his electrician to come down. It turned out to be caused by the driver, which we had to change at the light shop. This only took place early this month so I'd say that Alan has lived up to his promise to guarantee his work for at least a year after the handover. We're pretty happy and reassured that he has honoured his word. As far as his workmanship is concerned, all I can say is that we haven't experienced any leaks, malfunctions or have had tiles or fixtures drop down yet *touch wood* All our carpentry work still look solid, hinges have not fallen off, drawers are still smooth. Basically everything is working as it should. For that, we are thankful to Alan and his team of specialists. All in all, I must say that we are happy with the overall reno process and results. The final bill didn't put a shocking damper to our moving in euphoria, and we discovered that Alan actually was happy to not charge us for some miscellaneous work. Like he always use to say, in business, there's always a give and take. For those who are shopping around for a contractor at this point or even in the future, yes, I would engage Alan again for any future renovations that I may require. You are bound to find some unhappy or unsatisfied customers out there. But I'm one of the happy ones. I doubt it has anything to do with luck like some might assume. Perhaps it's just a matter of chemistry and mutual understanding. In any business transaction, there must be a certain level of communication and trust for expectations to be fulfilled. This is just my personal journey and opinion. So to all those who just purchased your new dream home, good luck with the search and I hope you enjoy the process of creating your ideal home! By the way, to all those sceptics out there: No, I'm not remotely related to Alan (unless we are somehow related via my Chinese roots and have far flung ancestors who came from the same village in China like 1007 years back). And no, I'm also not Alan himself trying to boost his reputation by creating a phony blog. Anyone who has bothered to speak to the fella himself will instinctively know that we "speak" in very different styles. I am just a satisfied customer who believes in stating what is. Thank you. Next up, the rest of the house tour!
  10. Hi Retchlow! Happy to hear that you're loving your new home It looks really great! Stylish yet cosy. Love your Christmas decor!
  11. Hey Retchlow. I agree with you on that. To the rest, good luck on your reno. Kthxbye!
  12. Hi Ime. Didn't mean to make a sweeping statement about those who have had bad experiences. I understand that no one would willingly engage a contractor, knowing that they were going in for a rough ride. I certainly wouldn't have. However, it would seem that some people are not as happy to hear that there are possibly a minority who have had better or even good experiences with the same person. Being told to get the **** out of a forum just because opinions or experiences differ, to me, is uncalled for. I was reacting to that, rather than to the rest of the other members' experiences. I have no doubt that every single one who have posted complaints, have valid reasons to do so. I respect that. But everyone deserves the truth heard about them- Alan included. Mine was a good experience and I can't lie about it. Yours is a bad one and you are stating it as it is. If asked why our experiences differ- my answer would be to ask Alan, because I honestly haven't a clue. It should be kept as simple as that no? A review of a particular contractor's service quality and performance.
  13. Makanology, I can see that you've been really badly affected by your experiences. Sorry to hear that. I was just offering my own opinion, based on my personal experiences. If you think it's meant to gloat at your and the other unhappy customers' misfortune or annoy you, then you're mistaken. I didn't realise that this page is only meant for "Alan Haters". While I'd love to be able to agree with the majority (as it seems), my conscience would not allow for it. To all those who have or are still going through difficult reno processes, my sincere best wishes. I hope that you get what you hope for and have your expectations met as best as possible. Thanks and good fortune to all for the year of the horse.
  14. By the way, when I mentioned less than100k in my previous post, I meant that that was the final figure I paid. Not the initial quote. Found that he was quite easy going with the costing, closing eye here and there for minor jobs. Which my hubby and I truly appreciated. That's why I was quite surprised to read of so many negative feedback in recent months.
  15. Hi Takaishi. I doubt my budget would be considered a big one by any ID or contractor (it was below 100k). My home is a 1272sqft 3 bedder condo. Didn't do anything really complicated in terms of built in carpentry. The major areas would include new marble flooring for the living and dining, carpentry for my kitchen and wardrobes. Tiling for the bathrooms etc. the rest would be the standard painting and electrical. The main reason we chose to work with Alan on our reno was his really competitive pricing (I find that he's quite transparent pricing and cost wise- no hidden costs). We also followed a few reno blogs where he was the contractor and heard about his workmanship. So far, no complaints. Really don't know what has caused the difference in experience. Perhaps he is stressed by many ongoing projects?