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snoozee

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snoozee last won the day on June 28

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  1. a circular saw is good at doing straight cuts fast. but if you need to do curved cuts, a circular saw can't do it. alternative for you is to get a jigsaw which can do straight cuts (slower than circular saw) and also do curved cuts.
  2. Buy the SLA cadestral map for the house to see where is the actua boundary and whether the grass patch is within your boundary or not. If outside, then have to check with SLA on whether it can be purchased. Building a basement would cost a few hundred k more in construction cost. Make sure you have the budget first. buy the PUB SIP and DIP plans to see if there’s and sewer running through your house and whether your house affected by drainage reserves then you can decide on where to place the basement. the front drain in front if it’s outside your boundary, you can cover it up at your own cost subject to authorities approval. But why waste this money? Unless you have a problem building a driveway, then just cover up where you need. Don’t waste the money to cover up a public drain if you don’t need to. Money can be better used for your own house.
  3. I think URA will still continue to issue approvals for new houses. BCA I’m not too sure. But even if BCA issues permits, problem is whether contractors has workers to start the jobs or not. There are some housing projects near where I’m staying now which has not resumed work as of now. So availability of manpower is the main problem, not so much of whether authorities allow or not.
  4. Yes, this is a standard clause which can be imposed by the contractors. But percentage to charge I think its open to negotiation between yourself and your main contractor. items covered usually quite subjective. But from what I understand, if the main contractor is able to quote and perform the work item but if you insist on nominating your own subcon, the main contractor can claim for the fees for profit and attendance. One way to get around this is to have your subcon do the work AFTER your main contractor has handed over the site back to you. Cos as long as the site is not handed back to you, the main contractor is liable for any activities what happen on site and his insurance coverage would have to cover your subcon(s) who enter the site for work. Also if your subcon(s) uses water and/or electricity on site, the main contractor has to pay for the utilities right? Also normally subcontractors would have trash after perform works, so the main contractor also need to "help" them dispose of the trash which also costs money. In short, if you feel 10% is too much, negotiate with your main contractor on the percentage to charge. Unless you can save more than 10% from your main contractor's quoted rates for the subcontractors' works, I would suggest just getting the main contractor to cover the items in their contract. Reason for suggesting to get the main contractor to do are these : 1. you only need to deal with 1 party (main contractor) for any issues. Ultimately the main contractor would be liable for any defects, etc resulting from his subcontractors' works. But if you get your own subcontractors, then it could become a pushing of liability where the subcon push to maincon and viceversa 2. with the current COVID19 situation, BCA has implemented ALOT of rules/requirements for construction industry. No longer can there be like 30 or 40 workers on site at the same time to perform different works. eg: main con's workers doing structural form works while electrical subcon do pipes/conduits and sanitary subcon run the water and sanitary pipes all at the same time. With the limit on workers and activities on site at any one time, the main contractor has to schedule the subcons to go in during certain days/weeks to perform the works. It would be much easier for the main contractor to coordinate all the scheduling rather than you needing to also coordinate with the main contractor and your own subcontractor on when the subcons can go on site to work. Also, the main contractor has to submit to BCA the information for all workers (including subcontractors workers) who go on site to work BEFORE the workers can go on site to work as well as update BCA on what activities are happening on site week by week. So unless you have time and is also willing to do all these admin work to consolidate the information for your main contractor, then just let the main contractor cover the subcontractors' items and leave the admin headache to him.
  5. are you staying on the top floor or is there a neighbour above you? It does seems like some moisture has seeped through the concrete. Last time my flat was on the top floor and I had similar problem as the waterproofing on the roof has partially failed. If yours is not on the top floor, then you may wish to check with your neighbour upstairs on whether they have recently washed the floor or not.
  6. peachpeach, with the whole COVID19 situation, contractors are indemnified against any claims (due to delays) towards them due to the CB and subsequent restart. There is no promises whatsoever from my contractor as manpower is a major issue right now besides the requirements put in place by BCA on sites. The agreement I have with my main contractor is to complete the house in the safest and fastest manner while adhering to all the requirements from the authorities. There's no point in trying to rush and have many workers on site just to have it shutdown when the authorities come to spot check. When BCA announced work was allowed to resume on 2 June for projects which were stopped due to the CB, they had limited landed housing projects to only 10 workers and 1 activity on site. This has now been relaxed to not limiting the number of activities but safe distancing measures need to be in place. Also, workers need to be swabbed every 14 days so that means every 2 weeks, there would be 0.5 day lost due to workers needing to go for swab test. As mentioned, manpower is the big problem now. SP was supposed to put my new incoming electrical cable during the week when CB started. As of now, they still don't know when they can do it as their sub-contractor's workers are still locked down in the dormitories. Some of my other subcons also have workers stuck in dormitories so there's no choice but to wait. For the bank side, we had to request for an extension of TOP and CSC during the CB. My original TOP date was April 2020 but I had gotten my architect to submit a letter to the lawyers to request the TOP date to be extended to end of the year instead. With the whole situation, we don't know when exactly the house can get TOP so better to extend as far as possible. Else the lawyers will just charge you for every extension request they process on your behalf. The major impact is of cos financially I have to still pay the higher interest rates for the construction loan until I can get TOP. This would add on to a few thousand dollars at least. For those home owners who are renting, they would most likely need to extend their rental place and incur more financial losses. For my project, we are at about 95% done already. However if SP can't pull in my new incoming cable, I just have to wait until they can do it before I can apply for TOP. With these delays, I would most likely be going straight for CSC instead of TOP first. What was originally about 3 weeks more of work is now looking to be at least 2 months of work with all the restrictions and limitations in place. Sigh....
  7. I'm just a regular home owner whose house has been delayed by the whole COVID19 situation. Am curious enough to read into all the various regulations and such so that I am not mislead by anyone be it the contractor, consultants or authorities. In construction, "no" may not be a clear cut rejection. it could mean "it could be done but depends on situations". It's really up to one to push the limits in terms of design, engineering and also the regulations. So if one has zero knowledge of what is going on, he/she would only be at the mercy of whoever is making the decision for them instead of being part of the decision making process which is what I prefer to be part of.
  8. 1. To URA, reconstruction or new erection have not much difference in fees as you still need to pay $6420. They are more concerned for reconstruction being hidden as A&A as A&A fees are 50% lesser. When a building is constructed, there are columns and beams (i'm excluding the underground foundation beams, etc for now as they are not relevant for now) above the ground. the beams have rebars which are tied back to the columns and the floor is usually cast together with the beams as the floor rebars are tied back to the beams. these columns and beams are the main structural components of your house. if you want to change the height of the storeys, there must be a way to create new structural beams to tie back to the existing columns so that the new floor can be cast. unless you want to create a new set of structural components around the existing ones to create the new floors in which case it would be better just to tear down the entire house and rebuilt. Whether you can reuse the existing columns for the new beams and floor slabs, etc would still need to be determined by a PE which would need to look at the existing plans for the house's foundation, etc. honestly speaking, if you are looking at such drastic changes as in changing the height of the storeys, you might as well just do a complete rebuilt. Because once you are done tearing down the floors, stairs, etc, you are basically left with some columns and underground beams, etc. If you want to want to add mezzanine floor to your new house and/or lift shaft, and if the existing foundation cannot support the new structure, you would need do built new foundation or strengthen the existing foundation which adds on to the cost. Another important point to note is whether the neighbour's house was built at the same time as your target house or not. if the 2 houses are built at the same time, there is a very very high chance that both houses share 1 set of columns along the shared party wall. this means that if you choose to redo the floor heights, you have no choice but to create a new set of foundation and columns for your own house as you can't hack the shared columns for you to tie the new beams back to it. 2. not sure where you got your 15m from. below is a picture from URA guidelines from 2011 which indicates the max allowed height of the storeys for a 2 storey landed house. The current max height limit is 12m. there is no way URA would allow you to retain the current height of the house once you change the roof profile. Their answer to you is that you have to follow the existing regulations. it doesn't matter what was done in the past as old regulations can't be applied anymore. If you want to "flatten" your roof, then you can only keep it within the red dotted lines which I've indicated in the 2nd picture as this is the current building envelope that URA allows for landed houses. So you can have a flat roof on top and then have open balconies at the areas where the slopping lines are at. Assuming the existing attic is 5m high from floor to the peak, you would need to drop it down by 1.1m. but your attic would still have a height of more than 3m internally which would be more than comfortable. When you do house hunting, you should have a clear idea of what you are looking for. The problem with houses which are neither here or there is that they are at a price point where you are paying for a "move-in" condition but you cannot afford/unwilling to rebuild the entire house. With these type of houses, you should either just have the mindset of doing a simple renovation and move in or just forget about it and move on to another house. If you have dreams of having a "perfect" house that fits all your needs, then you should be looking for a run-down original condition house and just pay for the land and do a rebuilt after that. Work out a proper budget to include expenses AFTER you sign the OTP. To do a decent A&A, you may need to spend 100k or up depending on your needs. A reconstruction could easily cost 400K and up. A full rebuilt could be 900K and up for a inter terrace and more than 1M for a semi-d and corner terrace.
  9. 1. you can't reduced the height of the various storeys without a complete rebuilt. usually people opt to have a high ceiling for the ground floor to make the house look more spacious (luxurious?) and also provide more ventilation. this is why many houses are built with first storey up to about 4.5m high which was based on the old regulations. 2. not sure what you meant by many split levels. if you are referring to the 50mm drop between the bedrooms and bathrooms, then this is actually normal. of cos you can opt to top up the bathroom floor to have it flushed with the bedrooms. but the 50mm drop is there to prevent water from flowing into the bedroom just in case there are pipe leaks or overflow from the toilet/shower. 3. whether you can extend the attic or not depends on the current building height. for a 2 storey landed housing zone, you are limited to 12m in total height for the entire building. so if the house currently already exceeds 12m (old regulations for 2 storey is up to 13.1m, 4.5 first storey, 3.6 2nd storey, 5m attic), then you will lose space for your attic if you choose to redo your roof. of cos if the existing building height is less than 12m, then you could extend the roof up until the max allowed to gain the space. Old regulations require a pitched roof of which one end touches the edge of the top of the 2nd storey which is why the design eats into the 2nd storey balcony. The current guidelines don't require the roof to touch the 2nd storey but the roof still needs to be contained within a 45 degrees profile at both ends. However do note that when you touch your roof, it will be termed as a reconstruction instead of an A&A which means you pay $6420 instead of $3210 to URA for submission fees. 4. no limit on redoing the layouts of the interior. only limit is how deep is your pocket. do note that doing major shifting of any bathrooms, kitchen could mean running new waste pipes and water pipes. 5. if you want to remove the root tiles, not an issue. just that if you want to maintain the colonial design, you need to find a new roofing material and design which still looks good with the current house overall looks. so you may need to get an architect to advise you on this. 6. refer back to answer 3 above on the extending of the roof.
  10. I don’t contribute much la. Just kaypo here and there. Haha also don’t think these clones are bots. More like the company’s employee(s) or a marketing company doing all these copy and paste postings which are bordering on being spam
  11. zzzzz. more and more clones talking to each other.
  12. haha, I wanted to suggest SAF rule no 7 but didn't want to be explicit. just hope don't get caught later la. but before start the after CSC works, better know who is staying around you. my friend was intending to extend her kitchen out after CSC but had to give up on this idea after realising that one of the agency's CEO is staying directly behind her house.
  13. thanks for the clarification. I know DC is applicable when subdividing a big land into smaller plots for terraces/semi-ds but wasn't aware the reverse isn't applicable.
  14. a sem-d means semi-detached which means that house must be attached to another house on one side. if you do not want to have your house attached to the other side (become a detached house), you can do so BUT there are many conditions to fulfill. assuming that your site is able to fulfill all conditions, the house you want to rebuilt must have the relevant setbacks of at least 2m at each side and the rear and the standard 7.5m at front. also, the site coverage for a detached house is limited to 50%. eg: if your land is 400sqm is size, the footprint of your house can only be up to 200sqm. this limiting factor is what cause some owners who own 2 side by side semi-d units to still retain the houses as semi-d instead of a detached house as they can have more built up areas. not to mention that you will most probably need to pay development charge to URA as you are "upgrading" the house from a semi-d to a detached which increases the value of the land. of cos you still can build your pool on the side with the party wall but this will mean your house will be inside your house instead. for your green buffer issue with NParks, your agent can write in to ask. but it is unlikely NParks will give you a clear cut answer now as they may want to see the entire development plan from a QP first before the commit to anything. There are several agencies to approve any building plans and NParks is one of the agencies who need to approve.
  15. you can go to onemap and check on the lot view for the property. if you see the green buffer land lot there, most likely the current owner had built the house long ago where the green buffer don't exist, or the house had been illegally extended to encroach into this green buffer. either way if the land lot for the green buffer is clearly demarcated there, the land don't belong to the current house owner and this would need to be returned to the government. so you have to take this into account if you still want to buy the property.
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