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snoozee

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snoozee last won the day on April 15

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  1. Yes it is allowed to remove the existing false ceiling and redo it. But do understand that you will have to redo the false ceiling inside the house and do up the insulation as well to block out the heat. If you are intending to build lofts in each room, do note that you will be required to do submissions if your loft exceeds 5sqm. It would also be good to get PE to do load calculations to determine if the structure can take the load of the loft or not. Also it seems that your house had undergone some A&A most likely in the early 90s. But your house might be very old so the ceiling boards at the 2nd floor might contain asbestos unless they had been removed during the last major renovation. If asbestos still exist, you will need to get specialist to remove them. On the roof on the left side, there is a vent pipe for the toilet there. So you may want to redo this pipe if you really want to reclaim all the available space. of cos if you have enough budget, you may want to build an additional attic floor which will really allow you to maximise the available space
  2. Outside your boundary? If you say it’s from scv/ StarHub, then it will be where the lead-in coaxial cable for your property is tapping to. However it may not be just for your house and might be serving a few households. Currently cable services are until 30 June 2019. You can try contacting StarHub to see if they are willing to remove that after that date. But chances is unlikely unless IMDA requires them to remove all the cable infrastructure around Singapore which will cost millions of dollars. The most updated regulations does not require any coaxial cables in the lead-in pipes anymore. Even coaxial cabling in household shelter is no longer needed as well. However IMDA still requires every house to have internal coaxial cables being run even when there is no lead in coaxial cable. But I managed to obtain a waiver for the coaxial cabling by indicating that I would be providing additional cat 6 network points in place of the coaxial cables
  3. haha, I've seen that photo before. for that development, the sides and back of the house are all "sealed" with earth with only the front exposed for the drive in garage. somehow the developer had asked the architects (I think 3 or 4 different firms for the entire development) to have the common design of this type of garage. however the original site was actually a small hill so they could get away with that. most important is that the approval was before the change in regulations. you can call URA but I double anyone would give you an answer unless proper submissions was done which can only happen AFTER you buy. as for road level, you need to engage a surveyor to perform a topo survey of the house and surroundings. of cos you could maybe call a surveyor to perform a survey of just the outside of the house to find the road level. not sure how much that would cost you though. another option is to see if the house owners still have the original plans. but if the house is very old, I doubt they would have the plans.
  4. how expensive is expensive? just to give you a guage, SI should cost between 2.5k to 3k (before GST) for a small landed house project for 1 single borehole. again depends on the scope which the PE determines. yes you can get on your own. but the problem is who is going to provide the scope of work, determine where to drill and also make the decision of when to stop the boring/drilling. normally the SI contractor will check with the PE on whether the drilling is enough or not to stop as the PE will then based on what is given in the SI report to design the foundations of the house. I can give you names of companies to contact but without a scope of work, it is pointless. I can tell you my real life experience that PE1 gave a scope of work to a SI company to quote and the quote was a 5 digit figure. I got another PE2 to give another scope or work and asked the same SI company to quote based on the scope given by PE2 and the price came back to be about 3K before GST. in construction projects, the PE is as important as the architect when it comes to scoping the project. if the PE is used to handling huge projects, they may give a scope of work which is normal to them for big projects and thus the cost for SI will also go up. also after that, the PE may decide to go for piling for the job which would also lead to higher costs. however if a PE has much experience in handling small housing jobs, the scope of work for the SI company will correspond to what is needed for a small landed house. this PE may also design a foundation based on just footings instead of piling if the soil condition allows for footings. the cost difference between footings and piling will be tens of thousand of dollars. if you feel the SI quoted is expensive, get the scope of work and then us that to ask other SI companies for quotations. also, ask your architect how experience is the PE in handling small housing jobs and if possible, maybe change another PE who is used to doing these small housing jobs. to be honest, I think many PEs will just go for piling as foundation as this is something which would hardly go wrong regardless of what type of soil conditions. however this also leads to the house being over-engineered as well as brings up the overall construction cost.
  5. land excavation is generally not advised though URA does allow on a case by case basis. however you need to bear in mind that if you are going to level the ground, you WILL NEED to put in ERSS which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. so imagine paying hundreds of thousands to view walls everyday. since you mentioned the height of the back yard is almost 1 floor higher than the front, you will definitely not be allowed to level the ground since the maximum height allowed for retaining walls is 1m (1.5m depending on cases) for landed houses. so what you could possibly do is to level the ground until where the height is about 1.5m and build a 1.5m high retaining wall to hold the soil at the back. if the front road level is below 104mRL, then you could build a "basement" and then add on the rest of the house above the "basement". why "basement" is in quotes is because the "basement" is actually at the road level but since there is a regulation that all living areas must be at or above 104mRL, whatever is below 104mRL can be declared as a "basement". it's a bit funny that the "basement" is at road level but that's how the regulations go. then you can build the rest of your 2 storey or 3 storey above this "basement". so if the house is in a 3 storey zone, you can technically end up with a 5 storey house (3 storey with basement and attic). just to be clear, whatever I mentioned does not reflect the relevant authorities views. since each piece of land is unique on it own, URA has it's own definitions on what can or cannot be done. Even a QP cannot guarantee that what is planned can be 100% approved by the authorities. also it is no use trying to take examples of nearby houses to argue unless these houses are constructed after the last major change in regulations on envelope design. Cos after the regulations on envelope design, anything that was approved before that may not be approved under the new regulations.
  6. if I'm not wrong, the IC in his house is connected to his neighbour's house's IC which is then connected to the sewer. so PUB wants him to build his own sewer connection from a new IC just for his house. also not all old houses have the public sewer running through their back yard. for my house, I have the public sewer running through my back yard. but the row of neighbors behind me does not has any public sewer and their IC is connected to the public sewer running through the row of houses on the same side as me.
  7. your architect is the QP. QP can be either the architect or professional engineer. but each has their own scope of work and can't sign for each other in certain areas of work. since you already have an architect, tell your architect to get the PE to provide the scope of work for soil investigation. also, how come you are looking for SI companies when your architect should be coordinating all these for you?
  8. if the public sewer is not within your land (LUCKY YOU), then there's no need for any RC trench so item 4 is out and the 35k would most likely be for the first 3 items and the profession fees.
  9. the companies who does the soil investigation need to have a scope of work as well. if you don't know what needs to be done, the companies will also give you a generic quotation which may or may not be what your PE required. best is go and engage a QP first and then from there engage the soil investigation company. your PE will provide the scope of work that needs to be done for the soil investigation and the PE will also be the one to determine if the drilling/boring is sufficient.
  10. for construction projects, there will always be items which weren't budgeted for popping up especially if you are dealing with old houses. personally, I was hit with a 20k plus cost for asbestos removal for my own project as this wasn't discovered until we started planning for the demolition. so we just have to find elsewhere to cut cost to stay within the budget. for your project, was there already a plumbing/sanitary item as part of your reconstruction quotation? if there isn't, then you need to check if the 35k consists of all other items like 1. laying new sanitary pipes for your house to connect to this IC 2. connection of this new IC to the public sewer 3. CCTV recording and submission for pre/post sewer works 4. if the public sewer is within your land lot, is there any RC trench work done to protect this sewer line item 3 isn't expensive, maybe about 2k plus. but the rest of the items requires plenty of excavation works which is costly as it means digging up the ground, laying the pipes and then covering up the ground again. item 4 especially is expensive. yes, the 35k may seem expensive just for an IC. but if all the other relevant work is put into context, the cost may seem fair. cos besides the actual construction work of building the IC, someone needs to design the new sanitary layout for your house and submit to PUB for approval. then the licensed plumber will need to certify that the works done are according to regulations and put his name in the certification. these professionals will not be doing the work for you for free.
  11. if you planning to have fibre TV in each room, then addition network points are needed as the fibre TV cannot use the same network point as data. WIFI is for laptops or mobile devices but if using desktop, a LAN point would still be preferred. Adding another 3 or 4 network points in the whole house will maybe cost you another $500 or less. but if you don't do it now, you may face bigger headaches of pulling additional cables later on.
  12. from PUB's code of practice, "All new developments shall be served by an internal sanitary plumbing and drainage system. This internal sanitary plumbing and drainage system shall be connected to public sewers by an internal drain-line maintained by the owner or occupier of the development " since your neighbour's IC is not public, you can't connect to theirs. how "high" is the quote given by your contractor? all new sewerage works must be designed and tested properly as mandated by PUB. you won't want the case where the sewerage backflows and floods your IC and then leaks into your house right? if you are going to save money and use your neighbour's sewer line, if the flooding occurs from your neighbor and goes into your house from the shared IC, are you going to sue your neighbor for damages? I guess the only way for you to avoid doing this is to not do a reconstruction of your house. I would say count yourself lucky that you bought this house instead of your neighbour's house. Cos if you had bought your neighbour's house, you will still have to maintain the sewer connection for this particular house until the house is redeveloped.
  13. the actual demolition and disposal of existing house is cheap and should be just maybe 30 to 50k. problem is if the house is very old and has asbestos, then need to arrange for specialist to remove the asbestos first before the house can be demolished. I had to pay another 20k plus for asbestos removal.
  14. reference to first picture. you can install a bifold door with mesh instead. bifold door will open and fold inside to the wall on the right side. do note that the bifold door will be installed with a new frame and sliding track as well.
  15. I guess you are in a situation where you want to have your cake and eat it too but the reality is you can't do that. if you are going to have all the residents follow the condo's bylaws, etc. then you can't expect variations/exceptions to cases where the bylaws aren't followed. for example, if you want to put CCTV to cover blind spots and have the damages caused by residents to be billed back to them, then you can't have exceptions where flower pots and bicycles are places in prohibited areas if the bylaw states they can't be placed in these locations. if you are going to have exceptions, then you are inviting for someone to mount legal challenges on why certain rules apply to them but certain rules don't apply to others. of cos from what I know, the bylaws are voted by the share owners during AGM so if certain existing bylaws are too restrictive, they should be able to vote to have these bylaws removed. disclaimer: I DO NOT stay in a condo so I do not have a clear understanding of how condos are being managed nor am I legally trained or a lawyer by profession. the above opinion are strictly my own from my own views.
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