The flat is currently 1/3 of the way through the renovation so I thought I will pen down some notes here.
The renovation I asked for is quite straightforward. No false ceiling, no built-in except in kitchen. Hacking of only one wall.
#1. Kitchen floor overlay, kitchen cabinets. Hacking of one wall. Basically, a reconfiguration of the kitchen
#2. Bathrooms complete overhaul. Overlay floor and wall tiles.
#3. elsewhere, vinyl flooring.
Renovation quoted at $27k
ID: This ID I engaged has been in this line for years but started his own company less than a year ago, so he is officially not HDB approved. Rather, he uses HDB approved contractors for the necessary works. Despite the lack of HDB accreditation, I chose him out of several I considered because he was quick in his response. He also seems to' be sincere and honest in his dealings. Also, perhaps being his own boss means he will take ownership in his project. There was another ID I shortlisted, but unfortunately he was not in town when we could view the resale flat to confirm the reno plans. He too was very kind to come to my place to discuss the reno. (The seller was still occupying the flat.)
Well, whether I am naive or not, we will see the outcome when the job is completed.
#2. Bathrooms nicely tiled. Am pleased with that (but mainly coz of the great colour combination we choose).
#1. Kitchen is a now a disaster as the ID did not realise that because a wall was hacked and entrance relocated, the existing wall tiles do not complement those tiles he used for damage control. Consequently the entire kitchen wall has to be re-tiled . This means extra money to pay, and 1 week of renovation time.
Essential accessories such as WC, sink all bought from the ID's recommended source which is Lights and Bathroom Solutions@ Oxley Hub. LBS stuff are grossly overpriced-- you can get more branded items elsewhere when they are on promotion. And neither does it have a wide selection on display. I was quoted for Korean blinds at over 3k (a curtain supplier who buys his materials and sends to factory at JB quoted at half the price).LBS also was not generous in throwing in free gifts and discounts, and not to mention they are not accommodating about changing of mind later. For example, if I want to remove some items as I could get better choices elsewhere, they discourage and said they can source the same thing too but without the promo pricing. When I changed the sink to a larger one, the sink was quoted at $168 instead or $158 which the salesperson quoted me on my first visit there.
Well, but since the ID insists LBS aftersales service is good, and I don't want the ID to play the blaming game if something goes wrong during installation, so I went ahead with the LBS purchase, rather reluctantly. I will see how good LBS is really. (Apparently LBS works mainly with ID and contractors, and entertains very few walk-in customers.)
Electrical works by ID 's contractor were quoted at $850. ID said the prices included the commission he will take from the ITE-certified electrician. This involves water heater installation, hob and cooker points, kitchen switch points and kitchen light points (kitchen was reconfigured), and installation of lights ($12 ea)and fans ($65 ea). Pretty expensive! So I will use the contact from Chelsea lighting for the lights and switches in the living and bedroom.
Lights: Being a person quite adverse to shopping, I only went to a couple of places (Beauty World and TLC @Midview) before deciding to get from Chelsea Lighting @Jurong. I got the lights for my condo from them years ago, and while I don't remember my first purchase, I think they had recommended me what was suitable there and then. I am glad to have gone back to them (support HDB shops!). It was not much of a hassle dealing with them. They were able to provide recommendation based on my basic criteria. The shop occupies two units so there is a wide selection on display. The shop and the sales staff there have been around for a long time so they know what work and what don't work.
Feedback about the ID
Can be more professional.
a) not realising the kitchen wall needs to be re-tiled after hacking is quite unaccepted. HIs saving grace ---- he acknowledged the oversight.
b) no gantt chart. instead the schedule written on a monthly calendar. He only provided this to me after constant reminders.
c) the kind of protection the contractors laid on the floor....just one layer of cardboard, and there are cigarette butts elsewhere in the house. I bet the workers even peed in the WC hole in the floor.
d) no broom or dustpan provided by contractor.
e) styrofoam box from packed lunch left in the house.