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  1. It's been an exciting journey to our 2nd home. Sale of our first home & buying a resale flat was a big challenge to us. We started in Aug 16 and only going to collect our keys in Jun 17. We were in fact looking for younger flats at AMK but just can't decide on it after viewing a dozen of them. Then we chanced upon this EM at Bishan and this is it! Renovations for Em was another big challenge as the cost is high and quotes we got are 70k or 80k on an average while we wants to work within our super tight budget. We started sourcing since Nov 16 and had also tried via app Q**v*** Below are the list of ID that we have approached (may have some that we have totally forgotten): • L from V**** The first ID that we met. Source from Q**v*** A nice young chap who did some follow ups with us. If not for the budget, he should be one of my shortlisted ID • V from B*****P**** Reco by my best friend, they seemed very experienced with EM and i quite like their porjected done earlier. However same thing before we even go into the details the charges are higher than what we expect. • R from S***** H******** Saw some projects in Q**v**** hence approach the company to discuss further. He said our layout got a lot of room to ‘play’ with. Ideas was proposed but I felt it was not so practical given that it was meant for 3Gens. Follow-up from him was slightly longer than expected and he assigned his staff to contact me instead. • A from B***** Referred by app Q**v***, i met him once for a discussion. My budget was highlighted prior to meetup and we discussed the basic that we are looking for. No follow up from this guy after that. • D***** from M***T***** His quotation was off our budget • A**x from V******* Meetup at his office and had some quality discussion. However I need to send reminder to him for my quote. • Andrew from D*******g*** I had approached 2 of the Renotalk T-blog and realised that both Ems are done by same person. Very friendly and sound sincere. Met him at his office after short discussion with him. • R**m**d from N**** Was referred during Blum Sale event. We fell in love with the Blum kitchen system hence placed a 2k deposit. However after few rounds of meet up I felt that he is quite forgetful and not very meticulous. He tried upsell us to let him take up the whole job instead of kitchen alone, but we are not comfortable on the way he does things. • J**v** from R***c*** Text and sent our requirements + budget. No reply and follow ups. • W*****d from I*d***** We engaged him earlier for our previous home mini renovation. Liked his space planning. But after discussion felt that the quote was still out of budget hence did not shortlist him for our 2nd home. • D****s from 4m***** Sent him our to do list and floor plan but no reply. • A*****y from I****** Source from app Q**v***, apparently this is a subsidiary of a listed company. We emailed him our to-do list and budget. Our only reply from them is via email and they set a ‘standard required pricing’ for EM instead of working out with client based on needs and budget. Since when there is a min benchmark for EM?? Email reply from this company: “Thank you for your email. Based on your requirement, it will be at least $60k especially for EM we do usually cross $80k. Sorry that we are unable to meet your budget of $xxk.” So with these, our final shortlist is Andrew. Why we choose him? The first call from him after meet up gave a deep impression. He called us about a week after our meet up and requested for an extension on the quote as he was held up with other projects. Think for the first time an ID call back to give a holding reply which we felt good though we cant remember he told us 1 or 2 weeks to send the quotation. Thereafter he continued with the same standards which we felt that this was something missing from past Ids we met. The initial quote given was still way out of our budget. Instead of rejecting us, he went ahead to continue giving us suggestion and try to see how we can work within budget – another +points. After our serious consideration, we decided to forgo the whole Blum thingy (goodbye to our 2k deposit) and placed an deposit with Andrew for our job. Before meeting any ID, best is to prepare the following: • Know your needs and wants • Set a reasonable budget – you cant be requesting for a lot of items but low budget • Work with ID to see which is feasible • Start early! A lot said we started way too early – Nov looking for ID on job in June. But from this it gives us chance to see which is the ID that are sincere, patience, willing to work with you especially year end most of the ID companies are rushing for their existing projects which needs to complete before LNY. • Compare the quotes based on price and materials. • Be open to ideas, share your mood boards with the ID see what he/she said. If he/she can’t sync no point discussing further cos you want someone who is able to identify your needs & wants and also able to enhance or give you better idea. Ultimately this is the home that YOU are staying not the ID. Here’s our floor plan!