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  1. Hello renotalkers! I have benefited from this forum immensely and it's about time for me to pay it forward. I bought a resale apartment and obtained the keys only in late July. It's a 1 BR, only 52 sq metres (560 sq ft) in size. I was drawn to this space as it was relatively square-ish, not many bay-windows, no balcony, 2.9m ceiling height and floor to ceiling windows in the living room. Knowing that size was a limitation, my challenge is to make the space feel bigger than it is. The original floor plan (ignore the PES - the apartment does not have any PES) This was how I envisioned the new layout Red lines indicate the walls which I wanted to knock-down Blue line is where I would like the new wall to be erected Yellow lines is where I envisioned a concrete plaster appearance Besides the challenge of opening up the space, I wanted to keep the budget low and time-line relatively short, yet achieve a specific industrial look. I'll be dedicating quite a bit of my blog on how I kept costs low while maintaining decent quality. That means I will describe my thought process for contractor selection, material selection, purchasing from taobao etc Hope new home owners that plan to renovate will benefit from my blog. I shall post the before pics soon and some interim pics as reno is currently on-going. Happy reno-talking! EDIT: I realise that it is very cumbersome to go through an entire thread without a contents page. So I have compiled the links here 1. My thoughts on ID vs contractor. All home owners struggle with this question and meeting IDs/contractors can consume a lot of time and effort. 2. How I shortlisted and chose a contractor. The key considerations which led me to chose among the shortlisted contractors. 3. My taobao shopping list. With all the links from taobao sellers which I bought from. 4. My before pics. Demolition pics if you're into that sort of thing. 5. General Info on shipment of bulky taobao items to Singapore. 6. Since it's very difficult to estimate how many cubic metres each item is and the shipping charge is based on cubic metre, I came up with a way to estimate total cost of the bulky taobao item based on my first shipment when I purchase through peeka. 7. Some chinese keywords for shopping on taobao. Although taobao is cheap and therefore tempting, there may be instances of dissatisfaction. To provide a balanced view, Another poster's negative experience with taobao items. How I minimize risk of purchasing low quality items on taobao. 8. Info on the fibreglass concrete panels in my living room. 9. A guide on choosing paint colours for your wall. 10. Kompactop final pics 11. Info on artificial turf for balconies/planter/baywindows 12. Final pics - after 6 months of living in my place, this is more or less the final look of my place, though it tends to evolve with time (and clutter). To be included at some point.
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