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Renovator Engaged

Found 19 results

  1. The search for a home for my fiancé (S) and I began around 10 months ago. Knowing that we would be planning to get married sometime in 2017 and that we would want to move into our home right after our wedding, we wanted to get an early start on the house-hunt. Fast forward to July 2017, and as of two days ago, we are now officially (both on paper and in practice too – we just received our keys!) home-owners of an HDB executive maisonette in the west side of Singapore (: We’ll be doing some pretty extensive renovations (pretty much a complete makeover) – hacking, shifting layouts of the existing rooms, flooring, electrical works, a whole great deal of carpentry etc. The original floorplan: The 2 biggest changes to the layout will be: 1) Kitchen: As an avid baker, I know I'll be spending a great deal of my time here. So one of the prerequisites in our house hunt was to find a place that could accommodate a big kitchen. Thank God that HDB has approved our proposal to knock down the existing wall between the study and kitchen, so that we can convert the entire area into 1 giant kitchen (: 2) MBR: One of the first things we noticed when viewing the flat was that the existing corridor space outside Bedroom 2 is pretty much a dead space. So we decided to wall in the entire area, "reclaim" the dead space for a walk-in wardrobe, build a door from WC2 to Bedroom 2 and use that as our MBR instead. One more layout change is to make WC3 into a slightly more squarish layout, as this would improve the layout for the kitchen, and what will become the "corridor" to the yard area doesn't have to be quite so wide anyway. This is still pending HDB's approval though, but we're keeping our hopes up and praying hard!
  2. Hello everyone! My wife and I are avid readers of renotalk and have been reading all the amazing home transformations, taking pointers from all the experienced gurus here. Now that our renovation journey is about to come to an end, we thought we would like to give back as well by sharing how the whole process went by. A short introduction, we were house scouting back in 2014, and completed all the paperwork in mid 2015. After our ROM (HDB's requirement), we embarked on our renovation journey in September 2015 and completed everything just before Christmas last year. It has been a roller coaster of a journey, and we have learnt so much from everyone in renotalk, contractors and IDs. I'm sure it has been, or will be for all of you too. So, without further ado, our floor plan. We knew we wanted to get a resale 5 room flat, so we spent quite some time deciding on what floor plan we would like to have, and after extensive reading, we decided on a maisonette because we like to host guests and everyone could hang out downstairs while we could keep our privacy upstairs. We also browsed through many pages on renotalk with 'interesting' floor plans, good and not so ideal floor plans for designing, and figured this was probably one of the better layouts available for EMs. Basically we liked big spaces and wanted to fully maximise the space usage available. We kind of decided on how we wanted our house to look like even before purchasing the place. Haha. So we chanced upon this house after 3 - 4 months of home viewings, non-stop propertyguru surfing and bought the place! Some before photos: Actually the place is pretty much move in condition, just need to do some minor renovation in the toilets and refurbishment works for the cabinets and it would be very good already. But then you see all those pretty pictures and renovation plans from hipvan and other tblog chats, wa.. we decided to do a complete overhaul. Heh. So, next was ID hunting!
  3. ricepapergirl

    Emma - Our Em In The West

    Hi all! I've been a grateful reader of renotalk for quite a few months now and have learnt so many things from here! I am hoping that by starting a T-blog, the discussions in it could also somehow help other people as well. My husband and I are "newlyweds" (when does one disqualify from being newlyweds? 1 year? 2 years? before kids?) and were lucky enough to spend a year away in London straight after getting married, where he studied for his Masters and I worked and also kept our tiny student dorm room clean and full of food. Since coming back in July this year, we searched around for our own place whilst living with his parents in his room, and in October, managed to exercise our option to purchase on a nice 30-year-old first-gen executive maisonette in Jurong West, which is also near to his parents' house. We've nicknamed our new place "Emma" (because it's an EM?), but actually it's not really our place yet till our second HDB appointment in end Jan 2016, and even then the owners have asked to extend their stay for another two months, so in reality we will only get our keys sometime in March 2016. Even so, we've basically been looking at renovations and furniture and tiles and light fixtures and appliances since October, so you can say we are preparing quite early. The layout! I've actually modified this from the version we received from HDB, since the current owners had done some modifications to knock down the wall between the utility room and the kitchen. The layout is very similar to twinklecloud's EM otherwise, a typical first-gen EM with the long balcony at the living room and much of the unit still in original condition or at least 15-year-old decorations. We don't intend to do that much modification to the existing structure, though we wanted to reinstate the utility room (and make it slightly longer to accommodate storage shelves and a bed if possible) and as a result, make the kitchen slightly smaller. After seeing twinklecloud's desired layout, we've also become a bit more daring and are hoping to change the kitchen toilet to an L-shaped toilet so that it wouldn't feel so cramped and potentially be wheelchair-accessible(??). There's also the usual hacking of tiles on the first floor (the existing ones are pastel, matt, 30x30cm and super retro) and thinking of overlaying HERF on the second floor to save some money. We are keeping the balcony open and maybe just installing a retractable awning. We are also not intending to have too much built-ins as we intend to start a family soon and want to keep the house quite flexible in terms of layout. Despite that, we've been looking at relatively expensive quotes, guess that it comes with the EM territory...
  4. Good evening everyone! Wife and I have been active readers of renotalk's TBlog since 2012, and for a small amount of time, we were also actively posting and archiving our experience of our renovation journey back in 2012. Time flies! We were very happy with our old place, but as the world moves on, we decided that its time for us to explore the possibility of finally staying in an EM that we've always been dreaming of. So many things have happened in our lives during these 6 years and we have to say our current house has been extremely good to us. Boomtown occurred when god granted us a little bundle of joy. Born 18/09/2017, our new boy Cooper joined us and has been brought such joy to our lives. HOWEVER, when we were designing our current place, having a little one was never in the plans. With the little devil needing more space to run, a helper (godsend!) helping to manage him, space is becoming a premium. Hence, our adventure to look for a new place begins! We didnt stray far from how we went about looking for a place to call home from our previous journey. Our requirements ran in the range of, location, layout of house, amenities in the vicinity, transport, future schools etc. We finally narrowed our search locations down to a few blocks of EM in the area we were familiar with. Predominantly in Tampines and Simei. After months of househunting, viewing, negotiations, highs and lows, we finally settled on an EM that is just across the road from Tampines Hub! Becoming proud owners of our dream EM in the month of April 2018, the hard graft for reno works can finally begin! Attached are some of the pics of our current place. Dont mind the watermark for the agent as these were the pictures we used for the marketing of our place.
  5. Hi All, Just exercise the OTP for a new EM in Kim Keat hence would like to start this T-Blog for my Wife who will be looking after the renovation. We hope to get some comments on quote, reno and at the same time share with fellow forumers on the progress of our reno. We are a family of 6 with 4 children (3 gals and 1 boy) and this new place is an upgrade of our 4 room flat in AMK. We brought this place for the following reasons, 1. Near my parents who are taking care of my children 2. Near my elder gal CHIJ TPY School 3. Within 1KM of Peichun which we hope can put our boy when he is primary 1 Something about this Kim Keat Unit; 1. Floor Area: 146 sqm 2. Block 257 3. 25 Years old Do feel free to give us some comments. Thanks. Jeremy
  6. Hi All This is my first time trying out a blog. I figured that we should document our journey of metamorphising our resale EM into our dream Sky Parlour. Kindly pardon if we get our formatting wrong. This is something very new to us. Just a bit of background. We have been married for many years, and have been living in a small 4-room HDB. Recently in the last few years, 2 little people suddenly appeared, and started running around in our house. There is a need for a bigger house for all our belongings now, as well as for the 2 little people to run around in. Hence we decided to move to a bigger house. But Singapore is so small, all our houses are merely pigeonholes, and getting private/ landed/ condo is definitely within the "Only in our dreams" category. So we decided to get an Executive Maisonette. This is only affordable after we sell our 4 room. But after taking all the financing / bank loan/ 20% down for the EM, we realised "Oh $#!Ϯ We forgot to budget in the renovation!!" Hence here we are, reading other people's experiences in their journey hoping to learn more. And now we're blogging our journey. Floor Plan Cheers!
  7. 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!
  8. Hi, we just bought an EM. There's a lot of unused space at the staircase area but no way to access the top of it, and I really want to be able to hang stuff there - hubby is a painter so the walls will get filled up soon. I was thinking of creating a loft area or getting some kind of retractable ladder that can access the top of the staircase area. Has anyone done this before? TIA
  9. Glad to join this forum and start my own T-blog after silently reading and learning from so many seniors in here. Currently awaiting my 2nd appt from HDB for my EM as I join the mini league of EM owners in here . Have appointed my ID after going thru 4 ID firms we have shortlisted due to their style and our feel of what we want with our 2nd home. We are now seeking some help from fellow seniors in here for help on the following: Where can we go to purchase the following items with the best prices or discounts: 1. Haiku Ceiling Fans 2. Rinnai Hobs & Hood 3. Fujioh Hoods 4. Toto WC 5. Any fellow forumers comments on Kohler WC? 4. Any recommendations on air cons systems (We have read Daikin, MHI and Mit Electric are the most reliable ones so far) 5. Any great electricians to recommend so I can get a 2nd quotation as compared to that provided by my ID to compare prices before deciding which to engage. Sorry to start off with request but these are some of our current headaches we face and we are planning our purchases now after burning our pockets with the decision to overhaul of the EM unit we have purchased. We had to do it since we are moving in with our young kids. Excited to start this little project here and hear all inputs from other home buyers here as well who have been thru this process more recently since the last time we did it was over 7 years ago on our 1st place and alot of these prices or things are since outdated by now.
  10. Hi all I'm new to this forum, and I need help from Executive Maisonette (EM) owners who have renovated their EMs recently. I am not sure if my ID / contractor is taking me for a ride. -------- 1. Background: This topic concerns the staircase railing. Last Dec, I took over the keys to my resale EM in the West. The previous owner owned the place for >20 years and kept the flat in a really dilapidated condition. When I engaged my ID / contractor (note: not a reputable firm, based on a friend's recommendation) I told him I would be hacking many walls and changing the staircase railing. HDB approvals have thus far taken a painful and frustrating 3-4 months; I am not sure if this is because of my ID sitting on the approvals, or if HDB really requires that much time to vet through the submissions. They had rejected my application to replace the old staircase railing (Old EM flats have vertical bars connected by a thick wooden slab, which is visually unappealing to me), citing the requirement to involve a PE and subsequently, BCA, in the approvals. My ID explained that the staircase railings need to comply to new BCA regulation, which states that the railing needs to have even more closely-spaced vertical bars. This is puzzling and frustrating for me, as: (i) I do not wish for the approvals to drag on for much longer; (ii) the vertical bars ruin the concept of my apartment which I have painstakingly designed (I very much prefer horizontal bars); (iii) I see a lot of EMs featured in Home & Decor / other magazines which have staircase railings that would be considered ridiculous by BCA / HDB guidelines (if what my ID says is true)...some examples completely did away with the railings! -------- 2. Your Help Needed: As such, I thought to seek your opinions on the following questions: (1) Is my ID / contractor taking me for a ride? Do BCA / HDB guidelines really require railings with so many vertical bars? (2) How have others gotten their modern / minimalist staircase designs (with horizontal bars) approved? What are some suggestions to help me on my situation? (3) Should I speak with the HDB officer directly? (My contractor has thus far blocked access to the HDB officer) -------- Please feel free to PM me, thanks so so so much in advance for your help!!! My renovations haven't even started, despite my engaging the ID in Nov 2015...imagine that....
  11. Hi all I'm new to this forum, and I need help from Executive Maisonette (EM) owners who have renovated their EMs recently. I am not sure if my ID / contractor is taking me for a ride. -------- 1. Background: This topic concerns the staircase railing. Last Dec, I took over the keys to my resale EM in the West. The previous owner owned the place for >20 years and kept the flat in a really dilapidated condition. When I engaged my ID / contractor (note: not a reputable firm, based on a friend's recommendation) I told him I would be hacking many walls and changing the staircase railing. HDB approvals have thus far taken a painful and frustrating 3-4 months; I am not sure if this is because of my ID sitting on the approvals, or if HDB really requires that much time to vet through the submissions. They had rejected my application to replace the old staircase railing (Old EM flats have vertical bars connected by a thick wooden slab, which is visually unappealing to me), citing the requirement to involve a PE and subsequently, BCA, in the approvals. My ID explained that the staircase railings need to comply to new BCA regulation, which states that the railing needs to have even more closely-spaced vertical bars. This is puzzling and frustrating for me, as: (i) I do not wish for the approvals to drag on for much longer; (ii) the vertical bars ruin the concept of my apartment which I have painstakingly designed (I very much prefer horizontal bars); (iii) I see a lot of EMs featured in Home & Decor / other magazines which have staircase railings that would be considered ridiculous by BCA / HDB guidelines (if what my ID says is true)...some examples completely did away with the railings! -------- 2. Your Help Needed: As such, I thought to seek your opinions on the following questions: (1) Is my ID / contractor taking me for a ride? Do BCA / HDB guidelines really require railings with so many vertical bars? (2) How have others gotten their modern / minimalist staircase designs (with horizontal bars) approved? What are some suggestions to help me on my situation? (3) Should I speak with the HDB officer directly? (My contractor has thus far blocked access to the HDB officer) -------- Please feel free to PM me, thanks so so so much in advance for your help!!! My renovations haven't even started, despite my engaging the ID in Nov 2015...imagine that....
  12. Limited Edition HDB Executive Maisonette in Bukit Batok Central - Direct home owner is selling. - 150 sqm area. Block is on elevated ground. Peaceful & safe environment. - High floor with unblock view & lifts landing on every floor. - 4 extremely spacious bedrooms (3+1). - 4-5 min walk to West Mall, MRT & bus interchange. 1 min walk to Community Centre & coffee shop. Easy access to nearby bus-stops & easy to find cabs. - 8 min walk to wet market. - 24hrs Amenities to supermarkets (NTUC & Giant), McDonald, confectionery shop, coffee shop, Chinese restaurant, roti prata coffee shop. - Short walk to library, park, swimming pools, bowling centre, cinemas & post office. Near to Neighbourhood Police Post, golf range, driving school, country clubs, regional library, skating rink, Science Centre, Future Jurong Lake Gardens - Next to Jurong East Central Business District such as Gateway, IMM, TradeHub21, JE Hub, JTC Building & more. - Short MRT ride to JEM, Westgate, IMM, Big Box, J Cube, Genting Hotel, Devan Nair Institute, Lot 1, Clementi Mall, Yew Tee Point, Jurong Point. - Easy access to infant care, child care & student care. - Educations: MMI Montessori, Learning Vision, St Anthony's, Keming, Princess Elizabeth, Swiss Cottage, Millennia Institute (Pre-U), Canadian International, Dulwich College, Bukit Batok Sec, Pei Hwa Presbyterian, MGS, Nan Hua, CHIJ, Bt Panjang Govt High, School of Science & Technology, Polytechnics, NUS, NTU & German European School. - Enrichment schools: Morris Allen, Berries World, Tien Xia Chinese, Yamaha Music, Shichida Method, Aspire Hub, Stalford, LCentral, The Learning Hub, MindChamps & more. - Any buyers, regardless of their ethnic group and citizenship. - Strictly no agents. Only for direct buyer. **Contact Direct Owner @ 82106729
  13. doubleEM

    IMG 8203

    Maisonette Floor Plan

    © doubleEM

  14. Hi Renotalk users, I have been reading up and getting tips, so i thought i would also start something. Just bought a corner EM at Bukit Gombak and am waiting for final apointment to get the house keys. Had been having a hassle with HDB/seller to purchase recess area together with the resale transaction but that is now hopefully finally settled! Here's the original floor plan:
  15. We will be collecting our keys to our EM on 25th April 2013, so we thought this might be the best time to start our t-blog to provide a bit of background to our home purchase; Granted HDB (private was out of the question for us) has a few options through which we can buy houses, mainly the BTO, SBF and resale schemes. We were getting married in Jan 2013 and our search for a house was only beginning in Sept 2012, so the earlier we got a house to call our own, the better. As such, our best bet was either the SBF or resale. Of course there was the EC but small space for a high cost pitch really wasn't too attractive to house. My mentality when the house search began was, "Anything also can la; Near MRT, not near MRT also can." I was just excited at the thought of getting a place! Any place would have been exciting to me. But my husband had a very very specific criteria; He wanted an EM. Spaciousness offered by the EM was very attractive to him (Jumbo was just too big for 2 people and thank God we agreed on that) so with all his hopes pinned on getting an EM, we applied for the Sept 2012 SBF. We went for Woodlands because both of us grew up here and were very comfortable with the place but by the end of the exercise, we were disheartened with the final ratio ( 21 flats, out of which 1 was an EM and 6 other were immediately available with the rest ready 2013 onwards, and almost 500 applications) I even started looking for resale flats immediately after the final tally was out because it looked like we had a very high chance of not getting an immediately available flat, much less an EM. Resale was just too expensive and we silently kept hoping we would get a number at least within 100 so we might just be able to get our hands on 1 of the 21 flats. Results day drew near and I finally got a call from my husband-to-be then and I only remember hearing a soft panting amidst which i heard him keep repeating, "oh my gosh, i can't believe it, guess our number" And so I said, "Ok wow, 30??(Or something like that)" It was a number less than 2. From that day, we were faced with a different kind of dilemma; Which flat to choose?! To my husband it was very straightforward; the EM and nothing but the EM whereas I was very convinced it was anything but the EM for the reason that I found it just too big for us (and we all know who does the cleaning in the end). What followed were days of reasoning on why the EM, why not the EM until finally, yes it was the EM. Another blessing since our search for a house began was that our first appointment was a scheduled for a day immediately after a day we returned from our wedding. Talk about the perfect wedding gift If selecting the house was a problem, finding a contractor/ID was just as much of a headache. But of course, we had been following Renotalk dutifully from Sept last year so the comments and recommendations for IDs/contractors really helped. After speaking with a lot of them, we decided to give Mr Yeak, once again highly recommended by Renotalk forumers from what I understand, a call although we heard it's very difficult to get him. I am happy to say that it has been a wonderful experience so far speaking with him so long story short, we will be engaging him as our contractor for the renovation of our home. I must add that a super long starting post is no indication of future post lengths I will update more once we get pictures of our place (actually got already la from first viewing but we shall try to take prettier ones after getting the keys next week) It has been a truly blessed journey so far and we hope to have an equally smooth reno journey or at least take the hiccups in our stride Last but not least, here's the floor plan! Ok nvm; It was clearly too ambitious of me to think I could upload a floor plan with my first attempt at creating a t-blog I'll figure this out and share it with y'all soon! Thanks for reading and peace out!
  16. Hello All, I just signed the dotted lines for my property at Tampines Court. It is a maisonette and I need some serious renovation. Anyone here staying in Tampines Court who recently did renovation works? Any ID or contractors here who have carried out renovation work for Tampines Court? Please advise. Thanks
  17. Dear bro and sis, I am back to start a new t-blog on my new home since the last renovation done at my 4 room unit about 4 years ago. This is a dream come true for us that at last we found our ideal location for our EM. As mentioned in some of the posting long time ago, I only target 2 blocks of EM near my existing location @ Jurong West. Early April this year, we found one unit @ block 7xx and on 1st view we decided to ons it and pay OTP 3 days later...we didn't even look carefully at the floor plan. As we are buying on Contra arrangement, the whole process took much longer and got our keys on 1 Aug 2014. Started renovation on the 5th Aug and targetting completion in a month time. The progress so far is good, I will say about 75% done up. The exisitng condition of the unit is not too bad, partial renovated about 4 years ago so I am not doing a full tear down with minimum hacking work. I will try to update my floor plan and photos (existing, progress and current) when I have more time. Btw, my unit is those that comes with odd shape with a lot of slated wall...you will see it when I upload the floor plan. So far, I am confident that I can complete my renovation in time and shift in after the 7th month. Booked the date for shifting on the 8 September.... I hope my renovation journey can give some of those that has a rush schedule some confident that everything is possible thru good planning and a group of good contractors. I done it before 4 years ago for my 4 room with 1 month completion and I believe I can do it for this unit too... Btw my team of contractors - ID Note - Henry - Supreme - Kelvin - Faith Coat - Philips - Star Cool Aircon (Aron and Ah Boon) I promised to give them a fair report after my renovation and I will as promised. Stay tune...
  18. ~5 Mins To Admiralty MRT ~Near Amenities (Giant Express Supermarket, Prime Supermarket, UOB Bank, MacDonalds, KFC, FoodCourt, 24 Hours CoffeeShop & etc) ~Big Spacious Room ~Fully Furnished ~With Aircon ~Utilities Included ~Friendly Chinese Landlord ~Move In 1st July 1 Pax $650 / 2 Pax Or Couple $750 Call Landlord Cindy @ 91448099 For Viewing Now!
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