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  1. After months of lurking here (or maybe years, I was here back in 2007 when I was renovating my current unit too), I think it's time to start my t-blog! We plan to start the reno a month from now, and aim to complete by mid-October which is when I have to move out of my current place. The unit we purchased is a Tampines EM. It was actually our family home, but now that my siblings and I have moved out, my parents felt it was time for a downgrade and it was a good opportunity for us to upgrade from our current 4 room. Floorplan Having lived here for 20 over years, I kinda thought this layout was very normal. But both my ID and the HDB valuer said that they had not seen a unit like this. Renovation plan The last major renovation was done about 15 years ago, to the toilets and balcony. The kitchen, perhaps 10 years ago. But we wanted to make this OUR home, so it will be undergoing a major transformation, at least the downstairs, that is. Nothing major to bedrooms other than electrical and painting. Our target areas - balcony - kitchen - toilets - study room - dining room - living room We're playing mahjong with the downstairs rooms, shuffling the areas to fit our lifestyle. Design concept/theme Our main driving force in the design of our house is......practicality! Haha...I don't have a helper, my kids are still young, I don't like housework (other than laundry), so I wanted a house that would be easy to upkeep. First thing to go were the glass shower screens. No cove lights. Reduced storage to discourage hoarding and clutter, so no overhead cabinets in the kitchen. We also wanted a feature bookcase, because we love our books and want an area to display the various trinkets from our family holidays. Oddly enough, this bookcase will be open = dust collection = not practical? However, glass doors are a greater nemesis LOL. Some ideas: Must...have...blue...cabinets... Our initial idea for the study was shelved due to impracticality. But when I saw this....I thought it was beautifully done. *sends to ID* Our feature bookcase will occupy the long wall at the living room. Approx. 5 m kitchen barcounter...my ID's plan was to use kompacplus but I couldn't get over how thin it was. So my ID said, OK, we can make it a thicker countertop, but use laminate to cover. Then I saw this guy's counter and felt, well, it doesn't look too bad after all. ID selection When we renovated our current place, due to time constraints we just went with the first ID we met. What a big mistake. The guy was so immature. Lesson learnt! This time, ID hunting actually started in April. I submitted a request for quotations on Renotalk but didn't get any replies leh. In any case, I figured less is more, and heard that word of mouth is the best so we asked around for recommendations. We visited 4 IDs, and only received quotations from 2. However, Andrew from Designer Guys came highly recommended by twinklecloud and ricepapergirl who also had their EMs done by him, and when we met up with him, he came across as someone we could get along with so I guess you could say it was love at first sight, haha! Andrew was also a little older, more experienced, he was generous with his advice and life stories. Already we've met him 4 more times since our first meeting, 1 site visit, 2 trips to do tile shopping and 1 afternoon spent in his office choosing laminates (while my kids tore up his office/showroom!). Our current quotation is a little over $70k, which excludes the fittings and electricals. Can faint? Budgeting an additional 20% for the 'unexpected'. Everytime someone asks me where we are going for vacation, I tell them "Tampines lor".
  2. Hihi guys! Hope the day have been good for you so far! Well, I finally joined the renotalk family today after my many visits to this portal for reno ideas and reading the blogs of some of the forummers here.. Finding the read every rewarding in many ways and that many of you open my eyes to the world of renovation such as the material used for the reno, design ideas and even the type of furnitures, appliances that you all eventually got for your home.. Ermm... In other words, I litterally getting myself "poison" along the way coz whenever I read the blogs, I'll start to think "Hey, maybe I should get this for my house too!"... Arghhh!!.... Kekeke.. I have been toying the idea of starting a t-blog for awhile now coz I'm quite worried about no time to maintain the blog... However, decided to start it so that we can document our reno journery and that we can see how far we manage to achieve the look that we want as a home.. So... I hope that all the qian bei here can help to guide us along if we happen to ask some noob questions about renovation.. Thanks in advance yet! Ohh... And I also want to declare that I'm not officially MrsKhoo (my username) yet but am going to be in a week plus time.... So very very busy during this time. Hoping the time could fly till after my wedding.. Very tiring now... So enough of the lengthy introduction.... Let's get down to the main topic on our new place! We bought a resale EA in the Northern part of Singapore in January 2014 and finally got our keys to our new place just last month... The search to our marital home was completed in only viewing about 5 to 6 houses.. Hahaha.. Yes! yes! I know.. I know.. That was fast right! We decided to buy the house as we find that it is bright and airy. We did viewed a few houses before this place and we were attracted to it on our first visit there.. Maybe because the few houses before that were ermmm.. yucky with some of the units having their floor & ceiling super dark and dirty.. Some have weird design with the orientation of the door to the bomb shelter / storeroom in the middle of the living room wall (wondering why HDB built it like that) and 1 unit asking for high COV for a place that is so rundown when alot of houses were offering $0 or little COV at that time.. And so we went back to this only house that we like again on a 2nd time at night to have a look and we still like it. So that's when we decided to make our offer that was $10k lower than the valuation price. But... the owners refused to budge on the price so no choice lor.. Since we like it then just got to accept the price lor.. Ok.. Thats all for my first post.. Will share the floor plan to my place once I find out how to attach photos.. Hahaha.. Forgive me k for the long grandfather's story and that I gong gong didnt go find out how to attach photo first before writing my first post... Will be back soon de! Cheers!