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Like many others, I have been getting ideas from fellow renotalkers for our home. After 4.5 years of wait, we finally got our keys to our 4-rm BTO! As you can see from the floor plan, our bomb shelter is in the kitchen And these are some pictures of the rest of our "kosong" house as we did not opt for any flooring, doors or sanitary fittings. We did not have any wash basins in the toilets as well. So basically, we only had kitchen floor and wall tiles and a toilet bowl in each toilet! And so because we waited for 4.5 years, upon our collection of keys, we went straight in to roll all the pineapple, sprinkle rice at 4 corners, etc. I am not that superstitious, but the hubby wanted to follow the rules and whatnot so I complied. We did our defect checking on the very same day and I must say that we were lucky to not have that many defects. These were the few things which we spotted: - cracked wall along the entrance to the master toilet - stained / cracked tile (only 1 in the entire house) - hollow "openings" below the windows - scratches on main door and metal parts of windows We submitted the defect list the following day and we were told it would take 14-16 days for rectification to complete. To our surprise, it was all done after 1 week! ID and contractor selection As I was constantly excited about our house, our search for an ID began about 1 year before our key collection as I always heard that the TOP will be a year earlier (in fact, it wasn't). We were rather naive and gullible then and went to meet almost 10 IDs who gave us quotations just with the floor plan. By the way, we relied on q a n v a s t heavily during our search for an ID as we wanted to have a look at their past projects before meeting them. Sky Creation I forgot his name but we went to his office twice to discuss about the things that we wanted. He wasn't very pushy, but he still wanted to talk us into placing a deposit on the 2nd meeting. We wanted to look around so we turned him down politely. Fortunately, we didn't place any deposit as we have heard quite horrendous reviews about them over the 1 year. M3 Studio This lady was very frank (too frank actually). She did suggest some ideas and drew what we articulated quite well on a piece of blank paper. She also suggested quite a few ideas which other IDs did not managed to. It got quite uncomfortable when we told her that we haven't gotten our keys and she went like "I know you definitely won't come back if you leave now. It's ok, it's your choice ultimately." Starry Homestead Again I forgot his name, but he looked very decent (and totally like a salesman more than an ID) and discussed some ideas with us. We were at their office which had a showroom so the discussion went on and it was time to leave. He did not press us to place any deposit and told us to think it over before getting in touch again. However, after turning him down, he contacted the hubby several times and asked "so how?" many times until he finally gave up after 1-2 months? Lux Design We got to know them through q a n v a s t. We liked some of their works shown. I think they are contractors turned IDs because they have their own carpentry factory. Our meet up was always with the two of them because one was an apprentice. We did not take them up as we did not feel comfortable letting an inexperienced apprentice take over the design of our house. Also, most ideas were from us and they just said "ok". Chapter One Design After reading positive reviews about them on renotalk. We had a pleasant meet up with Fadhil. However, somehow Jonathan was roped in and the project became quite "grey" as we did not know exactly who was in charge of designing our home. Fadhil is a very nice guy and his ideas were also in line with ours. He also wasn't pushy and checked back with us even after 6 months! The hubby really wanted to sign with them, but I stopped him because I was so engrossed in reading all the renotalk tblogs and came to know of a few popular contractors. Contractors J & E I texted Edmund on the very day we collected our keys. Perhaps it was my fault to text him at 10.15pm so I did not receive a reply. The next morning, I texted him again with a "hello?" and he finally replied and we met the following week at our "kosong" house. As we communicated our ideas to him, he was constantly busy answering calls. I sort of expected this but still, I appreciate the fact that he was still trying his best to listen to our needs and wants. He jotted down briefly in his notebook and drew some rough drawings in it. The quotation came 3 days later as promised and we were quite disappointed to see that it was on par with an ID quotation. However, the hubby reminded me that at least this was an accurate quotation as compared to IDs who relied on floor plans to quote us. I told him to let me have some time to look through the quote and I'll get back to him next week. It has been 2 weeks and I never got back - and he never did as well. Although we have heard great reviews on their workmanship, the hubby and I were just not comfortable to engage someone who was constantly busy and unable to attend to us. Contractor K from h2o Interior Another renowned contractor is Mr K from renotalk. I texted him on the same morning I texted Edmund "hello?" and he replied almost immediately! I thought that his reply was fast because he was excited that he would be getting another project to work on. However, throughout our 2 weeks of communication, his replies have been quite fast. Even when I was upset about an increase in price in the quotation (also because hubby and I kept changing our ideas), he called me immediately to explain the reasons and that he doesn't mark up prices for no reason. I calmed down and listened (the hubby also talked some sense into me) and everything was back to normal. We changed our quotation a total of 5 times within 2 weeks! Even with so much going on, Mr K never once mentioned about taking any payment from us. Oh yes, he came down to our house twice because we needed to clarify some stuff. It was hard to fix a date to sign the contract as he is also very very busy! Weekends were out so we are going to sign the contract with him the week after next and choose our tiles and laminates for the cabinets and wardrobe on the same day. With no payment collected from us yet, Mr K has passed us 3 forms to fill up (installation of service yard windows, hacking of walls, commencement of reno) which we have since passed it back to him. He has submitted those forms to HDB which means that reno may commence very soon once we select our tiles at Hafary! In my next post, I shall share the things that we have bought thus far from Amazon and local stores as well as Taobao. Oh yes, and my mood board