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  1. Hello everyone!!! Beginning I've been a silent reader for many months now and I thought it should be my turn to contribute what ever I can back to this community! I had this sudden urge to pen down my experiences since we are 3 days away from the ACTUAL renovation. I am surfing the net for all the nitty-gritty stuff for our house, stressing myself out over those and thought coming here might be a good idea at 3am! So here goes! How it started... After my 'then' boyfriend proposed to me last year, we started looking out for properties in the eastern and north-eastern side of Singapore! R (now husband) and I prefer a newly empty space for us to build a home together so naturally our first choice was to ballot for a flat through "sale of balance". We didn't pin our hopes too high cause our queue number was out of the number of available units and there were little units among them which we shortlisted. We started browsing through resale flats for months while R was still optimistic about our ballot (never say die). Months and months of waiting and finally our prayers were answered! We got one of our favorite units! Search Early this year, we finally locked in our first 'love nest' at TPY HDB Hub and we started searching (almost frantically) for both ideal moodboards and ID/Contractors. Before we started anything, we sat down and had a serious discussion about finance. Zero loans. So we have extremely strict budget to work with and we broke it down into 3 sections. Renovation (quote given by ID/Contractor) Electrical (wirings, sockets, switches, lightings) Furnitures & Appliances (Bed, W/C, fridge etc) I must say this budget has been working extremely well for both of us cause we made it as detailed as possible, itemised, and did quite a fair bit of comparison! Be as realistic as possible and ask around with your family or friends for quotes! Most of them are more than happy to share! Back to the search for ID/Contractors. Thanks to renotalk, my knowledge about renovation widened, deepened and saved me from looking too noob infront of those guys. lol. Both R and I prefer engaging an ID because we both lack quite badly in the creative department and we are hoping to minimize the need to liaise between different suppliers or contractors. Nevertheless, all in all we met up with 4 IDs and 2 contractors (semi-ID) over a period of 2 months. This is by far the most tedious process for both of us cause it fried our brains so badly. It's not until we met these professionals that we realised renovation has A LOT, A LOT, A LOT of details and factors to consider. 1) ID A A was the very first ID we met and we had no idea what to expect from the meeting! We met up near my place, he was early, dressed well, pretty young and speaks well. He nervously took out few sheets of papers with drawings on them and I could see his hands trembled a bit. When I saw those papers infront of us, I like him already! He came prepared with proposed space-planning sketches according to my specifications through a 20-mins conversation prior to our meeting! Of course, he also prepared a drafted quotation based on what he drew and the quotation wasn't too bad! Though not all details were captured, he was really patient in jotting down our needs/wants and identifying any potential difficulties in our ideas. We were having our hopes high on this ID and really excited in receiving his revised space-planning sketch and quotation but sadly, he did not send us till almost a month later. 2) ID B We met up with B right after ID A and we weren't really pleased. First of all, he was late for our first meeting, I refused to wait for another 30mins so I called the meeting off. R was being kind and suggested we should give him another chance since he apologised genuinely, we did. Okay, so our first meeting happened and unlike ID A, he is very down-to-earth in both his dressing and his personality! He was punctual, cheerful and very approachable. He also came to us with a draft and he is definitely way more experienced than ID A. As much as he would accommodate all our crazy ideas and wants, he would stop us nicely to inform us of the pros and cons of materials/ placements/ appliances etc and the potential roadblocks we may face. The first meeting with him took 2 hours and he didn't even at any point sneaked a peek at the time. I couldnt remember how long, but he came back to us within 3 days with a hand-sketched space planning + 3D of EVERYTHING we discussed via whatsapp. We could feel his eagerness in our projects and was pretty sincere. I shall continue the rest another day. it's 3.20am now and I should catch some sleep! Will try to post the visuals next time Night night!
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