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Kerio

K's Reno Journey

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Wanted to set up a blog in Renotalk but realised the date of post kept reflecting 2009, so decided to use the thread format instead.

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Disclaimer: All posts are my personal views and opinions - it is not my intention to do harm, injure, defame or libel any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual, and I will not be held responsible, nor will be held liable, for anything anyone says by way of comment which contravenes local laws through the comments’ content, implication, and intent. All the events chronicled are based on my experience, and your final assessment should only be reached after your personal analysis of the company via a personal visit and interview with the prospective renovator.

This blog was supposed to be a cheery online diary chronicling the ins-and-outs of my renovation process, with the ultimate goal of giving credit to the renovation company for a job well done and to show off a well renovated apartment. Unfortunately, as you will read, it turned out to be a painful experience for me. That said, it would be unfair to penalise the company for the errors of one renovator, as I'm sure there're capable renovators in the company who are more than able to do a better job.

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To recap, we had some problems with the 3D designs our ID provided for us - first we were called to pay $1k deposit for the 3D drawings (the original agreement was for 13 views of the house), which we did. We then went by to look at the hardcopies 2 weeks later and only saw 2 drawings, and the perspective was inverted. We were very disappointed since the ID company was quite far away from our place, but ID told us the layouts were done but the pictures were not rendered yet.

So we went back after some time (1-2 weeks? Can't remember) and this time we were shown 3 drawings - only one additional, and the perspective was STILL inverted. At that very point in time, I started reconsidering the ID.

Then they told us they would send us the 3D drawings via softcopy only if we signed the contract with them (I recall seeing this for other ID Companies too, so apparently this is industry practice); so despite my misgivings, we signed, contacted our banks, and waited for the 3D drawings.

We received 8 drawings in our email after a few days, but only 5 were ours (including the 3 we already saw); the other 3 belonged to another project they were doing. And the perspective was STILL inverted. SMSed her to take her time with the 3D drawings but to get them right (i.e. to get them done professionally), and contact us when the drawings were ready.

UPDATED PCD - Early August 2010

HDB just updated our probable completion date, so the estimated date we'll receive our apartment is likely to be sometime around late September.

We're just going to go with AXtXend for now, and see if things improve.

We certainly do hope it will.

Floorplan and HDB assigned tiles for the apartment attached for reference.

630dimensionnoBayWindow.jpg

DSC00010.jpg

Edited by Kerio
 

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PENDING

Still waiting for the 3D designs and reno permit (for the reno loan). We had considered the possibility that the 3D designs are badly done because the first deposit hasn't been paid (since the reno permit is still pending on their end, and my wife's cheques can only be issued when we get the keys), but dismissed it when we thought of it since the $1k was the downpayment for the 3D drawings in the first place.

Edit:

ID called to tell us the Reno Permit will have to wait as it requires some dimensions which none of us know yet, so they'll hold off the first payment until after key collection. Meanwhile, she'll send us the 3D drawings once they're done, but she'll be checking through to ensure everything's ok.

We're actually very impressed with her response time, and we're really hoping things will work out, since we quite like her. She's pleasant to work with, to be honest.

We've realised that trusting your ID to do his/her job well is probably one of the more stressful things in life. On the one hand, you know that you'll be paying close to $1000 per month for the next 5 years for the reno and hence nothing must go wrong or you'll be VERY angry, but on the other hand you know that the ID is your choice, so if anything goes wrong, you can only complain all over the place and blame your own judgement.

It is an industry that could do with better regulation than the RADAC or HDB Certification, both of which don't guarantee good workmanship or trustworthiness. (the RADAC certification is more or less bought, and HDB certification is based on whether they follow safety and dumping regulations - none of which are directly relevant to the quality of work done.)

 

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Post dated 26 Aug 2010

DECISION TIME

My wife and I have come to a decision after the months of consideration.

If the ID doesn't come up with the promised 13 views in the correct perspective and colors in the next correspondence, we have decided that we'll drop her.

We might need to find out how to get the $1k deposit back (refund is done in value of accessories, not cash refund; even if no actual performance of work was carried out), and we might even incur a hefty penalty for cancelling the loans, but it's safer to incur a loss there than have to suffer through years of misery in a badly made house.

But it'd have to be soon, since it'd mean we'd need to source for a new ID. And no more risks this time, we'd go for the established, well tested ones from the forums.

Post dated 31 Aug 2010

3D Perspectives

Submitted our HLE application yesterday! A lesson to be learnt from my little HLE adventure:

If you're getting a BTO flat, Don't try to submit a new application unless HDB requests you do so. The one you submit when you first apply for the flat is still applicable and will continue to be until your flat is ready; HDB will send you the old copy for amendments and you send it back. After the amendments are sent out and approved, the HLE is valid for 3 months. E.g. if you apply for a flat in 2007, you will have to apply for a HLE (mandatory) then. In 2010, when you get your flat, HDB will send you the HLE letter you filled out in 2007 for amendments. Attach relevant documents, and send back.

Also received the 3D drawings from our ID. Most of the designs are right this time, so we're quite pleased. Although not 100% accurate (the L-shaped shelves in my study room are missing! Being a bit of a bookworm, that's travesty!), the ID promised she'd change them by Tuesday.

Some pics below:

Kitchen - we decided on Matt laminates, not sure if that's a good idea. Black and White theme as well (colors to be changed in next meeting).

63793919.jpg

Living Room - Right on the money.

83673499.jpg

The rest of the 8 3D perspectives need to be recolored, but at least everything's more or less there. Good progress all things considered.

Also found out she's getting married on Saturday, so being able to run through all the designs and so on while preparing for her wedding must be quite tough. Since we have a soft spot for these things, all is forgiven. And the wife really clicks well with her, so we'll be staying with this ID, I guess. Let's hope the workmanship is good!

 

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Nice 3Ds so far! Where is your flat located? :D

It's at Punggol Vista! Looking forward to Punggol 21!

Though from what I heard from a friend who works nearby, the only atmosphere around the area right now appears to be the scent of drainage from the nearby river. Which is why I intend to air-condition the entire apartment (minus the toilets) :D

 

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It's at Punggol Vista! Looking forward to Punggol 21!

Though from what I heard from a friend who works nearby, the only atmosphere around the area right now appears to be the scent of drainage from the nearby river. Which is why I intend to air-condition the entire apartment (minus the toilets) :D

Oh I see. i think they should be cleaning up the river bah... ;) but its always good to air con the entire apartment! :rolleyes:

 

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Oh I see. i think they should be cleaning up the river bah... ;) but its always good to air con the entire apartment! :rolleyes:

Ya! We're on the 14th floor, so should be quite windy too :D

 

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Heh heh, thanks! :) A bit small, but then all apartments thesedays are around this size >.<

ya so cannot fuss about that. If you want newer then it's smaller.. older... bigger.. Give and take! Hope to see more updates soon! :)

 

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