Jump to content
Find Professionals    Deals    Get Quotations   Portfolios
Sign in to follow this  
citygirl

A&a On Inter-terrace House

Recommended Posts

Now I'm getting really nervous; don't know if I will have the time, and energy, to be as hands on as Petunialee. And even if I did, I don't think I have a meticulous eye for detail. Sigh!

So I have also made up my mind and will go with my original award-winning architect. After conversing with him a couple of times and talking to others, I still feel most comfortable with him. He builds beautiful houses, and I want a beautiful house! ;)

But this forum has given me invaluable advice and I think I'm approaching it with more knowledge than before. Thanks to all and I will share on this forum when my project kicks off too!

Look forward to your sharing when your project kicks off. Cheers! :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looking for good contractors? Click here for your request
Now I'm getting really nervous; don't know if I will have the time, and energy, to be as hands on as Petunialee. And even if I did, I don't think I have a meticulous eye for detail. Sigh!

So I have also made up my mind and will go with my original award-winning architect. After conversing with him a couple of times and talking to others, I still feel most comfortable with him. He builds beautiful houses, and I want a beautiful house! ;)

But this forum has given me invaluable advice and I think I'm approaching it with more knowledge than before. Thanks to all and I will share on this forum when my project kicks off too!

You go girl!! End of the day, whatever you pay the archi, you gotta be comfy with him and trust him.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Petunialee,

Congratulations on completion of your first floor. Will your contractor wait for the 28 days for the concrete to dry up completely and reach its maximum strength before constructing further up?

I don't think so. There is a natural pause between one floor's casting and the next. They'll take a while after the casting to position steel bars, formworks... place more footings elsewhere on that piece of land before the next casting. Whilst the concrete cures, other work can and does continue. My castings (1st, 2nd and 3rd storeys) are spaced 2 weeks apart. That gives the concrete 14 days to cure. Given that the cement strength has been over specified, it should be ok to begin casting the next storey after 14 days.

Hmmm... at least that was what I understood. The clerk of works (whose license is in jeopardy if the house does not meet govt specifications) seems to think this normal.

What is your experience with this though?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think so. There is a natural pause between one floor's casting and the next. They'll take a while after the casting to position steel bars, formworks... place more footings elsewhere on that piece of land before the next casting. Whilst the concrete cures, other work can and does continue. My castings (1st, 2nd and 3rd storeys) are spaced 2 weeks apart. That gives the concrete 14 days to cure. Given that the cement strength has been over specified, it should be ok to begin casting the next storey after 14 days.

Hmmm... at least that was what I understood. The clerk of works (whose license is in jeopardy if the house does not meet govt specifications) seems to think this normal.

What is your experience with this though?

Hi Petunialee,

For my place, I think my engineers and contractors were quite kiasu, they did quite extensive piling works and as they lay the cement around the piles, I think they used solid bricks to cover the area and left the area to dry up for 30 days before they start putting in the concrete for the first floor of which they also let the concrete dry up by waiting for another 30 days. That's why my construction took about 3 months just to lay the foundation and first floor. I think the contractor also let the concrete dry up for 30 days for the second floor and the pillars from the first to the second floor. After which constructing of the third floor and fourth floor onwards, they only let the cement dry up for 3 weeks to dry up.

My contractor normally do not wait for 30 days because idle machinery and not putting labour into higher productivity cost him money. I think he did that because he had to rush a project at another site and his foreman is very particular about letting the cement dry up completely.

I think the cement should be sufficiently dry after 2 weeks. I don't think clerk of works's license is in jeopardy because I saw some of my neighbours' house contractors only waited for a week or even less to proceed with the works. The result is plenty of cracks on the wall after sometime. However, as long as the water proofing is well done and the joints are properly constructed, the hairline cracks could be permanently rectified by re-plastering the wall using high quality cement and then painting over it using STO sealant and paint.

Cheers!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Petunialee,

For my place, I think my engineers and contractors were quite kiasu, they did quite extensive piling works and as they lay the cement around the piles, I think they used solid bricks to cover the area and left the area to dry up for 30 days before they start putting in the concrete for the first floor of which they also let the concrete dry up by waiting for another 30 days. That's why my construction took about 3 months just to lay the foundation and first floor. I think the contractor also let the concrete dry up for 30 days for the second floor and the pillars from the first to the second floor. After which constructing of the third floor and fourth floor onwards, they only let the cement dry up for 3 weeks to dry up.

My contractor normally do not wait for 30 days because idle machinery and not putting labour into higher productivity cost him money. I think he did that because he had to rush a project at another site and his foreman is very particular about letting the cement dry up completely.

I think the cement should be sufficiently dry after 2 weeks. I don't think clerk of works's license is in jeopardy because I saw some of my neighbours' house contractors only waited for a week or even less to proceed with the works. The result is plenty of cracks on the wall after sometime. However, as long as the water proofing is well done and the joints are properly constructed, the hairline cracks could be permanently rectified by re-plastering the wall using high quality cement and then painting over it using STO sealant and paint.

Cheers!

Thanks for sharing your experience!! Appreciate!!

I was such a sotong when I started this that I hope to document enough of the process to help those who build after me. Otherwise, one ends up paying too much for shoddy work.

Edited by petunialee
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think so. There is a natural pause between one floor's casting and the next. They'll take a while after the casting to position steel bars, formworks... place more footings elsewhere on that piece of land before the next casting. Whilst the concrete cures, other work can and does continue. My castings (1st, 2nd and 3rd storeys) are spaced 2 weeks apart. That gives the concrete 14 days to cure. Given that the cement strength has been over specified, it should be ok to begin casting the next storey after 14 days.

Hmmm... at least that was what I understood. The clerk of works (whose license is in jeopardy if the house does not meet govt specifications) seems to think this normal.

What is your experience with this though?

One more thing that I did which I omitted sharing with you. I did not allow my contractor to carry out more works on the site after they have casted the cement, especially the pillars and beams. I find that workers can be very careless and if strong objects knock onto the beams or pillars while it has not dried completely, there will be permanent damage to the beams and pillars, thereby reducing their strength. Hence, I am quite particular about workers doing more work at the site when they are waiting for the cement to dry up. I also ensured that the contractor put in stronger and bigger rebar iron beyond the minimum so that the structure is going to be really strong. The result is the pillars and beams get bigger than normal. The cement that I used for the structure is close to the same quality as those used for home shelter. This is to ensure that the structure of the building is built to a higher degree of rigour and can really become timeless.

With stronger structure it means that you can put very heavy stuff such as putting very big fibre glass fish tank or store very heavy stuff in your house, balcony, etc.. without fear of cracks on the floor. With a very strong foundation, it means that after many years and even when there are major construction nearby, your house won't suffer from settlement effects.

The con of this is spending more money, more time and a lot more monitoring of the project. The contractor will want to save money and satisfy the minimum requirement which by international standards, Singapore is already very high.

Cheers!

Edited by leechaorui
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for sharing your experience!! Appreciate!!

I was such a sotong when I started this that I hope to document enough of the process to help those who build after me. Otherwise, one ends up paying too much for shoddy work.

As long as the contractor satisfy the minimum standards, I think the construction is already quite good quality. If you want to go way beyond the minimum standards, it will mean more cost, more time and more monitoring. Architects and contractors are businessmen and their first aim is to make profit at the fastest time and not build the house to the highest possible standard using the strongest quality material and methods.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

I've already appointed my architect, at a fixed fee of S$90K.

Am about to appoint the structural engineer and quantity surveyor, and the best quotes I got were S$15K and S$9K respectively. Does anyone have PEs and QSs that they used which were cheaper? Would greatly appreciate your contacts so that I can call them to try to get more competitive quotes. Recalled from earlier in this thread that my quotes were on the higher side.

Also, what would be a reasonable amount to set aside for BCA submission fees? Is S$10K a fair amount?

Thanks!

Edited by citygirl
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi all,

I've already appointed my architect, at a fixed fee of S$90K.

Am about to appoint the structural engineer and quantity surveyor, and the best quotes I got were S$15K and S$9K respectively. Does anyone have PEs and QSs that they used which were cheaper? Would greatly appreciate your contacts so that I can call them to try to get more competitive quotes. Recalled from earlier in this thread that my quotes were on the higher side.

Also, what would be a reasonable amount to set aside for BCA submission fees? Is S$10K a fair amount?

Thanks!

Wow.... that's a lot of money to pay for the architect :o . For the rest of the professionals, you may want to ask your architect for recommendation and do a competitive tender since you are already paying so much for the architect's fee.

The BCA, SCDF, URA submission fee should add up to about or less than $10K even if you do erection of the house.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi all,

I've already appointed my architect, at a fixed fee of S$90K.

Am about to appoint the structural engineer and quantity surveyor, and the best quotes I got were S$15K and S$9K respectively. Does anyone have PEs and QSs that they used which were cheaper? Would greatly appreciate your contacts so that I can call them to try to get more competitive quotes. Recalled from earlier in this thread that my quotes were on the higher side.

Also, what would be a reasonable amount to set aside for BCA submission fees? Is S$10K a fair amount?

Thanks!

I don't think there would be a fixed fee for PE and QS. It would depend on the scope of your construction, degree of difficulty, etc etc. Best to ask your architect to call for tender. if you get recommendations from friends, just ask them to join the tender.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, leechoarui and kardtoon. Yes, the architect's fees are pretty high and I know I can get others at a lower fee, but we decided to go with it anyway as we really like the design he came up with. Besides, we reason that paying a good architect about S$20k - 40k more might work out in the long run for us as the architect is the one vendor who will stay with us throughout the entire process, helping us supervise all others and exacting high standards from all other vendors like the contractor.

And based on advice from Petunia, we negotiated for a fixed fee instead of a percentage fee based on construction cost. This way, I have a better handle on what my total cost would come up to.

The architect got three quotes each for the QS and PE and these were the lowest. But I remember Petunia had even lower so I thought I'd try others before I confirm these.

So far, it is looking like my reconstruction (don't qualify for A&A as GFA increased by a lot and not totally rebuilding, ie. keeping foundations) will be in the region of S$1m all in, including fixtures, furnishings, carpentry...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, leechoarui and kardtoon. Yes, the architect's fees are pretty high and I know I can get others at a lower fee, but we decided to go with it anyway as we really like the design he came up with. Besides, we reason that paying a good architect about S$20k - 40k more might work out in the long run for us as the architect is the one vendor who will stay with us throughout the entire process, helping us supervise all others and exacting high standards from all other vendors like the contractor.

And based on advice from Petunia, we negotiated for a fixed fee instead of a percentage fee based on construction cost. This way, I have a better handle on what my total cost would come up to.

The architect got three quotes each for the QS and PE and these were the lowest. But I remember Petunia had even lower so I thought I'd try others before I confirm these.

So far, it is looking like my reconstruction (don't qualify for A&A as GFA increased by a lot and not totally rebuilding, ie. keeping foundations) will be in the region of S$1m all in, including fixtures, furnishings, carpentry...

Totally makes sense. End of the day, the architect should work for you, so if you find one where you really like the design and can click with you, i think it's a wise decision.

Another point to note is the builder/architect relationship. I've found that architects tends to have a few builders that they like to work with so during tender they will typically bring those in. I did bring in my one more that I found into the mix but ended up that was more expensive that the rest. Anyway during the construction process, my architect was able to negotiate a lot of extra stuff to be done without charges. I noticed that when my architect asks for design change (e.g. use more glass to let in more lights etc), there were no VOs applied. Whenever I asked for any design change, they will usually (not always but usually) charge me. I realised that there is a relationship that the builder would like with the architect in order to gain further future referrals, hence as long as they have a comfortable margin from the project, they will acceed to request from the architect. This relationship really helped in my construction not just in terms of cost but also speed, problems solving, etc.

If you need further advice, please feel free to contact me via PM.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

Aura Sink download renotalk renovation guide


×