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citygirl

A&a On Inter-terrace House

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Hi guys,

I'm new here. There is so much to read.

Compared to you guys, my works are probably minor :)

Bought a small inter-terrace of about 1800 sqft which is in relatively good condition.

This being our second home, we don't have the kind of money to rebuild.

So we are looking at the basic reconditioning to make the place more to our liking.

Just wondering if anyone knows if it is possible and how much will it cost to extend the rooms upstairs by building on the existing pillars?

Thanks for reading.

 

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It's been a long time since I started this thread and my house is about four months to completion. I promised to provide more information but never got down to it as I have been so incredibly busy, juggling work and family commitments plus making countless decisions on the house.

But I thought I should share now that I am at the 70% mark.

To recap, my inter-terrace is sitting on about 2500 square feet land, and once done, will have over 3500 square feet of built-up area. It started out as a 2-storey house with 3 rooms and will eventually be 2.5 storeys with 6 rooms, 3 with attached baths, 1 common bath and 1 powder room. Plus a maid's room with her own toilet.

My project was/is extensive. Reinforced the structure to add the attic floor, built a new two-storey "house" at the back of the existing house and linked both with a bridge. Existing house was stripped bare and everything is new - walls were completely replaced, new alumninium roof, new wiring, new plumbing, new flooring throughout, staircase was rebuilt... everything! In the new "house" at the back, I have also got a roof terrace and a spiral staircase. Right down to the front driveway and front and back walls and gates were replaced.

My finishes are of fairly good quality - marble flooring for living and dining (slabs, not pre-cut pieces), teak flooring elsewhere, bathrooms are in granite/homogeneous tiles, LED lighting throughout. Extensive cabinetry throughout the house, ceiling-mounted cassette-type aircons for common areas and wall units for bedrooms.

The entire cost for my project is approximately S$1.3m, includes S$90K to the architect, S$15K to the structural engineer, S$9K to the Quantity Surveyor (QS). The rest goes to the contractor or have been budgeted by the QS as PC Sums (cabinetry, landscaping, aircon etc.), which are estimates of what you would spend and if select stuff at a lower cost, are direct savings for you. Does not include furniture, but includes lighting, doors and ironmongery and all sanitary wares, sinks, taps etc.

Based on my experience so far:

- a good architect is worth every cent. My architect has worked on this project with me for over one year and the time she has spent on my project (plus the expertise from other senior architects in the firm whom she consults with from time to time) has been priceless. I meet my architect once a fortnight now and am talking to her almost everyday. She takes care of every detail of the project, from things that I have tasked her with to things that I never even thought of.

For example, I have an external spiral staircase that leads from the ground floor to my bridge between both houses, and up to the roof. To me, it's just a spiral staircase and I want it in black steel. To her, apart from the calculations of size and height of steps etc. she would ask the contractor to fabricate a sample of the step, and then agonize over how the step would look from the top, the side and the bottom depending on how the steel parts are welded together. Such is their attention to detail and the resulting quality that you would get, not to mention the expert advice on space planning, aesthetics, choice of materials etc. For S$90K, I expected a lot less.

- the SE and QS I met only once or twice. The architect helps me deal with them so I hardly need to. On the QS, I was a little surprised at the beginning of the project because I thought he would be working for my interest and trying to push costs down, but that's not the case. Instead, he lays out what is a fair price for the job, sometimes even telling the contractor what he should charge me for changes I wanted made. I found this odd at first, but I have gotten to appreciate it as it's fair to everyone, and helps in the long run as my contractor is almost like a partner to me on this project because he is paid fairly.

- I had three contractors bid for the project, two who regularly worked with the architect and a third which was recommended by one of the architects in the firm, who had worked with him before. All three came back with similar quotes plus minus $100K. We went with the cheapest and so far, I have been very happy with him. He's pretty easy-going and didn't charge me for a lot of extra stuff or modifications along the way. Possibly because I am paying him a fair price? He is also a small-time builder with only two projects each year, which meant that he was not GST-registered. For a contract sum of over S$1 million, no GST meant several tens of thousands in savings!

- It helps to know what you want and to know what kind of a person you are. I do not have the time to micro-manage and I am not detail-oriented so the architect does that for me. For other forumers who have the time, expertise, knowledge and inclination to be very hands-on, I believe you can get the same done for less. But to be honest, I do not think a lot less, as building is very costly. You could probably get more savings depending on the finishings you choose.

Can't think of much else to add but happy to share more information if anyone is interested. I remember starting off completely clueless and thanks to other forumers, managed to get some good advice before I started. So here I am, paying it forward! ;)

Fingers crossed that the rest of the project runs as smoothly as it has so far. Will update again when I have completed!

 

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It's been a long time since I started this thread and my house is about four months to completion. I promised to provide more information but never got down to it as I have been so incredibly busy, juggling work and family commitments plus making countless decisions on the house.

But I thought I should share now that I am at the 70% mark.

To recap, my inter-terrace is sitting on about 2500 square feet land, and once done, will have over 3500 square feet of built-up area. It started out as a 2-storey house with 3 rooms and will eventually be 2.5 storeys with 6 rooms, 3 with attached baths, 1 common bath and 1 powder room. Plus a maid's room with her own toilet.

My project was/is extensive. Reinforced the structure to add the attic floor, built a new two-storey "house" at the back of the existing house and linked both with a bridge. Existing house was stripped bare and everything is new - walls were completely replaced, new alumninium roof, new wiring, new plumbing, new flooring throughout, staircase was rebuilt... everything! In the new "house" at the back, I have also got a roof terrace and a spiral staircase. Right down to the front driveway and front and back walls and gates were replaced.

My finishes are of fairly good quality - marble flooring for living and dining (slabs, not pre-cut pieces), teak flooring elsewhere, bathrooms are in granite/homogeneous tiles, LED lighting throughout. Extensive cabinetry throughout the house, ceiling-mounted cassette-type aircons for common areas and wall units for bedrooms.

The entire cost for my project is approximately S$1.3m, includes S$90K to the architect, S$15K to the structural engineer, S$9K to the Quantity Surveyor (QS). The rest goes to the contractor or have been budgeted by the QS as PC Sums (cabinetry, landscaping, aircon etc.), which are estimates of what you would spend and if select stuff at a lower cost, are direct savings for you. Does not include furniture, but includes lighting, doors and ironmongery and all sanitary wares, sinks, taps etc.

Based on my experience so far:

- a good architect is worth every cent. My architect has worked on this project with me for over one year and the time she has spent on my project (plus the expertise from other senior architects in the firm whom she consults with from time to time) has been priceless. I meet my architect once a fortnight now and am talking to her almost everyday. She takes care of every detail of the project, from things that I have tasked her with to things that I never even thought of.

For example, I have an external spiral staircase that leads from the ground floor to my bridge between both houses, and up to the roof. To me, it's just a spiral staircase and I want it in black steel. To her, apart from the calculations of size and height of steps etc. she would ask the contractor to fabricate a sample of the step, and then agonize over how the step would look from the top, the side and the bottom depending on how the steel parts are welded together. Such is their attention to detail and the resulting quality that you would get, not to mention the expert advice on space planning, aesthetics, choice of materials etc. For S$90K, I expected a lot less.

- the SE and QS I met only once or twice. The architect helps me deal with them so I hardly need to. On the QS, I was a little surprised at the beginning of the project because I thought he would be working for my interest and trying to push costs down, but that's not the case. Instead, he lays out what is a fair price for the job, sometimes even telling the contractor what he should charge me for changes I wanted made. I found this odd at first, but I have gotten to appreciate it as it's fair to everyone, and helps in the long run as my contractor is almost like a partner to me on this project because he is paid fairly.

- I had three contractors bid for the project, two who regularly worked with the architect and a third which was recommended by one of the architects in the firm, who had worked with him before. All three came back with similar quotes plus minus $100K. We went with the cheapest and so far, I have been very happy with him. He's pretty easy-going and didn't charge me for a lot of extra stuff or modifications along the way. Possibly because I am paying him a fair price? He is also a small-time builder with only two projects each year, which meant that he was not GST-registered. For a contract sum of over S$1 million, no GST meant several tens of thousands in savings!

- It helps to know what you want and to know what kind of a person you are. I do not have the time to micro-manage and I am not detail-oriented so the architect does that for me. For other forumers who have the time, expertise, knowledge and inclination to be very hands-on, I believe you can get the same done for less. But to be honest, I do not think a lot less, as building is very costly. You could probably get more savings depending on the finishings you choose.

Can't think of much else to add but happy to share more information if anyone is interested. I remember starting off completely clueless and thanks to other forumers, managed to get some good advice before I started. So here I am, paying it forward! ;)

Fingers crossed that the rest of the project runs as smoothly as it has so far. Will update again when I have completed!

Wah!!,,,, your inter terrace already 1.3mil for extensive aa. No wonder I was quoted 2mil for a new erection for my semi d!!! Building cost is vv steep nowadays.

 

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It's been a long time since I started this thread and my house is about four months to completion. I promised to provide more information but never got down to it as I have been so incredibly busy, juggling work and family commitments plus making countless decisions on the house.

But I thought I should share now that I am at the 70% mark.

To recap, my inter-terrace is sitting on about 2500 square feet land, and once done, will have over 3500 square feet of built-up area. It started out as a 2-storey house with 3 rooms and will eventually be 2.5 storeys with 6 rooms, 3 with attached baths, 1 common bath and 1 powder room. Plus a maid's room with her own toilet.

My project was/is extensive. Reinforced the structure to add the attic floor, built a new two-storey "house" at the back of the existing house and linked both with a bridge. Existing house was stripped bare and everything is new - walls were completely replaced, new alumninium roof, new wiring, new plumbing, new flooring throughout, staircase was rebuilt... everything! In the new "house" at the back, I have also got a roof terrace and a spiral staircase. Right down to the front driveway and front and back walls and gates were replaced.

My finishes are of fairly good quality - marble flooring for living and dining (slabs, not pre-cut pieces), teak flooring elsewhere, bathrooms are in granite/homogeneous tiles, LED lighting throughout. Extensive cabinetry throughout the house, ceiling-mounted cassette-type aircons for common areas and wall units for bedrooms.

The entire cost for my project is approximately S$1.3m, includes S$90K to the architect, S$15K to the structural engineer, S$9K to the Quantity Surveyor (QS). The rest goes to the contractor or have been budgeted by the QS as PC Sums (cabinetry, landscaping, aircon etc.), which are estimates of what you would spend and if select stuff at a lower cost, are direct savings for you. Does not include furniture, but includes lighting, doors and ironmongery and all sanitary wares, sinks, taps etc.

Based on my experience so far:

- a good architect is worth every cent. My architect has worked on this project with me for over one year and the time she has spent on my project (plus the expertise from other senior architects in the firm whom she consults with from time to time) has been priceless. I meet my architect once a fortnight now and am talking to her almost everyday. She takes care of every detail of the project, from things that I have tasked her with to things that I never even thought of.

For example, I have an external spiral staircase that leads from the ground floor to my bridge between both houses, and up to the roof. To me, it's just a spiral staircase and I want it in black steel. To her, apart from the calculations of size and height of steps etc. she would ask the contractor to fabricate a sample of the step, and then agonize over how the step would look from the top, the side and the bottom depending on how the steel parts are welded together. Such is their attention to detail and the resulting quality that you would get, not to mention the expert advice on space planning, aesthetics, choice of materials etc. For S$90K, I expected a lot less.

- the SE and QS I met only once or twice. The architect helps me deal with them so I hardly need to. On the QS, I was a little surprised at the beginning of the project because I thought he would be working for my interest and trying to push costs down, but that's not the case. Instead, he lays out what is a fair price for the job, sometimes even telling the contractor what he should charge me for changes I wanted made. I found this odd at first, but I have gotten to appreciate it as it's fair to everyone, and helps in the long run as my contractor is almost like a partner to me on this project because he is paid fairly.

- I had three contractors bid for the project, two who regularly worked with the architect and a third which was recommended by one of the architects in the firm, who had worked with him before. All three came back with similar quotes plus minus $100K. We went with the cheapest and so far, I have been very happy with him. He's pretty easy-going and didn't charge me for a lot of extra stuff or modifications along the way. Possibly because I am paying him a fair price? He is also a small-time builder with only two projects each year, which meant that he was not GST-registered. For a contract sum of over S$1 million, no GST meant several tens of thousands in savings!

- It helps to know what you want and to know what kind of a person you are. I do not have the time to micro-manage and I am not detail-oriented so the architect does that for me. For other forumers who have the time, expertise, knowledge and inclination to be very hands-on, I believe you can get the same done for less. But to be honest, I do not think a lot less, as building is very costly. You could probably get more savings depending on the finishings you choose.

Can't think of much else to add but happy to share more information if anyone is interested. I remember starting off completely clueless and thanks to other forumers, managed to get some good advice before I started. So here I am, paying it forward! wink.gif

Fingers crossed that the rest of the project runs as smoothly as it has so far. Will update again when I have completed!

Hi City Girl,

I read your posts on your journey of building your house with interest. We bought a corner terrace and did some basic A&A works. Though the contractor was recommended by a friend he did such a bad bad job that we have now no choice but to reconstruct the house to say the least. We tried to save on the architect cost - big mistake too - he was a hands off guy.

After reading all the posts and the stress we went through, have decided to go for a good architect who will advise us and the contractor. Please is it possible to share your architect contact as she appears to be hands on. Thank you.

My email is sharanya@outlook.sg

We would really appreciate it.

Sharon

Edited by sharon
 

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