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Hi all.

Just bought a 2 sty terrace 2000sqft land. Want to convert it into a 2.5 sty with the usual touch up to the current interior.

Have approached a few builders who have took copies of my structural drawings to conceptualise (with their architects and PEs) designs and get back to me on the estimated costs (no obligations).

However, another builder strongly suggests that I get my own architect to design the new layout. Then base on that layout, I go approach builders for building quotes.

Can anyone advise which is the better option? Kinda blur here. Any recommendation on architects or builders?

The builders I have approached:

Aaeon

Koong Yee

Eurobuilders

Acespeed

John-Best

Appreciate any help from forumners. Cheers.

 

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Hi all.

Just bought a 2 sty terrace 2000sqft land. Want to convert it into a 2.5 sty with the usual touch up to the current interior.

Have approached a few builders who have took copies of my structural drawings to conceptualise (with their architects and PEs) designs and get back to me on the estimated costs (no obligations).

However, another builder strongly suggests that I get my own architect to design the new layout. Then base on that layout, I go approach builders for building quotes.

Can anyone advise which is the better option? Kinda blur here. Any recommendation on architects or builders?

The builders I have approached:

Aaeon

Koong Yee

Eurobuilders

Acespeed

John-Best

Appreciate any help from forumners. Cheers.

i have approach an architect who quote me 35k (the lowest so far). but the same architect did for 22k for one of the forum writer. when ask, he says cos there were 2-3 project together. maybe if we can work together, we can cut down on the prices.

 

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i have approach an architect who quote me 35k (the lowest so far). but the same architect did for 22k for one of the forum writer. when ask, he says cos there were 2-3 project together. maybe if we can work together, we can cut down on the prices.

Architecture is somewhat half art and half science so I think it's important to gauge the quality of the architect and not just the price. If budget is prioirty above all else, ie you don't really care about any interesting design or good space planning, then I suggest skip the architect route, use a builder directly.

Edited by kardtoon
 

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All,

Decided to draft out my design and pass it to the builders to show to their architects/PEs, and get back to me with the quote.

Mine is just a small 2000sqft terrace, not a 4000sqt land where you can build external wings, water features surrounding the house, spiral stairs, real garden rooftop, lofts here and there, or a pool smacked in the middle. So I don’t really need an architect who charges daylight robbery just to insert those features into the building. All I need is someone who charges a down-to-earth fee to feed his family, and not his Ferrari.

At the end of the day, the value of the house is based on GFA and land size. The who-and-who who designed the house counts nothing in the eyes of the evaluator, and even the buyer.

The design options for a 2.5 sty 2000sqft terrace are limited. And we probably see them all by poking our noses into Open Houses of newly built terraces currently on sale. And get inspirations from flipping some local architecture mags. Having done that I have a good idea of how I want my house to be.

Besides, I am adopting a minimalistic house design with double volume and glass skylight roof top. So how difficult can the designing be?

Of course I have to practice common sense by minimising structural change and grouping all the pipings together. Anyway, I have already briefed the builders that any of the current beams or columns that gets in the way of the new design, just remove and reinforce with new ones. Just get it done or propose an alternative way, and tell me the cost. Most important is to get the interior structure fixed. Once that is done, shaping the exterior façade for an arty farty look is easy.

Just my 1 cent worth. I may be wrong. I am just speaking from a new bird’s point of view.

Will update all on my house building project, including names of builders. I don’t understand why forum-ers are hush hush about discussing names openly. The purpose of forum is to share.

Bro GreenTurf, for the part of being cost-efficient by banding a few projects together sounds weird. I believe you can only be cost-efficient, if you are building a few houses of the identical design and land size. Unless if we are neighbours of a row of terraces, it is unlikely your land size and shape is the same as mine. And hence the house configurations will be different.

 

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All,

Decided to draft out my design and pass it to the builders to show to their architects/PEs, and get back to me with the quote.

Mine is just a small 2000sqft terrace, not a ...

Besides, I am adopting a minimalistic house design with double volume and glass skylight roof top. So how difficult can the designing be?

Will update all on my house building project, including names of builders. I don’t understand why forum-ers are hush hush about discussing names openly. The purpose of forum is to share.

Congratulations on your purchase of the house. For an intermediate terrace with 2000 sqft land size, the build up can be quite large and you can have quite luxurious interior design.

Cheers!

 

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All,

Decided to draft out my design and pass it to the builders to show to their architects/PEs, and get back to me with the quote.

Mine is just a small 2000sqft terrace, not a 4000sqt land where you can build external wings, water features surrounding the house, spiral stairs, real garden rooftop, lofts here and there, or a pool smacked in the middle. So I don’t really need an architect who charges daylight robbery just to insert those features into the building. All I need is someone who charges a down-to-earth fee to feed his family, and not his Ferrari.

At the end of the day, the value of the house is based on GFA and land size. The who-and-who who designed the house counts nothing in the eyes of the evaluator, and even the buyer.

The design options for a 2.5 sty 2000sqft terrace are limited. And we probably see them all by poking our noses into Open Houses of newly built terraces currently on sale. And get inspirations from flipping some local architecture mags. Having done that I have a good idea of how I want my house to be.

Besides, I am adopting a minimalistic house design with double volume and glass skylight roof top. So how difficult can the designing be?

Of course I have to practice common sense by minimising structural change and grouping all the pipings together. Anyway, I have already briefed the builders that any of the current beams or columns that gets in the way of the new design, just remove and reinforce with new ones. Just get it done or propose an alternative way, and tell me the cost. Most important is to get the interior structure fixed. Once that is done, shaping the exterior façade for an arty farty look is easy.

Just my 1 cent worth. I may be wrong. I am just speaking from a new bird’s point of view.

Will update all on my house building project, including names of builders. I don’t understand why forum-ers are hush hush about discussing names openly. The purpose of forum is to share.

Bro GreenTurf, for the part of being cost-efficient by banding a few projects together sounds weird. I believe you can only be cost-efficient, if you are building a few houses of the identical design and land size. Unless if we are neighbours of a row of terraces, it is unlikely your land size and shape is the same as mine. And hence the house configurations will be different.

Hi there,

of course i can understand that each will have their own idea of how they want their individual house to be. but if the architect or builder is getting 2 jobs/project together, they might be able to offer a better deal.

e.g. the increased amount of raw material, e.g. bricks, steel, piping etc. will get them a better price from their supplier. as for the architect,they will be earning from two project instead of one. and if we source for our own tiles and others accessories like toilet fitting, door & windows , volume will add to negotiating power, no?. just my 2 cents worth of thought.

At present i have narrow down to 2 architect , both quoting 30-35k for architect & PE service . if yours can offer a better rate, i dont mind giving them a call. Alternatively, most buidler charges 38-45k for the same services. Sure 5,10k is not much if you consider the overall charges of rebuilding - but this saving can then be use for other stuffs.

BTW, i got a rough est. for building a BIPV solar roof. And if someone has already installed it on their roof, can you help by letting me know how much did you pay, who is your spplier/contractor and your rating on the overall performance of the company and their product? Much appreciate it.

BTW, i am not just looking for cheap deal but fair deal. From most of the architect & builders i talk to or contact so far, for someone out to build a simple, down to earth house - i just feel that a lot of the services & cost are overprice.i mean, building a fancy house with fancy design, window/doors, interior decoration is cheaper than a simple, down to earth house with no interior decoration?? i fail to see the logic behind this?

 

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All,

Decided to draft out my design and pass it to the builders to show to their architects/PEs, and get back to me with the quote.

Mine is just a small 2000sqft terrace, not a 4000sqt land where you can build external wings, water features surrounding the house, spiral stairs, real garden rooftop, lofts here and there, or a pool smacked in the middle. So I don’t really need an architect who charges daylight robbery just to insert those features into the building. All I need is someone who charges a down-to-earth fee to feed his family, and not his Ferrari.

At the end of the day, the value of the house is based on GFA and land size. The who-and-who who designed the house counts nothing in the eyes of the evaluator, and even the buyer.

The design options for a 2.5 sty 2000sqft terrace are limited. And we probably see them all by poking our noses into Open Houses of newly built terraces currently on sale. And get inspirations from flipping some local architecture mags. Having done that I have a good idea of how I want my house to be.

Besides, I am adopting a minimalistic house design with double volume and glass skylight roof top. So how difficult can the designing be?

Of course I have to practice common sense by minimising structural change and grouping all the pipings together. Anyway, I have already briefed the builders that any of the current beams or columns that gets in the way of the new design, just remove and reinforce with new ones. Just get it done or propose an alternative way, and tell me the cost. Most important is to get the interior structure fixed. Once that is done, shaping the exterior façade for an arty farty look is easy.

Just my 1 cent worth. I may be wrong. I am just speaking from a new bird’s point of view.

Will update all on my house building project, including names of builders. I don’t understand why forum-ers are hush hush about discussing names openly. The purpose of forum is to share.

Bro GreenTurf, for the part of being cost-efficient by banding a few projects together sounds weird. I believe you can only be cost-efficient, if you are building a few houses of the identical design and land size. Unless if we are neighbours of a row of terraces, it is unlikely your land size and shape is the same as mine. And hence the house configurations will be different.

Sounds like a very sensible approach given that you know what you want to do and is fairly confident about the design of your house.

 

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Hi there,

of course i can understand that each will have their own idea of how they want their individual house to be. but if the architect or builder is getting 2 jobs/project together, they might be able to offer a better deal.

e.g. the increased amount of raw material, e.g. bricks, steel, piping etc. will get them a better price from their supplier. as for the architect,they will be earning from two project instead of one. and if we source for our own tiles and others accessories like toilet fitting, door & windows , volume will add to negotiating power, no?. just my 2 cents worth of thought.

At present i have narrow down to 2 architect , both quoting 30-35k for architect & PE service . if yours can offer a better rate, i dont mind giving them a call. Alternatively, most buidler charges 38-45k for the same services. Sure 5,10k is not much if you consider the overall charges of rebuilding - but this saving can then be use for other stuffs.

BTW, i got a rough est. for building a BIPV solar roof. And if someone has already installed it on their roof, can you help by letting me know how much did you pay, who is your spplier/contractor and your rating on the overall performance of the company and their product? Much appreciate it.

BTW, i am not just looking for cheap deal but fair deal. From most of the architect & builders i talk to or contact so far, for someone out to build a simple, down to earth house - i just feel that a lot of the services & cost are overprice.i mean, building a fancy house with fancy design, window/doors, interior decoration is cheaper than a simple, down to earth house with no interior decoration?? i fail to see the logic behind this?

Having discussed this with builders before, the savings from building a few houses together will come primarily from deployment costs and this can only be realized if the houses are within the same street from each other. Material savings from building small family homes like ours aren't very much. Even if you pool together a few house, the amount of bricks, accessories will likely not move the needle very much. Unless you are lucky and will be able to pool together with a condo sized or similar housing development.

 

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Having discussed this with builders before, the savings from building a few houses together will come primarily from deployment costs and this can only be realized if the houses are within the same street from each other. Material savings from building small family homes like ours aren't very much. Even if you pool together a few house, the amount of bricks, accessories will likely not move the needle very much. Unless you are lucky and will be able to pool together with a condo sized or similar housing development.

Agree with Kardtoon that contractors may find it difficult to pool substantial savings from different locations of small houses construction. I built my place together with 2 of my neighbours who are just next to my house. The workers can be deployed to the three sites easily and the builder has a lot of convenience in moving goods, materials and people around. One foreman can look after three sites. The workers could wait for my cement to cure before they start working on the site further. In the meantime, they could work on the adjacent sites. In this way, I got better quality construction as the building process is not rushed and there is no wastage of either workers idling or working on the site too fast, compromising quality before the cement fully cure.

My neigbour confirmed the building design and made the payment first. After which, the builder approached me and gave me a highly discounted price taking into account the materials that was used for my house construction. I think the builder basically do it at cost and partly subsidize me because my neighbour has already paid a substantial amount for professional fees, cost of piling work, soil test, etc... In fact, I basically only pay for the piles as the deployment of the piling machine has already been charged to my neighbour. In addition, my builder is bent on "stealing" the deal from his rival construction firm. I was initially planning to use the services of my current builder's rival, until my builder came along and offered what the rival construction firm called, "Impossible Price".

At the end of the day, I would not have been able to afford the high cost of construction and get high quality construction materials and enjoy high quality construction process if not for the confluence of factors and circumstances. Another of my neighbour who recently rebuilt his house shared with me that his architect who has monitored my house construction work informed my neighbour that he could not deal with me for anything less than $1.2 million for the demands I placed on the construction process, workmanship and materials.

Recently, my friend bought a house and he insisted that I introduce my contractor to him. Guess what? My current contractor quoted him $1.3 million. I guessed, I was lucky.

 

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A key learning from all this is that a large determinant factor of the price depends on how hungry a contractor is. Costs are about the same and many contractors today operate on very healthy margin given the construction boom. A hungry contractor who wants to secure work to keep this team busy will charge very different from a contractor whose team is already fully loaded with projects during the period where you want to your project done.

Often hear comments in the forum about ABC contractor who charged low for one forummer and others asking for contact... be warned that the resultant quotes may not be similarly cheap. IMO it's best to ensure that you get several quotes and make the best decision from there.

 

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A key learning from all this is that a large determinant factor of the price depends on how hungry a contractor is. Costs are about the same and many contractors today operate on very healthy margin given the construction boom. A hungry contractor who wants to secure work to keep this team busy will charge very different from a contractor whose team is already fully loaded with projects during the period where you want to your project done.

Often hear comments in the forum about ABC contractor who charged low for one forummer and others asking for contact... be warned that the resultant quotes may not be similarly cheap. IMO it's best to ensure that you get several quotes and make the best decision from there.

Yes, I heard from some forumers about the ABC Contractor too.

I think different builders have different cost structures. Some outsource most of the work and project managed the construction process. Depending on the cost, I find the quality of construction usually quite poor. This is because the builder normally use only those who bid low for the sub-contract and the sub-contractors will usually prefer to rush through the project so that it can be completed on time and they get to collect payment aster.

Some builders have a team of inhouse workers and a small factory to fabricate certain wood and metal works for the construction process. It may be less efficient because the builder is making a range of services and products in-house. However, the quality control tend to be more personal and there is more ownership and pride for the work being done.

I think there are pros and cons for both approaches and it is not necessarily true that contractors experience same cost and often have high margins. Some could actually be prepared to earn less to secure the deal, some would prefer to ensure that quality is high to promote a good reputation and less issues on warranty and some are simply trying to chop the customers. Different contractors, different strokes.

 

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I feel that choosing a contractor is also a highly personal thing. Some people look for the lowest cost and can live with lower finishing standards. Others requires a lot of attention to detail. Material quality also differs greatly. Cost of construction goes up every year so comparisons to house built a few years ago is moot. Arcitect cost is different as well as an architect with innovative design and ideas will not cost the same as a cookie cutter design. At the end of the day the best thing to do is set a budget

. Allow for 10 to 20 percent allowance and select architect, contractor and rest based on a realistic selection process. I think cheap and good almost never exist here. Value for money is the key and value is a highly individual thing.

 

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<!--quoteo(post=629181:date=Apr 13 2011, 10:39 PM:name=iamken)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (iamken @ Apr 13 2011, 10:39 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=629181"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Hi all.

Just bought a 2 sty terrace 2000sqft land. Want to convert it into a 2.5 sty with the usual touch up to the current interior.

Have approached a few builders who have took copies of my structural drawings to conceptualise (with their architects and PEs) designs and get back to me on the estimated costs (no obligations).

However, another builder strongly suggests that I get my own architect to design the new layout. Then base on that layout, I go approach builders for building quotes.

Can anyone advise which is the better option? Kinda blur here. Any recommendation on architects or builders?

The builders I have approached:

Aaeon

Koong Yee

Eurobuilders

Acespeed

John-Best

Appreciate any help from forumners. Cheers.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

i have approach an architect who quote me 35k (the lowest so far). but the same architect did for 22k for one of the forum writer. when ask, he says cos there were 2-3 project together. maybe if we can work together, we can cut down on the prices.

Hi,

Just curious, for 35k does your architect do project management? will he deal with the builder throughout the project?

I am also in a similar position bought a property, sourcing around for architect and/or builder. Some architect quote u a price and they'll draw up yr needs and that is the end, some will see thru the project.

 

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Hi,

Just curious, for 35k does your architect do project management? will he deal with the builder throughout the project?

I am also in a similar position bought a property, sourcing around for architect and/or builder. Some architect quote u a price and they'll draw up yr needs and that is the end, some will see thru the project.

I think for $35K, the architect is unlikely to spend much time with you in terms of project management. There is a forumer who spends about $100K on the architect and she feels that it is worth the money. I think she mentioned that the architect will be helping her manage the project.

If you have a generous budget for rebuilding and wishes to use the architect route, I think it is worthwhile to spend some time with the architect to run through with him the services he provides for you, what he could and will do for you, etc. One of my neighbour spent $170K on architect and professional fees. I did not choose this route because of budgetary constraints and I project manage the construction process myself. It has been quite a tedious as well as educational process.

 

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