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iamken

Builder Vs Architect

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IMO it's best to ensure that you get several quotes and make the best decision from there.

Hi George,

I went to my friend's place which is beside your beautiful house. Saw you and your wife in your sporty white car about to drive out this morning. Very nice house design.

Agree with you that obtaining a few quotes will be helpful, especially quotes that comes with explanation of house design, materials used, construction process and the experience of the labour deployed. Cheers!

 

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Hi George,

I went to my friend's place which is beside your beautiful house. Saw you and your wife in your sporty white car about to drive out this morning. Very nice house design.

Agree with you that obtaining a few quotes will be helpful, especially quotes that comes with explanation of house design, materials used, construction process and the experience of the labour deployed. Cheers!

Thanks for the compliment Chaorui. Next time let me know before hand and drop in for a cup of coffee.

BTW, you probably also saw the two houses in my row about to start rebuild...both using pretty well known architects... can't wait to see how those turns out. :yamseng:

 

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Thanks for the compliment Chaorui. Next time let me know before hand and drop in for a cup of coffee.

BTW, you probably also saw the two houses in my row about to start rebuild...both using pretty well known architects... can't wait to see how those turns out. :yamseng:

 

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Hi all,

After 2 mths of selection... i got myself a builder. This fella has been doing constructions for houses in the vicinity. So he has a good knowledge of the current house structure and terrain. He even brought me to view 6 already-done houses in the neighbourhood, which the owners warmly welcome him and me as their guests. Now talk about good rapport with past customers.... that is one builder I can trust.

Price $399k for A&A

Include

2000sqft to 3000sqft built up

2 sty to 2.5 sty

option of tiled (German flat tiles) or flat concrete rooftop

Airwell and super big sky light

DB to each sty

auto gate

all bedrooms, toilets and main door

chopping down of two existing trees

electrical wirings and plumbing pipings

only the staircase is retained... all other walls will be torn down

'envelope' facade walls all the way to the setback boundary

800 x 800 homo floor tiles (opt for all tiles as I dun like parquet)

Not Included

PE $18.5k (builder's partner... abit pricey, but since they got years of experience in the neighbourhood, they knew where are the problematic beams and columns... so can 'tackle' it, and submit for a-first-try-can-get-approve design.

aircon

toilet and kitchen vanity

lightings

carpentry

Will update all on my building progress.

Oh yah, to put up your construction for tender may not mean cheaper quotes. Tell you all next time.

 

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Hi all,

After 2 mths of selection... i got myself a builder. This fella has been doing constructions for houses in the vicinity. So he has a good knowledge of the current house structure and terrain. He even brought me to view 6 already-done houses in the neighbourhood, which the owners warmly welcome him and me as their guests. Now talk about good rapport with past customers.... that is one builder I can trust.

Price $399k for A&A

Include

2000sqft to 3000sqft built up

2 sty to 2.5 sty

option of tiled (German flat tiles) or flat concrete rooftop

Airwell and super big sky light

DB to each sty

auto gate

all bedrooms, toilets and main door

chopping down of two existing trees

electrical wirings and plumbing pipings

only the staircase is retained... all other walls will be torn down

'envelope' facade walls all the way to the setback boundary

800 x 800 homo floor tiles (opt for all tiles as I dun like parquet)

Not Included

PE $18.5k (builder's partner... abit pricey, but since they got years of experience in the neighbourhood, they knew where are the problematic beams and columns... so can 'tackle' it, and submit for a-first-try-can-get-approve design.

aircon

toilet and kitchen vanity

lightings

carpentry

Will update all on my building progress.

Oh yah, to put up your construction for tender may not mean cheaper quotes. Tell you all next time.

Better to check with the contractor on what is the total cost. You can buy your own lighting but set a budget for the rest. In this way, you get a better sense of reality in terms of what you will be paying. At the final count for construction cost, I think it is prudent to add another 15% more for incidentals that you didn't cater for.

I didn't bargain a cent with my contractor on the fees he quoted me. The reason being, I have already called for several quotes and had quite lengthly discussion with them. I told my contractor that I didn't bargain because I expect him to meet my expectations on build quality and there will be no hidden cost for the project. You can decide for yourself if you wish to bargain with him.

Cheers!

 

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Yup. There are other costs, and bills will come fast and fury.

Already broke my piggy bank to buy the house. Really envy those who bought their houses a couple years ago when houses were still cheap.

Already paid down payment for the PE when she submitted the drawings (progressive payments as the construction goes along). And also the submission fee too (aka my contribution towards nation building).

Expecting SingPower letter to ask for money, since I just got them to open the supply.

And I heard reconnecting city gas at the later stage of construction is another $5k.

Man, I have never felt so broke in my life. :(

Fortunately this builder uncle is very honest…. He told me he will definitely complete the project even if anything crops up during construction. I have learnt from frens that some builders stop work and ask owner to pay more money once they encounter unexpected issues that require extra work (eg structure or sewage). No extra payments, work will stop, cos they will say the contract did not specify the works on those issues.

I guess $399k is a decent price for A&A, considering the whole house will be torn down except for the stairs, ground floor and second floor. Shift the kitchen from back to front (meaning total re-do of sewage line. Frontal and back extension to the house. And of course adding a 3rd level. Sounds like a Recon than A&A huh? And because under A&A we can’t heighten the height of the ground floor, this uncle has a trick…. He will scrape off the floorings and lower the ground level by a good 30-40cm until he sees the footing. He says the developer who did the vicinity houses 30 yrs ago, applied a very thick layer of cement under the flooring tiles.

I have got quotes around $360k to $460k, but their works are very superficial. Basically just putting up an extra floor, while minor structural change or just adding balconies to the existing rooms on level 2. And the problem with these builders who quoted me, are not on-site people. Meaning they outsource the drawings and they dun oversee the construction themselves. They are either the companies’ bosses (one drove mercs 300, one drove mercs 200 and one drove BMW!!!), or they are sales rep. So during shortlisting, when I asked them questions about changes to their proposal, they have to ‘get back to me shortly’.

For this uncle (he drives a pickup), he is the site person, running from site to site. Whatever amendments I popped, he will take a minute to think and immediately tell me if it’s feasible (whether a beam or column will be in the way)

Ok lah, there was one that quoted me $280k. But when I asked to see his drawings, have not revert until now. Anyway, can tell from a look on his quotation that hidden costs lurk.

Anyway, I did not bargain with him when he presented me the quotation. I simply told him “I am not going to bargain with you. You and I are businessmen, and credibility is important. I trust you will do a good job”.

Anyway, those are already history. Now we are just waiting for 6th July for the official demolition work. It’s a feng shui thing to start work on a auspicious date and time.

By the way, can anyone advise on LED downlights? Worth the money? And I heard its light path is rather narrow, so you need many of these to light up a room compared to downlights using energy saving lights?

 

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Yup. There are other costs, and bills will come fast and fury.

Already broke my piggy bank to buy the house. Really envy those who bought their houses a couple years ago when houses were still cheap.

Already paid down payment for the PE when she submitted the drawings (progressive payments as the construction goes along). And also the submission fee too (aka my contribution towards nation building).

Expecting SingPower letter to ask for money, since I just got them to open the supply.

And I heard reconnecting city gas at the later stage of construction is another $5k.

Man, I have never felt so broke in my life. :(

Fortunately this builder uncle is very honest…. He told me he will definitely complete the project even if anything crops up during construction. I have learnt from frens that some builders stop work and ask owner to pay more money once they encounter unexpected issues that require extra work (eg structure or sewage). No extra payments, work will stop, cos they will say the contract did not specify the works on those issues.

I guess $399k is a decent price for A&A, considering the whole house will be torn down except for the stairs, ground floor and second floor. Shift the kitchen from back to front (meaning total re-do of sewage line. Frontal and back extension to the house. And of course adding a 3rd level. Sounds like a Recon than A&A huh? And because under A&A we can’t heighten the height of the ground floor, this uncle has a trick…. He will scrape off the floorings and lower the ground level by a good 30-40cm until he sees the footing. He says the developer who did the vicinity houses 30 yrs ago, applied a very thick layer of cement under the flooring tiles.

I have got quotes around $360k to $460k, but their works are very superficial. Basically just putting up an extra floor, while minor structural change or just adding balconies to the existing rooms on level 2. And the problem with these builders who quoted me, are not on-site people. Meaning they outsource the drawings and they dun oversee the construction themselves. They are either the companies’ bosses (one drove mercs 300, one drove mercs 200 and one drove BMW!!!), or they are sales rep. So during shortlisting, when I asked them questions about changes to their proposal, they have to ‘get back to me shortly’.

For this uncle (he drives a pickup), he is the site person, running from site to site. Whatever amendments I popped, he will take a minute to think and immediately tell me if it’s feasible (whether a beam or column will be in the way)

Ok lah, there was one that quoted me $280k. But when I asked to see his drawings, have not revert until now. Anyway, can tell from a look on his quotation that hidden costs lurk.

Anyway, I did not bargain with him when he presented me the quotation. I simply told him “I am not going to bargain with you. You and I are businessmen, and credibility is important. I trust you will do a good job”.

Anyway, those are already history. Now we are just waiting for 6th July for the official demolition work. It’s a feng shui thing to start work on a auspicious date and time.

By the way, can anyone advise on LED downlights? Worth the money? And I heard its light path is rather narrow, so you need many of these to light up a room compared to downlights using energy saving lights?

Hi Ken,

I erected my house and build everything from scratch again. The first floor ceiling after putting up the false ceiling is about 4 metre high and I used LED lights for my house. I can read newspaper by sitting on the floor and it is bright enough. If I were to go into a corner and placed myself in a position where I cast a shadow on the newspaper, then I will find the brightness being obscured. There are different types of LED lights in the market and most are made in China, with some better quality ones made in Taiwan, Korea and America. I have met a few LED lights supplier and they spoke highly about their quality and showed me to houses that they have installed. So far, I found the brightness of those high quality LED lightings made in America the best. On whether they would be lasting, only time can tell.

On construction of house, I think the quality of the contractor should not be judged based on the the vehicle he drives ie a luxury car or a pick up but the financial strength of the firm, the reputation of the firm and the quality of his staff and outsource partners. Finally, what is important is whether the contractor is able to deliver what you want and more.

As long as you have budgeted sufficiently and the contractor doesn't run away, you need not worry too much. Some people buy a performance bond to protect themselves against contractors' default. Whether the contractor drives a Merc or a lorry, he can also run away with your money.

 

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Well, I dun mind having good builders who drive flashy cars. But the problem is builders with flashy cars with not-so flashy house designs/quotations.

Pantieileen... kudos to your good builder. Sigh.... I did ask you on your construction thread who is your builder, you didn't reveal (until recently). How to wait for you to receommend this good lobang? I am targetting CNY move-in. So no choice got to find on my own loh.

But seriously, building costs is really increasing at an alarming speed. One of the factors is the big jump in foreign worker levy.

Yup, Thanks for the tip. My contract no GST, price include QS, RTO, termite treat, landscaping. I will try my luck on asking for air-con :notti:

I have actually wanted to cut cost by perhaps sourcing for my own flooring tiles. But the nightmare of ending up with defective ones put me off. Rather play safe, go with the builder's. But the uncle did hint to me that we can choose a better grade flooring. We will see how it goes.

Ok lah, reputation-wise, like I have said, this builder has built several houses in the vicinity... in fact, he is completing one before moving on to do mine. All the home owners whose homes we visited, gave thumbs-up.

Lee.... thanks on the LED info. Appreciated. No deep pockets like you guys, so must save abit here and there.

Will definitely welcome any tips and advises from experienced forumners.

By the way, anyone using solar power?

 

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Well, I dun mind having good builders who drive flashy cars. But the problem is builders with flashy cars with not-so flashy house designs/quotations.

Pantieileen... kudos to your good builder. Sigh.... I did ask you on your construction thread who is your builder, you didn't reveal (until recently). How to wait for you to receommend this good lobang? I am targetting CNY move-in. So no choice got to find on my own loh.

But seriously, building costs is really increasing at an alarming speed. One of the factors is the big jump in foreign worker levy.

Yup, Thanks for the tip. My contract no GST, price include QS, RTO, termite treat, landscaping. I will try my luck on asking for air-con :notti:

I have actually wanted to cut cost by perhaps sourcing for my own flooring tiles. But the nightmare of ending up with defective ones put me off. Rather play safe, go with the builder's. But the uncle did hint to me that we can choose a better grade flooring. We will see how it goes.

Ok lah, reputation-wise, like I have said, this builder has built several houses in the vicinity... in fact, he is completing one before moving on to do mine. All the home owners whose homes we visited, gave thumbs-up.

Lee.... thanks on the LED info. Appreciated. No deep pockets like you guys, so must save abit here and there.

Will definitely welcome any tips and advises from experienced forumners.

By the way, anyone using solar power?

I have some LED lights in my house. Those that are "Halogen like" with limited throw range and those that are very similar to PL down lights (broad throw area). Overall will save electricity and hard to recover cost. Example, my LED throw light (From Cree) only consumes 52% of the electricity of a PL downlight of similar brightness. This works out to a savings of ~$10 per year. Price-wise, the LED light costs $180 to $200 versus $30+ for the PL light. Long time to breakeven.

Actually, I'm considering converting more PL lights to LED because they don't attract those "flying ants" that flies around down lights after the rain. Seems that these flies are attracted to UV emitted from PL lights... interesting..

 

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Do a search, there's a thread or two here on solar power. In short, not worth it. If you're lucky, you'll break even on your capital outlay after 20 plus years, and that's without counting the interest element on your capital too.

 

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Well, I dun mind having good builders who drive flashy cars. But the problem is builders with flashy cars with not-so flashy house designs/quotations.

Pantieileen... kudos to your good builder. Sigh.... I did ask you on your construction thread who is your builder, you didn't reveal (until recently). How to wait for you to receommend this good lobang? I am targetting CNY move-in. So no choice got to find on my own loh.

But seriously, building costs is really increasing at an alarming speed. One of the factors is the big jump in foreign worker levy.

Yup, Thanks for the tip. My contract no GST, price include QS, RTO, termite treat, landscaping. I will try my luck on asking for air-con :notti:

I have actually wanted to cut cost by perhaps sourcing for my own flooring tiles. But the nightmare of ending up with defective ones put me off. Rather play safe, go with the builder's. But the uncle did hint to me that we can choose a better grade flooring. We will see how it goes.

Ok lah, reputation-wise, like I have said, this builder has built several houses in the vicinity... in fact, he is completing one before moving on to do mine. All the home owners whose homes we visited, gave thumbs-up.

Lee.... thanks on the LED info. Appreciated. No deep pockets like you guys, so must save abit here and there.

Will definitely welcome any tips and advises from experienced forumners.

By the way, anyone using solar power?

If you wish to install solar power, you need to plan it as part of your construction works. This is because of the electrical trunking required, the preparation to install solar panels on your roof and also piping and storage tank, if you are using solar water heater.

One of my friends got inferior quality LED lights for the same price as those made in America. I guess it is not about deep pockets, which I don't have, though it helps tremendously. It is more about choices and knowledge on what is a fair and good buy.

I am surprised that your contract has no GST and you mentioned that he has built a few houses in your vicinity. Even if your contractor absortbs GST, he is required to show the amount of GST charged as this tax belongs to IRAS and your contractor is a collector of this tax. A business with turnover of $1 million or more is required by law to be GST registered. When IRAS catch up with your contractor while he is doing work for you, there is a risk that his business may flip, there will be penalty in addition to paying back the GST he withheld from IRAS illegally and there is implications on whether he can continue building your house. You better check to see if your contractor has deep deep pockets, otherwise, there is a real danger of his business to function as a going concern.

 

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Hi iamken,

I have just bought a old house recently n working on tight budget too. Could u pls email me yr builder's contact?

Thanks!

 

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Well, I dun mind having good builders who drive flashy cars. But the problem is builders with flashy cars with not-so flashy house designs/quotations.

Pantieileen... kudos to your good builder. Sigh.... I did ask you on your construction thread who is your builder, you didn't reveal (until recently). How to wait for you to receommend this good lobang? I am targetting CNY move-in. So no choice got to find on my own loh.

But seriously, building costs is really increasing at an alarming speed. One of the factors is the big jump in foreign worker levy.

Yup, Thanks for the tip. My contract no GST, price include QS, RTO, termite treat, landscaping. I will try my luck on asking for air-con :notti:

I have actually wanted to cut cost by perhaps sourcing for my own flooring tiles. But the nightmare of ending up with defective ones put me off. Rather play safe, go with the builder's. But the uncle did hint to me that we can choose a better grade flooring. We will see how it goes.

Ok lah, reputation-wise, like I have said, this builder has built several houses in the vicinity... in fact, he is completing one before moving on to do mine. All the home owners whose homes we visited, gave thumbs-up.

Lee.... thanks on the LED info. Appreciated. No deep pockets like you guys, so must save abit here and there.

Will definitely welcome any tips and advises from experienced forumners.

By the way, anyone using solar power?

We are also building our house and will cater for the solar panels' needs and infrastructure in the building process. Not buying the panels yet, wait for price to go down. Think it may be worth it only with introduction of electric cars.

 

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