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Mrcontractor

Guides To Renovation

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Hi, for a 6 months beforehand, dont expect to receive very good service from all 10 salesperson. What they would like to do is to urge you to sign and place a deposit. What I can advise is that, 6 months before, you can source for an initial assessment, For an idea of what the price is like. at the 4th month, you should have slightly lesser shortlisted contractor/ID. and 3 months before the renovation, it should be time to get some serious screening of your shortlisted contractor.

Thanks a lot!

 

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hi Mr Contractor,

This is the most useful reno thread around.

Can I ask the following regarding hacking:

1. For HDB EM, what is the market rate to hack the staircase storeroom and wall below the stairs?

2. If the quotation for hacking is too expensive. Is there any risk if we want to source for own hacker? Any points we should take note of?

3. what is the market rate to hack a wall? do they charge by metres. my wall is approx 2metres.

thanks!

Hi,

regards to your question:

1. You mean the to remove the whole of the store room? demolishing the wall only or including the floor?

2. yes. there is defintely risk. for eg. While clearing of debris, the direct hacker might refused to clear the rubbish if lets say there is "purposely" more than what is expected. And like i mentioned, the tiler and hacker is always linked together due to the waterproofing membrane of the toilets. They wouldnt want to let others do it while having them using the HDB license in case any leakage in future etc.

3. Wall is usually not charge by metre. for a 2m long full height wall. you can expect 100 from direct hacker and contractor price to you might go all the way from 200-450. my opinion is that if you engage a contractor/ID you should get a reasonable price of 200-280. Or if you are lucky to get 100 or even F.O.C

 

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I'm glad to stumble upon this thread! Thank you Mr. Contractor for the valuable insight. Need your advice on granite care. My 4 years old granite flooring and countertop is now of uneven tone because some area used to be covered by carpet and furniture. I've tried some cleaning with detergents but no result. Could you recommend some products which I can DIY? And, how much would it cost to get cleaning service to make the granite looks new again?

I cant comment on most granite cleaning products as i have not experience any miracle with them. To get the granite back to the old "look", you might want to consider buffering off the coating of granite and then repolish it again. just like how ppl does it when they have a newly laid marble to make it smooth. however, if there are stains which actually went/seep into the granite. Then this way cant help. the only way is to remove the granite.

From what you describe i doubt it will seep in as it is only on the surface. you can try getting a granite polisher specialist to do a non obligation site survey to know whats the reason. or you can PM a pic perhaps i can try to see if it is a surface stain or not. the cost for buffering/polishing granite might range you about $2.50-$5 psf.

 

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Hi, actually the intention is to hack everything under the stairs including the existing store room and then built cabinets under the stairs like in this picture :

http://www.houzz.com/photos/1894115/West-Village-Brownstone-contemporary-staircase-new-york

i budgeted 2k for the capentry part but im not sure how much the hacking will cost..

Hacking might cost you 1k or so including the touch up. you can save by not putting any tiles for the demolished part. just cement screed and smooth it will do. will help you to save more.

 

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Good day Mr. Contractor,

So far this is the best information I have read in the forum for a layman.

Thanks for the guidance and I was lucky to check with my ID that who will be

liaising to get the tiles (Tiles originally from HDB) after hacking some walls.

I was surprised that my ID throw back to me to call HDB and check who is the

tiles supplier for my new flat and also to get the tiles quotation.

Therefore I am confused whether is mine a ID or a contractor. In the end, I got

frustrated and get him to do the job. He charged me hundred plus to buy and

delivered the tiles

Not sure if this is the practice, my quotation with my ID has been throwing to

and back for the 5th to 6th times and I haven’t sign with them yet till everything

is confirm.

When we first met, we discussed the designs we wanted and 2 weeks later we received

the quotation from them. After reviewing, we revert on the renovation works we felt

necessary to stay in the quotation, however I realised that each time quotation reviewed,

the “works” in the quotation list is getting lesser and lesser.

Since items are getting lesser and lesser and the quotation price still remains the same,

I assume his quotation is getting more and more expensive. Each time we asked, she / he

gave us excuses like “previously forgot to quo, went to your house and we realised the

item is bigger than we expected, under quo previously and previously is half height now

is full height”

I mean whether full or half height, this has been communicated during the first meet up.

That means either he is not paying attention previously or he is trying to play around

with the quotation.

In the end we realised that he paying around with the quotation, she / he was taken aback

during the last quotation, we removed a few items costing thousands and he went honest to

tell us that she / he can’t give us anymore free items because we did not hit $60k.

Honestly, what is wrong is IDs and Contractors nowadays? We understand that they need to eat

and profit as well but not in this kind of attitude. Previously was even worst encountered

with an ID who advertise his own house in magazine, we just called and enquired and guess

what’s the first question he asked? “What’s your budget? If you don’t have $60K, don’t look

for us!”

 

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Good day Mr. Contractor,

So far this is the best information I have read in the forum for a layman.

Thanks for the guidance and I was lucky to check with my ID that who will be

liaising to get the tiles (Tiles originally from HDB) after hacking some walls.

I was surprised that my ID throw back to me to call HDB and check who is the

tiles supplier for my new flat and also to get the tiles quotation.

Therefore I am confused whether is mine a ID or a contractor. In the end, I got

frustrated and get him to do the job. He charged me hundred plus to buy and

delivered the tiles

Not sure if this is the practice, my quotation with my ID has been throwing to

and back for the 5th to 6th times and I haven’t sign with them yet till everything

is confirm.

When we first met, we discussed the designs we wanted and 2 weeks later we received

the quotation from them. After reviewing, we revert on the renovation works we felt

necessary to stay in the quotation, however I realised that each time quotation reviewed,

the “works” in the quotation list is getting lesser and lesser.

Since items are getting lesser and lesser and the quotation price still remains the same,

I assume his quotation is getting more and more expensive. Each time we asked, she / he

gave us excuses like “previously forgot to quo, went to your house and we realised the

item is bigger than we expected, under quo previously and previously is half height now

is full height”

I mean whether full or half height, this has been communicated during the first meet up.

That means either he is not paying attention previously or he is trying to play around

with the quotation.

In the end we realised that he paying around with the quotation, she / he was taken aback

during the last quotation, we removed a few items costing thousands and he went honest to

tell us that she / he can’t give us anymore free items because we did not hit $60k.

Honestly, what is wrong is IDs and Contractors nowadays? We understand that they need to eat

and profit as well but not in this kind of attitude. Previously was even worst encountered

with an ID who advertise his own house in magazine, we just called and enquired and guess

what’s the first question he asked? “What’s your budget? If you don’t have $60K, don’t look

for us!”

Hi, I am sad to hear your story. i can totally feel you because there are simply too many dishonest contractors/ID around. For your case on the HDB tiles, he should go to the building services side if it is a BTO to check on the tiles supplier address or contact. Usually will need to ferry the tiles themselves. and per sgft should not be more than $3. Alternatively, can purchase from the haulage guy whose number is always sticking on the lift lobby.

Let me tell you a story about my own experience. I have been a good contractor who rarely (I cant say i dont quote high at all, only to certain district or projects) quote highly or using dishonest methods. However, the other way round, i start to lose money in business due to customers trying to squeeze everything out of me. Of course, it doesnt mean that i would agree with dishonest methods. Just too many of these kind of black sheeps making contractor/ID being labelled as "dishonest people".

Another story to share, once, i tried settling a dispute between my customer and his neighbour. His neighbour then said; " you are a contractor, I definitely dont believe in what you say". It makes me upset and felt so demoralized.

The other hand, I have seen customers like you letting the ID/contractor squeezing them out. I think we should all stand up and fight for ourselves instead of spending so much money to let dishonest merchant earn.

For your case, the ID said previously quoted wrongly etc, it is THEIR problem. of course you overlook as a layman as they did not go through the quote very thoroughly. That's why i listed out as detail as i can to help forummers to make sure what they are signing is correct.

Please do not continue letting your contractor adding on the cost and giving you lesser items. a few steps you can take to turn the table around. Take the initial quote. and then the revised one. Is there any terms stating that there will be no free items if quotation is less than than 60k? if no, fight for it. if you are afraid that they will do a shobbly job, keep that in mind and bring them to small claim at the end of the day if they refused to honor the contract terms. High chances which you will be winning and they will have to pay you whatever cost worth the free items.

I am advising not to harm anyone, it is just that from your siude of story, it seems that he is trying to play around with the quotation. Should give them a lesson not to bully customers who are layman in this trade.

I would suggest people having problems with contractors/ID to come forward and protect themselves from dishonest business earnings. I will try and help as much as i can. from what i understand, most of customers who experience tihngs like you, are afraid to fight back because they have limited knowledge on renovation and if contractor/ID decided to drag or give them shobbly works, they will be in a lost. I supposed its time to help people like you to fight back your rights. Do post here or PM me if you need more advices. I will be more than willing to help=)

 

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Topic 3.1 (Direct/Market prices for renovation items) Tiling

As many will know tiling is covered in most renovation and it is always one of the major items as once done, it will stay with you for at least 5 or more years as changing it will cause inconvenience. I think most con/ID already start to arrowing me. Nonethless, im gonna provide more information for renovators for them to self equip with more knowledge and prevent those nonsense from bad con/ID.

Basically when con/ID hire tilers or to say sub contractor tilers. The tilers does not provide materials. they only provide equipments and labour. so the below pricing is WITHOUT materials and tiles.

Kitchen wall/Toilet wall tiles : $1.80-$2 psf (Avg toilet size about 180sqft so about $320-360) (Size up to 30x60cm)

Kitchen floor tiles : Lump Sum of 150-170

Toilet floor tiles : 50-60 lump sum

toilet kerb with tiles : 30 per kerb

Waterproofing membrane for toilet : 30 per toilet (Depending on some subcon who does not charge)

Water proofing for kitchen : NIL ( will fill more details below)

cabinet base : 10-15 per ft run

fridge/washing machine base with tiles : $30

Living room homogenous tiles 60x60 :1.50 psf

Skirting : $0.50 -$1 per ft run

Making good of wall : 50-70 per demolished wall

Lintol for room entrance : 60 per set

Sink/Stove support :250 per set of 3ft or 70/ft run

Since the above does not include materials. To let you have a rough idea of it, the material cost is roughly about 300 plus for 3 room overhaul, 400 plus for 4 room and 500 plus for 5 room. kitchen and toilet material cost is about 150-200. The mark up for con/ID is always about 1-1.50psf for all areas. And floor wise it depends, some doesnt earn from the kitchen/toilet flooring if it is a major overhaul. Imagine a contractor were to quote $1 psf more, a 5 room with 400sqft of kitchen wall, 400sqft for 2 toilet walls, 1000sqft for living floor, it would mean 1k plus profit. but that doesnt end here, more below on the tiles.

How come there is no charge for kitchen water proofing? because in current renovation practice, the waterproofing use in toilet and kitchen is different. Majority of the contractor or ID does not use many layers of waterproofing for kitchen. Usually it does not pose a problem. unless you are really concern then perhaps can let the contractor or ID know. A tip for you, if you want to make sure the waterproofing for toilet and kitchen is the same, do a site visit every day to see the finished colour or texture of the floor after they finish work. make sure there is lights.

Waterproofing for toilet i would reccomend at least 3 times. and an upturn of 300mm which is required by HDB. To make it safer, you can always do the whole of the shower area to prevent water from seeping through the wall to your room.

Tiles selection is also another tiring process. I have seen couples and families quarreling over the type and design. witness a big arguement at the showroom as well. Anyway, it is always good to visit showrooms to get free samples and take your time to choose. I would prefer going to at least 2-3 tile showroom for a bigger variety. I will only name the 2 bigger tile shops (not advertising but just stating the bigger showrooms). Soon Bee Huat and White horse ceramic tends to be the more established one. of course there are tons of them at balestier road and defu lane or even sungei kadut.

Tile shops give rebates to contractor and IDs. price between $0.80-$1 psf for all tiles. Sometimes more when it comes to mosaic tiles. That's why sometimes contractor/ID limit you to a few tiles shops as the rebates are much bigger. to take a $1 psf, the profit for tiles will be $1800 for a 5 room flat. with the workmanship profit, it comes up to a 3k markup just for tiling. Time to stretch your dollar! You can always find your own tile shop and walk in as a customer/homeowner. Usually they will give a 20% off the retail price so you save $0.60 psf. but of course, that is when your contractor/ID agrees. Some of the tile shops doesnt do that but most of them do. Just let them know that you are a walk in without any contractor/ID referral will do. And when your contractor order the tiles, they will probably earn the rest of $0.20-$0.40 psf. so they still have some earnings while you have savings. Win win situation isnt it?

There will be more to come on carpentry, aluminium, glass etc etc for the prices. after that I will cover on the things to look out for during renovation in more detail. eg, what kind of materials and how to know if you are getting good stuff etc.

Stay Tuned=)

Edited by Mrcontractor
 

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I cant comment on most granite cleaning products as i have not experience any miracle with them. To get the granite back to the old "look", you might want to consider buffering off the coating of granite and then repolish it again. just like how ppl does it when they have a newly laid marble to make it smooth. however, if there are stains which actually went/seep into the granite. Then this way cant help. the only way is to remove the granite.

From what you describe i doubt it will seep in as it is only on the surface. you can try getting a granite polisher specialist to do a non obligation site survey to know whats the reason. or you can PM a pic perhaps i can try to see if it is a surface stain or not. the cost for buffering/polishing granite might range you about $2.50-$5 psf.

Hi Mr.Contractor,

floorw.jpg

flooring - uneven tone, middle right hand side is dark and dirty.

countertop.jpg

countertop - Right hand side is now of lighter tone because it is always covered by a table mat

Edited by gemini
 

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Mrcontractor, this info is indeed very informative and useful especially to most of us (the owners) who are layman and know nothing much of the Construction/Reno industry.

I have just received a revised quotation from my contractor and I wonder if you could help to go through and let me know if the pricing is reasonable? I am very shocked with this revised quote as both husband and I are expecting it to be not more than $5000 increased from the original quoted price.

Demolision Works

1) hacking of floor & wall tiles for all 3 toilets

2) hacking of living & dining existing floor and wall tiles

3) hacking of kitchen existing floor & wall tiles

4) hacking of balcony floor tiles

5) demolish wall between Study & Kitchen for new layout

6) demolish wall at Staircase for new layout

7) remove all cornices & ceiling works

8) demolish wall at 2nd store toilet for new layout

9) Haulage services, debris removal & transport material

**Cost: $4700**

Wet Works

1) supply & lay homogeneous tiles Living, Dining, Balcony,Study & Kitchen c/w skirting - $7300

2) supply & lay homogeneous tiles on floor & wall for all bathrooms w/c water proofing - $5700

Ceiling Works:

1) to construct new ceiling works for lower level - $2,800

2) to construct new ceiling works for upper level - $2000

Timber Flooring Works

To repair affected parquet floor and vanish after completion - $1,500

Timber Door & Glass Door Works

1) supply and install partition board to box-up 3 bedroom ventilator above bedroom door - $300

2) supply and install 1 x solid door fram and 1 x louvers door for storeroom - $480

3) supply and install 1 set of solid wood door frame for bedroom 2 - $200

4) supply and install 3 tempered glass casement door at 2 toilets & kitchen - $1350

5) supply and install 1 bifold door at 1st storey WC - $220

6) supply & install 10mm tempered glass shower screen for 2 bathrooms - $1100

7) supply & install sliding tempered glass for new build-up half wall between living hall and balcony - $900

8) supply and install sliding tempered glass for counter - $1000

9) supply door for Study room - $1380

Carpentry Works

1) 8ft TV console c/w feature wall living area - $2400

2) 8ft full height storage cabinet - $1600

3) 19ft storage cabinet below recess window - $2280

4) 6.5ft TV console at master bedroom - $1950

5) 8ft sliding wardrobe at master bedroom - $2000

6) 5ft casement wardrobe at bedroom 2 - $1150

7) 8ft casement wardrobe at bedroom 3 - $1840

8) 10ft drawer storage cabinet below recess window - $1500

Painting and cleaning works

1) supply labour and material to paint the whole unit - $2400

2) provide chemical washing and general cleaning for whole unit - $800

Others

build new clay tiles roofing at balcony c/w 1 hour fire rated ceiling board and window - $4500

The contractor is expecting to hear from us by next week to confirm the work and we are still undecisive if we should go ahead with this quotation or remove some of these items.

Thank you so much in helping us out.

Best regards.

Edited by kooky
 

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Hi Mr.Contractor,

floorw.jpg

flooring - uneven tone, middle right hand side is dark and dirty.

countertop.jpg

countertop - Right hand side is now of lighter tone because it is always covered by a table mat

Hi,

the flooring have a 50 50 chance as the colour runs seem to be a little reddish/pinkish. so there are chances that the stain has been seep in. polishing it will make it better if say it has become a permanent stain though.

as for the counter top, it should be only a surface stain.

 

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hi mrcontractor,

just wondering if it is advised to seal the grouting on my light coloured homogeneous tiled floor ? i think there r products in diy stores to do this...

i hv a purely aesthetic concern about maintaining the light coloured grouting on my floors...

thx !

 

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Mrcontractor, this info is indeed very informative and useful especially to most of us (the owners) who are layman and know nothing much of the Construction/Reno industry.

I have just received a revised quotation from my contractor and I wonder if you could help to go through and let me know if the pricing is reasonable? I am very shocked with this revised quote as both husband and I are expecting it to be not more than $5000 increased from the original quoted price.

Demolision Works

1) hacking of floor & wall tiles for all 3 toilets

2) hacking of living & dining existing floor and wall tiles

3) hacking of kitchen existing floor & wall tiles

4) hacking of balcony floor tiles

5) demolish wall between Study & Kitchen for new layout

6) demolish wall at Staircase for new layout

7) remove all cornices & ceiling works

8) demolish wall at 2nd store toilet for new layout

9) Haulage services, debris removal & transport material

**Cost: $4700**

Wet Works

1) supply & lay homogeneous tiles Living, Dining, Balcony,Study & Kitchen c/w skirting - $7300

2) supply & lay homogeneous tiles on floor & wall for all bathrooms w/c water proofing - $5700

Ceiling Works:

1) to construct new ceiling works for lower level - $2,800

2) to construct new ceiling works for upper level - $2000

Timber Flooring Works

To repair affected parquet floor and vanish after completion - $1,500

Timber Door & Glass Door Works

1) supply and install partition board to box-up 3 bedroom ventilator above bedroom door - $300

2) supply and install 1 x solid door fram and 1 x louvers door for storeroom - $480

3) supply and install 1 set of solid wood door frame for bedroom 2 - $200

4) supply and install 3 tempered glass casement door at 2 toilets & kitchen - $1350

5) supply and install 1 bifold door at 1st storey WC - $220

6) supply & install 10mm tempered glass shower screen for 2 bathrooms - $1100

7) supply & install sliding tempered glass for new build-up half wall between living hall and balcony - $900

8) supply and install sliding tempered glass for counter - $1000

9) supply door for Study room - $1380

Carpentry Works

1) 8ft TV console c/w feature wall living area - $2400

2) 8ft full height storage cabinet - $1600

3) 19ft storage cabinet below recess window - $2280

4) 6.5ft TV console at master bedroom - $1950

5) 8ft sliding wardrobe at master bedroom - $2000

6) 5ft casement wardrobe at bedroom 2 - $1150

7) 8ft casement wardrobe at bedroom 3 - $1840

8) 10ft drawer storage cabinet below recess window - $1500

Painting and cleaning works

1) supply labour and material to paint the whole unit - $2400

2) provide chemical washing and general cleaning for whole unit - $800

Others

build new clay tiles roofing at balcony c/w 1 hour fire rated ceiling board and window - $4500

The contractor is expecting to hear from us by next week to confirm the work and we are still undecisive if we should go ahead with this quotation or remove some of these items.

Thank you so much in helping us out.

Best regards.

Hi,

regard to your quote, i think a might be able to help on the advices=)

Demolision Works

1) hacking of floor & wall tiles for all 3 toilets

2) hacking of living & dining existing floor and wall tiles

3) hacking of kitchen existing floor & wall tiles

4) hacking of balcony floor tiles

5) demolish wall between Study & Kitchen for new layout

6) demolish wall at Staircase for new layout

7) remove all cornices & ceiling works

8) demolish wall at 2nd store toilet for new layout

9) Haulage services, debris removal & transport material

**Cost: $4700**

Hacking works seems fine, but can be slightly lower if possible. A better amount should be between 4000-4300

Wet Works

1) supply & lay homogeneous tiles Living, Dining, Balcony,Study & Kitchen c/w skirting - $7300

Assuming the tiles is $3-$.20 psf. and your area is about 1000sqft, the quote can be lessen to $6500. See if you can bring down to 7k if possible?

2) supply & lay homogeneous tiles on floor & wall for all bathrooms w/c water proofing - $5700

Can be lesser i think. the tiling works seems to be on e high side

Ceiling Works:

1) to construct new ceiling works for lower level - $2,800

2) to construct new ceiling works for upper level - $2000

I cant comment on this as I not sure of how your ceiling is like

Timber Flooring Works

To repair affected parquet floor and vanish after completion - $1,500

Cheap IMHO. the cost can go up to 2k. Perhaps you can cover back some at the tiling side

Timber Door & Glass Door Works

1) supply and install partition board to box-up 3 bedroom ventilator above bedroom door - $300

Can be cheaper. a quote from direct supplier is only 30 per box so cost price should be 90. after having earnings, should be only max 200

2) supply and install 1 x solid door fram and 1 x louvers door for storeroom - $480

3) supply and install 1 set of solid wood door frame for bedroom 2 - $200

4) supply and install 3 tempered glass casement door at 2 toilets & kitchen - $1350

5) supply and install 1 bifold door at 1st storey WC - $220

6) supply & install 10mm tempered glass shower screen for 2 bathrooms - $1100

7) supply & install sliding tempered glass for new build-up half wall between living hall and balcony - $900

8) supply and install sliding tempered glass for counter - $1000

9) supply door for Study room - $1380

The restof the above door works seem fine to me. its just a little extra and little lesser. so overall its somehow at the market range pricing

Carpentry Works

1) 8ft TV console c/w feature wall living area - $2400

2) 8ft full height storage cabinet - $1600

3) 19ft storage cabinet below recess window - $2280

4) 6.5ft TV console at master bedroom - $1950

5) 8ft sliding wardrobe at master bedroom - $2000

6) 5ft casement wardrobe at bedroom 2 - $1150

7) 8ft casement wardrobe at bedroom 3 - $1840

8) 10ft drawer storage cabinet below recess window - $1500

you can try to bargain. at least a 5% off the total amount on the carpentry

Painting and cleaning works

1) supply labour and material to paint the whole unit - $2400

2) provide chemical washing and general cleaning for whole unit - $800

Painting is fine, but washing at $800?! i think quite ridiculous. the direct price is only $200.

Others

build new clay tiles roofing at balcony c/w 1 hour fire rated ceiling board and window - $4500

I not sure how big is your balcony but given a size of approx 100sqft, u can bargain slightly lower.

Edited by Mrcontractor
 

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hi Mr Contractor,

when replying to Kooky quotation, you said 1,000sqf tiling assuming tiles cost of 3 psf should cost around $6,500.

Is this how we can break down the amount :

Material=$3 X 1,000sqf =$3,000

Labour = $2 X 1,000sqf =$2,000

Additional ID/Main con markup = $1.50 X 1,000sqf =$1,500

 

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