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Hey hey I am finally starting a T-blog of my own! Have been an avid follower of this forum for a short while... Since October 2013? But this forum has really helped my fiance & I alot & we managed to learn alot about house renovation from here.. the basic technical knowledge.. like the difference betweeen laminate & veneer... quartz counter top better or solid surface better... etc etc.. So new home owners don't fret!! This forum will be your best friend with all the helpful people around!!! Heh heh... :bleah:

Well my fiance & I are just a simple young couple trying to make a life together in our small red dot... :rolleyes: getting married soon, so we wish that HDB will quickly hand our keys over to us!!

Ok disclaimer: I hope I will find the time and strength to continue to update as often as I can… ahhh nowadays quite busy..

So, here I am! Just for this space to be a record of our renovation journey & appreciate all advice given by all you renotalkers.. Thanks in advance lei.. hahaha...

 
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Just let me start off with my floorplan.. nothing too spectacular... govt give you what you take what.. *bo bian* heh heh... It's a 5 room at Vista Spring @ Yishun.. internal floor area 110sqm... Let's hope we can turn it into our dream scandinavian home...

gallery_54206_3_23747.jpg

 
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OK actually I would like to talk about our experience with the choosing of IDs first... Of cos it started with the dilemma between main contractor & interior designer... ultimately we decided to engage an interior designer because honestly we are not really 'design' people.. we only know how to see and point and exclaim that we like this, that everything... a bit worried that our house will become like rojak after that... hahaha...

We started off right here in renotalk... my fiance posted our floorplan in this forum and a few IDs started to call up.. We met the following:

1) #James from #ImageCreativeDesign - he is one of the most sincere IDs we have met & ironically he is one of those who called us as a result of us posting our floorplan up in renotalk. When we met him we were complete NOOBS, and I must give him credit.. he really did explain a lot of technicality to us... we went to his showroom and he showed and explained to us the pros & cons of materials (laminate, veneer, solid surface, workmanship concerns when using certain materials etc.) In the end decided not to go with him because we had a rude shock when suddenly got 7% gst.. (told you we noobs liao, didn't even know got gst).. Also our first visit took a looooooong time to finish. 4 hours talking about our designs and our preferences. can you believe it. hahahaha.... well, the turn off was that on the 2nd visit, suddenly he brought in a 'kah kia'.. he mentioned it's to help with on-site renovation stuff... we had concerns if there would be any problems with communication between us and this 'kah kia'.... all adds to the chemistry breaking down i suppose... another fact was... the quote is also not that cheap wor.. my fiance and i ended up trying to remove stuff from our quotation to try to fit it into our budget.... oh well.. not going ahead...

2) #michelle from #absolook - we actually met from one of their harmless 'open house' events where they seek permission from one of the clients to, well.. open house la. the design was very modern contemporary.. like rezt&relax type lor.... didn't go with her in the end because no chemistry & the quote was not that cheap either...

3) #cissern - spoke to a couple of their sales staff before at dunno which interior or furnishing expo... the latest was this guy with thick black spec frames.. omg. bad breath. and i don't know... why so many modern contemporary designs on show! haha... anyway not very impressed with sales pitches... so... skip.. (oh yeah, one of their sales guys even told us that cissern got the sole right to replace BLUM hinges with their own company name on it.. he even showed us the hinge with the cissern logo on it.. i am honestly a bit skeptical la.. BLUM is such an established brand lei. why would they let another company remove their company name/logo lei....? anyway even if that were true, i don't see how having their company name on my kitchen hinges is supposed to impress me. for all you know, you are paying more money for those hinges, for them to pay royalties to BLUM... aiyah, guesses. i think the bad breath clouded my judgement. heh heh..)

4) #rezt&relax - i think the most expensive? we didn't get a quote per se but we talked to their sales designer... and he was telling us that our reno cost will come up to about $60k. SIAO!!! omg. but they do mention that they have life-time warranty... so.. maybe there is a market out there... home owners who do want life time warranty.. but for me, the initial outlay for my reno matters more.. next time things spoil because of usual wear and tear den so be it... hehe.. people say no money cannot afford to be fussy. BUT i say, no money, all the more you need to be fussy so you are clear and sure that you are getting the best you can! =p

5) the legendary #MrK from #h20interiordesign - somehow managed to get a meeting with him despite his tight schedule.. his meeting was very fast.. i think in 30mins? My good friend also told me that his experiences with contractors are lidat one.. chop chop straight to the point, and it's a bit one-way... you just tell them what you want and they will absorb.. from time to time he will chip in and suggest a slightly different way of doing something because of material limitations etc. etc. technical stuff basically... initially he was our best bet... cos we heard so many good things about him... somemore.. omg no gst. you know hor, if my reno costs 20k, i would have to pay 1.4k gst... thats like another piece of carpentry lei. our govt is rich enuf... anyway #MrK is not very cheap also lei... I think renotalk has made him too famous.. as a result he is too busy... supply and demand theory kicks in... end of story - prices raised. hehehe... andddddd.. just when we thought that MrK was the definite choice.............................................................................. (sorry to be continued, need to go eat reunion dinner liao. btw all you readers, happy CNY & HUAT AH! =p)

Edited by leonjennawong
 

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Is your new flat along Yishun Avenue 9 that side? :sport-smiley-018:

Mine house will be coming in 4th 2015.. **** stressed. Will be looking forward to your renov for tips and advices. :sport-smiley-003:

 
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Is your new flat along Yishun Avenue 9 that side? :sport-smiley-018:

Mine house will be coming in 4th 2015.. **** stressed. Will be looking forward to your renov for tips and advices. :sport-smiley-003:

Hey eveste! don't be stressed! you have a long time to start learning and planning... the fact that you are here now is great! My new flat is along Yishun ave 1.. diagonally opposite to shaugnessy.. hehe

 

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6) #CalvinTan from #PoshHome - initially I was so tired of meeting IDs already.. can you imagine, having made your mind already and then someone else comes along and tells you that you must go and meet this so-and-so because he is good/cheap/etc etc? Sigh. My good friend, Mr DF Muscle, recommended him, and i was just being this usual irritating & skeptical person la... hahaha... sorry Mr DF Muscle. heh heh... I questioned about the materials that this #CalvinTan uses... whether got hidden costs or not... how come so cheap.. maybe it's those bogus contractor... hahahaha.

aiyah in the end i decided that I ought to go and meet this #CalvinTan as the quote was really cheap. Go and see lor, no harm.

BEST DECISION OF MY RENOVATION JOURNEY. PERIOD. (so far la. hahahaha) This #CalvinTan is good.

As you all already can tell, of course I am going to engage #CalvinTan services. In fact, I recommended him to my sister & bro-in-law... and they were also impressed with #CalvinTan & signed up with him!! So did my good friend Mr DF Muscle, and another couple! One shot 4 people sign up with him together! What I'm trying to say is, you can't go wrong if so many people are going for him... Just go and meet this #CalvinTan.. (oh yeah IMPORTANT, apparently he only does referrals.. too busy for walk in customers liao, so you can mention Leon & Jenna from Renotalk recommended you.. help us to say hi to him!!!)

First and foremost, let me share with you renotalkers about my decision-making, and how I decided on #CalvinTan... I brought up some concerns that I experienced with previous IDs & also, from reading about the bad experiences of other renotalkers... here goes..

Workmanship - Honestly I am quite scared of this. I read from renotalk of this house owner who was bullied by a carpentry contractor.. apparently the carpentry laminate tore off at one side because of this 'tree stump' protrusion on the carpentry piece. The house owner tried to ask the sub-contractor politely if they can replace or do sth about it.... To which the sub-contractor said, "no la it's lidat one!! all carpentry pieces are lidat one! because we are using real wood ma! really you are the only person who complain about such things lei... real wood is good one.." and they proceeded to mount the lousy thing onto the wall. Sigh. I brought this up to #CalvinTan, and he just told me.. that he has quite a stinky reputation at sungei kadut area among the carpentry people for being very NGIAO with his carpentry requirements!!! (fussy in english) hahahaha music to my ears!!! he assured me that he will never let that happen to his clients. And as you read here, you may think "chey, just lip service ma, I also can".. But lemme tell you.. I have been conversing with him for the past 2 months or so? And this guy is one honest & fun bloke. (if not i also don't dare to recommend here haha). *ticks box*

Anyway we decided that just to have another additional layer of control, we asked to go and see his existing site project... absolutely no problem... the wallpaper were all pasted nicely; not senget/slanting, the ends of the wallpaper were tucked into the inner angles of the wall so you won't accidentally keep brushing it & peel it off, carpentry was all nice and solid... drawers, hinges worked like charms... tile grouting were all even & thin... false ceiling nice and smooth with hardly noticeable joining lines.. somemore what ah? oh yeah. Do take note that I went to see TWO of his site designs! And already got people living in them liao.. All so prettily done up! *ticks another box*

The existing home owners were at home feeding their baby when we came in for the site visit.. And, call me sensitive, but I think the fact that they allow #CalvinTan to bring other potential clients down to see their unit, shows their trust & satisfaction with him. Honestly, if I were an unhappy client, I wouldn't want anymore to do with this fella correct? hehe.. oh and #CalvinTan was nice enough to purposely find a previous project that was also scandinavian-themed, so that my fiance and I can see his designs... NICE! (did I mention before that we want scandi? Yay!! Exciting!!)

Materials - You can tell that this #CalvinTan is different from other IDs... He seems like he collects materials & other useful deco items... like a creative karung guni. hahahaha joking la. While my fiance & I were discussing about our scandinavian-theme; he introduced us to other materials that no other ID brought up:

- He recommended putting a vertical beam with a veneer-look-a-like wrap that is imported from korea, to give an even more wood-like feel to the vertical beam.. which cannot be achieved with veneer.. (aiyah no photos to show, I will upload another day)

- Also my fiance got wind of xiaxue's house reno & absolutely loved the kitchen colour... initially I thought it was a bit bright and kns. hahahaha... aiyah but she is the one who is going to whip up delicious meals for me next time, and the more regular user of the kitchen, so kitchen preferences I let her have the entire privilege of designing.. wise advice from my dad. :) Anyway another ID just couldn't find the colour.. and insisted that xiaxue used #lamitak.... of cos that ID was right.. (in fact he made a lot of effort to research the colour) But the colour that my fiance wanted, was the post-photoshop-overexposed-edited colour on xiaxue's blog.. So when it came to #CalvinTan, he just went through with us his #lamitak board (see picture below!!), cannot find. Then he brought out this #formica brand laminate book & started to find for us, IMMEDIATELY FOUND THE RIGHT COLOUR!!!*ticks box*

#LAMITAK BOARD

gallery_54206_10_30494.jpg

PEEK AT #POSHHOME SHOWROOM (SEE THE #LAMITAK BOARD HAHAHA)

gallery_54206_10_215052.jpg

Still on Materials...

- Also just the other day, he was telling me about his supplier bringing in this batch of solid wood cut straight from the tree trunk WHICH LOOKS SO PRETTY OMG to manufacture into a solid wood bench for me to put as a functional bay window.. so that it can double up as a bench for people to sit too when we have guests over.. Completely fell in love with it & can see how it will totally rock my scandinavian theme. I am so proud of it and excited to see the finished product!!!!! See the pictures that he sent me via whatsapp!

SOLID WOOD

gallery_54206_8_15144.jpg

gallery_54206_8_50317.jpg

gallery_54206_8_68524.jpg

gallery_54206_8_95179.jpg

Can tell his materials are a bit out of ordinary & more suited to us young first time home owners who are going for all the "in" home themes now... scandinavian, eclectic, industrial, modern contemporary...

I gotta go now (my fiance pulling me to the gym, CNY eat too much nonsense liao) but stay tuned for my quips on his quotation, design, personality & other concerns! Cheers & huat ahhhh...

Edited by leonjennawong
 

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6) #CalvinTan from #PoshHome - initially I was so tired of meeting IDs already.. can you imagine, having made your mind already and then someone else comes along and tells you that you must go and meet this so-and-so because he is good/cheap/etc etc? Sigh. My good friend, Mr DF Muscle, recommended him, and i was just being this usual irritating & skeptical person la... hahaha... sorry Mr DR Muscle. heh heh... I questioned about the materials that this #CalvinTan uses... whether got hidden costs or not... how come so cheap.. maybe it's those bogus contractor... hahahaha.

aiyah in the end i decided that I ought to go and meet this #CalvinTan as the quote was really cheap. Go and so lor, no harm.

BEST DECISION OF MY RENOVATION JOURNEY. PERIOD. (so far la. hahahaha) This #CalvinTan is good.

As you all already can tell, of course I am going to engage #CalvinTan services. In fact, I recommended him to my sister & bro-in-law... and they were also impressed with #CalvinTan & signed up with him!! So did my good friend Mr DF Muscle, and another couple! One shot 4 people sign up with him together! What I'm trying to say is, you can't go wrong if so many people are going for him... Just go and meet this #CalvinTan.. (oh yeah IMPORTANT, apparently he only does referrals.. too busy for walk in customers liao, so you can mention Leon & Jenna from Renotalk recommended you.. help us to say hi to him!!!)

First and foremost, let me share with you renotalkers about my decision-making, and how I decided on #CalvinTan... I brought up some concerns that I experienced with previous IDs & also, from reading about the bad experiences of other renotalkers... here goes..

Workmanship - Honestly I am quite scared of this. I read from renotalk of this house owner who was bullied by a carpentry contractor.. apparently the carpentry laminate tore off at one side because of this 'tree stump' protrusion on the carpentry piece. The house owner tried to ask the sub-contractor politely if they can replace or do sth about it.... To which the sub-contractor said, "no la it's lidat one!! all carpentry pieces are lidat one! because we are using real wood ma! really you are the only person who complain about such things lei... real wood is good one.." and they proceeded to mount the lousy thing onto the wall. Sigh. I brought this up to #CalvinTan, and he just told me.. that he has quite a stinky reputation at sungei kadut area among the carpentry people for being very NGIAO with his carpentry requirements!!! (fussy in english) hahahaha music to my ears!!! he assured me that he will never let that happen to his clients. And as you read here, you may think "chey, just lip service ma, I also can".. But lemme tell you.. I have been conversing with him for the past 2 months or so? And this guy is one honest & fun bloke. (if not i also don't dare to recommend here haha). *ticks box*

Anyway we decided that just to have another additional layer of control, we asked to go and see his existing site project... absolutely no problem... the wallpaper were all pasted nicely; not senget/slanting, the ends of the wallpaper were tucked into the inner angles of the wall so you won't accidentally keep brushing it & peel it off, carpentry was all nice and solid... drawers, hinges worked like charms... tile grouting were all even & thin... false ceiling nice and smooth with hardly noticeable joining lines.. somemore what ah? oh yeah. Do take note that I went to see TWO of his site designs! And already got people living in them liao.. All so prettily done up! *ticks another box*

The existing home owners were at home feeding their baby when we came in for the site visit.. And, call me sensitive, but I think the fact that they allow #CalvinTan to bring other potential clients down to see their unit, shows their trust & satisfaction with him. Honestly, if I were an unhappy client, I wouldn't want anymore to do with this fella correct? hehe.. oh and #CalvinTan was nice enough to purposely find a previous project that was also scandinavian-themed, so that my fiance and I can see his designs... NICE! (did I mention before that we want scandi? Yay!! Exciting!!)

Materials - You can tell that this #CalvinTan is different from other IDs... He seems like he collects materials & other useful deco items... like a creative karung guni. hahahaha joking la. While my fiance & I were discussing about our scandinavian-theme; he introduced us to other materials that no other ID brought up:

- He recommended putting a vertical beam with a veneer-look-a-like wrap that is imported from korea, to give an even more wood-like feel to the vertical beam.. which cannot be achieved with veneer.. (aiyah no photos to show, I will upload another day)

- Also my fiance got wind of xiaxue's house reno & absolutely loved the kitchen colour... initially I thought it was a bit bright and kns. hahahaha... aiyah but she is the one who is going to whip up delicious meals for me next time, and the more regular user of the kitchen, so kitchen preferences I let her have the entire privilege of designing.. wise advice from my dad. :) Anyway another ID just couldn't find the colour.. and insisted that xiaxue used #lamitak.... of cos that ID was right.. (in fact he made a lot of effort to research the colour) But the colour that my fiance wanted, was the post-photoshop-overexposed-edited colour on xiaxue's blog.. So when it came to #CalvinTan, he just went through with us his #lamitak board (see picture below!!), cannot find. Then he brought out this #formica brand laminate book & started to find for us, IMMEDIATELY FOUND THE RIGHT COLOUR!!!*ticks box*

#LAMITAK BOARD

gallery_54206_10_30494.jpg

PEEK AT #POSHHOME SHOWROOM (SEE THE #LAMITAK BOARD HAHAHA)

gallery_54206_10_215052.jpg

Still on Materials...

- Also just the other day, he was telling me about his supplier bringing in this batch of solid wood cut straight from the tree trunk WHICH LOOKS SO PRETTY OMG to manufacture into a solid wood bench for me to put as a functional bay window.. so that it can double up as a bench for people to sit too when we have guests over.. Completely fell in love with it & can see how it will totally rock my scandinavian theme. I am so proud of it and excited to see the finished product!!!!! See the pictures that he sent me via whatsapp!

SOLID WOOD

gallery_54206_8_15144.jpg

gallery_54206_8_50317.jpg

gallery_54206_8_68524.jpg

gallery_54206_8_95179.jpg

Can tell his materials are a bit out of ordinary & more suited to us young first time home owners who are going for all the "in" home themes now... scandinavian, eclectic, industrial, modern contemporary...

I gotta go now (my fiance pulling me to the gym, CNY eat too much nonsense liao) but stay tuned for my quips on his quotation, design, personality & other concerns! Cheers & huat ahhhh...

beautiful grain.

how much is he charging in total for the reno?

 
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Blogging from my mobile while on a gym cycling machine now... Haha don't judge. I need to keep moving my left knee on low resistance motion to regain my range of motion since my ACL reconstruction surgery 2 months ago... So might as well save time and blog as well.. Anyway here goes....

Quotation - what can I say... I cannot be any less direct when I say that #CalvinTan is the CHEAPEST of all the IDs that I compared with.. (see above post for comparison with other IDs that I met) I honestly think that I am doing quite a lot of works.. And my quotation came up to 35.5k only.. And it would've only amounted to 29k if not for my solid wooden bench and the ceiling feature that I'm planning to do to spice up my Scandinavian theme! (provided my fiance approves.. Heh Heh... Anyway "fiance" shall be referred herein and after as "CFO" - Chief Finance Officer) Another ID quoted so much for quartz kitchen counter top.. For #CalvinTan, it was just a small fraction more expensive than solid surface top.. So obviously we are going for quartz! Happy happy.. I hope #CalvinTan doesn't take this as a cue to increase his price, but honestly, my experience with other IDs is that my fiance and I were trying so hard to remove items from our quotation to fit into our reno budget... AND NOW, #CalvinTan quotation is so unexpectedly cheap that we are planning to add even more aesthetic items into our quotation!!

(such as:

- quartz top for master bathroom sink

- overlay master toilet Wall tiles

- ceiling feature white beams

- solid wood bench with woody grains.. Yum yum..

- white wall tiles with grey grouting overlay for exposed kitchen walls

- full kitchen carpentry!

- Complete false ceiling coverage for living and dining area

- wooden trimmings for my hdb window frames to cover the ugly aluminium white..

- Even a nice glass door for my kitchen with modified handle to wooden type to spice up Scandinavian theme...)

And yes, my quotation is alrdy inclusive of a sample size of electrical points (totalling about 1.3k).. Which usually other IDs don't even include into their quotation. So actually, my quotation (when comparing with other IDs) is only 27.7k!!

Also, no GST! Can you believe it! NO FREAKINGGGGGG GST!!! Hahahahahahaahahaha I really feel like my friend and I unearthed a gem.. :)

I would be happy to share his contact and my quotation.. Just reply here and I will get to you as soon as I can.. Good things must share. Hahaha..

More posts coming up about his designs, personality & my other concerns!! Cheers people :P

Edited by leonjennawong
 
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Blogging from my mobile while on a gym cycling machine now... Haha don't judge. I need to keep moving my left knee on low resistance motion to regain my range of motion since my ACL reconstruction surgery 2 months ago... So might as well save time and blog as well.. Anyway here goes....

Quotation - what can I say... I cannot be any less direct when I say that #CalvinTan is the CHEAPEST of all the IDs that I compared with.. (see above post for comparison with other IDs that I met) I honestly think that I am doing quite a lot of works.. And my quotation came up to 35.5k only.. And it would've only amounted to 29k if not for my solid wooden bench and the ceiling feature that I'm planning to do to spice up my Scandinavian theme! (provided my fiance approves.. Heh Heh... Anyway "fiance" shall be referred herein and after as "CFO" - Chief Finance Officer) Another ID quoted so much for quartz kitchen counter top.. For #CalvinTan, it was just a small fraction more expensive than solid surface top.. So obviously we are going for quartz! Happy happy.. I hope #CalvinTan doesn't take this as a cue to increase his price, but honestly, my experience with other IDs is that my fiance and I were trying so hard to remove items from our quotation to fit into our reno budget... AND NOW, #CalvinTan quotation is so unexpectedly cheap that we are planning to add even more aesthetic items into our quotation!!

(such as:

- quartz top for master bathroom sink

- overlay master toilet Wall tiles

- ceiling feature white beams

- solid wood bench with woody grains.. Yum yum..

- white wall tiles with grey grouting overlay for exposed kitchen walls

- full kitchen carpentry!

- Complete false ceiling coverage for living and dining area

- wooden trimmings for my hdb window frames to cover the ugly aluminium white..

- Even a nice glass door for my kitchen with modified handle to wooden type to spice up Scandinavian theme...)

And yes, my quotation is alrdy inclusive of a sample size of electrical points (totalling about 1.3k).. Which usually other IDs don't even include into their quotation. So actually, my quotation (when comparing with other IDs) is only 27.7k!!

Also, no GST! Can you believe it! NO FREAKINGGGGGG GST!!! Hahahahahahaahahaha I really feel like my friend and I unearthed a gem.. :)

I would be happy to share his contact and my quotation.. Just reply here and I will get to you as soon as I can.. Good things must share. Hahaha..

More posts coming up about his designs, personality & my other concerns!! Cheers people :P

that is really a good deal.

any ideas/pictures/3d samples of the place design?

 
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