Jump to content
Find Professionals    Deals    Get Quotations   Portfolios
Sign in to follow this  
mysapporo

My First Renovation Journey (Bukit Batok 4A Resale)

Recommended Posts

Finally have time to pen down my first renovation journey though nothing has officially started. Let me start with how I ended up with buying this 4A resale unit in Bukit Batok.

Having stayed in Tiong Bahru for so long, it is really quite sad to acknowledge that with my budget it is very hard to afford a decent 4A unit in this area. So I extended the search further and further, and finally decided on Bukit Batok. Hard for me to find one unit within my budget from Tiong Bahru to Jurong (I searched based on the East-West MRT track, LOL). Chose BB because it is quite near Jurong, where the happening places are and the price seems okay for my budget. However, I have to admit that I hate Jurong East MRT and I think the authority seriously should do something about the crowd there.

So I viewed close to 20 units in BB area and got a bit sian when I could not seem to find the "perfect" unit even after I extended my search. Have been viewing units from Jan till Jun and one fine day in June saw this unit that is abt 6 mins walk from the MRT and decided that is it.

It is a 29-year-old unit with a floor area of 107sqm (the slightly larger size is due to its odd shape). The unit is in good condition but I still feel like doing an overhaul because the last renovation was done 10 years ago. When my friends and colleagues asked me about the price I paid, I tended to get reaction like "very expensive for a unit in BB leh, so ulu" or something along the line. It made me wonder whether I made the wrong choice due to my viewing fatigue. Sometimes when I check PropertyGuru and feeel a bit sad to see similar units with lower asking price. I tell myself not to regret and try to make the most out of what I have. Well, the choice has been made and I will be going for my 1st appt in early Aug.

Here's the floor plan!

14732629886_fe6e75c30c_z.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Searching for an ID

After I've selected my unit, I started thinking about renovation. Have benefited a lot from Renotalk and from a total noob who knows nothing about renovation, I started to learn things slowly. Decided to engage an ID firm for the following reasons (some of which are quite "duh"):

1) I am one with no design sense

2) I dunno where to find good contractors except for getting reviews from forums like Renotalk

3) Looks like some contractors charge about the same as ID firms

Next I will share more on my experience of talking to ID firms. :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At first I thought engaging ID is an atas affair and it's only those rich people who can afford their service. After I read t-blogs in this forum, I am pleasantly surprised that with my budget I can actually consider getting an ID to help with my renovation. After reading many t-blogs, I shortlisted a few. Have also submitted a request for quote at this forum and started receiving many calls. I also started visited expo fairs and spoke to about two ID firms who participated in the fairs.

One lesson learnt was, contrary to my earlier belief, some of the so-called IDs are not really desinger designer (if you get what I mean). Some are behaving like salesperson, some are salesperson with very bad working ethics. I came to this realization that I may not need a designer designer kind of ID, but someone who can give me some design ideas, space planning and coordinate the entire renovation process. So, the conclusion is, find an ID who I think I can work comfortably with and one that is within my budget.

I've spoken to two ID firms at Expo so far and sad to say, they appeared more like they have a sales target (which I think is very real) than understanding my requirements and giving fresh ideas. Have since decided to give up on this route and approach ID firms based on reviews here on Renotalk and quotes I've received from my request.

Have spoken to 4 so far.

ID#1 - One of the more promising one. Went to meet him at his office in Geylang and went through my requirements in a 2-hour discussion. He speaks good English and appeared very experienced and confident. Patiently went through space planning and gave some good ideas. When I asked him his working style in terms of decoration advice, he candidly said that he will give suggestion but will not go furniture shopping with clients. This is actually fine with me coz the last thing I want is someone imposing his/her ideas on me. I will be the one staying in the unit after all. However, just feel a little (just a little off) because I don't feel the "design" sense from my discussion with him. Everything is very practical, functional. I am certainly looking for more. In any case, he isn't able to provide me with a quote because he prefers to do a site visit before he can confirm the items to be included in the quote. Fair enough. KIV until I get the keys ba.

ID#2 - Another promising one, based on the good review here in Renotalk. A young chap who seems quite nice. Though young, he seems to know what he is doing and I feel quite okay. The first meeting was at his showroom in little india area and we went through the packages that the company offers and also my requirements. He said he will propose a plan based on my requirements and provide me with a revised quote (standard package plus additional items). Last week he called me and told me that my quote is ready. Will be meeting him on Tuesday.

ID#3 - This ID responded to my request for quote from this forum. Met him at his showroom in Balestier. Quite young and seems nice but he didn't exude the confidence that I am looking for. Pricing wise was okay, but also like no "design" element. Learnt different types of flooring and Kompacplus from him.

ID#4 - An ID from a very well-established firm. Their showroom is very impressive and surprisingly their quote was very competitive. For the resale package, if I choose not to get the free gifts, there will be a rebate of 4k, which is very enticing. I was also attracted by the fact that the company is case trust and looks very established and hence financially stable. But it is just something that I can't explain, like no chemistry with the ID? Heard good feedback on other IDs from the same company. Very tempted to request a meeting with the ID with good feedback but feel a bit paiseh since this ID already expended energy to prepare the quote and 2d design plan for me. KIV.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Digress a bit. I am looking for an automated laundry system for my new unit. So far shortlisted three:

The two usual suspects are frequent exhibitors at the expo fairs. I saw the same salesperson at the 4 expo fairs that I have visited recently.

1) Tame (http://www.tame.com.sg/) For an automated system w/o fan, it costs $799.

2) Premierz (can't seem to find their website) If I am not wrong, the price for the automated system w/o fan is roughly the same as Tame.

3) Ezzi Living - apparently it is an aussie brand? Never saw them in action, but have liked their fb page. They are having a promotion this Aug. For an automated system w/o fan, it costs $788 instead of the usual $988. Another automated system with fan and UV lights costs $888 instead of $1088. Link here: http://www.ezziliving.com/?page_id=1064

Very tempted to get 3) but not sure about how good they are. Anybody out there has anything to say about the laundry system?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to RT.

For the laundry system I will go for Tame as its based in SG and will be easier to contact if any help is needed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Renotalk! :)

Hi Troublemaker! Hope your reno is going well.

Welcome to RT.

For the laundry system I will go for Tame as its based in SG and will be easier to contact if any help is needed.

Thanks Songz. Have considered your ID too but think he is more inclined towards industrial style? Hope your reno is coming to completion soon.

Do you have the Tame system installed? Any feedback?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Life is really about choices and choices. The same applies to house hunting and renovation.

Have been meeting a few IDs but can't seem to find one that meets all criteria (1) within budget (2) got chemistry, can click (3) nice design (4) good workmanship.

Just like what Steve Jobs said, "Keep looking, don't settle".

Another choice to make is the theme. Honestly, I am quite a functional and no-design-sense person. A theme with a lot of white seems to fit me, so modern contemporary, minimalism, etc seem to fit. However, I am also quite attracted to the simple but warm Scandinavian feel. Is a leather sofa a total misfit in a scandi theme?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Songz. Have considered your ID too but think he is more inclined towards industrial style? Hope your reno is coming to completion soon.

Song's ID Mr. Foo is an ID not a contractor, however he is a very hands on ID.

His incline to industrial style is more of a personal preference, not a mandatory. As seen from his own place on his FB.

However I would say he can do a good job with Scandi, Modern Contemp as well.

You can check out my blog and Northheaven, we all share the same ID as Songz's for a feel of what he had created. ;)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi OceanEleven,

Spent a few nights reading your t-blog. Totally convinced that Mr Foo is a super dedicated ID! Have since contacted him for a quote. Hope he has time to spare for a discussion and hopefully things can work out.

Oh yes, your TB guide is superb! :good: Answered so many questions that TB noobs like us have. Thanks so much for sharing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's topic: Lock, lock, lock

Have been encountering some problems with my current flat. My aged parents sometimes (1) forget to bring keys out (2) forget to close (and therefore lock) the main gate, leaving the gate half open and my wooden door unlocked (3) loses the key and have to make duplicate set.

Went to one of the shops selling locks at IMM and asked if there is any lock that automatically locks when one closes the door. Was told that only digital lock can do that. Problem is, my mum's been having problems with fingerprint scanning at the custom and my dad is a super forgetful one so (1) if I get a PIN model, he will probably write the PIN on a piece of paper and the paranoid me is afraid that he leaves the piece of paper in our door area after opening the digital lock (2) he will probably lose any RFID card/chain/whatever device. Now I am inclined to get a fingerprint and PIN model so my mum can unlock the door with PIN and my dad can unlock the door with fingerprint. Does anybody have any recommendation? I am going to purchase a new gate and main door so I have some flexibility to choose the best model.

Lastly, can I attach a door stopper to my main gate (in terms of clearance space and other constraints)? Am asking this because I want to ensure that the gate is automatically locked when it closes. Since my dad tends to forget to close the main gate, I am thinking of installing a door stopper to solve this problem. Advice, anyone?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lastly, can I attach a door stopper to my main gate (in terms of clearance space and other constraints)? Am asking this because I want to ensure that the gate is automatically locked when it closes. Since my dad tends to forget to close the main gate, I am thinking of installing a door stopper closer to solve this problem. Advice, anyone?

Answering my own question. After reading many blogs, I came to the conclusion that a door close is likely to be installed on a heavy door such as the fire rated wooden door. Therefore, my naive dream of installing on on the metal/wrought iron gate is probably not possible. :(

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's topic: Odd-shape living hall

One of the many challenges of my reno journey is the few odd-shape areas in my unit. One of them is the living hall. Have met up with a few IDs and there were mainly three suggestions. Would like to hear from fellow renotalk friends which one you think is the most optimal and why? TIA!

14814254244_1358326b1b_z.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has taken me a while to figure out the general theme that I want for my new flat. Not knowing what I really wanted, I started with elimination. Ended up I realise what I want can be described as simple, functional and "clean" look. I also came to realisation that I do not really like the wooden feel though at some stage I was really really tempted to go with the scandi style.

If I have to describe my preferred style in words, I think the closest is modern contemporary, with white, black and grey as the main colours. Having said that, I do want something more. Have finally decided on doing some subtle "cat-themed" design (probably mainly black, silhouette style). One way to achieve this is by using wall stickers. Have shortlisted a few and now pasting the link here for reference:

#1 This seller in Qoo10 has a wide variety of wall stickers.

http://list.qoo10.sg/item/HYUNDAE-SHEET-HOT-SALE-DIY-WALL-DECOR-STICKERS/403914942?&sellerview=on

#2 Also quite a commonly seen design

14816386912_30b417593d_q.jpg

#3 Think this is a little to cute. But KIV first

14816755525_4740a4a970_s.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody used Doctor Doors for their service? Not the Combi Door, but the normal veneer door for room and main door and gate? Am thinking of engaging them because their price is lower than what IDs quoted.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×