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Mission (Almost) Impossible - 25K 4Rm Bto Renovation

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Workmanship is what most people obsess about, after price.

For every contractor/ID we met, we would ask them to take us to current/existing projects to view the workmanship. (And you should do the same!)

In early October, we visited one of contractor JE's (then) current projects. The workmanship was the deal clincher for us. We hoped that JE would keep up the good work for our house...

Fast forward to Jan 2015

I am proud to present to you our study!

I've highlighted the workmanship in each of the following three photographs. Some are so subtle you might miss it!

Workmanship - Photo 1


If you're thinking "Ok, neat ,straight lines, nicely applied laminate," then I'm afraid you've missed the point of this picture.

Look closely at the top wooden cabinet door. Its the one in white. :rolleyes:

You should now be able to make out the groove cut into the door. Its slanted ever so subtly, to ensure the top cabinet can be opened easily. This was amazing for us. High cabinets have the groove pointing "upwards", whilst low cabinets have their grooves pointing "downwards". You have to open the cabinets yourself, to get a feel of how useful such a small feature can prove to be.

What's even more impressive is, if you go back to the picture just before this one (previous post), you'll see how the groove is invisible from the front. Not that it matters anyway, as the groove is actually quite aesthetically pleasing. :paint:

Workmanship - Photo 2


You can see again for yourself how the half-height cabinet also has the groove cut into the base of the door, where you'd open it from.

Once again, if you look back to Photo 1, you'll see how the groove for the half-height cabinet is otherwise hidden from view.

The electrical socket (bottom left side, open shelf) is also neat, and I can't wait to see how it will look, once the socket is up! Because this is the study, we expect to place a printer in that area. We initially wanted it to be fitted to our printer (I like it tight... heh heh) - and we gave contractor E the dimensions of the printer. But he very helpfully reminded us "printer next time maybe need to change one leh". Good point. So we made the hole bigger.

The picture above also conceals another surprising workmanship feature! Can you spot it? (Don't cheat and look at Photo 3!) :sport-smiley-004:

Workmanship - Photo 3


Ta-daah! All the shelving that they do comes with this "AA track system". I hope I got the name right. This means that the height of the shelves is fully adjustable. For built in carpentry, I think this is a GODSEND.

Imagine you have fabricated tonnes of built-in carpentry. Your house is stacked to the max with cabinets - but you find some of your ginormous stuff just won't fit into the shelves! Then how!!!!

Boss even promised me extra planks and those metal pieces, in case I decide later that I need extra shelves! :wub:

I feel slightly bad that they are so nice, because I feel I knocked him down quite hard on the final quotation... scarli (Singlish: what happens if?) they refuse to give me extra planks because the final price was too cheap... :(

Comparing to the 3-D image


Lastly, I thought I'd compare this with the 3-D image we were presented with (see: this post).

To cut costs, we ended up:

1. Doing away with the false ceiling and T-5 light (behind the shelf).

2. No parquet flooring either. Sticking to the original tiles HDB gave us.

We're still in the process of buying a super single bed for the room, but we're otherwise done! I'm happy to report that the study I got is exactly what I want! :)

Next up

Master Bedroom? (Planning the MBR give us the most "rawr!" moments)

not too sure if u know but that sublime line is done using a routing bit. its just a tool that follows the line and a tool that has the shape making that curve.


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Hi Jez, we are in a dilemma if we should get an ID or contractor as we are concerned about service and costs (seems like it's usually one or the other).

Could you kindly share with me your contractor details, and if possible, the quotation breakdown?

Thanks a million!


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Hi Jez, beautiful home! Tried to PM but think your inbox is full. Can you share your contractor contact and also the quotation if convenient. Thx and congrats again on the lovely home!


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Hi jez2014, can you share your contractor contact with me please? I am also getting keys to my 4-room flat soon and my main requirement will also be carpentry. Thanks.


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Thanks for posting such detailed and humorous reading (I'm still reading past midnight!) about your reno journey. The taobao guide is very helpful as well.

Could I trouble you for your reno con's contact details, please? Carpentry is also highlight for my place.

Thank you

PS: Your mailbox is full, no surprise there :)


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Hi Jez,

Got the pm! I learned a lot from your T-Blog and learning to explore Taobao now, never done that before :help: . Congrats on you lovely home! And thanks SO MUCH for your reply and the helpful tips! I just called J and decided to meet with him soon.

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