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Sand Castle In The Air (Part I)

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Finally, my chance to start a thread of my own after about a year of scouring through fellow forumers' t-Blogs. Was supposed to be able to start my own thread slightly earlier but due to life's twist and turn of events... Well, change of story as well, and... nonetheless, finally gotten another home of my own! Sadly, not the initial BTO as planned but now a resale unit... Hopefully it's a blessing in disguise. Well, to be fair, it is as well, because I managed to get the dream flat that I've always wanted, no doubt had to squeeze my pockets dry and probably go the bread and butter route. Anyway, titled Part I because due to the twisty road that I went down, a hole grew in the pocket and... thus the super duper limited budget I have to work with for now. May not be a really fanciful t-Blog with much surprises though... Can only continue other parts/ stages when vitamin M is replenished. :bleah:

After the wait that caused my neck to grow really long, we managed to clear the Boss stage and obtained the ultimate... Set of Keys! Didn't come in any fancy leather pouch but in a recycled plastic bag though. Kinda unglam but as long as it works, that's the most important. :sport-smiley-018:

Well start off the traditional way, by... posting the floorplan. lol...

But before I start, I'd like to thank the fellow bros and sis' that took time to reply my queries on their t-Blog and respond to my PMs. :jammin:

Ok, here goes.....


P.s. Titled Sand Castle In The Air because the initial planned makeover is said to be quite extensive, but due to the lack of funds to make the dream come through... thus, it's still a sand castle in the air project.. Will slowly but surely work to make the castle land.. haha.

My plan was to cover this whole house in greys and monochromes. Hints at cement screed, plaster, concrete, you get the gist ya? I kinda like greys, but my wife prefers light and white. Will try my best to mix and create an end result which will be the dream home of the both of us. Will insert some nature, wood grains and brown to break the hard industrial look that the greys might create. Let's hope this will turn out great! :thumbs up:

Some of the inspirational homes I've came across:






Edited by mrbytez

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Purchases & Sign-Ups Made So Far:

LG Artcool Mirror Black System 3 + Upgraded Insulation & Pipes + Stainless Steel Bracket (12K BTU x 1, 9K BTU x 2)

M1 1Gbps Fibre Broadband + Asus RT-AC87U Wireless Router

Nippon Paint - Vinilex 5170 Oil Based Wall Sealer 5L x 3

Nippon Paint - Matex Emulsion Paint 34L x White

Nippon Paint - Odourless Anti-Mould 1L x Ceiling White

Nippon Paint - Odourless Easy Wash 5L x Ultra Grey, 6L x White Ice, 15L x Sail White, 1L x Mayan Yellow, 2L x Sweet Pink.

Nippon Paint - Bodelac 9000 1L x Shadow, 1L x Mayan Yellow.

Brushes & Rollers (Many, lol)

Turpentine, Thinner, Masking Tape.

$2xx worth of electrical wires & trunking.

Kraus 30" Stainless Steel Sink

Kraus KPF-1622 Kitchen Faucet (Satin Nickel)

Eubiq SH1 Power Track 600mm x 1, 800mm x 1

Eubiq E-Genesis 1 Power Track 600mm x 1

Eubiq BS3 British Premium Adaptor (Titanium) x 9 (Comes with a package for each track with 3 each)

LED Square Downlights 12W Tri-colour, Dimming x 8

LED Square Downlights 12W Warm White x 5

LED Square Downlights 12W Cool White x 6

LED Downlights Remote Control (For changing of colour and dimming) x 2

LED Light Panel Square 25W x 1

LED Light Panel Circle 25W x 3

LED Light Panel Square 18W x 1

Hitachi RW690FP3MSX~GBK

Dyson DC74 Fluffy Vacuum

Dyson AM07 Tower Fan (Black/Nickel)

Grove Rainshower Icon x 2

Smeg SI5322B Induction Hob

Smeg KSET61 Telescopic Hood




Edited by mrbytez

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A little on the unit: It's close to 30 years old, first owner all the way till it changed hands into mine. In quite a state that at a glance you'd know it requires a Huge Project Makeover. But after some ups and downs, found out that with the budget I had, this was an absolute MUST BUY! So yeah, already missed not once, not twice.. so.. cannot think anymore..

One huge bad point is that, the plot of land in front of the balcony area is now under going construction for a new BTO project. :dunno:

Sharing a few photos of the existing condition whereby most of the budget will go into the makeover of these areas first, so you should see the most, even though not that much, of a difference.

This is the view of the living room and stairway plus balcony from the dining area (If you can spot the tortoise hiding under the living area floor tiles) meaning the floor tiles have a bulge and are popping upwards, but no cracks yet:


The MBR:


The Kitchen (Not the kitchen I'd want to have, even though I don't cook much):


The Balcony (Apparently the peeling paint is such an eyesore, really cannot tahan):


With the help of my 3 uncles, the painting of the whole place will now be DIY. Currently trying to scrape off all the peeling paint from walls, ceilings, etc... filling putty into the holes at the walls... And then using sealer for the ceilings and perhaps balcony as well.


However, L box and cove lighting for the MBR and maybe for the living hall plus dining area as well, can be covered by my uncle as well! Weee, so happy to have so many talented uncles to help me out. :jammin::sport-smiley-003:

Will be hacking away all of the floor tiles for the lower floor due to the tortoise hiding beneath the tiles at the living area. Budget restraints, so cement screed for the flooring.

Kitchen cabinets, wall and floor tiles all to come down... Am thinking real hard whether or not to hack away all of the kitchen walls.. hearing quite a bit of objections. However, because we seldom cook, and I really hoped to get the open concept kitchen.. It's a tug of war in my head now. The kitchen and living area is really small though, due to the stairway, so the open concept kitchen with a island/ counter area may not turn out as I've envisioned and dreamt it to be.... So still have 1-2 days to decide whether I want all of the walls down, or just the walls facing the stairway down, and keep the wall facing the main door. Wanted to bring the storeroom down also, but due to practicality issues and the future need for a store, might decide to keep that.

Edited by mrbytez

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Zzzzzz... Waiting for HDB approval for renovation permit to begin hacking of lower floor's floor tiles, kitchen walls and tiles. Initially decided to go with a close friend's ID recommendation but then last minute received quotation from my uncle's friend who's a contractor... Budget decided to go with the contractor. Renovation permit was already applied by ID, so have to submit cancellation and then wait for HDB to process cancellation before new permit approval can be requested..

Gain City came to install my LG Sys 3 Aircon system (Placed deposit during the Gain City Expo a while back, $3.3K for the system, top up $150 more for stainless steel bracket and another $180 for upgraded pipes. Free LG Air Purifier, $100 Mastercard, $240 Gain City Vouchers) for the 3 bedrooms.




During installation of the LG Artcool Sys 3 Aircon, something bad happened, due to my own inexperience as well partly. The Gain City installers said it was better and recommended to install the trunking as close as possible to the wall and ceiling beams. However, there were existing electrical wiring and trunking at the beams. The original aircon trunking layout is like a maze running long and far... So decided to go for the shortest possible. The installers then mentioned I didn't have to stay and supervise because it will be really dusty and be like a battlefield. So I went back home for a short rest. After which, I received a call from the head installer that they are running the aircon piping and trunking, but there are existing electrical wiring and trunking in the way, so they request to cut them away, and that it is easy to run the electrical wirings later, so I agreed because I couldn't imagine the situation in my mind also. When they called to inform that the installation was complete, I headed back and based on my visual inspection, the workmanship looked good.

The headache came 2 days later when my uncle who is also an electrician, came to look at my place as he intended to help me with the electrical wirings. He was very pissed and angry at how the aircon piping and trunking were laid when he saw the place. >.< He pointed out that the electrical wirings were snipped and trunking removed. The nightmare was that, because the mains DB Box is located on the lower floor in the storeroom, electrical wirings were laid and brought up to the upper floor via a hole drilled at the corner of the MBR. The aircon installers snipped the electrical wires right at the point where the wires popped out from the hole. AND the mains were still switched on, meaning electricity is still live and running, if anyone were to touch the wires, 100% electrocuted. :jawdrop: Furthermore, it was only then that I realised the previous owners had concealed the electrical wirings from MBR to the toilets and other bedrooms in the wall. The installers also snipped away at the wires at those points, which then rendered the lighting and heater switches at the corridor upstairs useless. The existing wires were concealed and then cement was poured or applied into the holes, so existing wires can't be pulled out or replaced :jawdrop: .


The dug out hole for concealing the electrical wiring done by previous owner.


The part where the electrical wires come up from the lower floor to MBR. (All snipped at the lowest point possible, by the aircon installers). The trunking you see is for the aircon water pipe.

I then called the head installer and he told me it's not a problem as I can proceed to lay the electrical wiring inside the aircon trunking. I then thought, whew, so I'm saved... But then, my uncle again pointed out, as the aircon pipings are made of copper internals and then bent at the corners to fit, there won't be enough space to poke through, and I will have to drill some parts of the trunking so the wires can run through. PLUS, HDB might not approve of electrical wiring being laid in the same trunking as the aircon piping. URGH!!!! WtFish....

Anyway, still waiting for HDB permit.. We'll see how from then again. **** headache....

Ok, so weeks passed and due to work, I didn't have much time to spare but... We started work on scraping away at peeling paint in the balcony, kitchen ceiling, lower floor ceiling. Sealant was applied in the balcony, falling concrete was also patched and laid. Emulsion paint was painted over existing paintwork... Cracks were patched numerous times... Somehow the walls seem to be falling apart :dunno: . All existing lightings removed, less the "chandelier" over the staircase as it's way too high up, have to wait for contractor to remove. Lower floor ceilings were repainted in white emulsion, false ceiling and L box bases were put up.. I also test painted the rooms in Nippon Paint Ultra Grey. WOW, were they really Ultra Grey haha. Cool and dark grey... Now I need to think of a really good lighting plan. Test painted dining area in Ice White, somehow didn't seem to be the kind of white that I wanted. Wait till it dries then I'll post up some photos of them. So far only 1 coat applied. Didn't dare to waste efforts in detailed painting as electrical still not yet laid, and flooring not yet hacked...

Kraus sink arrived as of 12/01 which is today. Really huge! haha but looks really good as well. Can't wait! Now have to source for an induction hob and then the contractors will be able to plan dimensions of my kitchen properly.

Edited by mrbytez

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The current 70% reinstated balcony. LOTS of hard labour contributed by my dear uncle. Had to climb out of BR2 windows, walk on two planks placed above the balcony void to scrape off as much of the peeling paint as possible, and then apply sealer, patch holes and falling concrete.


And so this is how bad the paintwork condition was, and how dangerous it was for my uncle. :sport-smiley-003:


MBR Bathroom. Really small and hate the layout, any idea how I can do a dry/wet layout in future? The sink is just beside the showerhead :dunno:

A total of 3 toilets, and all 3 in different colour schemes. :jawdrop: The common toilet on the lower floor is in blue.


Common bathroom on upper floor. Looks more spacious somehow.


Current view from BR2 & Balcony (The BTO construction).

Edited by mrbytez

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The view from BR3. Not yet done up with painting as electrical and lightings yet to be laid. Ultra Grey. The white is the Matex Emulsion (Still thinking whether to go all grey or leave 1-2 walls to paint white.

Thinking also to paint the window main frame in bright yellow for the colour burst and contrast.


BR3 (Ultra Grey, but with sunlight) Camouflages the aircon unit. lol


MBR, also in Ultra Grey. lol..


The yet to be removed "chandeliers" because they're too high up, waiting for contractors to do it. The wall behind the lights not yet completed painting so you see white patches still.

Edited by mrbytez

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Dining area. And you can see delivery of the 30" Kraus Sink! Ordered from Amazon US and delivered by DHL. Took about 1 week plus in all.



Now that the sink has been settled, it's time to choose an induction hob for the frequent cooking. Reason why an induction hob is because this flat doesn't come with town gas, so if we were to choose a gas hob, we'll have to run them on gas cylinders. Never liked those. So yeah...

Been looking in the market, seeing brands like Bosch, Electrolux, Brandt, Mayer.. 2 Hobs should suffice. So price range from $799 for Electrolux, Rinnai $899, $999 Bosch, $1,099~$1,199 Mayer (Latter price for Hybrid Hob, 1 Induction, 1 Radiant: Whereby it's said to be compatible with non-induction friendly cookware as well, as long as they have a flat base), $1,399 Brandt.


Noteworthy was that Mayer has 5 Years warranty for their glass surface.. Looks good as well but noticed that the base is slightly raised up by a couple of mm with this silicon/foam layer... Wonder if this will trap dirt and grime after long term usage...

Not yet made up my mind on my choice of hob as of yet though. Haha, thought this time I should play safe and seek the electrician's advice first. Because the Hybrid Hob from Mayer requires 15Amp while the rest requires only 13Amp. Have to do a little more research on the hobs too. Any recommendations from anyone?

Edited by mrbytez

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Am pondering over using pendant lights for dining, and kitchen island area vs using track lights.

Prefer pendant lights for dining area to introduce pops of colour. Living area will probably be lighted using LED downlight.

MBR also LED downlight. Other 2 rooms not sure yet. Upper floor corridor perhaps a few track lights or wall scones, same goes for stairway area.

Totally no clue how I should plan my lighting points properly. Ugh

Edited by mrbytez

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If seldom cook, definitely should go for open concept.

Not easy to go full out open concept based on my floor plan though, unless the first thing I'd like people to see when I open the door is the kitchen. lol... Somehow I hear that quite a lot of people are against that.

Meanwhile, today was still scrapping away at peeling paintwork and then a chunk of the wall at the balcony decided to fall apart and fall to the ground :curse: . Lots of sand were used back then during construction, and the beams inside are now rusty, thus the sand couldn't stick together anymore somehow... Gonna try calling Town Council tomorrow to give it a check, hopefully they can do something, because it's like the house is starting to have bits falling apart...


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