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A Scandinavian Attempt

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We want to share our renovation journey with Renotalk forumers here. After reading so much adventures, we are finally setting off to embark our renovation. :jammin:

We decided that we want to buy our own flat. We were thinking to purchase a resale flat beginning last year. That would mean we need to hurry to have our wedding banquet and solemnization soon after signing with HDB. We don't want to rush through such an important occasion of our lives. We want to be more prepared and ready and involve both our families, relatives and friends.

After monitoring the resale market from the cooling measure, it is actually a good opportunity to get a resale flat. Good for buyers, sellers are not so happy with the least COV.

There are two key factors that we look out for our flat.

1. Distance proximity, near either one of our parents. This means that anytime we can visit our parents and pop over for meals. If we have children in future, it will be accessible to find help. There is added advantage to live near parents: CPF Housing Grants for Resale Flats.

2. Available amentities like ATM/Banks, supermarket, coffeeshop, clinic, shopping mall, etc.

It was our intention of getting a resale flat. However we realised after checking HDB website, there is a Sales of Balance Flats balloting in May 2014. To our favour, we found a location near to my parent's place and want to try balloting for it.

The rest is His-tory. Tomorrow will be the start of the renovation. :)

A Typical 4-Rm Floorplan


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The Theme

Our theme is Scandinavian (北欧). Some key words used are functionality, simplicity, wood, whites & light. We are not sure how the reno will turned out be and certainly it is easy to go out of theme. Hence I titled this topic as "A Scandinavian Attempt". Hopefully everything falls well into place.

Looking For A Contractor

By the time we are presented with our keys, we have made contact with several contractors and IDs.

Below are my personal comments about the respective contractors & IDs.

1) Mr M, Ren** - Have good impression with his working attitude. Not so ID type, hence his quote is very competitive. Ability to give ideas.

2) Mr L, ZL** - Overall their portfolio is full of what we like in a home. But they charged a 7% GST, which we are taken back by the extra cost. Also didn't follow up with us when we request them to bring us to view their works.

3) Mr J, North** - Our impression of him was okay. However the quote wasn't detailed enough although it met our budget.

4) Mr A, Aian** - My fiancee is not so impressed with Mr A as he did not provide alternatives and recommendation during our first meet up. The quotation met our budget though. While we were quite keen, he did not return my subsequent request to view one of his works.

5) Mr K, Segi** - The impression is similar with Mr A.

6) Mr K, 3D** - We did not get to meetup Mr K. His quote is slightly higher. One of his project person contacted me and mentioned Mr K is not available till after CNY period. I think he might be too busy to take up my reno. So decided to leave his quote out of our consideration.

7) Mr J & Mr E - After getting our keys, we wanted to give our final try sourcing for a contractor. Finally managed to meet up with Mr J & Mr E. They gave us their quote after a few days later. The following week, Mr E brought us to visit 3 existing projects before handover. We are quite impressed with their carpentry quality & honest opinions. After some consideration, we decided to engage their services.

Overall all the quotes have been competitive and 'beyond me' to compare among them. Our budget was 20k, but it spilled over to 22k when we decided to overlay wall tiles at both bathrooms.

p.s. We will not be sharing the entire breakdown of our quote as it may not be fair to our contractor.

Edited by wmayeo

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Finally have some time to update my reno progress. Before that, some pictures of how the flat look like before reno start.

A Typical 4-rm


Common Defects

We had managed to go down to HDB Sales Office to report the defects on the same day after keys collection. HDB took about 2 weeks to settle the minor works due to the CNY holiday period.



If you ask me how to make sketches, I really don't have much sense of freehand sketch. I'm very much a picasso...lol... I think it is a natural gift from God to sketch well and share with the clients how your kitchen will look like. Another thing why we decided to engage Contractor J and E, is because they are able to advise us how well does it look good aesthetics and functional.


Edited by wmayeo

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Bathroom Wall Tiles

Some concepts that we quite like. Simple with different texture and light colours like earth tones.


Here are some tiles that we have KIV.


Edited by wmayeo

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Floor Protection

No description required. We have to protect our precious flooring...


Cement Base

We request to have cement base for the kitchen carpentry, service yard for the washer and bathroom shower kerbs. We left out the fridge base as we don't intend to wet our floor during cleaning, this can help to save some cost.


Edited by wmayeo

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Bathroom Overlay Tiles

The original tiles were pearl colour. We really got no idea :dunno: why did HDB choose this colour instead of white or other colours. We decided to overlay both bathroom wall tiles.


Kitchen Top

We wanted to use Kompacplus at the beginning. Since it's a relatively new product, we are not certain how long it can last. I tried to research more on European kitchens since it is "raved" originated from Europe. I could not look up for any much information on Kompacplus. To play safe, we decided to use iQuartz. And selected iPure - fully white. This colour require a top-up.

Base on our quote, Contractor E actually gave us up to $3.50/sq ft, since our tiles all lower cost that what was quote for, we actually want to ask for a discount. But instead of that, we request for the kitchen top colour that we want. We ended up helped our contractors save some material cost. :deal:


Edited by wmayeo

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Aircon First Installation

After gathering some quotes, again quite hard to compare lah. I engaged Cold Engine for their aircon installation services. I selected Panasonic System 2 aircon since they have this "Free NTUC Vouchers" promotion. Just go for it!! :notti:

For the first installation, the aircon guys will prepare the air con ducts. I went through with them 3 times to ensure the least ugliness of how the aircon duct will run. I decided to let it be more exposed in my master bedroom which it is hidden from view from visitors. Being first-timer, I realised some of the HDB structure cannot be drilled through. They may need to hire another guy to do high impact drilling, that means extra cost and more complexity. So I decided to make it easy and settle for this.


Materials for Aircon Ducts


Me no aircon expert :dunno: can't tell how good these material are. They claimed to be good. The installation is as equally as important of how good the materials your vendor may use.

Edited by wmayeo

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First Coat of Paint

We decided not to have brickwalls as we have seen them very common. In order to achieve the Scandinavian look, the best is to have wooden planks or white plain walls. Throw it with some colours.

We selected Nippon Paint odour-less Sail White for all the walls, except cool mint for the study room and charming for living room featured wall. I personally choose Urban Grey for feature colours for master bedroom and bedroom 2. I did not expect Urban Grey to be lighter in real life, but I still can accept it. I even requested my contractor to paint inside the DB box walls as I am thinking everyone might miss that out.


Service Yard

I personally like this windows because it's clear and do not have a green tint. I'm not sure how come some windows come with green tint / coating? :dunno:


We took down both bathroom basins as we found them not that nice to look at. Since this is our first home, we want to do it at our preference and many convenience for our living. Talk about practicality, yeah we could just use HDB ones, the quality is not bad as per say. After some thinking, we managed to salvage one of the basin!! :idea:


It works yeah! :thumbs up: However it has some protrusion. It doesn't hinder the way when we walk... since the HDB bi-fold door ledge will overcome this small protrusion.

We are thinking of using this basin to wash some stained clothings, instead of using the kitchen sink or having a tub like this one from Amazon:


Edited by wmayeo

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Furniture Shopping (Part 1)

This may be the most exciting section for some of you guys. But it may be the most boring section to you.

After visiting places like Hommage Lifestyle, we like their stuff but find their prices kinda steep. We gain more knowledge by talking with Eric. I think it's a great place if you are looking for good furniture pieces.

We like woody type of furniture so visiting Scanteak is not to be missed. We went to their Sungei Kadut Showroom during their warehouse sales. Intentionally I thought just get a salad fork & spoon that cost $2 only. :deal:
Ended up we purchased more stuff enough for the house. :sport-smiley-003: Good thing is that Scanteak allowed us to store our furniture up to a year at their warehouse.


*Below is an update on 20/Jun/2015

I just went to make the balance payment two days ago. And found that they have increased price already. Since January till now, for example their Fiske COD6 was priced at $999, now selling at $1199. :jawdrop:

My salary also don't increase so many percent each year! The best time seem to me is get their furnitures during the warehouse sales at Sungei Kadut. I saw the advert from Straits Times before CNY, that was in January, there's some cut out for special prices.

Edited by wmayeo

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Furniture Shopping (Part 2)

We went to check out Muji for their furniture and bed frame. We were thinking of having two single beds combined, just like what shown in their catalog.


We found out that their bed frame is not the same as Singapore standard. We want the convenience and availability of bedsheets so we decided to get other brands. Below is the measurements, make sure you choose the right bed frame.


Although I like Muji clocks, but we didn't get them. TOO EX liao! :bleah:


We decided to get their study desk, exclude the steel drawers and those lovely stationery boxes.


Edited by wmayeo

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