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jonatha332

My Industrial Loft Home Done Under 19K

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Hi all

I definitely learnt a lot from this forum and I some friends working in the construction industry hence they taught me many tips to save money in the renovation process.

My semi finished living room

brick_wall_HDB_Punggol_Industrial_Loft.j

Many of my friends has since asked me how to reduce their renovation costs and here is to share my whole journey. I also included post-reno stuff to save some headache which I faced being a first time home owner.

Tips to reduce renovation costs.

1) Use a contractor instead of designer if you can.

By doing this, you save at least 30% of your costs. Designer act as middleman between you and the contractor. Of cos, good designers faciliate the reno process, but if you want to save cost, faciliate it yourself.

2) Know your design to the details.

If you say, you want an industrial loft theme, then you dont know what you are talking about and leave your hands to slaughter fest. You need to say, I want a brick wall, 2.4m x 1.8m, done using beige white brick craft stones. I want a industrial light, with 3 light heads, warm colour at this exact position.

You get the drift. If you cannot spell details like this, you open for either contractor or designer slaughter fest, where they intro you things that make them the most money. If you can, then you dont need a desiger. Google images or flip magazine, then find exactly what you want, component by component, wall by wall.

3) Pick a reliable contractor not the cheapest one.

No brainer i hope. But here are some tips.

Years in service - You want a reno firm to be at least a few years, not one that is set up 1 month ago. How long is that few years? You decide. Kiasu can take 8yrs onwards. Check here - hdb registered contractors

You can also check if they violate reno rules and got demerit points

Chemistry - if you dont like each other, you get ****.

Reach and return call - If he return miss calls, and easy to reach, you know he can be reach to retify your post reno problems.

See finished goods - Good and reliable contractors are confident of their work. Ask to see their finished or almost finished homes. The good ones ask you faster come, the shady ones will say hard to arrange for viewing. Good contractors got a few jobs on-going, there is no such thing as hard to arrange.

When viewing, check workmanship of tiles. It should be aligned very straight. Check workmanship of wardrobe, open and close their drawers.

Questionable Expo interior designer shows - A good contractor once told me, he do a good job, then he get referrals and referrals, no need any advertising. Food for your own thought.

4) Price reference check

Here is my market research as a price reference. If you are paying significantly more, then you kena chop. Simple as that.

Tiles

Laying of tiles for my 4room BTO, 3 rooms plus living room and walkway. 8K with tiles costing $4 per sq foot. (slightly high but luckily i got good workmanship)

Tiles supplier

Harfary

Soon Bee Huat

lian seng hin

- Defu lane also have a few smaller ones for you to explore.

Carpentry

Kitchen - $120 per foot run

Sliding wardrobe - $230 per foot run

Casement wardrobe - $210 per foot run

Craftstone for brickwalls - $78 per box. Harfary sells at $99 per box. Get from malaysia JB even cheaper at ard $40 SGD or so.

Electrical - $8- $10 per point installed. Meaning 1 light source $10.

Sanitary Items suppliers - Basin, taps, etc

Universal Union

Heritage

Amazon - Kraus sinks (they ship to singapore)

Hoe kee - (a bit ex, but can go there just to see and compare)

Tabletop - Solid surface : $70 per foot

Granite - $85 - $110

iquartz- $120

Doors supplier

Yontat - Bad attitude, but some doors still cheap. Tip: They sell to contractors cheap, so pick your door, as your contractor to install for you and ask your contractor to buy the door for you. If you buy and ask them install, then kena chop a bit.

Canwin Wood products trading - They dont have installers, so you need a contractor that can install. Price not bad.

Best industrial pte Ltd - Many doors for viewing, good service.

All located at Eunos Avenue. If driving, visit all 3 shops at once and decide. Don't need to kena chopped by those door retailers or HDB. HDB doors very ex by the way.

5) Air Conditioning

This should be done right after your floors are done and before your carpentry because of the trucking cable. Make sure your select inverter models, otherwise you pay alot. Think you whether you need system 2,3 or 4. Killer qn: do you need air con in living room? Choose a reliable air-con contractor or provider. Use at least 1/2" of Amaflex insulation. Insulation is to prevent sweating of air-con. Air con sweating is a very big headache.

5) UseTaobao (Sea freight to ship lights and bulky items like chairs) Ard 1 mth ETA

Lights - Save at least 50% or more

Taobao. Most sg shops I went all bring in China lights, so buy them yourselves. Try to avoid Balestier road shops if you dont want to get chopped. See models from there, get elsewhere.

Chairs - Save at least 50% or more

Aesthetics accessories like clock, ornaments all can get from taobao and ship them over.

Post Renovation Money Saving Tips

1) Electrical appliances

Consolidate all your purchases, noting all the model numbers. Then go bargain at these shops.

Parisilk

Goh Bee Huat

Goh Sin Huat

Woodlands domestic electrical pte ltd

You can also negotiate on prices with Courts, Harvey Norman, Best Denki. Then use card like the Amex to get 5% cash rebate. Or your preferred credit card.

2) Home broadband and Netflix

M1 fiberbroad band. - I chose M1 because it is cheaper. at $39 per month. Have been with them for few weeks now and from a Punggol perspective, my connection is stable, so far no downtime.

Read my review a few posts down.

Netflix

netflix-3-1500x1000.jpg

I also subscribed to netflix for my new home after being recommended by forummers. Very shiok. For less than $10 bucks, can watch unlimited shows and movies. Got many shows and dramas, including orange is the new black, which me and wifey is watching now.

you can read this netflix setup guide for assistance. simple to follow.

3) Bomb shelter shelves

I followed the recommendation of fellow forummers and took a look see at the Toyogo. Those are made of plastics and good enough for my usage. they cost only $69 for 4 tier and is quite sturdy. Metal ones are more costly so I did not go with that option.

*** To be continued ***

Edited by jonatha332
 
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Join 46,923 satisfied homeowners who used renotalk quotation service to find interior designers. Get an estimated quotation

This is so useful! Thanks for sharing the reasonable market rates. The contractor quote I received from J&E is $380 for casement wardrobe!

 

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thanks for the tips! thats exactly what i plan to do, find a contractor instead of an ID. can i just check which forwarder you used for taobao? is it those 1 cubic meter container type? i'm a taobao regular shopper but i've always been using 4PX, their official forwarder since i buy non bulky stuff.

i must say taobao has really nice loft/industrial type lightings. most that i see and bookmarked aren't really cheap though. can come up to a few hundred bucks for those 3 legged tripod style floor lamp.

also, taobao has craft bricks. are they much cheaper compared to sg and jb?

Edited by matchalatte
 

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thanks for the tips! thats exactly what i plan to do, find a contractor instead of an ID. can i just check which forwarder you used for taobao? is it those 1 cubic meter container type? i'm a taobao regular shopper but i've always been using 4PX, their official forwarder since i buy non bulky stuff.

i must say taobao has really nice loft/industrial type lightings. most that i see and bookmarked aren't really cheap though. can come up to a few hundred bucks for those 3 legged tripod style floor lamp.

also, taobao has craft bricks. are they much cheaper compared to sg and jb?

I used Peeka as a forwarder. I shipped lights from Taobao and if you are buying expensive lights like a few hundred, tell Peeka to send you the real picture before ordering. Because there are cases where the pic looks good but actual item is lousy. Yes, they use the cubic metre calculation.

Craftbrick should be cheaperin Taobao, but I wont risk because not sure of quality. You can also find China brickstones in Singapore. Defu lane those tile shop selling. There you can feel and see the quality, and also check with their salesperson.

Edited by jonatha332
 

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Thanks for sharing the tips! Vould you share with me your contractor which you have engage? Most of the IDs met all quote higher than all the items you listed. Much appreciated!

 

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All PM sent.

I will answer 1 qn about contractor so that first time owners have more awareness.

Qn: Does the home renovation requires a licensed contractor to be carried out? Why are there many popular contractors in this forum that do not have a license? and can we use them.

Yes. For all HDB reno, it is a must to have a HDB license to carry out renovation works. Your contractor will need you to sign a form allowing them the carry out reno works for you.

That said, any contractor can perform reno works as long as he got a friend with license that can sign for on-behalf of him. So on the form, you will see only the licensed contractor company. When the contractor file in form to HDB, you will also receive an SMS notification to say that that firm is going to carry out works. So if that is not right, you can always sound out when you receive the SMS.

Qn: Should i go with licensed or no licensed?

There is no gurantee that licensed will perform the works well. Even with regulations it hard to justify any post reno problems. If they quote you $6000 for carpentry works spanning the whole kitchen and deliver a very poor workmanship job. Under the law, they still delivered the whole cupboard even the finishing is like shi.t. So they did not break any regulations.

That said, it is better to work with licensed contractor with a number of years because they need to protect their reputation. Also, find ones that are responsible, because it is easy to quote a per foot rate of $210 for wardrobe, but how you know whether your wardrobe can close, got scratches and whether he will come and retify those.

Edited by jonatha332
 

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Home broadband Review : M1

Just home broadband review.

I was a previously subscriber to Singtel, not broadband just 15Mbs. But as the internet signals always get down,

I decided to give M1 a try, since they are cheaper. $39 for 1GBps.

If you are getting a broadband from them, do plan 2 weeks before they will come and install for you. Roughly speaking.

I went on to take my router as ASUS RT-AC68U router, which I read from HWZ is better as the ASUS RT-AC87U router is problematic.

After installation all is good except that my Master room cannot receive signals as my router is in the living room. So i

went on to buy a Home Plug (Aztech). You need to buy 2, 1 adaptor to connect to your router and also 1 home plug to connect to your room socket.

Apparantly, this is better than those range extenders because range extenders immediately cut your internet speed

to half. So if you want better speed, take the homeplug option, which is what I did.

All done.

Edited by jonatha332
 

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