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shiwei71

The Fickle Minded Ones To The North East!

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Finally my turn to share the renovation journey after 4 years of our BTO application! Please bear with my bad english and my inability to make this as interesting. :P

So, my parents (or rather, my mother) has been feeling really envious of my friends who are all getting their keys to their new flat and started asking me if we can still apply for a new flat. So, did my research and asked lots of questions. And yes we can! So started throwing $10/month starting late 2010, and finally gotten a not too good number after a year plus (the fate for second timers..). Since the project we get to apply for is a huge project, it is taking a longer time than the other project which was launched in the same month.

So! Like many others, lets start with my floor plan!

FP-Orig-Cropped_zps5r3adrqq.jpg

Pictures of the bare unit will follow soon! :)

Edited by shiwei71
 

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

The Bare Unit!

Main door

DSC02391E_zpstzxtu6hn.jpg

The Living

DSC02352_zpsmw0fn2in.jpgDSC02353_zpsge0j5nkp.jpg

Walkway to the rooms

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The common bedrooms

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The Master bedroom

DSC02382_zps5ezk57cp.jpg

The Kitchen

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My thoughts after seeing the unit in reality? SMALL!!

It is so much smaller than what I have expected. I have been to my friends' BTO (those that have TOP in 2011), and their living and rooms are bigger. But I feel our unit is so small! Well, there is nothing we can do. So just gotta see what we can make the best of of what we have.

Defects

At first look, there isn't really nothing much. However when we look closer, there are a lot of small defects all around the unit. We have a main door with chips and scratches (which took 3 rounds of rectification to get it almost right - they left a new defect after the 3rd round), a rusty main gate, rusty peephole viewer, uneven walls, many many many holes on the ceiling etc. And frankly speaking, I need to give my respect to people who can deal with the BSC pple for > 5 times. My patience is seriously running low dealing with them... Having said these, the defects more or less are rectified, except for the new hairline cracks that are appearing every now and then due to the settling of the building. Next, what we want for our house?

Edited by shiwei71
 

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So we are a family of 4. Thus there is a need to take in consideration of everyone’s needs and wants.

The King (Daddy)
Since my dad needs to rely on the wheelchair greatly to move around, it is necessary to plan the placement of cabinets and furniture. This has proved to be not as easy as thought since what the Queen wants will compromise on this to certain extend. Other than the movement space consideration, he is easy on all other things.

The Queen (Mummy)
My mum is a typical housewife. She is also someone who will believe all those fengshui articles she read online or what she heard from her friends. So this has inevitably led to an increase of restrictions and no-nos. So her wants along with the restrictions are as follows;

  • Altar

- Cannot have shoe cabinet at the back (resolved with a proposed solution from an ID we met earlier)

- Cannot face dining table

- Must face the window

- Must have solid wall backing (this is then resolved after she heard that it is fine without a solid wall backing, since there is no solid wall to place the altar in our place already)

  • Must have lots of storage, cut down on space wastage
  • Bright
  • Minimal wood carpentry in wet places (other than kitchen)
  • Must have concrete base for sink support
  • Ease of maintenance (we overturn this with the decision to have cove lights :P )

The Sisters (that’s myself and my sis)
We are more inclined to nicer looking place rather than practicability. At least that’s what my mum has been saying us. We don’t want too much storage as we believe the more storages we have, the less housekeeping we will do. And we will just end up being a karung guni. But well, no children can defy their mother. We have since try to add in a bit more storages for the wants of my mum. We have tried to cut down on the carpentry due to budget constraints and we also believed that some can be bought off outside.

I have initially took a liking for scandi themed homes. However I have noted that the storages are being kept to a minimal for such themes. And my mum felt that the brick wall is a hassle to maintain, too many space wastage. So no more scandi theme home.... Then I like scandustrial, turn out to be too dark for my mum liking as well.. So we ended up with no theme, and just go with what my mum like and sometime the sisters can accept more. With the current direction we are going, I think we may be going with modern instead...

Edited by shiwei71
 

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This is going to be one lengthy and wordy post. You have been warned. :P

We started meeting IDs at around May. One word of advice. If you really do not know what you want, always try to visit open houses and meet IDs a little earlier. We are trying to rush since we are bounded by a 6 months timeline to sell our current flat after keys collection. I understand that we can apply for an extension but we are trying to avoid that. And the list of IDs we have met;

ID Y (T** I******r L**)
My friend who has collected her keys has engaged this ID firm since her/her hubby friend is in this firm. So I went on to search around and came across some reviews from another reno related site. Decided to sent in a query and Y responded. We managed to fix a meetup on the same week to go through what we are looking for. Y is someone who has > 10 years experience in the industry. She managed to get the full confidence vote from my mum as well. Through our conversation, she is able to grasp what kind of look my mum is looking for. Other than this, she is very knowledgeable and has that 大姐风范. One will feel very comfortable and confident that she will do a good job. But one thing about her is she can be quite assertive in what she think is right. A bit too much for me and my sis but my mum actually likes it as it shows that she know what she is doing. I think she was a drafter prior to her coming out as an ID, thus she is able to visualise very quickly. She was able to provide some solutions to our concerns which gained my mum’s liking. All of us are very comfortable with her to the extend we thought to ourselves that we can proceed to sign on the dotted line during the next time we meet her to go through the quotation.

We have initially told Y that our budget is 35K but she did mention that it will be a very tight budget. $40K should be fine. The quotation came out to be 43+K (or is it 45K? can’t really remember). She has also offered to throw in some free works but I guess since she is the first ID we met. So we don’t really know what to do, and don’t know what to negotiate. So we just leave it as it is. Would have proceed to sign if my budget is more elastic.

ID K (I*** I******* D*****)
Met this lady in one of the Expo show. As much as I have no prejudice against smokers out there, the strong ciggy smell kind of put us off (apologies to all smokers out there!) during the discussion. Was kind of impressed that she has promised to give a quotation on the same evening. She suggested for us to walk around and will give me a call once she is done. So we went around. Went around and got hogged by another ID, that aside. 2 hours past and no call from her. We are fine as we did quick check online and found not so favourable reviews on the firm and herself. In addition, what I felt is if you’re unable to deliver. At least call to inform and not let us wait in vain. Who knows she actually drop me a call 1 week later telling me the quotation is ready and wants to arrange a meet up. Since I was caught up in some emergency matters I did not fix a date. Well, after some drama in between, she then forwarded the quotation to my email. Price is reasonable and lower than what I expect. But at the back of my mind, I have already dropped her.

ID D (K**** Y**Re********* Works)
Met this guy at the same expo show as ID K. Came across as someone who is easy to talk to and able to give freebies as long as it is within his means. As we are pretty enticed by the freebies and package, we proceed to place the lock in deposit of $200 and requested to view a job in progress or a completed work to see the workmanship of the carpentry works (something my mum is very very particular about). The carpentry works are average, could be better. Was left feeling disappointed after seeing the carpentry works as we are very comfortable with D. His service is actually very good. Too bad. He did mentioned that the particular project he has shown us is not done up too well. But we didn’t want to take any chances. Decided to drop him and start the pursuit of my $200 refund. Was quite a draggy process but all turn out well in the end.

ID A (I*****e ** G****)

Big presence in Facebook. Decided to visit one of their open house and A served us. Impression was pretty alright from the interactions we had during the open house. So arranged to meet 1 week later to go through the quotation. Price was alright, slightly less than 40K (we have since adjusted our expectations and keep our budget as 40K). However A got a little pushy in getting us to sign on the same day we met, saying that she has secured the great deal that is only available during the open house after talking to her boss. And this is an exception. We have mentioned that we would like a bit of time to have a family discussion to decide but again was kind of pushed to sign on the spot, I didnt really buy the "extended offer" as I have seen the same promotion being advertised on Facebook on the same day. A's colleague also joined the conversation telling how how good the deal is etc etc. Well, if a simple request can't be respected, I don't see how the working relationship for the next 3 months or so is going to be a amicable one. My mum got really irritated and just stood up and walk off (so drama...... ). As obvious as it can be, we dropped A. 1 week after I dropped A, my new colleague introduced me to another ID ® who is her friend. End up this ID is also from the same firm. If I'm not wrong, should be the boss. So to save the awkwardness if we happen to meet A in the office, we did not call R as well.

(tbc)

Edited by shiwei71
 

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