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Update on pests and bugs

Very randomly, if anyone was following my trials and tribulations (not much lah)...

1. Ant gel (from NTUC) works a charm, at least, I haven't seen any ants since I put it out. I just re-used the cap of a milk bottle (washed), squeezed some ant gel on it, left it at a spot near where I see them, and then after that no more ants anywhere!

2. Bio X (also can find from NTUC!) also very good, we use it on other bugs, haven't seen another cockroach yet but nice to know I can use this spray if husband is not around.

My latest issue is with birds... flying into my balcony, leaving droppings on my balcony parapet, and eating my mimosa plants! ;_; Fortunately the distance between the extended awning and my bamboo clothing poles is too narrow so they haven't landed on my laundry hung out to dry yet, but anyone have any amazing tips for keeping birds away from your balcony?? ;_;

 

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On ‎26‎/‎9‎/‎2016 at 11:36 AM, ricepapergirl said:

Hi! Sorry for the late reply. I also purchased from xTWOstore for the first time when I did it, seemed quite safe. There's even a Singaporean (living in Germany) who was working with them when I bought from them. Think they are quite reputable.

Taxes will be charged when the goods enter Singapore, so I think there was a permit fee and a GST fee. They will call/email you when it arrives in Singapore.

Hi please advise the GST will be levied on the SGD equivalent purchase cost? How much is the permit fee, estimates? how long it takes to reach Singapore, within a month? Thank you.

Edited by Mannequin
 

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On 23/03/2017 at 11:41 PM, Mannequin said:

Hi please advise the GST will be levied on the SGD equivalent purchase cost? How much is the permit fee, estimates? how long it takes to reach Singapore, within a month? Thank you.

Hi @Mannequin! Sorry it's been a while so I've lost the documentation, but from my monthly expenses it says that I paid S$1398.20 in total for the stuff on 20 Feb (so I purchased on 20 Feb), and I paid $82.04 in GST and permit fee on 9 March (when the stuff arrived + we picked it up).

So roughly it takes a month or less to arrive in Singapore, and the GST is likely levied on the actual cost of the items not including shipping, though I don't know whether it's only levied on a portion of the items' cost or the full amount. Hope that helps!

 

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On 28/03/2017 at 9:26 PM, hellobello said:

Hi @ricepapergirl!

may i know how is your IKEA pax wardrobe?? was it easy to install and is it working well now?? 

am considering to get an ikea pax too, but not sure if ikea wardrobe can last long .. 

Hi @hellobello !

The wardrobe is good! We've been using it for about 10 months now and no complaints about its quality. The internal compartments and drawers etc work well too, smooth-running and everything. The only thing is that we have the sliding door version and it makes a bit of noise when we slide it, though I suspect it's because we might have gotten something caught in the track but we can't find it. Anyway it doesn't affect the use, it's just slightly noisier when we use it.

I would say though, get the professionals from IKEA to install it, we got the shorter one and even that looked difficult to self-install.

Personally, I've also had PAX wardrobes in my maiden home (and my parents and brother still use theirs) and those are coming to around close to 10 years now, and they are still going strong. So from my old home and my current home, so far we can vouch for the quality and long-lastingness. :)

 

 

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A quick update: 10 months on...

I don't check this forum much now, life gets a bit hectic with a 5.5 month-old baby! But just checking in to say, mostly everything we bought and are using are still going strong and work very well! The house is understandably more cluttered with baby stuff now that she's here, but the layout we've created works well with additions needed for the baby.

I also effectively spent my 16 weeks of maternity leave testing the heck out of this house, by staying at home everyday for 16 weeks whilst taking care of my baby! The place I love most continues to be my living room with its lovely fan, our master bedroom with the comfy bed (and fan!), and also my kitchen. I cooked everyday when I was on maternity leave (and now still cooks on Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat and Sun) and this IKEA kitchen still functions perfectly. No regrets there at all! :)

 

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Hey ricepapergirl, how's your kitchen holding up? We're thinking of getting the IKEA metod kitchen too, with the same Bodbyn doors as yours, except in off-white, so would like to know whether they're lasting. Thanks!

 

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On 07/06/2017 at 2:26 AM, Blooie said:

Hey ricepapergirl, how's your kitchen holding up? We're thinking of getting the IKEA metod kitchen too, with the same Bodbyn doors as yours, except in off-white, so would like to know whether they're lasting. Thanks!

Hi @Blooie !

Sorry for the delay in replying, wanted to get some photos!

Generally? The doors and the kitchen itself are holding up well! I just popped in to take some photos:

DSC_0008.jpg

DSC_0007.jpg

Personally I got the grey ones because I was worried the white ones (any white ones) would be very obvious when there's grime or water stains or oil stains, so I can't really comment on how the white bobyn doors would hold up, but the grey ones are really nice.

The only problem I've had is the ones near my stove (the two drawers and the door on the right have this slight peeling effect:

DSC_0006_1.jpg

I have a very strong suspicion this happened because I was using some really strong heavy-duty "kitchen cleaner" spray on them once, and the doors are just not meant to handle that kind of chemical on them. So I would highly recommend you just wipe down with a damp cloth if you need to. They didn't need the kitchen cleaner spray, I was just kiasu + lazy (spray everywhere and wipe).

This is after a full year of daily use, I do my fair share of stir-frying, oil splattering, occasional deep frying, so I think both the counter-top and the doors have really held up well! :) No complaints there.

 

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hi ricepapergirl - enjoyed reading your journey here, i literally only just finished reno of my EM, and i went with a metod kitchen too. unfortunately i did not stumble onto your posts earlier, could have saved me a lot of anguish! but looking at what you wrote, i can empathise on all the reno and coordinating woes. you seemed to have done a major overhaul - how large did the final reno bill came to? just comparing notes. and i like your balcony!! how much did the awning cost? i am thinking of it myself, so if you got a useful contact that will be helpful!

 

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6 hours ago, lightningbolt said:

hi ricepapergirl - enjoyed reading your journey here, i literally only just finished reno of my EM, and i went with a metod kitchen too. unfortunately i did not stumble onto your posts earlier, could have saved me a lot of anguish! but looking at what you wrote, i can empathise on all the reno and coordinating woes. you seemed to have done a major overhaul - how large did the final reno bill came to? just comparing notes. and i like your balcony!! how much did the awning cost? i am thinking of it myself, so if you got a useful contact that will be helpful!

Hi @lightningbolt!

Another EM + metod kitchen! Wow! :D 

Yeah ours was complete overhaul but not much technically done. We paid around $75k to our contractor, including $1800 for the awning (not sure how much it actually costed, sorry, he coordinated it all so we didn't have a proper contact), but then because we had no carpentry done by our contractor, to get a full idea of our costs, you should include furniture as well. I don't really have a breakdown for that ready but I know we spent around $112k in total (that includes renovation, furniture, lights, moving costs, electrical appliances, even things like clocks and crockery - so literally everything we needed to buy to make the house completely liveable).

Even though I don't have the contact for the actual awning we had installed, I actually checked around by myself for quotes for retractable awnings before I got my contractor to quote for it. This is about 1.5 years ago, but I got a price of around $1.9k from Perfect Decor and about $1.7k from Elite Deco, includes installation. So that pricing seems around there. :) Hope that helps!

 

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17 hours ago, ricepapergirl said:

Hi @lightningbolt!

Another EM + metod kitchen! Wow! :D 

Yeah ours was complete overhaul but not much technically done. We paid around $75k to our contractor, including $1800 for the awning (not sure how much it actually costed, sorry, he coordinated it all so we didn't have a proper contact), but then because we had no carpentry done by our contractor, to get a full idea of our costs, you should include furniture as well. I don't really have a breakdown for that ready but I know we spent around $112k in total (that includes renovation, furniture, lights, moving costs, electrical appliances, even things like clocks and crockery - so literally everything we needed to buy to make the house completely liveable).

Even though I don't have the contact for the actual awning we had installed, I actually checked around by myself for quotes for retractable awnings before I got my contractor to quote for it. This is about 1.5 years ago, but I got a price of around $1.9k from Perfect Decor and about $1.7k from Elite Deco, includes installation. So that pricing seems around there. :) Hope that helps!

@ricepapergirl - hahaha ikr....reno is so expensive these days and withe size of the EM and old age, most of our bill goes towards just reconditioning the infrastructure of the house, not even talking about new additions. i ended up sourcing my own contractors for a few larger expense items from my contractor. i have zero carpentry too partly due to budget constraints and partly because i don't like built-ins. did your $75k include the IKEA furniture costs?  

thanks for the awning contacts, i will contact them. did you put up curtains at your balcony too? If so, did the awning block out more light?

 

 

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14 minutes ago, lightningbolt said:

@ricepapergirl - hahaha ikr....reno is so expensive these days and withe size of the EM and old age, most of our bill goes towards just reconditioning the infrastructure of the house, not even talking about new additions. i ended up sourcing my own contractors for a few larger expense items from my contractor. i have zero carpentry too partly due to budget constraints and partly because i don't like built-ins. did your $75k include the IKEA furniture costs?  

thanks for the awning contacts, i will contact them. did you put up curtains at your balcony too? If so, did the awning block out more light?

 

Haha yeah we didn't have any built-ins as well, because we are a young family and the number one advice by others to us is to not do any built-ins, because as the kids grow the requirements for the rooms will definitely change. The 75k doesn't include any IKEA furniture costs, it's just hacking, tiles, parquet, doors, windows, installations of stuff, pipes and electrical, painting and some other odds and ends. I paid around $5.5k for the kitchen + another $1.1k for all of the installation. Other than that I got my PAX wardrobe and BILLY shelves, some other smaller storage bits, from IKEA. Cost about $4k including installation. We didn't buy everything from IKEA though so not sure whether that sum is useful for comparison.

Ah, if you look at my photos you will realise I have no curtains at all except in my nursery, because the balcony + Master Bedroom windows face the park. We originally wanted to get curtains but when we moved in we realised we didn't need to, so we got lazy and never did it. The nursery had curtains because those windows face the opposite block and we had a confinement nanny stay in that room for a bit so better give her some privacy.

On the other hand, if you're asking about the awning and whether it blocks the light, yes it does, to a certain extent. The living room will get darker by a bit but not by much, definitely nowhere near what a day curtain would do. 

Edited by ricepapergirl
 

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23 hours ago, ricepapergirl said:

Haha yeah we didn't have any built-ins as well, because we are a young family and the number one advice by others to us is to not do any built-ins, because as the kids grow the requirements for the rooms will definitely change. The 75k doesn't include any IKEA furniture costs, it's just hacking, tiles, parquet, doors, windows, installations of stuff, pipes and electrical, painting and some other odds and ends. I paid around $5.5k for the kitchen + another $1.1k for all of the installation. Other than that I got my PAX wardrobe and BILLY shelves, some other smaller storage bits, from IKEA. Cost about $4k including installation. We didn't buy everything from IKEA though so not sure whether that sum is useful for comparison.

Ah, if you look at my photos you will realise I have no curtains at all except in my nursery, because the balcony + Master Bedroom windows face the park. We originally wanted to get curtains but when we moved in we realised we didn't need to, so we got lazy and never did it. The nursery had curtains because those windows face the opposite block and we had a confinement nanny stay in that room for a bit so better give her some privacy.

On the other hand, if you're asking about the awning and whether it blocks the light, yes it does, to a certain extent. The living room will get darker by a bit but not by much, definitely nowhere near what a day curtain would do. 

Don't you just love IKEA? hahaha., not many willing to risk their homes on IKEA products! i built my kitchen, wardrobe, living area from their products too - where else can you find guarantee on products from 10-25 years? even my ID only give 1 year. my IKEA damage is $10k, and i still have items I want to get. oh but what i do not like about them is their installation and assembly charges - god, $5 to drill one hole?? i chose to assemble most of the storage systems myself. some items will take you only 5 mins to assemble, and the costs savings add up.  mine was almost $500.

 

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24 minutes ago, lightningbolt said:

Don't you just love IKEA? hahaha., not many willing to risk their homes on IKEA products! i built my kitchen, wardrobe, living area from their products too - where else can you find guarantee on products from 10-25 years? even my ID only give 1 year. my IKEA damage is $10k, and i still have items I want to get. oh but what i do not like about them is their installation and assembly charges - god, $5 to drill one hole?? i chose to assemble most of the storage systems myself. some items will take you only 5 mins to assemble, and the costs savings add up.  mine was almost $500.

Haha I don't really know why there's such a bad opinion of IKEA products. I did so based on experience: my own maiden home room and house had IKEA furniture interspersed, so I knew about the longevity of certain pieces and the weakness of other pieces. For example, I know that PAX tends to be pretty hardy if you treat it well, and the Expedit/KALLAX shelves are super super hardy. But I have had BILLY shelves fail on me so I only get the 40cm wide ones (the 80 cm wide ones don't get enough support in the middle), and I wouldn't put the black powder-coated metal shelves in my toilet if I regularly wash the feet of it (ours rusted and then disintegrated). It's about looking at the structural integrity of the piece, take into account how easy it is to take care of it properly, compare the prices, and make the right risk assessment. :) My own opinion of carpentry isn't great either, I've had built-in wardrobes and bookshelves which failed on me as well, so I didn't see carpentry as necessarily always better than IKEA.

We actually assembled quite a lot of the IKEA stuff ourselves (including part of the kitchen!) but for the big stuff like the wardrobes we just paid for it. I love to assemble IKEA furniture but my husband is not so hot on it, and at that time I was quite heavily pregnant so he didn't really allow me to do too much of it haha. 

 

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the PAX systems are solid, but the weak link is the backing which is quite flimsy. can vouch for the kallax shelves, but this time round i went for a newer range Eket. apparently this has a backing so is structurally even stronger than the kallax. its pricier too, but extremely customisable and aesthetically nicer. i believe you went for the butcher block countertop right? care to share your feedback on them in terms of maintenance and durability?

 

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