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owlNbear

Owl & Bear's Parisian-Chic-Lookalike Nest

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Can't help but smile at your post... 1 foot in width? No wonder the electrician stun like vegetable... :notti: Everything is a learning experience for us new owners... I had to get my friend to open the trunking and add in fibre cos did not take that into consideration and my ID also never remind me :fire:

Looking forward to see your complete house... so clean and chic!

P/s: carpenter uncle looks pro.. can I have his contact? 

 

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2 hours ago, Lazyfatcat007 said:

Can't help but smile at your post... 1 foot in width? No wonder the electrician stun like vegetable... :notti: Everything is a learning experience for us new owners... I had to get my friend to open the trunking and add in fibre cos did not take that into consideration and my ID also never remind me :fire:

Looking forward to see your complete house... so clean and chic!

P/s: carpenter uncle looks pro.. can I have his contact? 

Hi Cat! Long time no see, I missed you all :lol: Yeah, we really had to grow up very quickly with no ID holding our paw/claw. Electrical and plumbing works especially for me was really traumatic because we knew so little, and so much could go wrong :jawdrop:
Anyway, I keep telling myself "it's ok, next house confirm will be done in a better and more organized way. Maybe will have budget for a good ID too. 没事没事" :drunk:

Ok no prob, will PM you carpenter's contact.

 

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Guest brrrando

Hey Owl! Love the sneak peeks, the place looks like its coming along nicely. Really impressed by your use of sketch up and it sounds like you and your partner have some design experience. Was wondering what kind of design/technical experience would I need to use sketch up or could a noob like me just pick up and use it? 

 

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On 1/23/2016 at 0:38 AM, owlNbear said:

 

kitchen-3D_zpsdkbhtxui.jpg

 

Hello, can you please pm me your contractor contracts? I am looking for someone who can similar top hung sliding doors to yours. Thanks!

 

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On 09/04/2016 at 9:34 PM, mickeyboo said:

Hello, can you please pm me your contractor contracts? I am looking for someone who can similar top hung sliding doors to yours. Thanks!

Appreciate if you can share with me your contractor/aluminium glass person for doing the top hung sliding door too! My contractor has not done something like that before. Thanks!

On 26/03/2016 at 9:53 PM, owlNbear said:

 

 

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And here's the bedroom brick wall, already painted white by us. Btw, why did we have to paint it on our own? Because our contractor, apparently, did not include the cost of painting  brick walls into his quotation. Are brick walls not walls in the house? *Shrug* Go figure.

Anyway, we really love it now. Much neater and cleaner. Right now, we're still deciding on whether to paint the living room white or not. We'll probably be waiting till the furniture is in to see how everything looks like together.

My humble opinion is that you should leave it as it is, don't paint over! I think the raw, natural colour of the bricks are really pretty and is already a beauty by itself!

 

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Hi owlNbear,

Collecting keys for my resale flat end June. Now researching as much as I can on ID and reno info..

I love your kitchen floor tiles. Are they mosaic tiles? Would u be so kind as to pm me the price of your tiles psf? 

Also, the craftbricks tt you purchased, did they arrive in good condition? 

Edited by Cazfaith
 

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Hi owlNbear,

I have came across your posts recently as I am also in the midst of searching for contractors to renovate my '42+ yrs new house'. :) Your layout is very similar to mine except that mine is not a corner unit hence the size is smaller than yours.  

With budget constraint, I am not able to afford ID (have consulted few before, but end up dropping the idea as they are always out of my budget). Hence, if you don't mind can share your contractor, carpenter as well as the ID who you have engaged to draw up the 3D drawing? Cos I am at loss and tired of searching for reliable contractor especially everything has to be handled by myself. (single)

Also it has been a while since your house has been renovated, can share your experience if there is a chance will still engage the same team (contractor & carpenter) for your renovation?

Thanks :)

 

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Haven't been here in awhile! March and a good half of April was super hectic and most of our time was spent overseeing the renovation, making decisions decisions and more decisions, pushing our contractor, and finally shopping for household appliances, accessories and essentials and putting the house together. So finally, our renovation is complete. Well, almost complete. I'll leave that for later on. For now, some replies. Much apologies for being so late. I hope you guys are still checking back!

On 3/29/2016 at 5:26 PM, Stelle76 said:

Hi .. any good electrician to recommend?  I need to install an Electronic Art on my wall ... but wanna do conceal wiring.  Possible??

Hi Stelle, I don't have any electrician contacts. Much apologies :(

On 4/4/2016 at 11:41 AM, w1nn7e said:

Hi. Would you mind share contact of your contractor & carpenter? TIA!

Sure, I'll send you a PM for my carpenter's contact. As for the contractor, I won't be passing out his contact anymore. More on that later.

On 4/8/2016 at 2:51 PM, brrrando said:

Hey Owl! Love the sneak peeks, the place looks like its coming along nicely. Really impressed by your use of sketch up and it sounds like you and your partner have some design experience. Was wondering what kind of design/technical experience would I need to use sketch up or could a noob like me just pick up and use it? 

Thank you :D I'm a designer myself actually, but I don't think you need any sort of design/technical experience. Sketch up is quite simple and intuitive to use and with some patience, most people should be able to pick it up :) It basically consists of drawing squares/rectangles and 'dragging' them to form 3D shapes.

On 4/9/2016 at 9:34 PM, mickeyboo said:

Hello, can you please pm me your contractor contracts? I am looking for someone who can similar top hung sliding doors to yours. Thanks!

Unfortunately, we're in the same position as you and are right now also looking for someone who can do a sliding door :( Will explain more below.

On 4/10/2016 at 10:19 PM, pipsqueak said:

Appreciate if you can share with me your contractor/aluminium glass person for doing the top hung sliding door too! My contractor has not done something like that before. Thanks!

My humble opinion is that you should leave it as it is, don't paint over! I think the raw, natural colour of the bricks are really pretty and is already a beauty by itself!

Thanks for the opinions pipsqueak! See above for sliding door comment and an explanation below. As for the brick walls, I've actually painted the room white, but I left it natural in the living room and like you said, it's really quite pretty :)

9 hours ago, pradaloh said:

Hi owlNbear,

I have came across your posts recently as I am also in the midst of searching for contractors to renovate my '42+ yrs new house'. :) Your layout is very similar to mine except that mine is not a corner unit hence the size is smaller than yours.  

With budget constraint, I am not able to afford ID (have consulted few before, but end up dropping the idea as they are always out of my budget). Hence, if you don't mind can share your contractor, carpenter as well as the ID who you have engaged to draw up the 3D drawing? Cos I am at loss and tired of searching for reliable contractor especially everything has to be handled by myself. (single)

Also it has been a while since your house has been renovated, can share your experience if there is a chance will still engage the same team (contractor & carpenter) for your renovation?

Thanks :)

Hi pradaloh, thank you for dropping by! I'll be posting updates below on the close-to-final outcome. As for engaging the same team, I will definitely recommend my carpenter and I can pass you her contact. I really saved quite a bit on carpentry from her! But I will no longer be referring my contractor. I'll explain more below. I would recommend approaching a few of the other forum recommended contractors such as contractor J&E, and Nic from Renoguyz.For all those who have asked, I'll send over the contact for my carpenter, but not contractor. Please read on for more explanations below.

 

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So, some things have transpired since the last time I posted, which changed my opinion on my contractor. Before I go into more of that, I'll just share some photos that I finally got around to taking today. 

update1_zpsmolfdiev.jpg

Our sofa that has been badly ravaged by our furbabies  :~ LUCKILY, it's only $300, bought from fortytwo.sg. Will probably be changing sofas within the next few months or so.

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A still very bare living room. We took our time getting the rest of the furnishing because I wanted to be very sure on the look that we would be achieving. It's not clear because of the backlight but those are birdcage lights that I chose in remembrance of my Dad, who used to rear birds in beautiful intricate birdcages.

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Really happy with how the kitchen turned out. For he record, the workmanship by my carpenter is really quite solid. Everything is nicely flushed, no unsightly holes or badly joined seams.

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Cheap, pretty matte black knobs from Ikea.

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Bought a black metal dishwashing rack, because we don't have a dish drainer. For only the two of us, it works really well.

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Will be changing the track lights eventually. These ones are massive! And way too bright.

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My FOC model. This little missy followed me around the house the entire time while I was taking these photos :lol:

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Back in our bedroom. Presenting...the cat door!

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Little missy not allowed in the bedroom because she chews on wires :(

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"How to climb an indoor tree in 5 seconds"

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Really love these black frosted glass door that I eventually settled on after - I'm not kidding - weeks and weeks of searching for suitable bathroom doors.

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Our dark, moody bathroom.

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Apart from the Spanish tiles behind the toilet bowl, everything else was kept to a very strict concrete grey, dark grey, chrome-with-white-accents look. Something I discovered - for those who have installed rainshower, make sure to place your rainshower as close to the ceiling as possible. The lower it is, the more cramped your shower area will look.

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I mentioned in previous posts that we decided to scrap the wooden bathroom cabinet for a concrete sink support and I am so in love with it now. Best thing is, no more worries about getting the vanity wet.

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Our tiler's fine workmanship. 

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We got our carpenter to install doors for the concrete sink support. I'm not entirely happy with the colour, but it's the best we could find. Anyway, because it's quite dark inside, it's not really noticeable at all so that's ok.

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Taken from  behind the shower screen, excuse the water stains :P

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Here's the bathroom seat that I got them to rectify. Without the rounded edges, it looks SO MUCH better now. Super happy with  how this has finally turned out in the end.

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Floor tiles and wall tiles are the same!

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Now here are my final thoughts on the contractor. 

I really had a difficult time assessing my contractor, and as much as I would love to recommend him, I can't. Honestly, at the end of the day, I'm still very pleased with the renovation. Many things that I was worried or uncertain about, turned out really well and I'm really happy with the results. Most items were delivered in a timely manner. All in all, I have little complaints on the quality of work delivered but I suspect it's because I'm quite chinchai, not because the subcons are very good. The tiler and painter were really professional and had good workmanship. However the rest - electrician, doors (they CRACKED my door frame and blamed it on Bear), were just blah. BUT, at the very least, most of the mistakes were eventually corrected. Lastly, he also got us some really good discounts at Hupfarri, lah. So I really had him on my recommendation list, and was really happy to have engaged him.

But not anymore, because towards the end of the reno, quite a few things happened that have changed my mind.

1. He was dishonesty on more than one occassion. I'm sure this would be a deal breaker for many. How can you be a reliable if you're not even honest? Some of his 'little white lies' were just bull****. For example, when I asked why the grout colour that I asked for was not given, he told me that grout only came in 3 shades. I immediately went to the Mapei website and pulled out an entire color chart for him :rolleyes: We were also shortchanged on items that we removed or didn't do, but received no deduction in cost (which our carpenter did for us, very promptly). But we wanted to cut him some slack so we overlooked these, lah.

2. Delay, delay, and more delays. Like I mentioned, most of the deliverables were completed on time. MOST, but not all. If not for these delays, our renovation could have been completed more than 1 month earlier. But more than that, because his replies were frequently vague **** like "I update you again", it was a horrible and stressful experience having to keep chasing and chasing.  especially when the rest of the renovation progress hinges on those items and you don't know when the items would be delivered.

3. Unfulfilled contract. I mentioned about the sliding door - the door that I don't think will ever happen. It's been more than 1 month since our renovation is 'over'. Right from the start, the door person - or rather door PERSONS because there were 2 different subcons - came down at least 4 times to 'take measurement'. They came down to "take measurement" 4 freaking times, but after taking measurements, there was no more news from them. There were even appointments that they failed to turn up for. Bear waited at home for hours, but NOBODY turned up. Don't even mention the endless times we've chased and chased for the door to be installed. There are also numerous touchups (cracked door frame, skirting cracking open, false ceiling for a small section) that are nowhere to be seen.

4. Finally, here's the killer - a whopping 4.5K VO, with the payment addressed to the contractor, and not his company, which we bargained down to 3K eventually. Look, we're not stupid, this money is either A. Going into his own pocket or B. Used to cover his losses because he undercharged us at the start. We honestly felt that it wasn't a bad job done, and we really wanted to just get it over with, so we paid up. And also, we trusted him because he was distant friend. BIG mistake! We can kiss our rectifications and sliding door goodbye now.

5. Little to no value-add apart from taking on a project coordinating role. Honestly, much of the advice that we got came from his sub cons. He was barely around, and only appeared for brief intervals before rushing off to some other place. Most of the time, we were left to deal with the sub cons on our own. We had to figure everything out ourselves, either by research or by talking to the sub cons. Without anyone to guide us, as first-time renovators, we were really thrown into the sea to swim on our own. It was a VERY stressful experience. This is especially important for @pradaloh Even with two of us, it's already stressful enough, let alone you being on your own. Do consider a contractor who is at least more involved and willing to help out.

So, this sums up my whole experience. As much as it was negative, it was also a very positive one. The sense of accomplishment, for one, is enormous, especially because we designed everything from scratch, and were there to overlook the project every step of the way. 

Anyway, I took a long break from posting because everything started to get overwhelming, and it took me awhile to recuperate enough to get back to 'renovation chat' again. So, I'm keeping this brief for now. But feel free to ask questions if any of you need anything. Cheers :yeah:

 

***EDIT*** After dragging on for another 3 weeks, Contractor finally refunded the cost of the door, and quite promptly, so that's settled.

Edited by owlNbear
 

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