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dxhan

EM in Bishan - Contemporary Minimalistic

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Hello everyone!

My wife and I are avid readers of renotalk and have been reading all the amazing home transformations, taking pointers from all the experienced gurus here. Now that our renovation journey is about to come to an end, we thought we would like to give back as well by sharing how the whole process went by. A short introduction, we were house scouting back in 2014, and completed all the paperwork in mid 2015. After our ROM (HDB's requirement), we embarked on our renovation journey in September 2015 and completed everything just before Christmas last year. It has been a roller coaster of a journey, and we have learnt so much from everyone in renotalk, contractors and IDs. I'm sure it has been, or will be for all of you too. 

So, without further ado, our floor plan.

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We knew we wanted to get a resale 5 room flat, so we spent quite some time deciding on what floor plan we would like to have, and after extensive reading, we decided on a maisonette because we like to host guests and everyone could hang out downstairs while we could keep our privacy upstairs. 

We also browsed through many pages on renotalk with 'interesting' floor plans, good and not so ideal floor plans for designing, and figured this was probably one of the better layouts available for EMs. Basically we liked big spaces and wanted to fully maximise the space usage available. We kind of decided on how we wanted our house to look like even before purchasing the place. Haha.

So we chanced upon this house after 3 - 4 months of home viewings, non-stop propertyguru surfing and bought the place!

Some before photos:

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Actually the place is pretty much move in condition, just need to do some minor renovation in the toilets and refurbishment works for the cabinets and it would be very good already. But then you see all those pretty pictures and renovation plans from hipvan and other tblog chats, wa.. we decided to do a complete overhaul. Heh.

So, next was ID hunting!

Edited by dxhan
 

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When we were house hunting, I was already reading various tblog chats as well as home and decor magazines which featured various IDs. I then chanced upon our ID and quickly became a huge fan of their work because their designs were very clean and functional. 

Of course being the typical Singaporean, we also went ID shopping and went to different designers to pitch about our dream home and get various quotations.

Basically there are 2 types of IDs:

Type 1 - You pay a design fee to the IDs and you are free to choose any contractor you would like to work with. Of course, you can also task the IDs to source for a suitable contractor for you based on the scope of your project, and ultimately you are free to choose your preferred contractor.

Type 2 - The ID would have their own workers, or are a main contractor themselves. Sometimes they may charge a design fee, or the design fee may be absorbed depending on the scope of your project.

Personally I prefer Type 1 because there are no hidden costs. You are free to choose who you want to work with, and if you have close friends who recommend contractors, you can slowly take your pick.

Based on our experience with contractors, if it is not recommended by someone who have worked with them before, we will avoid because there is no prior reference. And because renovations usually end up being costly and time consuming, there is really no reason to stress yourself out with so many choices.

After sitting through 3 different IDs, we decided on our choice: Jay & Velle from butterpaperstudios!

Jay is very patient, and a super nice guy. I admit I am not a easy person to work with and he exceeded my expectations. We first met up on a Sunday afternoon to tell him what we wanted to do with the place, and after a couple of weeks he got back to us with the floor plan. We awarded the project to him, and after many many many many many tweaks over a few weeks, this is our final design plan:

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Let me go through what we wanted to do:

1st Storey:
- Entertainment Room: We like to watch movies at home, so we decided to allocate the room downstairs into an entertainment room with a full home theatre system complete with HD projector and surround sound system.
- Foyer: Basically open space.
- Kitchen: Can be enclosed to do heavy cooking, so the fumes are contained within the kitchen.
- Dry Kitchen: To do laundry, and basically a "transit area" to put stuff when you reach home.
- Dining Area: This is in the balcony, because we like the double volume space.
- Living Area: Right next to the Dining Area so guests stay together.

2nd Storey:
- Master Bedroom: King Size Bed is a must. Wife said no need walk in wardrobe (Heng ah.)
- Mater Bathroom: Bathtub and rain shower is a must.
- Study Room: Full height bookshelf for our books, and an area to work for the both of us.
- Guest Room: Next time will become a baby room.
- Common Bathroom: Rainshower is a must. Big mirror is a must.

Basically the idea is to create a functional home that reflects our personality. Bathrooms are hotel inspired, and bedrooms are resort inspired. Downstairs, there is a hint of scandinavian, mixed with contemporary furniture.

Our journey was to officially start.

 

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Shortly before selecting our contractors, Jay came back with the 3D renders for our place:

 

COUNTER%2B1.jpg KITCHEN%2B2.jpg KITCHEN%2B1.jpg 

COUNTER%2B2.jpg DINING%2B1.jpg DINING%2B2.jpg

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I suspect Jay kinda knew what we wanted, because the renders were pretty much quite accurate of our expected layout. Of course the colours would change during the paint and laminate selection and furniture could be bought later, but it was really good to know that the person you are working with shares the same concept as you, or at least know what you are trying to achieve. That's something really important to have between ID and home owner, a kind of bond or mutual understanding. 

He is also very cost saving. We are inexperienced and naturally want the best for our home, and Jay understood that, and also told us what would be more functional and cost effective when calling for quotes from contractors. Basically he knew what could be done and what could not be done. And I greatly appreciate that because he has a lot of experience in doing maisonettes and many HDB apartments and he was happy to share with us what he did for his past projects and how it turned out. We met up about 3 to 4 times to finalise the design, with emails every 3 - 4 days making changes to our design, adding stuff, improving on existing designs etc.

This is also the reason why I preferred a separate ID and contractor. The ID is supposed to stand on your side and help you achieve the most out of your budget, while keeping your dreams and ideas intact. He will translate all of this information to the contractors who would then execute the job. So you do not have to be afraid that you would burst your budget. He's really a gem.

Ideas and dreams we wanted to incorporate:

- Hardwood floors. It brings a lot of warmth into the house and it matches really well with plain white walls. You could put any type of furniture on a hardwood floor and it would turn out beautiful. There are alternatives such as vinyl which gives the same look, but the feel is different. Walking on hardwood floors just seem so much more comfortable.
- Wood. Yes. I really like wood. The look, the feel, the smell, everything. Haha.
- High ceilings. When you are in a space with a high ceiling versus a space with a lower ceiling, it just seems more stress free. So we wanted to close up the balcony to preserve the view, and make the balcony our Dining Area.
- Open spaces. Open concept designs make a small space look larger because you are able to see all the way to the end. So we wanted to knock down the wall in the study room and make it into a sliding door instead.
- Marble Kitchen. Oh so beautiful.

So next we started contractor hunting.

 

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Jay has a group of contractors that he recommends and he can help you get a quote from them as well. He would recommend a contractor based on your project scope. Ours was a maisonette project, so he got a quote from one of his contractors, Megatrends. During the renovation period we didn't use much of their company name, most of the time was just Daniel and Ah Lee. They were the main contractor and 'co-ordinators' for the project. 

I later learnt that different projects would warrant different contractor recommendations because of experience and preference. Some contractors would prefer to do smaller scale projects because it is easier to manage, while some other contractors had the expertise and experience to do larger projects such as maisonettes. This is due to the different housing structures, and contractors who are well versed in doing maisonettes would offer better advice during the renovation.

For example, the water point in to the maisonette is on the 1st storey. The plumber would lay the pipes from the 1st storey and direct the water upwards onto the 2nd storey first, before making a u turn back downstairs. This is to ensure that the bathrooms upstairs get good water pressures. Otherwise if the water were to split 50/50 to go upstairs and downstairs, the water pressure upstairs would be much less when water is being used downstairs.

I will share more about the interesting stuff I learnt about from them as we move along on the renovation journey, how they do up different places, not just maisonettes, but other homes too.

Jay provided us with a work order list, or items to be done for us to send to different contractors to get quotes. We got a couple of quotes, but the quote that came from Jay's recommended contractor, Megatrends, was always the cheaper option. We chose Megatrends also because they had many items which were cheaper, during the renovation if we needed to do any revision to the quotation, it would not be more than what they had quoted, and with Jay on our side, our budget would be well managed.

To be honest when we saw the 1st quotation from Megatrends, it was really out of our budget, for the things that we wanted to do. So no choice, have to slowly cut from there, and with Jay's advice, we finalised the quotation and work started shortly. 

Hacking time!

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Some thoughts on hacking:

- Hacking is expensive. Because to demolish a wall you need to apply for permits, ensure that the worker doing the demolition is certified and listed on the permit, and generally a health hazard. I learnt from Ah Lee, our project manager, that false ceilings are the most expensive to remove due to the small dust particles. 
- Hacking is very fast. Everything was completed in a couple of days.
- Hacking returns the house into its bare condition, and I'm glad we hacked everything because it's a 20 year old flat and we don't want to have problems in the future, like hollow tiles or flaking ceiling boards, etc. Everything must go.
- On the last picture is the rubbish access chute. Because we are on the highest floor there is an access chute for maintenance services. Those brown stains are actually cockroach eggs and fluids. The previous owner used carpentry to cover everything up and you could not see what was behind the cabinets, so cockroaches started growing there and soon you will have a infestation problem. You wouldn't be able to see where the source of the cockroaches is because it was being covered up. So Ah Lee advised us to keep it open, and he would clean it up and use small cabinet with a door to cover up the access panel, so we can regularly check on the integrity of the panel.
- While others liked the roof, we removed it. Haha. Different styles for different times.

Shopping for tiles next!

 

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We went to Hafary at Balestier to select our tiles. I didn't know what to expect and I was just blown away at the selection. I asked Jay if we could go upstairs, he said no. Hahaha. For those who have been to Hafary at Balestier would know what I am talking about. Upstairs are the premium selection, where the tiles are $20 per square feet. Out of budget.

Tile shopping is very fun, and basically I was like a kid in a candy store. I can choose anything I want on the first floor without looking at the price. Hehe.

So we chose tiles for the following areas:

- Master Bathroom and Common Bathroom: Hotel inspired wall tiles, with matching matte floor tiles. 
- Kitchen Backsplash: Marble lookalike tiles.
- Kitchen Floor and Balcony: Matte grey tiles.
- Kitchen Bathroom: Same marble lookalike tiles for the walls, and matching grey matte tiles for the floor as the kitchen.

We chose a living feature as a spare, just in case we wanted to tile one of the walls as a feature wall, but we were still undecided. 

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The rest of the house was to be decked in solid oak.

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Our oak floor is done by WOW Floors, an Australian company with a Singapore distributor located along Tannery Road.

They have many different types of wood with different widths and shades. Some of the wood is bleached, to give a whiter look like the one below, others are for walls or different parts of the house.

We went for one with a width of 120mm, because of the larger floor area that we were going to cover. The options were 90mm, 120mm and 160mm. Price differs between the 3 as well, with 90mm being the cheapest. Normally parquet floors are made of teak, and around 60mm in width.

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Basically, spoilt for choice again.

After we finished selecting our tiles, Daniel and Ah Lee immediately ordered the tiles and work started the next day! One thing about Daniel and Ah Lee is that they are very on schedule. Every item on the list has a time frame, and after that a different group would come in to do different items. So the progress was very quick and every time we visited the place, many things would have been done. Because they came with Jay's recommendation, workmanship is top notch.

Jay also regularly visits the house to document the changes, and every week he would email us on the progress. 

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Sealing up the entrance to the kitchen, and making a side entrance instead, reverting back to the original floor plan.

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Levelling up the balcony with lightweight blocks for our Dining Area. Roof has been removed.

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Screeding the walls after hacking and building a new wall for the Pantry Area.

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Tiling work has begun!

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The attention to detail is pretty impressive.

 

Edited by dxhan
 

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Oooh definitely keeping track of this one! I used to stay at an EM in Bishan with almost the same layout (and am going to be renovating an EM in the west but with a different layout) so this is quite fun to read! Lots of interesting points too!

 

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20 hours ago, ricepapergirl said:

Oooh definitely keeping track of this one! I used to stay at an EM in Bishan with almost the same layout (and am going to be renovating an EM in the west but with a different layout) so this is quite fun to read! Lots of interesting points too!

Hello!

Yes I have been following your progress as well and can't wait for you to get your keys in a few weeks time to start reno!

It seems you have everything panned out! Haha. I wish we were as prepared. We actually got our keys before sourcing for IDs / Contractors.

 

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With any home renovation project comes the home appliance and furniture shopping as well. This is another portion that we have to budget well as it takes a huge chunk of finances too!

We made an excel sheet to tabulate what we were going to buy, and then started comparing prices around different shops, both neighbourhood types and big retail chains, as well as purchasing with various credit cards for maximum discounts.

So, here are what we bought:

Television
Samsung JU7500 55" Curved TV
We chose this model because the SUHD range didn't improve much over the UHD range. The salesperson also admitted that it was more of a marketing strategy to release newer products and the difference was really an increased brightness / contrast. TV also not need so bright lah, so we settled for the JU7500, which came with a free sound bar - HW-J6501. Personal preference is to use TV speakers. Soundbar output sounds very 'fake'. So we used the soundbar's bluetooth interface to connect to our phones and played music instead when we didn't feel like watching TV.

55" is just nice for our living room. Viewing distance is around 2m and it's actually quite huge. I need to move my eyes to different segments of the screen, like reading subtitles. Glad we didn't go for a 65".

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Projector
Sony VPL-HW50ES
It's an older obsolete model for all the home theatre gurus out there, but I got it because it's much lighter on the wallet! The newer model doesn't justify the much larger price increase over better specifications. Also reading multiple reviews on the internet kind of cemented that this is a better buy. Comes with 2 pairs of 3D glasses as it is also a 3D projector which we never use, maybe keep it for the kids who come to visit. 

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Projector Screen
Remaco 80", Fixed
We didn't want to use the wall as a flat surface, so we got a fixed projector screen with a matt surface to reduce glare. The home theatre guys came over to do a site visit and he advised that this was the biggest we could go for a 3m room, deducting the length of the projector and considering the viewing distance as well. The total cost of projector + screen is cheaper than a 80" TV so I think it's a good buy. After all, it gives a bigger wow factor too. Haha.

 

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Surround Sound System
Bose CineMate 520
Some of you will disagree, but for the price, can lah. After all, how loud can you play your movies in a HDB block. Haha. I like Bose because it 'just works', and comes in a complete package. The pricing by Atlas is also very transparent. I don't have to consider buying speaker cables, different systems to join them up then fiddle with digital and analog sound. The consideration was really between their higher end LifeStyle system versus the CineMate system. The speakers used are the same, just a different central console. The more expensive one comes with a nicer user interface and a better remote. No need lah. I buy Bose for the sound, not the user interface I hardly see because I want to watch movies, not admire the user interface. Half the price leh.

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Refrigerator
Samsung RSH7UNSL1
We want a water dispenser with automatic ice maker option. Lazy to keep refilling ice and worry that when you have guests over there is not enough ice. Nowadays many of the other brands and models come with a water container that is used with the dispenser. Quite troublesome to keep refilling, the purpose of the dispenser is to avoid all of the refilling in the first place, so we wanted a fridge that uses the water point. These kind of fridges usually come with a water filter as well, so quite good leh.

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Washing Machine
Samsung WD80J6410AW
I tell you ah, these model numbers very difficult to remember. It's a washer dryer combo, 8kg/6kg. Can do steaming, quick wash, all the super functions. Good enough for 2 people. More than enough. We were comparing between the Samsung and a similar LG model. Samsung was cheaper. Done. It's a washing machine. As long as the clothes get washed properly and dried properly, can already. When we first started using a washing machine, I thought it was more complicated to use than my handphone. Can we have a washing machine that just has 1 button too? Haha.

 

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Induction Hob
Bosch PMI723BHK
Wife doesn't like gas hobs, and I regularly use portable induction hobs and they work just as well. So we got the Bosch because it was the prettiest one with German technology. Don't have to worry about contacting City Gas for piping concerns and stuff like that. We installed a master switch below the hob and most of the time it is turned off because we eat out regularly. Black because white will turn yellowish. But black can see dust easily. Sigh.

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Hood
Bosch DHI9235SG
Simple one will do, this one have to pull out when we want to use. Not much suction, so we use a cover for the frying pans, makes clean up work easier too. Anyway for HDB there isn't much space for the air to ventilate, and when we were young there were no hoods at all. You can consider investing in a better model if you do heavy cooking regularly.

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Oven
Bosch HBN331E1K
Wife likes to bake, so we got a lower-mid range one. Parisilk has most of the popular Bosch models on display at Holland Drive, and when I saw the top end one with the LCD screen I was super hooked. But the price also very nice.. Thought of importing from the UK through Borderlinx and it was actually cheaper than the retail price in Singapore with the shipping charges. But wife didn't approve. So, settled for this model instead.

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Ceiling Fans
KDK 48" and 56"
We saw some home owners using the Haiku range and wanted to buy them too, but we bought 4 KDK fans for less than the price of 1 Haiku fan. Maybe next time then upgrade. 56" for the living room and 3 units of 48" for the 3 rooms upstairs.

kdk-k14y5-wt-56-inch-ceiling-fan-5-blade 1387-large_default.jpg

 

Air Con
Mitsubishi Electric Starmed
We needed 7 units, so we got a System 4 and a System 3. A bit extreme, but many maisonettes around our areas also use 2 compressors. Of course we don't turn on all of them at the same time lah..
- Living Room x 1
- Dining Area x 1
- Entertainment Room x 1
- Foyer x 1
- Master Bedroom x 1
- Study Room x 1
- Guest Room x 1

We applied to HDB to put the compressors outside the house instead of the balcony area like many maisonettes as we wanted to close off the double volume space and air condition our dining area. Because it was not usual for a maisonette to do so we had to communicate with HDB a few times before getting approval. They were worried about the electrical loading of using 2 Compressor units as well as ensure that we only hang 1 compressor on each wall panel to preserve the structural integrity. Makes sense.

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Lights
IKEA, Philips, Chan Huat
This is the fun part. I was inspired by andotang's Philips Hue Lighting system so I got it installed as well. As the new Lightstrips Plus range was only released late last year, I made a preorder on Amazon UK and had them shipped to Singapore through Borderlinx. I also ordered the new Hue Bridge 2.0 set which came with 3 bulbs. We installed the lightstrips in the entertainment room, living room, dining room and master bedroom. Because we made cove lights in the ceiling, the new lightstrips plus was actually bright enough to replace T5 LEDs.

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Other lights were purchased from IKEA and LED downlights from Chan Huat house brand. If I could do it again I would invest a bit more money and get Philips downlights because the Chan Huat ones are not very good. 'Leak' electricity. We have a 3 gang switch in the rooms, and when you turn on the fan, the downlights will flicker due to the 'surge' in electricity. We'll show you more of the IKEA designs we bought in the later photos.

 

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So envy you got the new hue 2.0. let's just hope our bulb will last a long long time as they claim to be. I hardly use the color feature of bulb, only using the hue tap to switch the original warm light to day light everyday. I hope you tried the apps Onswitch too, it is the best free app for me so far as it allow auto rotation of colors. I wanted Hue disco to let the light sync to the music but it is a paid app which I don't feel worth it. How is your hue bulb serving you so far, if you have interesting ideas on your hue bulb please share it with me.

 

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2 hours ago, andotang said:

So envy you got the new hue 2.0. let's just hope our bulb will last a long long time as they claim to be. I hardly use the color feature of bulb, only using the hue tap to switch the original warm light to day light everyday. I hope you tried the apps Onswitch too, it is the best free app for me so far as it allow auto rotation of colors. I wanted Hue disco to let the light sync to the music but it is a paid app which I don't feel worth it. How is your hue bulb serving you so far, if you have interesting ideas on your hue bulb please share it with me.

Haha, actually I wanted to buy locally from the Philips distributors, then I went online to see the specifications and realised that there was a new version coming out. I checked with Jay on the time schedule and he said it would be in time even if I imported the lights because we had more than 1 month before the ceiling can be done. We had to wait for the cement screed to dry first.

When I was doing my shopping with the local Philips distributors I found that they had put up a notice saying that they would not warranty import sets from the US as the electrical rating is different. This is true. US and Singapore are completely different in terms of ratings and that's why we need to use a transformer for some of the appliances we import. So I went to Amazon UK to source instead. Turns out I was lucky and they had a preorder running so I quickly made my order and I think they were delivered end October. By then Amazon also had shortage of stock because I think many people wanted to get it also. I got my sets in 2 batches due to shortage of stock.

I also hope our bulbs can last as what they say. I think it was stated 20000 hours? If I use 6 hours a day should last for 9 years. Hopefully! Haha, it is really a pain to replace the lightstrips because I use them as cove lighting. Had a hard time hiding the big power plug in the ceiling.

I didn't get the hue tap but I use the Philips app on the iPhone. You're right. I also use it to switch between white light and warm light. White for reading and warm for relaxing. Before sleeping I will also dim the lights in the bedroom if my wife sleeps first and I want to do some laptop / email work on the bed. 

I will try the Onswitch app. I also want to explore the app using music to change the colours according to the beat of the music, but haven't found time to do it yet. 

When my wife knew that we could change the colour of the lights to any colour, I then learnt that she like aquamarine blue and lime green. So she will mix these 2 colours on the app to give an 'underwater' feel in the living room. During CNY when we had guests over and played card games we changed the light to red for luck. HAHA.

During installation of the lightstrips I had to consider how to paste it in the cove ceiling, so that it will not 'zaogeng' and you can see the individual LED dots, but still get the maximum light output. So the pasting had to be quite precise. I also had a problem with the 3M double sided tape provided, not very sticky, so have to buy additional tape to secure it, otherwise if it falls the lights will not be uniform.

Most of the time it's switching between white and warm lights, as well as dimming the lights. That is the biggest advantage of the system, that we do not have to buy a separate dimmer, or multi temperature lights. I had to buy the lightstrip plus also because it allowed extension of up to 10m. My bedroom is 3m x 3m, so I cannot use 1 main + extend, because the perimeter is already 12m, and still need to give allowance for the corners. So had to buy 2 mains + extension. Had to calculate very carefully before making the order otherwise will end up having too much spare.

I'm going to start syncing my location with the lights, so my living room lights will turn on automatically when I am home, and turn off when I leave house in the morning. I also set the lights to turn on in the bedroom when my alarm wakes me up in the morning. 

The movie setting is also quite cool, going to try that next. Interested to see how the colours change during the movie.

Edited by dxhan
 

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Within a week the floor was done screeding, and wall tiles in the bathrooms were completed. They also finished the kitchen backsplash.

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I need to comment on the picture above because we laid protection for the original marble flooring on the 1st storey. Originally we wanted to hack away all the marble tiles on the 1st floor and parquet on the 2nd floor. Then in mid last year, HDB issued a new renovation ruling that only 3 in 1 premix cement screed could be used. This spiked the pricing for cement screed as 3 in 1 premix is much more expensive as compared to manually mixing the cement. I think HDB did this to ensure that the cement used would be uniform throughout all home renovations and prevent any potential 'cut cost' by contractors. But it would affect the honest contractors as everyone's pricing would go up. 

Cement also takes time to dry, and because we were going to lay hardwood oak tiles, the cement had to dry for a minimum of 3 - 4 weeks before laying the wood tiles otherwise the moisture might affect the wood. This also applies if you are planning to do parquet flooring.

So to save costs, and ensure that the wood tiles would not be affected, we decided not to hack the marble on the 1st floor and just do an overlay. It saved us quite a bit of money to spend on other parts of the house. Doing an overlay would mean that the distance between the ceiling and the floor would be reduced. You would feel this if you are a tall person. The standard floor to ceiling height is around 2.8m for HDB flats. So to compensate for the increased floor height, we reduced the false ceiling height to 2 inches. This means that only cove lights can be used, and downlights can only be placed in the perimeter where the ceiling would be 6 inches thick.

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I would always be informed of what was coming next during the renovation process by our contractors, Daniel and Ah Lee. So next was to screed the kitchen floor and the stairs!

 

 

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I have some question regarding your Hue 2.0, the power adapter for the hub is it 110volt and you have to use a step down adapter? is your hue bulb also 110v or is 220/110 and can just plug into any ikea light fitting? Your 2.0 bulb can display more colors then my 1.0? Mine cannot display green properly as it can only set to lime green / yellowish kind. Cannot get the real green like green leaves. When you mention location sync, which apps can do that? i think need pretty precise GPS to do that sync. Do you know the philips hue apps allow you to on/off your light from any where in the world as long as you are connection to 4G on mobile? I usually change the colour of my light using handphone while approaching my block, my wife will know I am nearly home and will unlock door for me. :P

 

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The hub is 100-240V, 50-60Hz then convert to 5V 2A. I don't have to use a step down transformer. Good thing with importing from UK is that the power plug is the same type of 3 pin plug. 

Hue bulb is 220V, so you cannot use USA one, must use UK or HK one. Yes, can plug into any E27 socket.

f04c1a11-c7ae-47f2-ab66-e498e0242571_zps

I don't know if the colours are more, this one have to check and compare specifications on their website. Singapore website still showing the 1st generation one.

This is my green:

64b669b8-26d1-4701-b98f-211468166715_zps

Quite creepy to turn this on at night. Haha.

The philips hue app can do GPS location. It's under the geofencing tab. Then from there you need to create a philips account so you can control it from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet connection. 

Haha, I will do that when I am reaching home one day. You are very creative.

Edited by dxhan
 

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So another week passed and all the masonry works were almost completing. Staircase had been screeded on a Sunday morning because of the absence of other workers, and wall tiling was completed to this stage of renovation. The remaining tiles would be done after the ceiling and pipes are done.

Screen%20Shot%202016-03-05%20at%202.46.2

Staircase screed is one of the most difficult to do because of the smaller surface area, so the price for doing such work is also higher. We have to keep making sure the finished level is always straight and sharp, and so we would have to use a level, or a good eye. Haha. Unlike bigger floor areas where bigger tools can be used to ensure the whole floor is flat, this relies very much on the workmanship of the worker.

Screen%20Shot%202016-03-05%20at%202.46.4

The dry kitchen is coming into place, and the kitchen toilet is also done tiling for the walls. We will be hiding the top pipes with a false ceiling. The good thing about hacking the floor is that we can place drainage pipes anywhere we need. We planned to place a washing machine in the dry kitchen and so a drainage pipe would have to be erected for the waste water discharge. Also, as we are changing the position of the sink, we used the floor cement screed to hide away the floor drainage. 

Screen%20Shot%202016-03-05%20at%202.48.3

We love watching movies at home, so this would be a projector room with the sound system. We got the home theatre people to come in and lay the speaker cables and hdmi cables in the ceiling first, then we will get the plaster people to erect the false ceiling to hide these cables. There is a lot of planning involved in this stage of the renovation so we had to be absolutely sure what we wanted and where to place items such as consoles, computers, etc.

Screen%20Shot%202016-03-05%20at%202.48.5

We also got the air con people to come in and run pipes, as well as the plumber to run the water systems. Always plan with the air con people where to run the piping and drainage system. We sat down thinking of all the possible ways to run the water pipes in a descending way so the water can flow smoothly out without causing any potential blockage in the future. Otherwise if there is a kink, build up or leak in the system it would be very difficult to correct in the future. Usually the drainage will end up in the bathroom, so do plan before hand!

We wanted to have a rain shower system, so the plumber installed the pipes into the ceiling for this. The green pipes are actually plastic and last up to 100 years according to the plumber. Visible copper pipes only last around 10 years. So since we were building an alcove to hide the mixer system, he used the more expensive plastic water tubings instead. 

Screen%20Shot%202016-03-05%20at%202.49.1

This is where we would be placing a bathtub, so the mixer is placed a little lower. A lot of planning went into pipe placement as well. Our sink was going to be on the right hand side.

Screen%20Shot%202016-03-05%20at%202.49.1

The above picture shows the electrical wires, air con piping, water pipes in the bathroom, and bathtub in the foreground waiting to be installed. For any renovation to carry on smoothly without much home owner supervision, planning in the initial stage is extremely important. Jay sent us 5 floor plans. Yes, 5 base plans covering: Flooring, Lighting / Ceiling, Electrical, Masonry and Carpentry.

Each base plan had intricate details of where we would be:
- doing different types of flooring,
- what kind of lights go where,
- what type of ceiling such as cove, pelmet, downlights, pendant lights, going into which room, 
- how many electrical sockets placed where, data points, telephone points, single or double sockets, light switches, fans,
- walls to be built, walls to be hacked,
- cupboards to be build, size of the cupboards, dimensional drawings for carpentry works, size of drawers, depth and height of drawers, number of shelves, etc.

Everything was planned beforehand. And that's why I said he exceeded my expectations. I was impressed at the drawings. 

Those who have engaged Jay before would know what I mean. The attention to detail is amazing.

By this time we would be shopping for our bathroom fixtures and furniture which I would share next! :)

 

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20 hours ago, dxhan said:

The hub is 100-240V, 50-60Hz then convert to 5V 2A. I don't have to use a step down transformer. Good thing with importing from UK is that the power plug is the same type of 3 pin plug. 

Hue bulb is 220V, so you cannot use USA one, must use UK or HK one. Yes, can plug into any E27 socket.

IMG_5104_zpst4u8oyom.jpg

I don't know if the colours are more, this one have to check and compare specifications on their website. Singapore website still showing the 1st generation one.

This is my green:

IMG_5105_zpsyeyp4phj.jpg

Quite creepy to turn this on at night. Haha.

The philips hue app can do GPS location. It's under the geofencing tab. Then from there you need to create a philips account so you can control it from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet connection. 

Haha, I will do that when I am reaching home one day. You are very creative.

You mean you use the Philip Hue light bulb for the wall cove light ?  How do you get the green light evenly across the ceiling ?

My ID was telling me to get RGB LED strip with driver etc.  sound very expensive and also not smart home capable.

 

 

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