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Hi Steffie, could I trouble you for Mr Tan's contact?

 

Also, wanted to mention loved reading your journey, thanks very much for documenting! And learned a lot on Magic counter spray and from the Taobao tips :) 

Edited by JasY
typo
 

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On ‎4‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 9:07 PM, JasY said:

Hi Steffie, could I trouble you for Mr Tan's contact?

 

Also, wanted to mention loved reading your journey, thanks very much for documenting! And learned a lot on Magic counter spray and from the Taobao tips :) 

Hi Jas, I've just pm'ed you. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my journey as much as I enjoyed putting it together. ;)

 

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On 6/17/2016 at 11:39 AM, steffie said:

Trying to achieve my dream home within my limited budget was definitely a huge challenge. As much as I would like a major overhaul of my place, my pocket just doesn't allow it.

 

ID or Contractor

After months of research, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do with my place. Therefore, to save on cost, I opted for a contractor instead of an ID. That, of course, meant a lot of preparatory work beforehand so that I can accurately brief the contractor what I wanted. Working with a limited budget, I had to ensure that I don't end up with costs that I wasn't prepared for.

 

My Renovation List

I listed down what I wanted to do and then started researching into how much each item would cost. After looking at the cost, I categorised the items into "Nice-to-haves" and "Must-haves".

My Must-Haves

  • New kitchen cabinets
  • Wardrobes for all 3 bedrooms
  • Change of lighting
  • New wall - When we first renovated, we knocked down the wall separating BR2 and MBR to create a bigger MBR. However, when my child was born, we realized that we need more rooms as we hired a helper to care for him. However, putting a wall back would not only cost us quite a bomb but take more than a month to complete as we have to re-do the bedroom floors as well. Therefore, to save on cost as well as renovation time, we put in a partition wall instead. Although on the surface you can't really tell the difference between a partition and hollow block wall, the partition wall doesn't seem as secure. Whenever the door hits the door stopper, it creates a really loud sound. And when I try to pull the door away from the magnetic door stopper to close the door, I have to pull really hard and it feels like the door stopper it about to be yanked out from the wall. So, now that I am renovating again, I decided to erect a hollow block wall back in its place.
  • Bathroom Floor - There is only 1 drainage in the common bathroom, near the sink. So everytime after my child bathes, the floor becomes a mini pond as the water would need to flow from one end of the bathroom to the other end where the drainage is. As such, the common bathroom floor is almost perpetually wet. To add to the problem, my dog seem to prefer the soapy water in the bathroom rather than the water in his drinking bowl. To ensure that I have a healthy dog and I don't end up breeding more mosquitos than Singapore already has, I decided to hack and re-tile the bathroom floors and create another drainage at the shower area in the common bathroom.
  • New main door and bedroom door
  • New gate

 

Alternatives to my Nice-to-Haves

  • Kitchen walls - I would love new tiles for my kitchen but that would greatly burst my budget. Therefore, to save cost, I decided to go with the current trend and plaster my wall with cement to achieve the cement screed look.
  • Bathroom walls - I never really liked the HDB wall tiles but hacking and doing up the wall tiles again would strain my budget. Therefore, I decided to use the cheaper alternative and overlay the existing wall tiles. No one's going to notice anyway... hahaha....
  • Shoe cabinets - I would love a full height shoe cabinet that stretched the entire length of a wall in my living room to house all my shoes. But that would have been out of my budget. Therefore, I settled for a much shorter shoe cabinet that stretched a large part of the wall but still able to house all my shoes.
  • Bedroom floor -  I am absolutely in love with the wood-like ceramic tiles but that would have been out of my budget. To achieve the wooden floor look, I went for vinyl flooring instead.
  • TV console - I would love one of the those swanky full height TV console. Unfortunately, that would set me back by a few thousand. It was between a custom made shoe cabinet or TV console. And no points for guessing that my shoes were more important. hahah... I decided to get a nice, swanky yet low cost TV console from Taobao instead.

 

My Search for a Contractor

I believe that the homeowner and contractor must have chemistry for the renovation to proceed well. I wanted a contractor who is experienced (since I wasn't, hahah) provided good advice and yet respect what I am trying to achieve for my own house.

 

After months of trawling through the Renotalk forum and reading the different comments and opinions on the different contractors by forummers, I arranged to meet up with 5 contractors listed in Renotalk whom I felt were reliable and responsible, from comments given by the forummers. 

  • Edmund Ong, CX Reno (aka J&E)
  • Kevin Tee, H2O Interior Renovation (aka Mr K)
  • Tan Keng Sek, United Team (from Little Casa Blog)
  • Mr Yeak Nai Chai, Basic Image and Design
  • Ronald Goh, Designer House (aka Tiler Seng)

 

I also met up with 2 other contractors recommended by friends who have engaged them before.

  • Dennis Lim, Debbie Interior 
  • Maria Koh, Kepha Design 

 

All the contractors I met were very experienced and from them, I had learnt a lot about what was practical in my plans and possible cost-saving alternatives.

All their quotes were also reasonable as their prices were quite close to each other.

In my opinion, Ronald Goh and Kevin Tee were the most attentive and detailed. I noted that the items they included in their quote were very close to what I had briefed them (which meant they were listening when I was briefing) . Being attentive to me was important as I felt that we can avoid misunderstandings later. Both of them were also very quick and willing to respond when amendments were required. No need to chase them at all. 

 

It was a very difficult decision and after much consideration, I decided to leave my renovation in the good hands of Ronald.

Hi Steffie,

Can you email me the details of the contractors you used and shortlisted?

crabbieong@yahoo.com.sg

Thanks in advance

 

 

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1 hour ago, nanako123 said:

Hi Steffie,

Can you email me the details of the contractors you used and shortlisted?

crabbieong@yahoo.com.sg

Thanks in advance

 

Hi there, I've emailed you. Good luck!

 

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On ‎4‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 5:06 PM, Tourcrazy said:

Hi steffie, could you share the details of the contractors n the quotations please? 

Thank you.

Hi there,

I've pm'ed you the contractor details. But I didn't send you their quotations though. Whilst the contractors will appreciate the referral, I doubt they will appreciate me circulating their quotes.  Anyways, the contractors will be basing their quotes on your requirements so I don't think my quotation will serve much purpose. Good luck!

 

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7 hours ago, steffie said:

Hi there,

I've pm'ed you the contractor details. But I didn't send you their quotations though. Whilst the contractors will appreciate the referral, I doubt they will appreciate me circulating their quotes.  Anyways, the contractors will be basing their quotes on your requirements so I don't think my quotation will serve much purpose. Good luck!

Thank u!

 

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On ‎21‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 0:21 PM, stefaniex said:

Dear Steffie, 

Would you mind sharing all your contractor contacts, please? Thank you!

Hi Stefanie,

I've pm'ed you the contacts.

Good luck!

 

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16 hours ago, kmx1an said:

Hi Steffie,

May I have all your shortlisted contractors' contact? Thanks! 

Hi there, I have pm'ed you the contacts.

 

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