Jump to content
Find Professionals    Deals    Get Quotations   Portfolios

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!

We have been silent readers of this community for quite awhile and started stalking t-blogs since more than a year ago - even before applying for our current flat! Bin of the #kingandbin duo has been interested in home decor for the longest time and has been browsing online forums/communities ever since Livejournal days. So you can say that she has been preparing for this even before knowing/meeting King :notti:.

And yay! Our place is going to start renovations verrryyy soon. Thus we're here to share our experience!

Home will be a 4-Room flat in Sengkang, in between the MRT station and our parents' place. It's approximately 6min by foot (or 1 bus stop) to the MRT and also about 6min by foot (or 1 bus stop too) where King currently stays with his parents. Here's the floor plan:

FXK51iZ.png

It's a SOBF unit and we received the keys in mid February this year. We took our time to meet up with contractors and to think through (mainly Bin, King helps to make final decisions after she narrows options down :sport-smiley-018:) about the works we would like to do for our home. We finally decided on & confirmed our contractor 2 weeks back. Work will commence just before the Lunar 7th Month begins. It's been a rather slow process so far but we are glad to get things started!
 

ey3TcZz.png

Hope you join us on this t-blog as #kingandbin embarks on our exciting renovation journey for our first home!

 

//  HOME IN PHOTOS  [BEFORE & AFTER]

LIVING ROOM

shgjoAp.jpg

Iqb97yJ.jpg

A5v7Dbm.jpg

szqq6JP.jpg

0kQuWl5.jpg

STUDY ROOM

YZxGLPh.jpg

0xJpoCp.jpg

DRESSING ROOM

H40G6Xn.jpg

HKGsnKd.jpg

MASTER BEDROOM

Bm2dOCV.jpg

6gjk4wk.jpg

AP9EQVD.jpg


KITCHEN

vAqjdaB.jpg

IC8eUHD.jpg

9ylXARt.jpg


COMMON BATHROOM

RVxom9t.png

x8R6noY.jpg


MASTER BATHROOM

eNLKbNM.jpg

scUvYrB.jpg


CORRIDOR

X170y8e.jpg

Edited by kingandbin
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

LIGHT \ WOOD \ WHITE \ GREY

"What's the theme of your home?"... is something that many have asked us! Bin loves light wood accents, white walls, and bright spaces so these are elements that we will be incorporating into our abode. It can probably be defined as Scandinavian or Nordic styles but we won't be following them strictly.

A home is made up of many bits and bobs so we'll just follow our hearts and cross our fingers that the final outcome will be to our liking and not look horrendous. Haha. 

Here's some photos that we really like though. Our tiles and wall colours have already been decided on and will share more in future posts. 

Ch_uGesUUAAtD43.jpg

YitXsED.jpg

5hdEdsMxkWd1eUJr8YTI.jpg

jlVUAXD.jpg

Edited by kingandbin
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CONTRACTOR SELECTION

In order to find "the one" who will be our trusty partner for the next few months of home reno, a total of 4 contractors were shortlisted. We got their contacts from fellow users on renotalk after reading some reviews about their workmanship and pricing. So here's a big THANK YOU to those who helped greatly in this process!  :yamseng:

The initial plan was actually to pick a SOBF flat which will be ready 1~2 years later as we've only started working for a short period of time & wanted to save up more. 

But because our queue number was pretty good, we ended up choosing a unit that was ready for immediate key collection (with much egging on from parents on both sides haha).

And since reno will be paid for in cash, we were determined not to spend unnecessarily if possible. Total budget is about $25k.


(1) Contractor E
Met up at our new place and it was a pretty long discussion. E was patient with us and quite accommodating. He is also the practical kind and doesn't have much design input- in fact, the only person who didn't ask for our theme! :bleah:

He advised us on things that can be omitted to save money and told us to take our time to think through on those. His quote is quite thorough and even included some small items which we didn't ask for, but he later explained their uses. Total amount: ~$21k


(2) Contractor N
Famous N from R*******! Went to his office where we waited briefly for him to finish watching Wheel of Fortune before starting the discussion. :rolleyes: But we didn't mind lah, cause both King and Bin had fun watching the show with N, trying to guess the final answer of the contestant. Lol. 

Design-oriented and had some good suggestions but also very blunt and prefers not to do things which he thinks will be ugly. He also admitted that if the owner insists on something he doesn't like, he'll just charge more for it. 8|  Quotation was given on the spot but in all Bin felt a little scared of his straight-forwardness.  Total amount: ~$25k


(3) Contractor J&E
Famous duo from renotalk and we were happy to set an appointment quite easily with them. E was the main one leading the discussion while J would chip in once in a while with some reasoning and suggestions. Felt comfortable discussing with them and we could tell that they were very experienced. :thumbs up:  J also drew the kitchen layout on the spot for us to keep. 

But when the quote came, total amount was the highest because of the additional things we discussed which they said they were happy to do. Everything also can = higher prices haha. Total amount: ~$27k


(4) Contractor K
Met him at our home and he was able to give new suggestions on layout options which we appreciated. K was the only one who created a group chat immediately after the meeting and followed up on some things he said he'll go back and research on.

The overall amount on the quotation was cheap but it had a fair amount of things missing. And after scrutinizing item by item, we realized that his prices are actually the highest for quite a few items. :no: Total amount:~$22k (but with missing items)


In the end, Contractor E was chosen. We met them all back in March/April and took a grand total of 3-4 months to finally decide on "the one". We even jokingly asked E if we were the couple which took the longest to confirm. He said yes, and that it is also why he leaves us to think through on certain decisions without pushing for answers :lol: So far this has worked pretty well. Hahha

Edited by kingandbin
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TILES SELECTION

2 weekends ago, we went down to Balestier to check out Hafary and Hup Kiong for tiles. We needed to pick out tiles for the following areas:

  • Living Room + 3 Bedrooms' Floor
  • Master Bathroom Floor & Shower Feature Wall
  • Common Bathroom Floor & Shower Feature Wall
  • Kitchen Backsplash

The process took about 1.5hrs and we confirmed our selections within one trip! This is a personal achievement because a few months back, Bin dragged King to visit Hafary and Soon Bee Huat in Jurong East and we both emerged from the stores with raging headaches. So many options! So many styles!! How to pick!!!  :jawdrop:  The number of options blinded and confused us. And instead of being inspired by what we saw, we had a slight phobia for tile shopping after that. :dunno:

This time round, we did our homework beforehand and decided to look out for light wooden tiles for living + bedrooms, dark wooden tile for master bathroom, dark grey for common bathroom and subway tiles for all the wall portions. Basically narrowing down what we wanted to find before entering the stores. And it really really helped alot!

Anyways, here's our final pick! (Sorry for the poor colour balance! Taken using handphone camera)

wvTUtIC.jpg

Light Wood Tiles 15x60cm

20160401134827242724.jpg

Firenze Graphite - 35 x 60cm

dixIusO.jpg

Horizon Brown - 12.5 x 50cm

smi_19500.jpg

Flat Subway Tiles - 10 x 20cm and 10 x 30cm

FEwpTeO.jpg

The initial idea was only to spruce up the master bathroom slightly, and to leave the common bathroom in its original state. BUT Bin simply couldn't tahan the brown stripey wall tiles despite assurance that it could be covered up with white stickers (a suggestion from King) lolol. So we got a quote for overlaying the entire wall on the right in below's picture. However, the price for overlaying one entire wall is the same as overlaying shower feature area + flooring so we decided to go with feature area only & flooring.

7Ub0lWI.jpg

Reason why we picked 2 sizes of subway tiles is because of this inspiration photo! Our master bathroom shower feature will be done up using longer (10 x 30cm) subway tiles laid in a herringbone pattern with either grey or black grouting. Deeper coloured wooden floors inspired from this pic too. Hope it turns out nice! 

TKi6SQn.jpg

For common bathroom, the shorter (10 x 20cm) subway tiles will be laid in the regular "工" layout - cause it's cheaper. Probably due to less wastage of materials.

One headache we had was that Bin's company has a whole bunch of spare mosiacs lying in the warehouse waiting to be gotten rid off. So we could have gotten them for free! Being typical Singaporeans, we love free stuff! But our contractor quoted us pretty much the same pricing (+/- $50 only) to lay the self-supplied mosiacs as compared to the tiles he supplies. Plus, it's quite a bit of trouble to make our own arrangements to transport the mosiacs to our new place since they are crazy heavy. So we decided to go the logical route and gave up on them.

Quite nice designs though! White honeycomb, polka dot mosiac, blue glass transition mosiacs, retro-style mosaics, etc.

Edited by kingandbin
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HELP REQUEST! :help:

Need some advice on 2 things -  Aircon and hood+hob.

For aircon, we've been scratching our heads on whether to pick a 2 ticks or 5 ticks aircon system. The difference in price for our system 4 choice is about $700! All you reno gurus out there, do you think it's worth the top up? How many ticks is the aircon system you got? 

Also, how did you decide on your hood and hob? Our requirement is a 3 cooker hob that's easy to clean, that's all. :yeah: 

Please share your reviews! And pls help save Kings' hair or he may end up alot more bald from the constant head scratching. Haha. Thanks!! 

Edited by kingandbin
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My air con selection is base on brand reputation and physical depth(slim).

So its daikin. I think it was 3 ticks. I did not really bother about the energy conservation as every equipment has a tick rating. Compressor has its own and different size fancoils have their own rating. And usually there is not much choice once u decided on a particular brand and have the sizes calculated to suit your room sizes.

Hob and hood oven i just went the same brand for ease of purchase and consistent look. Only cook on weekends so performance not important haha. As long as it functions and customer service is good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Changbp
 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kingandbin said:

HELP REQUEST! :help:

Need some advice on 2 things -  Aircon and hood+hob.

For aircon, we've been scratching our heads on whether to pick a 2 ticks or 5 ticks aircon system. The difference in price for our system 4 choice is about $700! All you reno gurus out there, do you think it's worth the top up? How many ticks is the aircon system you got? 

Also, how did you decide on your hood and hob? Our requirement is a 3 cooker hob that's easy to clean, that's all. :yeah: 

Please share your reviews! And pls help save Kings' hair or he may end up alot more bald from the constant head scratching. Haha. Thanks!! 

Hmm Aircon I chose according to "popularity." My dad told me so many people using Starmex, a lot of condos at a time also use it as well, so parts will be cheaper and easier to find repairmen if required.

But Daikin has been getting more condo projects as well and their newest system is very pretty and sophisticated! Starmex is more basic. 

No worries with my Starmex so far, very quiet and cold.

For hood - honestly I don't feel like it's a HUUUUUGE issue so I got a cheaper model that fits with my hob and oven. For my hob, as I cook almost daily, I really chose something that worked for me. 3 hobs but only 60cm wide (to fit my 60cm wide hood) as I didn't want to waste more counterspace to get the 90cm / 90cm ones.

i splashed on my hob - I wanted gas and easy to clean (usually people go for induction for ease of cleaning) so my fire very steady, not affected by wind and can remove almost everything to clean. Very good quality and cast iron top so I can place stuff from the oven on top of it too. 

I then saved on my oven as I only use it a few times a year (even lesser with AirFryer) to bake piney tarts, turkey and lasagna.

so depends on where your priorities lie! Can get more discount on those package deals but if you have one thing you have in mind that suits your usage and purpose, then go for it. :) 

hth! I got Bosch for my hob, hood and oven FYI.

 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, kingandbin said:

HELP REQUEST! :help:

Need some advice on 2 things -  Aircon and hood+hob.

For aircon, we've been scratching our heads on whether to pick a 2 ticks or 5 ticks aircon system. The difference in price for our system 4 choice is about $700! All you reno gurus out there, do you think it's worth the top up? How many ticks is the aircon system you got? 

Also, how did you decide on your hood and hob? Our requirement is a 3 cooker hob that's easy to clean, that's all. :yeah: 

Please share your reviews! And pls help save Kings' hair or he may end up alot more bald from the constant head scratching. Haha. Thanks!! 

Hi!

We have the Mitsubishi Electric Starmex system, because we've read reviews and basically Mitsubishi Electric seems to be the best model for aircons in Singapore (from families, from renotalk, from our contractor, from the Gain City people etc). My maiden home has had the Starmex system for a long while too. So far, we've been living with it for about 2 months and no regrets so far, quiet, cooling, can be easily tweaked (for coolness etc). Also, easier to maintain because many other people have it too so parts and expertise is easy to find. For us, we ended up with a 3(?) ticks system. The ticks is only for the compressor, not for the fancoil units btw, and for the BTU we needed (system-3) and the brand we wanted, only the 3ticks version was available.

One thing to think about is calculate the supposed utility bill savings? Often the stores will write what is the approximate monthly electrical bill for the 2 ticks versus the 5 ticks, then you multiply that by per year and figure out whether the extra $700 is worth it. For aircon, esp if you are going to be using it every day and every night, the utility bill savings might add up to quite a lot. We did the same comparison for when we bought our fridge (also paid around $1500 more for a 5 tick versus a 3 tick) and figured that the bill savings more than outweigh the extra price over time.

For hob, if you're getting gas, do note that if you also have a fan in the kitchen, that you need to get one where the fire doesn't get affected by the fan. I don't have a fan in the kitchen but I can rig up one to blow in from the kitchen door, but when I do that, even though the fire from the hob looks the same, my pans don't get hot, so now when I'm actually cooking I have to switch the fan off. Of course if you have induction then that's a different issue. I also chose glass surface because it's easy to maintain. Got a Rinnai cos I like Japanese brands. :) I also have a Fujioh hood but to be perfectly honest we haven't really tested it out fully with deep frying yet, so I really don't know whether it's that much stronger than other hood brands haha.

 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using Mitsubishi Starmex System 4. So far very good. Cold & quiet. My parents' place have been using starmex for many years & it's still working well. My dad also told us the electricity bill dropped ever since they change to Starmex inverter.

I'm loving my Bosch Tempered Glass Hob (PBD7331SG) ! Super powerful flame & allows great control over flame's power. Give you one example...when i cook luncheon meat (lol), i like it crispy. Last time when i cooked using other stove at my parents & in-laws, it will took super long for the lunchon meat to crisp up. Not anymore with Bosch! :P Hehehe. And because the control over the flame is good, i can always lower the flame to minimum (especially with eggs) w/o ceasing it.

Bosch slim-line hood is good for normal cooking too. :) I'm also using their build-in oven. :good:

 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Changbp said:

My air con selection is base on brand reputation and physical depth(slim).

So its daikin. I think it was 3 ticks. I did not really bother about the energy conservation as every equipment has a tick rating. Compressor has its own and different size fancoils have their own rating. And usually there is not much choice once u decided on a particular brand and have the sizes calculated to suit your room sizes.

Hob and hood oven i just went the same brand for ease of purchase and consistent look. Only cook on weekends so performance not important haha. As long as it functions and customer service is good.

Hi @Changbp! So your choice also depended on how the air-con unit itself looks? We totally didn't even consider this portion. :blink: As long as it doesn't look strange, it's acceptable in our books. Hmm.. true that the BTU should be catered towards the room size. We'll double check on the calculations again!

Saw from your t-blog that you went with Teka for your hob/hood/oven choices! The review on your oven was hilarious and oh-so-true (regarding the heat, switches, etc). Thanks for the input!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, bykaraanne said:

Hmm Aircon I chose according to "popularity." My dad told me so many people using Starmex, a lot of condos at a time also use it as well, so parts will be cheaper and easier to find repairmen if required.

But Daikin has been getting more condo projects as well and their newest system is very pretty and sophisticated! Starmex is more basic. 

No worries with my Starmex so far, very quiet and cold.

For hood - honestly I don't feel like it's a HUUUUUGE issue so I got a cheaper model that fits with my hob and oven. For my hob, as I cook almost daily, I really chose something that worked for me. 3 hobs but only 60cm wide (to fit my 60cm wide hood) as I didn't want to waste more counterspace to get the 90cm / 90cm ones.

i splashed on my hob - I wanted gas and easy to clean (usually people go for induction for ease of cleaning) so my fire very steady, not affected by wind and can remove almost everything to clean. Very good quality and cast iron top so I can place stuff from the oven on top of it too. 

I then saved on my oven as I only use it a few times a year (even lesser with AirFryer) to bake piney tarts, turkey and lasagna.

so depends on where your priorities lie! Can get more discount on those package deals but if you have one thing you have in mind that suits your usage and purpose, then go for it. :) 

hth! I got Bosch for my hob, hood and oven FYI.

We should be going for Mitsubishi Starmex as that's what my dad recommended too! Daikin seems a little more costly based on the quotes received but it's a little difficult to compare as it isn't apple to apple. Good to hear that it's been working well for you so far :)

Ooh didn't know that hobs come in varying standard sizes and that the hood's size should match it. Looks like we've not done enough research on it yet :ph34r: Haha. Sounds like your equipment does the job really well. My main criteria (being the one who'll end up tidying the kitchen) for the hob is that it must be easy to clean too. Will check out Bosch items! Thanks so much @bykaraanne!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very looking forward to see your Reno progress! The toilet's mood board looks super nice! Love it! 

We we also went for Starmex 2 ticks because we were told that the 5 ticks one is not as cooling as 2 ticks and 2 ticks is cheaper so we just went for it! We selected this just because seems like it's one of the most popular choices among home owners. So far the aircon were all very cooling and quiet! 

We got Bosch for hood, hob and oven. Hood is the slimline hood and I think the suction is not really super power kind. On one of the weekends I was doing some cooking for family who came over for dinner and I could still smell the cooking smell in the living room the next morning. But maybe because I did not close the kitchen door at all times as there are ppl walking in and out of kitchen and sometimes forgotten to close when I am cooking. 

But very happy with the hob! We got a 3 cooker tempered glass cooker and the length is 78.5cm as compared to the common 90cm. I totally agree with bykaraanne that it is a wise choice to choose a shorter hob because table top space is so sacred in new houses! The hob part is almost all covered in case you have soupy stuffs that spills out it will not sink in to the "holes" hence it is very easy to clean! The flame is also very strong compared to my maiden's house cooking is a breeze now :P the city gas guy who came to activate the gas for us said this is a good hob too as it has the safety feature that if there is gas leakage, the hob will shut off the gas automatically. The hob uses electricity to light up instead of battery which I like because no need to be afraid that the battery will melt inside the hob. 

As as for the oven no complaints so far after using a few times though I am still learning on how to use all the functions haha! 

Opps so  sorry for my lengthy post :yamseng:

Edited by lalashir
 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, ricepapergirl said:

Hi!

We have the Mitsubishi Electric Starmex system, because we've read reviews and basically Mitsubishi Electric seems to be the best model for aircons in Singapore (from families, from renotalk, from our contractor, from the Gain City people etc). My maiden home has had the Starmex system for a long while too. So far, we've been living with it for about 2 months and no regrets so far, quiet, cooling, can be easily tweaked (for coolness etc). Also, easier to maintain because many other people have it too so parts and expertise is easy to find. For us, we ended up with a 3(?) ticks system. The ticks is only for the compressor, not for the fancoil units btw, and for the BTU we needed (system-3) and the brand we wanted, only the 3ticks version was available.

One thing to think about is calculate the supposed utility bill savings? Often the stores will write what is the approximate monthly electrical bill for the 2 ticks versus the 5 ticks, then you multiply that by per year and figure out whether the extra $700 is worth it. For aircon, esp if you are going to be using it every day and every night, the utility bill savings might add up to quite a lot. We did the same comparison for when we bought our fridge (also paid around $1500 more for a 5 tick versus a 3 tick) and figured that the bill savings more than outweigh the extra price over time.

For hob, if you're getting gas, do note that if you also have a fan in the kitchen, that you need to get one where the fire doesn't get affected by the fan. I don't have a fan in the kitchen but I can rig up one to blow in from the kitchen door, but when I do that, even though the fire from the hob looks the same, my pans don't get hot, so now when I'm actually cooking I have to switch the fan off. Of course if you have induction then that's a different issue. I also chose glass surface because it's easy to maintain. Got a Rinnai cos I like Japanese brands. :) I also have a Fujioh hood but to be perfectly honest we haven't really tested it out fully with deep frying yet, so I really don't know whether it's that much stronger than other hood brands haha.

Hihi @ricepapergirl! Wasn't expecting such a detailed answer! Hehe feeling very thankful :lol:

In our case, for the BTU/number of units we want, the companies we spoke to offer either the 2 ticks or 5 ticks system. Sometimes having no option is better than having one; much less headache lah. 3 ticks is somewhere in the middle so it's something we would be happy to take up if given the choice! Haha. My husband (King) is a heavy aircon user who pretty much turns on the aircon in whichever room he spends time in. So with a higher energy saving system, I can safely conclude that the utility bill savings should be rather worthwhile as long as the system can last its supposed lifespan! Fridges are something to consider too, since they are switched on 24/7 but there really aren't that many fridges within our budget that have many ticks! Is yours one of those with many doors/drawers? Very nice but my thin wallet can't handle it :(

And yup, we're planning to install a wall fan in the kitchen. My maiden home has a Rinnai hob too and it faces the issue of being affected by wind/breeze as well. The electrical stores we visited last weekend (Gain City, Courts) didn't seem to have Rinnai brand items too, so couldn't check. I've heard that Fujioh hood is great for Asian style cooking so we'll definitely check out this brand of hoods! Thanks so much for the advice!! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×