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A and A or Reconstruction costs

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I have a  2 storey 3.5K sqf semi D and intend to build add another storey to it and extend the kitchen and back room spaces on the second floor. I intend to renovate all the toilets and kitchen, and change the cupboards for bedrooms .   Hence I require an  A and A .I have key questions which i hope some of you can enlighten me:

1) Is there difference in costs between hiring builder and ID? so far both have come back with similar quotes. So I am not sure if it is actually true ID is cheaper? So far the quotes that came back is in the region of 600K plus- for structural works for 3rd story and room/kitchen extension  ,hacking of roof,  build extra stairs, PE archi drawing fees, bca and govt submission fees, painting, some carpentary and even throw in wooden style  windows and sliding doors, electrical works and off course all the cleanup etc. 

2) Also one ID company I met actually asked me to pay a deposit of 5K out of 18K as professional fee for the  A and A . Is this a common practice or have I been cheated up front? I am upset about this as after 3 months no quote or proper drawing from them despite me chasing them. Also the other builders and IDs I requested for quote did not charge me this amount up front. Presently I am trying to get back that money from the ID and definitely not continuing further discussions with him. sigh :( 

3) Hence I am really apprehensive now about this whole project and am thinking of going the architect route. If I take this route what do and should I expect? How many architects should I shortlist? I am not sure if architect will also take such project as it is not a million dollar project 

4) As far as I understand increase GFA more than 50% of the original GFA means project is a reconstruction . So do i need a bomb shelter as I am not going to tear down and rebuild? One contractor told me based on what I want it looks like BCA will look not regard my renovation as A and A. 

5) If i hire architect how much are typical fees for a project as described. 3.5K sqf land, Increase GFA to about 3.8k to 4 K  and build another 3rd storey. 

6) Reliable contacts for architects and builders.  Please PM me. Mail box should have space as I am a newbie to this forum.


Your comments and advice is much much appreciated. :) 












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There are so many URA and BCA regulations to comply with these days. If after building completed, and cant TOP due to non compliance, can the ID or builder be held accountable for professional negligence? Licensed builders have a lot to lose if build wrongly, but if designed wrongly, that is not their responsibility. 

That is why an architect is necessary to get the approved drawings first. In the end.. The approved design may not be to your liking, at least u can stop there. 


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I am completing my renovation so with regards to your questions, just sharing my experience.

1. Technically IDs should cost higher than builder but builder just up their prices. So if you can get a few quotes and negotiate with the builder, you should get more bang for the bucks.

2. Paying deposit is quite standard but typically you pay some aupon contract signing and then follow up with payments based on project progress

3. There are small architect firm that will take on the job but really depend if you already have a concept and plans in mind. If not, they will act like an IDs. If you ave, then you can take on a more active role. I designed the reno myself and just work with my builder and engineer. You definitely need and engineer if you are adding structures.

4. Bomb shelter not required nowadays. The new rule of A&A is that you cannot increase by more than 50% of your current GFA and changes more than 50% of your facade. as yours is a Semi-D, should not be an issue compare to an inter-terrace.

5. Just be prepared that whatever budget you have or is thinking of will likely exceed and the timeline will be extended as well coz as you proceed, you may want to add or make changes.

If you want to chat, then PM me.


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