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Our Scandi-Industrial Inspired Love Nest!

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Finally! It is our turn to contribute and start a T-Blog in Renotalk. Been reading quite a few T-Blogs since mid of last year to understand the renovation journey, tips etc.

Not a wordy person, so I will not type a long essay and just go straight to the point but sometimes I may edit the contents of this T-Blog periodically so do check back if you are interested!

This is our floor plan, a humble 4room BTO in Jurong West :

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 12.59.49 pm.png

Although our living room (TV/Sofa area a little small) seems to split into two because of the bomb shelter, we are blessed to have a long kitchen and we are going to do open kitchen concept which will effectively turn the whole area to look spacious!

The bedrooms size is decent enough, except for the second room which seems to be quite small. Initially we wanted the third room to be our piano room but in the end we decided to use the second room instead. So the third room shall be our guest room for now.

Our milestones:

May 2013 - Apply for our BTO flat, we are lucky to get a very lucky queue no 71 to select our flat!

Oct 2013 - Selected our unit and paid for the 5% down payment to HDB and the long wait for key collection begins... -_-"

Mar 2016 - We done our customary wedding.

May 2016 - We had our first honeymoon in Melbourne and truly enjoyed it as it was my wife's first time to visit Australia!

Jun/Jul 2016 - Can't remember the exact month but we decided to kickstart our ID selection earlier. Visited quite a number of IDs before shortlisted our preferred ID last year Nov 2016.

Oct 2016 - I know we are kiasu as we started purchases stuffs for our new home as early as last year October since there is quite a number of sales! LOL

Feb 2017 - Our HLE auto approved!

Mar 21st 2017 - Our key collection day! ID, window grille contractor, bedroom door and toilet door contractor came down to do on site measurement. Tim Wong also came down to do planning for aircon trunking installation.

Mar 24th 2017 - Took 1 day leave to do through defects check with my wife. Submitted defect list to BSC for rectification.

Mar 25th 2017 - BSC came down to our place to perform rectification. Window blind contractor came down to do onsite measurement. Also selected our window blind materials and given quotation. Installed shelving for bomb shelter.

Apr 1st 2017 - Installed Varm on main door to allow 90 degrees opening without door stopper. Choose our wood material for our carpentry works with our ID and also finalise our laminates design for our carpentry works and wall colors.

Apr 4th 2017 - Hack permit approved for hacking of kitchen wall.

Apr 6th 2017 - Aircon trunking installation (1st installation).

Apr 10th 2017 - ID sent us finalised carpentry works measurement and design.

Apr 12th 2017 - Kitchen wall hacked.

Apr 15th 2017 - Electrical works for power sockets. We didn't engage our ID's electrician as we found that his quote is quite expensive so found Mr Sim to do the electrical works for us.

Apr 18th 2017 - Cement screeding for our flooring.

Apr 20th - 22nd 2017 - Kitchen cabinet base / Shower kerb.

Apr 22nd - 23rd 2017 - DIY painting (door frame + bomb shelter)

Apr 22nd 2017 - Carpentry work fabrication

Apr 24th - 26th 2017 - Painting for whole house.

Apr 29th 2017 - Lightings & ceiling fan installation / Gas pipe installation / Aircon second installation.

May 2nd - 4th 2017 - Vinyl flooring installation

May 9th 2017 - Carpentry installation

May 15th 2017 - Window grilles installation (Living room + Bedrooms + Service yard). Bedroom doors installation.

May 20th 2017 - Blinds installation. Toilet doors installation

May 27th 2017 - Taobao 2nd batch orders delivery.

Jun 1st 2017 - Piano delivery. M1 Fiber broadband activation. Guestroom mattress delivery.

Jun 3rd  2017 - Storage heater installation. Master bedroom mattress and bed frame delivery. Dining bench & chair (table left out!)+sofa+coffee table delivery. Washing Machine+dryer+refrigerator delivery.

Jun 8th 2017 - Main gate installation

Jun 10th 2017 - Gas activation. Dining table delivery. Tempered glass installation.

Jun 12th 2017 - General cleaning. Kitchen mixer installation. Remaining switches & sockets installation on kitchen cabinet. ID handover!

Jun 15th 2017 - Moving our stuffs to our new place.

Jun 16th 2017 - Moving in to our new place!



We like Scandinavian themed homes very much as it is simple and not too old fashion (sorry to those Classic theme lovers!)... at the same time we want to throw in a bit of Industrial look to make it look more interesting... but instead of the usual black,white and woody feel, we want to throw in quite a large portion of grey (industrial feel) for our flooring and pastel colors to liven up our new home.

Initially for the living room, I wanted some yellow as this color seems to be often overlook by other home owners ... but then I realised the exterior colors of our BTO is made up of grey and yellow... so... no go in case our home looks like representing our BTO lol

For master bedroom, we wanted blue as it looks more calming.

For piano room, my wife like sea green color.

Some colors we like for our new home.





We will let our ID to help our select the appropriate colors as we are not too good at matching colors.



Table of Contents:

1. ID selection process

2. Our offline purchases

3. Our online purchases via Taobao/Qoo10/Amazon

4. How to buy from Taobao?

5. 3D drawings from our ID

6. Defects check

We use this link as a guide - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7KsvqdzcsrpaW5kVEUwVEZqX2M/edit | Mainly defects found includes:

- choked pipes (TIP: once you found one, just declare all and don't be surprise BSC can clear one bagful of debris!)

- loose window handles/hinges

- rusty hinges

- masking stains on walls

- uneven paint marks (those teardrop paint marks)

- Spotted a "potential" leak issue...   but seems to be ok after BSC checked. Our neighbours (3-4 of them) found this pest issue with the floor skirting.

7. Renovation progress

Carpentry material selection  / Wall color selection

Aircon 1st installation

Carpentry measurements

Wall hacked!

Electrical works (sockets and switches)

Cement screeding by HDB contractor and a bit of hiccups...

Tiling works

DIY painting (door frames + bomb shelter)

Painting by ID and some hiccups... | Painting completion!

Carpentry fabrication

Gas pipe installation

Aircon 2nd installation

Electrical works (partial lights installation)

Vinyl flooring installation

Carpentry installation part I

Carpentry installation part 2

Carpentry installation part 3

Carpentry installation part 4

Bedroom barn door installation part I

Window grilles installation

Bedroom barn door installation part II

Toilet lourve door installation

Blinds installation

Kompacplus top installation

Plumber works

AO Smith digital storage heater installation

Main gate installation

Tempered glass kitchen backsplash installation

Gas activation

It's a wrap!

8. Renovation completion

Sneak peek of our love nest

Edited by d3n
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Our offline purchases

As the saying says.... BBBMTL! (Buy Buy Buy Mai Tu Liao!) especially when there is a sale... since there is not much of a difference if you buy now or later... since there is a sale... might as well! Especially if it is a necessity and not want for your new home.

For furniture, since ours a mainly a Scandinavian theme, we go for mostly pencil leg furniture... which makes our living space looks bigger.


- Sign up for Robinson OCBC card, it will be very useful especially the additional 5% cash rebates + close door sales for members!

- Takashimaya vouchers is very valuable as it has no expiry date! So store it for your new home purchases! Any other vouchers like Robinsons voucher also very valuable to save further for your home needs purchase.


1. Comfort Design Furniture - http://www.comfortfurniture.com.sg/

We find their prices slightly more competitive than Castlery. Quality wise is still very decent for this price.

We bought our Sofa set, Dining Table set (bench + 2 chairs), small coffee table.

2. Scanteak - http://www.scanteak.com.sg/

This is more of a want... as I quite love the solid build of their furniture, so decided to splurge on their bed frame for the Master bedroom and also a small sturdy table that is on sale to hold my dry cabinet of my precious camera equipment.

3. Muji - http://www.muji.com.sg/

My wife love their stand mirror (full length), since we got a $30 313 voucher which we got from the purchase of a Sony TV, might as well!

4. Robinsons - http://robinsons.com.sg/

We missed out on their black friday sale to purchase their Simmons backcare 4 series mattress which goes as low as $3.2k after discounts and members rebate as my friend's card limit wasn't enough, and that pushes me to go apply the card myself lol.

We placed a $200 deposit with Robinson Bedshop (look for Sheila if you want to purchase Simmons mattress) at their Heeren branch. This effectively locks their price (which ever is lower when there is a promo).

So as of now we are still waiting for their additional 10% card member rebate...

We also bought loads of other stuffs which I will cover later below.

5. Inkagu - https://www.inkagu.com/products/shin-ju-mattress

Always see their special price mattress ad on Facebook and since it cost only $299... so BBBMTL, this is for our guestroom.

6. Ki-mono - http://www.ki-mono.net

A pity they are closing down... they have very nice japanese theme furnitures which we can match our Scandinavian theme. We bought a rack for kitchen use and also a clothe rack at very attractive closing down sale price.


1. Sony store @ 313

Just happens so... my buddy's wife works at Sony so yes! we can get staff price. Bought Sony TV KDL-55W800C at $1.2k+! Cheap right?

2. Heritage Bathroom Gallery 

Ironically we didn't buy any bathroom stuffs from them but bought from them a Fujioh hob & hood set and Bosch oven ($50 cheaper than other shops we went!).

3. Gain City

Initially we wanted to buy our Electrolux washing machine & dryer from Paris Silk but they cannot hold stock for us too long... so in the end we went to Gain City to buy from them. Price slightly higher than what was quoted by Paris Silk.

4. Tim Wong (Aircon) -

I guess everyone know who he is haha. Yes we bought our aircon from him after checking out CoolServe and other vendors. His price is quite competitive and I guess he is the right person to buy from.

5. Mega Discount (Kallang Leisure Park) - https://www.megadiscountstore.com.sg/

Initially we are eyeing a Hitachi or Mitsubishi refrigerator but after the sales person show us what a Samsung fridge can do and the build quality + door test... we are sold! Just hope that it doesn't *chibaboom* later! lol

6. Robinsons

Used my wife's vouchers ($350) to buy Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker NP-HBQ10 which is at promotion price $489 but we only paid $139! Got a free rice stocker as well.

6. Philips Carnival Sale (once a year!)

Bought some stuffs during the sale last year, steam garment iron + iron + toaster + kettle.

7. AOSBath - https://www.aosbath.com/

Bought a 40L digital model storage heater (AO Smith) for convenience and electricity savings.

8. HT Lighting (Johor Bahru, Permas Jaya) - http://www.htlightings.com/

Bought ceiling fan Aeratron AE3 50' Light Oak color for 1480rm, SG selling this for $1099 SGD! If anyone need their sales contact number (via whatsapp) to check price before going in to buy let me know!


1. Hansgrohe

We bought a bundle deal during their warehouse sale last year October. We was given a 25% voucher which we went to buy additional Tap and shower set for the common toilet.

2. Robinsons

Too many things to buy here especially kitchen use... Le Creuset, WMF, Corelle, Lock & Lock, Bodum, bedsheets etc during their member or public sale! We also make use of my wife's Citibank redemption of Robinson vouchers as well. I also got my NS voucher which I am keeping to buy the Simmons mattress haha

3. Takashimaya

I accumulated $230 voucher prior to this... bought a tefal air fryer on promotion at $279... so we only paid $49 for it LOL


Bought their pull out cabinet to be integrated with our kitchen cabinet. Also bought accessories for kitchen use.

5. Hoe Kee 

They are the only one carrying Blanco brand for kitchen sink in SG, so not much of a choice!

6. Big Bath (Johor Bahru) -http://www.bigbath.com.my/

Since we went to HT Lighting to buy ceiling fan, drop by here to bought some bathroom accessories from them, automatically given discount without asking haha.


Let me know if you need any details of our purchases above. Too many purchases to go into detail here :)

Edited by d3n

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Our online purchases via Taobao/Qoo10/Amazon

As we don't print money... if everything also buy in SG... it will cost us a bomb! So most of our house items are mainly bought from Taobao and some from Qoo10/Amazon. As the amount of stuffs we bought from Taobao is quite alot, I will just post the links here instead of photos... but I may selectively post some photos of those items I feel is a good buy once my renovation completes.

I will post a simple step by step guide how to buy from Taobao using forwarder (based in China) later.

WARNING: Taobao shopping is very very very ADDICTIVE! I spent $3k+ on Taobao shopping... 

TIP: Amazon sells Joseph Joseph much cheaper than in SG! And just clock enough spending to be eligible for free shipping to SG!

Taobao Purchases:


TV Console - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Bedframe for guestroom - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Sofa bed for piano room - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Dresser table - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Vanity cabinet set for common toilet - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Bean bag - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Stools - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=541853597207&spm=a1z09.

Study table - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Folderable table - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Folderable laptop table - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Wardrobe (Guestroom use) - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=547640908133&_u=t2dmg8j26111


Xiaomi Air Purifier 2 - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=524539785138&spm=a1z09.

Xiaomi iHealth - https://item.taobao.com/auction/noitem.htm?itemid=534356463428&catid=124130011

UV handheld vacuum cleaner - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=45416113036&spm=a1z09.

Handheld vacuum cleaner - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=534675372814&spm=a1z09.


Pendant light - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=524722284993&spm=a1z09.

Bedroom ceiling light - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Philips lighting - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09. | https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z0k.7628869.0.0.dRdXjL&id=530829999737&_u=t2dmg8j26111

Edison light bulb - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Light bulb stand - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Toilet Accessories: 

Basin - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Bidet - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Grab bar - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=521460219849&spm=a1z09.


Wall Clock - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Sofa Cushion - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09. | https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09. | https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09. | https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Memory foam mat - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=541461843474&spm=a1z09. | https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09. | https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Coconut husk mat - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Plates - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Duster for venetian blinds - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Spray bottle - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Magnetic strip for Xiaomi Robot - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Pants hanger - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Oven mitt - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Dustbin - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=40733896929&spm=a1z09.

Cup holder - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Tooth brush holder - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Soap holder - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Decor Frames - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09. | https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=527291372049&spm=a1z09.

Soap bottle - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Tissue box - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Laundry bag - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Clothes hanger - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Kitchen sink drainage - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Suction holder - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Mop - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=26593816664&spm=a1z09.

Iron board - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=19536947697&spm=a1z09.

Rubbish bag - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=520381139791&spm=a1z09.

Knife set - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=15602789801&spm=a1z09.

Chopboard - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=38278165219&spm=a1z09.

Fire extinguisher - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=15935741143&spm=a1z09.

Laundry protection bag - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z0k.7628869.0.0.dRdXjL&id=45401950129&_u=t2dmg8j26111

Cable protection - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z0k.6846577.0.0.lHpYdi&id=531803766566&_u=t2dmg8j26111

Digital peep hole viewer recorder - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z0k.7385961.1997985097.d4918997.M1708c&id=43748552502&_u=t2dmg8j26111

Stainless steel kitchen sink soap/sponge holder - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?spm=a220l.1.0.0.sii12T&id=526051289011

Stainless steel washing machine/dryer rack - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.261.oBU5MJ&id=540236876069&ns=1&abbucket=13&skuId=3239274696303

Wall mirror - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=524571186624&_u=t2dmg8j26111


Cat Bowl - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Cat Astronaut Bag - https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09. | https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.

Cat scratch box - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=19511566099&_u=t2dmg8j26111

Cat litter box - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=530343585155&_u=t2dmg8j26111&sm=true&smToken=0e49100ad82e441f8324ef253a1e6c40&smSign=GX6ByvAdSsentbG6yPDP4Q==

Cat hammock - https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=521030848855&_u=t2dmg8j26111&sku_properties=122216750:42189993


Xiaomi Robot (Qoo10 Auction) - http://www.qoo10.sg/g/491787440/Q107707611

3M - http://list.qoo10.sg/item/3M-OFFICIAL-E-STORE-COMMAND-HOOKS-HANGING-STRIPS-MEDIUM-9-PC-PK/511774570?selectedOptions=

Boomjoy mop (Qoo10 Auction) - http://list.qoo10.sg/item/BOOMJOY-MAXPLUS-P4-BOOMJOY-SPRAY-MOP/443428952?selectedOptions=

Corelle Plates (Qoo10 Auction) - http://list.qoo10.sg/item/CORELLE-16-PCS-20-PCS-CORELLE-LIVINGWARE-DINNERWARE-SET-FOR-4-HOME-KITCHEN/441953004?selectedOptions=


Joseph Joseph - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R86CD40/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AVWE7D8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I6UG90K/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Filtrete Advanced Water Filtration - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001DVW0PI/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Yamazaki Tosca Fridge Magnet - http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/smartkitchen/item/10005339/

Edited by d3n

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3D drawings from our ID

Not finalised yet as we are still changing the wall colors, the laminates etc.

As we do not want to burst our budget... we go minimal on carpentry. Opting for loose furnitures instead.

We only did the following carpentry works:

- L shape kitchen cabinet with tempered glass backing + Kompac plus counter top

- Full height shoe cabinet in living room

- Master bedroom Wardrobe

- Full length mirror + vanity cabinet with Kompac plus counter top in Master bedroom toilet






Edited by d3n

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hello! our experiences with IDs are very different, then again mine is the other way round, i met 10 contractors & 3 IDs. so far nobody dared to hardsell me, they just came back with sky high quotation lol. 


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7 hours ago, matchalatte said:

hello! our experiences with IDs are very different, then again mine is the other way round, i met 10 contractors & 3 IDs. so far nobody dared to hardsell me, they just came back with sky high quotation lol. 



Sometimes I do feel that they purposely hard sell you is either they wanna carrot chop or don't want your biz haha


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1 minute ago, Alpc said:

Ah... Bro, see you posting your reno here, eh? Good , good, can follow here.

lol yah, here easier and cleaner to keep track.

today busy shopping at Robinsons again lol and posting this so no time to post on the other side haha


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4 minutes ago, d3n said:

lol yah, here easier and cleaner to keep track.

today busy shopping at Robinsons again lol and posting this so no time to post on the other side haha

No wonder you got so many vouchers!!! :lol:

I went IT show to see the locks/robot cleaners, end up in HN and $$$ gone from wallet. Put down deposit for hobs and oven! I am beginning to spend like you do! :o


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On 3/19/2017 at 1:31 PM, d3n said:

ID Selection Process

Both of us are virgins when comes to selecting ID as this is the first time in our life we are doing renovation for a place we call home. But luckily there is Renotalk forum which we have learn a lot from other home owners what we should look out for before selecting the right ID and pay the deposit.

We started our ID selection journey mid last year as we don't want to become overly anxious and then selected the wrong ID and regretted it.

1. Yee Ling from Oxx Dxxx Wxxx (Eliminated!)

She is the first ID we met when we went to check out the ID fair last year at Expo. Initially the discussion went on quite well although she also like to hard sell her ideas which involves a lot of carpentry works. Then she starts to be very pushy and wants us to sign on the spot. But WTF? we only seen one ID so far and how can we just sign like that... She is still being persistent and wants us to die die sign the dotted line and pay for the deposit. This really irks us off. Anyway the price she quoted us is way above our budget. We don't print money leh. In the end after 2 hours plus discussion, we stomped off, deeply disappointed by the hard sell pushy sales tactic from this big established company. We actually just want to see see look look end up wasted too much time with her and we missed going to the Pet exhibition and chance to talk to other ID during the fair. So lesson learnt, no point visiting ID fairs...

2. Shawn from Exxx Dxxx (Eliminated!)

Instead of visiting ID fairs, we downloaded Qanvast app and look through portfolio of each ID company that does our preferred theme. So we make an appointment with Shawn. The discussion is ok but we did a background check and found that his company is not registered with HDB, and worst still, he is using another company that is registered with HDB to do renovation but this company has demerit points related to renovation works! So we decided to drop him and not take the risk.

3. Edgar from Pxxx Hxxxx (Eliminated!)

Same again, we found this ID through Qanvast and make an appointment. Edgar has alot of ideas and creativity. But the price quoted to us is way above our budget too. So we decided to drop him.

4. Chally from Axxx Cxxxx (Eliminated!)

Same again, we found this ID through Qanvast and make an appointment. Chally doesn't seems to have much ideas for us, more like we feeding ideas to her and she just go through the motion. The quote they provided to us is still within our budget but this is bad I think because they are ID not contractor and she should be proactive in providing ideas. So we decided to drop her.

5. Ian from Jxxxx Ixxxx (Eliminated!)

Same again, we found this ID through Qanvast and make an appointment. My wife commented her that Ian has a sleepy look at look like just woke up before meeting us... lol He too like Chally, doesn't give us much idea. Probably not keen in our business... and he also didn't really get back to us on the quote. We had to call him but weird, his colleague say he had left the company?

6. Dominic from Txxx Rxxx Sxxxx (Eliminated!)

This ID is my wife's friend, the discussion went on well but the quotation they quote is too high and most importantly they are also not registered with HDB so we decided to drop him.

7. Chris from Uxxxx Dxxxx Hxxxx (Eliminated!)

This ID pisses us of a lot... we gave him a chance to go down to meet him since he only send us a template quotation (which is low) but without hearing what we want. And so we went to his office and guess what? We waited for 45 mins and yet he still haven turn up for our appointment. So we just left in a puff and drop him immediately for wasting our time.

8. Richard from Sxxx Rxxx Ixxx Dxxx (Eliminated!)

We got this contact from Renotalk T-Blog. Made an appointment with Richard and he is quite good actually and gave us a lot of tips. Not too pushy but also didn't give much idea. I feel that he is more of a contractor then ID. The quote is quite reasonable but we just had no feel to let this ID handle our renovation.

9. Lucas from Sxxx Cxxx (also known as Muxxx) -  (Eliminated!)

We saw their open house ad on Facebook so made an appointment to go down. Didn't leave us good impression when Lucas suggest us to remove the bomb shelter door since we do not like tick tack doors. So decided to drop him. Only to found out later this company actually had some bad reviews.

10. Patric from Vxxxx (Shortlisted)

I happened to google for industrial theme homes and found a blog which recommends Patric from Vxxx so  wedecided to make an appointment to meet him as I like the toilet he done for this blogger. We almost shortlisted him but too bad his quote came late and we have already shortlisted another ID

11. Isaac from Txxx Cxxxx (Selected!)

I can't remember where I get to know Isaac but just happens I seen his work somewhere so suggest to wife to meet him. Isaac is very practical and not pushy at all. In fact like Richard, did gave us some cost savings advise when he sense that some of our wants is costly and not practical (the concrete look I want for our toilet). The quote came and is pretty reasonable. We did some revision with the initial quote and the quote was reduced further to like WOW! he is the one for us haha. Isaac also offer to let us view one of his existing projects, show us the materials he used for the kitchen cabinets and shown us the carpentry workmanship. So in the end after discussing between us, we decided to engage Isaac to be our ID. (like finally!)


Actually we met more than 11 IDs... and 1 contractor but can't remember much details already as towards the end, we are too lazy to update our ID research list haha. But interestingly, my wife bumped into her ex housemate (if I didn't recall wrongly) who is now working as an ID with one of the ID firm we visited. But I find her not experienced enough to handle our renovation so didn't engage her.



- Know what you want (what kind of themes you looking at)

- Identify your needs and wants (this can affect the quotation you receive). Needs = practicality , Wants = can be costly and not practical

- Set a budget and try stick to it

- Drop the ID if too pushy or too good to be true (too many free gifts to entice you to sign)

- Check if your ID is HDB registered

- Ask if your ID charges GST (this can increase your cost by 7%!)

- Ask to see your ID existing showflat to check on the materials they use and their workmanship

- Don't be afraid to ask for discounts. Reject free gift offers and ask for cash discounts instead. You don't want to be stuck with the free gifts you don't like.

- Try to see a few ID before deciding the ONE

Support from the other thread! I thought nobody met as many IDs/contractors as I did... but you're really hardcore! Lol

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10 hours ago, spooky said:

Support from the other thread! I thought nobody met as many IDs/contractors as I did... but you're really hardcore! Lol

yah cos read too many horrible ID stories in here... so kiasu a bit and cos our budget quite tight so we try to find a near 100% ID that suits us lol



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How to buy from Taobao?

It is not very difficult if you understand a bit of Chinese. Let me SIC the step by step guide here for you!

TIP: I choose a direct forwarder based in China over Ezbuy which charges you agent fees on top of shipping fee. I got this contact from another forum and quite satisfied with his services. He even take picture of my orders in his factory when requested. He is currently charging sea shipping fee of 450RMB per CBM. You will need to communicate with him via Wechat app.



Step by Step guide:

Step 1 : Shortlist a suitable forwarder to ship your Taobao orders.

List of other Taobao forwarders:
- https://www.dpex.com/
- http://amconexpress.com/
- http://www.peeka.com.sg/

Alternatively, you can always use the selected forwarders on Taobao website for less hassle (but more expensive).

Step 2 : Register your account on Taobao -> https://www.taobao.com/ and use the shipping address provided to you by your selected forwarder.

Guide - https://sea.taobao.com/howtobuy

Step 3 : Start shopping on Taobao using the text search (english works too!) and image search (only Taobao China website can support). Once you found the item you like, add to cart. And when you are done shopping, check out and submit payment.

TIP : Use http://itools.com/tool/google-translate-web-page-translator if you need to translate the whole website to English. 

Step 4 : Your forwarder may send you a packaging list (for my case) and you need to enter the shipment information on to this list so that your forwarder can check all items are well received before shipping your orders to Singapore.

Step 5 : Once you are ready to ship all your Taobao purchases to Singapore, submit this packaging list to your forwarder. Typically it takes about 2 weeks to ship to Singapore.

Step 6 : Once your items reached your place, pay the delivery guy the shipping fee (per CBM) + GST in SGD. 

TIP : If you are expecting huge shipment (more then 2CBM, it will be advisable to prepaid to the forwarder via Alipay as the exchange rate for SGD (if you choose to pay in SGD) is not favorable... I incur $30+ more for my second batch shipment.

Repeat step 3 - 6 if you have more items to purchase!

Edited by d3n
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