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11 hours ago, jojobaba said:
So Mission Impossible commenced and as mentioned, we took over the unit 24th Feb but only could start renovation works on the 2nd March when the tenants moved out. As of 24 Feb, we had YET to confirm anything. Hahahaha! If not how to be mission impossible? 
Thankfully, God granted me wisdom to start planning way in advance, and since the OTP was granted back in December, I had about 2.5 months to plan and plan, I did.
First, I had the required reno works itemized so I could get an exact quote. Our original budget was $30k (haha laughable I know, stop laughing la!) but the total reno bill came up to be about $49k (including sanitary wares & chandelier lights) eventually. My main appointed contractor's bill came up to be $32k, while my BLUM UrbanKitchen costed $7k, and Goodrich wallpaper costed $2k. Sanitary wares & mixers bought online costed me $6.5k and my chandeliers 1.3k, inclusive of delivery etc. Total reno damage was about $49k. Pretty respectable for a resale condo I should say. My furniture & electrical appliances costed a whopping 21k, no thanks to the 2+2+1 ME Starmex aircons which alone, costed us $6k. ZZZ. 
My sanitary wares & chandeliers deserve a post on their own so I'd share more as I go along.
Many folks have shared their precious nuggets when appointing their ID/contractor so I shall just say, I totally relied on God to guide me (cos I'm a believer of my Lord Jesus Christ!) and after plying through thousands of reviews online, I shortlisted just 2 to email quotes. Both quotes came back pretty competitive so I invited them down to the unit for actual measurements and final quotes. I felt scratchy after meeting the first one (Holy Spirit not at peace, red flag!), who's a veteran and after discussing with my hubby, we both agreed to go with the other one, Kevin Yap of Ideal House ID. 
Totally the right choice made! :yeah:
Apart from our gut feel, the main reason we chose him was cos I simply could not find any negative online review on him at all. Which is rare cos most other established ID/contractors will have some bad reviews here and there. Too busy, poor workmanship, good workers left, attitude smelly, money face etc etc. So before we confirmed, we prayed about it and we felt at peace with our decision and signed with him within a week. He promised we could move in by end March and we did! 
But of course, as mentioned, I knew exactly what I wanted and I was extremely specific about how I wanted to achieve the look and feel, right down to the choice and brand of materials. So Kevin's main job, was simply to implement my ideas into reality. I can't and won't comment on his designing since I didn't involve him in it, and it'd be putting the cart before the horse if I did; I did ask for his opinion here and there, which was really helpful incl our choice of TV wall laminate & bathroom floor tiles.
So very important pointer, for time-critical projects like mine, ie 1 month only to complete dirty works so I can move in with 2 young kiddos + 2 pets, is to know exactly what you need done in the reno, and have it itemized clearly. If you can't come up with that, you risk getting ripped off bad, cos it shows you don't know what you're doing and you may get incomplete quotations that contain hidden costs. And when you get quoted for the poorest quality materials, you either suck it up and resign to living in a sad-sad place or, top-up and break your bank to get the look and feel you want. I have a feeling the other quote may have been cheaper but he would have given me poorer quality stuff (i.e. lower range of laminates, poorer quality stuff in general) that would require extra top-ups, and cos I'm assuming the worst of him, I shall not disclose his identity cos it's all in my head and my assumptions are totally not fair to him lol. 
Thankfully, we chose Kevin cos before we signed, I tried to bargain and lower his quote (so typical ugly SGrean hard-up for few dollars pattern) but he said something I still remember and appreciate until today, "There are bound to be extra costs that come up during reno works and it's not my style to charge customers for such extras unless they are big expenses." Whoa. Respect much and true to his word, he did not charge me extra except for an additional cabinet I requested later on.
Cos indeed, there are so MANY extra wu-ah-boh stuff that came up! Heng ah, never engage money-faced, money-grabbing contractors that would 斤斤计较 and totally annoy the living daylights out of me. Kevin just helps to change damaged stuff that were overlooked and even extra sai-kang which is none of his business; he's just sooooo frigging responsible and nice, if I had to give him a score, it'd be 110! And the litmus test for all recommendations is simple: After work is done and dusted, will I still engage him if I need reno works? The answer is a resounding YES YES YES! 
But, I have to say, the carpenter, Mr See, who worked on my Blum UrbanKitchen deserves 110 too, so my honest-to-goodness review is I will go back to Mr See for carpentry work. I'd explain more when we get to my kitchen. But overall project management goes to Kevin.
Ok I got carried away. Let the pictures do the talking! Who likes before and after photos? Me me me! Here we go, hack hack hack!
Living (We swapped the TV feature wall and sofa, cos I prefer a vast TV wall, instead of the original layout of using the shorter wall for the TV wall)
Mr See doing the measurements...
MBR (after hacking off the headboard feature wall)
After hacking off the mirrored wardrobe and platform
MBR Bathroom (super stinko with all the exposed pipes yuck I can still remember the smell of sewage... ugh...)
Common Bathroom
All the hacking was done within 2 days. Tell me about cheaper, better, faster! And then, electrical works and laying of tiles began. There was 1 major hiccup during my renovation though, and that couldn't be helped. 
Remember my sanitary stuff, i.e. WC, shower, mixers, basins, were bought online? Yup, see, I would have ordered much earlier but I had to wait until they hacked off the existing WC before I could order, cos not all WCs can fit in all toilets. There's something called rough-in and I had to make sure my WC rough-in would fit in my bathroom toilets. Long story short, I placed my order the day Kevin informed me of the WC requirements and Germans being Germans, my order only arrived first week of April. Took almost a month. So we literally washed, bathed and sh*t in the maids toilet for about a week or so of moving in. Without heater! Tsk.
I just kept reminding myself that in the olden days, people had to wash, bathe and sh*t in rivers, so I should not complain.
Anyway so if you plan to buy your sanitary wares online like me, do it way in advance! Or book a staycation somewhere la. And why did I insist on buying online? Cos in SG, the WC I want costs $2.6k before discount, I got 2 for $1.5k. That's how I managed to fit my 2 bathrooms with only Hansgrohe, Duravit and Steinberg wares with just $6.3k all-inclusive.
More on that later. 
We're pretty laid-back to be honest and unlike some others who can prowl several tile stores over and over, my hubby and I only took a Saturday afternoon 1-hour to select our tiles from Hafary. I already had in mind the color scheme and so I chose the designs based on that. We only had to choose the bathroom tiles so perhaps that made things much easier.
Thankfully, Kevin offered to come confirm our selection of tiles on a separate day cos we had chosen some unsuitable ones. So we were really pleased with our final selection. 
I've always liked hotel bathrooms and I noticed how they differ from common home bathrooms. Hotel bathrooms tend to have almost no contrast in their color scheme. And so that's why we chose the tiles we chose, and the countertop we chose. Hubby initially floated contrasting tiles, "Won't be boring meh no contrast?" but I gave him a flat NO!!!!!!!! and he left that to me. Heng lor, our bathrooms really got hotel standard haha! Insert -shameless BHB emoticon-
Some works-in-progress pictures before we move on to the final product.
Tiling was done within the first week. We got a cheap bath tub from My Showroom at Ubi. I got my cheap Rubine kitchen sink there too. Carpentry and glass doors installed around week 3 or so.
And then after like forever, our wares finally arrived at our doorstep and I could hear the angels sing...
I was pretty worried about fixing them up, cos overseas purchases can sometimes totally screw up with our local connections. I read on this forum some people were having issues with their mixers and apparently, the mixers I got were fine. Praise the Lord!
And very quickly, Kevin got the plumbers to install our junk. Rain shower up! Hallelujah!
And the rest...
So yes, after some waiting, here's a look at our final MBR bathroom. My photo taking skills are abysmal plus I have to avoid self-exposing (haha!) so please bear with the pics, OH promised to help me take spectacular pictures but aiyah, nvm la!
Tadah! There's some imperfection with the grouting at the bath tub wall which Kevin will rectify in a while.
The vanity area
This is the WC I got, $1500 for 2 instead of $2.6k before discount locally. Duravit ME by Starck. 
My pretty big white throne.
Absolutely loving the crystal chandelier from Taobao! Though I'm a lil worried about it rusting. Hmmm. Aiyah rust then say.
My Hansgrohe Raindance Select 360 which easily costs around $2.8k before discount in SG. Got it around $1.2k. Overall, loving the Steinberg accessories, they're all brass base with chrome plating, very lux and apparently of better quality than Hansgrohe, but not that known that's why I stuck with Hansgrohe mixers and shower. Typical SGrean again!
The tiles we got from Hafary. I was so pleased when Kevin said he's fine to do big glossy floor tiles for the vanity area, cos the other contractor said he won't do it, saying it'd be too slippery and water will pool due to the large tile size, i.e. cannot do slope to drain as effectively as smaller tiles. But then hor, vanity area shouldn't be wet isn't it? Anyway, hotel bathrooms are all glossy so we gotta stay true to style yo! And very glad we did.
A closer look...
Our wall tiles that offered no contrast whatsoever haha.. That's the plan hokays!
We chose Italian non-slip floor tiles for the bath area and totally love the lux feel.
Hokays. So shag to blog but will be back with more!

love the feel and look of your place!


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6 hours ago, jojobaba said:

One of our pet peeves in our previous home was the multitude of toys that would throng our living space. It's as though toys are not toys, until they are strewn all across the floor, at least to kids. It was a pain tidying up the place every single day.

So OH and I long decided we needed lotsa space and we were soo happy to get this 3+study unit with ample space. We have 2 common rooms and the larger one is now dedicated as a play room. Since my eldest is 4 YO, she certainly understands what it means by TOYS live in the TOYS room, or else they will go into the storeroom. There may be one or two toys that manage to prison break out of the toy room every now and then, but no biggie. And here's a look when the toys are neatly put away and also the wardrobe doors we replaced.

This room is quite big and we've decided the dominant gender (2/3, most likely girl power although we have yet to confirm the gender of the +1 as yet, looking like a girl, or rather not looking like a boy lol!) will get this room since they will have to share it. But until they get to upper primary, we've decided this room shall house a 3-bedder bunk bed of sorts and we'd shift to toys to the smaller common bedroom. We didn't do any fixtures cos we prefer the freedom to change the usage of the room as the kids grow up.

Ample space and I don't really care if they mess up this room. We have our auntie that comes in twice a week to help us tidy it up. Finally freedom from keeping toys away!


The doors we replaced and a mountain of laundry. Kids have **** a lot of laundry!


Tell me about it about kids toys! what about cupboards?


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Nicely done ! Lovely chesterfield !!! Bathrooms with chandeliers definitely look different class :D I wanna copy Liao wahahahahahaha....

Do you mind sharing your id contact sis , thanks in advance :D


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