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Simple Scandi-Minimalist 4-Room!

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Decided to start a T-Blog to detail our renovation process! Hopefully it would be able to help other new homeowners like how the previous T-Blogs helped me :) 

I would try to update the T-Blog within the first few posts so that its easier for new readers to browse through. 

Floor Plan for a 4-Room BTO @ Canberra East



We had two main options 1) Bomb Shelter in Living room 2) Bomb Shelter in Kitchen. We decided to go with the bomb shelter in Kitchen as the layout was easier to work with.



Generally we would be using light colours along with empty/hacked spaces to make the place look bigger. The furniture required would also be kept to a minimum.

For Living Room - Going with something simple


For Bedroom 3 - Planning for a half-hack alumimum lattice to make the place look spacious


For Kitchen Entrance - Planning for half-hack as well for an open kitchen concept


For Kitchen Area - Classic Brown/White combination for Kitchen Cabinets


For Master Bedroom - L-Shape Walk-in 


For both Toilets - Standard Vanity Setup



Budget Allocated:

1) Renovation: 30K

2) Electronics: 10K

3) Non- Electronics: 10K

Total: 50K

Edited by repel89

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Nov 2015: Application for SOBF

Sep 2016: Flat Selection

Mid Feb 2017: Started ID Hunting Process

End Apr 2017: Notification for Key Collection + Signed Contract with ID

Early Jun 2017: Key Collection!



ID Selection Process:

We were unsure how to start for this as there were simply too many IDs out there and each individual has a different experience with different IDs.

Some tips to get your first few quotations!

1) You can start off with Renotalk's Free Quotation service. its usually a hit or miss but at least you can start developing your ideas once you meet the different IDs

2) You can also visit some of the IDs that your friends/social media recommend just to have a feel as well. Word of mouth from other contacts is also good.

3) Walk along Tai Seng/Ubi Area/Tradehub 21, there are quite alot of IDs in the area to look at.

You can also explore contractors if you have a firm idea of what you want.


ID Hunt:

1) I* ******* (Dropped)

Went for our first meeting, but there was no subsequent follow-up.

2) A****** ***** (Dropped)

Went for our first meeting, but there was no subsequent follow-up as well. We visited this ID right after the first one.

3) L** ** (Dropped)

One out of two contractors that we met. Prices are quite competitive but the person was quite pushy. He brought us to see the actual work on-site as well for the first meeting.

4) S**** ******* (Shortlisted)

Had a good meeting with the ID. Prices offered were quite reasonable but pretty new ID with not much reviews

5) E******* ******* (Shortlisted)

Was assigned a new ID to work with and her senior had to sit in. Reasonable pricing but the workmanship didn't look impressive

6) E* ****** (Dropped)

Had a good meeting and learnt quite alot from the senior ID. The prices quoted for the individual items differed quite abit from what other IDs quoted. Had to revise the quote quite a few times

7) T** *** (Dropped)

Second contractor that we meet. More of hands on contractor. There was not much difference between their pricing and ID.

8) A******* (Shortlisted)

Young ID but quite promising. Items quoted were inline with our requirements but tad on the high side

9) T** ******* (Selected)

Ironically, we came across this ID when we were purchasing our Air-Con The person highly recommended this ID; hence we decided to go take a look. The ID was experienced and yet at the same time not pushy. He would consider our ideas and incorporate them; at the same time telling us if it was feasible or if there are other alternatives to implement it. We literally bombarded him with questions and yet he was able to respond and advise accordingly. We were also able to communicate comfortably with him which is one of the most important aspect IMO. Revised quotes were also quick and detailed, reviews were good and had quite alot of hand-on experience. 

After around 2 months of ID hunting, we decided to go ahead with them. Signed the contract on the 3rd meetup. Will provide a review for this ID at the end of the renovation!

These were the IDs & contractors that we met up. There were also quite a few IDs that we corresponded via email but didnt meet up in the end. Usually, you are able to gauge the competency of the ID by how detailed their quote is, their pricing and their response time.

Additional ID Tips:

1) Try to ask for cash discount instead of bundling with free gifts. Do check if the ID charges GST as well.

2) Usually IDs will offer in a bundle "HDB Standard/Premium Package". Most of the time, this is more expensive. Do try and ask for an ala-carte quotation so that its easier to compare with others

3) Price is usually the most tangible thing you can compare directly. Do consider other intangible stuff like ID service, response time, workmanship as this would have an overall bigger impact compared to price alone

4) Do not feel pressurized to sign on the spot. If you feel that the ID pressurizing you, just walk away. Its always good to think before committing

5) The best deals might not be provided at Renovation fairs, do look around for other good deals as well.

6) Given the recent spat of ID scams, do check for reviews, HDB certification before signing with the ID

7) If you are unsure of what renovation items you want, do not commit in your signed ID contract. You can always add on as a Variation Order (VO) later on after seeing your flat onsite.

8) Always work with a budget and prioritize your needs vs wants

9) There are no minimum IDs to visit but I would recommend visiting a few before confirming

All the best to those that are on their ID Hunt!


Confirmed Scope of Work:

Demolition Works

Supply labour and material to hack half height wall between living and bedroom 3

Supply labour and material to hack half height wall between living and kitchen

Supply labour to remove existing toilet basin

Supply labour to remove existing master toilet shower head

Plumbing Works

Supply labour and material to extension of water outlet piping for washing machine

Supply labour to install toilet basin and connect inlet and outlet piping and accessories

Supply labour to connect kitchen sink and tap inlet and outlet piping

Supply labour to install existing toilet shower head

Aluminium/Tempered Glass Works

Supply labour and material to install swing door with fix panel shower screen at master toilet

Supply labour and material to install aluminium frame with tempered glass swing door

Supply labour and material to install aluminium frame with tempered glass fix panel


Supply labour and material to lay plaster bricks feature wall

Supply labour and material to lay 5mm clip vinyl system vinyl at 03 room floor with skirting

Supply labour and material to install KompacPlus Table top at kitchen cabinet

Supply labour and material to install KompacPlus Table top at kitchen cabinet backing

Supply labour and material to install KompacPlus Table top at kitchen additional cabinet

Supply labour and material to install KompacPlus Table top at bar top

Haulage service / permit handling fee / clear debris

Supply labour and material to lay protection corrugated paper

Supply labour for post renovation cleaning

Cornices Works

Supply labour and material to construct L Box light holder living/dining room

Supply labour and material to construct partition board at TV feature wall living hall

Masonry Works

Supply labour and material to lay homogenous tiles **** and floor with skirting

Supply labour and material to lay cement screening at 03 room

Supply labour and material to construct shower screen kerb at master and common toilet

Supply labour and material to construct fridge base finishing with tiles on surface

Supply labour and material to contract washing machine base with tiles on surface

Supply labour and material to construct kitchen cabinet base

Supply labour and material to plaster smooth and replace damaged wall between kitchen and living

Supply labour and material to touch up and plaster smooth damaged wall between living and bedroom 3

Carpentry Works

Supply labour and material to fabricate full sliding wardrobr at master bedroom (L-Shape)

Supply labour and material to fabricate laminated for L shape wardrobe backing

Supply labour and material to fabricate laminated Top and Bottom Kitchen Cabinet

Supply labour and material to fabricate laminated Bottom Kitchen Cabinet at the Low Wall

Supply Labour and material to Fabricate Plywood at the Bar Counter Top


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Purchase Tips:

Some tips for purchasing your items:-

1) If possible, always purchase online as its almost 95% of the time cheaper compared to retail.

2) Have a few online rebates Credit Cards to work with. For me, I have the Standard Chartered Singpost Card (7% rebate capped at $60) and DBS Live Fresh Card (5% rebate capped at $70)

3) There are two local online platforms to purchase from - Qoo10 and Lazada, these are to be used in tadem with the rebates under item 2) above. For Qoo10, do stack the following - 1) Shop Coupon 2) Cart Coupon 3) 3% Gift Card 4) Promotions if Applicable. For Lazada, do stack the following - 1) Shopback 2) Cart Coupon 3) Live-Up Rebate *New* 4 ) Promotions if applicable

4) For retail purchases - 1) Amex Card for 3% rebate for the first $5,000 spent or any other CC with retail spending rebates/miles 2) Use mall coupons that you can buy off Carousell at a discount 3) Credit Card promotional spending

5) For Taobao purchase - 1) Ezbuy Prime for 1 year of Prime Service 2) Private Forwarders that ship by CBM


1) Air Conditioning: Decided to go ahead with Starmex System 3 (2-Ticks). For us, we wouldn't be using much aircon and we only require cooling for the 3 bedrooms. The 5 ticks model also has a nosier compressor compared to the 2 ticks model. Went for the model below, can search their Facebook if you need more details. Comes with the following upgrades, reviews are good as well.


2) Hood, Hob and Oven. Decided to go with Bosch for these 3 items due to the good feedback. We were also able to get quite a good deal online for these items; all 3 were bought from Qoo10.

For Hob: 78 cm Induction Ceramic Hob, Serie | 8 PPI82560MS. Induction would be sufficient for us as we would be doing simple cooking and we are working with an open kitchen concept. Helps to make things look sleek as well


For Hood: 90 cm Stainless Steel Slimline hood, Serie | 4 DHI923GSG. Retractable hood doesnt make it bulky, suitable for an induction hob for easy maintenance.


For Oven: 60cm built-in Stainless Steel Oven, Serie | 2 HBN331E4SG. Built in Oven with electronic timer. Compact size for our usage.


3) Fridge and Washing Machine. Decided to go with Panasonic for these 2 items. Fridge has been purchased from Lazada while washing machine was purchased from Audio House.

For Fridge: Panasonic NR-BX468XSS1 2 Doors Fridge Colour: Stainless. Suitable size for our usage, comes with a bottom freezer which we were looking for as well.


For Washing Machine: Panasonic NA-129VG6 Front Loading Washing Machine. Decided to go with the 9KG load to handle more load in the future. This is their latest range as well.


4) Water Heater. As we wanted to have a rain shower in our MBR, we decided to go with a storage water heater. Went ahead with AOSmith Digital Water Heater (40L) as we were able to program the various settings as per our shower requirements. Its also made in USA with the various features such as blue diamond heating element and tank. Do check for their groupbuy promotions as they would be offering bulk discount and extended warranty.



5) Television (Living Room). We were considering between a 55" and 65" television for our living room. Decided to go with the 55" as the bigger sizes are currently selling at a premium and 55" 4K is sufficient for 4-room. Went with LG 55UH770T which is under LG's 2016 SUHD range and supports WebOS Magic Remote Control. Do try to get last year's model as it would usually be much cheaper due to stock clearance. 55UH770T also supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 which makes it future-proof for other displays. Managed to get a display set with 5 years Harvey Norman Extended Warranty for a good price!



6) Wireless. As our DB box was located at the entrance, we didnt expect the wireless range of the router placed there to reach the MBR. We were considering between mesh Wifi network or a wireless AP. Went ahead with Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point which would be ceiling mounted and highly recommended by people around here! Purchased from Amazon which is much cheaper than local pricing.

Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point (UAP-AC-PRO-US)



1) Kitchen Sink and Tap. Decided to go with Blanco for this, well-recommended by the guys over here. Purchased from Hoe Kee. Do use Capitaland vouchers if you are planning to go to the IMM Hoe Kee Outlet.

For Sink: Blanco Naya 6 - Anthracite. Black colour to suit our induction hob, single bowl is also sufficient for us. Can save additional table space as well.


For Tap: Blanco Mida Sink Mixer - Anthracite. Bought together as a set. We were deciding between this and the stainless steel option, went for this as we felt it would suit the sink better.


2) Sofa. Decided to go with Cellini's Studio Sofa. Price was within our budget and they were having their GSS Promotion! Most importantly, their dimensions were able to fit our living room as well! Recommended to check out their Tagore Showroom which displays most of their products as well.


3) Bathroom Fittings. Decided to purchase Grohe from Insani24 as it is much cheaper compared to Singapore. For those interested in Hansgrohe, you can consider getting from xtwostore instead. Placed the description below in case anyone is interested.

For Master Bathroom: Grohe Euphoria Duschsystem mit Thermostat und Brausearm 450 mm chrom [Item number: 27296001] + Grohe Eurosmart Waschtisch Armatur, S-Size, chrom mit Zugstangen-Ablaufgarnitur [Item number: 33265002]

Grohe Euphoria Duschsystem mit Thermostat und Brausearm 450 mm chromGrohe Eurosmart Waschtisch Armatur, S-Size, chrom mit Zugstangen-Ablaufgarnitur

For Common Bathroom: Grohe Eurosmart Wannen Armatur, Aufputz, chrom [Item number: 33300002] + Grohe Tempesta Brausegarnitur III 600 mm chrom [Item number: 27794000] + Grohe Eurosmart Waschtisch Armatur, S-Size, chrom mit Zugstangen-Ablaufgarnitur [Item number: 33265002]

Grohe Eurosmart Wannen Armatur, Aufputz, chromGrohe Tempesta Brausegarnitur III 600 mm chromGrohe Eurosmart Waschtisch Armatur, S-Size, chrom mit Zugstangen-Ablaufgarnitur

Taobao Purchases:

Purchased all my Taobao items through Ezbuy Prime. Some tips, Prime might display the same item from different sellers; do go for the one with the highest reviews after checking on Taobao Website. Alternatively, you may find the item with the highest reviewson Taobao website and check if its eligible for Prime. Do remember to use your Prime Wishlist if you really want the item!

First Batch

1) TV Console: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?_ezactivity=1&_ezgpid=187047518559828&id=546151571515&_ezgpid=187047518559828 

2) Shoe Cabinet: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?_ezactivity=1&_ezgpid=158160403159674&id=541293936192&_ezgpid=158160403159674

3) Study Desk: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=25237224633&_ezgpid=20000001096528

4) Study Room Shelves: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?_ezactivity=1&_ezgpid=172665946752777&id=538168595237&_ezgpid=172665946752777

5) Coffee Table: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=540806014713&_ezgpid=20000005478492

6) Beside Table: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?_ezactivity=1&_ezgpid=142443252729772&id=547833438592&_ezgpid=142443252729772

7) Gym Equipment: https://world.tmall.com/item/541778637077.htm?_ezactivity=1&_ezgpid=132012882468872&_ezgpid=132012882468872&id=541778637077

8) Study Room Cabinet: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=525805998047&_ezgpid=20000002976032

Second Batch

1) Dining Table Lights: https://world.tmall.com/item/523786775266.htm?id=523786775266&_ezgpid=20000003705372

2) Toilet Bidet: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=35886269870&_ezgpid=20000003112319

3) Ceiling Light: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=18057965396&_ezgpid=20000000187828

4) T5 Lights: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=43451320163&_ezgpid=20000000278274

5) VOC Meter: https://world.tmall.com/item/544819950688.htm?_ezactivity=1&_ezgpid=126428448219023&_ezgpid=126428448219023&id=544819950688

6) Tracklight Rails: https://world.tmall.com/item/535348299804.htm?_ezactivity=1&_ezgpid=180052448654483&_ezgpid=180052448654483&id=535348299804

7) Tracklights: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=535442882422&_ezgpid=20000004010237

Third Batch

1) Common Toilet Vanity: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=536765403616&_ezgpid=20000004195609

2) Downlights Tri Colour: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?_ezactivity=1&_ezgpid=115338274104924&id=546422166096&_ezgpid=115338274104924

3) MBR TV Mount: https://world.tmall.com/item/537395543454.htm?id=537395543454&_ezgpid=20000004195800

4) Common Toilet Shower Curtain: https://world.tmall.com/item/38985010468.htm?id=38985010468&_ezgpid=20000000160610

5) Automated Laundry System: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=534087748219&_ezgpid=20000003990721

6) MBR Toilet Vanity: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=521809578609&_ezgpid=20000003747519

7) Lan Cables: https://world.tmall.com/item/520796188691.htm?id=520796188691&_ezgpid=20000003385535

Edited by repel89
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3D Drawings:

First Draft

medium.IMG-20170510-WA0016.jpg.5f2a1ae5c7119b4b043c74be52ca121f.jpg medium.IMG-20170510-WA0017.jpg.aa3a449d523625a0fa865835854cb882.jpg

medium.IMG-20170510-WA0014.jpg.84833358d839cc4ff30dd8c31e650359.jpg medium.IMG-20170510-WA0015.jpg.edaa106dc5787a8e26e268a2aaf7fb87.jpg

Most of the design elements we wanted were captured, but there are some changes that we requested after seeing the flat upon key collection! Note that some of the additional stuff such as bar area ceiling laminate and bar side laminate were added for aesthetic purposes, they wouldn't be in the final work scope.

Second Draft

medium.IMG-20170608-WA0006.jpg.72439000a2d172bceee6fd0272dfd88d.jpg medium.IMG-20170608-WA0005.jpg.b6151c16bfa3aa1e0ec37651399ac697.jpg

medium.IMG-20170608-WA0004.jpg.f9f8448ce21a1cac989623ffd92f677e.jpg medium.IMG-20170608-WA0007.jpg.ebefb799eee8d692e625d4511b89cc3d.jpg

We decided to hack away the service yard wall so that the kitchen can look more spacious and this was included in the second draft. Final variations from second draft:-

1) Door Frames to remain as white as per first draft

2) White Homogenous Tiles to be used without marble lines

3) Bar Area ceiling laminate and bar top side laminate to be removed

4) Dining table to be placed in front of bar top area


Edited by repel89

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Key Collection:

Living Room


Bedroom 3


Bedroom 2


Master Bedroom


Master Bedroom Toilet


Common Bedroom Toilet




Bomb Shelter


Edited by repel89

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Start of Renovation!!

Week 1: Hacking, Tiling, Masonry 


There are three areas for hacking 1) Bedroom 3 Half Hack Wall 2) Kitchen Half Hack Wall 3) Service Yard Full Hack



Kitchen - Kitchen Area Half Hack done, Concrete base for both kitchen sides done, Service Yard Full Hack done


Bedroom 3 - Bedroom 3 Half Hack done


Toilets - Shower Kerbs Completed


Tiling - Work in Progress

Edited by repel89

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22 hours ago, JennyTan said:

Hi, can pmed me the price for the Borch oven,LG TV and the water heater? Am looking for the same models. Also your ID contact.Thanks.


PM Sent!


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Looking at your list of purchases I'm quite sure you're a lurker/regular on another reno thread! :D Not completely sure though. Nice, you're hacking the service yard walls. I played with the idea of it many times but in the end chickened out :( all the best for reno


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