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My Modern Zen 2-Room 35sqm (Type 1) HDB BTO Apartment Renovation Journey

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Blog Entry Date: 4th November 2017 Saturday
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End of 7th week after Key Collection. Carpentry Works - Part 2 / 3

Welcome to Day 2 of Carpentry Works. Workers are still working in my apartment.
It seems that my worries for yesterday aren't that bad after all. :D

Here's my DBBox Cabinet door finally completed.
(Top side is Swing Open styled Casement Door, Bottom side is Sliding Door)

Apparently, the height of the bottom side sliding door is 78cm.
Which is a good height because the height of my desk is about 75.2cm

My initial worry yesterday was that I thought my desk would be higher than the bottom sliding door and overshot preventing the top casement door from opening. Looks like my fears were unfounded! :D


Here's a look at my Bathroom Vanity Cabinet Storage

Kitchen Area
Really happy with this one. Mostly because the Integrated Dining Table concept works!
Its a little small sure, but 2 people can just about nicely sit face to face having a meal. :D

And they even installed the Ariston Oven. :D
It looks nicely integrated with the rest of the carpentry doesn’t it? :D

Here’s another view with cabinets and drawers opened.

Remember the chipped part on the Top Cabinet shelf?
That has been repaired and replaced. Looking Good! :D

Another view of the Top Kitchen Cabinet Shelf

Heres the other side of the Kitchen where my Kitchen Sink and Washing Machine is.


Shelving above the Washing Machine and Kitchen Sink.
Really liking how nice the Dishrack Cover looks! :D (Whoops seems to have caught the worker's reflection too lol) :P

Shelving Dishwashing Rack above Kitchen Sink is using the famous Blum hinge.
(Only this one uses Blum though, not sure whats the hinge on rest of the kitchen cabinets.)

After re-checking, ALL the hinges used in Carpentry are Blum Hinges. This is how they look like.

Bedroom Platform Bed is also slowly starting to take shape. Its looking good too! :D


And thats my report for 2nd day of Carpentry.
Still lots of stuffs to be done, such as Quartz CounterTop etc.
But I must say, the work is going well, definitely a much better improvement compared to yesterday’s initial shock. :P

I’ll be going down again tomorrow to retake pictures again without the workers around.
(I don’t think they work on Sunday). Hopefully I can capture images with better angles. :)

Things are definitely looking good! :D

Thanks for visiting. I’ll see you in Part 3! :yeah:

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End of 7th week after Key Collection. Carpentry Works - Part 3 / 3

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Blog Entry Date: 3rd November 2017 Friday
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End of 7th week after Key Collection. Carpentry Works - Part 1 / 3

In the previous post, I mentioned that Carpentry Works are going to start on 3rd Nov 2017.
As promised, I just came back onsite and here is my report.
Really wished I could say everything was smooth sailing but I can't. Sigh. :(


So as I'm walking to my apartment, I see all these wooden cabinets outside.
So I think to myself, "Wah....Carpentry Start Liao!!" and started getting excited.....:wub:

And of course the inside of the place is like a warzone lol! :D


So I bought some drinks for everyone, had abit of a chit-chat with the workers there.
So you know lah, normally, people will start off the conversation like "So how? Everything OK?"

Guess what? Instead of the obligatory "Ya Everything OK", one of the worker VERY HONESTLY,
and in a very dramatic fashion waving his hands around and in a slip of his tongue admitted:

"Wah...BIG DISASTER lah..Just now unloading...BANG!!! Thing Fell down" (His Exact Words)

Immediately on the spot stunned like vegetable. :o
Honestly, I really don't know whether to laugh or cry at that moment. :wacko:
I regained my composure, then jokingly asked him how bad was it, hoping that I don't sound too stressed. He probably suddenly realized his slip of tongue and quickly replied: "Don't worry I will come back and touch up".

LOL, if you were in my shoes what would you have done? :rolleyes:
Sigh...in my heart I thought to myself "Aiyoh....why can't you have told me a lie or something?"
Nope, I didn't lose my temper or anything, since that wouldn't have helped......Sigh...jin suay :(

Anyway, here are some pictures I took when I was there.

Workers working on my Kitchen Area.
Gotta admit, I like how its taking shape. That dining table looks nice. :)

This was the "BANG!!" the worker pointed to earlier.
Honestly, I didn't see any big external damage other than the little chipped area that you see circled in REDSure, having my cabinet damaged doesn't feel good, but at this point in the renovation, after the shock I had with my Lightings earlier, I kindda, sorta mastered the Art of Zen already lol :D

As long as the damage isn't too obvious, its guess its alright? Honestly too drained to chase anymore. Luckily its inside the cabinet so I can at the worst case scenario hide it or something. (Of course having it repaired would be better lah!)


Here's the side of the Kitchen where i'll have my Induction Cooktop.
Baking Oven will fit in that gaping hole on the left side, and a Microwave will fit into the gaping hole at the right side. This is very ambitious. My Kitchen is already very small. It would be a miracle if I can still somehow fit a Induction Cooktop + Oven + Microwave! :huh:

Here's the other side of the Kitchen where i'll have my Washing Machine (on the left) and Kitchen Sink (on the right)

The Cabinets above the Washing Machine and Kitchen Sink Area

Here's the Custom Vanity Mirror Cupboard in the Bathroom

My Platform Bed at the Bedroom.
Really liking the mini drawers at the "Steps" area. :D

And now we come to this ACCURSED DB-BOX CABINET.....GRRRR!!! :angry:
I feel that this DB-Box has been a CURSE on my renovation so far....:bangwall:

1) Firstly, HDB dunno hire what kind of retarded architect of all the places to put a DB-Box, decide to put the DB-Box right in the Living Room. Grr! :angry:
2) Secondly, Having the doors recklessly hacked away only to incur an initial Heart Attack price of $750 :wacko:
3) Now that its negotiated down to $350, guess what problem it has now?
The Casement Door looks so LONG in the picture!! The whole idea of Casement Door is to be able to still open it and access the MCB Electrical Box if I have my desk there. Casement Door do so long defeats that purpose right? :wacko:

Is it really so hard to have a Casement Door at the Top Half, and Sliding Door at the Bottom Half
so I can access both areas even if I have a desk there??? Grr!!

Ughhh Why can't anything go right with this DB-Box? I have a feeling its cursed. :~
Wadever man, if they can't resolve this, i really can't be bothered anymore. Too drained to chase anymore....Sigh.... :(

Sigh.....so as you can see, first preliminary check on my Carpentry.....isn't 100% perfect. But hey it isn't all bad too. Of course I whatsapped the issues to Jason who again of course advised he will ensure everything is resolved by Handover. (I'm still reeling abit with how Honest that worker admitted to the problem encountered during unloading. Joker really made my day.) :D

At this point after 7 weeks, I honestly feel abit drained and just want to get it over with. :(
On the brighter side, most of the other Carpentry works I've seen so far aren't too bad so at least I have that. :)

Anyway today is just the 1st day of Carpentry, everything is messy so maybe that has also a negative effect psychologically. Do check back tomorrow when I show more progress on what has been done.

I'll see you in Part 2 folks~ :)

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End of 7th week after Key Collection. Carpentry Works - Part 2 / 3

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Blog Entry Date: 29th October 2017 Sunday
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End of 6th week after Key Collection.
Lightings still being worked on, Bathroom Door is Replaced.

End of the 6th week, and I thought i'd report whats happened so far with my Lightings.
Jason sent someone up to rectify some of the switches issues, and while they aren't sunken in or
misaligned anymore, i'm still not satisfied with the overall results considering Living Room Cove light
sometimes still trips the Electrical MCB, and one Bedroom light still not replaced.

Jason advised he will continue to get his guys rectify the lightings because there are also lightings
to be added during Carpentry stage, and by Handover, will have everything done up right. I certainly hope so.
Nevertheless, I thought I might as well show how my lights look like.

Before, this was how bad the switch was, all sunken in. Unacceptable. :angry:

Now, the switches are somewhat better although still not very good.
I suspect they will remain like this even after Handover...We shall see.

Showing all my Installed Lightings

Entryway Light
(Nothing fancy about this one. Just a simple light i'll turn on when I come back home.)

Kitchen Light
(I had my reservations about this one. At first I wanted something standard and squarish but somehow this one appeals to me more.)

Bombshelter / Walk-In Wardrobe Light
(2 types of Tracklight. White one i'm using for Bombshelter / Walk-In Wardrobe, Black one will be for my Bedroom.)

Bathroom Light
(Decided to go traditionally squarish and boxy for this one)

Living Room (Cove Light Only)
(This is the actual colour of the Cove Light. Its a very pleasing soothing colour.
The other pictures show the light abit haywire colour due to my phone camera settings i think.)


Living Room (Cove Light + Cool White Downlight)
(I like the Cool White Downlight, it looks very fresh and light) :D


Living Room (Cove Light + Warm White Downlight)
(Sorry it turned out so yellowy. Its not this yellowish in real life.)


Living Room (Cove Light + Daylight Downlight)
(Cool White and Daylight difference is very subtle. Cool White is very white, Daylight is somewhat muted)


Bedroom (Cool White Downlight)
(The faulty downlight hasn't been replaced yet.)


Bedroom (Warm White Tracklight)
(Really like how this looks, very modern and classy.
I will use each spotlight to highlight different areas, like my wall calligraphy, japanese sword later.) :D



In addition to my lightings, my new Bathroom PD Door has also been replaced. Compared to the original HDB bathroom door,
the new one looks so much better. It fits my apartment's black and white theme much better too.

Here is an image of when HDB Bathroom Door was hacked away back in Week 2.
(I am so sorry I didn't take any pictures of HDB's original Bathroom Door.)

And here is the newly replaced Bathroom PD-Door
(I originally wanted to choose something plain and simple, but in the end chose an asymmetrical door design.
I'm happy with the design I chose, and really like how it fits in nicely with the rest of the decor. :D
FYI, Hacking of Bathroom Door, Replacement of new PD-Door is all included in my Renovation Quotation.)


Exterior View of the PD-Door

Interior View of the PD-Door

Some Close Up Look of the PD-Door Locking Mechanism and Hinges

Really love how the PD-Door manages to fit in nicely with the Dark Bathroom Theme
and layers nicely with the camouflaged Black Air-Con trunking

And so thats it for my End of 6th Week Report. :)
We're now in the final stretch of my Renovation!

I understand from Jason that my Carpentry Works are gonna come up Next Week Friday (3rd Nov 2017)

I can't wait to see how it all happens, so do tune in for that! :D

As always, thanks for visiting and i'll see you soon in my next Blog Entry!! :yeah:

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End of 7th week after Key Collection. Carpentry Works - Part 1 / 3

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Blog Entry Date: 24th October 2017 Tuesday
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6th week after Key Collection.  My Lightings are a Mess!!

Sometimes when things seems to be going smoothly, it can SUDDENLY ALL GO HAYWIRE IN AN INSTANT!! :wacko:

Oh the week started well enough, with Jason updating that his Lighting Guys are scheduled to do up my lightings this week. Again, a mostly Prep week with Lightings the only major event happening while still waiting for Carpentry Works.

So as usual, he whatsapped me his onsite pictures of his guys installing the lights:

Sneak preview of my downlights in the Living Room actually kindda look good tbh.

Until he reported THIS. (Below Image)
One of the outer frame of a Downlight I had bought from Home First Lightings was noticeably crooked, causing the Downlight to not be able to sit nicely flush in my false ceiling. :o

Notice the area highlighted in RED looked uneven?
Ughhh sian :( , I have to go back to the lighting shop and seek for a 1 to 1 exchange.
Luckily there were just a stroll away from my estate.

(Deep down, I hope the shop is nice and won't chut pattern when doing exchange.
Ever have that sort of feeling? Yea of course we all do.)  :(*Prays Hard Tolong Tolong*

Sigh... mood already abit low, but I was still ok, as long as the Lighting Shop can replace for me, i'm fine. So after work, I went up to my place, did my inspection and....I HAD THE SHOCK OF MY LIFE!!! :o

:(Everything that could go WRONG, ALL WENT WRONG!!! :(


ALL the installed switches were HORRIBLY CROOKED, some of them were even SUNKEN IN!!!! :wacko:

NONE of the switches that were installed were any good! Oh my god the workmanship was ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE!!! :angry:

I'll just post some of the WORST OFFENDERS.

Example 1:
Ughh look at how badly sunken in the whole Switch is? :angry:
And its from Legrand no less. Absolutely ATROCIOUS WORKMANSHIP!! :angry:

Example 2:
Just look at the top of the switches from left to right, completely misaligned. WTF??? Ughhh!! :angry:

Example 3:
You probably will not be able to see this clearly, but the whole alignment of this switch is so misaligned! *faints* :~

You think thats bad? You haven't seen the worst of it yet. :o
The lighting installation was so bad, so no Quality Control done,
that the installed Cove Light was EVEN TRIPPING THE ENTIRE MCB ELECTRICAL BOX!!!! *FAINTS* :angry:

Here's a video i've captured, turning on all the Downlights in my Living Room, then turning off and on the Cove Light. EVERYTHING TRIPPED!!! Aiyoh oh my god~ *faints* :wacko: (btw my cove light is not yellow. its Warm White. my camera abit siao siao :D)

And theres more. Ughh...:angry:
Spotted 2 of the lights in my Bathroom and Kitchen had DIRT or BUGS in them!?!?!?!
Is it the Lighting Shop's Fault?
Is it the Lighting Guy's Fault?

Even if its the Lighting Shop's fault, how can the Lighting Guys just blindly install them knowing the horrible condition it was in??? *faints* :~


I can only summarise the whole thing in one phrase: AN ABSOLUTE DISASTER!!!:angry:

y, the day wasn't all bad believe it or not. :o
Despite all the catastrophic problems I encountered, there was a silver lining.

The nice folks at Home First Lightings (especially this very nice chap Mr Tay) not only did not chut any pattern and pretend its not their fault, they IMMEDIATELY did a 1 to 1 exchange of that crooked Downlight for me with NO QUESTIONS ASKED. :D

Below image is the replaced Downlight they exchanged for me on the spot. It looks so much better now!! :D

And when I showed them pictures of the DIRT or BUG or Wadever in my Bathroom and Kitchen Lights, they immediately took responsibility and requested to arrange for a date when they can go up to my place to do their inspections and do a replacement if necessary. (I gave them Jason's contact for them to liase among themselves)

Wow...the earlier pissed off feeling I felt almost completely vapourized due to this Integrity and Honesty shown by Home First Lightings, i am TRULY IMPRESSED. Whether or not they will exchange my Bathroom and Kitchen Lights I don't know, but the fact, they
immediately without question exchanged my Downlight and even apologized to me for making a trip down to their office

Thank you very much Mr Tay!! Two Thumbs Up!!

I never regret buying from them, and seeing how much integrity they've shown,
I really HIGHLY recommend them if you guys are intending to buy any lightings.
They are very friendly, affordable, but most of all, VERY HONEST.

Here's their address again. Brilliant bunch of folks! Kudos!! :D

Home First (S) Pte Ltd
21 Woodlands Close #05-07 PRIMZ BizHub
Singapore 737854
Tel: 67107994


As for Jason, well while i'm of course angry at the absolutely shoddy workmanship his Lighting Guys have done, I'm glad he also did not avoid or push any blame. In fact after I whatsapped him all the issues, he immediately called me, and assured me that everything will be settled.

I didn't scream or shout at him, i mean also no point right? :(
As long as everything can do swee swee, I will have no complaints.
In fact, I'm honestly very surprised why his other Contractors can do a proper job with Tiling and Painting, yet do such a SHODDY JOB with Lightings. This was NOT the sort of quality and standard I expected from him.

So yea, this is my Lightings....Misadventure. :(
Hopefully everything gets sorted out nicely in the end......I hope so....

:blink:I'll see you in my next Blog Entry~ :blink:

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A little Curtain Experiment - Part 1 / 3

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Blog Entry Date: 20th October 2017 Friday
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5th week after Key Collection. Painting, Delivery of Lightings, Bathroom and Kitchen Fittings.

Yet another mostly prep week until the next major milestone which is Carpentry Works.
Jason advised earliest scheduled date for Carpentry would be on 1st November 2017 because they're fabricating the stuffs now. So yea, for the weeks leading up to the day, progress will be slowed down a little.

That said, early this week the Painters came over and did their painting and touchups.

Job was completed within 1 day, and i'm pretty satisfied with the results. :)
I especially love how the Air-Con trunking now camouflages nicely into my Bathroom. :D

Brand of Paint used: Nippon Paint
Colour Codes: White (5048), Black (9103)

How do ya'll find the workmanship?

Painters in Action:

Air-Con Trunking in the Bathroom painted Black.
I like how it looks now! :D Sometimes I even forget that its even there. :D

Close-Up look at the Paint Texture:

Something I forgot to post last week, Jason got his guys to cover up the Ugly Bomb Shelter Ventilation Opening at my Living Room. Most people who don't do this, would use a Clock or something to cover it up.

(Left image was before renovation started. Right image shows Covered up Bomb shelter Hole, and a little bit of my L-Box Ceiling)

Check out the comparison, it looks so much cleaner now right? :D

More views of the Completed Paintworks:

Area Behind the Refridgerator in the Kitchen painted Black

This week also saw the Delivery of all my Lightings, Kitchen and Bathroom Fittings that I've bought. Home First for my Lightings, and SaniQUO for my Kitchen and Bathroom fittings.

I specifically took leave to receive the items which were all delivered promptly without any mix ups. Kudos to both companies for a delivery job well done! :D

Tommy from SaniQUO even made a call to me after delivery was done just to make sure if everything was alright. Now that's what I call Good Customer Service! :D (Lets just hope all items are all working well when they're installed :D)

Left Pile are my Kitchen and Bathroom Fittings, Right Pile are my Lightings

Lightings from Home First
Lighting installation would start next week from what i'm told.
Anyway, Its a good idea wherever possible to label every single box on the type of lightings, so it will be easier for your ID to know which light to put where. (Protip: Remember to bring a Marker + Masking Tape to help you do this)


Kitchen and Bathroom Fittings from SaniQUO
Oven, Storage Heaters and everything else I've listed in a previous post.
This is what $3000 looks like. :D


Showing off my GROHE bathroom items lol. Made in Germany seh~! :D
(I'm REALLY interested to know if this Brand is really as good as what people say.) :D

So yea, thats all for the 5th week. I'll see you all soon!:yeah:

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Shopping for Furnitures and Electrical Appliances

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Blog Entry Date: 11th October 2017 Wednesday
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4th week after Key Collection. Tiling completed, Important Milestone reached.
A Prepping Week for the next Milestone

With Tiling completed, an important milestone has concluded and now 4th Week begins.
From what I understand from Jason, the action plan for this week is:

1) Early week, Electrical guys come up to settle any power points that are still outstanding.
2) Clearing of Rubbish and Removal of Bulky Trash to be done midweek on Wednesday and Thursday
3) Jason setting up appointment with his Carpenter for discussion on next Carpentry Milestone
4) Painters to come at end of the week Next Monday to start Painting Works after all Rubbish has been removed.
5) Meeting Jason on Saturday to go buy my Kitchen/Bathroom Stuffs, Appointment with Carpenter for Carpentry Discussions

As you can see, there isn't much action for 4th week, its more like a Prepping Week to Prepare
for the Next Major Milestone which is Painting / Carpentry / Lightings.


Below are the pictures I've just captured of most of the rubbish cleared, and a better picture of
how the finished tiling works looks like. What do ya'll think of the workmanship?
(Warning: Massive amount of Pictures ahead) :D


Pictures of the Bathroom taken from outside:

Bathroom Floor (Notice the difference in height? Left side closer to entrance is Dry Area, right side shower area is Wet Area.
There will be a glass panel put in later to divide the 2 areas.


Close up of the Bathroom Floor

Bathroom Ceiling Corner

Another Bathroom Ceiling Corner

Side of the Bathroom Wall showing the Aircon Trunking


I have shown this before, but here it is again.
This is the side of Kitchen Wall thats facing the Main Door.


Overall look of tiling and kerbs completed in Kitchen.

Kerb at the Washing Machine and Kitchen Sink side
(Left side is Washing Machine, Right side is Kitchen Sink)


Close up look of the Kitchen Sink Kerb

Close Up look of the Washing Machine Kerb

View of the Kerb on the other side of the Kitchen where my Oven, Induction Stovetop, Refridgerator are located

Close up look of the Refridgeratror Kerb

Close up look at the Induction Stovetop, Oven side Kerb

Another overall look at the completed tiling work in the Kitchen
(This time also including the Laundry Rack)


Living Room
Different Views of my Living Room Ceiling L-Box Cove Lighting


Do you remember previously in the Living Room after both Sliding Door and False wall
were removed, there was a massive big gaping hole that looks like this?

Well, this hole has also been patched up very nicely using the spare tiles given by HDB as shown below.
Other than a bit of touchup on the Wooden Skirting, you will never know there used to be a big hole there. :D

So many pictures of the completed work. How do you find the workmanship?
Anyway this concludes my report for the 4th week. :)
I am very happy that an important milestone has been completed mostly without hitches and on schedule.

Thanks for visiting, I'll see you in the next Blog Entry! :yeah:

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My Mid-Renovation Review of my Interior Designer

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Blog Entry Date: 4th October 2017 Wednesday
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3rd week after Key Collection. Electrical Wiring in Progress, Ceiling L-Box and Aircon Trunking Box-Up done. Tiling starts for the Bathroom and Kitchen.

Hello Everyone! :)
Its the middle of the 3rd week and here are my progress.

This week is all about electrical wiring, false ceiling and tiling.
Yes i know its a little early to post seeing how its not the end of the week yet, but theres alot that happened! :D

Earlier in the week, Sky (The Electrician) sent his men over for the wiring of my place. Removal of plug sockets to prep for tiling overlay, rewiring of electrical points etc as shown in the below series of images.

(I thought is looked quite cute Electrical Guy wear Crocs when working :D, but its important to wear shoes because that can help "Ground" you so you don't get electric shock I think. Sorry, electrical knowledge all throw back to teacher liao. :P)


Next came the tilers and ceiling folks.
As you can see in the below series of pictures, my false ceiling in bedroom and L-Box Cove Lighting false ceiling are being set up. They add a sort of metal skeleton before adding the ceiling.

(Sorry for the blurry pictures. I will try to retake some better ones.)

Remember the Box-Up Im doing to hide my Aircon Trunking in my Living Room area?
That is also pretty much done. A huge improvement i must say. :D

Below series of photos show the Tilers in action.
Overlay of Tiles are done in my Bathroom and Kitchen.

(Box up for the Bathroom to hide Aircon Trunking has been scrapped, so tiler go ahead and lay something called W1 which is a kind of ceramic glue over to prep for Overlay of Tiles)

In addition, cement has also been added at the Kitchen as base to prep for Kitchen Cabinets which will come later.


Last but not least, i'd like to give a
Special Mention to Rufus58's ID friend!! :D

Instead of $650 that I have to pay for the DBBox doors, I was quoted a
less heart attack inducing price. Thanks very much Rufus58!! :)

Progress looks to be quite smooth so far. I can't wait to see how my tiles are going to look like when completed! :D

Thanks for visiting, and I'll see you in my next entry!

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The Hunt for a Modular Pole Wardrobe system and something to keep the Main Door from closing

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Blog Entry Date: 30th September 2017 Saturday
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2nd week after Key Collection. BSC Defect Repair done. Hacking away False Wall
and Bathroom Door, Electrical Wiring and a BIG BILL SHOCK

2nd week after key collection and here's my progress updates:

BSC Defect Rectification is finally completed! :D
BSC Office gave me a call told me everything was done,
and what I did was went down onsite with Jason did a final inspection before I signed off,
thus completing BSC's defect rectification and officially the start of my renovation!

Earlier in the week, Jason brought in his Ceiling/Tilers guys to prep and start measuring the amount of my false ceiling required, L-Box Cove Lighting.

Materials shipped over to prep for tiling.

So much Tiles standby ready for Tiling Next Week.


At this point, I meet my first bill shock of "Extra Things" that are charged but not covered in my renovation quotation. (This is probably first of many to come).

According to the Ceiling guys, they recommend doing a "Box-Up" to cover up the Aircon Trunking
I have in the Living Room, Bedroom and Bathroom and say it will look much nicer.

A "Box-Up" in this case, is a false partition panel that is used to cover up and hide all traces of the aircon trunking and it is either painted over (in the case of my bedroom/living room) or overlay and tiled over (in the case of my bathroom) And to do this "Box-Up" is going to cost roughly $610 $375 extra. Ouch.

After mmoh's advice, aircon pipe will spoil and if it does, this boxup will need to be removed.
This will be especially horrendous for my bathroom boxup if removed since i overlay tiles there.
I can imagine if removed, and if i can't find the exact tiles i used to overlay the bathroom, there's gonna be a big ugly empty cement patch there!!

I'll still be doing boxup for the living room trunking though, because even if the boxup is removed, is still not so bad since I don't overlay any tiles there, and any imperfections can just be painted over.

Thanks mmoh!!
You might have just saved me a giant headache in the future! :D

Here are some mockups of how the "Box-Up" is going to look like.
The area highlighted in Blue is the "Box-Up"

$610 $375 is alot to pay IMO. But ... I also feel covering up of Aircon trunking is important to
contribute to a clean look that i am achieving...In the end, Heart wins the Mind, so thats $610 $375 go bye bye.

Heart wins, but Mind also win. Box up will be done in the Living Room but not at Bathroom. :D
I will be painting the aircon trunking at my bathroom black colour. Sure it may look abit off,
but in the long run i will save myself a bigger headache.


Bathroom door hacked away to prep for Bathroom overlay tiling (It will be replaced with PD Door)

Remember that my Sliding Door was Removed? Now my False Wall is also gone. What a relief!
Finally that area is completely bare. Here's a comparison image of what's being done.
Looks much cleaner now right? :D


Close up look at the much needed freed up space now that Sliding Door and False Wall are removed.


Next up, during this 2nd week, the Electrician (Sky) also came onsite to do site survey.

This is a VERY IMPORTANT person, because he will be the one who can decide where I can lay my electrical cables, position of power switches, position of power plugs and also position of lights. Basically anything electrical will need to go thru him.

Looking at Sky and Jason go to room by room and babble all sorts of technical and electrical jargon just made me lost lol.

I'm just there to give inputs on where I would like switches or power points to be located, and he would give his advice whether practical or not. It was certainly a very interesting experience to see how they worked together.


Electrical symbol doodling to mark out areas for concealed wiring trunking

Apparently because Im doing extensive tile overlay of both my Kitchen and Bathroom, quite a lot of power points need to be shifted and moved.

Not only that, I opted for concealment instead of trunking, which means, instead of a typical ugly trunking running all over the place, my cables where possible will be hidden in a trench that is dug into the wall. The end result looks completely invisible and nice. (Not exactly HDB approved, but yea.)

Cost of Electrical Wiring total comes up to $3000. Ouch.
Unlike the earlier Box-Up which is optional, this cost for electrical is die die must pay. If don't pay, means no electricity lol!


And so....we come to the next "Need to Pay Extra" bill. uh-oh.:o

Oh dear...its only 2nd week after my key collection, and below are the extra amounts
I have to pay on top of my renovation  quotation of $25k. Ouch ouch ouch.

Electrical and Wirings: $3000 (This one can't be helped is must pay one.)

Box-Up Concealment of Aircon Trunking: $610 $375 (This one is I backside itchy wanna pay to look nicer)

Change of DB-Box Cabinet Swing Open Door to Sliding Door: $750 $650 (after negotiating)
(Still feel like kena chop carrot for this one, I blame myself for not doing research properly. :angry:)

Total so far comes up to: $4360 $4025 extra I need to top up! :wacko:

$750 $650 just for removal of DBBox Door and installation of Sliding Door. *faints*

So yea....that was a basic summary of how Week 2 went by.
Really Painful...need to pay so much extra money extra...ouch. :(

Phew!! Such a long entry... Anyway, thanks for visiting, and I'll see you in my next entry! :yeah:

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3rd week after Key Collection. Electrical Wiring in Progress, Ceiling L-Box and Aircon Trunking Box-Up done. Tiling starts for the Bathroom and Kitchen.

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Blog Entry Date: 23rd September 2017 Saturday
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1 week after Key Collection. BSC Defect Rectification in progress, Laying of Aircon Piping

So here we are, 1 week after key collection and here's my progress updates:

1) BSC Defect Rectification is still going on, but much progress is made.
Chipped paintwork is repainted, drainage are unclogged, but most importantly,
the stainless steel bracket connected to my movable laundry rack is finally removed!

(Left picture is taken WITH the Stainless Steel bracket, Right picture is taken WITHOUT the Stainless Steel bracket. Just take a look at what a big difference it makes. At the very least, my laundry rack no longer feels too low now.



I understand that once BSC has completed the list of defects to rectify,
they will contact either ID or Me to go down with them for final inspections if more rectification works are needed.


While BSC is hard at work doing defect rectification, Jason and his Team weren't slacking too.
He activated his Air-Con guys to start prepping and laying piping and copper cables for my Air-Con installation.

Even better, they even went the extra mile to remove the AWFUL sliding door that BSC
was supposed to remove in the first place. Such a relief to see that TERRIBLE thing finally go!! :D

Daikin Team was also here, because the Air-Con i have chosen is the Daikin Smile Series System 2.
Yes. THAT TV commercial with that cute (or annoying) jingle lol! :D

Jason's Aircon Team in Action.


And heres the Aircon Piping done, and routed to outside the apartment where the Aircon Inverter will be sitting at:

Good Riddance to that AWFUL Sliding Door! I won't miss you! :D
Look at all that space freed up! Yes that small partition wall between the bedroom
and living room will also soon be hacked away, for even more space.


This False Wall will also be removed later.

So yea, thats the basic summary of work done and progress 1 week after Key Collection.
Everything seems to be moving smoothly. Once BSC has completed defect rectification, actual renovation will finally start.

Once again, thanks for reading, and I hope to see you in my next blog entry pretty soon! :wub:

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2nd week after Key Collection. BSC Defect Repair done. Hacking away False Wall and Bathroom Door, Electrical Wiring and a BIG BILL SHOCK.

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Blog Entry Date: 16th September 2017 Saturday (My Longest Post so far :D)
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Key Collection Day!! Defect Checks and Buying all my Lightings!

:lol::yeah:It's KEY COLLECTION DAY!! :D:wub:

What a Day it has been!! Phew!!
Woke up bright and early to greet a morning rainshower!
Its not a bad sign, water according to Chinese beliefs means FORTUNE and MONEY!! LOL!!

Anyway, as usual made my way to HDB Hub at Toa Payoh and here are the general things I did there:

1) Take queue number from the Electronic Kiosk.
(The stupid machine actually only start operate at 8.00am, and silly me was there at 7.30am!! LOL!!)

2) When your queue number is called out, proceed to the designated office (same as when you first select your unit)

3) PLENTY OF PAPERWORK omg. Literally mountains of em. Even for me when I don't need to take loan, there were still TONS of forms to sign. This part can take up to at least half hour.
(Take note, those who take HDB loan will need to buy Compulsory Basic Fire Insurance from Etiqa. I don't need to take loan, but I also buy lah just to play safe lol. Protip: Buy the insurance online before collection day.

4) Halfway through, you will be asked to go 3rd Floor to pay Conservancy Bill thru NETS. About $25++ dollars.

5) Next, proceed to SP Power to activate your Water and Electricity.
(Some people don't do this because can save abit on the bill. For me is just heck care lah just pay lah, one shot settle all.) This part I read was a very long queue for some couples. But lucky me, since my appointment was so early, I was literally the only one there, and service was fast and prompt.

6) Go back to your original admin office and......the moment I've been waiting for so long!!

So yea, your keys are given to you in this pouch bag in addition to a few more informational pamphlets. (Other blogs mention getting a free copy of Home & Decor magazine, but I didn't get any. HDB probably cutting cost lol)

And thats pretty much it!! My Key Collection is done at HDB!!


And now we come to the main event....
The inside of my humble little 35sqm home. (Sorry if the images are a little shaky)
I might retake the pictures again.

The Entryway:
Yes, you can see the little cute pineapple and oranges from here. :D


The Kitchen:
Not gonna lie, Kitchen area feels small.
It is gonna be a challenge whether it is gonna match up to the 3D Designs.
The included laundry rack feels too low because there are a couple of
stainless steel brackets (circled in RED) that made it even lower. Not sure if they can be removed.

(Addendum: After checking with BSC office, apparently only highest floor laundry racks get this extra metal bracket, because the roof is higher. If thats the case, I guess there should be no safety issues if i remove them. Although that means the laundry rack will be a tad higher height when its lowered.)


Living Room:
Honestly, this feels larger than I initially thought. A solid 65" LED TV should have no trouble in here. Can say i'm happy with my living room.

(Addendum: While a 65" TV can fit, 55" is a better choice as the border around the TV will look nicer. as shown in the 2nd picture where i put the masking tape to illustrate what I mean. Smaller rectangle is 55", Bigger Rectangle is 65")



Bedroom feels ok, but a tad bit small. No issues with laying a Queen Size bed from my 3D Design. BUT that sliding door definitely has got to go. The stupid thing is hard to pull,
sometimes even get stuck. And there's a bad rust smell. Ugh. :angry:




And here are some pictures of Jason doing defect checking.
All I did was to just stand around while he combs the place. Process took about an hour or so.
He's really meticulous. (Even brought along a mirror to check on the top of things)
That said, even if ID will do Defect Check, I would still recommend to recheck yourself
again too to spot anything else that he might have missed.

Actually, other than a few cosmetic things, there weren't much serious defects like
misaligned wall which some of my neighbours in my Facebook Group encountered. (Thank God)
Well, the bedroom sliding door is a defect, but I'm gonna remove it anyway so it doesn't matter. :P

Checking the Windows.


Taking a Mirror to check on top of door to make sure there isn't any defect.
(Protip: If you are doing Defect Check yourself, bring a mirror + and a very tall friend) :D

The bolt in the door was a little stuck, but thats because due to some pieces of debris
that was stuck in it. Removed em and it worked fine.


So after defect checking was done, we filled in the form provided by HDB
and went to my estate's BSC (Building Service Centre) to submit.

Someone from BSC will than come up to your unit to do further inspections.
From here, it will take about 1 week or so for BSC to finish up fixing all the defects you've listed.

After defect checking was completed, I brought Jason to a nearby Lighting Shop which
is actually a stone throw away from my estate. All my lightings are bought from here, and the designs are what I like.

I feel the prices are quite reasonable. The total cost of my Lightings is $1323.80
I was even given a discount of $73.80 which makes the final total cost of ALL my lightings to $1250 Not really sure if this is the best price in town, but its a price i'm comfortable with. (LOL my own laptop already costs more than this) :P

If anyone is interested, this is the company:

Home First (S) Pte Ltd
21 Woodlands Close #05-07 PRIMZ BizHub
Singapore 737854
Tel: 67107994

Interior View of the place.



Here's Jason and Mr Tay from Home First discussing dimensions of my LED Strips

And thats it for this Blog Entry. More information will be posted as I go along.

(Due to lack of anymore space, subsequent postings here, will be catered for actual renovations. I'm aiming for maybe 1 week 1 post to see the progress.

Posts concerning purchase of appliances, furnitures, etc will be posted as new posts.

Not to worry, when everything is completed, I will do a "Table of Contents" with one-click links that will be easier to navigate instead of reading thru tens of pages for information you are interested in.

Well, my first real step towards creating my dream home has begun! :D

:yeah:Thanks for coming, I'll see you in the next Blog Entry! :yeah:

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Close Up Views of Kitchen Laundry Rack, Bedroom Sliding Door and Living Room DB Box.

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Blog Entry Date: 15th September 2017 Friday
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Pre-Key Collection Day!! What to prepare for Key Collection

Phew...it has been about 2 months since my last blog update.
And as of this post, it is actually less than 16 hours more till I finally get my keys from HDB!!

How time seems to fly by!
For 3 years I have been waiting patiently, and now, the day I am waiting for is just right around the corner! Honestly it kindda feels very surreal right now for me. :D

But enough of my ramblings.
Since today is the eve of my key collection, I thought i'd post the items that I've prepared, (both Ceremonial, and for Defect Checking)


So as you can see from the pictures, here are some of the things I've prepared.
I'll do a list and also indicate the reason why I bring them. I hope this will help anyone
who is also going to get their keys soon.

Items For Ceremonial Purposes Only:
As you know lah, we Chinese do everything also want to be lucky and of course 1st day Door Opening is no exception lol. I'm not a particularly pantang (superstitious) person, and the items I list here, isn't the full list of traditional items to bring. But if you're like me, not particularly pantang but still abit pantang, here are what you might wanna bring. LOL!! :D

1) Pineapple
In Hokkien, a Pineapple is pronounced as "Ong Lai" which roughly translates as "Luck Arrives"
So the procedure is supposed to be after door opening, roll the pineapple into the house, and at the same time, shout some auspicious phrases.

Phrases that you normally say during Chinese New Year won't go wrong, such as:
"平平安安“ (Safety Safety)
”出路平安“ (Safety to whoever enters or leaves the house)
”开开心心“ (Joyous and Happy)
”大吉大利“ (Great Fortune)
”天天发财“ (Everyday HUAT AH!!) :D

2) 5 Oranges
Honestly I have no idea what it is for, as I was recommended by Jason to bring some.
I suppose the idea is for prosperity also I guess? Anyone knows?
The idea is after rolling the pineapple, to arrange the pineapple and oranges together where it stopped rolling. (I think)

3) Sea Salt
Salt is supposed to be something that helps wards off evil and bad luck and is practiced by
several cultures, and it is supposedly better to use Sea Salt rather than Common Table Salt.

So guess what, I went the extra mile and bought Korean Sea Salt supposedly extracted from
Jeollanam-do, a UNESCO site in Korea. http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5484/
Abit crazy i know, but at only about $2.50 per packet sold in Sheng Siong, i figured why not right? LOL!! :P You are supposed to go to every corner of the apartment and sprinkle some salt to ward off bad luck.

4) Addendum: I can't believe I forgot to add this lol.
While throwing the Sea Salt, I also said this phrase in the 4 Main Languages of Singapore.
Hey, Singapore is a multi-cultural society right? :D
Don't worry about pronounciation, its the thought that counts lah. :D

"Hello, I'm the new owner of this apartment. If there are anyone still around, please kindly leave this place thanks."


"Jika ada orang masih ada di rumah saya, tolong blah/berambus dari rumah saya. Terima kasih."

"Vanekkem. Angu yaaravathu irenthal, thayeve seithe angirunthe sellungel. Nandri."

So Ya. What i've listed is only just a rough guide.
Feel free to add on anymore auspicious items or procedures you will need for your own door opening.

Items For Practical Purposes:

Ok now that we've got the ceremonial items covered, we come to the more practical items that is useful for Defect Checking:

1) Bottle of Water
You will need to pour some water at your bathroom floor and wait to see if the water will drain away properly. This is to ensure that HDB has done the water level correctly for you when you do defect checks.

2) Measuring Tape
Well of course its useful to bring this along for any measuring required.

3) Masking Tape and Marker Pen
Used for both marking the defects and also to do mockups of the dimensions of
cabinets, tables, structures etc for you to visualize easier how they are gonna feel.

4) Mobile Phone Power Charger (Optional: Power Bank if Electricity is not available.)
Used to test if the Power Points in the apartment are working well.

I guess thats all so far, and if you haven't yet realized, i'm REALLY REALLY EXCITED to finally get my keys! :wub::wub::wub: 

Tomorrow, i'll post more. My ID Jason, will also be there doing Defect Checking with me.
:yeah:See you all soon tomorrow!! :yeah:

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Key Collection Day!! Defect Checks and Buying all my Lightings!

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Blog Entry Date: 12th July 2017 Wednesday
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Revised 3D Drawings from ID (Living Room Included this time)

Gonna be a short update this time.

Attached are the final 3D Drawing drafts of my apartment. (Including Living Room this time)
I have no issues with all of them, and as for Living Room, while it feels cosy, but I feel the tatami mat
and feature wall is gonna be very troublesome to clean especially if accidentally spill any drinks.

What do ya'll think?

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Pre-Key Collection Day!! What to prepare for Key Collection.

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Blog Entry Date: 3rd July 2017 Monday
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Voicing out my Concerns to ID, Schedule Check and some photos of selected Laminates and Quartztop

Just came back from a meeting with Jason to voice out my concerns.
He's apologetic about the issue with Aida and I'm fine with it seeing how he did produce some nice 3D Drawings. Moving on, today's meeting is more of a schedule check and to tie up on what is to happen in the days to come.

Just in case I have not posted this information, here is the schedule payment:
1) Pay $500 for booking deposit and get 3D Drawings

2) After get key, they will do defect check for me to submit to HDB.
Pay 10%

3) After HDB / BCA does its repairs and rectification (normally about 1 week).
Pay 40% for renovation to start.

4) After masonry, tiles overlay, electrical, ceiling works, lighting installation, hacking, plumbing, painting, hacking completed.
Pay 40% to start on glass works and carpentry works.

5) After glass works, carpentry works are completed.
Pay final 10% after final defect check.
Oh yea, previously I didn't take the photos of the Laminates and Quartztop i'll be using, so here they are. :P These are the exact same items that you see in my 3D Drawing. Laminates are from Formica, Quartz is from Neutra.

I'm so sorry the pictures turned out so Orangey. Its due to the Warm White light they had in the studio. :P You can show these to your ID to see how they actually look like. I'm sure every ID would have a sample of these.


As for the 3D Drawings, today we talked about the little modifications and alterations to be made.
As im already satisfied with the overall look in the 3D drawing, theres nothing too drastic to amend,
just little alterations and mistakes to be corrected.

:yeah:So yea, thanks for visiting and I'll see you in my next post!:yeah:

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Revised 3D Drawings from ID (Living Room Included this time)

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Blog Entry Date: 27th June 2017 Tuesday
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First look at the 3D Drawings from my ID! (Living Room excluded)

Firstly, a very Selamat Hari Raya to my Muslim friends! <3

After my earlier distressed post, I guess is time to post something more cheerful. :P
Im glad to report that I finally got my 3D Drawings from Jason. This is a 1st draft and would have
more changes and corrections. So far he has responded promptly to my Whatsapp enquiries.

Still yet to arrange for a meetup to discuss and address my concerns so that'll come later.

Anyway, the tiles you see are exactly the ones I selected at Soon Bee Huat.
At least now can visualize how they look like.
Honestly I think I like how they turned out! :D
Hopefully final product looks the same.

What do ya'll think?





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Voicing out my Concerns to ID, Schedule Check and some photos of selected Laminates and Quartztop

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