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Darknezx

Eclipse themed clean home design

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I originally intended to start a reno blog here after reading the various forums for ideas and chatting with designers.

I created a personal blog outside this forum @ btonomics.com to share my experience and process for my renovation, from choosing between the ten plus IDs and contractors we visited, how we arrived at a preliminary design, key collection, how to buy from Taobao, how to bed a bed, etc.

So I thought it might be a good idea to contribute a little back to this community by transferring some of those thoughts over here as well. This place also allows me to answer questions and crowd source ideas as well.

Ours is a 4rm flat around 93sqm. 

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In total, we started searching for an ID or contractor online roughly in October 2017, before our estimated completion date, which was in 1st quarter 2018. Seems like a 2-3 month period before we collected our keys. Important because the booking of appointments is not easy, and some needed a couple of meetings before you sign anything.

We contacted about 15-20 IDs and contractors, some were good, many were bad, others were terrible, and there were especially a few whom we felt were just contractors masquerading as IDs and charging an insane premium. Too many of those around, especially lurking in this forum. A couple of contractors we found here were really disappointing.

But the most important thing is eventually we found someone we were comfortable with, had very competitive prices, and were creative. The firm is quite selective about who they take for projects because they believe in quality and not over stretching themselves. What we didn't want was another scandinavian or modern themed home, there're dime a dozen of those around. 

We wanted something that was easy to maintain, and look good in terms of having simple and clean lines. Colours wise we were not really picky, so we left it to the ID.

Perhaps I'll just leave it here as I progress with my renovation, and take questions along the way.

Edited by Darknezx
 

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Join 46,923 satisfied homeowners who used renotalk quotation service to find interior designers. Get an estimated quotation

As an initial review of my ID, he was a recommendation. They weren't really established online, so there was less info.

The meetup was easily organised. He introduced how his firm did their work. They tell stories on behalf of their clients. His portfolio was impressive and really appealed to us. We then did an extensive Q&A with him on everything we are as a couple, from our lifestyle habits to our hobbies, to when we first met. We then went through the types of designs we liked, and some types of designs we didn't like.

After that, we were told that he'd design something for us, to have a feel. I was initially quite skeptical, because I thought that no ID would want to risk doing designs for a client who may never commit further than an initial feeler meeting. He was really patient and answered my questions. He eventually came back with a design that really wowed us. It was what we wanted, and he remembered everything we mentioned in our discussions. The interesting thing was that he chose to show us his 3D design right at the second appointment. He was very open with his design, but he also risked having me copy his design and running off with a contractor to finish the job.

His quote was not the cheapest, but it's some way off the top, i.e. more middle-low range. In all, the best mix of pricing and design concept that I can ask for. And the most important thing is that we felt comfortable around him, as he is not pushy at all and willing to take in all ideas from us.

One thing that I observed though, he is not really a salesperson. His quotes are higher, but I only discovered subsequently that it's because his materials are often better than what you'd assume.

Edited by Darknezx
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3 hours ago, AndreaLee said:

wow going through 15- 20 IDS, that is a lot ! Normally ppl short down to 5 IDs and visit hahaha 

We visited only about 7 or 8! But we texted or called 15 plus. We wanted to make sure we did our homework and didn't get conned. Some were flat out lacking knowledge and didnt inspire confidence, so luckily we could eliminate and still get a good sample. But you're right it was super tiring! As a guide I think 3 to 5 seems about right. 

 

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I have been to your blog and really enjoyed reading your post on the "12 types of neighbours". It's so spot-on and funny! 

And I wished I had read your "How to choose basins and taps" post first before I got mine. 

 

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7 hours ago, opila said:

I have been to your blog and really enjoyed reading your post on the "12 types of neighbours". It's so spot-on and funny! 

And I wished I had read your "How to choose basins and taps" post first before I got mine. 

thanks! i thought the different chat groups are always filled with the same types of people :D

been quite busy so haven't had the chance to post the photos yet, will do so soon

 

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The wait for the BTO key collection was quite long but it eventually ended. This would be followed by rectification works by BSC. The process was to get our keys, do our defect checks, do the cement screeding, then do renovation works. HDB keys appear to be released in batches, in order of the completion of construction works.

Attached pictures of the initial home without anything done (no OCS). First thing that came to mind was that the flat was very bare! There's a huge recess in the main living room wall, but I've no idea who it's designed that way. The tiles on the toilet wall aren't too bad. The colour scheme for the toilets fit our theme as well. Overall, pretty alright start, and looks like any other BTO that's going to be renovated.

IMG-20180409-WA0004.jpg.51c2b4ca0de67c5af54a4413885adc28.jpg

IMG-20180409-WA0033.jpg.2d2c45bda1df147f28a744ae105293b4.jpgimg-20180409-wa00222117557838.jpg.6a77c15a2e2c39ff717c52cf95ae5904.jpgIMG-20180409-WA0019.jpg.d5613a3989fc4a6819aa45d51d2b1168.jpgIMG-20180409-WA0029.jpg.512023e7ca4cbb7e4526b366f69ce6bb.jpg

For anyone interested in the longer form, here's the link: https://btonomics.com/renovation/bto-key-collection-and-rectification-work/

Edited by Darknezx
readded the long form link
 

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if you look at your floor plan, the huge recess in the living room is actually due to the 2 columns and the beam running across the columns. so the concrete block wall which was built is aligned to take reference from the center line of the columns so that both you and your neighbor will end up having a similar unit size. else if the wall is built to be flush to the beam and columns, there will be a deeper recess on one size and both units will have different floor areas.

 

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3 hours ago, snoozee said:

if you look at your floor plan, the huge recess in the living room is actually due to the 2 columns and the beam running across the columns. so the concrete block wall which was built is aligned to take reference from the center line of the columns so that both you and your neighbor will end up having a similar unit size. else if the wall is built to be flush to the beam and columns, there will be a deeper recess on one size and both units will have different floor areas.

ah that explains! i'll add this to the blog and credit you haha. it's something i always was curious but never took the effort to find out why!

 

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  • After the rectification work, we arranged for HDB to do cement screeding for our BTO home. Our appeal for goodwill cement screeding was approved. IDs would advise you that it is generally cheaper to get the HDB contractor to do screeding.
  • If you're doing vinyl, do hacking then do screeding. 
  • We went to the Bukit Batok branch to submit our screeding application. HDB provides free screeding up till 40mm. You need to top up with cash if you require more. 
  • After the form was submitted, it took some time for a reply. The wait can be up to a month, for us it was around a week.
  • Job was well done!

(Original post)

 

IMG-20180321-WA0001-768x1024.jpg

Edited by Darknezx
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  • We chose Jex Aircon. It was easy to reach them and arrange an appointment.
  • The installation went well. If the aircon piping could end elsewhere it'd be better, but there was no choice. 
  • The best thing about getting an ID is they settle every detail for you.
  • The end result was good, better than what I'd achieved.

aaa.jpg.5419ddf8fb1d899037aaf2f277678c92.jpg

20180326_173811-1024x576.jpg.89054913268699a96ed87bf5f0f29b85.jpg20180326_173828.jpg.83b1e714b189e5b62110b68bfbe0a063.jpg

(Original post)

 

Edited by Darknezx
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