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Hello all!

Been stalking this place for a couple of years and it is finally our turn to start a t-Blog for our first home! We are currently in the sixth week of our renovation already, will try to recap and share as much as possible. Opps, we digressed for a few weeks because the to-do list is never-ending..... and we, or maybe myself, are/is very very very fickle.  

Renovation is full of life-changing decisions which will be cemented onto or nailed into the house, quite scary since these decisions might stay with us for the rest of our lives (if we don;t move)! Also, the need to balance between quality, aesthetics, practicality and price is very very very challenging. We can be pondering over the same issue for weeks, visit many many different (or the same) shops and look at many many different brands/designs for each item before we can finally make a decision. Our contractor is constantly chasing us to tell him our choice of colors, chasing us to buy the items and etc, but I guess we are pretty lucky that it is not the other way round hahaha!  :lol:

 

Contents (will update when there are new posts)

  1. Our story + About the flat + "Before" photos 
  2. Our Theme + Moodboard
  3. <future posts>
  4. <future posts>
  5. ...

 

Edited by Fishpokpok
update contents
 

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Our story (you can skip this portion if you are into reno only)

We have been saving up diligently for our first home since we started work a couple of years back. However, we did not have any luck with BTO/SBF exercises in the popular areas and we viewed around 20 resale flats in our 2.5-year search. I am the picky one, my HTB said that my requirements sounded like a million-dollar home, hence the long search I guess. Last November (2017), we randomly stumbled across this unit that fits all my requirements at around three quarters of a million (!!!); we liked the unit but was fickle about it due to the price as it was severely out of our budget. While being fickle, we got outbidded by $15k and regretted for 3 weeks, but.... a miracle happened, the buyer that outbidded us was unable to secure a loan (what are the odds right?), we topped up our budget to match the last offered price and it became ours! Think it was meant to be ours all along? :sport-smiley-018:

We did not engage an agent, DIY paperwork was tiring and confusing at times, but no regrets, we saved on the commission! We took a bank loan and was assigned to an incompetent law firm that screwed up our paperwork badly and made wrong deductions from our CPF accounts. It is a law firm located near HDB Hub, if you happened to be assigned to one nearby, you may PM me the name to check if it is the same. No homeowner deserve to get their money matters messed up so badly after paying thousands for the conveyancing fee.

After 4 months, we finally collected our keys back in February 2018 and became officially in a happy debt! :) 

 

About the flat

This flat is approximately 10 years old, type 4A HDB with 91 sqm floor area. It is at a central location, prefer not to disclose the exact place for privacy. :ph34r: 

The layout is somewhat similar to BTOs but not exactly the same, same same but different! Here is the floorplan: 

IMG-20180430-WA0022.jpg

What we like about the layout: 

  • squarish/rectangle rooms
  • combined dining and living room area
  • full length windows in living room and MBR, L-shaped windows in MBR
  • toilets that can contain a full width shower area (no need for the square kind of shower screen)

What we dislike about the layout:

  • no service yard + awkward window position in the kitchen
  • awkward position of aircon ledge in the middle of the living room
  • we will have to walk through the living room to get to the bedrooms
  • extremely small MBR

 

"Before" photos

Some pre-renovation photos for record and comparison purposes, taken from the HDB valuation report. Very original and messy la, can't wait to transform it our way! 

b4.PNG

Edited by Fishpokpok
 

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Our Theme

We took a long time deciding on our theme and prata-ing around. Initially, during the earlier house-hunting phases, we were in love with scandinavian and pastel themes, followed by hotel theme, modern theme, minimalist theme, bachelor pad look, etc..... 

Final verdict is that we prefer it to look sleek and luxurious, preferably something like those modern hotel with grey themes. Basically, it is a combination of the last 4 themes mentioned above, and we call this "modern minimalist".  Not sure if we 'labelled' it right, but aiya we like can already. :)

 

Moodboard

Colors that we are looking at: Grey, White, Black, Cream 

pt2018_07_03_10_02_30.jpg

I have countless of screenshots in my phone from the past 3 years, will filter and add them to this moodboard collection again. 

 

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Contractor search

Visited around 5 or 6 IDs/Contractors in the past 6 months and finally narrowed down to 2 back in May. Reviewed the quotes with them again, had more in-depth discussions and we finally decided on one. We will share the contacts of the shortlisted Contractors at the end of our reno journey.

Some of our criteria:

  • Price
  • Recommendation from family/friends/colleagues
  • HDB registration
  • Completeness of quote
  • Our gut feeling lol


 Scope and layout

  • Dismantling of the existing fixtures
  • Redo walls and flooring of the kitchen and 2 toilets --> overlay of wall tiles and hacking of floor tiles
  • Redo/refresh the flooring for whole house --> overlay vinyl flooring
  • Cabinets for kitchen
  • Shoe racks, cupboards, TV console + feature in living room
  • Wardrobe --> walk-in wardrobe in BR3 (because not enough space for casement wardrobe in MBR)
  • Filling up the recess areas in bedrooms
  • Electrical and plumbing works
  • Painting
  • Replacement of all doors, some windows, etc

Here is a rough layout:

design+-+Copy.jpg

Week 0

We only signed with our contractor a few days before our auspicious start date, due to disgression and our contractor having scheduled other appointments on earlier dates. We were worried that HDB approval cannot be obtained in time but according to our Contractor, HDB gives immediate online approval for the works that we are doing, phew!

First thing to do is tiles selection, because tiling works will start after hacking is done. We decided to select our vinyl flooring as well since the flooring need to match in one way or another, and the floor area covered by vinyl is the largest in the whole house. Vinyl is from our Contractor, and tiles are a mix from Hafary and Lian Seng Hin, we made 15274925 trips to look at tiles although they let us bring samples home. Size and lighting does matter a lot, we can't visualise with small pieces of samples or photos. We were indecisive and ended up with 2 different styles for our toilets, so 2 different sets of tiles!

Vinyl flooring:

(the one on the right)

20180704_192854.jpg

Kitchen: 

IMG-20180704-WA0018.jpg

Foyer:

20180704_173622.jpg

Common toilet:

20180704_173546.jpg

MBR toilet:

20180704_173433.jpg

We also purchased our aircon because we read that aircon works will be done at quite an early stage of the reno. We got Mitsubishi Starmex system 4 which is recommended by my parents and HTB's colleagues, yay no need to do that much research. We purchased from Gain City bedok outlet, both the chinese uncles there are patient and nice and no hardselling at all. :good:

 

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Hi FishPokPok,

I think you should switch guest room and walk-in-wardrobe room around. Then hack the wall between the master bedroom and the WIW room. In this way you will have a very spacious and luxurious master bedroom with a WIW and ensuite bathroom. Otherwise, the space in the hallway is wasted!

Edited by KFC1189
 

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On 7/7/2018 at 12:02 PM, KFC1189 said:

Hi FishPokPok,

I think you should switch guest room and walk-in-wardrobe room around. Then hack the wall between the master bedroom and the WIW room. In this way you will have a very spacious and luxurious master bedroom with a WIW and ensuite bathroom. Otherwise, the space in the hallway is wasted!

Hi @KFC1189, thanks for dropping by our blog! :) 

We wanted to do what you have suggested initially, but our FSM advised that BR2 is more suitable than BR3 if we were to have kids in the future, so BR2 has been reserved and we try not to do any built-ins for now. This was a major headache for us, we didn't want our wardrobe to be so far from our bedroom, but no choice!

 

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