Home Renovation Completed

Published on October 16, 2014

It took 6 tiring weeks to renovate my BTO house @ Yishun Natura.

Tiring, but a very good experience!

Seeing the end product, it is all well deserved (:

This post will discuss the various aspects for my home renovation.

Interior Designer

Firstly, I must thank and would highly recommend my Interior Designer (ID), Vincent Tan from Summit Design (but moving to NID). Anyway, the person is more important than the company he represents.

If you looking for a good ID, you can contact Vincent Tan @ 90187023.

While I attempted to take on the designing task on my own, it’s best to leave it to a professional ID.

An ID is like a software project manager.

He takes the role of managing the whole project, and liaises with many different parties: ceiling work, carpentry, electrician, plumber, cleaner, etc.. It is a very important role.

Moreover, there are many different people involved, each a company of their own, therefore choosing and managing them is much more difficult.

Why is Vincent good?

Vincent is a young friendly dude whom is easily recognisable to be in the design industry. He is approachable, honest and helpful. When things go wrong, he find ways to rectify and make us happy.

His favourite line is “anything you want also can”.

3D Drawings

Turns out 3D drawings is very important as it matches pretty close to what will be constructed.

Living Room Cabinet

For example, one of the most difficult carpentry piece is the cabinet for living room.

It took 4 iterations, which in the end I provided my own layout. And they executed it well.

Projector TV

Mounting the projector turned out to be a nightmare.

The people who mounted it didn’t have the experience, yet they did it without my presence. But I also can’t complain since they are doing without charging a fee.

After they mounted, I requested it to be re-mounted because it was placed too near to the screen, and it was not aligned to the lens (they simply aligned to the unit).

Lesson learnt: be vigilant and give detailed instructions if they have no experience with the equipment

Projector TV is great. Especially for watching Chelsea winning games :)

Kitchen & Bar Counter

One of our favourite place is the bar counter.

That’s where I make coffee, and we eat breakfast.

The original kitchen wall was hacked to create the wet-dry kitchen, with the bar counter.

There are Always Hiccups

No matter how much planning you have, there is bound to be hiccups along the way.

I have encountered many.

One special mention goes to the granite top for the kitchen and counter bar. We ordered a Black Galaxy, which is black with sparkles. But when it came, it was Black Jet, which is pure black.

Since I wasn’t around that day, neither my ID, it was glued on erroneously.

When I told my ID on the error, he rectified the problem. He replaced the counter bar granite top since that can be removed easily. But we compromised for the kitchen because that is difficult to detach.

And in return, he beautify the bar counter wall with craftstones!

That vastly changed how our living room looks!

Buying Furnitures from Malaysia

Turned out, it is cheaper and with more choices in Malaysia.

We shopped many times in IMM, Furniture Mall and Star Living in Singapore, yet we could not find the high-back-fabric-sofa we want.

We took a drive into nearby JB, visited Jalan Molek area, and bought a Sofa from iBenz and a dining table from Rossini. Even with levy and GST, it is still cheaper.

Smart Home Lights and Switches

I bought BroadLink’s RM2 IR Blaster Controller and TC1 Light Switches from taobao.

With that, I can use an app to switch on/off all lights with a tap on my phone!

And I am able to control all infra-red controllable devices e.g. Apple TV, AV receiver, projector and fans! A first and small attempt on smart home.

The downlights and LED strips are also bought on taobao. Find a way to ship it, and you will be saving lots!

Bath Tub in HDB

That is possible if you don’t mind a smaller one.

My toilet is 1.55m wide, and I put in a simple 1.4m bathtub from Sim Siang Choon. Many of our toiletries were bought from there too.

The bathtub cost $300+ and the erection cost is $300.

Electrical Work

Electrical work is usually quoted separately.

It is hefty, and they charge for every single item.

I wasn’t satisfied with the company that I engaged.

This is because they didn’t do proper planning with me before they start work.

  1. They didn’t give me a plan on how my lights are wired to the respective switches. Ended up the design is so ill-designed that I have to draw out the plan, and asked them to rewire.

  2. They are like ‘novice’ and put my spot lights so far away from the wall.. It caused extra work since all the ceiling lights have to be re-positioned.

  3. They are impatient when doing their work. It is like the faster they finish, the faster they go home.

  4. They are unfriendly and would not help my ID to certain small requests.

Unfortunately, I have to criticise and not recommend this company: Soon Seng Electrical Work

I was charged a total of $2,400. Each lighting point with installation cost $50. eg. with 20 downlights, that already cost $1000.

A Big Shopping Year

Renovating a house cost a bomb!

I have spent over $50,000 for renovation, buying of furnitures, electronics, etc.. A list of my good buys:

  • (Toshiba) Aircon from All Best
  • (Samsung) Fridge from Mega Discount Store
  • Washing machine, hod & hood from Electrolux family sales
  • Dining table, sofa from Taman molek area in JB, Malaysia
  • (Sealy) Bed from Robinson
  • Kitchenwares from Robinson
  • Bedsheets & pillows from John Little
  • Drawers and long table from IKEA
  • Toiletries, sinks and faucets from Sim Siang Choon
  • Downlights and switches from taobao
    I have never shopped and paid so much in my life!

Some Addresses:

Furniture shops @ Taman Molek area (Rossini, iBenz, etc).
39, 41, 43 Jalan Molek 1/9, Taman Molek 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Lightings shops @ Near Jusco Tebrau City
Jalan Austin Perdana 3/10, Taman Austin Perdana, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Hock Seng Curtain
1026 Upper Serangoon Rd, 534764