Sunday, May 26, 2013

Site Survey with Contractor and Defect spotting

Met up with M at 1030, and he would be the first contractor to be on-site for the survey. Took a look around and made some points, dissuaded him from getting false ceiling, suggested just the L-box instead. However, that would look funny if only the "living area" was covered, but dining area was exposed. M further suggested exploring wall lamps or spot lights. Still unsure of how he should accommodate a ceiling fan and lights without the L-box. Mom and Dad keep on bruising him by going on and on that his place was smaller than theirs by 40%. zzz.

Let's get to the pictures, starting off with the lift lobby.

His main gate.


 Misaligned lock sockets. Boo.

 View of the main door from the living room.

 Peek of the kitchen. 

 The living room, cramped.

 Aisle to the rooms


 Spotted a hole at the foot of the master bedroom's door frame.

Tarnished door bracket at master bedroom.

 Master bathroom, probably need a shower screen to prevent the whole area from getting wet, but probably too squeezy for that. To build a shower kerb and to use shower curtains instead?

 Hole in grouting of the mosaic tiles. Some tiles look tarnished too.


 Uneven tile at the bottom corner.

Some sludge/matter in the master bathroom sink. The other bathroom looked clear.

After that, went to U-Home to check out kitchen sinks and taps, and hobs and hoods. Met Winnie, a bubbly person who enthusiastically introduced things to him. Noted down HOBZ for hob/hood combo, a 600mm long, 240mm deep Monic sink, and 707 instant water heaters. Winnie shared that the 707 has better components, like copper tank instead of plastic/fibreglass tanks for the cheaper and slimmer models.

Experiences on Key Collection Day

Reached HDB Hub at about 10.50am (23 May) and bought fire insurance from Etiqa counter at Level 3.

Went back to Level 1 to get a queue number (A6192), and got attended by Shila, a pleasant lady, at Counter 145. He was issued a document bag, and a key pouch that contained his keys. The costliest bags he had ever bought.

Paid the utilities bill at Level 3.

Enquired at SP Services on Level 2 about activating the account for testing the gradient of the bathroom floor, the flush system, and the taps. Was advised to activate it only when ready to start renovation, and that there exists complimentary water supply for such tests.

Had preserved vegetable and duck soup at the food court. Got braised pork rice for her.

Bought pineapples (ong lai - to symbolize riches) and 发糕 (some Chinese cake to symbolize prosperity) from NTUC and took NS line to Bishan, then CC line to Serangoon, and finally NE line to Punggol.

Took a 10 minute walk to the site. On the way, saw that the vicinity had eateries, supermarket, and other shops. Had to go a roundabout route as other blocks were still hoarded up.

Finally outside his own apartment, and with much excitement, he unlocked the gate. Knocked on the door before unlocking it, and rolled his pineapple in to signify riches rolling into the house.. She held hers by the leaves and threw, weird way of "rolling".

Found some issues
- improperly done grouting at bathroom wall, gaping hole spotted
- Lock sprocket for main gate misaligned
- Gluey / wet liquid on the rubber lining of household shelter

Went to Level 1 of the block and enquired with (Housing Service Centre?) HSC on the water supply, and the lady was quite rude. She said that there would not be any water supply if utilities was not activated, and there was no such thing as the test supply. Conveyed his displeasure about such information lapses between the public sector entities, which she just conveniently ignored. Such attitude.

Not-so-good-experience aside, he felt that the place had good views. It was also windy, probably due to it being unblocked. The noise level in the house was loud though, perhaps because the rooms were still empty and allowed echoes.

View of the LRT track.

View of the expressway, with part of the Level 5/6 sky garden in the foreground.

Also, there were many renovation contractors waiting in ambush for the new apartment owners. One of them even managed to come up to his apartment, and it was due to spotting opened windows from who knows where. How sharp.

Saw some of the projects and got a better idea of how things would look like. The kitchen, the built-in wardrobes, the tempered-glass shower screen, the tiling, etc. Every contractor managed to come up with a quotation for him on the spot, and from there he got better sensing of the prices.

One of the contractors (K) he had been in touched with was charging about $2000 more than the competition for tiling, at the same material price range. When he sent a text to the contractor, she couldn't explain. Probably dropping this one. Also, she showed him a similar layout for his kitchen.

The entrance to the kitchn is at the top right hand side of the picture. It would be really difficult to get into the kitchen. Not much thought being put into the design, felt that way.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

23 May 2013 - The day he allowed his coffers to be emptied

He's going to collect the key to his very first apartment. Excited. Max.

Met up with a few renovation companies, but hadn't decided on whom yet.

What color scheme?

Green wall in place of feature wall in the living room?

Blue wall in the bedroom for a more tranquil feeling?

Which air-con brand?

Air-con units for just the bedrooms or the to include the living room?

KDK or FANCO ceiling fan?

Tempered glass shower screen or not?

Wood feel/finish for carpentry?