Friday, January 21, 2022

The Abode: Before and After

It’s been slightly more than a year since I updated my blog about the house. I ended off in October 2020 saying I will update the before and after but i have been procrastinating for the longest time. Just like any other house, the longer you stay in it, the more things you are gonna have and it has come to one point whereby i realised i have to dedicate a couple of days just to shift things around just to get a clean nice interior shots of the house. Damn! I should have done it at the very beginning when the house was clean and neat (not that it is now not clean but still. There is so much more things in the house now, lol) 

I have always wanted to keep a set of nice tasteful interior shots like those we frequently see on FB nowadays and maybe one day the photos will come in handy when I decide to sell this place away. Over the half year I have been staying here, I got REALLY comfortable. I don’t really go out (then again better not with this Covid pandemic ongoing), I offered to host dinners and gatherings at my place so I don't have to head out. The only downside is that I have to clear up after each session. My favourite thing to do is nua-ing on my couch and catching up on shows in front of my 55” TV with a pint of B&J in hand. I stopped spending money on unnecessary stuff like branded bags and shoes, instead I buy things for the house, furniture, necessities and groceries. (and i gave up trying to keep track of my expenses, lol) 

#Adulting really kicks in when you have your own place. When I get the electricity/ water bills and see that it’s more than usual, I'll start thinking like why - Is it the aircon, is the tap leaking, is it because I always leave the heater on etc. You’ll be asking yourself questions like, how frequently should you do your laundry, should you get a part time maid to clean the house, is it time to buy more shampoo and the list of questions goes on and on. Meals are another problem, especially for someone like me who doesn’t cook and even if i cook, it’s not quantifiable to cook for one. Increase in monthly expenses is another thing. The water bill, the electricity bill, the monthly maintenance fee for the condo, property tax, the internet, groceries, not forgetting the occasional aircon cleaning and part time cleaner etc. With all that said, I'm happy, and that’s the most important thing. I can go on talking about my experience over the past 6 months forever but that’s not the point of this post. So without further ado, it’s time to see the final product of my humble abode. Drum rolls please.

 ----------------------  BALCONY  ----------------------

The Balcony (before)

Firstly, I've got to say the balcony is HUGE. The pros is that it’s spacious which is why i use it as my dining space (since the interior can’t afford to have one), the sliding doors are sound-proof, (probably due to the proximity of the highway just beside the condo) and the balcony has these shutter grill which blocks out the sun and maintain privacy since the blocks are pretty near. The only con is that despite those grills, the rain still comes in and wet part of the balcony, why they never think of that. Oh wells.

One side is where my plants are and the other is the dining table and benches which are flushed to one corner so that they don’t get wet during heavy rain. It’s ideally for 4 pax but for bigger groups, I usually will shift the table to the middle and add chairs on both ends (tried up to 8 pax before!) There is also a power switch at the side, ideal for a steamboat. The balcony is actually one of my fav part of the house! 

The Balcony. (after)

Overview of the balcony! There’s also a small ceiling fan installed so the balcony is really conducive for breakfast and dinner gatherings. You also get the view of the pool and the huge ficus trees right beside. Very resort feel. Oh! I also painted one side of the wall dark grey to match the overall theme of the house.

 ----------------------  BEDROOM  ----------------------

Before and After.

The bedroom was pretty spacious and it has this wooden "parquet" flooring (which my parents adore cos apparently the "best grade") but little did they know i intended to vinyl the whole house over, lol. Floor to ceiling windows which gives you the same view as the balcony. Revamped the room by giving the room a grey tone paint job. Took up the suggestion to paint the main wall different tones of grey to "elongate" the room, installed a black ceiling fan (ceiling fans are the best), "lego" lights, got a queen size "floating" bed and side tables from Castlery, installed black venetian blinds to complete the overall look of the room.
Before and After.

The room originally came with a frosted glass door (super eww, like a work meeting room) and a fully functional wardrobe which looks pretty decent. Transparent door and even has a built in lighting system but... i chose to demolish it to make space for a simple work station plus i already had the intention to use the additional room as a walk in wardrobe. Bought an iMac but didn't arrive in time so i refunded it,  got a  a monitor, a good keyboard and connected my Macbook to it instead. Saved quite a bit with this setup :)
Some visuals of the room. Aseop showcase thanks to housewarming gifts. hahaha

 ----------------------  KITCHEN  ----------------------
The original kitchen was fully functional with ample storage space but the colour did not suit the theme of the house so i did some research and consulted a few companies. some suggested to re-fabricate and replacing the doors to the colour i want, some suggested re-doing the entire kitchen (super costly) but at the end i found a company that does "vinyl wrapping" and they took 2 whole days to "wrap" every part of kitchen to this black wood colour which i absolutely love and it matches the overall theme of the house. A job well done.
Some visuals of the kitchen. So glad that the interior is of a wood colour.

 ----------------------  BATHROOM  ----------------------
The before.
The After.

Not sure if you spotted the difference but i re-tiled the wall which was originally brown but i wanted it to be grey so i chose this stone textured tile for the wall. Originally i wanted to revamp the whole toilet but it was pretty costly to redo so i gave up the idea and made minor changes. The original colour of the basin area was the same colour as the kitchen but the company quoted me like another $300-ish to change it to the black wood so i said no, and got a similar vinyl wrap from Lazada at like 10 bucks and DIY myself, lol.
My bathroom is not connected to my bedroom like most condos because i have this pet peeve of not wanting my guest to go through my bedroom in order to use the bathroom. The configuration would either to have 2 point of entry (meaning one from the living and one from bedroom) or have the bathroom separated from the bathroom, which is what i got in the end. Thank you to all those friends for getting tonnes of Aseop products as house warming gifts to make my place insta-worthy and 'showroom' quality. hahaha

 ----------------------  WALK-IN WARDROBE  ----------------------
When i was house hunting, i knew i had to get a 1+1 unit because a 1 bedder would be too small (and i always imagined having a walk in wardrobe to house all my clothes, bags and shoes, lol) so i was pleasantly surprised to find this unit with a decent spaced +1. The room already has an air con, and could honestly be used as a children room with properly planning.  I know of some neighbours who use the room as a dining space and some chose to seal their +1 entrance and created an opening to connect their bedroom and "walk in wardrobe" which sounded nice but i feel that it will difficult to sell it as 1+1 in the future... 

Anyway i wanted an open concept walk in wardrobe so i did some research and found a company which does modular pole system wardrobe and when i visited their showroom, i was immediately drawn to their most premium system which was in black metal and wood colour. Spent some time deciding on the components of the system based on my needs and budget. The wardrobe system is no doubt the most expensive installation of the entire house. My ID suggested the vinyl flooring to be place in the herringbone pattern so it looks and feels different compared to the living and bedroom. Got a full length mirror (in wood and black again) from Castlery and a couple of poufs from FortyTwo for guests to sit on when they visit.
I love the open concept look and i get to display some of my fancy shoes and bags :D

 ----------------------  LIVING ROOM  ----------------------

Last but not least, the main area of the house. I'm not sure if i mentioned this in the earlier part of the post (this post was drafted throughout 6 months, lol) but i kinda knew the theme i was going for when i bought the house and i knew exactly how i want to design it. (anyway if you haven't figure by now, i was going for the industrial theme) So let me go through each part of the living room now:
The living room initially came with this inbuilt feature TV wall (left) that i would say, practical because it was quite well designed with areas for display and the unique and smart thing about it is that the TV could be rotated to cater for both the bedroom and living room. The door to the bedroom was this frosted door which i felt was too office/ toilet-like so i knew immediately i would have to get rid of it. 

When my parents first visited the pre-reno house, they were lamenting and nagging on why i would want to remove the feature wall or dismantle a fully functional wardrobe and even vinyl/ tile over the expensive looking marble flooring. I had a hard time trying to convey my ideas to them and i gave up explaining, lol.

I demolished the TV feature wall and build a new wall to divide the living room and bedroom. With that new wall, i hung a 55" inch TV and got an industrial looking TV console to fit the whole theme. (I actually bought a 43" TV initially but when it was delivered, i felt that it was too small and decided to sell it immediately and got a bigger one. So glad i did cos i now spend a lot of time in front of the TV. Phew)  
Removed the obiang looking chandelier fixture (which my parents brought it home and immediately installed it in the dining room, lol) and installed a matt black ceiling fan. Ceiling fans are so underrated tho, i mean it save space and provides such a good flow of wind in the area. The designs for ceiling fans nowadays are so modern and would definitely fit into most themes.

Anyway, for the other side of the wall, i wanted to do this concrete panel thing (exactly the same design as what you see in the right photo) but it was so costly to install it. Each panel cost $400 and i would need 15 panels, meaning it would cost me $6000. In the end i did some research and went for the wallpaper option for just a few hundred bucks. Same outlook at a faction of the price, objective accomplished. *flicks hair*
I wanted my place to have the cement screed effect and my ID managed to source for these unique huge pieces of concrete vinyl which i'm absolutely satisfied with. Vinyl tiles are usually long rectangular pieces of which the joint lines would be pretty obvious, but with these huge square pieces, there are lesser joint lines and made the concrete flooring looks realistic in both real life and in photos. 

As for the walls, i had it cement screed for the entire place. The thing about cement screed is that you never know what the final effect will be like until it dries and over time, it will have little cracks here and there (which i honestly don't mind since it adds 'flavour' to the place) The cement screed was additional cost on top of the painting of the unit. On second thoughts, i should have considered textured paint instead since it's probably cheaper and better lasting. There was supposed to be a sealant to coat it the walls but the ID and i discussed and decided not to do it in order to maintain a matte and smooth finish on the wall.
Very curated furnitures and pieces to fit the whole theme. Only brown, black and grey for consistency.

As for the doors to the 2 rooms (walk-in wardrobe and bedroom), i chose to install these tall black tinted glass doors instead of going for the conventional door. Lesser privacy but doesn't matter since i'm staying alone but i like that it turns almost transparent when i turn on the lights and reveal the insides. In fact, there were a few times i banged into them and had to stuff my head into the pillows cos it was so painful.
As for lighting wise, i opted for track lights with exposed conduit pipes, which was apt for the theme. Also got a standing lamp from Castlery, which i knew immediately i had to get it even before renovation commence. My furnitures were mostly from Castlery or IKEA, with a few pieces from HipVan and FortyTwo. There is this set from IKEA (Fjällbo) which i bought almost every single piece in the collection as it look very industrial and affordable. I've got to say online shopping really changed the way we shop.
1000% matte black bear brick as house warming gift and monstera plant i got from the nursery downstairs.

Oh! I just want to add that the house is smart home integrated and i learned so much through research and realised with the right devices and apps, it's actually quite easy to setup and you probably only need to setup once at the very beginning (unless you add new items) So my lights, air cons, fans, robot vacuum, air purifier etc are all connected to my google home which i can control via voice or through the home app.

With that said, i'm finally done with this blog post which was delayed for a really long time but i'm so glad i completed it and i managed to journey down the process of owning my very first abode.

Signing off,                             

Friday, July 17, 2020

The next Milestone.

[Updated 29 Oct 2020, 4:00 pm] Note: This is going to be an ongoing blog post for probably the next 3 months so do refer the timestamp to know if there is any update.

Blogging might or might not be a thing of the past since everyone is now mostly on Instagram or Tiktok but a blog will never lose its purpose. I started out this blog in 2008 to record down moments of my life, my travels, my thoughts and my milestones, and here's to the next one.

For the longest time, I've always wanted a place of my own. Over the last few years, i have been browsing casually on Property Guru but it was not that serious until last year after i came back from Sydney. Going back to the same small (yet comfy) apartment every single night and lazing on the couch while watching Netflix with pizza was one of the simplest yet satisfying thing to do (especially during winter!) At the end of the trip, i told myself, "Maybe it's time."

I started the whole process of understanding the procedures of getting a place in Singapore. In particular a Condo because in order to get a HDB, i need to be either 1. Married or 2. Age 35 and above, which i am neither. After a couple of meetups with  a few friends to learn more about the process, i decided to do up a blog post which i published last December - "Owning a (resale) condo before 35." I was honestly quite happy to get feedback and comments that the post was easy to understand and it helped to spur certain readers/ friends to consider getting a place of their own as well. So that was in December 2019.

In between the months i also got my friend-agent to set up some viewings here and there to get an idea of how certain places/ unit layout look like in real life but it was mostly meh.

Then the whole Covid thing came. Then Circuit Breaker, and now Phase 2.

I continued to look for a place that was within my criteria such as budget, location, layout etc. It was honestly not easy because we all know the better the location, the more expensive it will be (and more expensive doesn't mean you get a bigger space.) There were a lot of things to consider. At the same time, throughout the months i also setup a folder on my iPhone named "House ideas" where i saved photos/ inspiration of how i want my future house to look like, and the kind of furniture i want, the overall feel and theme of the place etc.
Couple of weeks back, i saw a listing of a unit which looks pretty decent and it was located in the development which i really like. The location was not bad, walking distance to a couple of train stations, it's about 5 to 6 stops away from my current workplace, i really liked the environment and vibe of the whole estate, the price stated seem decent (and negotiable) so i arranged for a viewing and brought along a couple of good friends with me so they can help to assess and turned out they even helped to ask questions which were pretty important when getting a place! (like the sun direction, lol) So glad i brought them along.

What i really love about the viewing was that the unit was clean and vacant. So when i entered the unit, i was able to visualize what i could do with the apartment (remember the 'house ideas' folder?) The owner explained the place well and i sort of could foresee myself living in this space, after the revamp of course.

I needed some time to consider and went to talk to a couple of my close friends and Oh! I also had to talk to my parents and they were slightly taken aback by the decision. They started asking weird questions like, "Are you unhappy here?", "Are we giving you any stress?", "This house we are staying in is gonna be yours eventually" I was like LOL i cannot deal with this but in the end i approached them separately to tell them it's like an investment plus it is my goal to own a place before i turned 30, then assure them it will take some time to transit and i'm not going to stay at my new place 24/7 immediately blah blah blah. Phew.

The last step was to setup a meeting with my financial advisor (FA) to talk about reallocation of funds, and way forward. That session was honestly not easy because despite my whole comprehensive excel sheet (which i tediously prepared the night before), there were still some resistance because of the whole Covid-economy downturn situation but towards the second hour, he seem somewhat convinced (or maybe not, i hope he is not reading this. lol) and we concluded that if this is what i want, let's go ahead and start the whole process.

Day 1:

Texted the seller with my seller with my offer (a couple of thousands off what he was asking for as i had my own considerations) By the same evening, the offer was accepted and we kick-started the process by putting down the "deposit", also known as "Option Fee" which is 1% of the sale.

Day 3:
Met up with a mortgage broker (recommended by my good friend) He seemed really sincere and explained the different type of loans clearly so i decided to go ahead with him and at the same time, engaged the lawyer that recommended who will help to process everything till the completion of sale in October.
Seller came over to my place that night to pass me the first official document and said, 
"Congrats on your new place" Shit just got real, it's official.

So now i have the next 2 weeks to settle what needs to be settled. Mainly getting the bank loan approved. Getting my FA to reallocate my funds, prepare a cheque for the next 4% (also known as exercise fee). I'll also have to pay the Buyer Stamp Duty (BSD) which is basically a 5 digit tax amount to the government. 


Day 10:

One week into the exercise period and today i was informed that my bank loan was approved! Made an appointment go down to the law firm this Saturday to "exercise the option" and i have to bring a couple of things such as my IC, the original copy of OTP document and a cheque book. This is the part when you start forking out the 5 figure sums and there are 2 options to pay it. Obviously it's not as easy as paying via PayNow or Paylah! where you can just use the app and transfer on the spot. The 2 methods are via cheque or this thing which i just learnt called the "Cashier Order"

I don't think most of us have a cheque book lying around so it's either you request one from the bank. OCBC charges a $10 fee and delivery of the cheque book via 5-7 workings days. I honestly don't see why commoners like most of us need a cheque book but still, good to have i guess.

As for the other option, you can go to the bank and request for a cashier order. What the bank does is basically prepare a cheque on your behalf (and it will cost $5 per check) The amount stated on the check will be immediately deducted from your bank account and will be held by the bank. The only 2 ways that the money will be released will be either 1. The recipient stated on the cheque cashes the cheque out or 2. You yourself bring the cheque back to the bank and have it returned to your account (admin fee of $5 applies. IKR, wth. Own $$ still need to pay a fee...成何体统!) So i requested for 2 cheque. 1 for the 4% exercise fee and 1 for the BSD.
( I google imaged the above photo)

Recently I've been spending a lot of time looking at renovation ideas and was deciding between having to engage my own contractors or hire an Interior designer (ID) instead. Both have their pros and cons and i would think that sourcing for my own contractors will be a much cheaper option but it also means that i have to handle all the coordination and make sure they do a proper job, which honestly can be quite tedious and taxing if i have a few reno works running back to back plus hello, i have a full time job. LOL

Just sourcing for one simple glass door over the past few days i want to die already. (Anyway a glass door is really expensive omg. Like $600+???) I haven't venture into finding a contractor to tear down a certain feature and building a wall. *facepalm* So now i'm actually having second thoughts about doing everything myself.

On a side note, i'll be getting my keys on 08/08! Huat date! *insert pineapple emoji*

Day 15:

Going back to the law firm (again) tomorrow to submit the final documents. Last update i mentioned about the cashier order and guess what? The name reflected on one of the cheque was wrong *facepalm* Not my fault, the lawyer firm's GM didn't indicate the full recipient so i had to go back to the bank and spend $5 to cancel the cashier order and another $5 to make a new one. TMD, waste my $10. (The lawyer fee cost me $2288 fyi.)

Over the past few days, i have been talking to a few IDs and contractors. Gosh, it's so tiring trying to explain my requirements over and over again. Most of the time i'm just telling them what i want (instead of letting them design, kinda defeat the purpose of getting an ID but still) and getting them to quote me for the works. So what i did after the first few was to give the rest a set of photos with all my doodles and comments, and i told them if they are unsure about any of the images, just call me. Rather than i explain one by one.

When the first quotation came (surprisingly costing only half of my budget), i was like can i just go ahead with this. The items are definitely marked up, like i wanted this feature paint wall which the ID quoted $950 but i got a quote at half the price by a contractor. So obviously i will remove these smaller items from all the quotations and engage the external contractors instead. But still, i will patiently wait for more quotations (like every other home owner) and compare them, check their reviews/ portfolio before deciding on one.

At the same time i'm also starting to look at furniture. Been browsing online stores like Hipvan, Fortytwo and taking screenshots of items which i'm considering the new place once the reno is done up. I think over the next few weeks i will just visit some physical showrooms as well to take a look at furniture.

08 Aug 2020:

I lost count of the no. of the days but i know today is 8th of august which is 08/08 and it seem like a pretty auspicious day and it's also officially the first day i took over my new house! Went over after lunch to film a couple of short "things to do when moving into a new place" videos which includes:
1. Rolling of pineapple into the house. LOL

and some other "rituals" like carrying auspicious items into the house (in my case, fruits), opening of all windows and doors to allow the air to flow through and also turning on all water taps and electrical appliances. I spent some time just sitting there staring at the place and it just felt so surreal. It's like, i did it. I really did own a place of my own at the age of 30. I still have to go over to take measurements and take some "before" photos so that i can do a comparison after renovation is done.
Went over to a couple of places such as DAISO, IKEA and Giant to get some cleaning supplies as well as temporary furniture such as table and chairs so that at least there is decent place to have meals and stuff for the time being. The cleaning part was crazy (there is still a lot of things to clean...) Gosh, now i know why people hate doing household chores. I'll probably be heading over to the place over the next few days to continue cleaning and take measurements so i can start sourcing for furniture during the renovation period!

Met a couple of IDs and got quite a number of quotations over the past few days so i'm taking this long weekend to decide on which ID to go with. There are quotations that were (surprisingly way) below my budget and there are those exorbitant ones so i really have to scrutinize through each line item, read reviews and then finally engage one company to do up my place. Hopefully renovation can start in 2 to 3 weeks time!

12 Aug 2020:

After looking through 5 quotations from 5 different ID firms, i finally decided on one. Not the cheapest among the 5 but i chose them due to the rapport i had with the ID (and also the firm came up with a few designs which went viral on FB) Went through a few rounds of refining the quotation and met the designer to sign the contract as well to pay the deposit. Phew, the last few weeks has been crazy. Note: I still have a full time job. LOL
Now that i paid the deposit, the ID will then move on to the next phase which will be to do up the 3D design of my space so i get a better idea of how the after-reno will look like. Only when i'm satisfied then they will commence with the renovation. They will also provide a tentative timeline on what kind of works they will commence at the different phases. On top of all these, i still have get a permit from my condo to do renovation.

25 Aug 2020:

Projected date to start renovation is actually on the 1st of Sep which is exactly one week from today and... i foresee there is gonna be a delay. The 3D is not out yet (and bound to have edits), then still have a site meeting with the electricians and we are still awaiting approval from the condo (the permit was just submitted today...)
(This is what i have been doing during my free time, lol)

In the meantime, i have been looking at furniture, which i have more or less confirm what i'm getting for the house. Taking measurements and making sure everything can fit nicely and according to the theme. Made some purchases along the way in advance because of certain promotions which i came across. For example, Haylee was having a flash sale of $50 OFF due to National Day so i bought it and delivered it to my current place. Can save $50 leh, why not right? Who knows when is the next time they gonna have a promo again. 

On top of that i also bought a floor lamp and mirror from Casterly, which was also running a promo at that time. I can only buy the smaller items though. The bulky items like bed frame and sofa have to wait until the house is ready, which is probably only in October. Along the way i also bought some basic items for the house like cups, utensils, a mop and some decorative items.

At the same time, i have also been liaising with external vendors to do up certain portion of the house as part of the interior design. Basically, it means that i found cheaper alternatives to certain items that the interior designer has quoted. For example, i was quoted by my ID say $800 to $1000 for a glass door which i intend to install for my walk-in wardrobe, but one of my friend recommended her friend who owns a glass business and is able to do it at $600. Of course I'll choose to go with the $600 one right. In the end I'm doing glass doors for my 2 rooms.

On top of that, i also engaged vendors to do up my walk-in wardrobe, wallpaper, kitchen and a few other stuff. The amount of coordination is crazy. But at least i have my ID to settle the main bulk of the work. Imagine i just so decided that i will not go with an ID and do everything on my own, i think i will just go crazy. LOL

14th Sep 2020:

The past 2.5 weeks has been crazy and guess what, renovation have yet to start since the last update * insert face palm* Like i mentioned earlier, the projected date to start was 1st Sep and i expected delay but i totally did not expect 2 full weeks of delay, LOL Partly it was also because the ID was doing up the 3D to give me an idea of how the after-reno should turn out and if i was unsatisfied or wish to change anything, we can discuss before reno officially starts. Just gonna share a couple of the 3D rendering here:
These are not completed yet but the general idea is somewhat there.

I was really excited when i saw the 3D rendering and i was like, "wow my house could possibly look like this" Of course the furniture is plucked from the ID's software catalogue but i think myself and ID are quite aligned in terms of what kind of furniture would fit the overall theme so i'm not so worried. The placement and stuff is based off the hand-drawn layout you guys saw earlier in this post. Part of me also feel that i shouldn't place my expectation too high like the final place is gonna 100% turn out like the images so i'm giving it a bit of discount.

Met up with my ID to choose the flooring, tiles, wall colour over the past week and today we did a site visit with the electrician. The quotation came up to $1.6k and tbh i got a shock. I didn't expect the figure to be so high but apparently it's normal. All the small little items might not cost much on its own but when everything is put together, it became a huge sum (just like shopping at NTUC, lol) This $1.6k is all electrical work like shifting/ creating new power points, concealing of unsightly wires etc, installation of lighting etc. EXCLUDING the physical lighting/bulbs so over the next few days i have to go source for my own lightings.

Halfway during the site survey just now, my ID casually said, "tomorrow we are starting with the hacking" and i was like "TOMORROW???" I was like woah. So unprepared, like the day is finally here??? I then spent the rest of the day shifting everything into the store room. Armed with a drill, i removed the curtains, dismantled the rails, kept the existing TV and wiring, kept all the kitchen stuff blah blah blah. Ready for renovation.

Over the 9.9 sale, i also made a few thousand bucks worth of purchases (saving some $$ along the way cos i was religiously collecting vouchers, lol) I bought my bed frame, my sofa, my dining table, some appliances and arranged the delivery to be around the 3rd week of October when renovation should be more or less there. Had to arrange with my external vendors (door, wardrobe, wallpaper just to name a few) to set installation dates and i hope everything can be done by my birthday next month! *cross fingers*. Over the next couple of weeks, i will drop by my house every now and then to see the progress and also take some shots to update this post! :)

22nd Sep 2020:

Renovation has officially started, even though I still felt that the progress is slow but my ID has reaffirmed that we will completed everything by 10th October, which leaves me about a week for the external contractors to complete the final touch up for the house. The whole idea is to have the place done up (90%-ish) so I can spend my birthday this year assembling the remaining furniture to complete the space! (Might sound boring but I think I will enjoy my day at my new place, hehe) Prior to renovation, the workers laid all these protection sheets all over the house to prevent damage into areas like the door, the kitchen, the floors etc.
The whole TV console wall removed! It's a pity to some but it doesn't fit the overall theme that I want.
I also removed the full functional wardrobe! 

It's a little wasteful also but I have no use for the wardrobe anymore since I'm converting the study to a walk in wardrobe. Removing the wardrobe in the master bedroom will make space for shelves and also a study table. Suddenly without the wall and the wardrobe, i suddenly feel that the house is so much more spacious. But then again, the next step would be to rebuild a new wall because I still prefer to have a proper bedroom with walls.
Materials got delivered a couple of days back to reconstruct a brand new wall! 

They are also going to retile the toilet shower wall to this grey stone tiles which I picked at the showroom. It's currently this brown marble which I decided to replace so it fits the overall theme of the house. (Hmm, I realized I have yet to show the "before" in this post... I'll probably do it at the end where I will do a side by side comparison of the before and after) After this will be electrical works, then wet works (cement screed-ing the walls and painting) then we have the overlaying of vinyl for the entire house, installation of lights and fans, then the external contractors will start coming in to finish up the rest of the place. i.e. the wardrobe pole system, the glass door installations, the wallpaper installation and oh ya, the re-laminating of the kitchen cabinets!

On top of that, the furniture will also arrive one by one throughout the week. Omg, it does sounds like there's a lot more work to do and I only have 3 weeks left till my birthday. It's also almost time to make an appointment at the lawyer's to complete the final step of the house transaction.

6th October 2020:

We are now into October and here are some updates! Went to the law firm yesterday to submit the final (and biggest) cheque to seal the deal because it's finally the date of completion tomorrow! So by right if i didn't take over the place 2 months early, tomorrow will be the official day I would collect my keys at the law firm but the previous owner and I discussed and since they have already vacated the place, I don't mind taking over the place early so that I can start renovation first. So we got our lawyers to do up an indemnity form that I will cover the maintenance fee, the utilities and prevailing property tax.

Anyway, reno is scheduled to finish this Saturday, 10/10 - which means that there is literally 3 more working days before it's done. But the thing is... i just went to visit my place just now after work and it feels like it's 40% done? I honestly have no idea how the rest of the reno will be complete within the next 3 days. 

Before i go on, here are some photo updates:
In the earlier update, they hacked away the existing TV wall and now they reconstructed a brand new wall in its place but had to do a couple of amendments to it. Firstly it was too thin so had to add another layer so that it's thicker but they had to use partition (which means the wall will be hollow on the bedroom side) and I was concerned if the wall won't be strong enough in case I want to mount something on the wall in the future. So they re-did the wall by adding some plywood inside for support.
Phase 1 of the electrical works completed. 

I bought all my lightings from Shopee by the way. I will talk more about the lights when it's up. So anyway within the next 3 days, they have to tile the bathroom wall, creed and paint the entire unit, vinyl the whole place and install all the lightings and power points. So if everything goes well, Saturday will be the general washing before handing over the unit back to me. Then next week all the external vendors and furniture delivery will come in throughout the week. There is the wall paper installation, the glass door measurement, installation of ceiling fan and the re-lamination of kitchen cabinets.
The place is like a warzone now, LOL

08th October 2020:

The place is officially mine! What a milestone. 2 months just passed like that. I still remember rolling the pineapple on 08/08, the frequent visits to the law firm and that hectic period comparing IDs after IDs and getting quotes from everywhere, phew. I still remember just 2 weeks ago I was complaining about the slow progress for the renovation but now it seem to be going at a much quicker pace, it's like every day there are works and I see changes here and there. Just visited the place yesterday and the place looks kinda different now. The renovation is about 75% done and my ID promised that it would be done by the 10th (which is in 2 days time)  /excited.
The rooms were painted and I'm really pleased with the selection of colour. The greys were just nice and not over bearing. My ID proposed to do a half half for the bedroom and I was like sure and I'm so glad it turned out well.
They also did the cement screed in the entire living area. It does not look flattering in photos partly because the house is pretty dark (yet to install lighting) and apparently the cement is still fresh and has yet to dry and they have yet to "seal" it with a layer of don't know what. I really hope the cement screed will turned out how I imagined it to be (I paid so much for it leh, lol) I could have just painted it normal and save some money.
I also had my bathroom wall tiled with grey stone to compliment the entire grey-industrial theme of my house. At first I did not do anything to the bathroom because it was pretty costly to change everything from wall to the floor and I was also told that if I were to change the overall look, there is a need to change all the fixtures (basin, shower, toilet bowl etc.) as well. So nah, in the end I just paid that $700 to change the brown wall to grey stone, good enough for now. I'll show the before and after next time then you guys see whether it's worth it.

Tomorrow they will complete the rest of the renovation which is to overlay the entire unit with the vinyl that I picked, plus they will install all the electrical and lightings. I'll probably go over and see the end result after work tomorrow and also to take some photos to update here. Saturday they will do some painting touch up here and there and early next week they will do a general post-reno cleaning and I will have all the external vendors to finish up the rest of the place.

10th October 2020:

I've got to say I'm quite surprised at how fast things moved during the last week of renovation. So today is supposed to be the day that all renovation should be done and my ID did deliver her promise! (even though there are still some rectification works to be done) but all in all, the major works are all completed. We decided that we should delay the general washing to the following week only after rectifications are completed. 

Regardless, I can now safely move on to the next phase which is for the external vendors to start coming in from next week onwards to finish up the rest of the house.
Vinyl flooring has been laid throughout the entire house. (The floor is still dirty in the photo, i will show the clean ones next time, lol) Black wood Herringbone design for the study/ walk-in wardrobe (I love it!) and light concrete design for the masterbed room. Out of the 3 different vinyl designs i chose, i was most satisfied with...
The living concrete vinyl! It's exactly how i imagined it to be!! It's not the typical kind of rectangle long vinyl which you will see the obvious joint lines but mine is some kind of huge square pieces put together. With the flooring done, i would see the obvious change in the entire house and i was so happy at the overall outlook :)
Electrician also came to complete the ceiling conduit pipe design and they kindly helped me change all my existing switch to black and installed my smart switches as well (the Legrand matt black switches were bought from Shopee) Now with the ceiling conduit pipe design up, i could totally get the whole industrial feel.
I totally love how the conduit pipe links down to the wall switch!

So there are certain switches in the house which i changed to smart switches so that when the wifi is up, i can configure to use google assistant for voice control. Speaking about WIFI, i was doing my research on the various broadband plans available and i finally decided on Starhub as they was running a promotion of $34.90/ month (for OCBC card members, usual $39.90/ month) which is the cheapest among all the plans, and i somehow feel that the "bigger" brands are the more reliable one. They will be coming down to install it next week! YAYYY
Earlier on i mentioned about some rectification works to be done before general cleaning and it's relevant to the BTO defect checks. So the above are some of the nitty gritty that i wasn't satisfied with. Cracks here and there, never plaster the wall properly, never paint certain parts of the wall etc. But my ID was very apologetic and immediately arranged for the contractors to rectify them so kudos to her!

Now that the reno works are done, the following week will be pretty busy and I'm looking forward to see house transform further! Next up, wall paper, walk in wardrobe, ceiling fan, kitchen and glass door installation! Oh! and not forgetting furniture delivery throughout the entire week as well! 

14th October:

Busy day. Vendors after vendors throughout the entire day but everything went very well. In fact, i don't know how but out of the 4 vendors, 3 called to ask if they can reschedule to earlier and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. When one left, another came almost immediately and by late afternoon, the last vendor which was the cleaning company that my ID engaged came to clean up the entire house. Everything was back to back.
The day started early in the morning when Everled came to install the 2 matt black ceiling fan which i bought from them. (the fans even came with free installation!) One for the living room and one for the bedroom. I was really pleased at the design and size that i chose! Everything was chop chop done within an hour. Thumbs up!
Shortly after the Everled guys left, the wallpaper guys from Wallhub arrived. I was really excited for the wallpaper to be up because i feel that it would complete the whole outlook of the house. Another reason is because i only communicated to the sales rep via text on what design i want and i did not really get to see the actual design in real life. (I've been to their showroom once prior but it was purely just browsing and enquiry)

So when they unroll the wallpaper, i heaved a sign of relief because it's exactly what i wanted! The colour tone, the size, the details. The installers were very professional and i was so amazed at how quickly and seamlessly they put up the wallpaper. When i posted an IG story on it, some people even thought the wall was real tiles, lol. By the way, the wall would have cost me a few thousand bucks if i were to do the real thing.
Just when the wallpaper guys were packing up, OPSH arrived. The funny thing is, they were scheduled to be the first thing in the morning but they later ask to come in the afternoon instead. Heng ah, if not the house would just be filled with everyone from different companies at the same time.

When i first bought the house, i knew the study would definitely be converted into a walk-in wardrobe (I honestly can't think of another use for the study room. I could have saved quite a bit of $$ and get a 1 bedder but nah, the place would be too small for my liking) I did my research on open concept walk-in wardrobe and narrowed down to OPSH which specializes in modular pole system wardrobe. I even made a trip to their showroom prior and was immediately drawn to their most premium setup. LOL

After much enquires and chat with the sales rep, Alvin , i made the deposit on the day itself (even before i engaged an ID at that point of time and i was offered a 5% GSS sale at that point, hahaha) Worked with Alvin to come up with a design that suited my requirements and the day finally arrived for them to install it! There's shelves to display my bags, display my shoes, racks to hang my clothes, a vanity area with mirror, a trouser rack and more, everything in walnut and matt black finish which fits the theme of the house. Words cannot describe how pleased i am with the final result and till today, everyone that came to my place was just awe by this setup. It's not exactly cheap, in fact it's the most expensive thing i paid for in the house but i definitely felt that it was worth it. I've been promoting it so much to my friends that i can work for them already, lol

14th October 2020:

Redo-ing a kitchen is not exactly cheap and there are a lot of works to be done so i did my research and came across a company that specializes in re-laminating existing kitchen carpentry. Prior to renovation, i got them to come down to my place to do a site quote and decided to engage them to change the outlook of my kitchen.

Initially it was this peach colour which obviously doesn't suit my industry themed house so i picked black wood to complement the rest of the house. Fast forward a couple of months later, it was time for installation!
So what they did was to remove every single cabinet door and wrapped it up with the vinyl wrap, and after which they went into the detail such as the frame. Basically any part of the kitchen that has the previous colour will be overlaid with the new black vinyl wrap. The whole installation took 1.5 days in total. The workmanship was very good and i was very pleased with the overall result.

After the kitchen was done, i felt that the overall outlook of the house was complete! There were only 3 main colour in the house. Wood, black and grey, exactly how i envision it to be from the very beginning.

29th October 2020:

It's been about 3 months since i started this blog post to update on the progress of the house! I've got to say the entire process is not easy and is an ongoing effort. As of today, the furniture are all up and the outstanding items are the venetian blinds which i ordered (and will take 2 weeks to be delivered), the 2 glass doors yet to be installed because the door handle i wanted is OOS, no rush since i don't exactly need doors for the room to begin with, and finally some drilling for curtains and shelves to be done throughout the house.

 With that said, here's the overall look after renovation:
(missing the balcony, lol)

I mentioned before that i would do a before and after comparison so what I'm going to do next would be to put the before and after photos side by side so you guys can see the difference. In the meantime, you can also checkout my IG stories highlight (if you haven't) to follow my house journey from the very beginning!

Till the next update!