Renovation Journey : In The Beginning

We have confirmed the Interior Designer (ID) for our new place! At this moment, I don’t think it would be the right time to reveal the firm or the ID yet. We shall let our renovation experience do the talking.

A brief outline of events prior to signing up with him :

2nd April 2011

First meet-up with him. A pretty short session just to indicate the type of renovation we intend to do, and our budget. We deliberately gave him only the bare minimum requirements so as not to restrict his creativity.

12th April 2011

Received the first quotation and layout design via email. Seemed pretty alright to us, with competitive pricing. More importantly, we were receptive to his layout design. Meanwhile, we collected the keys to our BTO flat.

18th April 2011

Second meet-up to go through the quotation and proposed layout design. A long session as we had a lot of details to go through, but it pays to be careful when it comes to this! Changed some things here and there, and before we knew it, we were starting to be won over by his ideas

23rd April 2011

Show-flat visit! Another round of questions and answers.

26th April 2011

Final meet-up to tie up the details, and we confirmed him as our ID.


First Visits to our New Apartment!

Been almost ten days since we collected keys to our apartment at Punggol =)

Since we have collected our keys, we’ve been busy with quite a number of things. Felt kind of hectic running all over Singapore, but I guess it is all worth it to build our dream home.

Key Collection Day

On keys collection day, we went through the standard stuff – brought along a pineapple and rolled it into the house as we shouted – “HUAT AH!”. It ended up right in the middle of the living room!

  1. Sprinkled a salt/rice mixture on all corners of the flat.
  2. Sprinkled “holy water”.
  3. Planted some green bean sprouts.
  4. Rolled a couple of oranges into the flat as we left.

Our geomancy met us at our place to conduct the Feng Shui audit. Lucky for us, there wasn’t any major problems with our apartment. Overall, it was like pretty alright, and required just a simple Salt Water Cure to remedy it.

Defects Checking

We went back to our place on a weekend to perform a more thorough defects check. As we did not opt-in for the tiles and doors for our new HDB flat, it was relatively simpler when it came to checking for defects.

Just an idea of some of the stuff we did :

  1. Opened our letter box.
  2. Checked our gate and main door.
  3. Looked through the peep hole.
  4. Tested the water supply for taps/showers.
  5. Tested all power sockets with a simple LED light.
  6. Flipped all the light/power switches.
  7. Tried attaching the TV cable on all TV points.
  8. Knocked a few tiles here and there but didn’t seem to detect hollow tiles.
  9. Opened and closed all windows, and check for cracks.
    – found sliding windows that didn’t close smoothly.
    – flimsy lock found on sliding window.
  10. Opened and closed bomb-shelter door.
  11. Checked for toilet bowl leaks/cracks.
  12. Checked bathroom tiles.
  13. Checked bathroom basins and taps.

Some of the stuff we brought, for convenience :

  1. Bottled water.
  2. Tissue paper.
  3. Hand soap.
  4. Measuring tape.
  5. Foldable table and two chairs.
  6. Pen and paper.
  7. Wall-powered fluorescent light.

Things you need to bring :

  1. Padlock
    – give only the key to your padlock to the Building Service Centre when reporting defects
    – use the padlock, and keep the gate and main door unlocked
    – this prevents strangers from getting hold of the keys to your home

Defect Rectification

As luck would have it, we were in the house when the technician/worker came by, so I could supervise and check again after the work was done. The windows works in two rooms and living area were completed in about 15 minutes.

Consultation with Interior Designers

Found the time to meet up with another of our shortlisted ID.

We were not expecting much, but were pleasantly surprised by his proposed design and floor-plan, which showed creativity and originality in its simplicity.

In particular, we felt that he did not insist on his designs and took the time to listen and assess our suggestions. This was very important to us. After all, we are paying for his expertise in designing and coordinating our project. As customers, it is important our preference are taken into consideration.

Contrary to popular beliefs, he did not try to squeeze every cent out of us! To quote an example, he suggested we do away with one of our built-in cabinet and leave it as an option to purchase one according to our needs in future.

Having performed our due diligence in searching through forums – namely Renotalk – for reviews on this particular design firm and this interior designer, we requested a visit to a showflat. As a final safeguard, for whatever it is worth, I was able to take a quick look at the workmanship and ask a few more questions.

At this point in time, let’s just say there is a high chance we’d be engaging him as our ID. For now, I’ll be waiting patiently for his revised quotation.


Feng made a call to our previous Officer-in-Charge (OIC) to check our key collection status and he said our keys not with the first batch of key collection. So he left a note with the new OIC to try to get us an earlier date but no definite date was given.

So I got home and check the HDB application status…

Your appointment for collection of keys to your new flat is on 14 Apr 2011 at 10:10 AM.


Am so overwhelmingly excited!!!! Yay!