Decided to attempt to keep some sort of log with regards to the house/reno...
Started hunting for a contractor proper sometime end May. By 2nd or 3rd wk of June, we got the quotations from 7 different contractors, plonked them on an excel sheet to study them, before making a decision. Here are the contractors we considered in order of quotations received...
1) Rustics Interior Design - Huijuan (recommended by an aunt)
2) IDS Interior Furnishing - Henry Lee (recommended by friend)
3) LWT Design Pte Ltd - Milli (online forums rec)
4) Impress 21 - Henry Goh (online forums rec)
5) Outlook - Samuel Wong (walk-in)
6) U-Home - June (walk-in, reviews online not too bad)
7) Renozone Interior Design House - Colin Phua (rec by friend, reviews online good)
8) Ah Mong (not even sure what the name of the company is) - rec by friend, emailed him but received no reply... so I didn't push for it.
After much consideration and revision to the design and quotations, we decided to go with Renozone. Reason? You can ask me privately if you really wanna know =)9 Apr (thu)
Decided to get Jerry the 50 litre LG bar fridge (GR-051SSF-CAN) from HN BP(2 yr warranty) which was on offer ($179). Wanted him to be as comfortable as possible living at the new, spartan place before reno started.7 May (thu)
Jerry saw that a Tempur mattress 17cm (Queen size deluxe) was on offer at HN Centrepoint and wanted to get it cos he thought it would be good for me since I generally find it hard to get good sleep =) 2 years warranty. Forgot how much.21 June (sun)
Finally decided on a Panasonic Viera Plasma TV (think its TH-42PZ85U) with HD function. The techie (no prize for guessing who...) was really 'on' about this purchase since it solved his dilemma of whether to settle for either plasma (with great non-shadowy images) or LCD HD (good for future HD channels). This one has both! Blew our budget quite a bit though... $1799 from Courts TP.23 June (tue)
First round of tile-selection for living room, kitchen and bathrooms. Both wall tiles and floor. Had some last minute idea about configuration of rooms and wanted to run it by Colin to see if it was feasible, practical and whether it would cost a lot more. As such, could not sign with him as planned. He was very nice about it though. Was a relief.24 June (wed)
We finally signed the contract with Renozone. After bouncing between Plan A and Plan B, we decided to stick with Plan A cos of the price. Can't afford Plan B.
I am also unsure about the colour of the tiles we chose yesterday because I can't seem to get a hold of what sort of theme or style I really want. Inspiration not there. And I can't find what i'm trying to grasp for in the magazines I flip through. They're just all.....the same. Contemporary modernistic. Sleek. Not quite what I'm envisioning. It's not quite coming to me and I feel very bad about making changes again. Colin probably hates me. Nevertheless he is very patient and even lends me 2 design magazines for reference.
I plough through it till late at night and come across a few things which might work, but am not entirely satisfied. I finally fall sleep, dreaming about reno and styles and tiles....25 June(thu)
I meet Jerry for dinner after a long day of meeting. We are both tired and grumpy. I feel frustrated that I can't get the elusive image of the style I want in my head. He is frustrated that I'm taking so long to decide and am appearing to be difficult.
He finally tells me to drop the idea of having a Picket and Rail table (I really really like that, but it's so ex, and I guess it doesn't make sense for me to center my designs around a dining table just cos I like it =P) and just think about what style I like and feel comfortable with. This gives me some perspective and I decide to relook the thing from scratch. This frustrates him a little more because it seems to him that 'relooking' means 'time taken equals even longer than before'. And I have a mini outburst because I'm so tired and frustrated and sleepy and petulant. It is not that I want to take a long time, I just can't get 'IT'.
And so, with much contrived patience, he starts asking me simple prodding questions to get some basic ideas of what I have in mind. And I start picturing and describing. And some images do come out... Soon we've walked around IMM and sneakily taken some photos of furniture which are in the style of the design we want. We've also collected some furniture catalogues for the pictures. These together with the word descriptions Jerry copied down while 'interviewing' me, he sent the very next day to Colin over email to give him an idea of what we have in mind. Bless him for his efficiency. Jerry, I mean.
We walk into Hoe Kee (bathroom/kitchen stuff) and begin looking at sinks, taps, hobs, hoods and ovens. After talking to Colin over the phone, we decide to run over to Balestier, to the shop he recommends for such stuff. After close to 2 hours in the shop, we have gotten everything we need (toilet bowls, sinks, taps, rain shower, jet sprays, bath shelving, towel racks, paper holders, bath mirror, hob and hood. We spend about $2700 and feel extremely poor. I am reluctant to get the kitchen sink from them because I've fallen in love with the one I saw in Hoe Kee that's on promo.
I get home real late and feeling sick.26 June (fri)
I wake up with a headache, blocked nose and a sorethroat. Paranoid people at school tell me it's better that I don't go to school for meeting. I readily oblige and sleep the morning and afternoon away. Need to catch up on all the sleep I've been missing because of late nights doing research online and magazine flipping.
The GSS is coming to an end soon so Jerry and I are getting a little antsy about not having completed our shopping during the 'golden period'. We are also anxious that some of the things we've been eyeing (but holding off buying) have become 'display sets only'. I think we've been in and out of Courts, HN and Audiohouse for fridges a grand total of at least 10 times before we finally made a purchase on this day.
We finally decided to go ahead and get an LG 2-door top mount since it comes with 10% off. The rest we wanted have become 'display sets only' and the rest are above budget in spite of being on offer. We get the GR-M392YLQ Platinum silver (with option to change to white if it matches reno better) which is $845 with free delivery. 2 yr warranty. I think. From HN JP.
27 June (Sat)
I've slept most of fri and half of sat away because I came down with a flu yesterday and was anxious to recover quickly.
We meet Colin again for the 2nd round of tile-selection because wishy-washy me changed my mind about some tiles. This was quickly done because it was easier with Colin having a better idea of the style we want. Definitely different from the usual. May look 'auntie' though. Hmm. Seriously hope not.
We are determined to finish up as much as the appliance-shopping within these few days to ride on the GSS as well as cos hols are ending for me and I won't have time to do much more of this. I don't think I've slept much more during the hols compared to sch time. Burned much midnight oil doing research online. I even have an excel sheet on various washing machines and their functions. Think I'm quite the guru on washing machines, ovens, contractors etc now...
At this point of time, we are considering getting either the LG direct drive washer 8kg, the LG direct drive 8/4kg washer dryer, or Indesit 7kg. It is a tough choice because Indesit is quite a fair bit cheaper with a $150 voucher which can pay for an Indesit oven and help cut cost. However, it is also notorious for really bad after-sales service with quite a number of people. Doesn't give me a sense of security if you know what I mean. We need the money though. Am going to research on amount of water used per kg I think.
Ovens, we are considering Indesit (for price reasons) and Uno/Techno. Haven't heard much about these brands in the area of ovens. Haven't done enough research to know about brands of built-in ovens and which are good. So far names like Tefal, Rowenta and Baby Belling have come up, but they fall in the category of stand-alone ovens. I do know about self-cleaning ovens,
pyro vs catalytic, single heating, double heating, turnspits and about turbo fans though =)