Early March 2019 - "Suaku" Feeling
Getting the keys was perhaps the most exciting time for me and my family! We went up to our top-floor unit with eager-eyes and instantly fell in love with the unit and its great view! Being a condo, major features of the unit were pre-built such as the kitchen cabinets, toilet fixtures and flooring. Happy feelings for the next week or so!
Mid March 2019 - "Ermm" Feeling
Once the honeymoon period with the new place ended, it's time to check for DEFECTS! I spent 3-4 days looking for defects and had carefully typed out the defects on the form so that it's clearly legible. Not much... just 4 pages (single lines) long... Unfortunately, this was where my patience got really tested... being the middle batch of new home owners to get their keys, there was already a long list of people waiting to get their own defects fixed. So I had to literally wait for one month for them to see the developer hastily fixed the defects. 90% was satisfactorily done while the rest was really up to me to decide whether it's worth waiting chasing... I decided to sign off and will chase those defects not properly rectified over time...
Early May 2019 - Renovation, here we go again...
I've nothing against the renovation industry but it's the lack of transparency that constantly irked me unless you know how things work... Frankly, my ID company (i.e. Posh Living) did a good job within the stipulated time frame but the experience could be better... I won't go into much details but I'm giving myself a Step-by-Step list in case I need to do any reno in the future for my future reference:
1) Do your own research of the look and feel that you are going for.
2) Visit at least 2-3 Interior Design companies to get a sensing of their design, service and of course pricing.
3) For some reason, ID companies are less transparent when come to electrical works, lighting and flooring. I get it that they want to earn commission from their preferred suppliers but it would be nice to provide clients with rough estimates, options or even caution. I hate it that I have to pay another 30% on top of the reno contract after many weeks of discussion...
(Base Contract) Site supervision + 3D design + Carpentry + Painting + Cleaning + hacking works + Labour
- ($1k) Kitchen and Toilet Fixtures/Accessories + Labour (use ID supplier or get it yourself)
- ($3k) Electrical work (extra)
- ($2k) Lighting only + Labour (use ID supplier or get it yourself)
- ($3k) Flooring + Labour (use ID supplier or get it yourself)
Yes... so you can see how much more you have to top up from your base contract once the extras are added... Of course these do not include:
- ($4k) Zip blind for balcony
- ($2k) Invisible grille
- Window restrictor / grilles
- ($2k) Curtains / blinds
- Furnishing such as bed and sofa
- Electrical appliances like fridge, tv, microwave, etc (fortunately, I didn't have to spend any as my old stuff works)
So my feedback to Interior Design companies, please respect your client's budget. If I said I'm willing to spend $20000, it means Base Contract + Extras! The amount don't have to be accurate but letting the client knows that these are the potential costs at the end of the renovation works show you have the client's interest in mind.
Aside from that, I'm generally pleased with the quality of work and project management so I still recommend Posh Living. Just don't be caught surprise by the extra costs that will be incurred. Yes, these people need to make a living but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get a fair deal out of it.
All in all, I spent about $40,000. Would be a lot more if not for the stuff I brought over from my old place. So new home buyers BEWARE! Don't get carried away with doing reno unless you are very sure that you intend to stay for 8-10 years. I made the right choice with my BTO flat but got carried away with my EC, especially the lighting.
2 Weeks later
I haven't got the time to really enjoy living in a condo. I'm really exhausted after all that moving and cutting cheques after cheques to my suppliers/vendors. Although it's a nice feeling, I also wondered if it's worth $1 million. I was happy staying in Sengkang but the feeling of wanting to upgrade was simply too strong especially when there was $$$ to burn... I'm a fairly financial savvy person so there's always a tussle between my rational self and my irrational self. I guessed it's middle-income Singaporeans issue... will I stay here for the rest of my life? Probably not. Condo is smaller compared to public housing and I really like having space. Are the 2 main facilities (gym and swimming) and a security guard house worth all that $? Probably not... but I shall not overthink. For now, let's just enjoy living in one... afterall, life is short :)