Our Renovation Journey

It’s been a longtime dream of mine to write about building our home… And this dream is finally coming to fruition!

Caution: This post will be an extremely long one, as I have consolidated ALL information and photos here. Will probably work on a mini home tour post next, but we’ll see.

So we finally collected our keys after almost 3 years!

If anyone’s interested, here’s why we waited so long even though we bought our home via HDB’s SBF exercise:

26 May 2016. Applied for flat online.

12 Aug 2016. Got a ballot number of “210”. There were 378 flats on offer so we were in the queue.

21 Dec 2016. Selected our flat of choice.

24 May 2017. Signed the “Agreement of Lease” and paid 5% of flat value as downpayment.

28 Feb 2018. Collected keys, got our combined CPF wiped out, and got ourselves indebted to HDB for a long while!!!

Anyway, our search for an ID / contractor started from September 2017. We spoke to 8 people in all – 4 IDs and 4 contractors – and finally settled on engaging Uncle Alan at the recommendation of a church friend. He’s a contractor and the most experienced one of the lot.

After two rounds of minor defects checking, and several back and forths with our estate’s BSC, we were ready to put together our very first home.

We started renovation works on 20 April 2018, though the initial plan was to start a few days earlier on the 16th. We had a tight deadline to work with because we had to move in by end May as the lease on our storage unit was ending. Thankfully, Uncle Alan only needed 4 weeks to do up our home.

We engaged him as our main contractor to do the carpentry for our kitchen, MBR, and living room; as well as the electrical, plumbing and painting works. On the side, we had another subcontractor do the flooring for us; as well as hack the kitchen wall, flush the living room wall and make good both areas.

TIMELINE OF WORKS DONE

20 April – Kitchen half-wall hacked.

23 April – Concrete sink support constructed. Our sink is a double bowl stainless steel undermount sink from Rubine.

25 April – Tiles from Lian Seng Hin arrived. Likewise for the powder needed for cement screeding, as well as bags and bags of prepacked cement.

27 April – Cement screeding done, tiles stacked into the respective rooms, kitchen entrance reduced from 1.2m to 0.9m, and aircon system from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries installed.

30 April – Over the weekend, living and dining tiles were installed!

5 May – Aluminium grills installed. Living room wall flushed. Kitchen entrance made good. Selected carpentry laminates and paint colours together with Uncle Alan as well.

Kitchen + household shelter carpentry laminate: Wonderful Knit (code: SWL-6873-MT)

MBR carpentry laminate: Desert Pearl Oak (code: SWL-8302-T)

Nippon paint colour codes: Base – Whispering White (code: NPOW1001P) • Living / dining feature walls – Lush (code: NPBGG1605T) • Children’s / study feature walls – Sunlight (code: 1190) • MBR feature wall – Millenia (code: NPPB1444P)

7 MayCity Gas piping installed.

10 May – All paint work by Nippon completed! The first round of acid washing was also done.

18 May – Uni-Arm installed in matte black to match our decor. Moving plans finally settled too after one month of logistical planning with Kevin and Moving Star Express, the moving company that we engaged!

19 May – Finished packing at my parents’ place!

20 May – Our friend from Bangladesh, Arshad, helped us install our many many LED lights from Starworld Lighting, ceiling fans from Fanz, and wall fans from KDK.

23 May – Our helper, Anita, helped to wash the entire home.

24 May – Second round of washing! Our carpentry was finally constructed offsite and brought up to our home after a bit of delay.

25 May – The big move, which took 7 whole hours and 7 men (4 locations in total, and a total of 49 man hours); as well as the installation of carpentry! Amazing how we managed to survive the day with little to no sleep the night before. Thank You Jesus!!!

26 May – Kevin stayed overnight alone to complete the kids’ wardrobes and chest of drawers. Carpentry installation continued in the morning.

30 May – Our 585L Samsung fridge was finally delivered!

31 May – Almost a week after moving in, our kitchen countertop was installed, along with our semi-integrated hood and gas hob from Mayer, and our tap from Hansgrohe. So our sink was functional, but our hood and hob weren’t because our City Gas installation was only scheduled a week later. An oversight on our part, but no big deal.

4 June – Our alkaline water dispenser and air purifier from Novita were delivered! No more need to boil water because our machine can dispense hot, warm, and cold water yay.

7 June – Our half-leather sofa from Teck Seng Furniture crossed the causeway safely!

8 June – Second appointment with City Gas! First time cooking a meal on our stove via gas, instead of on our induction cooker via electricity. No more living like we were camping! Hahaha. Was really quite an experience surviving without a functional kitchen for two weeks.

9 June – Tempered glass installation for kitchen and MBR toilet. Also, our dining table from Island Marble Works arrived! (Will take a proper photo of our table once it stops becoming my makeshift office haha. Also, will need to get new dining chairs.)

12 June – Curtains from NST Curtains were installed. And. Our. Home. Is. Done!!!

Planning for our home began immediately right after my confinement ended in February. It has been one heck of a ride – with meetings after meetings to attend, and errands after errands to run. As we decided to engage a contractor instead of an ID, most of the liaising fell on our shoulders. With Kevin busy with work, and me busy with both kids plus attempting to recover from childbirth (I didn’t, and couldn’t, but more on that in future posts), managing so many things all at once was really really tough. Only by God’s grace and limitless provision did we get through this season of life with 2 young children to care for, and a family of 4 thriving (not just surviving) on a single income. We are forever grateful, and immensely thankful.

Author: joannaerin

Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend.

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