2012-05-17

Renovation and moving updates!!

Hello hello everyone who has been patiently waiting for me to blog!!

Sorry I've taken so long - I've been mad busy with moving and renovation works... This past week wasn't so bad after I've had a chance to take a breather, but the week before that was just hell. I was so flustered packing my stuff into two sections - one to bring to my place at Lorong Ah Soo (this is the hdb we own) which hopefully will be done renovating in 1.5 months... And the other, smaller, section to bring to my interim place...

Packing is hell. Thank god I had momo who was so much help. I never want to seal another cardboard box again!!

With all that stress... I'm super glad I had help in one area... MOVING!!!

BIG THANK YOU TO MY MOVERS SPONSOR STRIDEK MOVERS!!

Thankyouthankyouthankyou!! I'm ultra grateful because the last time round when I moved to Changi in 2009, Mike insisted we don't need movers.

Keep in mind that at that point we were moving into a 4 storey WALK UP. We had no freaking lift!!!

Was trying to google my archives to see whether I blogged about this but I think I didn't...

So... just like that Mike said he could get two of his work colleagues to help us move, and they did... The three men including Mike lugged our mattress, giant couch, and etc furniture up!!

If you think I had an easy time I didn't. I did so much of the hard work myself and obviously I cannot carry the very heavy items but since I took the lighter stuff I went up and down the stairs about 50 times each day for 2 days straight. It was so super tiring!!! And so dusty and dirty and disgusting. :(

This time round Mike also said his colleagues offered to help us move (goodness knows why they would offer such a thing, I see absolutely no benefit for them) I told him ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Even though we were moving things with the flow of gravity instead of against this time round, I will NEVER EVER go through that hell again.

NEVER.

Seriously, unless your family has about 12 strong men in it, let the professionals do it. You won't be sorry!!

Even if this were not sponsored I'd have gladly forked out money for it. But it is... so yay!!

Here's why you should never try to scrimp on Movers:


Look at the amount of stuff I have!! And I threw away SO much stuff too. The rattan furniture doesn't belong to us but everything else is to be moved...

Reason 1:



 WTF these men are like Hercules...

Not only do they move super fast, they are so freaking strong you won't even believe it.

That red cage of igloo's I can't even lift up by myself and he is carrying it with 1 hand and the other hand is carrying the rest of igloo's stuff like pellets... It's also super heavy!!

My mom said she saw one of Stridek's movers freaking carry our queen sized mattress all by himself with one hand. HOW?!

Reason 2: The pros have pro equipment.


Look at this giant roll of bubble wrap!!! For all your fragile items the movers will help you wrap them up tenderly with loads of tape, bubble wrap and industrial clingwrap. And they know how to do it in the most efficient way!

They also provide cardboard boxes of a standard size so it won't look so messy after you move.

Not only that, the movers have tools with them so they can disassemble and assemble bulky furniture.


Wrapping the computers...


Wrapping the bed... 

Seeing the smiles of the movers bring me to...

Reason 3: 

Ok this doesn't apply to all movers but I'm so pleased with Stridek's service that day because I like all their staff!! All the men were super friendly and polite and quick-moving. Nobody was sleazy or creepy at all lol

Not that I was expecting them to be but I really hate it when people ask me personal questions like "Why your cupboards all pink? Pink your favourite colour ah?" and stuff like that... None of that!! Just chop chop move everything and be done.

Reason 4: They do moving, and more...

Only after my hellish days of packing did the boss of Stridek tell me that they don't only do moving... They do packing too!

Yes you can entirely skip the process of packing and get the professionals to do it wtf!!

He told me that a lot of his Caucasian clients moving from big house to big house would just not bother to pack at all. The movers relocate an entire room's content to another designated room in the new house.

These people are Caucasians and so is my husband... Why Mike like this ah...? LOL

I slept at 3am the night before and woke up at 8am to continue the cleaning and packing. I was so exhausted and totally expected to have to work very hard on Moving day too... But nope all I had to do was to give instructions!! :D


Check it out I even had time to camwhore a no makeup pic with the giant bubble wrap :P



All the stuff for the interim place gone in about 1 hour... The rest of the stuff behind goes to Lor Ah Soo...


Tadah almost everything gone!!! The white couch and fans are meant to be discarded. Man I'm glad I'm not doing the moving myself or I'd be really tempted to toss the dumb couch out of the window instead of slowly moving it down the stairs...

So yes!! If you need movers... Why not try Stridek Movers? Their prices are very reasonable and they did a fantastic job for me!!

Check out their website here or call them at 63655871 for a quotation. No harm right?

The boss told me that since I had to have two trucks for two destinations and my place is a walk-up my price would be $1,500. Totally worth it.

Ok enough about moving!!

I've found a place to stay at a pretty low rent! :D There were interested hotels/service apartments etc but mostly they couldn't work out a month-long stay so yeah... I'm currently staying in an old condo in Bukit timah. At first I was like "Wah bukit timah so atas!" but to my shock there were many bangalas loitering around the estate and not only that... They actually STAY IN MY CONDO!!!

One of the first few nights here Mike and I went to have supper and when we got back at 2am and parked the car we saw that there were 3 bangalas looking drunk and having a fight right outside our door!! Two of the bangalas were attacking the third and shoved him against the wall and was strangling him!!!

So for the first time in my life I actually dialed 999 wtf. I was so nervous my hands were shaking lol.

I told the police about the fight but the bangalas stopped fighting when they saw that Mike and I were in the car looking at them. To my surprise they were my fucking upstairs neighbours wtf!!! By the time the police came (within 3 mins! Super efficient) they already retreated to inside their homes.

Then I saw that there was a sign on the condo's noticeboard.

Vomitting everywhere tsk tsk

It's already May 17th and they are still here. It's so creepy and unsafe around here!

Back when I was staying in Changi I've rented my apartment for 2.5 years and let me tell you a secret... I never once locked my door!!

That's right anyone anytime can just walk into my house lol. But nobody ever did. The estate there is super safe and I reckoned that no reasonable robber will go into a guarded condo only to walk up four storeys and try his luck to see if the doors are locked. And then there is nothing valuable to steal except maybe the TV or computer... He would then have to lug the machines down four flights of stairs and risk getting caught by my neighbours... Hardly seems worth it. So never locked!!

Now I bolt all my doors wtf. Bangalas... Y U NO DISAPPEAR FROM MY LIFE!!

The condo isn't in bad condition but it's completely barren... And the toilets are just horribly designed! They are so freaking puny that there is absolutely no space in it for anything else but 1 toilet bowl, one shower head and bar, and one baby sized sink. Whenever you take a shower, the whole toilet gets wet, including the toilet bowl and toilet paper. WHY?! Why would people make a toilet so small!? Luckily there are 3 toilets so we can use the other toilet for toilet bowl related businesses.

I cannot wait for my renovation to be done... At Lor Ah Soo we moved both the sinks of the toilets just outside the toilets so our toilets are gonna be HUGE!!! :D

Yes I'm gonna be continuing the renovation jargon for months to come. It will bore the hell out of the younger readers but hey at least the older ones who have grown up with me and are buying your BTO flats now and getting married will be interested!! :)

As I was saying... I was so freaking stressed coz I was not only packing... I had to handle renovation related decisions, settle the handover and cleaning for our previous rental, make the interim place suitable for living in, change my addresses etc. God, it sucks being an adult!!!

Oh yes... and this stupid interim place has no starhub connection thingy for maxonline, can you believe it? The whole condo of people who have internet access are all using Singtel! Since I'm signed with Starhub I am currently using my iPhone's hotspot for internet access. Uploading 53 photos for this blog post took me about half an hour -_-

But internet is internet. Sweet, sweet internet. I'd appreciate whatever little I have of it.

ALSO I AM GETTING FIBRE FOR LOR AH SOO. No more ridiculous "135 hours remaining" when I upload youtube videos!!

I know I previously said I won't be posting the pics of the house when the old owners were still living in it but I've decided to coz it will make such a big contrast to the end product!! Don't think I'd be infringing on their privacy since I never identified them and none of their stuff are embarrassing... Although I must say they aren't very neat or tidy and their furniture are very very old...

As a result, Mike and I have to do really extensive renovation... We don't mind because we always wanted a house that is truly ours... And I love to customise stuff!!

Here's the old floor plan to aid your understanding:



The master bedroom. Is it very bad that I always write masterbed room subconsciously?

Anyway I don't recall them having a wardrobe at all... How they handle their clothes will always be a mystery to me.


That's the entrance to the house... 

Where their bench is I'm gonna build a huge shoe cabinet :D


Kitchen and a glimpse of the dining room


Storeroom where I'm gonna be building a walk-in wardrobe. Dream come true!


Kitchen again. The tiles are super old and there are no cabinets built at all.


Little nook in the kitchen, excellent location for the washer/dryer. Momo had the brilliant idea to shift the garbage chute to the extreme right of the wall.


The master toilet is quite horrific. :X


Dining area... To become Princess Room 3.0.


Guest toilet... Exposed pipings are so yestercentury!!



AND TADAH.......


After removing all the old furniture and hacking the hell out of the place....

The house is still extremely bare but they finished plastering the walls and were doing electrical works when I took pics!



Altered floor plan to aid your understanding:



Living room + balcony. One of the electricians taking a smoke break.

See how gorgeously smooth and clean the walls are after plastering?

No need to hack the floor tiles because I'm putting carpet on them :)


Tiles for my toilet (aka guest toilet), with the most gorgeous floral tiles from Soon Bee Huat, my tiles sponsor. They are one of the largest tiles company in Singapore and when you enter their showroom you will be stunned coz it's so ginormous.

Never seen so many types of tiles in my life... Tiles that are pretending to be stone, tiles that are pretending to be parquet, tiles that are pretending to be wooden planks... Shiny tiles, rough tiles, mini tiles, giant tiles... I went goggle-eyed! Mike and I spent like hours on end choosing our tiles!

I'm so lucky and grateful to have them as my sponsors coz they are so generous and easy-going, letting me pick whatever I want. *super touched gonna cry*

My floral ones are indented from Spain and they are so so so gorgeous!! The floor is made of a rough pink tile but please don't judge the tiles now as they are extremely dirty. My pink bathtub will be put in the hole there... Can't wait to see the final results. :)


Dining area + storeroom which will become my Princess Room!! They already did the plasterceil (reno jargon for false walls and ceilings) by now. I'm so excited coz the storeroom is actually super big!!

The windows have black trimmings coz the black parts are stickers and they are not peeled out yet. The windows are actually green glass with white frames.

Paid for windows myself as none of the windows people wanna sponsor. Booo to you all!! LOL


Here's an electrician doing the wires for the master bedroom... That weird wall at the left is actually Mike's toilet. He is having an open concept toilet!!


See see see??

OMGOMG I need to tell you guys this is so cool - for the glass part of his toilet, a sponsor called Privacy Solution approached me.

Mike wanted a glass toilet but obviously we have a problem. If guests were to enter the bedroom when he is pooping or showering they can immediately see him naked!!

So... The solution? Have glass that is clear and not clear at the same time!!

How is this possible? Privacy Solution provides a technology that can make clear glass clouded in just 1 second flat with the press of a button!! Don't ask me how they do it... It's just amazing!!

I'm sure when the toilet is done I can show you guys on video. Jelly of Mike's awesome toilet!! And he picked those resort styled tiles... Also from Soon Bee Huat. Horrible exposed pipes will be boxed up.


Another pic of my walk in wardrobe. :D


This is part of the wet kitchen... I picked these vintage blue-green mini tiles to match our theme (which I will reveal later). SUPER love the colour and the effect!!

Major love to my ID Wayne and his company, Icon Interior Design, for the awesome workmanship when it comes to laying tiles!!


Here's the balcony and living room with all the wires for the LED lights hanging!!

I never knew that actually doing up electricity is a very important and pretty extensive part of renovation works.

I know this sounds very boring but I've really learnt so much these past few months... For example did you know that most people have switched from those outdated florescent/incandescent bulbs to LEDs now? The bulbs last longer and look prettier! Then there is the problem of all the exposed wiring in the ceiling... They all need to be concealed within a false ceiling... Not to mention your internet fibre and aircon piping also all need to be concealed... Huge pain in the butt to coordinate everything!! Thank god my ID is handling everything.

So yes as I was saying... Lighting!! My lighting is sponsored by J.E.N LED lighting! I actually had SIX companies offering to sponsor my LED lights for me wtf... But my mom who is a real estate agent worked with J.E.N before and she says they are really good so I chose them!!

I'm so excited because they told me LED lights can flash rainbow colours and can even be pink!!!!!!!!! *hyperventilates*

They also semi sponsored my electrical works and put loads of power points for me everywhere. Don't you hate it when a room only has 2 of those and you have to overload them with all your electrical applicances?!


Ok I know this entry is getting super longwinded but I'd still like to list out all my AWESOME sponsors first to thank them all. I'd try to keep it short and go into more details about them after everything is done.

I must be the luckiest girl in the world!!!!!!!


First and foremost to

ICON INTERIOR DESIGN

Or more specially Wayne, my interior designer and contractor.

I've never seen anyone so hardworking and detailed-oriented and smart and talented and with such an awesome memory and yet always roughing it out... like him!! And he knows EVERYTHING there is to know about construction works from electricity to inner toilet bowl workings hahaha.

(Website not even up yet coz he is so busy with my house wtf - office number is 62851817)

I've often heard people say that their contractors suck balls. My mom worked with Wayne many times before and she went ahead to ask him if he wanted to sponsor me and he said yes.

I was pretty apprehensive because of all the contractor horror stories I've heard... Plus I always feel that people don't really understand what I want because I have very specific designs in mind.

But he really delivered on every count and MORE. He went to source for sponsors for me and yet handled everything at the house. I don't know how he does it, he must be superhuman!!!!

Having a good contractor is VERY important because most of us know nuts about construction works at all.

It's all the small details that count, like making sure good quality material are used...


For example look at the half-glass wall of Mike's toilet. Wayne had his workers put in little metal strips so that the glass can fit in the gap nicely. It's so intricately done.

And the places where carpet meets tiles he also put a steel strip in between so it looks classier. I didn't ask him to do all these extra work, he just took the initiative because he is so anal about the final results!!

Thank you dua peh gong for Wayne!!!

Other that fully sponsoring my design work, Icon Interior Design is also semi-sponsoring all my hacking, tiling, masonary (whatever this is), plumbing, glass, plasterceil, sanitary blah blah. It's all very technical and boring but yes they are doing it all!!



My other confirmed sponsors:



So happy to announce that Electrolux is fully sponsoring all my "white goods". That's the industry term for electrical applicances that were traditionally white like washing machines, dryers, microwaves etc.

They told me to go crazy and just pick whatever I want from their website!! *super touched gonna cry again*

I can has pro oven!! I've never had an oven before so I can't wait to start baking.

Electrolux products are super high quality somemore!! My old dryer is from Electrolux and it has been passed down from my mom to me... Been in use for over 10 years and never spoilt.

I'm getting all my white goods from Electrolux except for my Smeg fridge which I was already approached for by...


Unilite is a shop in Jalan Kayu that is a dealer for major electrical applicances. Unlike big corporations they provide super personalized services and super cheap deals for electrical applicances!!

Clariss from Unilite was super enthusiastic about helping me find all the perfect stuff for my new place and provided me with loads of advice. They are semi sponsoring my fridge!



Grohe is sponsoring my bathroom fittings like mixers and taps... I cannot believe I lucked out with them because they are giving me a set of real swarovski crystal mixers indented specially from Germany, among other awesome things like rain showers.

Their products are so gorgeous and luxurious wtf. I have this feeling I'm gonna enjoying bathing and showering a whole lot more very soon!!



Sponsoring all my wardrobes for me!!!! They custom designed the storage solutions for all 4 wardrobes in my home including 2 walk in ones. OMG cannot wait cannot wait!




Sponsoring my laminates!! Amazingly enough they have the exact design that I wanted for my shoe cabinet... A vintage wood finishing in blue green. And the cupboards in my Princess room are gonna be in baby pink, also covered in their laminates.



Sponsoring my doors!! They are one of the biggest door manufacturers in Singapore! I know doors are hardly stuff to be crazy excited about but they made it up by giving me the most swanky awesome fingerprint swipe lock too. :D



Sponsoring paint!!! Need I say more?? Paint is one of the most noticeable things that can make or break a house so I'm really happy I got a great reputable brand to sponsor me my paint and painting works! I've already chosen the colours despite it not being time to start painting yet. *kiasu*


And as mentioned above... Stridek (movers), Privacy Solution (glass), Soon Bee Huat (tiles), J.E.N (lights and electrical).


Hope I didn't miss out anyone.


One more thing...


I AM LOOKING FOR 
A CARPENTRY SPONSOR!!!


I had a carpenter sponsor but they pulled out last minute saying they have too many projects going on. Super annoyed, wasted my time!!

Well if you have a carpentry company and would like to join the awesome team doing my house please email me at xiaxue(at)gmail.com!!

Ok that's all for this blog entry I apologize if it's boring wtf no I take that back it's all very interesting to me and you will find this entry super useful in the future when you buy a house ok!!

UPDATE:

I have found a carpentry sponsor and they are AWESOME!!

Welcoming Eastern Furniture and Renovation on board!!! Will of course be updating on the process in future blog posts but just to make the list complete...

Blum is very kindly sponsoring all the mechanics for my shelving, cabinets, and drawers!! :D


D'Zander Interiors is semi sponsoring my carpets, wallpapers and curtains! They specialise in soft furnishings, especially curtains and have many years of experience!


DIY Magnetic Insect Screen will be fixing window screens for me so that no roaches or lizards can ever get inside my house. This is something I've wanted for very long now!

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