Resale Flat Renovation ID & Contractors

The nesthouple bought a 4 room resale Premium flat that was around 7 years old and started on our hunt for an ID/ contractor! Before searching for ID/contractors, we engaged famous Feng Shui Master David Tong for fengshui advice for our new home so that we know what are the dos and donts (we’ll be writing on our great experience with Master David Tong subsequently!)

What we intended to do for our modern scandi renovation budgeted at $30k included:

  • Demolishing existing kitchen & toilet cabinets
  • Hacking off a part of the wall separating the common bedroom & master bedroom & sealing up of existing door frame for the common bedroom
  • Hacking off half height of kitchen wall and installing glass panel
  • Overlaying wall and floor tiles for common & master bedroom toilet
  • Hacking and laying of floor tiles for kitchen
  • Carpentry for kitchen cabinet
  • Carpentry for master bedroom wardrobe
  • Carpentry for master bedroom vanity
  • Construction of L box with cove light at living room
  • Polishing & varnishing for existing timbre flooring
  • Painting

所谓”货比三家”, we sourced for a few IDs/contractors as we are totally new to reno. Not too many, I believe 5 is the max which will give you a good idea of the likely price range based on your requirements. Too many for comparison will be tiring and confusing.

Our personal preference was to engage an ID instead of a contractor as we are new to renovation and would like an ID to offer us design ideas and advice on space planning. A contractor, albeit at a lower cost, tends to implement only what you tell him to do (unless you are lucky to find one who also offers you design advices!) Here are some of the  IDs/contractors we met up with after our research:

Classic Ideas (Raudah Goh)

Pros:

  • Very responsive, even to last min appointments
  • Committed (Spent about 3 hrs for each of the 2 preliminary discussions with us past midnight)
  • Came across as a trustworthy project manager who manages her workers well
  • Experienced, able to provide us with a detailed list of full quotation & proposed a few ideas to us on the spot
  • Classic Ideas seems to be a rather established company with onsite showroom & local factory (better quality?)

Cons:

  • Relatively higher cost as quotation was done conservatively (included things such as plastering) and quotation done based on adding ala carte items onto packages
  • Quotation for window & grills were on the higher side

Design Profession (Kelvin Foo)

Pros:

  • Humorous, experienced & direct with his comments/recommendations
  • Thinks of practical ways to help owner save costs while not affecting the overall product
  • Experienced, able to provide full quotation given within an hr
  • Lowest price so far with seemingly no hidden cost
  • Company is quite popular on online forums & known for competitive pricings

Cons:

  • Provided revised quotation based on new requirements only after a few reminders/check-ins
  • Ideas proposed for our requested theme were rather limited (didn’t value add as much as we wanted our ID to)
  • Quotation though cheapest amongst those we went to, was not as cheap as we expected

NID Design Studio (Vincent Tan)

Approached Vincent as we found recommendations on Renotalk (not sure if the reviews are genuine, those who posted only have a few post counts). Vincent’s design ideas were not in sync with ours and we didn’t feel the chemistry with him so it’s a no go.

Impress 21 Design (Henry Goh)

A well known contractor mentioned on forums. However, we did not get to meet up with him as he was quite busy during the period we were trying to arrange a meeting with him.

Koong Yee (Kenji Lim)

Learnt about Koong Yee from their roadshow at Expo & understand that they are a relatively big company with regular presence at Expo exhibitions.

Pros:

  • Responsive to request for quotation and proactive in follow-ups
  • Allowed us to view a completed HDB unit
  • Not pushy and even encouraged us to speak to a few other IDs for comparison

Cons:

  • Price was not as competitive
  • Designs were not really attractive to us

Thom Signature (Thomas Poon)

Visited an open house after our friend who engaged their services recommended them to us & we were impressed by the finished product (with style & quality)!

Pros:

  • Although Thomas is the boss of the firm, he is always willing to listen to our requests & never did cut short of his dealings with us despite our relatively low budget and ‘small business’
  • Has strong design background and thus, able to sketch out 3D hand drawings on the spot to illustrate his ideas (appreciate this greatly as we’re quite poor in visualising!)
  • Very patient and always passionate in his work & dealings with us though he’s busy
  • Offers good and practical space planning advices & always has ideas in response to our reno requirements & budget

Cons:

  • Price is not the cheapest as gst is chargeable although overall price is still competitive

The nesthouple selected to work with Thomas from Thom Signature in the end as aside from its competitive pricing, we also like the style of their works and most importantly, enjoy working with Thomas who gave us the confidence to leave the reno of our 1st home to 🙂

Do follow us on our renovation journey and we hope that you will be able to gather some useful ideas for the renovation of your own cozy nest!

Mr.

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