Renovation Progress Report #2

Renovation Progress Report #1

Day 9 - 9 September
Most of the tiles on the kitchen walls have been hacked off but some sections still have tiles on them. My sister and I met the contractor who agreed to get those tiles removed. In our presence, he instructed a worker to do it.

We drew the positions of the lighting points, switches and power sockets on the wall. My sister and I were more prepared than the contractor. I provided the contractor with my drawings on the floor plan and my sister had a measuring tape when he didn't. We also selected paint colours and laminate flooring for the bedrooms. We put the selection of paint colour of the door frames on hold because we couldn't decide.

By 1pm, some hacking works have started.

Some hacking work started

We are changing doorway from rounded shape to square

Wall outside my bathroom

The majority of the parts in white have tiles hidden behind

Sister's bathroom tiling in progress

My bathroom wall tiles almost done

Day 10 - 10 September
Plastering of walls have started.

Much of the kitchen wall tiles have been hacked off but a few sections still remain.

Parts in white are the remaining parts with tiles behind

By the end of the day, my room, my sister's room and the storeroom walls have been plastered/smoothened.
My room wall has been plastered

Sister's room wall plastered

Storeroom wall plastered

Day 11 - 11 September

Workers were tiling the kitchen floor and my sister's bathroom floor. However, sections of the kitchen still had hidden tiles which needed to be hacked.

Tiling of kitchen floor started

Day 12

The area has been plastered up. They're supposed to hack off the tiles. It seemed like there was still no intention to hack them off.

Day 13
Tiling of kitchen continues.

I noticed that the remaining kitchen wall tiles were still not hacked off. I mentioned it to the tiling supervisor who was there. He tried to convince me that it was safe to leave those tiles there. I dismissed his reasoning immediately saying that those are 25-year-old tiles. I told him that I will ask the contractor to remove the tiles for sure. He appeared distressed because he had planned to complete tiling works today because he had other projects to do the next day. I heard him cursing and swearing on his handphone after that.

I called to ask the contractor about the kitchen wall tiles. He said he wanted the tilers to complete tiling the kitchen first so there will be no hacking today and tomorrow.

The tiling supervisor complained that other sub-contractors made the place dirty and dented a tile at the steps outside the main door. I asked him whether he was going to replace the dented tile. He said it won't look nice anymore if he replaces it. The contractor did not charge anything extra to tile the steps so I didn't insist on fixing the dent. By the time my sister checked the place in the evening, the dented tile had already been replaced.

Tiling in kitchen

The old cabinet base support and the tiles in the corner was not hacked off

I was told that the tiles have to be raised because of the pipe that runs under the tiles

My sister's bathroom floor tiled

My sister's bathroom window

Day 14 - 14 September
All tiling completed. We had wanted skirting in the kitchen. Though it wasn't done, my sister and I decided to accept it.

Tiled kitchen floor without skirting

Area around pipes tiled

Looks perfect?

I am tired of looking at this view of the kitchen where the wall tiles on the left need to be hacked.

my bathroom tiling completed. looks dark with the windows closed but will be great with the windows open and mirror

I received delivery for lights at 10.30am. My dad arrived at 11am. We agreed that the last of the kitchen wall tiles need to be removed and we will insist on that with the contractor.

I was supposed to meet the contractor and electrician at 11am but only the contractor showed up. We re-drew the lighting points and power sockets because the majority of them had been erased by the plastering. For the lighting points that are on the ceiling, we obviously couldn't draw them so I gave him the floor plan with my drawing to stick on the wall for the electrician.

The contractor said he will replace the wooden cover at the aircon but the wooden frame cannot be replaced. He said HDB would be responsible to change that. My dad thought the trail in the picture was termites but the contractor said it is not.

The wood is rotten and needs to be changed

As expected, the contractor tried to convince my dad and me to leave the kitchen wall tiles. He said it will be covered under warranty. He wasn't happy (black face) when we insisted on the removal of tiles but he agreed. He joked that I should try to scare my sister by telling her that he will be charging her additional $2000 for the work. (The work was in the signed agreement. He claimed that it was meant to be taken out and he did not budget for it.) Fortunately I told my sister about the "joke" because he said that to her. I would imagine that any home owner would be fuming upon hearing that!

I had the picture of the "before" and "halfway" pictures in my handphone. I showed them to him and the drew lines to indicate the sections where the tiles needed to be hacked.

When my sister checked in the evening, the tiles have been removed except for 1 and half rows on one wall LOL. This is an never-ending story!

This part is ok now

1.5 rows of tiles remain as momento

Some wiring work has started.
4 power points in my room for my computer

Wiring in my room

Wires in storeroom

Wires in sister's room

Wires in sister's room

Wires in sister's room

Day 15 - 15 September
Wiring done except for kitchen and my bathroom.

My sister tried to ask for the final 1.5 rows of tiles to be removed. No harm trying. But she was unsuccessful. Anyway, my sister and I agreed to accept it.

Sister's room power sockets, SCV, telephone points, heater, bathroom light switch

Sister's bathroom light

Sister's bathroom light

Sister's room light

Sister's room light

View of my room light and switch from outside

My room light

Power sockets for my room

Power sockets in kitchen

Drawing of lighting points and switches for kitchen and my bathroom

Wiring awaiting plastering of kitchen wall

Kitchen floor needs to be cleaned

Living room lights

Storeroom light

My sister said the lamp wasn't working.

Cement has been applied on the hacked section

Day 16 - 16 September
Nothing's happening today. Nobody worked.

I checked the bulb. It was the bulbs that wasn't working. I'll have to bring it back to the shop for an exchange.

The contractor's laminate flooring sub-contractor called to say that the laminate flooring design which we chose was out of stock. We would have to select another design and they could only lay the flooring on Tuesday instead of Friday (tomorrow). My sister arranged to view samples at 7pm.

On my way home, I dropped by the contractor's shop. He and the tiling contractor were sitting outside the shop. I thought he might have samples which I can look at. He said the sub-contractor took his samples. I mentioned that his sub-contractor could only lay the flooring on Tuesday. He appeared surprised, said he thought it would be Monday and would call her.

The laminate flooring sub-contractor explained that she thought the stock of the design we wanted was in the container that was just shipped to Singapore but it wasn't. If we wanted that design we would have to wait 2 more weeks. My sister and I each selected another design for our rooms. The sub-contractor said she will get the best workers to do the laying (I'm sure she's just trying to make us feel better) and try to schedule the laying for Monday.

Day 17 - 17 September
Nobody worked during the day but some workers came in the evening to plaster the last section of the walls. The kitchen sink, taps and some other plumbing-related goods have been delivered.

Kitchen sink

The contractor called to inform that plumbing, painting and installation of fixtures will be done over the next few days Saturday and Sunday. He said we could select one of the 3 colours for the toilet bowl and wash basin. We selected white.

I called the laminate flooring sub-contractor. She said the laminate flooring will start on Tuesday at 9.30am and be completed at about 4pm.

I'll need to extend my stay at my current place and arrange for movers.


boh.tak.chek. said...

Hmmm... Sounds like a lot of work and frustration there. But I can understand the turmoil and stress you have to go through, given that this will be your home after all. Go ahead, bitch at the contractor for a half-baked job. You paid for it. Here's wishing you the best for your new home.

David said...


A lot of work yet to be completed.

Keep riding the contractors and do not let them get away with any deviations from the contract.


Anonymous said...

Hello Yu Kym!

Nice house, it looks very nice! I totally love your bathroom tiles! Looks like part of a hotel toilet.
Oh, hope to read about the reviews on the china x10 phone soon ;)


Hannah said...

Hi Yu-Kym,

I miss your posts about sex/love/travelling/everyday life related posts.
Because I do not know much about renovating, I kinda find this abit dull ):

Just my 2 cents :)

A regular reader,
Hannah :)

cute_boboi said...

The electrical wiring looks weird, I'm not sure if it is the practise in SG, or the government regulations.

In MY, for the scope of work you did, i.e. hacking and plastering walls, normally we would ask the contractor to hack the wall and lay the wires inside, cement and plaster it up, to conceal it. It would look much nicer rather than those PVC boxes/pipes.

Normally we use external trunking only when add-in later after moving in. But as mention above for the scale, we go for concealed wiring.

Anonymous said...

"In MY, … normally we would ask the contractor to hack the wall and lay the wires inside, cement and plaster it up, to conceal it. It would look much nicer rather than those PVC boxes/pipes."

I was thinking on the same thing too though I'm not in MY. The exposed conduits sure makes it look ugly instead of concealed wiring.

But then this is Singapore HDB, where everything is supposed to be CHEAP and NASTY (have you heard about the falling windows rivet story?). Just look at the large exposed sewerage and waste water pipes in the unit where in most countries, regulation require them to be concealed!

Anonymous said...

Furthermore, you see the circuit breaker box is in the store room and all the wiring trunks going to that box are in conduits running along the ceiling cornice instead of going up and concealed by the ceiling. Looks strange and ugly!

cute_boboi said...

I'm not familiar with SG HDB or housing rules and regulations. Perhaps it is not allowed to hack the wall and conceal, due to possibility of affecting structure or pillars, beams, etc.

Especially when you do such a major renovation, cables should hide under plaster / cornice / etc.

For the living room (or those rich enough to have a separate room for entertainment), we would even hack and lay the audio + power cables for the whatever 5.1 dolby surround speakers. So that it look nice and tidy without cables all over the place.

Yu-Kym said...

boh.tak.chek., David, it was frustrating and tiring! We had to sound like broken records, insisting on certain things being done but cut the contractor some slack for certain mistakes with the big picture in mind.

Lyn, thanks! I shall write about the China-X10 soon.

Hannah, perhaps you can refer to my renovation posts next time when you renovate your home :)

cute_boboi, Anon, it's HDB regulation to leave the wiring and piping visible in HDB apartments.

congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation.
Excellent information provided by this blog.

Yu-Kym said...

Thiruppathy Raja, thanks! Glad you found the information here useful :)