Renovation progress report #3

[Renovation progress report #1]
[Renovation progress report #2]

Day 18 - 18 September

My sister said that the bathroom sinks have been installed. The sink in my bathroom was a small one. Initially when we viewed the place, I told the contractor that I wanted a small sink but after the hacking was done I said I wanted the standard-sized sink. I would go take a look the next day to see whether the small sink is acceptable.
My bathroom sink installed

Sister's bathroom sink installed

Kitchen sink installed

Access to the rubbish chute had been changed from the old wooden cover to the aluminium one

Worker running pipes at night

Paint has been delivered, ready for work the next day.

Day 19 - 19 September

The contractor called me and asked me to go down to explain to the painter which walls in the kitchen I wanted to paint blue and which walls white. He claimed that the painter couldn't understand my requirements (which I drew on the floor plan).

When I arrive around lunchtime. One guy was painting the walls and another was cleaning the doors. The painting of the living room and two bedroom were already completed. The place was almost odourless. We had selected Nippon Odourless paint for my sister's bedroom and the living room. According to the contractor, Pentalite is the cheaper range and is of poorer quality. He recommended that we select a similar colour from a better range. For my bedroom, I could not find the colour I wanted in the odourless range so I had to select ICI Pentalite. Normal white paint was used for the ceiling.

Living room walls painted - Nippon Odourless Sunglow

Sister's room walls painted - Nippon Odourless Violet Dream

My room walls painted - ICI Pentalite Ginger Peachy

I had to select the paint colour for the door frames. I chose a brownish shade to match the wooden doors.

The kitchen was left unpainted. I suppose they needed to allow the plaster to dry. The painter marked the walls that are to be blue with some masking tape as I pointed out the walls.

My bathroom sink is very small. Now that the sink was already installed, there was nothing much I could do about it :( The contractor must have forgotten. My sister said that a small sink was more suitable for my bathroom. But I like a big sink. Water splashes all over the place when I wash my face using such a small sink - I know it because I'd been using a tiny sink for the past few years... I know I'm small but I prefer certain things to be generously BIG.

The shelf above the sink was tilted. I pointed it out to the contractor (who had just arrived) and he said he will try to fix it. Part of the "package" was a 3-piece set comprising the mirror, shelf and toilet roll holder. Since my sister was getting her own mirror, he agreed back then that he would buy her a corner shelf instead of a mirror. I asked him whether he will be buying hooks for my bathroom and the corner shelves for both bathrooms. We had agreed that he will buy them and I will pay extra for the hooks and additional shelf but now, he said he won't be buying them. Looks like I have to rush to buy them myself.

I was wondering how the toilet roll holders works. Won't water go in from the top when I shower?

The worker who was cleaning the door drilled holes in my bathroom to install the mirror.

Day 20 - 20 September

I received a call from the contractor saying that the colour of the paint for the kitchen was unavailable and I had to speak with the painter to select another colour.

I took a taxi down to avoid wasting any time. The painter said he went to the paint shop to buy the paint. The shop owner claimed that the colour I chose is not supplied by Nippon and had to be mixed by the paint shop. He didn't buy it because he wasn't sure whether it was going to be the right colour. We found it really strange because colours that are in the catalogue should be ready-mixed by Nippon in their factory.

The painter was sort of blaming me for choosing that colour! He told me to go to the shop and see for myself. I said that ICI has the exact same colour of paint so we can buy that instead but he commented that the shop might not have ICI paint.

I was already slightly irritated that he didn't tell me that yesterday when we met. I didn't humble myself but told him, "It's not my fault." I explained that I chose that colour from the catalogue weeks ago, gave my selection to the main contractor, he should go ask the main contractor for an explanation. After that I said that, his attitude changed and he suggested that we walk to the shop together to look at the paint.

We made some small talk on the way there. I realised that he was irritated with the paint shop owner who was rude to him that morning. I guess that was why he was mean to me. Thankfully, the ICI paint that I wanted was available. After the drama ended, we were "friends" and he proudly asked me whether the door looked bright after varnishing.

My sister's room door after varnishing

The bathroom doors have been installed and some plumbing completed.

Sister's bathroom door installed
The walls are not of even thickness so the tiles look slanted

Sister's bathroom

Sister's bathroom

My bathroom door installed

Don't know what they threw down the pipe

My tap in bathroom. Shower not installed yet

I went for lunch, went to my parents' place and went to buy some nails. When I returned, the kitchen had been painted correctly. Only walls perpendicular to window are painted blue. Others are white. This makes the kitchen shape appear more regular.

Floor plan

Half kitchen painted - ICI Light & Space Skylight

The laminate flooring has been delivered - all ready for laying the next day.
Flooring delivered

My sister went to check whether the place was properly cleaned and brought some cloth there in case workers needed to use them for cleaning. The laminate flooring contractor had specified that they will not lay the laminate if the place was not clean. In any case, we do want the place to be clean!

When she arrived past dinner time, a worker was cleaning my room windows. She asked him whether he had his dinner and when he said No she went to the coffee shop nearby to buy some some food. Perhaps this was why the windows and floors were very clean! (At least compared to other contractors whom I believe leave most of the cleaning to the owners).

After bringing food for the worker, my sister went home to do her packing. She returned later to find that the contractor and the worker were there cleaning and washing. The contractor also helped to wash the kitchen floor.

The "chemical wash" was just with normal chemicals that people use to wash their tiles. It was finished after 1am.

Day 21 - 21 September

We were scheduled to move in on this day! I had to go and check whether things were progressing as planned, i.e. laying of flooring to be completed by 4pm so that we can move in.

3 workers were laying the laminate flooring. When I saw it, I initially regretted selecting my flooring. I should have selected the same design as my sister's.

As at 1pm, this was the status:
Sister's room on left, mine on right

Have to saw the laminate pieces to size

One of the workers asked me what to do about the skirting for my sister's bedroom. She had an enclosed aircon piping running close to the floor. The skirting there had been hacked off (correctly) but the skirting was not broad enough to cover the area completely. Some uncemented parts would be exposed parts. He asked me what to do about it. I called the contractor and asked him to speak with the worker. After 15 seconds, he passed the phone back to me and said he couldn't understand the contractor's accent. The worker is Indian while the contractor is Chinese-speaking. So I had to explain it to the contractor myself and translate back to English for the worker. The contractor said just to lay the skirting anyway. I called my sister to ask whether she was agreeable and she was. The area won't be noticeable because of the enclosure and we had planned to put her bed there so the area won't be exposed.

My dad arrived on site and asked me whether I wanted to go have coffee with him. I had to turn down his offer because I still have some packing to do before the move.

The move was a success! I wrote about it here: [It all boils down to luck]

The electricity in the kitchen and bathroom were still not done, and the shower in my sister's bathroom had not been installed. We had to bathe with cold water from a rubber hose. Although it was not 100% completed we were glad to have a place to stay, which was our top priority. There was no doubt that the contractor would complete the rest of the work eventually because we had not paid in full. We had a cold and happy shower (separately, of course).


David said...


You and your sister have had quite the adventure during the renovation.

I am suprised that your paint suppliers cannot do any colour one wants. Over here one can go to any home improvement store with a colour swatch, the swatch will be scanned and a PC program will mix the pigments into a base colour and the buyer gets exactly the colour desired.

That being said I do like your colour choices, the rooms look very inviting.

The finished kitchen remains to be shown to us.

I trust you are both happy and settled into your new home!


Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved.

-- Henri Nouwen

Anonymous said...

hi yu-kym
your new place is very nice! the colours chosen are very cheerful and happy :) i m doing my two bathrooms at the moment but havent bought any bathroom accessories yet. where do you buy yours (e.g. the glass shelf) from?

thank you! :)

louise ^^

Anonymous said...

I can't understand why you ceramic tile the bed room floors then put laminated floor on top of the tiled floor. Why not simply skip the ceramic tiling and put laminated floor onto the care concrete fllor.

What difference does that make, but it definitely save you money as the ceramic tiles are now covered and not visible, so why do ceramic tiling first?

Anonymous said...

You should put mirrows on the ceiling and on the 4 walls so you can enjoy the view when you are bonking.

Aaron said...

Kym, the contractor installed the toilet roll holder on the wrong side.

Anonymous said...

That is because kim is left handed

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