Our Renovation Journey: Introduction

Table Of Contents

  1. Our Renovation Journey
  2. Introduction
  3. Selecting a Contractor
  4. The Mood Board
  5. List of Works Done
  6. Problems Encountered
  7. Hacking and Plastering
  8. Tiling
  9. Taobao Loots
  10. Kitchen Appliances
  11. Issues Encountered Part 1
  12. Issues Encountered Part 2
  13. Brick Walls
  14. Electrical Works
  15. The Finished Look + Final Review and Contacts



So, a little introduction about our place is in order.

We’ve been having difficulties explaining this one to some folks – it’s a sale-of-balance-flat-that’s-not-a-BTO. Hahaha. To be precise, it’s a 20 year old flat that was repurchased by the Government together with a bunch of other units, and then sold as an SOBF. The SOBF is a rather extraordinary process, in that it’s lightning fast. It’s so fast that I’ve mentioned to Bear that I feel like we just had a ‘shotgun’ :P We completed the entire process in 6 months flat, starting from the flat application at the HDB website, to the collection of keys. Methinks that it’s the perfect solution for those of us who aren’t quite willing (or able) to get a resale flat, but are too impatient to wait for a BTO.

I’m quite in love with the block and unit that we chose eventually. It’s windy, bright and airy, with a little piece of open field in front, helmed by a couple of large, ancient-looking trees. It’s also located right in front of all the other blocks, so its got a really nice, unobstructed view. Even though it’s an old, old block, I love its peaceful serenity and old-school charm :) Looking forward to many happy years here!

Now, back to the flat. I know the drill, so here’s the floorplan.

It’s a typical 3room (2 bedroom), 71sqm corner unit on a high floor.

What’s not typical about our flat is its incredibly obnoxious bathroom layout, which I had very accurately predicted, was going to give us a h*** of a headache and cost a bomb. It’s a ‘split’ bathroom, so one room is for you to do your bizness in, and the other is for you to shower in. The icing on the cake must be that there is no entrance from the master bedroom (which, technically, means that it’s no longer a master bedroom, sorry). As chinchai as we are, we couldn’t imagine living with a layout like that. So it was a unanimous decision – the obnoxious layout has to go.

On the bright side, the authorities had very helpfully taken down everything in the house, leaving it as bare as a newborn baby (save for 2 sinks), and making it an empty canvas for us to play with. So yay for that!

Here are some photos of our house in its current condition.

Our Renovation Journey

The floors were not cleaned up at all, so our very first furniture purchases are these 2 red stools, haha!

Our Renovation Journey
I love how the full width windows in our kitchen let in all the light. It’s also a good sized kitchen with ample space for cabinets on both sides. These two sinks, sadly, have got to go.

Our Renovation Journey

The two obnoxious, separate bathrooms that we will hopefully be rid of soon.

Our Renovation Journey

This old hammer (I think it’s older than me!) that was passed down to us by my dad, had the honors of ‘opening’ our house for us.

Bear then proceeded to wayang around the house, hammering (lightly) on the walls and knocking on the floor in all four corners of the house.

When all this was done, we attempted to cozy-up to our new neighbors with Bak Kwas *feeling apologetic even before starting*. Turns out, she’s a sweet little old lady who sagely advised us to lay our tiles as close as possible, and gave us a very thorough rundown on the history of our block and its surroundings. Hopefully, we won’t drive her TOO crazy during the course of our renovation.

Next up, the ID selection.

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