Thursday, December 27, 2007

House Renovation ( week 8 )


Installation of new main doorframe and main door.

This week, our contractor from Contat Decor and Transportation came by to remove the old main door frame and install the new door frame and new main door shown above. We did not want the standard HDB type of door offered as standard under renovation packages and went to source for our own main door, having in mind the types found in condos. We managed to meetup with Jonas from Contat Decor and Transportation. He's a young guy who's totally in tune with what young couples like ourselves want in a modern main door. He was very helpful and spend a deal of time bringing out the various samples of the different parts of the main door from the wood lamination to the lockset to the handles etc.

We spent about 780 dollars on the entire main door, doorframe and the door parts such as the lockset, handles etc ( we took the more expensive route of equipping the door with YALE branded items instead of cheaper Taiwanese or China sourced locksets ). It was a worthwhile splurge for us as we feel it complements the contemporary modern look of our apartment. We will put up more pictures of the door once the varnishing of the door and painting of the doorframe is done. You can contact Jonas at 64425270 or email at for more details.For those who are keen on such a door, I have provided the specifications of our main door as follows :

Door material : Single-Leaf solid veneer

Wood type : Fancy Dark Oak 816 ( greyish-light brown coloured )

Standard items : 3 Stainless steel hinges / 1 Magnetic stopper / Installation and Laquer /

1 eye viewer piece

Additional items : 1 set Mah Stainless steel Chrome Plated Door Lock / 1 set Yale 521 Roller Lockcase 60mm / 1 set Yale 70mm T-T anti-drill locking cylinder with 5 anti duplicate keys/

1 set Yale Key Covers / 1 set Chrome/Stainless steel Pull Handles ( 25diameter x 450mm) /

1 piece Etech solid chrome Door Guard

Electrical Works Part 2

Shown : LEGRAND Mallia 2 rocker switches, Mallia 1 rocker 2-way switch with LED Green light(For Storage Water Heater) and Mallia double socket switch with Mallia switch boxes.

Shown : Switch Panel for Kitchen Cabinet on extreme right of picture

The electricians arrived also this week to fix up all the switches and sockets plus some of the lighting. We specifically asked for only certain lightings to be put up as there was still alot of shifting and reno works going on. The electrician and our ID commented that the switches and sockets from LEGRAND were quite nice. Our ID Jacky suggested a very aesthetically good idea of fixing a panel for the kitchen sockets flushed with our kitchen cabinet. See Below:

We sourced the LEGRAND switches and sockets from the friendly and patient boss and his staff ( his wife and a older man whom we called uncle) at Kien Hoe Teng Trading Pte Ltd. They were very patient with us. Even though they deal with mass orders for switches and sockets for buildings, they took time off from their busy schedule to sit down and explain the different switches and even how the switches and wiring should be run. They even advised us on things which electricians may try to hoodwink us about. Our LEGRAND switches and sockets were from the Mallia Range. Initially we wanted the coloured frames but as the wiring in our resale HDB is external, there was a need to mount the switches and sockets on boxes which unfortunately are available in only white so a coloured framed switch mounted on a white box would look weird. They gave us a good price on the switches as compared to the prices of similar switches found in DIY shops. Those who are keen, you can drop by the shop at Blk 26 Jalan Berseh, #01-160 S(200026).

LEGRAND Mallia 2 rocker switch ( $4-90 each ) with LEGRAND Mallia 2 rocker box ($1.00 each )

LEGRAND Mallia Double Sockets with box ( $11.40 each ). The switches on the sockets are designed to enable ease of reach with the switches mounted on the outside.
TV / FM Outlet with LEGRAND Mallia box ( $18.00 each )

Lighting ( Part 1 )

The electrician also put up the first phase of lightings for our apartment. We did not want to put up the Hall, Dining lights as we wanted the furniture to arrive first so that the positioning would be accurate. Also , we did not put up the master bathroom light for fear of damage as there was still reno work to be done with the ventilator fan and fixed glass shower panel. Similarly for the main door light and lights for the kitchen due to workers moving in and out.
White basket caged light ( C127 300) from Citilights located in our Orange Rm

Rocket Light ( Common Toilet ) in line with the funky theme

Boxed Spotlights for Walk In Wardrobe

(ABove) Wash area cylinder tube lighting Store Room circular light

Plumbing Works Part 2

The plumbers joined in this week's reno activities and completed the plumbing to the master bathroom and common bathroom. The kitchen and vanity top were left on hold due to the solid top not up as yet. As we could not conceal the piping in the bathrooms, we chose a more aesthectically pleasing stainless steel set of pipes which complemented the chrome of our Hansgrohe and Ferrera Asiapac taps and mixers.

Common Toilet Plumbing works :

We installed our water storage heater(15 Litres) from Italian brand - Ferroli sourced from Rigel. It costs $230 and has energy and water saving and quality thermostat features.

Our Toilet Bowl sourced from Sim Siang Choon ( $200 ). We liked the modern clean look and it comes with slow closing cover. We also attached a water rinser from SSC for $15.The Hangrohe Focus E Single lever basin mixer chrome ($110 after 25% discount) comes with pop up waste installed on a white square sink sourced from Hoe Kee ( $90 )

Sourced from Ferrera Asiapac : 3 spray Celestial Handshower with Creztial silver hose and adjustable wall mounted holder. ( Complete set- $70 )

Hansgrohe Focus E Shower Mixer wall mounted chrome ($114 after 25% discount ) The entire mixer and shower head set. Note steel piping

Master Bathroom

For our Masterbath, we installed Hansgrohe Raindance All Rounder Shower set complemented by a Hangrohe Axor Mixer. We liked the flexibility of the All Rounder design as it can be used as a massage overhead shower and also easily detached to be a handheld showerhead. Wallpaper

This week, the good people from Goodrich came to install the wallpaper for the feature wall in the master bedroom. It is worthwhile to pay more to have their installers do it for you as the workmanship is quite good, in particular along the wire cabling and switches. The white spot near the bottom of the floor is our electrical socket. Total cost was $655 with installation. We chose this design as it was in line with the room's colour theme of grey and the flower motifs were quite elegant with the red giving a bright splash of coulour to brighten the room's grey tone. The motif was also not too gaudy. Oh yes, shown here is also our half installed lighting ( the spiky ball ) for the master bedroom. We have not installed the halogen bulbs and crystal attachments yet for fear of damage by movers for the bedframe and furnishing.

Carpentry Works - Walk in Wardrobe Vanity Counter

Walk in wardrobe vanity cupboard with mounted sink was installed. The sink will be installed later when the solid top is up. As we required more storage space, we asked for overhead cupboard and also below the vanity counter. We chose black laminated covering for the cupboard. We also asked jacky to customize a mirror for the vanity. The cost increased also due to the need for mounting of a solid top to ensure water resistance.

Carpentry Works - Shoe Cabinet
The carpenters did up the installation of the cabinet with black glossy laminate. The shoe cabinet also hides the MCB and provide additional storage shelf space at the top. Black Laminated Shoe Cabinet

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wedding Lunch Banquet - Dec 16, 2007

Venue :
Sunday, December 16 was our customary wedding lunch banquet held at Pan Pacific Hotel Ocean Ballroom. We had booked a 8 course lunch banquet package a year ago based on three factors that appealed to us: value for money pricing , hotel location and ambience plus good food.

Value for Money:
Based on the price given, we had a choice of 5 wedding wishes included which was value for money - We chose a night's stay at the bridal suite ( Pan Pacific threw in a room upgrade for us on our 2nd night stay allowing us to stay at the bridal suite for the cost of a deluxe room), a string trio to play at the wedding cocktail reception before the lunch, wedding invitation cards, wine, wedding favors ( we chose a mix of chocolates and wedding bears favors).
Wedding Favors chosen by us : Wedding Bears and Chocolate( 1pc bitter and 1 pc sweet choc )

Central Location:
We wanted a hotel location that was central and easily accessible to those of our relatives and friends who did not drive. Pan Pacific fitted this due to it's proximity to city hall MRT via citilink pass. Also, our guests found it good that they could do some shopping at Marina Square or suntec after the lunch. There was also ample parking for all our guests who drove due to the large carparks available at Pan Pacific, Marina Square, Suntec.

Ambience :
We liked the classy decor and ambience of Pan Pacific. The decor was classy and the christmas decor at this period made it feel very romantic and cozy too. Our ballroom was also located at a private corner and so we had the whole area to ourselves and our guests. One additional room was used by us for the customary tea ceremony. The staff at Pan Pacific were very helpful, professional and warm. They were very efficient with all our queries from Thomson, our catering sales manager , to Joseph, our Events Manager to the waiting party who awaited and greeted us and settled us down upon our arrival at Pan Pacific.
Living Room of our Bridal Suite ( #15-21 )

Good Food:
We had a 8 course sit down lunch banquet which featured dishes from the renowed Hai Tien Lo restaurant at Pan Pacific. All the guests raved about the tasty food and the ample and expensive ingredients in the dishes , especially the shark's fin soup and yam paste dessert. We also told by our Muslim friends that the Muslim dishes were also good.

SMS Wedding Service :
We hired the services of the SMS Wedding services from whereby for the uninitiated, your guests can sms their well wishes to a toll free line and their sms wishes will be projected via a live feed on the hotel's ballroom screen. The good thing is that the well wishes will be copied onto a CD Rom which is more convenient than a guest book. Also a photo montage was also provided in the package for screening during the banquet. Swee Mein , the manager from serving us was very helpful which was a plus. He was prompt in answering all our queries, responded promptly with our montage draft and clear, concise in informing us how to use the service.

Florist :We sourced the bridal posse and car decor from Redbox, with whom we had used for our ROM. Ching - the proprietor of Redbox is a very dedicated and professional florist. She puts 110% into her floral creations and takes pride in her work. She may charge a little more but it shows in the quality of the flowers used(100% fresh flowers) and the efforts in the presentation. She is also someone whom we found easy to converse with, relate to and communicate our needs.

Posse of red roses with black feather inserts to blend in with Gayle's wedding gown that feature black embroidery. Ching's handiwork for our wedding car 'Just Married' Sign with accompanying sunflowers and yellow satin cloth ribbon. ( No organza pleaasse! ) If you are interested in engaging Redbox, please visit their website at

Bridal Boutique - Silhouette
Embroidery of Gayle's wedding gown in full glory

Gayle got her wedding gown from Silhouette, who are well known for their sashed gowns and intricate embriodery. Kenji was our designer and artisan and he did beautiful embroidery for both Gayle's wedding and evening gowns. Kenji was very dedicated and gave very good service and inputs. He is a very personable and easy to banter with which makes the whole process very easy. You will have to do your own research on the internet to feed him some proposed design ideas you like and he will take it from there.

You can check out their designs on

Friday, December 7, 2007

House Renovation ( Weeks 5 - 7 )



Hall lighting point and Downlight points

This week, the electrician came on his first of a few visits to route and realign the electrical wires and set up the new lighting and socket, switch points. We had spent some time before his visit, looking at the floorplan and drawing up where we wanted to locate the lightpoints, sockets and switches. You will need to know how many lightings you plan to put, inclusive of all pendant, decorative and downlights. You would also need to check the quality of the wiring if you are renovating a resale flat to see if you need to rewire the flat.

3 lighting points for the kitchen( Stove, sink and wash area )

Electrical works is a very costly item in the renovation works and for us, with 9 downlights and 13 lightpoints, plus changing of the MCB switch box, relocation of 3 SCV points, 17 double socket points and 10 sets of rocker switches cost us slightly over $1700 inclusive of lights installation, excluding lightings and switches and sockets. We had many socket points as we plan to have a number of electrical appliances and also were planning for any future requirements. We also got the electrician to install a fan point for the KDK ventilator fan that we want to install in our master bath.

You should make it a point to be present on the day that the electrical works are started to ensure that the wiring is laid according to your specification and to answer the queries of the electrician.We will share in a later posting about where we got our switches, for those who are keen to install Legrand switches.


Week 5 also saw the putting up of the supporting frame for the subsequent installation of the false ceiling and lightbox for the hall.

Supporting frame for mounting of false ceiling



Week 6 saw the fabrication and completion of the false ceiling and lightbox for the hall and foyer of the main bedroom entrance.

We asked the ID to level the original recessed ceiling with a false ceiling and remove the old ventilation vents as shown above. We will be installing a downlight in the false ceiling.

We also asked the ID to fit in curtain pulmets into the false ceiling for the hall curtains and master bedroom so that the rails for the day and night curtains are hidden from view. We also made pulmet in front of the main door entrance(see above) to hide the rail for the string curtains which we are putting up to give some privacy to the living room.


Our ID also fabricated and installed a false wall backing which the walk in wardrobe will be built into. The wall will also serve to partition the study area from the walk in wardrobe.

We will be mounting an IKEA Full height mirror at the side of the wall. We took the dimensions of the mirror and got our ID to build the sidewall to the mirror dimensions so that it will be a good fitting.


Master Bedroom Laminated Flooring from Supreme

This week, the contractor laid the laminated flooring from SUPREME. This brand was recommended by our ID due to it' s combination of higher quality and 'dont breaqk the bank prices'. We chose a dark shade of brownish black grain to blend in with our rooms' grey, black , red , cozy concept. The workmanship is quite good especially in the skirtings and most importantly, the flooring was level and there were no hollow sounds when walking on it.

Common Room Laminated Flooring


The electrician also came up to complete the cabling of the electrical wires. We were surprised that he installed a "branded'' Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB)Box - HAGER brand from France ( See Below picture) . We know about this brand because we bought a HAGER Contactor Unit ( Used to link two separate switches to one storage heater)for our storage heater, which was recommended by the electrical shop where we bought our LEGRAND switches. In preparation for the painting of the house, our contractor gave a first wash up of the house which finally meant we could step into the house without our shoes and also to see the flooring as one whole complete uncovered layer.

Finally , Shiny homogeneous flooring of the Hall ( Above and Below pictures ) !

Our cleaned kitchen , common toilet and master toilet! Sparkling !


Mid-week, the painters came to our house and brought some colours to our house. We chose primary colours of two shades of grey and one shade of white with two fun colours of red and orange. Pictures tell a thousand words so view the pictures :

Living Room

Living Room colours - Nippon 5069 Galaxy(darker Grey) and ICI Dolphin 20278(Light Grey)

Dining Area Wall Colour - Nippon 5069 Galaxy ( Dark Grey )

Master Bedroom

(Above) Master Bedroom Colour - ICI 20278 Dolphin

(Above and below) Walk In Wardrobe - ICI 20278 Dolphin

Passage to Study Area and Walk In Wardrobe

(Above) Wall Colour :Nippon 5046 Spectrum Red

Common Bedroom ( The Fun Room )

(Above) Common Rm Colour : ICI SP27801 Fiesta Orange

Master Toilet
Common Toilet


Store Room


The first installment of the carpentry works began today on the last weekday of Week 7. The contractor put up the first sections of the kitchen cabinet and the complete walk in wardrobe. The hob and kitchen sink were also laid in before the second stage of mounting the solid top of the kitchen cabinet.

( Above ) L -shaped Black Glossy Laminated Kitchen Cabinet ( 38ft)

Sink and hob adjacent with workspace for two persons to be simultaneously working in kitchen together. ( Above )

( Above )Unfinished Wooden backing for dish rack and shelving cum sink section

( Above ) Cutlery drawer sourced from Blum

Our half installed Rinnai RB2C-G Inner Burner Hob

( Above ) Insertion of the BLANCO kitchen sink ( Anthracite Grey colour)

( Above ) 1st section of Walk In Wardrobe with glossy grey laminate

( Below ) 2nd section of the Walk in Wardrobe ( Below ) We constructed a pulmet for installation of a suede curtain in place of doors ( to reduce cost ) to reduce dust retention and for privacy.