Our renovation journey started with the only meaningful piece of information we obtained from HDB – our floorplan. With every appointment with interior designers (ID) for a discussion and request for quotation, this blueprint serve as the starting point for IDs to do their measurements, advise on carpentry, piping and lighting works. Tip:Always ask for a itemised quotation, so you can compare and contrast quotations for best value. Not all IDs will oblige, but I think the ones who really want your business will try.
You’ll notice that there is a specially designated ‘man cave’
We also came armed with mood boards of our preferred interior design, and a lot questions on areas such as special requirements, for eg hot water piping to the kitchen, or built-in furniture requests.
We screened around 7-8 IDs. Some were IDs who were recommended based on word-of-mouth; others were folks we found on websites such as Homerenoguru and Qanvast, or who had offices located in malls near our home.
In most cases, we were quite sensitive to those who weren’t sincere and were too pushy with their ideas. Too high a prices quoted also didn’t seem good, neither were those that were too low cost. One contractor gave us a cutthroat price, but his quotation was riddled with typos and grammatical errors. We perceived this as potentially someone who may be careless. Others had a take-it-or-leave-it attitude with their pricing.
After reviewing multiple quotations and interviewing these interior designers, we selected Shawn from ProjectGuru. Thus far, his work had been outstanding.
After paying the deposit, our ID proceeded to send us a variety of 3D sketches. We reviewed them and gave our input. The 2nd round passed:
A second appointment with our ID was then scheduled to decide on things like the type of flooring, kitchen counter top, and paint works.
Subsequently, it was just a matter of us informing our ID of our key collection date, and deciding on all the optional items. For example, we were hoping that HDB would help with cement screeding for our floor, since we had opt out of the Optional Component Scheme. In the end, we still got Shawn to work on this.
After we got our keys, the action on our part was 2-fold: (i) Shopping blitz to get all the kitchen and toilet fittings, and (ii) defects check. I’ll write about this next.