Posted in Home Improvement Programme (HIP), Uncategorized

We survived Home Improvement Programme – Part 4 (Completion – removing plastic sheets)

 

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We removed the plastic sheets on the floor first, this is before we even mop it, still clean… except for some fine dust. Spray water on the plastic sheet before tearing it down, so that dust stick onto the sheet while you tear it down, to minimise cleaning.
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Removed the outer layer of plastic sheet, it’s dust-free.
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Unwrapping TV console, dust-free as well
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Long time no see, living room.
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Dust-free glass cabinets.
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Reflection game strong. Haha.
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Same for kitchen, no dust from HIP work, but dust accumuated previously remains. Hah! Stay mopping~

Some of you might query our effort for wrapping up the entire house, is it even neccessary? I would say Yes it is. We would rather spend a few nights wrapping, than to spend weeks clearing duston all walls, furniture and floor.

Life goes back to normal on the first day after HIP after tearing down the sheets and one round of mopping; home cooked food resumes a day later after all we put back the utencils.

 

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Posted in Home Improvement Programme (HIP), Uncategorized

We survived Home Improvement Programme – Part 3 (Defects check)

Judging on the way we did our wrapping, it is not difficult to guess how meticulous we are. So here’s how we did our defects check. Concerns are writen on the yellow tags. The tags shocked the workers, as these might mean possible complaints. This was the first time I see them so efficient in their work, with many different workers coming in to fix the defects, all to be completed in one day.

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Grouting wasn’t done properly, leaving lots of holes between tiles, which could end up being ants’ home-sweet-home in future, it trap dust as well.
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Turn on taps and you will know if there’s any water leakage on the pipes.

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tiles cracked when drilling hole, they got replaced but still waiting for new hole to be drilled.

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Process of HIP damaged our built-in wardrobe, contractor sealed it with silicon eventually.
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Their work schedule got messed up due to possible shortage of manpower, hence grab bar installed before painting work done. Hence causing paint stains on grab bar.

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We find it a serious issue, got them to fixed it twice before it’s finally resolved.

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Oh yes, we installed matching LED light too.
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We used the water level ruler to check if basin is slanted.

Contractor passed us a form (acknowledgement of work completion) to sign on the last day of HIP, we refused to sign. Always check for the Owners’ rights with HDB, we are not oblige to sign the form on the spot. Last check with HDB branch office in 2017, we can sign the form at the contractor’s office after work completed, as long as the HIP project is still on-going in the estate. Our objective is to ensure contractor still attend to our concerns (if any) after work completion, timely.

Next post: HIP essentials

Posted in Home Improvement Programme (HIP), Uncategorized

We survived Home Improvement Programme – Part 2 (Progress)

Hola! It’s been awhile! In my previous post on HIP, I shared how precise I was on wrapping up the house. In this post, I’ll bring you through the progress of our HIP works and see if the hard work pays off.

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All these dusty rubber mats and equipment goes into the house.

We were the last unit on our level to start the HIP work. We deeply felt what Gotong Royong truely mean during dusty times like this. Our neighbour placed stools at corridor so that we have a place to sit while hacking was going on in the unit. We spent numerous evenings chatting with neighbours at the corridor while having our packed dinner (you won’t want to have your dinner in the covered house).

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Rubber mat to protect our flooring & dusty plastic sheets which ideally should minimise dust (placed by contractor)
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Steps to our unit were covered as well (by contractor).

The plastic sheet we layed (in my previous post) was to prevent dust, while the rubber mats placed by contractor aimed to protect our flooring (tiles) as workers will be pushing their equipment and tools in. Plastic sheets by the contractor were already dusty from previous units. With the gaps inbetween each sheet, I’m glad we did our own dust-proofing. The contractor’s plastic sheets were removed on Day 3 morning as major hacking was done only on Day 1 and 2.

Hacking work was massive (wall & floor tiles and pipes for both bathrooms), it was just too dusty for us to stay near our unit, so we decided to take the risk and leave the house to the workers. We left after telling the foreman the new layout of our bathrooms (location of water heater and shelves), so that they can plan how the water pipes should run. We had our unaffected bedrooms locked and sealed with plastic sheets. Valuables in Master room has been cleared as well, take our built-in wardrobe (sealed as well) if they want. But I would want to emphasize, it is really at our own risk by leaving the house to strangers.

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Foreman drew the layout of both new bathrooms and pasted it on the wall.

 

So here’s the portable bathroom, installed at the end of Day 1. For our case, we informed the contractor before hand that we required a portable bathroom, not sure if it is a default-should-have item in the HIP package. No additional fee required for this bathroom. It is placed outside our Kitchen toilet, as it needs to be connected to the water inlet and outlet.

I read that not all contractors provide portable bathroom with water heater, so we’re lucky to have one with Bennington water heater. You get to use this bathroom from evening till the next day before the workers start work.

It is small, but has everything you need, a tap, a shower head, toilet bowl, proper drainage system, hooks and even a space for you to put your toiletaries. Just remember to clear your toiletaris before workers start work, you won’t want them covered in dust by evening. Oh yes, we had been reminded that the toilet is purely for “small business”; please settle your “big business” at the void deck bathrooms provided by contractor.

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The back of the portable bathroom where water inlet and outlet were connected to our kitchen bathroom.
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Workers helped to pack our water heater and shower head so that we can reinstall at later stage.

We proceeded to purchase new taps, toilet spray,  toilet roll holder and shelves after confirming the layout on Day 1. Installation is done on Day 9 for us, so we have sufficient time to source for new stuff.

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Day 2 hacking started. Portable toilet was not removed but outlet pipes disconnected to faciliate hacking work.

 

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Walkway to clean and comfy bedrooms (our new living area) with resealable plastic sheet entrance.

 

 

I’m so glad we did our preparation well, else these cement will end up on our tiles instead plastic sheets which we layed before-hand.

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Workers left their tools in our unit one evening, We called their office to get them removed. They are not supposed to leave their tools with us and we do not want to be responsible for their items.
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RTO and site supervisor are supposed to check on the progress and sign daily. The red ink marked by us indicates on days they have failed to check. Contractor tear and threw the paper after HIP, but we snapped it before that and sent to HDB.
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This ought to be highlighted and praised for the intelligent design!

We stay in old HDB, that is why we get to go through HIP, out washing machine water outlet was previously on the outside of the bathroom, connected to a hole on the wall. bubbles rush through bathroom floor after every use, leaving the bathroom floor wet and slippery. This new drainage has 2 water outlet, one for the sink and one for the washing machine. Now bubbles-no-more, hello to dry and safe bathroom.

 

 

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Portable bathroom removed on Day 9 morning before installation. But it’s ok, there’s still temporary bathroom at void deck.
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Temporary bathrooms at void deck, spacious and clean.
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While bathrooms are getting their make-over, our new wooden door and metal gate were installed (HIP package). New keys are ready for collection on the same day at their office.

Next posts: Defects check and HIP essentials.

Posted in Home Improvement Programme (HIP), Uncategorized

We survived Home Improvement Programme – Part 1 (Preparation)

Hi there! The fact that you are reading this post, you’re probably in the midst of preparing for Home Improvement Programme (HIP), or you have completed yours and is living in regret now for the lack of preparation. Nonetheless, let’s learn from experience and prepare ourselves for the upcoming battle HIP or your future HIP.

We have opted in for Home Improvement Programme and EASE, hence we will get 2 Brand new bathrooms (Common and Master Bedroom), new wooden main door & metal grille, as well as new rubbish chute hopper.

Dust-proofing

The upmost important procedure that you should never miss for your preparation. No matter how minor a renovation work is, there bound to be dust, and HIP ain’t minor work at all. So, dust proof everything that you are keeping. The whole dust-proofing process took us (2 ladies) 4 days. -A 4rooom HDB unit

 

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Box it up!
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Seal them up!
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Living Room – Bye TV, see you in 2 weeks! (oh our sexy TV)
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Living Room – We sealed the TV console after wrapping TV, but leaving the internet router and modem exposed. We left an opening with the transparent sheet because of the internet modem’s switch, so the switches are still accessable during HIP. (Picture shows half done sealing)
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Living Room – Final layer of dust-proofing, which sealed up our furniture as well. All plastic sheets are taped on both sides to the ceiling, you won’t want the sheets to drop half way through the HIP! (Picture shows half done sealing)
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Living Room – Almost done sealing this part of the living room.
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Living Room – HIP contractor will cover our floor with either vinyl or rubber sheet to protect our tiles, but they will already be dusty from previous works when being laid on our floor. So we covered the working area with plastic sheets, to minimise the after-HIP cleaning.
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Living Room – This is the sealed part of living room from the above picture. It works as a temporary storeroom as well, where we keep all the tapes, cleaning equipment and boxed up items. We sealed our windows too.
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Living Room – It’s our temporary storeroom on the left. We built a re-sealable door with plastic sheet and a Daiso retractable pole. This divides the war zone HIP area and our re-created living space (which consists of a walkway and 2 unaffected bedrooms). We seal up the “door” only for Day 1 and 2, which are the 2 most dusty days. Right side of the wall has been sealed on the other side as well, leaving our living space dust-free.
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Dining Area – Needless to say, dust-proof it from ceiling to floor as well.
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Bedroom – This bedroom is unfortunately beside main bedroom toilet (which is undergoing HIP), so seal up the windows. Praise the invention of aircon!
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Bedroom – the other bedroom has a ventilation window above the door, although this room inside our living space (which is dust-free), we decided to seal it, just in case.

 

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DB Box – You can seal your entire house, but never the DB box, for safety reason. We cut a hole on the plastic sheet, leaving the DB box cover exposed.
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Main bedroom – It’s almost a cleared-out room to start with. We stored our washing machine and a shelf here, sealed from ceiling to floor.
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Main bedrom – Wardrobe and floor covered. Will be throwing away the fan, so we didn’t bother covering it.
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Kitchen – This will be the worst war zone HIP area, because our common toilet is in the kitchen. So we double-sealed our kitchen. First layer to cover fixtures. Fridge on the other side of this wall has been sealed as well. Remember to clear the food before sealing, for you only have access to the fridge 2 weeks later!
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Kitchen – double-sealing in progress. We wanted to leave the sink exposed, but decided to seal it up in the end, because hashtag dust is nightmare #dustisnightmare.
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Kitchen – Outer layer done on both sides, floor covered, bringing dust-proofing to a whole new level.
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Kitchen – We took the advice from neighbours, seal up the powerpoints. Some workers tend to use our electricity for minor drilling works (which they are not supposed to), so sealing up prevents them from using our points. (Look out for my next post to see how workers asked me for permission to use our points, when they already knew they are not supposed to.)

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Kitchen – We sealed this powerpoint differently. It’s re-sealable. In case we need a powerpoint outside our living space, we can still use this.

Tagging

We tagged the items in both toilets which we intend to keep and re-install after HIP, so that the workers can help to keep them aside for us.

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Common toilet – We tagged items we wanted to keep with blue post-it and reminded the supersivor during Day 1 of HIP before hacking works start
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Common toilet – Tagged. (We threw this away in the end, not sure what state of minds are we in when we tagged this. Hurhur)

Materials

You may think that we are being exaggerated in our dust-proofing work, but I have to tell you, it works, not much of cleaning to be done in the end because the entire house is almost dust-free, except for the stones on the floor from all the hacking works.

So there are the items we used:

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Hunter masking tape (on the right) is highly recommended (tried & tested) to be durable and does not peel paint when removing). So we used it to stick plastic sheets to ceiling and wall. Hi-bond (on the left) works on walls too. But it’s thin, not as good as Hunter.
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Plastic sheets we used for the entire house except for floors.

A full list of items we used:

  1. Hunter masking tapes (12 rolls)
  2. Hi-bond masking tapes – for connecting 2 plastic sheets and wall (8 rolls)
  3. SLM masking tapes – for for connecting 2 plastic sheets (a few rolls)
  4. Transparent tape – for connecting plastic sheet to tiles (1 roll)
  5. Plastic sheets – entire house except floor – (17 packs)
  6. Extra thick plastic sheets – for floors (did not track usage

Sorry Mother Earth for not being green, but we feel that this is essential.

Look out for next post topic: The beginning of HIP and how the detailed dust-proofing saved us.

Posted in Singapore, Uncategorized

Life Made Easier – Steigen Automated Laundry Systems

What do you need when you need to dry your wet laundry?

I’m staying at 90s HDB flat, and here are the items I need:

  1. To lift the bamboo pole the wet laundry, bring it out of window and stuff it to the bamboo pole holder and ensure it doesn’t break and land at ground floor.
  2. A platform. I 1.56m tall short, I can hardly reach the bamboo pole holder outside the window without a platform.
  3. The legendary Sun that keeps playing hide and seek with everyone, that leads to my next needed item…
  4. Some clothing are just too precious to me, and I will over-turn them before hanging them in the sun to dry, to prolong the colors of my clothes, especially black ones.
  5. If I am lucky, I have the Sunshine at the kitchen windows, else I can only air-dry my laundry in the living room. And yes, I am lucky for I live in the 90s HDB, where living room is not in a match-box size.

I thought things should turn better when I move into a new BTO flat, until I see the new laundry hanging racks.

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3 poles, Thank you. I had 6 much longer poles.
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I guess we are expected to dry our laundry indoor. This would save my muscles, but where do I get the Sunshine and wind from? Unless I can direct the Sunshine and wind into our service yard, say goodbye to fresh smelling clothes.

Perhaps we should get a dryer, I did a quick research and at my best knowledge, there are 2 types of laundry dryer, #1 electric dryer and #2 gas dryer. In any case, both are not cheap, in terms of product and electricity / gas bills.

Having rumbled so much, I am fortunate to have chanced upon a solution to my problem recently. After watching the demo and had a try out on the solution myself, all I want to say is, “what more can I wish for?” Continue reading “Life Made Easier – Steigen Automated Laundry Systems”

Posted in Accommodation, Holiday, Hua Hin, Uncategorized

Accommodation Review (Hua Hin): Royal Pavilion Hua Hin Hotel

Think Hua Hin, think Royal Pavilion Hotel, at least that true for me. It was our second trip to Hua Hin in July 2017, and we knew we had to go back to this hotel for it’s fantastic services and comfort. The building looks 3-stars, but service unquestionably matches it’s 4-stars rating. Continue reading “Accommodation Review (Hua Hin): Royal Pavilion Hua Hin Hotel”