Bartley Residences Work-in-Progress: Jul 2015 & Interior Designer Selection

TOP

Our new home has finally TOPed! Yay! It seems to have been a very long wait (we signed the S&P in Mar 2012), and suddenly it’s ready now. Our new home, our new future – we’re all ready for you. Hopefully, we can get the keys next month.

July 2

July 4

July 3
Fridge and washer delivered to the last few units

We started looking for Interior Designers three months ago. We didn’t have a floor plan with precise measurements, but most of the IDs that we talked to were able to make estimation using their software.

We started our “ID Search” by sending our requests to several renovation portals like RenoTalk and HomeSavv. We ended up with too many replies and phone calls, but none of them were able to send a quotation without first meeting us to understand our requirement. It’s indeed true that there is no standard renovation package as the cost truly depends on individual requirements.

Then, we decided to search for IDs through recommendations, ratings, and portfolios online, rather than fishing for quotations through these portals. We shortlisted a few IDs that we like and we sent our RFQ (request for quotation) to them. Some of them responded, but not all.

We began our ID meet-up soon after that. Truth be told, we were completely clueless on what to expect during our first appointment. Thankfully, the first ID that we met was kind enough to spend almost 2 hours explaining all details of new condo renovation to us, from the design themes, to renovation timeline, costs and ideas. Knowing that he was the first ID that we met, he even recommended that we should meet up with at least 2 more IDs to make our comparisons.

Our second ID meet-up was a brief one. Due to time constraints on both sides, we met-up at our home instead. The meeting took less than an hour as the ID needed to rush off for his next appointment. We told him our project scope (based on what we discussed with the first ID). He also threw in some useful pointers and ideas for us. A week later, he sent us an official quotation.

After these two meetings, we were in a much better shape and far clearer on our project scope. And we came up with this:

Reno 1
Reno 2
Reno 3

Next, we sent this project scope to the remaining shortlisted IDs. Three of them replied with estimated quotations (final price is still dependent on actual measurements). For this version of project scope, the cost is roughly about $30K to $35K. This excludes additional fittings done by independent contractors such as grills, wallpapers, curtains, electrical fixtures, lightning and appliances.

It’s impossible to compare prices item by item between these quotations as they vary depending on the measurements, material used, design, complexity, warranty, etc. But at least, we’ve a rough idea on the average cost for our project scope – that’s an important figure to work out our subsequent budget.

We communicated with few other IDs and contractors through phone calls and e-mails before we met our third ID. We didn’t expect it to be such a lengthy discussion, and we ended up with 2.5 hours on our first appointment. This designer is very pleasant and extremely patient – he listened attentively to all our requirements and at the same time, he also dished out his ideas and considerations that we didn’t think about earlier.

The fact that he’s very passionate about his job and he was also very well-prepared with the floor plan that we e-mailed to him prior to our appointment made us feel that he’s the BEST among the other IDs that we’ve met or spoken to. Thus, we secured our second appointment with him to review the quotation.

We met him again a week later to review the quotation. The price quoted was on the high side but still within the range of other quotations. Ultimately, we felt that it’s more important to engage a designer that we can trust and work with, rather than choosing the cheapest one.

Both of us have confidence in him and we were satisfied with the proposed design for our living, dining, balconies and three rooms. After some negotiations, we sealed the deal (on the same day) and paid the first 20%. That ended our “ID searching and meeting” phase for now.

Both V and I were collectively relieved to find our ideal designer just before we flew off for our Taiwan vacation. We gave him a month to work on our 3D drawings even though he said he needs only two weeks. Since we haven’t collected our keys and would be away for vacation, we were not in a hurry for that.

One important lesson learnt – the more IDs you meet and discuss in person, the more you become ascertain of your project scope and requirement. With every new visit, you’ll surely learn something new that you’ve not thought about earlier.

This will be my last Work-in-Progress post. Coming up next, I’ll begin a new topic on Bartley Residences Interior Design. So please stay tuned!

 

Read more home renovation posts!

Bartley Residences Work-in-Progress: May 2015

This morning, I have some time to spare after sending the boy to school. So I made an impromptu visit to the ongoing construction site of Bartley Residences. To my surprise, the landscaping of the condo is mostly completed now – judging from the side of Bartley Road. However, the main entrance at Lorong How Sun is still a bit messy.

I took some pictures using my new Samsung S6 camera phone and my compact camera. Some pictures are not very sharp as the zoom function is limited. In my next visit, I shall bring along my zoom lens.

A forumer called the developer today and updated us that the TOP will be in 3rd quarter from July onwards. So it’s roughly two to three months more before we get the keys to our new home. Yay! I can’t believe that we’ve waited for three years already. “Time flies” is indeed an understatement in our times.

So what’s keeping us busy this month? Apart from our boy’s SA1, we’ve been busy reading up on home reno & deco inspirations, visited a few interior designers, comparing prices, and drafting our renovation budget (will share more in my next post).

I shall end this short post with some pictures of Bartley Residences taken this week.

Bartley - May 2015 - 3
It’s all completed now!

Bartley - May 2015

Bartley - May 2015 - 2
Landscaping is almost completed too
Main Entrance
Main entrance at Lorong How Sun
Security Guard House
Main entrance and security guard house
Side Entrance
Side Entrance 1
Side Entrance (Opp Maris Stella)
Side Entrance 2 to Bartley MRT (opposite Maris Stella)
Walkway
Sheltered walkway to Side Entrance 2 – good for babies on strollers
Tennis Court
One and only tennis court
Adult Fitness Corner
Adult fitness corner
Dining Pavilion
Dining Pavilion (with hot plates)
BBQ Pavilion Near Blk 19
BBQ Pavilion near Blk 19
Aircon
Spotted a unit with aircon installed – Eeek! The grills are slightly rusty already
Unit with Brown Exterior
Units with exterior painted in brown – V commented that it doesn’t look very elegant 🙁
Unit with White Experior
Units with exterior painted in white – I hope our unit is in white too!

I’ve created a new Facebook Group for the residents of Bartley Residences. If you’re a resident, you’re welcome to join us HERE. Thanks! 🙂

Bartley Residences Work-in-Progress: Apr 2015

Last week, I visited the on-going construction of Bartley Residences and took some pictures. Some forumers called the developer and were told that the TOP will be in July this year. However, I’m not overly optimistic because there are still a lot of landscaping works to be done.

No matter when is the TOP, we’re not in a hurry to move in. Strangely, as we move closer to the TOP, I started to have mixed feelings. First, moving to a new property is exciting especially since its just 5 minutes walk to our boy’s school. Second, the sadness of leaving this apartment which we called home since the day we got married. And third, the fear of the amount of works that need to be done in the subsequent months. As what my friend said – the defect verification is enough to kill.

We spent the first Sunday looking out for furnitures and interior designers. It was really tiring, and I wonder how many weekends we need to spend doing this. Nonetheless, it was a fruitful trip and I can start drafting our budget now. We’re really inexperienced in house renovation and interior design since we didn’t do much for our current apartment. We’re the second owner, so everything in our current apartment has been nicely done up by the first owner.

Here are some pictures to share.

Bartley Apr 15 - 1
The last block is almost completed now

Bartley Apr 15 - 4
View along Bartley Road

Bartley Apr 15 - 5
View from the main entrance at Lorong How Sun

Bartley Apr 15 - 2
More trees have been planted

Bartley Apr 15 - 6
A 3BR unit with two balconies – similar to ours

Bartley Apr 15 -3
The 120 years Bodhi tree in between the blocks

Bartley Apr 15 - 8
An L-shape leather sofa that we’ve shortlisted

Bartley Residences Work-in-Progress: Jan 2015

The new school year has started, so I grabbed the opportunity to visit the construction site to see its progress. The latest information I get is that the TOP date will be July this year. If this is true, it will be just several months away to get the keys to our new home.

I’m eager to shift in because it will solve all my traffic woes. Although it isn’t really bad now – travelling time is still acceptable, it will still be much easier to just walk over than driving. At least, I don’t need to find a parking lot.

Bartley Jan 2015 - 3

Judging from the outlook, this project should be at least 70% into its completion now. All the blocks (except the one facing Bartley Road) are built to their highest floors, painted with all green nets removed.

Bartley Jan 2015 - 4
Last block still in construction

Bartley Jan 2015 - 2

Bartley Jan 2015 - 5

For the two-bedroom units, the balconies at the living hall and master bedroom are combined. I like this design actually – it makes the balcony more spacious and functional. For the three-bedroom units, there are two balconies (separated). For our unit, the two balconies have different facings. So, it’s nice to see two different views from there.

Bartley Jan 2015 - 6

Initially, I was wondering what structure is this. After checking the site map, it’s actually a reading pavilion – near the side gate to Bartley MRT.

Bartley Jan 2015 - 7
Picture Credit: http://forums.condosingapore.com/

This one is obvious – tennis court.

After the Chinese New Year, we should start looking out for interior designers. If you have any good recommendations, please share with me. Appreciate it!

Bartley Residences Work-in-Progress: Oct 2014

This was originally intended to be a monthly update on this blog, but turns out to be a quarterly update now due to lack of time. Nonetheless, I’m still committed to update it as often as I can. To refresh your memory, you can check out my last update in July HERE.

Judging from the payment status, this project is at least 50% into its completion now. And this is 2 years and 7 months later after we signed the Option to Purchase. Argh, what a long wait!

Oct3
Gorgeous, isn’t it?

The major progresses that I’ve seen now include: 1) the blocks facing Bartley Road are all built to their highest floors now and 2) the blocks facing the main entrance at Lorong How Sun are painted white with their green nets all removed.

Oct1
Block 7 facing Bartley Road
Oct7
Blocks facing Lorong How Sun

Some pictures taken with my rarely-used 40-150mm zoom lens:

Oct5
The balcony at the living hall
Oct6
The balcony at the master bedroom

The condo facilities are still not built at this point. In this picture, I saw a staircase leading to the side gate of the MRT station. The biggest selling point of this project is its walking distance to Bartley MRT. But for us, it’s mainly the walking distance to Edison’s school.

Oct2

I’m so looking forward to the day when I can walk across the road to send him to school. That’s all for Oct update now. Happy Deepavali to all the Indians celebrating this holiday, and a Happy Holiday for the rest of us.