A Place we call Home (Part 4) – the finale and the ‘great migration’

18 August 2010 – 17 September 2010

Don’t think I mentioned this in my previous post. Like any other clients of renovators/contractors, we too had problems with workmanship and delivery dates. But I must say that we were more fortunate, simply because we had a good coordinator – a LADY who commands, ensures and organizes our requirements, payments, etc from the beginning of the consultation period right till the delivery of the finished goods. It seems rather strange that a woman could control and manage construction projects better than men, but I must give credits to her ability to remember most of the details and changes we made in our renovation plans and how diligently she helped us to follow up on our progress eventhough she was swamped with many other customers’ requests at the same time. Well, I guess, I have to give credit to my husband as well who managed to ‘PR’ her into giving us so much of attention .. haha .. charms work with the opposite sex .. all the time baby, all the time.

We were pretty satisfied with the overall renovation work, except for the lopsidedness of the kitchen cabinets. Gosh, it was such an eyesore, I cannot imagine myself living with this kind of workmanship. You see, the kitchen top was constructed by the renovation company we engaged, and the cabinets by a different supplier which the renovation company has engaged. Hence, it tends to get a lil bit messy when two companies are doing the same thing at the same time. So both companies started analyzing the problem with the lopsided kitchen cabinet. It started with the kitchen cabinet company. They claimed that the kitchen cement top, which was constructed by the renovation company was not even. Ok, so we called in the renovation company and at first, they denied the kitchen cabinet claims … oh oh, this doesn’t sound good. I was beginning to lose my patience and told the lady in charge that, this has to be fixed and I told hubs that if this doesn’t get fixed, we are not going to pay the balance of the total renovation costs. We were given an option by the renovation company to dismantle the entire kitchen top which has serious implication on our moving plans. Also, the dismantling business may cause a dent on the expensive kitchen sink that we bought from the Home Dec exhibition (no way am I going to allow this to happen). Since this option wasn’t so favourable, we only had one more left – which is to get the kitchen cabinet company to try shifting the cabinet doors upwards more to cover the gaps of the lopsidedness. They did a wonderful job with the wet kitchen ones, but had some problems with the dry kitchen ones. After several attempts, it finally look alright – though not perfect, and not too hideous either. Woah lah, our job’s done and I am so grateful we need not dismantle the kitchen top. It was a sigh of relief for the lady supervisor as well. I am very glad that she did not hesitate the slightest bit to accomodate our needs eventhough it meant giving themselves more jobs to do.

13 September 2010

Finally, the entire renovation work has completed! We had to start cleaning up the house. The house is a total mess. Although the renovation company help us mop most of the cement off, it was still very dusty. We reckoned that it will take tons and tons of mopping the floors before we can really get rid of the dust. Since the house’s so big, we couldn’t possibly clean the entire house on our own. Thoughts of engaging cleaning services ran through our minds. But cleaning services ain’t cheap either. We were charged RM300 just to clean up a bare unit and I thought that was exorbitant! We managed to bargain the price till RM200, but it still sounds very expensive to me … and my mum! Mum and aunt and my sister in law wanted to help us out, but I don’t think I like the idea of troubling our family members on this. We stuck to the decision to hire cleaners with RM200, but with expectations that they will clean the entire house till we are satisfied with the outcome …but it never did happen! We literally had them clean the house three times for the price we were charged and I made sure that they clean up ALL the walls in the house as well. The final outcome? Not to satisfactory and not too unsatisfactory either. We still need to clean up after them – but not as much of course.

15 September 2010

We had made plans with furniture companies to start moving the furniture we bought on this day. Unfortunately, we delayed the delivery of our washing machine and our bed due to the initial hiccups we had with the renovation. Then came another hiccup, our sofa wasn’t manufactured yet! But the furniture company made arrangements to have a temporary sofa set to be loaned to us while we wait for our original sofa set to come. Not a bad service indeed. We were sitting on the loan sofa for 10 days before our original one was finally delivered to us. Even with all the furniture in place, I still feel that our house was pretty empty due to the visible ample space between the living room and the dining room. Not to mention, the walls look pretty white and blank without any paintings/photos hung on them (need to work on this).

17 September 2010

WE FINALLY MOVED IN TO OUR NEW PLACE.¬† It was certainly a tiring process of moving our stuff from our rented apartment in Puchong, traveling all the way to our current place which is about 50+ km away. We settled everything on this very day itself, but we waited until 3 days later to clear the rest of the rubbish we have before handing over the keys back to the owner of the apartment. Boy, do I miss this place! Very nostalgic – it is the very first ‘home’ me and hubs had when we got married and settled as husband and wife. And I certainly was going to miss my old life .. I am still missing my old life btw ūüė¶ But life must go on and we have to embrace something new. On this very day itself, I started first day at work on my new job. I was overwhelmed with so many new changes in my life suddenly. New job, new home, new life! It was abit too much for me to handle, but thankfully, I did (except for my new job). I kinda like staying at my current place which is right next to the mountains of the “Banjaran Titiwangsa”. I love the mountains very much – always reminds me of the wonders of God’s creation. How majestic, How wonderful it is to know that God is the creator of this Universe.

22 September 2010

Our washing machine arrived and so did our bed. We had to bunk at the guest room with our existing bed before we get to officially sleep on our new one. After furnishing the mattress and pillows with Akemi bedsheets and covers, we were very proud and satisfied with the final outcome. It looks comfy and it feels comfy too. However, my experience with the new washing machine was a disaster. It was more complicated than the one we had at the apartment. Just wasn’t too user-friendly and I had thoughts of selling it off and buying another one back – we’ll see how we can manage it :p

 

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A Place we call Home (Part 3) – the renovation begins

5 July 2010 – We started the renovation of our condo with the installation of grilles and then moved on to the installation of kitchen cabinets and cement top.¬† The house was in a total mess when we went to inspect and check on the progress of the renovation. Cements were lying everywhere on the floor and it just looks so muddy in our condo. Can’t wait to see the next progress of our kitchen top and cabinets. We are not going to do much renovation to the condominium, just major furnishing. Hubs took a day off to paint our master bedroom. We chose green because it gives a fresh kind of ambience that sends the feelings of calmness across the room. It looks very shaded as though you are sitting in the middle of a rainforest overlooking the large oak trees above your heads. The paint looks splendid and we also had some extra to spare. Thinking of painting the study room green as well for green is said to be healthy for our eyes. Why not? We’ve used less than 1/3 of the paint bottle and mum’s thinking of painting her room as well to match the colour of the tv cabinet that she has recently purchased. Not bad .. one bucket of paint for 3 places! How economical.

We have also invested heavily in curtains and fabrics. We tailor-made our curtains from the curtain shops in Nilai town. Seems far but the prices offered in Nilai are alot more attractive than the ones we have surveyed in KL. We have made two trips down to Nilai just to select the perfect fabric for our curtains. On our first trip there, we decided on a silver and black curtains. I wanted to paint the living hall violet as the colour provides a soothing effect on our tired bodies after a long day at work and on the road. Ichanged my mind day later. I thought it will incur more work in painting the walls to suit the silver and black linens. So we went back to Nilai and this time, we chose a brighter coloured fabric to spice up the living room a little bit more. Save us the pain of painting the walls ūüėõ We made the changes, got our curtains 1 week later. We have not put it up yet, as we wanted to wait until the renovation of the kitchen cabinet’s completed before we do so.

19 July 2010 РThe renovation company has completed the kitchen concrete top. The solid looking top portrays an excellent workmanship committed by the renovators (hope it stays the same years down the road). Next will be the cabinets. We chose the dark coloured ABS material for our cabinet doors with aluminium wrapping and door knob attached at the sides of each cabinet door. The dark colours of the cabinet doors will match our white concrete top and I hope the outcome will look splendid and that I will not regret my decision on the colours for the top and the cabinets. Fingers crossed. On the same day, hubs painted our study room with the same green colour applied at our master bedroom. Hubs took a day off to move 5 boxes of fans and several boxes of lights and light bulbs to the condo for installation and my, was it a tiring day for the both of us. I was stressed out at work, finishing up incomplete tasks and he with the condo. Our next visit to the condo will be this coming Saturday and we cannot wait to see our completed kitchen cabinets and the installation of fans and lights at the designated points.

 

 

 

 

 

A place we call home … (Part 2)

30 June 2010 – Exactly after one month we submitted our defects form to the developer’s management office and they got the defects repaired .. well most of it except for two chipped tile (which they conveniently covered it with a ceiling slab¬†at our 2nd bathroom)¬†and cement (which we discovered most recently at the tip of our balcony). Overall, they delivered their services timely and it was satisfactory – just can’t help but thank God for his goodness and mercy on this. Just pray and hope that they will mend the last two bits of defects. But anyhow, hubs has decided to proceed with the kitchen cabinets renovation and fixing of grilles at our main entrance door and windows. It was very exciting to hear that we will be moving into our humble home in 2 months time. Can’t wait. Further to that, we proceeded with more purchases of furniture which eventually cost more damage to our pockets. Had me wondering if the purchases were worth our monies, but at the end of the day, what matters is that we are comfortably settled into our home with the furnishing of our choices. We went furniture hunting for a suitable TV cabinet. Never thought it would be such a difficult and long process to get a decent looking TV cabinet within our budgets. Most of the nicer onces are priced at RM1k++. Hubs has his budget fixed at below RM500 but to our dismay, the cabinets that were priced below RM500 were so shabby looking that they looked like they are about to fall apart within months after the purchase. So, fine … we were about to decide on a RM1.4k TV cabinet when something caught my eye on a magazine advertisement.

We came across this concept called Mix Box. Not sure if it is an established company because there did not seem to have any formal correspondence address and phone number published for contacts in the magz. However, we did purchase a wardrobe from Mix Box. The Mix Box concept works like this. You have 8-9 types of compartments within the wardrobe to choose from. Each compartment is priced within RM800 – RM900 each. The more you take the more you have to pay .. makes sense. Also, you might need to pay extra for some nice finishing for example, tempered glass mirror for one of the wardrobe doors or for the glossy material that is used for the wardrobe door. Initially, we settled for a straight wardrobe with 3 compartments and that cost us RM2.3k which was pretty alright. After taking rounds of measurement at our bedroom, considering the¬†aircond point and window railings that might be an obstacle to the installation of the wardrobe later on, we decided on an L-shaped type which of course, incurred additional cost to the overall purchase. We had no choice but to settle with an additional compartment in order to construct an L-shaped type of wardrobe that fits into the space reserved in our master bedroom. As for the TV cabinet, you can attach a few choices of designer cabinets with¬†its own fixed pricing. We settled for RM864 (RM800 after discount) ¬†a tv cabinet¬†which is neat and solid as compared to the RM500++ range cabinets. Phew. That’s settled finally. We have also¬†purchased a set of drawers also from Mix Box which was priced at RM684 (RM600 after discount).

Following that, we scouted around for bathroom and kitchen accessories, esp the 2nd sink and tap we have left out for our wet kitchen. Found a shop that was near our current rented apartment¬†and with a reasonable price given, we purchased a kitchen sink and tab for RMRM264 and two wall-mounted mirrors for our bathrooms also for RM200++. And that was it for our Round 2 shopping spree. Next, we will be collecting our curtains and blinds from Nilai and shop for a bucket of green colored paint to paint our master bedroom. Quite exciting but super tiring .. had not been resting much for the last few weekends. … Need to pray for energy and¬†good rest. ¬†

 

A place we call home (Part 1)

We got our keys….

28 May 2010 – the day we got the keys to our condo after 2.5 years of waiting. It was truly an exciting moment for the both of us for we finally got ourselves a permanent place we can call home. On the day we got the keys we were accompanied by one of the condo management staff to inspect our unit and to brief us through what we are entitled to. After that, we were left to conduct some inspection for defects around the unit on our own¬†and we were pretty fortunate for most of the defects were found at both bathrooms and some at the dry kitchen window area. Other than that, we were pretty happy with the condition of our condo and we couldn’t wait to start furnishing it up immediately.We just¬† simply love our home and we cannot wait to move in to it too…

a place we call home ...

The furnishing business…

Before we got the keys, we went shopping for furniture at home decor fairs with the Perfect Living 2010 home exhibition being the first exhibition we visited at the PWTC in March 2010. There, we got ourselves a L-shape sofa set and a king-sized bed. These two items were expensive but fortunately, our bargaining power were at work and we got ourselves some discounts for those items from the exhibitors. The sofa set costs us RM2900 while the bed costs us RM2699. In one day we had spent RM5000 (fuh!) and while it felt damn good about getting those items, it burned our heart deep inside thinking of the damage we had done unto our pockets!¬† After that, we went shopping for dining sets at the same furniture shop where we got the sofa set. The dining table is a 4.5″ round table with 6 dining chairs and we got it for RM2200 (a RM400+ bargain from its original price). Wanted to get a TV cabinet but couldn’t find ourselves a suitable one there. Come to think of it, we never really had any plans to list the kinds of items we want to buy. We just hop into a shop, ask for prices and if everything else is good, we proceed with the purchase. It was the same for the electrical items that we got from a newly opened electrical shop at Puchong town. We bought two units of 1hp Panasonic air-conditioner and a Panasonic 42″ plasma TV that came with a cool Panasonic LUMIX camera as part of its promotion for that particular new brand that was launched by Panasonic few weeks ago. Altogether we¬† have damaged RM3k+ on electricial¬†goods¬†from our pockets but overall, it was a good buy from this shop. One lesson learned from this experience is, always get your electrical items from newly opened electrical shops at any town areas. They have pretty good bargains to attract crowds to the shop as part of their grand opening promotional activities. Nice huh?! After the TV came another home decor expo which was the Homedec at the KLCC convention centre¬† in April 2010. Homedec is known to be the biggest home decor fair in town which is a one stop centre for home appliances and furniture shopping and it occupied 3 floors at the convention centre.¬† We made our ways to the top floor first with the first stop being the electrical appliances exhibition. I brought mum along to the fair with me this time and it was very exciting to see her shopping for home appliances looking at the ways she bargains with the salesperson. At the Homedec fair, we got ourselves a TOSHIBA 11kg washing machine (I didn’t want it so big, but mum insisted that we get a big one as it is convenient for us to wash our comforters or thick blankets without needing to spend some buckaroos for laundry). The washing machine costs us RM1400 and it comes with a free queen size comforter. After that, we headed downstairs to the home appliances exhibition where we squeezed our way through the crowd to the kitchen hoods and hobs area. We surveyed a few brands that are common to our ears and finally settled with a Pacifica kitchen hood and hob for RM1488. Added RM200 for additional safety features in cases where the fire gets blown out by the strong wind from our 17th floor condo. Then we made our way to the locksmiths but didn’t find anything suitable. We also sat down at one of the kitchen cabinet exhibitors but they were too busy to entertain us at the beginning. Was about to walk off when one of the salesperson sat down to talk to us. The prices were exorbitantly high and the salesperson wasn’t being honest with us in terms of the pricing and the package they provide. Kinda pissed me off and as we walked away from that booth, the salesperson ran after my husband, gave him a good pat hoping to get our business but too bad … it left behind an unimpressive mark on us and I make sure, we won’t be spending our hard-earned money on such lousy services and dishonesty. As we walked, my tummy began to growl and we stopped at the cafe for some food. There weren’t much choices but the mee rebus we had were delicious. Filled up my tummy at the very instant and after our meals, we continued walking around the kitchen sinks and taps area and got ourselves a very big but useful kitchen sink from Sorento. The sink costs us RM629 from it usual price of RM900. Steal. Wanted to get a kitchen tap, but the taps didn’t really impress me much. We will hold on to that first. We bumped into an exhibitor’s booth selling water heaters and ceiling fans called Alpha. To me, the water heaters and fans¬† sold were somewhat overpriced and therefore, we kept that in view too. We walked and walked and walked and before we knew it, we had spent 4 hours at the exhibition. But to many, 4 hours is nothing! Some even spent the entire day till the end of day surveying for good buys. I tell ya, setting up a new home is no easy job, but it is exciting. We had a hard time deciding which kitchen cabinet contractor we want to engage and finally came to one of the appointed contractors by our condo management and overall, they provided the best price from all the surveys we had conducted. Couldn’t help but feel please with our selection of contractor as the same contractor will also do our grills, installation of fans and lights, and some minor renovation at the bathrooms.¬† I just want to keep my fingers crossed that this contractor delivers as promised! Don’t wanna suffer another round of depressed moments from the lousy services I have been getting all these while – starting with the bridal shop … gosh .. don’t wanna go to that story anymore! Just pray that God will provide us smooth renovation progress with not much problems and hiccups particularly with the workmanship and services of the contractor we have engaged.

A few weeks later and again, one of those days that were unplanned, we hopped into a lighting shop at Puchong after dinner and were very surprised to find fans¬† and lights that were very reasonably priced. Lucky for us hubs has already done his research on fans earlier and found this shop to sell the cheapest remote-controlled fans for the same model so far. The shop was crowded and I have to give some credits to this shop for their reasonable pricing and professional services. The Panasonic Bayu remote controlled fans were up for grabs and apparently after the day we bought those fans, there will be not restocking for¬†that model. It was¬†probably due to the clearance of that particular stock¬†but to me, anything that goes below our budget is absolutely fine with us. We initially wanted to purchase a manual-operated fan, but after comparing the prices with the¬†Panasonic Bayu¬†that were up for grabs, we have decided to purchase 5 units of the Panasonic Bayu instead which cost us RM235 per unit! Steal huh?! Wanted to grab some lights, but at that point of time, I’ve grown weary and tired after a long day at work and decided to revisit this shop some other days, which we did a week later. There are about 20 lighting points in our condo and it was pretty hard to decide which designs are suitable for each section of the condo. But thank God, we managed (I think i did most of the picking) to pick a the lights that we thought will nicely decorate and light up the condo and hopefully they will (fingers and toes crossed). Next, we went shopping for tiles for our kitchen top. Tiles are inexpensive but the charges for cement and workmanship are. We got 22 tiles for RM286 and lucky for us, the renovation contractor agreed to remove those charges from the package we took and we were shocked to see that they had overcharged us for RM80 higher than the price we got on our own. And furthermore, I am quite sure the tiles that they supply are of standard quality which they insisted that all tiles are practically the same. Well, if they are the same, why charge more?! Gosh, wonder what other stuff that we were overcharged of, but heck .. there’s nothing much we can do. We needed them to furnish the condo for us and they needed our business. We have done most of our shopping except for water heaters, water taps and other miscellaneous furniture which we will slowly grab as we move along. Right now, we will just have to wait for the defects to be completed before we can start the renovation. Oooh boy .. this is going to be so exciting. Pray that everything will go smooth and that we will be satisfied with the workmanship and services rendered to us. Amen.