Sunday, August 14, 2011

1 Week in Our House

Time flies, it's been a week since we moved into our house. We have officially terminated our rental agreement for the temporary housing...a 3 months rental which turned out to be a 9 months rental.

Moving and living in our house is a bittersweet experience. I'm very happy that we are finally living in our own house, which is the first house that I have ever owned in my life. However, I do get frustrated that things have progressed super slowly and there are still so much more to be completed. I spent this whole weekend cleaning as much as possible so that we don't feel like we are living in a warehouse (still do, but at least a bit better). At least, the big pile of rubbish outside is gone :)

Top 10 things that we've learned so far from our renovation exercise:
1. Lower your expectations, you would reduce the disappointment & heartache :)
2. Do detailed checks for defects & chase your developers to fix it. Developers here, (UEM included) tend to take shortcuts and things are often not up to the standards that we are used to, especially if compared to Australian standards etc.
3. Best to supervise all work done, unfortunately, micro-management is compulsory most of the time.
4. Some things are still cheaper in Singapore, e.g. electronics, top quality taps, LED lights.
5. Install water filter system for your house. We engaged a company to install and clean the water tank last week. You'd be surprised to see how dirty (I'm talking about dark brown) Malaysian water is...yuckie yuckie :)
6. Always compare multiple quotes.
7. Try to include some penalty clauses into your fit out contract if possible to help you recover from delays (in case).
8. Use stainless steel as much as possible, other iron/materials fall apart very quickly.
9. Whatever time frame you've given your renovation project, best to multiply that by two.
10. Most important point of all, never fully pay after a job is done, most of the time, you'll be calling the company to come back and redo something.

That would be my top 10 learning to date, I am sure that there would be more interesting experience that we will go through down the track. For now, here's to our 1st week anniversary in our new house.

Have a great Sunday evening & great week ahead everyone.


  1. Hi Erika!!! Oh thanks very much for sharing. Your views are priceless! It must be very exciting indeed to move into a new home, and to draw up a "system" too. Hehe.

    And thanks for the renov tips.

    Have a great week ahead. Cheers!

  2. Hi Erika,
    It was great meeting you and Ian a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for the great tips. We should be starting ours not far from the future. Although, I'm a little scared. Seriously, don't know what to expect from these contractors and mover.
    I am now getting 3 quotes from the contractors and am researching for Kitchen goods to buy. Not sure if I should buy them from Malaysia or in Singapore. Things like Ceiling fans, Air Conditioners, Fridge, Stove, Dishwasher, washing machine etc. I have found a place in Singapore that can supply them at great price for me. But unsure of warranty should any of the item breaks down. Anyway, we'll figure that out when we get to it. We are definitely going to install the Water Filter system for the whole house. I saw the brand you have just outside your house. Is IDE/Waterco a good brand? Its seems like those are the only brands available. and almost everyone living in East Ledang has one of those brands.:) Got to be a good brand. Take care and talk soon. Jackie

  3. Hi Erika,
    Been reading your posts awhile now. Your experience has been a great help to manage my expectations when my house comes ready in HH next year. I was impressed with the ID done in the EL showhouses by (noticed from little advert by the kitchen island). May I ask why you did not decide to use them? If given a chance again, would you have preferred to do yourself rather than use an ID?