Renovation Matters

So you know I have recently posted my experience with base-coat paint application by the team at The Nippon Professional Painting Service.  What comes after painting of the sealer (base coat)?  It was a few weeks of busy days and taking more measurements (literally) for everything that comes after it.  I also opened a load of deliveries from Taobao.  If you are keen to follow me in my renovation journey, here’s a little peek! ❤

Week 6

Lighting, Window Grilles & Carpentry

Two days after the base coat was painted, my contractor returned to carry out works for lighting and invisible grilles installation.  Measurements for carpentry works were already completed earlier so fabrication off-site is underway at this stage.

Invisible Grilles

By CSA Group (Mr Chong, the boss : 85889339)

Invisible Grilles

Invisible Grilles for balcony and all rooms done in a day.

Pat gave me the direct factory contact whom her ID tied up with. She saved me lots of pain and cash without going through any contractor or ID.  I trusted the quality material seen at her house.  They are ALL 316 Stainless Steel including bolts and washers.  Had it not been for a visit to Pat’s house, we would not have had the opportunity to witness and compare between the installation at her house and that from her next door neighbour’s balcony’s rusty grilles!  Both moved in for only about 1.5 years when we visited few months ago.  In short, the cables visible to us might have all been 316 Stainless Steel.  Question is – are those hidden bolts, nuts and washers inside the track equally same grade or purely using cold galvanised mild steel which could rust over time??  Ask your contractor specifically this if you’re looking at installing invisible grilles.

I contacted Mr Chong to give a group buy price for all the neighbours who are keen at my new place.  He gave a very good price compared to that of other invisible grille companies.  If you are going to collect keys to a new development, can consider contacting him for group price.  I don’t benefit from mentioning about his services in this blog post.  Merely sharing an awesome “lobang” because I’m satisfied with the quality and service.

From his demo, I saw a mini sample board of what was going to be the actual installation.  He assured that his stainless steel components are sourced and backed by Malaysian supplier (although he admits that the Malaysian supplier might have gotten their stuff from China).  In short, he assured that a backing by Malaysian counterpart is more trustworthy that that from China.   The cables are protected from the elements against rush using a nylon coating (that looks like plastic to me).  Pat who also feedback that the after sales support was great when she needed CSA team to coordinate with the motorized blind contractor for servicing, CSA removed their grilles and did reinstalled it again without further questions asked.


Stainless steel bolts, nuts and washers used for anchoring into the concrete as well as for tightening the cables.  This track will be covered to conceal the screws once installation is complete.  If a contractor wants to cut cost, there can be where to do so. Afterall, rusty after 1-2 years is no longer after warranty?

I have installed invisible grilles in my whole housee.  There were some window panels being pre-fabricated in the factory with tightened cables before they delivered to my house.  Although it sped things up, I had some problem opening my window lock at three out of four rooms due to the cable blocking my way (my hands are small).  I had a pretty long session with the super well-mannered (!) supervisor who went through all the installation with me and worked out an adjusted cable spacing that best fitted me without discomfort.  I left the workers at my house again when it was time to pick up the kids.  By the time I returned in the afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised to see Mr Chong himself inspecting the works with his supervisor before letting the workers knock off for the day.  And Mr Chong himself went through the house installation with me personally.  I was totally impressed with his personal dedication to his business and felt my money very well spent.  On the other hand, I thought it could be because I called him to complain that my hand hurt, that’s why he dropped by to find out why?

Before I lock the door in the evening, I spotted this bunch of waste cable and wondered why so much wasted.  Both Mr Chong and his supervisor said nothing about it earlier.  It turns out that this cable can no longer be used once adjustment (clamping during tightening and unclamping during adjustments) has been made to the tightened installation.  The nylon coating will crack once the clamp is released and will result in water trapped within it causing water rust.  As nearly all my rooms needed adjustment, they quietly wasted this length of stainless steel cable without mentioning a word of complain.  Super paiseh on my end too.


Lighting, Ceiling Fan and Carpentry

After the cable laying and false ceiling plastering works following the completion of my defects rectification period, my Electrician returned to my house to finish up the lighting and ceiling fan installation works for me three days after the base coat paint has been applied.  This photo below shows the dining room.  The cove light has not been adjusted into position yet hence the uneven distribution of lighting effect.

Lighting Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fan from Taobao. It’s undersized. So are those in my rooms! >.< Hubby was worried that the fan blades will cut into the light path hence did not order larger fans. 😦  This is a 42″ fan with 3 colour options for the LED light.  Although small sized, this fan is surprisingly pretty powerful which serves as a compensation over the shortfall in size.

In this same week, my second shipment from Taobao arrived with my most anticipated dining chairs!  I had them customised in the simple colours we wanted – beige and walnut.  Unfortunately this shipment got inspected by the Singapore Customs upon arrival and aside from additional delay, two out of my six chairs came with cracked leg and a slit in the leather.  Due to the long delay in acknowledging receipt of goods, I was unable to claim for free replacement from the merchant.  I ended up paying for another two brand new pieces, at about 70% of the original price.


Week 7

Carpentry works were delivered the following week when lighting was almost done except for MBR as the electrician needed to wait for the bed head feature wall to be up before he can position the lighting accurately.


Carpentry delivery


Storage cabinet in the balcony was almost completed in the same day.

Very simple TV feature wall to hang up the TV since we could not find a TV console that is slim and at 500mm height. We got one at 400mm height and it's too low to put the TV on it.

Very simple TV feature wall to hang up the TV since we could not find a TV console that is slim and at 500mm height. We got one from Taobao at 400mm height (only SGD200+) and it’s too low to put the TV on it.


MBR feature wall in progress.

Week 8

Last week and this, all remaining carpentry works and curtain track installation should be finished up together with the arrival of my Taobao TV Console.  It was a bit of a stressful week for me because of some changes I want to make to my MBR bedhead feature wall.  I totally don’t like the current look and colour combination *CRY CRY CRY*.  Super ugly with the two pieces of mirror having a fat border right??!   We found out also that lighting was insufficient in the bathrooms, kitchen and balcony and additional lighting points or lights with higher wattage is required.  It was also school holiday week and I had to juggle everything (as well as the kids) at the same time 😦


Week 9

Finally school holiday is over!  We spent this and almost the next week without much action other than to wait for things happening.  The MBR bedhead feature wall mirrors took many days to be rectified.  After the borders were removed, we had to wait for new enlarged mirrors to arrive.  We also punched holes in the bedside tables in order to access the electrical sockets since they are now blocked.  The carpenter took the wrong instruction and punched wrong holes.  There goes some other time lost to rectification works.


While waiting for things to happen again, my 3rd shipment from Taobao has arrived.  This time, the TV console and kids bedside tables have arrived.  With each shipment, I am like a delighted little child opening and inspecting all my “presents” although I paid for them.  Hehhehe



Assembling the TV console took us some effort indeed. The drawer tracks had to be installed and reinstalled before we got it right.

Check out my cute Miffy night lights for Jiejie and my niece!  They are 50cm tall, made with a hardy plastic shell and comes with dimmer control as well.


When the new mirrors are finally delivered and put up once again, we discovered that the left piece is lower than the one on the right.  Another week was again given to yet another new piece of mirror because what’s glued on cannot be reused anymore.  My renovation matters are getting very tiring and draggy by now.  I could not wait to complete everything and have the house painted with top coats, clean up and then start arranging the delivery for appliances by now.  I have also started to show signs of impatience when dealing with my contractors.


Finally, left side, 3rd piece of mirror in place, in their correct height to match the right!! Waiting for the glue to set in a weeks’ time before removing the wooden supports and holding tape.

In this same week, we also managed to install the curtain track for the house.  It took us about 3 hrs to complete thereafter, I was able to take measurements for making the curtains.  Curtain track installation wasn’t really an easy job.  Lots of arm strength was required and I was helping the only worker assigned to carry out the task.  My contractor could only spare one worker because they had other jobs to run and I needed the tracks to be up immediately due to painting appointment with Nippon Paint Professionals.  My arms trembled, hole-marking were done and redone because I could not hold the track still against the ceiling.


Immediately the next day we were done, our appointment with Nippon Paint Professionals fell into place with three painters and twelve (12) tins of paints in assorted colours delivered early in the morning.  This was how rushed my renovation works ended up.  I nearly could not finish the painting works by the end of September 😦  It took all but 1.5 days for the painting works to be completed at my house.  I took lots of photos but have not had the chance to look into them yet.  I will be blogging about my experience with the professional painting services by Nippon in another post.


Week 10

This is a brand new week for touching up works, followed by a good general cleaning up before I allow my customized storage bed to be delivered and assembled later in the week.  Nothing feels better seeing these vacated out of my house!  I have “clean” floors again!


I have engaged a general cleaner recommended by my neighbour.  Will update about their services and work quality when the work is completed.  Apparently the cleaner is a new entry to the industry, and offered cleaning for my 4-bedroom at only $220, task-based, not hour-based.  According to the boss, he will send 2 workers for a work duration of about 5 hours to clean up my house after my renovation.  It does seem like a little short duration to be able to clear up all the accumulated dusts which has settled all over the place.  Let’s see how it goes and if they are good, I will post the contact too.

In the first week of October, I will have my electrical appliances, sofa and mattresses delivered!!  *double YAY and HOORAY*  Stay tuned for more updates and if you are keen to know where I got them from.

Except for the link up with Nippon Paint Singapore, all of the other mentions are not-sponsored although I so wish to have some savings.  Renovation is a big ticket item and I am glad we are finally making our dream home come true for the second time in our family.  Thank you for reading this post and joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you enjoy reading our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley 🙂


About SAys! Happy Mums

We are a Singapore Mum Blog hosted by BFFs Shirley & Audrey. We blog about our children, parenting and family lifestyle. Most often than not, we find ourselves immersed in family and kids entertainment and can't escape from the lure of great food!

3 thoughts on “Renovation Matters

  1. Pingback: The Completion of My Flawlessly-Painted Walls by Nippon Paint Professionals | SAys! Happy Mums

  2. Thank you for sharing your renovation process! A very detailed blog :)))

    Can you share with me the contact of your carpenter please?

    Thank you :)))


    • Hihi, I’d rather not share contractor contact. Because I didnt have the most pleasant experience with the in-charge. And nearly ended with a quarrel. He is not experienced enough and throughout my reno duration, I had to be the one to point on where the mistakes are.


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