Category Archives: Housing

My Future Home – Part V

It’s been almost 2 months since I last updated about the new house. Have been super busy with renovation work, tiles choosing, amending interior designs, sourcing for lights, fans, and faucets, etc.

So 1 week after submitting the defect checklist, the minor defects were rectified. Some were to our satisfaction while some were not. For some of the defects, we decided to leave to our ID to solve during renovation, e.g. water trapped in both the toilets: this can be rectified when we overlay the floor tiles. It would take too much time if we were to ask HDB to hack and re-lay the tiles. Meanwhile, our ID applied for the renovation permit.

On the second week of Nov, bedroom wall was hacked and the 2nd bedroom door was sealed. This will create a bigger master bedroom for us.

Wall hacked

In the same afternoon, HDB contractors came to do the floor screed. We had to top up a few hundred dollars to increase the height of the floor screed so that we could level with the kitchen floor.

The walls were super dirty after the floor screed. We had to wait 5 or more days for the floor to be completely dry before continuing with the renovation.

Our ID brought us to Soon Bee Huat to choose the tiles for the toilets. The Toh Guan concept boutique is huge. We spent 1+ hour in the showroom before deciding which tiles to use for the 2 toilets.


I saw this concept in the showroom and told the staff that I wanted this kind of “feel”.

Eventually we decided on these 2 sets of tiles for the 2 toilets.


We are very thankful to this staff who helped us with the tiles selection and recommendation. He is very friendly, patient and knowledgeable. P.S. He speaks Mandarin too!

A set of small cut out tile samples were given to us. This will help us in choosing the faucets and basins.

Third week of Nov, the tiling work started.

Took 1+ week for the tiles to be overlaid.


The curb on the kitchen floor was constructed while the tiling work continued.

Next, it was electrical wiring.


Followed by the air conditioners trunking.


Our flat has this bedroom on the other side of the living room, so the trunking needs to cut through the living room’s ceiling.

floor plan


We bought the air con from Gain City and it was recommended to add this ugly pump to assist water drainage from the bedroom across the living room.

All these works were done in 3 weeks upon obtaining the renovation permit.

My Future Home – Part IV

All newly completed HDB flats are covered by a warranty within the 1-year Defects Liability Period starting from the date of key collection. When we collected the flat keys from the HDB officer, we were reminded to report any defects to the Building Service Centre (BSC) located next to our block within 7 days. If not possible, we have to made the report at least 7 days before renovation.

At the first look, the unit looks good. But when we started to scrutinise every corner, the list of minor defects grew longer and longer.

We spent 2 half-days inspecting the flat, and jotted down 53 minor defects. Below are some of the examples:

The door of the bomb shelter door could not lock completely as there is misalignment of the bolt and the wall holes.

We flooded the 2 toilet floors and found that the water drainage is poor. There were puddles of water trapped in the middle of the toilets and the side of the toilet bowl.


Same issue noted at the service yard. This was the puddle of water 1 hour after we flooded the service yard floor.

For the main door, there were scratches. The handle and face plate were rusty.


See how bad the paint of the main door is. And there is a gap between the door and the face plate.

We also found loose/detached glazing beads and weatherstrip on the windows.


There are also several door rusty hinges for the bedrooms and toilets.


There is a chip underneath the toilet bowl water tank cover.

The paint of the laundry rack came off. The tap was not attached properly.

These are the more obvious defects which we spotted. Overall the unit was pretty well done and we didn’t find any hollow tiles. There are also several tiny defects which we ignored because those could be rectified when we do the renovation.

We filled up the feedback form and went to the BSC to submit. The customer service officer (CSO) informed us that the project supervisor will check the defects and then rectify them (if possible), and then schedule a joint inspection with us later.

We use a number lock to lock the main gate and gave the lock number to the CSO so that they can enter our house to check the defects. For future security reasons, do not pass your house keys to the BSC. Use a padlock or number lock instead. Also, do not leave any equipment or valuable stuff in the house as there will be different contractors entering the house to rectify the defects and BSC will not be responsible for any missing items.

Hopefully the defects could be rectified quickly. We still need to have complete the floor cement screed before renovation can start.

*Fingers crossed*

My Future Home – Part III

Finally… after waiting for almost 3 years and 11 months, HDB invited us for our BTO flat key collection in first week of Oct. It was such a long wait… I have waited from being single to married to pregnant, to giving birth to my daughter becoming a 17-month-old toddler. GOSH! Dear HDB, you really need to speed up in flat building!! This Lego-like technology in construction doesn’t seem to shorten building time, does it? Plus, we appealed for earlier key collection date, but ended up getting it later than people who didn’t appeal. WTF?!

Anyways… we got the key. Y-E-A-H…

Our appointment was at 12.15pm, we got there 40 mins earlier and got a queue number by scanning our appointment letter at the HDB hub.

What to bring:

  1. Original NRIC of applicants
  2. Original NRIC of occupiers (if any)
  3. Original birth certificate of children below 15 years old (if any)
  4. Latest CPF Statement
  5. Certificate of Fire Insurance

The husband had applied for the fire insurance from ETIQA, activated electricity and water from SP services online prior to the key collection day.

When our queue number is called, we headed to the assigned cubicle to meet the HDB officer. There was a lot of paperwork and lotsa signatures from us. Then we have to login using Singpass to submit/authorise HDB to wipe out our hardearned CPF… *sobz*
Once this is done, the husband has to go to level 3 to pay the Conservancy Charges of $74.20 (Fees for 5-room flat). We filled in the GIRO form for monthly deduction of this Conservancy Charges but it will take about 2 months to process (according to the HDB officer). So meanwhile, we have to remember to pay the monthly charges on time as there will not be any letter or reminder. Late payment will incur a penalty of $5.

After all the paperwork is done, the HDB officer presented the keys to us~


After getting our keys, we chose an auspicious date to open the door of our new home.


This important task has to be completed by me~


We were welcomed by these flyers on the floor. The vendors must have slotted these through our house door when the barricades below our flat were removed and they could access to the units on each floor.

The view of our living and dining area. It is much smaller than what we expected. We felt cheated by the floor plan. But we were pleased that the ceiling (top floor) is higher compared to our neighbour’s unit below us. After measuring, the floor to ceiling height is 2.78m. This is almost 20 cm higher than the standard 2.6m for other non-top-floor units. The house feels less claustrophobic but we would have to fork out more for carpentry works.


The view from my living room.


This is the smaller bedroom 3. Notice the 5 ugly awning windows? I wonder which weirdo designs this. Did he/she think that it’s fun to have to open so many windows or cleaning them? Or did he/she not know that this type of casement/awning window always gives hinge problems? And what’s worse? HDB does not allow us to change them to sliding windows… =___=”

My very tiny kitchen plus service yard. Smaller than my office pantry sink area…
Good news? There is no piping on the kitchen ceiling because we are at the top floor.


The laundry racks which I hated the most. Other than floor mats or cleaning rugs, I will never hang any clothes on these racks. See how close the racks are to the wall? All the clothes hung there will be brushing against the wall and indirectly cleaning the external wall. #nocommonsense


The very small bomb shelter which will serve as a store room.


The slightly bigger bedroom 2.

This is the master room. It’s longer but very narrow.

Master room toilet. No ugly pipes on the ceiling as well. We opt out for the sanitary fittings so the toilet only comes with a toilet bowl.

Common toilet. A big window for accessing to the air con ledge.

Ok, so that’s it for the house tour.

In case you were wondering what ritual we did for the door opening day, this is it:


An offering of McD breakfast set, placed in the middle of the living room.


We didn’t do any ritual at all. Just ate out breakfast there, and then got started on the defects inspection.

I will write about the defects inspection in another post. So stay tuned!