Thursday, October 21, 2010

Setting up our new home

Today is a significant day because we finally settled on a contractor to carry out the renovation for our penthouse. We got two different contractors to give us a quotation for the work and, due to several reasons, we went with the one with the higher quote.

Feels good to finally get going.

Apart from being busy with Ryan, being busy at the office and being busy with a host of other things, one of the reasons for the delay is that we have too many different ideas. It would have been much faster if we had only one idea, one colour and one visual in mind, but both Richard and I are inspired by so many different and varied images that it is so difficult to commit to one. Everything, any which way, can be beautiful, and we sway from one end to the other end of the design spectrum all the time.

The most significant decision was to keep the renovation very simple for now. We foresee that there will be a lot of big changes over the next five years in terms of how we live in the space so it will be better for us to do a full renovation in five years, when our family grows out of its toddler years. The unit is presently in good condition and we can live there quite comfortably without doing a lot of work. So that means no need to replace the wardrobes or the flooring, we aren't knocking down any walls or putting up false ceilings and we aren't changing anything in the kitchen or in the bathrooms. We aren't even doing any work in the rooms, except for painting the walls and polishing up the floors.

Having said that, the design process was not very much simplified. It took us many weeks to decide where to put the TV and how the TV console should look like. We went back and forth on which of the rooms should be the study room and whether we should have a guestroom. We took forever just to decide that the walls should be painted white.

What really helped was that Richard was able to digitally sketch a 3-D scale model of each room (one of the advantages of having my personal architect, heh heh). This helped us to visualise whether our ideas worked in the space or not. Everytime we had a new idea or suggestion - put the console here/there, make it higher/lower/bigger/smaller, make the wall green/purple/blue - he could sketch it up and click a few buttons on the computer and hey presto! we had a picture of it. Once we finalised the design, Richard was also able to do the technical drawings for all the carpentry.

So the contractor will come to the unit with her staff on Saturday to go through the proposed work and to do some site markings. The carpentry work will be done off-site (some bookshelves, TV console, etc.) and the actual work at the unit (painting, polishing, installing carpentry, etc.) will take only a few days. The estimate is that everything will be done by the second week of November.

In the meantime, we have been slowly buying furniture and also some lights and ceiling fans to replace the lights and fans in the unit. Some of the items will only be arriving in December (it takes about three months for the manufacture and shipping) but hopefully everything will be in place by Christmas. We still have to buy electrical appliances (washing machine, fridge) and some more furniture, which we will probably do after the contractor is done with the work in the unit.

So it looks like we will be moving house in November! We'd better start packing!


Subscribe to our feed



(function (tos) { window.setInterval(function () { tos = (function (t) { return t[0] == 50 ? (parseInt(t[1]) + 1) + ':00' : (t[1] || '0') + ':' + (parseInt(t[0]) + 10); })(tos.split(':').reverse()); window.pageTracker ? pageTracker._trackEvent('Time', 'Log', tos) : _gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Time', 'Log', tos]); }, 10000); })('00');