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Bedroom Ensuite

Right. Before I start on my massive whinge, may I show you my greeny ensuite? =P It’s not very lime greeny I guess, but it’s got a nice green to it, don’t you think? I can imagine many happy showers to come. haha. Too bad there isn’t enough space for a tub, and I probably wouldn’t enjoy soaking in a tiny tub.

Ah wells.

So. I’m ready for my mother-of-all-whinge. (why does it always have to be mother, not father?? women sure have the losing end of things sometimes..periods, going through labour..etc). I think you can see where this entry is heading.

Let’s start with…last week, or two weekends ago. Finished the work week feeling really crummy. A colleague at work was complaining of a sore throat during the day, and by the time I got home, I was the one with the sore throat (could have been the tidbit I was having at work..haha). Come weekend, and I had a cold. Bah. It wore off over the week, or so I thought. Got home last Friday feeling even worse. You know, the kind of headache that leads everything down hill from there. Body aches, headache, fever and a cold. Brilliant. Throw in a sore throat on Saturday, with a cough on Sunday, and I went to work with not much of a voice. Could still talk, but really scratchy.

Tuesday morning wasn’t any better and I left work mid-day to see the doctor who said the fever was still hanging around, and “here’s some medication and have the rest of the day off”. Yay..and then I walked out of the clinic to find it pouring, and I was lugging a raincoat (for riding in the rain), a helmet, and a slingbag. Great. Flagged a cab who asked if I was taking a cab and not riding cos it was raining. No lah, uncle, I don’t ride, my husband rides. I get alot of questions like that when they see a girl walking around in heels and a helmet. And I was wearing a skirt that day too. haha.

Welp, went home and was ready to crash before heading out again when Donald came back from work, when Skype pinged me a little message from a friend in Perth. Like hell I’m gonna miss a good catch up with that friend. It was an awesome hour plus chat, and I got to see two little cuties, and listen to Daisy rambling on. Awwww. =) I managed to catch a 15min nap before suddenly waking up remembering I had forgotten to do something. Bah. Some rest.

And that’s where it sorta went downhill from there. Renovation woes, oh renovation woes. So bear with me on this one.

The whole engaging of a contractor and the whole renovation process has been a really enlightening one. And when I say enlightening, it isn’t in a good way. Neither is it in a very bad way. It’s a ..slightly not so good way.

We had time, so we “shopped” for interior designers and contractors. We spoke to about 7, and narrowed down to 4. We spoke to interior designers (IDs) cos we wanted to pick their brains for what we could do with our flat, and also to check out the price range. We weren’t really keen on IDs cos we felt they were overcharging us just cos they could do some fancy designs. We are simple people who just want a practical home, we weren’t looking for ‘minimalist/bohemian/baroque/modernist/resort’ kinda themes for the flat.

We.just.wanted.a.place.we.could.call.home.and.it.should.feel.like.home. Not like a place where you are perpetually on a holiday. Eh, that would be nice..but I can get sick of being on a holiday for too long. =P

And then we spoke to contractors. We didn’t know where to start with, and so the recommendations came in. Only two. One from Donald’s colleague, and one from a colleague at work. That’s where we found out that there was so much more to just renovating. IDs itemised every single thing on the quotation, and contractors did lump sums, which worked out to be cheaper. After alot of hmm-ings and aahh-ings, we figured that we might be better off getting the contractors.

That was where a bit of the problems came in. By the time we got the contractors in, we already knew what we wanted, and where we wanted to get stuff from. We were getting third parties for our wardrobe, painting and kitchen countertop, cos we had seen the quality and knew that they were the things we wanted to get. This was one of the things that might have worked against us. This is purely an assumption though. Just because it wasn’t in a package that the contractor could have offered.

We made our selection. And as usual, little miss here gives everyone the benefit of doubt. Innocent till proven guilty. There were promises of work schedules, signed off drawings, being the person to liase with all vendors, and most importantly, the bible that would be compiled to make sure that the entire renovation was what the bible said. To be honest, that was what sorta sealed the deal. I thought that was really professional.

We didn’t get the work schedules, sign-off on drawings, nor the bible. To give the contractor credit, he liased with some of the vendors. Other times, we had to call the contractor to find out when items were required to be delivered. I guess, when the drawings were a little late, most of the times, that should have set off some alarm bells..but I mean, these are such minor stuff right?

And efficiency. good lord, the efficiency! or the lack thereof. *sigh* Actually Donald gets that alot from me as well. I hate it when things could run concurrently, and it’s not happening. Can’t things run concurrently at the same time?! I mean, surely when tiles in some of the rooms are done, the wiring could go in? Or, finish the tilings in the kitchen and start off with the wiring, and then move on with the carpentry or something? At this point, things are happening…





Demolition. Hacking. Builing of some walls. Tiling. Plastering. Electrical works. Airconditioning. Washing. Carpentry. Lightings. Sanitaryware.

Look, maybe it’s the contractor’s way of doing things. I’m not about to say anything about that. But wouldn’t it make more sense to do certain things in parallel, so you finish the job faster? It could be that there are some things that I’m not seeing..but yeah. The handover date’s gone from mid-Nov, to end Nov, and now possibly Dec. I’m just glad that we’ve got some place to stay till we move in. Otherwise, I’d have gone mental.

So barring all the minor stuff that he has not delivered (work schedules, sign-off on drawings), he has been patient at times. But yet sometimes, I feel it gets a little condescending, a little like ‘you guys have no idea what you are doing. this is your first home, you are new at this, so you should listen to me.’ but we do our homework. and this guy was literally asking us to award him the job, which at that point we were comfortable too. until today.

we have been unhappy over certain aspects of the process, but we’ve let it go, cos they might be minor things, and if he’s doing the job, look, I’m not going to say anything about being unhappy. To be honest, he hasn’t botched up anything major, and when we pointed things out to him, he has made the changes, except that before he makes the changes, there are some really funky reasons given in hope that we’d buy the reason and not pursue the change. Except that the contractor forgets he’s dealing with Donald. Super Fussy Man #1. I think that makes things a little more difficult, no? *nudge nudge* =P

it does feel like the relationship between the contractor and us has soured a little cos of a part of the renovation (who should be doing the job) cos of the third parties involved. I did think it may have presumptious of us to naturally assume that the contractor was supposed to do a really simple job. We made the mistake of making the assumption that it was the contractor’s job. A quick check on a local renovation forum showed that ..well, there was no right or wrong answer. It just happened to be a really grey area that no one thought off till it happened.

it does feels like a little bit of nightmare, which kinda spoilt the entire experience a little, and makes me want to stereotype the contractor. bleh. at this point in time, i’m just going to sit back and wait. there are just so many ways to look at it:

you get what you paid for? – we asked for a discount off the entire quotation. does that then give him a lot of room for error?

regardless of price, workmanship should still be top quality?

sigh. at the end of it all, Donald and I are gonna look back at it and say we now know better. Just like we did at the wedding. haha. after this whinge, it doesn’t sound as bad. It could have been worse off. But we shouldn’t use “could have been worse off” as a benchmark, right? meh.

what the heck man.

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2 comments on “WHINGE

  1. @Tynia: Hang in there … these bumps in the road just mean that when it’s all finished and looking fab it’ll be that little bit sweeter. 🙂

    At least that’s what I’m telling myself. I’ll be doing the same renovation thing next year (I hope!).

    • thanks sam. That’s what I’m hoping for!! =P

      and good luck for your reno next ear. hahaha. then you can start telling me your reno woes