Category Archives: Advice

Interior Design DIY carpentry Work Process

Carpentry Work is part of the Interior Design DIY series, more post on other areas of work will be coming soon. If you haven’t read my previous starting post of Interior Design Painting Work Process I suggest that you go through it for some useful information.

Common list of works

  1. Hacking Work
  2. Wet Work
  3. Electrical Work
  4. Plumbing Work
  5. Ceiling Work
  6. Painting Work
  7. Carpentry Work
  8. Door & Window Work

What are the common carpentry fabrication?

Back in the days where we do not have companies like Ikea, Star Living, or HipVan carpentry fabrication was popular. Carpentry Work falls short in the area like bending and elaborate woodwork design. One can only conclude fabrication are only good for utility purposes. Commonly in Wardrobe and Kitchen Cabinet in a particularly square or rectangular shape.

Any beautiful piece of furniture you discover in a mall, dimension is the key to justify the purchase. If you cannot fit it, fabrication is always around the corner. To maximise the space from corner to corner, carpentry fabrication of Wardrobe and Kitchen Cabinet are essential.

Recent trend in Carpentry Work

Recent trend suggest, more house owner opts for ready-made furniture. Due to the rising cost of housing price, furniture cost has to offset to balance on the renovation budget. Wardrobe fabrication is expensive, in a sense that at the same price, you are able to get a ready-made piece with a more intricate design but not necessarily better quality. But, custom made furniture offer well organizes compartment to house your collection and a fully customizable exterior to compliment your interior style which offers at a premium price. This result in carpentry work most commonly found in the Kitchen in our modern home.

Kitchen Cabnet carpentry work design

For Kitchen to be functional, one needs to understand how the house owner cooks in any given space. Not only one must design it to be functional, but maintenance is also important. Allow the workflow to be productive is a plus point to the user. The kitchen requires a lot of attention which a lot of new house ower didn’t give much thought about it. After installed kitchen cabinets and purchase a few food preparation machines, only to realize they don’t have the space to store it. Below are some points you might find it useful before you start to engage a carpenter.

  1. Where do you store dry and wet food?
  2. How does one wash and prepare?
  3. What kind of food most commonly cook in the house?
  4. If you are using big plates, does the size of the sink allow for easy washing?
  5. How do you store your knives? On the Kitchen Top? Or in the drawer? If you use the drawer, you need a drawer organizer to help store it safely.
  6. What kind of pots and pans do you use?
  7. Do you want to use the wall for hanging some commonly use tools?
  8. Do you have enough power points?
  9. What kind of Hob do you use?
  10. If you are using induction panel or built-in oven, be sure to include the power points in the cabinet. (Best engage an electrician to do it before carpentry work.)

These are just a few points which come to mind while writing. There are a lot of details which deserve a post on itself alone. Even then, it is not enough to cover it all.

Who to trust?

The truth is that you cannot trust anybody with words alone. There are a few give away when come to engage a carpentry contractor.

Quotation first

First, invite a few of them to your house at a different time for a quotation. See how they arrive at the given appointment time. In my experience, most of them arrived late are a sign that they are not well organized. These are the people most likely do not deliver.

Important conversation

Watch the way how they talk. Are they in a rush? Or are they talking calmly and paying attention to your requirement. If they are in a rush or cut short in the conversation, is either they are not concern with your project or they have something more important to do than being there.

Details is everything

When you are discussing the details with the carpenter, be sure he is writing down all your requirements. If the carpenter is going to just stand around and listen only than most likely they will miss out some details. These are the details which you might forget about it with your preoccupied mind. On the day of the installation, you will get a big surprise.

The confirmation

How does it work? Carpenter is very concern about details, they knew too well how many ways can go wrong if you do not confirm to detail drawing with the dimension of all given compartment and the laminate colour codes you agreed upon. The drawing most commonly sends over in PDF format to be view and get a rough idea of how all that discussion will arrive at your house. A more professional approach is they will ask you to sign the hard copy. This tells you how serious they are in business. No disagreement, all black and white. Without the drawing to confirm, do not sign up with the carpenter! No matter how cheap or how much your friend recommended.

Interior Design DIY Painting Work Process

Painting Work is part of the Interior Design DIY series, more post on other areas of work will be coming soon. If you haven’t read my previous starting post of Interior Design Ceiling Work Process I suggest that you go through it for some useful information.

Common list of works

  1. Hacking Work
  2. Wet Work
  3. Electrical Work
  4. Plumbing Work
  5. Ceiling Work
  6. Painting Work
  7. Carpentry Work
  8. Door & Window Work

The importance of Painting Work

Most people will not think much of it when they received the keys to their new house. As to all new house, mostly is painted in white, and that is fine if you want to settle with white for your interior. However, you might want to consider the fact that most of these housing projects are not painted with good paint. Take for example the ceiling paint might not have mould protection, if you are located near the reserve park in Singapore, most likely get the mould will get into the house.

The remedy to mould problem

You can either get an Anti-mould paint for the ceiling, or one of those easy wash and clean wall paint that will last you for a long time to come. These paint normally do not come cheap, imagine the builder would to include these paint, the cost will be enormous.

Fresh air from the first day of the Painting Work

A good point to consider while choosing paint for your house, don’t cut cost by going for cheaper paint that might be emitting harmful agent into the air. In today’s paint products, it is easy to find something that is environment friendy and health focus to your family. If you have the time, you can click the button below to learn more.

Detail

Good Painting Work that transform the interior

As you can see here, colour does bring life into the interior. Depending on your interaction in the given space, colour influence your mood. Every room in your house have different functionality, even by choosing the right colour for your house is big step to a beautiful home. Put some thoughts into the colours at your local store, you will soon be inspired by them.

Some thoughts of Painting Work

Below are some pins ideas which had inspired me over the years. And I do hope they do provide you with some fresh ideas for your interior design. In my experience, many of my clients had always inclined toward the safe zone colour like white. Most of them do not really know how to choose the colour to blend in with their furniture. What I’m trying to say is that colour, furniture, decor and the function of the space are not individual elements to be view separately, they are all supposed to be in one picture from the very first step of visualization. Find out all the details that are going into the interior space than commit to the wall colour. It is easy to change the wall colour but it is difficult to change that unique handmade walnut sideboard.

Interior Design DIY Ceiling Work Process

Ceiling Work is part of the Interior Design DIY series, more post on other areas of work will be coming soon. If you haven’t read my previous starting post of Interior Design Plumbing Work Process I suggest that you go through it for some useful information.

Please note what I wrote here only apply to the Singapore renovation project. Another country may not be the same because of different property and contractor services.

Common list of works

  1. Hacking Work
  2. Wet Work
  3. Electrical Work
  4. Plumbing Work
  5. Ceiling Work
  6. Painting Work
  7. Carpentry Work
  8. Door & Window Work

What is false ceiling?

Ceiling Work is commonly related to drop-down plasterboard that hangs from the bare ceiling by the use of bend metals structure hidden from view. Some plasterboard ceiling works are really good that you might mistake it for a bare flat ceiling when you first step into the room. This is because some worker has good skill in the plastering of the board join line. There are some designers that use the wood plank to create a drop-down ceiling to bring nature tone to the interior for a more relaxing effect, but it is also expensive to use. Whatever the reason may be, you might find Ceiling Work is something you cannot miss while planning for your interior design project.

Why Ceiling Work?

In local HDB housing project, we are not allowed to conceal any wiring cable into the ceiling and if you can’t conceal it, wouldn’t it be better to hide all that messy cables into the drop-down ceiling board? Not to mention that big fat air-con piping and water drainage pipe you cannot get rid off. However, you will soon come to see the wisdom of why Ceiling Work is important in esthetic and functionality.

Why people are negative about Ceiling Work?

You might guess it right, it is about the size of the space. Some people feel after adding that 100mm or 4 inches of drop-down from the bare ceiling, one might feel the living space shrink drastically. I will say in personal experience, the impact is really not that big. Unless you are going to paint the ceiling in a darker tone. However, even if you paint darker tone to the ceiling, most likely you are trying to shrink the space to be intimate. So this is not right or wrong, like many projects you can find on the internet, it is more about how you feel and what are your objectives.

The beauty of Ceiling Work

Think of it as a piece of clay. You can mould it to the result you want. What do I mean?

You might wonder how the designer can deliver the kind of lighting that is non-invasive to the eye and yet didn’t left any part of the room hidden in shadow. It is because through selective uses of angle reflective light fitting that will sometime install into the recess of the false ceiling and some left it to expose as part of the design.

The conclusion of Ceiling Work

Come to think of it, who wouldn’t want a good design ceiling that reflects the house owner mood, intension and passion? If you are going to sell the house one day, I bet the buyer is going to choose that house with a good design false ceiling, it can save a lot of money and more budget for the furniture. Don’t wait now, go check it out with your interior designer and find out what possibilities it brings to your interior space.

Interior Design DIY Plumbing Work Process

This is part of the Interior Design DIY series of Wet Work, more post on other areas of work will be coming soon. If you haven’t read my previous starting post of Interior Design DIY Hacking Work Process I suggest that you go through it. Before you begin, try to go through the HDB important information page.

Detail

Please note what I wrote here only apply to the Singapore renovation project. Another country may not be the same because of different property and contractor services.

Common list of works

  1. Hacking Work
  2. Wet Work
  3. Electrical Work
  4. Plumbing Work
  5. Ceiling Work
  6. Painting Work
  7. Carpentry Work
  8. Door & Window Work

Interior design DIY plumbing work may have nothing to do with the aesthetic of your home, but, it plays an important role in providing our daily basic needs.

Kitchen area

An important point to take note is the outlet piping that goes under the kitchen sink. Many times I had seen people come up with some creative ideas and have the sink installed far away from the default floor outlet designated in the original floor plan.

Interior Design DIY Plumbing Work Potential Choke

By doing so, you extend the length of the outlet piping that connects the sink to the default floor outlet which resulted in the sediment of waste accumulated in the pipe for a long period of time.

It is an easy fix if the choke of the outlet piping is exposed. If it is concealed under some Carpentry structure, you might need to dismantle it to gain access. So try to balance between ideas and functionality for a hustle free maintenance.

Bathroom

It’s a simple job when coming to Bathroom inlet piping. HDB cannot install concealed piping work, you are only left with exposed copper pipe installation.

Have your contractor mark out the route where the inlet piping will be installed before you approve. Check for areas where you might add a cabinet and ensure you have all item dimensions require to install ready.

To be precise, you can lay masking tape onto the wall to make the shape of the bathroom accessories to be installed. By doing so, your contractor can be more confident in laying down the piping works.

Important tips of interior design DIY plumbing work

The foundation of inlet piping is closely related to the hot and cold water. If you need hot water for shower, high chance you might need hot water for kitchen and washer. Make sure all these ideas are being considered before installation. A good storage heater with warranty is the key.

Interior Design DIY Electrical Work Process

This is part of the Interior Design DIY series of Wet Work, more post on other areas of work will be coming soon. If you haven’t read my previous starting post of Interior Design DIY Hacking Work Process I suggest that you go through it. Before you begin, try to go through HDB important information page.

Detail

Please note what I wrote here only apply to Singapore renovation project. Another country may not be the same because of different property and contractor services.

Common list of works

  1. Hacking Work
  2. Wet Work
  3. Electrical Work
  4. Plumbing Work
  5. Ceiling Work
  6. Painting Work
  7. Carpentry Work
  8. Door & Window Work

Assuming this is a resale HDB flat, here is how you can plan to complete the project.

Common list of electrical work to consider

Kitchen:

  1. Refrigerator
  2. Oven
  3. Induction Cooker
  4. Cooker Hood
  5. Washing Machine

Livingroom:

  1. Entertainment Corner
  2. Sofa Side
  3. Sideboard

Bedroom:

  1. Bed Side
  2. Dresser
  3. Study Desk

Once you have all your requirements listed and start the daily routine simulation with your family members to find out any other power point location is required. This step is important to be organized.

Common mistake

The common mistake made here is where one family member decided on the power point location to find out later that other members have their specific needs which will be too late.

Some examples

Kitchen requirement

The Kitchen location since most power point is located at the cabinet side, the person who is using the Kitchen might need a side table adjacent to the other side of the wall for preparation area. It will be a good practice to have a power point install there if required to use some tools like the Food Processor.

Entertainment requirement

In this area, I must say it has grown from a simple power point for TV back in the days to a now, data-driven multimedia box. For an audio lover, the requirement is even more extensive. One would ask why pay so much attention to this area? The answer is simple. Cable. Ever been in such a situation where you find the noodling spaghetti cable to be unsightly? A properly planning in power point location is the way to manage the cables and proper configure your power consumption.

Bedroom requirement

Its all about the habit of getting into the bed or starting out on a new day journey to conquer the world. Decide where you want to iron your cloth. Some people like to do it by the window where they can enjoy the view and take in natural light or pull out the ironing board from the wardrobe to be tuck away without a trace after use. Do you read before sleep? Need charging station on both sides of the bedside table? Surely you need a dresser to get ready for that party. I would strongly recommend installing power point on both sides of the bed. I know most people practice using the ceiling light source in the bedroom, if you try out some of those beautiful table lamps, you are in for a treat.

Things to look out

You might want to set the height of the power point measurement from the floor up to your personal requirement. Many misunderstanding starts here where the standard truly is not a standard for everybody.

If you want to use designer dimmer or switch, do buy it before the Electrical Work start. Switch design is also part of interior design, an element that is either work with the rest of the house or fight against it. Find out what are the options you can get locally or order from overseas. Do take note of dimmer and LED lights. Buy them from the same shop and test it beforehand. It is a sensitive combination that does not always work with each other. Consult your electrician first before purchasing your desire light switch.

Do take note of dimmer and LED lights. Buy them from the same shop and test it beforehand. It is a sensitive combination that does not always work with each other.

Some of the popular choices here

  1. Legrand
  2. Schneider Electric
  3. Avant
  4. MK

Why pay more?

The common question about why buy switches that cost so much more than what the regular DIY shop has to offer, is that, in my personal view switches are like the desktop mouse you use, how they feel in your hand reflect how you feel interact with the computer. Good switches are gentle to the hears and soft to the touch. I’ll not go any further, I’m beginning to sound like a switch salesman. After visiting the showroom you will get the idea.

Interior Design lighting

The importance of a good light source design for interior use is what many people don’t understand or they think is not important. I had seen people spend more on furniture and renovation works around the whole house and they just casually choose some lighting to have it flood the space.

I afraid the subject of lighting is a lot to cover here, however, I’ll list out some lighting products for you to consider before you decide on how many power point you need on your ceiling.

Light fitting for your DIY electrical work

  1. Recessed light – Hidden flat look, commonly used in the workspace like Study or Kitchen, some designs allow you to fit in other kinds of light reflector to direct light source that generates ambience. To have control over there the light cast.
  2. Surface mount light – If you do not have a drop down false ceiling, Surface Mount is what you will install to have the light hidden away from direct eye contact.
  3. Track light – This kind of light fitting commonly used in casting light onto wall hang artwork. After laying down the track on the ceiling, it gives the user the freedom to adjust to any angle desired.
  4. Wall mount light – This can be commonly seen above the bedside table. It does have a kind of elegance look. Most of them do cast indirect light that reflects off the wall, creating a kind of cosy ambience.
  5. Pendant light – It is a kind of decor light, easily the sexiest light you can find and some designer lighting can burn a big hole in your bank account. Consider it to be one of the design element for your interior. Commonly use at Dining or Living-room area.

Common Mistakes

If you engage an electrician, to ensure you and the contractor fully understood your intent design, a Reflected Ceiling Floorplan is required before the discussion of work. That goes without saying a concept of ceiling design must established before electrical work start. By doing so, the electrician can understand where to install the power point.

The use of switches

At this stage, you must relate how you want to control the lights and electrical equipment in your house. For example, when you enter the Foyer, you want to turn on the light there or together with the whole Living Room lights, by the time you reach the sofa, you want to comfortably switch off the Foyer light right beside where you sit (2 ways switch).

Another commonly seen lighting control is the installation of floodlighting and ambience lighting coexist in the same place and can be turned on alternately.

Watch out workmanship

Ensure to inform the electrician to run tubes for the electrical wires above the ceiling. If they refuse, find another contractor who will do it. This is the part where a lot of electricians will shortcut the installation to save time. It is important to have a safe installation and not spiderweb the wires across each other.

Conclusion

Electrical Work can be complicated, but if you must do it yourself in planning, spend a little time to get it right in the first place can save you a lot of regrettable situation later on.

Interior Design DIY Wet Work Process

This is part of the Interior Design DIY series of Wet Work, more post on other areas of work will be coming soon. If you haven’t read my previous post of Hacking Work I suggest that you go through it. Before you begin, try to go through HDB important information page.

Detail

Please note what I wrote here only apply to Singapore renovation project. Another country may not be the same because of different property and contractor services.

Common list of works

  1. Hacking Work
  2. Wet Work
  3. Electrical Work
  4. Plumbing Work
  5. Ceiling Work
  6. Painting Work
  7. Carpentry Work
  8. Door & Window Work

The reward for interior design DIY

Many time when you let ID firm handle laying tiles in your interior, you are limited to a few companies where they are obliged to use them. If you are to do it yourself by engaging outside contractor, you are open to a lot of supplier in Singapore market. And if you are not going for the fancy tiles, you can also save big with plain tiles design with wet work contractor directly.

After hacking

This is the next stage will concern homeowner after hacking done to the house. You can start to schedule the wet work contactor after hacking. Their job is to come put a layer of cement and sand on to the damaged wall, not to perfection, but to even up the surface to receive new tiles later. This should take one day, naturally, the next day should start laying of tiles.

The details

Do go through the detail with the contractor. Where should be the shower curb? For shower screen, do note down the detail and design and relate the dimension to the contractor of where the glass will be sitting on the curb. They will create the niche for the glass to side in perfectly when it arrived. See if you need kitchen cabinet base for the cabinet design and base for washing machine and fridge.

In my personal opinion, you are better off not to erect base for the fridge and washing machine. You are free to change any size of fridge and easy cleaning of whats under it. With a base, you will have a hard time moving it up and down.

Things to check

The common problem with laying tiles after hacking is that some contractor uses less sand material on the back of the tiles which will result in the tiles to drop off the wall after a few years. These can be check by a gentle knock on the surface after lay will reveal hollow sound compare to other rock-solid backing tiles.

Uneven surface

This is where a lot of people feel like it’s not up to their standard when come to laying of tiles.  If you choose to lay homogeneous tiles, you can never find the perfect even surface. Instead, look for sharp edges of tiles protruding out of the floor that might hurt your foot when not careful. If you are using marble, after laying of the tiles, you will need to contact the marble polisher contractor to complete the work.

Conclusion on interior design DIY wet work

To round it off, wet work for HDB is easy, it’s not like condo’s wet work with a lot of concealing water pipe, outlet pipe and overflow pipe outlet, complete with storage water heater require to complete before the laying of tiles. Find a good contractor and you will be on the right path. If you don’t have contractor, when you go purchase the tiles, ask those tiles supplier for contacts.

 

Interior Design DIY Hacking Process

This is part of the Interior Design DIY series of Hacking Work, more post on other areas of work will be coming soon. Before you begin, try to go through HDB important information page.

Detail

Please note what I wrote here only apply to Singapore renovation project. Another country may not be the same because of different property and contractor services.

My experience

In my practice, I had come across many home owner’s who had tried to renovation their home without having to engage a designer or coordinator. The interior design DIY experience can be unpleasant if owners have no prior knowledge of coordination work, also to consider other reasons to DIY is where rupture of relationship between owner and designer due to price disagreement or distrust in workmanship forces some homeowners to move away from designer and search for contractors to fulfil their vision.

What goes wrong

In my experience, on a few occasion, I arrived at a circumstance where painting the house is either too early or late. I hope in writing this post can help some owner to make sound decisions when they are on this path. Renovation can be painless if you know how to manage.

The reward

Designing your own home can be very rewarding when you are confident in knowing how all the pieces fall into place like how you imagine it to be. However, if you are going through some complicated design concept, I would strongly recommend you consult an interior designer before you hit the road.

Common list of works

  1. Hacking Work
  2. Wet Work
  3. Electrical Work
  4. Plumbing Work
  5. Ceiling Work
  6. Painting Work
  7. Carpentry Work
  8. Door & Window Work

Assuming this is a resale HDB flat, here is how you can plan to complete the project.

1. Hacking Work

To begin, when you receive the key to the house, naturally you will like to remove things you don’t want from the previous owner. The common hacking wet areas like the Bathroom, Kitchen and Livingroom floor tiles. If it is an old house, check the condition of electrical wiring, if it is in a mess from the previous iteration of works; look for installation that was not installed with proper PVC tube or wiring casing, consider removing all of it through the hacking. The contractor often uses the shortcut to simplify the installation, any of iteration work most likely result in the messy wiring.

After a long time some cable might disintegrate. A good practice is to change it all before procee to the next step.

Documentation

It is important that what you want is explicitly communicate across to the contractor. Example like the schematic drawing that illustrates the area of the wall you want to hack. Which is required by submission to HDB.

Note:

A side note to dismantle the things you don’t want in the house, try to label the things that you want with tape and marker. This is the area where communication often breaks down.

How long it takes

This kind of work will take 1 to 3 days to complete. Before commencement of work, you need a hacking permit. If you are hacking walls down, some drawings will be required for submission and approval takes a few days, I strongly suggest you engage a design firm to work on this area, it is rather complicated to carry out on your own.

Interior Design DIY Hacking Process conclusion

I must caution you that these I wrote with objective to help to grasp the concept of the process. Still if you fall out of this prilimilary assement, an indepth consultion is require before you begin on your own. You can contact me if you have questions.

Contact

Door And Digital Lock Recommendation

Laminate Doors And Digital Lock

For the new homeowner who does not want to go with the default door that arrived with the BTO house and, the neighbour who found the unit few feet away from their doorstep have that special looking new door and matching unique metal gate design might be wondering who is selling it? And what are the options available?

Useful Information

It’s not like every day you will receive a copy of today’s most hot selling products available for home improvement. And that is the reason I’m writing to inform you of this good deal which I’m not in anyway associated with them, however, when I come across such a nice company with good service and products to offer, I cannot just let it pass without having you inform.

Good Service Is Gold

How do I know they are good? One of my customers did engage them to install all the doors in their new purchase masonite. I must tell you, you have to be there to witness it. I’m not in the position to relate the cost to you. I think is better for you to inquire directly from them and it’s not like they are keeping it secret. Its written all over the site, very transparent for anybody just want to drop by and have a look.

Door and Digital Lock In A Package

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