Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Renovation and Stress Part 2

Holes holes everywhere! Renovations and building a home is said to be high stress factors. Renovations on a timeline is worst. Especially when you are a pregnant, working mother on a tight budget. But fret not! Thanks to my previous experience renovating a home while carrying Isobel 4 years ago, I have learnt to handle the stress a tad bit better this time around. Here are my tips when renovating:

1. Expect completion to take longer than anticipated

Even though my cabinet guys told me that it would take only 2 weeks to install everything, I gave them a month (but you don't tell them your "real" deadline -- or they will take their time). Make sure you tell the management office (if you are staying in a gated community or condo) in advance about the renovations/movers coming in and out. Most require deposits. So be prepared to fork out RM1-2k on deposit.

2. Don't load yourself with extra commitments.

My husband, maid and I had to take turns looking after the contractors coming in and out. So during this busy period, I didn't take on extra jobs (okay Khai's movie was an exception =) Check out Relationship Status - scheduled to be released year end)

3. Be kind to your contractors.

They are only human. Allow them to have their lunch/tea breaks. They will normally pack their own lunchboxes, but I always make sure they have cold drinks to quench their thirst. Speak to them nicely and they'll be pleasant to you (and your home). The best tradespeople are high in demand and probably have clients who are on a tight deadline and/or budget just like yourself. So be firm yet kind to them.

4. Expect extra expenses

That's why there is a MISC in everyone's budget!
For some reason, the design of this house didn't plan the placing of the aircon compression units thoroughly. So after speaking to our aircon guys, we found out we needed to do quite a bit of drilling and extra ceiling plastering which eventually set us back RM1500!
That's my Pensonic Fresh Cool aircon set up yesterday -- I use the aircon just to cool the room down. So make sure you get a unit that has a sleep function.

Green tip: Draw the curtains to reduce sunshine coming in to cool the room during the day and to reduce usage of aircon. Also use energy saving bulbs like the Pensonic ones below to reduce electricity.


Pensonic Starlight bulbs : High efficiency, 80% Energy Saving Over Standard Bulbs, Instant Start, Longer Lifespan ( last up to 8000hrs) and Excellent Brightness.

5. Check your builders work constantly.

Monitor the work closely so that can rectify any mistake/misunderstanding the contractors make before they become "built-in". I had an ID guy to handle this for me previously, but even then, I was anal about details. Finding out too late is very stressful as it will most likely involve a confrontation with the builder, not to mention te ramifications of that dispute! Because we have different contractors coming in on same days for different jobs, I made it clear to everyone that everyone was liable if my floors got scratched, or things get broken etc.

Hope this helps!

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