Lion City or the Little Red Dot, a given region you may know as the Republic of Singapore.
Pinpointed on the southern tip of Asia at the edge of peninsular Malaysia, this world-wide financial centre is unbelievably rich with culture, biography, and commerce. Here we pick the Top 10 amazing realities about Singapore. Things Im pretty sure even Singaporeans are unsure about.
Check out SGDIRECTORY for more good stuffs.
Top 10 AMAZING Facts About SINGAPORE
1. The Food of Singapore
Wondering what culinary revels await you should you ever manufacture the journey to Singapore? Before diving into the types of cuisine, let’s explore where you may be indulging in these fine chews. Hawker centers, usually found in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, are outdoor hubs lined with inexpensive eateries, like an American food court, just government owned and held to a slightly higher standard. Should you find an appropriate stall to dine in, you may find yourself chowing down on the “national” dish, chicken rice, or other favorites like fried carrot cake, laksa, kaya toast, rojak, char kway teow, or hokkien prawn mee.
Being a coastal country, expect a lot of seafood, including crab, prawns, and the occasional fish psyche.
2. Famous Singaporeans
We could debate over whether or not Jet Li or Jackie Chan are true Singaporeans after emigrating from China, but we’d rather skip ahead and honor the true faces of Singapore – the nationals that have Singapore flowing through their blood. Actors and actresses that represent Singapore include Chen Guohua, Cheryl Chin, Anwar Hadi, and Melvinder Kanth. Establishing up the country’s finest jocks are Joseph Schooling, Jasmine Ser Xiang Wei, and Derek Kong, all who participated for Team Singapore in past Olympic Games. Singapore is also home to Singaporean-turned-Canadian actress Erika Tham and Singaporean-turned-American Twilight actor Monroe Jackson Rathbone.
Looking for the YouTubers? Be sure to check out canals like Singapore with JianHao Tan, Wah! banana, ClickNetwork, and TreePotatoes.
3. Things to Do in Singapore
If admiring the sheer allure of the two countries isn’t enough, there is quite the offering of things to see and do in Singapore. For a little bit of natural history, the Singapore Botanical Garden is a 156 -year-old paradise inducted as the only tropical garden-variety UNESCO World Heritage Site. Travelers in need of an adrenaline hasten will uneasily await a go on the 541 -foot or 165 -meter tall see wheel or a climb up the 429 -foot or 131 -meter tall Tiger Sky Tower. Of direction, if thrill rides and delight are what you’re looking for, there’s always Universal Studios Singapore.
To brush up on your Asian and neighbourhood biography, a trip-up to the Chinatown Heritage Centre or Peranakan Museum may also be in order.
4. Official Languages
Being an Asian country, clearly, both official languages of Singapore would be something influenced by the region, right? Well, that’s partially right. You see, Singapore realise four official languages: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, and, you predicted it, English! Wait a click. One of these happens is not like the other! Back in the early 19 th century, British settlers called a small slice of Singapore home. Though the port colony was temporary, when Singapore gained independence in 1965, it deterred English around as a means of bridging ethnic breaches. Over the years, English, which has become more Americanized in the region, has become a predominant speech spoken within Singaporean homes.
5. World Toilet Day
In November of 2001, the World Toilet Organization structured and impounded the inaugural World Toilet Summit as a means of spreading awareness about the otherwise unknown world hygiene crisis. While fully recognizes private sector companies, the World Toilet Organization, which started discerning November 19 th as World Toilet Day, located progress constipated by lack of worldwide recognition- that is until the Government of Singapore stepped in and took the bathroom by the seat. In 2013, Singapore filed its first UN resolution named” Sanitation for All ,” returning worldwide attention to the World Toilet Organization’s motion. By July 24 th, 2013, the relevant resolutions received sponsorship from 122 countries and the UN adopted World Toilet Day as an official day.
6. Singapore Legalities
Singapore may be a beautiful country to visit, but before making any travel plans, you may wish to brush up on your Singaporean law to avoid being publicly caned. That’s right, caning is still enforced, but not just for felonies. It’s also a the ways and means of punishment in colleges and members of the military. In an effort to cut down on the unsightliness of chewed gum left open everywhere, the country reenacted a ban on chewing gum. The only gum gave is for dental determinations or nicotine gum. If that sounds extreme, a ordinance covering offenses against public ordering and nuisance technically acquires playing a musical instrument in public a possible crime if it’s saw an annoyance.
On a most positive memo, that guy that refuses to flush the toilet before letting you use it would also be subject to legal action.
7. The Islands of Singapore
There are many unbelievable particular aspects of Singapore and just off the coast of the city-state are upwards of 60 different individual facets that support their own world-wides of wonder. While many of Singapore’s 60 plus islands are little more than unexplorable land-masses, there are quite a few that serve as their own private paradises. Islands like Pulau Satumu, Pulau Serangoon, Pulau Ubin, and Kusu Island offer bits of historical and cultural wonder coupled with the occasional up-close-and-personal journeying through untouched nature.
On October 1st, 1958, the United kingdom government secreted rule of the mineral-rich Christmas Island from Singapore to Australia so that the latter could benefit from the phosphate stockpiles found on small island developing.
8. Singaporean World Records
Any countries has evidences to be prideful over, with Singapore being no different. For instance, how can one not feel national pride for the June 2005 record of the world’s largest accumulation of tortoises and turtles, which was earned by Danny Tan and his accumulation of 3,456 specimens? There’s also the world’s smallest optical mouse at exactly over 1-inch or 42 millimeters, which is both impressive and practical! In the working day and age, enabled to sort the fastest text letter is something to tout, and on three separate occasions, Singaporeans broke the record on non-touch screen phones.
Finally, who can forget that time 263 people gathered in Singapore donning the classic Ghostbusters'” No Ghost” epitomize to reputation the entrance of Melissa McCarthy? If there’s any indecision, that was recognized by the Guinness World Records.
9. Singapore and Commerce
When you think of Singapore, what’s the first thing that comes to judgment? If it’s not busines and busines, then you may not know the Republic of Singapore as well as you thought! The country has become known as a global anatomy of exchange and has been said the most “technology-read” commonwealth, the country with the 3rd largest foreign exchange market, the 3rd largest fiscal center, and the 3rd largest trading center. All of these accolades have culminated in Singapore being the only country in Asia to earn a AAA sovereign rating with all major rating agencies. The deficiency of limitations on how open the economy is has helped Singapore garner a per-capita GDP that outshone world power like the United States.
10. Independence from Malaysia
When looking at the big picture, as a sovereign country, Singapore is moderately young. It wasn’t until August 9th, 1965 that it separated from Malaysia to become an independent entity, and with how the country has prospered, it certainly wasn’t a fool’s move. What’s surprising is that simply two years earlier, Singapore entered the Malaysia Agreement and the Federation of Malaysia was formed, consists of Malaya, Sarawak, North Borneo, and Singapore. Even before becoming one large uniting, political disagreement was common among the two political parties, the People’s Action Party and the United Malays National Organization. An outbreak of violence over the tension were conducted between July 21 st and September 2nd of 1964 and it started to become very clear that the confederation may not be able to sustain itself.
By June of 1965, separating Singapore from Malaysia was imminent and unavoidable .
Above are the TOP 10 Facts about Singapore. They sunny island that WOWs.
Have a room in the house where the WiFi signal is ridiculously weak? Perhaps it’s the bedroom at the far end, or perhaps, it’s the kitchen. There’re just those WiFi dead zones where your high-speed wireless broadband connection just cannot reach.
If you’re sick of your Netflix and Spotify taking forever to load, here’s how you can solve your WiFi woes!
Fibre broadband plans in Singapore that are amazing.
Choose the best spot for your router
The best and zero-cost option is to start by re-positioning your router to somewhere that allows better transmission of signal. Most routers beam WiFi signals in all directions. And, how strong these signals are depend on whether there are any objects, in between you and the router, that is interrupting your signals. So, when you have a router that’s surrounded by walls, metal objects, furniture, mirrors or even other electronic devices, these signals get interrupted.
To get the best signal out of your existing router, here’s where you can place it:
- Near the center of your house, as high up as possible, away from the floor. (Radio waves travel downwards more effectively)
- Away from cordless phones, mirrors, furniture, microwave, metal objects, which are known to be disruptive to your WiFi signals.
- Behind a sheet of curved aluminium foil. This foil can help to reflect your signals away from the wall, back to where you want them to be directed towards.
Besides choosing the best position for your router, how you place your antennas matter too! Tweak your antenna for wider coverage: Stick it up straight for better horizontal reach, or sideways for vertical reach. If you’re living in a multi-storey home, sideway antennas are the way to go.
Change your router frequency
Most routers are capable of sending signals on two network frequencies: One at 2.4GHz, and the other at 5GHz. Often times, the 2.4GHz frequency is more crowded, because it shares the same frequency as your cordless phones, baby monitors, microwave ovens and so on. But if everyone in your WiFi network is using 5GHz, it will again become crowded too.
So, instead of always sticking to one frequency, try changing your frequency whenever you start experiencing weak signals. And if you can, try splitting your devices between these two networks, so that you are not overly crowded on one frequency alone.
Upgrade your router
If changing the position of your router or its frequency do not seem to help, then it could be an issue of your router being too outdated. For such cases, you can consider upgrading your firmware or your router itself.
Upgrade your firmware
If you have been using your router for some time, and you think the router’s performance is slowing down across the board, then you might want to upgrade your router’s firmware. Check with your router manufacturer or your Internet Service Provider to see if there are any new firmware releases available online.
Get a new router
If upgrading your firmware is still not solving your problem, the next option is to opt for a newer router. Before you hop off to buy the next router, check if your internet service provider provides free upgrades to your routers first!
Get WiFi extender
What if you’ve tried all the above methods but it still doesn’t seem effective enough? The next best option is to get additional devices that can boost your WiFi signals better. This is particularly useful for bigger homes.
For a start, you can make use of WiFi extenders to extend the coverage of your WiFi network so even the secluded corners that are farther away from your router can receive the WiFi signals. To do so, place your WiFi extender in between your router and your secluded corner. This way, your extender can receive your existing WiFi signals, and rebroadcast your signal to your weak-signal zones.
Finally, how to tell if your WiFi signals are finally stronger?
So, you’ve gone through the above recommendations. But, how do you know if these methods have really worked for you? It’s easy to find out with these steps!
- Before fixing anything, simply run a broadband speed test at each of your rooms. To do so, simply go to Google, and search for ‘speed test’, there will be an in-browser speed test for you. See below image for more details.
- Note down the download and upload speeds in each of your rooms.
- Now, make changes to your router, or follow any of the recommended solutions listed above.
- Run the broadband speed test again.
- Check if the download and upload speeds are now faster. If they are, your fixes have worked, and you are now enjoying stronger WiFi signals!
Check out some of the best portable wifi in Malaysia.
If your living room is the center-piece of your home, then your sofa has got to be the heart of this center-piece that can make or break your home design. So, in this third series of Reno 101, we’ll share with you the 5 easy steps to selecting your perfect sofa! ?
Step 1: What’s your usage?
Cost aside, the first thing to consider in selecting your sofa, is your usage. Some questions you can ask yourself are:
- How many people am I catering this sofa for?
- Is it mainly for display only? Or does it need to be comfy enough for those couch potato times?
- Does anyone using the sofa have special needs? e.g. if you’re expecting kids and pets to be climbing up and down the couch, you might want something without sharp corners and is also durable and easy to clean. But if you have an elderly at home, you might want something that’s tall and firm enough such that it’s easy for them to climb in and out of.
Step 2: What size do you need?
Once you know how your sofa will be used, the next step is to consider the size you need. And, this is also the step you’ll probably can’t afford to screw up. Imagine how awkward your sofa will look in your living room, if it’s either too big or too small!. ?
To determine the size of your sofa, consider these few factors:
- What is the maximum length and breadth your sofa can have? Do set aside sufficient walking space in your living room around the sofa. And if the sofa length you need is not easily available in the market, consider paying little more to have yours customised by the furniture manufacturers.
- How many seats do you need?
- How high do you need the sofa seat to be? If you’re catering for elderly, you might want to avoid sofa seats that are lower than their usual chair height, to ensure they can get on and off the sofa easily.
- How high and wide do you want the arm rests to be? Some homeowners prefer lower arm rests for napping purposes, while others might prefer slimmer arm rests for a wider seating space.
- How high do you want your backrest to be? Depending on the sofa design, the height of the backrest may vary. If you’re looking for something with better support for your head and neck, you might want to go for sofas with higher backrests.
Step 3: What type of sofa do you need?
Once you know how your sofa will be used, the next you need is to decide on the sofa design. There are plenty of sofa designs, but these 4 are the more commonly used ones:
Commonly known for their tufted design, chesterfield sofas are a must have especially for Luxe or European designs.
If you’re looking for flexibility in your sofas, you won’t want to miss out on sectional multi-piece sofas, that let you arrange them in various configurations that are fit for various room sizes.
As the name says it, loveseat sofas are the sofas made just for two people. So, if space is a constraint for you, loveseat sofas are definitely a plus for your home design!
WOODEN SETTEE SOFAS
These back-to-basic wooden chairs are a common choice in Oriental and Asian-themed homes. Although not as plushy as the other sofa types, the basic structure of wooden settees is sure to give your living room a lighter and less-cluttered look.
Step 4: What material is good for you?
Once you know the type of sofa you need, the rest will be so much easier to decide, even on the type of material you need! Most sofa types only go well with a limited variety of material options. But, two of the most common materials are leather and fabric.
Leather sofas are known for their luxurious look. Although they tend to absorb more heat, making you feel hotter sitting on it, leather sofas are firmer and do not easily trap dust like in the case of fabric sofas. However, one key point to note is that leather sofas, especially those of lower quality are easily damaged by scratches. So, if you have jumping children or roaming pets with claws, do consider avoiding leather sofas.
Fabric sofas, on the other hand, are known for their comfort. Given that they trap dust easily, do keep a look out for those that are easy to wash and clean. If you foresee heavy traffic on your sofa, why not consider going for darker sofa colours to hide those stains and dust!
Step 5: What colour should your sofa be?
Finally, the last step of your sofa selection journey is to decide on your sofa colours. Although there’s no right or wrong in selecting your sofa colours, a major deciding factor lies in your home design style. For instance, minimalist and Scandinavian home designs usually go well with muted or lighter shades.
Chic and art deco designs, on the other hand, go better with vibrant and contrasting colours. One tip to keep your colours coherent, is to match your sofa colour with some of the other furnishings in the room, similar to how this sofa was contrasting in its colour, but was of a similar shade with the TV console!
At the end of the day, finding your perfect sofa is really all about finding one that fits your needs, both aesthetically and physically. ??
In this second “episode” of our Reno 101 blog series, we’ll tackle one of the hardest things to decide for your renovation – your flooring. With different rooms serving different purposes, it’s tough deciding which material is good for which room. So, to get you started, here’s a quick guide on the good and the bad about the 5 key flooring options – tiles, stones, wood, laminates and vinyl!
What flooring for which room?
So, now that you know what’s good and bad about each flooring option, your next question is probably what flooring should I use for which room. Fret not, because, we’ve already covered that in this article, where we talked about the best flooring for each room. As a general guide, here are the key consideration points:
- First, consider the functional usage of the space e.g. is it for a bathroom, or a baby room? Would there be heavy traffic in this room?
- Then, weigh the pros and cons against your budget and timeline. (Don’t forget that some flooring options require more installation time than others!). And, narrow down on 1 to 2 flooring options.
- Next, do a market visit to look for varying designs and quality for your selected flooring options. If you have already engaged a contractor/interior designer, you could ask them for recommendations. Some might even make a trip down to the shops with you, to let you get a feel of the actual products.
- As the actual quality and features of the flooring options may vary depending on the brand and exact finishing quality of the product, it’s best to search for some reviews of the actual product first, before making a purchase!
Alright, with this, you’ve got your flooring covered! If you still have a burning question to ask about renovation or home design, you can get them answered via [email protected]! ?
So, you’ve gone through your home renovation scope with your renovator countless times. You think you have all grounds covered. Surely, with all these preparations, there shouldn’t be any reno issues, and your budget shouldn’t overrun, right?
Or so you thought.
Even with all these preparations, there is still a chance your renovation budget may overrun. Because there are that many details to be ironed out, sometimes potential add-on costs are only brought up during the process of the renovation, rather than before the start of it.
So, how then can we anticipate or even avoid these hidden costs of renovation? Read on to find out more!
#1 Hidden costs of electrical works and lighting rearrangement
Many homeowners often forget to confirm the number of power outlets they need, how they want the electrical wirings to be concealed, and whether they need any power outlet to be rewired. These may sound so basic. But, because they involve hacking and / or building false walls, they are crucial steps that have to be planned ahead, before your renovator can start on other renovation stages, like painting of walls. Otherwise, you may risk paying more to have these electrical works done much later.
How to avoid them:
To cut these costs, plan where you want the lighting and power points to be, and the type of lighting you want to install, all before you start on your renovation.
This is because shifting any lighting or power points require hacking and then re-patching part of the wall / ceiling. Also, some types of lighting require a false ceiling. Without having all these arranged before the start of renovation, you might end up spending money painting the walls or installing the wall features, only to realise later that these expenditures have gone to waste because they have to be redone due to the electrical works. So, avoid these extra costs by planning your electrical works early.
#2 Hidden costs of changing of plans
We are all fickle-minded people. This is especially so when it involves designing our new home that we’ve put our heart, soul and savings into making it the best. So, it is really common that many of us change our minds on the renovation plans, even while the renovation is already in progress. But did you know this ficklemindedness of ours can actually cost us more for our renovation?
Here are some of the common changes in plans we’ve seen homeowners commit and how they can cost you more money:
- Changing designs of built-in carpentry
Built-in carpentry, like kitchen cabinets and wardrobes, are usually made-to-order, based on the exact dimensions and designs you’ve asked for. So, any changes in design after the manufacturing has started can potentially cost you double the material and labour cost.
- Purchasing furnishings and then changing your mind
Most renovators leave it to the homeowners to purchase the basic furnishings like kitchen taps and sinks, bathroom accessories, lights, household appliances etc. But we, as homeowners, are often guilty of buying what we thought we like, only to change our minds much later. Sometimes, this means paying the extra order cancellation fees.
How to avoid them:
To avoid these unnecessary hidden costs, always consult your interior designer before you purchase any items for your home furnishings. Check with them if they think the design and the dimensions of the furnishings will fit into the intended spaces. You can also check with your renovator on when you have to confirm the design of the built-in carpentry. Usually the actual carpentry production starts once the carpenter has taken the exact measurements of the carpentry needed. So, do try to finalise your design before this!
#3 Hidden costs of reworks
Due to the complicated nature of renovations, mistakes are likely to be made and reworks can sometimes be inevitable. But each rework means more time, effort and sometimes even money. These are the common reworks needed during home renovation:
- Reworks needed due to poor communication that led to renovator doing work that is not as per what the homeowner wanted
- Repairing damages to walls and floors caused during renovation e.g. falling debris during wall hacking may lead to cracks on the floor
How to avoid them:
To avoid incurring the hidden costs of reworks, ensure that you go into as much detail as you can when discussing the renovation scope with your renovator.
Also, request for your renovator to break down the renovation into different stages (e.g. electrical works, wet area works) and give you a calendar timeline of when each stage will be done. Then, make it a point to visit the renovation site at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of each of the stages. Your visit matters because that’s when your renovator can get you to confirm face-to-face on the details that could have been missed out. Plus, with these visits, you also get to do defects inspection while the workers are still around to fix them.
And, while you are at it, check that there is proper floor and wall protection done to prevent any damages caused during the reno process.
#4 Hidden costs of buying furnishings of the wrong size
Many homeowners love to buy big-ticket furniture, like sofas and cabinets, during the sales season, even before they get the keys to their new homes. Oft times, they usually base all these home furnishing shopping solely on their floor plan. While the floor plan might be fairly accurate, it does not preempt you about the structural irregularities in the house layout. For instance, perhaps there’s just that small section of the ceiling that’s protruding down lower than the rest of the area? It may seem insignificant. But, imagine what might happen when you buy your cabinets, only to realise it much later that they can’t fit in because of that section with a ceiling height lower than usual?
Yep, the next thing you know, you are back at the furniture shop asking for a new one that fits.
How to avoid them:
To keep clear of such hidden costs, avoid buying furniture and carpentry products until you have confirmed the renovation scope. Otherwise, you might end up with products that can no longer fit into the newly renovated space you have. You could also consult your renovator with the dimensions of the furnishings and ensure that they can fit well, before you actually buy them.
Also, if you are planning to do skirting for your flooring, ensure that all your furniture leaning against the walls (e.g. wardrobes) cater for the skirting. Otherwise, you may end up with an awkward gap behind the furniture.
#5 Hidden cost of home maintenance
Alright, so you have finally completed your renovation. And you’re thinking, there, that’s it. That’s the full reno cost. No more heavy spending on the house after this.
But, hold on! Let’s not forget the hidden cost of maintaining your newly renovated home.
The most immediate maintenance costs are the utility bills, especially the electricity bill. How you renovate your home can greatly affect how much electricity you consume monthly. Dark homes with dim lights usually incur higher electricity bills, since more lights have to switched on longer for better lighting in the house.
The not-so-immediate maintenance costs are those you incur when you have to replace what’s been damaged around the house. Commonly damaged areas are those that face heavy human traffic / use e.g. bed, sofa, floor, dining tables and chairs.
How to avoid them:
To save on your electricity bills, opt for lighter and more neutral tones in your home design. These paler colours help to make the space feel not only bigger, but also brighter. So, you won’t need to keep that many lights on, just to make the space look brightly lit at night. You can also opt for energy efficient home appliances that can help you shave hundreds of dollars off your electricity bills each year!
And, to save on your replacement costs, consider investing more on home furnishings that have to deal with high usage. Instead of buying a cheap $500 sofa that lasts a short while, you could buy a better quality option that may cost slightly more, but can last for much longer. Buying quality furniture can cut down on your home maintenance costs greatly in the long run
When we get our new HDB Build-To-Order (BTO) flats, we often have our own vision of how we want to renovate it. But did you know that HDB has guidelines and regulations set for your BTO renovation? Yes, that’s right. Not everything in your BTO apartment can be renovated. And if you don’t follow HDB’s renovation guidelines, you might be forced to reinstate the original conditions at your own expense.
So, to avoid the unnecessary complications with HDB, here are the common BTO renovation violations you should avoid.
1. Main Front Door
Before you think of modifying the main front door of your house, do remember to check if it is a fire-rated door. Some BTO units, especially those located near the fire escape staircase, are fitted with fire-rated front doors. These doors serve to contain smoke and fire within the unit, so that it will not spread to the exit staircases and lift lobbies.
So, for safety reasons, if your original front door fitted by HDB is fire-rated, it is required that you replace it with an equivalent fire-rated door. Now, here’s a tricky part many homeowners do not know about. Replacing a fire-rated door means you will not only need to replace the door itself, but all the hinges, lockset, door knobs, and all of them must be compatible with each other. So, if you are intending to use a digital lock for your door, be careful to check not only that it has the equivalent fire-ratings, but also that it is compatible with the door and its accessories.
How to check if your door is fire rated?
If the original door fitted by HDB is soft closing, there’s a high chance it is a fire-rated door. To double confirm, look out for a sticker pasted on the less visible parts of your main front door. The sticker should indicate its fire-rating. In the example below, the door is half-hour fire-rated, which means it can withstand fire for up to 30 mins).
One of the most common BTO renovation homeowners like to do is hack or modify existing walls at home. But did you know that hacking, alteration or removal of Reinforced Concrete (RC) walls, columns, beams and slabs are not allowed in BTO apartments?
So, how do you identify such walls?
Take a closer look at your floor plan. Those walls that are shaded in solid black/grey are usually the RC structures that cannot be renovated / hacked. (See below for example of such walls)
But that’s not to say you can do whatever you like with the other walls. Whenever you are hacking or drilling deep into any wall, it’s best to check with HDB and get their written approval first. This is because even if the wall seems like a non-RC beam that’s safe to be torn down, there could be intricate wiring / piping that’s hidden deeper in the wall. So, for safety reasons, remember to get your renovator to apply for HDB permit before commencing any works.
Check with Get Contractor Singapore.
3. Bathroom and Kitchen
Bathrooms and kitchens are wet areas that require more water proofing. This is also why there are more restrictions on what you cannot do in these spaces, for instance:
- Bathroom wall and floor tiles, that are originally provided by HDB, cannot be removed or replaced for a period of 3 years, starting from the issuance of TOP (Temporary Occupation Permit).
- Constructing water tank is not allowed in BTO bathrooms, unless they are ready-made fiberglass bathtub.
- Kitchen sink and stove can only be constructed within the existing pre-allocated kitchen area
- Sometimes, there are pipes that are openly visible either in the kitchen or the bathroom. Even if you find them unsightly, you cannot permanently conceal them. This is because there may be cases where the pipes from your neighbour upstairs / downstairs are clogged and HDB may need to take a look at your pipes to investigate the clogging.
4. Household Shelter
Many of us often convert the household shelter into a store room. And naturally we will like to renovate it such that it blends in well with the rest of the house, right? But do take note that these works are not allowed in BTO household shelters:
- Covering / removing the notice pasted on the household shelter door.
- Modifying or removing the household shelter door.
- Laying of wall tiles, spraying of wall finishing (e.g. cement sand finish) or wall plastering on the internal walls of the household shelter.
- Laying of 2nd layer of floor tiles or skirting tiles
- Hacking on the external walls of the household shelter for mounting of feature wall panels or tiles.
- Installation works that require power-driven drills / nails into the internal walls of the household shelter.
5. Windows and grilles
Every BTO project comes with a fixed window and grille design and structure. For both aesthetics and safety reasons, these window and grille works are not allowed in BTO:
- Replacement of full height or 3/4-height or bay windows
- Installation of casement windows for windows that are facing the common corridor. (Casement windows are those windows that open out, instead of sliding sideways.)
- Removal or tampering of safety railings and grilles, both internal and external, that were originally installed by HDB.
- Removal, replacement or relocation of original sliding door at the balcony where window installation is not allowed.
6. Renovation timing
Everyone of us would love for our renovation works to wrap up as smoothly and quickly as possible. But did you know that even if you would like to rush the reno works, you must still adhere to the HDB renovation timing guidelines? Here are the timings you should note:
- No renovation works can be carried out before 9am and after 6pm on weekdays and Saturdays
- No renovation works can be carried out on Sundays and Public Holidays
- Noisy works can only be done from 9am to 5pm on weekdays.
- Noisy works cannot be done on Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays and eve of major Public Holidays.
- All the works approved by HDB must be completed within 3 months from the date of the HDB permit.
Of course, these guidelines listed above is not exhaustive. To find out more about the other BTO renovation guidelines set by HDB, you can refer to this list, or consult your trusted renovator. But, before you start your reno journey, make sure you know how you can cut reno costs smartly first.
With the hot weather that we are “blessed” with all year round, it’s little wonder why most of our homes need an air conditioner. But given the huge variety of options available in the market, choosing a good air conditioner for yourself can get bombarding, especially if it is your first time buying one.
So, here’s a quick 3-step guide to get you started on your air conditioner shopping.
Check out BEST AIRCON BRANDS IN MALAYSIA
Step 1: Know the types of air conditioners available
In general, there are 2 types of air conditioners available in the market — those that are permanently built-in v.s. those that are portable.
Portable air conditioners
As you might have guessed, portable ones are cheaper, more flexible and easier to install. But, they are limited in their air cooling capacity and also consume more floor space. So, if you’re intending to use the air conditioner for cooling a big room, you might want to avoid portable ones as they usually take longer to cool a place down. But, if you’re looking for a short-term commitment to combat the sweltering heat, then portable air conditioners might just be the answer for you.
Built-in air conditioners
As the name suggests, built-in air conditioners are installed permanently either by the windows, at the top of a wall or through the ceiling. Due to the special installation works involved, built-in air conditioners are usually more expensive than the portable ones. However, many residential homes still prefer these as they look not only sturdier and neater, but also have a higher capacity to cool the place down faster.
Among the various types of built-in air conditioners available, split air conditioning systems are a hot favourite for homeowners. These systems comprise of one or more indoor air con units that are mounted onto the walls inside the house and are supported by an outdoor compressor unit. They are usually labelled and priced according to the number of indoor units (‘systems’) that the outdoor unit can support. So, if you buy a System 3 air conditioner, it means there will be one outdoor unit that will be supporting 3 indoor air con units.
Step 2: Buy a good air conditioner that suits your needs
To buy a good air conditioner, simply ask yourself these questions:
Qn 1. How big is your space?
If the space that you want to cool down is a small room, portable air conditioners alone should work fine. Otherwise, you could go for split air conditioners, or even built-in central units to cool bigger spaces.
Qn 2. For how many rooms do you need air con?
The next thing to consider is the number of rooms that need air conditioning. For most residential homes where more than one room need air conditioning, split air con systems are hugely popular, mainly because you only need one outdoor unit to support and separately control as many indoor units as you like.
Qn 3. What’s your budget?
If you’re tight on budget or just simply need a quick temporary fix, then go for portable air conditioners, which typically costs between $500 to $1,000. But, if you would rather spend on good quality and a longer lasting solution, built-in air conditioners like the split air con would work great. These air conditioners typically cost between $800 to $1,000 per system. i.e. if you need air conditioning in 3 bedrooms, you will need a System 3 air conditioner, which typically costs around $2,400 to $3,000.
Besides looking at the absolute cost of the air con, you should also consider:
- Installation costs: Do check that the price quoted by the retailer includes installation fees. Installation fees may vary depending on the type of built-in air con as well i.e. window vs split vs centralised air con.
- Warranty: Each individual air con units come with its own warranty terms. However, some air con retailers do offer additional warranty for the air cons they sell.
- Serviceability: Uncommon and outdated air con brands may not be easy to repair, even for just minor fixes. So, before buying your air conditioner, check that maintenance services are readily available for your air con.
Qn 4. What are the air con specifications?
And of course, when buying your air conditioners, do check out its specifications:
- Energy efficiency rating
The better the rating, the more you save on electricity bills. Find out more on how you can save with energy efficient appliances here.
- Efficient distance
This determines how far your air conditioning can work its wonders. This is particularly important if you are planning to use the air con to cool bigger spaces.
- Air con insulation thickness
Insulation pipes absorb water droplets that are formed due to condensation. The thicker the pipe insulation, the more resistant your air con is towards future leakages that occur due to condensation.
- Noise level
If you’re not a fan of noisy air cons, go for those with lower aircon sound pressure. The lower the decibels, the softer the noise the air con will create.
Aside from these basic specifications, also look out for other value adding features that many air conditioners offer e.g. dust-proofing, cooling retention effects.
Step 3: Have your air con installed without issues
For all built-in air conditioners, you will need an air con specialist to have your air con installed for you.
Before getting your air con installer down, finalise exactly where you want to install your air conditioner in each room, based on:
- Your room’s space planning and your own lifestyle needs
E.g. Ensure that the tall wardrobes are not blocking the flow of air from the air con.
- The structure of your house
For HDB flat dwellers, remember that HDB does not permit any drilling onto RC beams or walls. So, do not mount air con on walls that are marked as solid blocks / marked in dark colours on your floor plan.
During the air con installation process, walls will get drilled. And, there will be debris and chunks of wall cement falling onto the floor. So, ensure that your air con specialist has either laid floor protection covers, or taken cautionary measures to protect the floors from the impact of the falling debris.
At the end of the air con installation, check that the walls are repaired nicely and that all the wires and pipes are concealed neatly.
You can go for portable airocns in Singapore if you decide to save some electricity.