Bulk refuse removal

Our seller left a number of bulky items in the house which will need removing.

Below is the contact I obtained from the management office. Appears they are the company engaged to handle waste disposal in Horizon Hills.

She did also add very cheerfully that these were also the people to contact if ‘rubbish is not collected’. Really does fill one with confidence in their quality and frequency of waste disposal! 


Getting renovation permission

Went to the Horizon Hills management office to put a RM3,000 security deposit for renovation works.

Had to show them my Sales & Purchase Agreement, and also to fill out a form indicating the kind of works to be carried out, and the time frame (was advised that 3 months is the permitted amount).

Fairly quick and painless process. She did mention something about the Deed of Mutual Covenant (DMC), although honestly, I have absolutely no clue just what it is she was trying to put across. Was I supposed to have gotten my DMC from my lawyer to hand over to them or something like that?

Definitely something to call my lawyer up about tomorrow.

Updated: 28 Feb 2012

Called up my lawyer to ask about the DMC. She said something about having submitted it to Horizon Hills, and is waiting on them to ‘ratify’ it or something? Basically, I didn’t quite have a clue what she was really talking about, but she said ‘don’t worry about it’, so I guess I won’t.

Since the title deed and the DMC should be ready for my collection sometime this week according to her. Figure once I have those, there really won’t be anything to worry about.


Getting electricity connected

Time to get some in the house before work can commence. Our contractor said that the people at the Horizon Hills customer care office could help us to get it connected, something I hear other HH residents did in fact do.

The lady I spoke with at the office though said I needed to go to a Tenaga customer service outlet to get that done, which does not square with the information I was given elsewhere.

Am thinking that perhaps there was a miscommunication. She asked if we bought our place from the developer, or from the sub-sale market (ours was a sub-sale). Perhaps she thought that electricity had previously been connected by the person we bought the property from, in which case it would make sense that a change might need to be done at a TNB outlet itself.

We are pretty certain that the previous owner never did set up an electricity account, considering the fact that there are no lighting fixtures in the house and we have seen plenty of water bills in the mail, but not one for electricity!

Something I will call the office up again to make sure before I make a trip to a Pusat Khidmat Pelanggan (Tenaga’s customer care centres I imagine) since there isn’t exactly one anywhere near to Horizon Hills.

Would be brilliant if HH could just set it up for me.

Updated: 28 Feb 2012

Called the Horizon Hills customer Care centre up (the number is 07 234 9282) and was told that they couldn’t do it for me. I asked if it was because I did not buy my unit directly from the developer, and could not get a straight answer. Actually I couldn’t get a straight answer for anything I asked.

I think it is something I must get used to in Malaysia! So to a TNB shop it is. Dread the traffic in JB.


Work about to start at last

Have pretty much confirmed everything with our contractor, went in today to select some tiles, and it looks like work can commence as soon as I get some electricity in the house, which is slightly problematic and detailed in a separate post.

Final schedule of works:

As it is, there have been some adjustments already. We picked some tiles for the kitchen that cost more than our contractor budgeted for, and living/dining room tiles that cost less. Really do hope the final bill won’t vary too much from the above.

We are awaiting a final quotation on kitchen cabinetry.

Cost of balcony

Have spoken with the contractor who did our neighbour’s balcony which we rather like.

Entire cost is is almost RM18,000 comprising waterproofing and tiling works, wooden pergola with laminated glass roof and tempered glass railings.

Does sound rather expensive….

Update 20 Feb 2012:

Well, we have asked our contractor not to proceed with the construction of the balcony in any form.

Pretty happy with the decision though. Saves us a chunk of dough, and honestly, I’m not sure if the balcony would ever have been put to good use, if we’d done it.

The idea of sitting out there, wine glass in hand sounds wonderful, but I’m not sure if we’ll ever get round to doing it!

Not to mention, I would class the balcony as an entertainment area, like a patio. The fact that ours is accessible only via the master bedroom kind of rules that out. I wouldn’t be comfortable having guests being entertained traipse through our bedroom to get there, nor would I be comfortable as guest having to go through the hosts’ bedroom to go there.

And sitting out there having a drink with an old friend late in the night while the wife is sleeping 10 feet away simply sounds too weird.

So bye bye balcony, for now at least. We may change our mind if our living pattern indicates we could do with one. :)

Hot water and water pressure

With regards hot water, current plan as suggested by our contractor is to have 2 separate storage heaters, one to supply bathrooms upstairs, and another to supply ground floor bathroom and kitchen.

Little bit of wall hacking needs to be done in the bathroom, and some piping adjustments made for the kitchen, but thankfully nothing insurmountable.

Total cost is around RM7,000

The issue of water pressure can also be overcome according to our contractor by making some adjustments to the piping, which he calls direct water.

I have no idea what that means actually, but it doesn’t cost a lot (750RM) so it’s definitely a must-do. Yay for more water pressure!


Contractor update III

Finally got a quotation from this second contractor. We actually dropped a note into our neighbour’s (they used his service as well) mailbox, and they were kind enough to reply and explained that they were satisfied with his level of service, price and reliability.

Anyway, the quotation is not complete in that it does miss out some key components.

The quotation as it stands is RM108k plus another about 23k for our kitchen cabinets. The key components not included in this quotation would add up, I suspect to at least another RM.10-15k.


Flooring Works:

Hack and install new homogenous tiles for entire ground floor except wet kitchen (450sqft) – 9,700

Hack and install 3” merbau timberwood floor for entire upper level (825 sqft) – 17,000

Staircase 16 steps & 2 platforms to merbau timberwood – 7,000

Sub-total: 33,700

Kitchen work:

Hacking some wall, installing glass sliding door etc: 3,600

Kerbs to build cabinetry on: 900

Shift position of rear entry door: 600

Modify water piping: 400

Modify direct water to 4 bathrooms and kitchen:  750

Sub-total:  6,250

Kitchen cabinets (we getting separate kitchen contractor):

Preliminary quotation: 23,000

Hot water:

Install and supply 4 bathroom shower area and wet kitchen copper piping,

2 units 35L Joven storage heater, and hacking necessary wall area tiles (wall tiles not included)

Subtotal: 7,000


Tiling (with water proofing) and removal of existing fence: 3,100

Tempered glass railing U-shaped (total 33ft, height 3.5ft): 4,000

Pergola 21x6ft balau wood with 5+5mm laminated green glass: 10,080

Sub-total:  17,180 

Plaster ceiling works:

Living room false ceiling (450sqftx3rm): 1,350

Dry kitchen false ceiling (110sqftx3RM): 330

Bedroom Light-box (42ftx12RM): 504

Sub-total: 2,184


Conceal & Install 3nos 2hp non-inverter a/c & piping 10ft: 1,800

Conceal & Install 2nos 1hp non-inverter a/c & piping 10ft: 800

Supply 2hp Daikin wall-type non inverter /c 3 units: 5,460

Supply 1hp Daikin wall-type non inverter /c 2 unit: 1,700

Subtotal:  9,760

*Actually I don’t understand this aircon part at all lol. I am looking to install 4 single unit aircons for each of the bedrooms, and maybe a system-2 for the living/dining

Wiring works:

40 lighting points @ 45RMea: 1,800

20 power points @ RM75ea: 1,500

TV/fan/Astro points etc:  760

Alarm system (LIFE usa tech local made): 2,000

Autogate system with battery (CEI local made): 1,650

2 TV console power point control switch: 150

Sub-total:  7,860

Painting: Whole house (Nippon): 6,000

Changing glass sliding doors:

2 units (living room and master bedroom) L10ftxH8ft@ 5,400ea: 10,400

Carpentry work:

Master bedroom wardrobes total 15ftx9ft: 7,500

Grand total: RM 106,734 + RM 23,000 (kitchen cabinets) = approx RM 130,000

These are the things he missed out:

Installing wrought iron grilles all doors and windows. Replacing grilles in wet kitchen and installing windows. .

And more which I can’t think of now, but surely will happen.

We will probably end up not doing all the stuff as quoted due to budget constraints. Working out what we can do without, or compromise on.


Contractor update II

Still no word from our contractor since meeting last Wednesday. While waiting for that, I was just looking googling for some Johor interior designers when we came across one who happened to do a neighbour’s house.

Yep, the one whose balcony picture I took as an example of what we wanted.

Have made an appointment with him tomorrow for a consultation at out place. Might be a good idea to use someone who has experience doing a place like one’s own.

No idea about his reliability or cost though. Think I may just drop the neighbour a note tomorrow to see if they’re willing to share their experience working with him even if it’s probably a weird thing to do!

Extending two bedrooms

Never did expect to do any structural work with my place until my contractor looked out the window of one of the 2 common bedrooms upstairs and pointed out something interesting.

Another house had extended the same two bedrooms over the aircon ledge by moving out the existing wall to the edge of the house, which struck me as being a really good idea.

Firstly, the ledge is ‘dead’ space, not that we really need more but doesn’t hurt to have a bit more I guess. Quite a bit more in fact.

More importantly, do you have any idea how hard it is to clean an aircon ledge? I don’t either actually, but I imagine it’s pretty troublesome. So why not get rid of it?

Since it only affects the rear of the house, and will not alter the facade of the house, I don’t suppose anyone will find trouble with it. Even from the rear, it is so subtle that even though I had been looking at my neighbours’ houses, both front and back for ideas for quite a while, I never even noticed anything different until my contractor pointed it out.

Update: Not proceeding as of 15 Feb, extra space hardly seems essential, I guess it really won’t hurt to put the aircon compressors where they are intended, and we’re looking to complete renovation asap, so doing less wouldn’t hurt at all.



Storage heater

Good thing is that the contractor advised that it is possible to install a storage heater, a single large capacity unit that can be stored in the roof and supply hot water to wherever it is needed without the need to hack walls or anything.

For the showers at least, he wasn’t so sure for the taps for wash basins. That’s not crucial, but we do hope hot water can be routed to the kitchen sink.

So many uncertainties for renovation in a foreign country. Don’t quite have the comfort of knowing for sure what can or cannot be done. And no easy way of finding out.