So obviously these community groups main discussion at that point in time was about renovation and how much it costs and which interior designer was better and what deals there are at the various electronics stores.
Ok so I compared what the typical neighbour did with their reno vs what I did. Of course there were differences but as I always say. If someone is willing to pay a premium and be happy with it, so be it. To each their own.
Typical renovation package SGD25,000
1) kitchen cabinets
2) built in cupboards in 3 bedrooms
3) TV console
4) Vinyl flooring
5) False ceiling
6) Electrical rewiring
8) Toilet re-tiling
9) Some miscellaneous installation of lights/plumbing which the contractor will do for free
This typical renovation which most of my neighbours did excludes the real stuff which people need to live such as,
6) Cooking hob and hood
7) Washing machine & Dryer
8) Water heater
9) Tables and chairs
10) Misc stuff like internet, vacuum cleaner, Plates and bowls etc etc
My "renovation" expenses amounted to around SGD18,000
Well, you can hardly call it renovation cos it's pretty much furnishing instead.
(I forgot to mention my HDB came with tiled flooring and the toilet fully installed)
What I needed to buy too live in it was
1) kitchen cabinets (these were the only actual renovation done by the "ID") = SGD6k
2) bought cupboards and drawers = SGD3k
3) bought TV console = SGD300
4) Refrigerator = SGD1k
5) TV = SGD400
6) Bed and mattress = SGD600
(link to the illusion of marketing and my comments on the cost of mattress)
7) Lights & installation = SGD600
8) Sofa = SGD400
9) Cooking hob and hood = SGD600
10) Washing machine & Dryer = SGD600
11) Water heater = SGD200
12) Tables and chairs = SGD300
13) Air con = SGD3000
13) Misc stuff like internet, vacuum cleaner, Plates and bowls etc etc = SGD1k
(There's really a lot of misc stuff to buy which adds up to SGD1k, kettle, oven, rice cooker... the list goes on)
I've rounded up or down some stuff so it's not 100% accurate.
I'm not trying to spell out exactly what I've bought, I'm trying to put across the point of what people think is the new NORMAL (I have 2 articles on the illusion of normal, here and here) when moving into a new place.
Not too long ago when I was young, my parents basically did a small amount of renovation and bought the rest of the stuff. Nowadays, everyone seems to call an interior designer and does up their false ceiling, built in cupboards, flooring, etc etc.
Let's look at the additional stuff which my neighbours did which were (what I feel) unnecessary.
I removed the TV console and cupboards cos they cost about the same if you buy them off the shelf vs build them in. I bought some better quality cupboards as they were more sturdy. There are some really cheap ones but they wobble.
Ok as usual, I'm not judging. Everyone places a value on their own happiness and what they are willing to spend on it. But just as a point for discussion...
1) Vinyl flooring
Why would anyone need to change the flooring. The tiles came with the house. Sure it's just homogeneous tiles. Maybe I'll change them after 5 years or so but... these tiles are NEW! I do wonder why some folks would want to redo the floor considering that it's good enough.
2) False ceiling
3) Electrical rewiring
Is the ceiling not good enough? When I stayed at my parent place, there was only the ceiling and one big light in the center of the room. It was only when my parents moved to a condo that there were false ceilings and warm cove lights and my parents didn't really do the renovation per se. It just came with the condo from the previous owner. Somehow the idea of false ceiling with cove lights seemed appealing to many so many folks decided to do up their ceiling as well in their HDB.
(Note, I used to change the bulbs for my parents. More bulbs means more chances for them to blow and increased expenses. Not to mention the hassle of buying replacement bulbs and fixing them.)
The HDB came with a very light champagne colour. Is that not good enough?
So some folks either repainted their whole NEW HDB in a single colour or different colours in different rooms... Seriously?
5) Toilet re-tiling and toilet bowl and shower head
What? The pre-installed toilet bowls not good enough for you?
No seriously?? The toilet is good for use. HDB already provided the tiles, toilet bowl, sink, shower head, etc.
Many of my neighbours re-did the tiling, some replace the toilet bowls, toilet heads or sink.
And renovation packages still doesn't include the TV and electronics and bed and all that stuff...
Not to mention some folks even took renovation loan to finance the renovation??
Ok I'm not judging. Really. As I always say, to each their own. They will live with their own decisions. Be it good or bad. Who I am to say that maybe a nice house will make them happy and they work happier and be more productive and result in them being promoted and earning more money. It's possible right...
Everyone places a price on their happiness, so I don't think too much about it.
It doesn't really matter to me.
This blog isn't here to judge people. It's kinda like a self help guide. So that readers who may think the same as I, know that there are others like them. Or I may be even more extreme than the readers.
Anyway, I'm happy living in my own place with non-built in cupboards and no cove lights and etc.
I'm just some who is contented with what I already have. And I've realized that happiness comes from within.
I think I'll do a post on happiness is a decision next...