Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not much to blog

My investment faculty has gone sabbatical. Other than reading a few of my favorite blogs, I've not been doing annual report search or anything serious. So, please don't take my investment views seriously as I may not have done enough homework. Most of my free time have been occupied getting my new house ready. I think I still need to run around for another 1 - 2 months. Bear with me, the quality of blog will be below average. I'll still try my best to post on some big picture views that possibly has some impact on overall market movements.

After running around for past months, perhaps I should write something about my renovation experience as a reflection. It's kind of relevant as it's dealing with money as well(I'll save this for the last).

The first thing I started was the grille. This has huge impact on the overall mood of the house. Put it not so nicely, you are going to be caged since 40% of the house is going to have this thing. Forget about the gated or guarded or both. For some reasons, you will never feel safe enough. That speaks how safe is this country. I have seen nice houses turn into something very ugly despite of nice interior that they have.

The second thing I started was the wall. That's just to improve the privacy. You know how busy body your neighbors can be. While doing gardening, suddenly you find your neighbors are starring at you. Again, that speak the level of privacy respect in Malaysia.

Then the real pain starts when you start to round around to get your utilities services started. The experience was mixed. You get fast service from PBA but your developer screw you up by not getting the fixture ready. Tenaga front office in Seberang Prai was doing ok job but the contractor that fixing the meter was pain in the ass. They got the job done in 4 weeks after getting the pressure from left, right and center from us.(KPI met?????)

You may remembered that I went round to snap photos to decide what kind of garden I wanted. That homework paid off, the moment I showed the photos of plants that I wanted to landscape contractor, they knew exactly what I wanted. I picked a few bigger trees to improve privacy and interesting plants to maintain a sense of spacious. Picking the right grass is important as it will be like water, cover 2/3 of the earth surface.

Then I move on to inside of the house. Three most important places of the house, living hall, kitchen and masterbed room. I was undecided whether or not to engage a freelance interior designer to coordinate the whole thing for me. I went round island and mainland to talk to a few of them. The first thing I noticed when I was reviewing their portfolio, practically all of them are like showroom. Powerful lighting highlighting features of wall, furniture, mood, etc.......I guess you will get toast when you have 8- 10 downlights with 50 watts, sun bathing you. Then I noticed that you get the whole house aircond. Well, I estimated the electricity bill can run into at least RM 600-700/month. If you were to turn off the aircond later, then you will fall exactly into the trap of how we get 1st class infrastructure, 3rd world mentality -- things or ideas die off in the middle of the way. I also noticed that the material that they used was something closer to today's mentality of throw away society. Things made meant to be disposal, it's cheap but you got to keep on changing. Today's technology is wonderful, you can get a very "shiok" effects with some cheap plywood, etc, but these things don't last. Are you going to remodel the house every 3 years? Hmmmm..........some of the concepts were very exotic with glasses, lots of stainless steel, .... a number of them putting good thoughts to blend substance into form. After grilled them enough questions, they thought I've no money and finding excuses not to buy. Though my pride was hurt but I did learn a lot from them.......

Got to go now, will continue in another post.......

1 comment:

purblue said...


i was one of your silent reader. Interesting topic you share there.

Personally, i've gone through what you're going through right now.

but your point on steps of renovation did show some of the steps that i missed - 1) the wall (damn i hate the neighboor that keep peeping from 1st floor windows or from next house to see what time i came back or what not), I should have done that wall. 2.) the garden - arhh.. how come i missed the garden! it is important to come home to a nicely manicured garden.. before stepping inside the house.

I hope you will write more on your process as you go.

Learning from me - minimize the light! don't become like my house. My son asked me during testing all the light in my house - Ayah, you house is like christmas house! or deepavali open house! very bright!

I end up not using 30% of the light! yet i spend like a bomb on lighting and wiring all of it! sheeesh..!

you can see it here..