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How to save on curtain costs

I'm surprised to see people paying more than $3000 for the curtains for their houses. I'm not exaggerate on this figure, you will believe me if you are getting a quotation for the curtains for your sweet home.

Customised curtains are expensive, and a house can't be complete without nice curtains, so this is normally the headache or even an unbudgeted costs to many new home owners.

I received many emails asking me where to get cheap curtains, I would say if you're venturous enough, try sourcing from JB Malaysia. It means you'll have to drive into JB at least 2 times, to source and to collect your curtains. It doesn't mean you can get any super deal from those curtain makers coming into Singapore from JB, cause they know they can get big buck from you, so why give you discounts?

If you do not wish to go into JB for certain reasons, you can try my method here:

1) I walked into a few curtain shops in those shopping malls, looking at the designs of the fabric that I like, talked to the owner to get a quote.
2) Using the code of the fabric I've chosen from step (1), I went to those curtain makers at the neighbourhood shops, and get a cheaper quotatation.
3) As Living Room and MBR are the two rooms more important to me, I only custom made curtains for the windows in these two rooms. Living Room is important because all my guests and visitors will see it, MBR is important because a good curtain will block away the sunlight and give me a good afternoon nap.
4) For other rooms, I bought those off the shelves curtain from the shopping mall during promotion or Sales.
5) All in all, I spent less than $800 on the curtains for my whole house.

The curtains in my living room. I like its colour combination with my furniture, TV console and wall paper. I believe the first sight is very important, this is what my guests will be seeing when they walk into my house, who cares about other curtains in other rooms?

A closer look on the fabric. Many insist on 100% sunlight block out curtain, or  day night curtains (i.e. one 100% block out + one half transparent curtain), but I chose a 70% sunlight block out  curtain. The reason why I did not choose 100% sunlight block out is because it is more expensive and a 70% can do the job pretty good, why should i pay more to get a total blackout?

If I can choose again, I probably will buy a half transparent curtain for my living room, so that it'll not be so dark when the curtains are down, and yet it can block away the strong sunlight during the day. But I'll still buy the same fabric for my MBR for a better afternoon nap.

An advantage of choosing a dark colour for curtains is that it does not get dirty easily.

My curtains run on this type of track. Which is easier to hang and fix.

For my study room, I bought this curtain blind from IKEA, which costs me only $49. 

A closer look at the blind:

 For curtains at those corners of the rooms, I bought this type of off the shelves curtain, full length, only about $25 per piece.

 I hope this post will give you an idea on saving cost on curtains :)

Crizto - Good and Satisfactory service!

I've mentioned in my earlier post on the cost of repairing my rain shower, but here I would like to praise the good service received from Crizto.

I bought my Crizto rain shower set from Royal Fanco, there was a problem with the diverter as water flow down from both the handheld shower head and the rain shower head. I did not rectify this problem and miss the warranty period, and I only get it repaired recently. The cost of repairing the diverter is $123 inclusive of $30 transport and 7% GST.

I called Royal Fanco about the problem earlier this year, the lady (I think is Harry's wife) noted my contact and Crizto called me in the same day. An appointment was fixed and the person turned up on the day and replaced the diverter. 3 months warranty was given.

I called Crizto hotline last week regarding the diverter, which was not functioning to my satisfactory and appointment on the weekend was given and the man turned up on time, he replaced another diverter for me FOC. According to the man, my old diverter was the old design where it loosen easily, he given me a new design where it controls the diverter better.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with the services provided. The person answering my call attended me professionally and the man repairing my item turn up on time. Appointment was given in the same week I made the call, unlike many other big brands who can only give me a late appointment.

The cost of repairing a set of rain shower

I've previously mentioned that I do not like rain shower, here I would like to explain why.

No doubt rain shower is a cool item to have in your bathroom, but you might want to consider the cost of it before revamping your bathroom to have this facility, especially for HDB owners.

For me, I do not like rain shower, but I stay in a Condo where water heaters were already installed by the developer, so I would stick to water heater and rain shower set.

The reasons I dislike rain shower are:

1) Its cost, a water heater would cost at least $200, a set of rain shower with  conceal mixer, shower head, connecting nod and etc would cost close to $300, you may refer to my earlier post here.
2) Again, the cost! The cost of maintenance is high. I've recently repair the diverter for one of my rain showers, and it costs me $123 inclusive of labour and GST (I'll have a separate post on this), I remember a new set of electronic water heater with shower head is only around $160 to $180.
3) It takes longer time to heat up the water compares to electronic water heater, as this type of water heater tank is bigger and it heats the water and store inside the tank, whereas electronic water heater does not store the hot water, it just heats and use as and when you on the button.
4) As it takes longer time to heat the water up, you'll need to let your water run from the rain shower for about 2 to 5 minutes to get the hot water, it thus wastes the water.
5) When the water heater is on, it heats the whole tank of water, thus higher electronic consumption.

Having said that, I would still install the rain showers in my bathrooms if given a chance again, the reasons are:
1) It is really a cool and clean design, you'll need it if you want the classy look of a hotel liked bathroom.
2) It saves up space for my small size bathrooms.
3) The water tank heater were already build in by the developer, no extra cost incurred to install the water tank, but if I were to stay in HDB, I would  rather choose electronic water heater.

I hope the above give you an idea of the pros and cons of a rain shower and help you in your decision making :)
The little nod pointed by the red arrow is the diverter which costs me $123 to repair. This diverter functions in changing the water flow from the handheld shower head to the rain shower head and vice verse.

Foscam FI8918W Indoor Pan/Tilt Wireless IP Camera

Are you looking for CCTV? Maid Surveillance System? Baby monitor?

This Foscam FI8918W can achieve all the above!

(available in black and white colour)

I've purchased these cameras and installed at my house early this year and had been using them since then, so far, I found the cameras excellent and really solve all my problems.

Lets take a look of the camera views from my computer while I was working in office:

Yes! I can view my house easily while I was working in office, I can even hear the sound from my house and talk to my children with a microphone!

I can also view the cameras by using my Iphone anywhere anytime I want!

Here's a sample video on how Foscam cameras can be viewed on Iphone:

(Please note the application shown in the youtube is a purchased app, for free app the functions will be lesser)

You can easily set up the cameras by yourself, for me, I set up the cameras by myself and when I encountered problem, I contacted my supplier to help me fix it. I just need to install a software downloaded from internet, she helped me to fix the problem remotely, and hoola! I got my cameras installed!

The images on the cameras are very clear, example in my picture above, my kids room (the one at the below) was in dark, but the image was still very clear.

One feature I like about this camera is that I could set motion detection in any of the cameras, and once there is movement in the room, it'll auto send the images to my email, and if I'm viewing from computer, it'll record the movement in my computer too.

Sample pictures of email sending to me after the camera detected motion:

Some other benefits of this excellent camera:
- Simple to setup, Friendly GUI, DIY installation
- Support 3G network & IPhone viewing
- High image & video quality, Two-way audio monitoring
- Auto IR-LED illumination for night vision (up to 7metres)
- Allow remote viewing & record from anywhere anytime
- Support IE browser or any other standard browsers
- Wi-Fi compliant with wireless standards IEEE 802.11b/g
- Support both WEP, WPA & WPA2 Encryption
- Motion detection alert via email or upload image to FTP
- Multi-level users management with password protection

Now, I would like to share my privilege price with you!
It is retailing at $180 per piece but ALL mylittlecasa readers can get it at just $140 [it is further reduced to $125 due to the good response from the readers!] net inclusive of delivery!

So what do you pay as a mylittlecasa reader?
$125 discounted price! Free delivery!

If you're interested to get one, just email to:

1 Year 1 to 1 exchange warranty. No monthly subscription! Only $140 $125 per piece and no other subsequent charges!

Other sample videos:
Shows video in daylight and night vision for the Foscam FI8918W

With movement of people in hallway at home

Foscam Surveillance App for viewing with iPhone
*Free Foscam Viewing Apps also available: Camviewer for Foscam (iPhone App) or IP Cam Viewer Lite (for Android)

Send your enquiries to info@foscamsingapore.sg now, remember to quote that you're recommended by mylittlecasa to get the discounted price!

You may enter 'littlecasa' when you purchase the following Foscam IP camera from www.foscam.sg/store to enjoy further 12% of discount from the already discounted price of $125! i.e $110 each with free delivery til 28 Feb 2013

Protect your cabinets and belongings! Chase away the Cockroaches!

I've almost forgotten to share this very important point!

Years ago, when I was staying in HDB, there were many cockroaches around. On and off I see cockroaches in my house, so I spray the insecticide, and put those cockroach baits. When I don't see the cockroaches, I thought they were not around, and happy.

One day, to my horror, I found that the cockroaches are building their nests in my cabinets and some of my bags are full of cockroaches eggs! What about those cockroach baits? Yes, they are functioning, but cockroaches ate the baits food would not die on the spot, instead, they were back to their colony and poison their fellow friends and relatives. This sound good as it killed the whole colony, but guess what I found, a half full pale of the cockroaches dead bodies! Believe me, this is good enough to scare and haunt the ladies better than any horror movie!

From the incident, I have learned that PREVENTION and CLEANLINESS are the two key points in battling with insects. So what do I do now?

I put the moth balls in a small folded paper bin and leave them in all the top cabinets (which I seldom open).

(can be bought from NTUC or any grocery shop at less than $2 per pack.

I still spray the insecticides on the covers to drainage and the rubbish chute, preferably those with prevention for a period of time. I spray the insecticides on a regular basis, about once every 3 months.

I also do a regular check on the top cabinets, which are a good place for the cockroaches to build their houses.

Till date, my house is still free of cockroaches, occasionally, I do see one crawling around (you can control the cleanliness in your house but you can't control it in your neigbours', so no matter what you do, you're bound to see immigrants crawling in your territory) and I'll start spraying the insecticides and checking the moth balls balance......

Moth ball is a type of insecticide. It comes in a solid form that slowly gives off a toxic gas that kills moths and other insects. It contains very high concentrations of either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene as active ingredients. It is meant to be used in closed, airtight containers so that the fumes they produce are trapped. The trapped fumes build up and kill any clothes moths inside. If mothballs are used out in the open, they can harm people that may touch or eat the mothballs, or breathe their vapors.
Thus, use it moderately.

Things to look out when buying furniture from Malaysia JB

I have previously written an article on "Buying Furniture from Malaysia JB". I know many of you are interested in getting furniture from Malaysia, and in my article, it seem to be a good deal to get the furniture there. However, I would like to warn all of you about the risks of getting your furniture there.

One of my friends purchased her furniture from Malaysia JB last year, she did not check the reputation of the shop but put a deposit after a few walk-ins of the furniture shops. After payment made, she was told the delivery can only be made at the company's convenient time, and her furniture were subsequently separated into a few deliveries, one of it arrived her house after midnight! Till date, she has not received all the furniture she purchased, and when she called the shop, the staff there just didn't bother about her complaints and push the responsibilities away.

When I purchased my furniture from Rustica Taman Molek Branch, the salesgirl did tell me the delivery could not be confirmed yet and it depends on the delivery schedule of the company. It is understandable that the company need to arrange their delivery to minimise the transportation cost, but options should be given to the consumers. Rustica did call me every time they had available delivery, but I had the option to reject when it was not convenient to me, and it was pre-agreed when I placed my deposit. Of course, there are shops that go against their words, thus the important point here is not just what they've promised you, but their REPUTATION as well.

Matters to consider before placing your deposit (may apply to Singapore furniture shops too):
1) The reputation of the company (check out renotalk forum, or see my previous article here)
- How long has the company established? Avoid new company
- Go for those with branches in JB, not only for convenience, but these type of companies have better customer service
- Google the name of the furniture shop, it is easier to see complaints on a company than its compliments. If you see complaints from more than 2 persons, beware.
2) Pricing. Yes, we want a good deal, but we are not cheapskate, check the pricing in Singapore before hunting in JB, and do factor in GST and transportation charge.
3) Some shops absorb the GST, but not all, you may try your luck. Transportation charge can be reduced to RM100 net, or even FOC.
4) Delivery time, make known the deadline to them, place your deposit only if they can commit.
5) Bear in mind that it would be difficult for exchange, you might want to check on this point.

So far, majority of the complaints discussed online are on those small or shops without branches.

Wish you good luck in your furniture hunt!

Important Notice

Please note that all photographs posted on my website are my proprietaries. Should you need to use any of them, kindly email to winnyyap@hotmail.com to seek my approval.
Use of photographs without my consent will be treated as copyright infringement and I will make police report against any company or individual for doing so.

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    The Purpose of this blog

    The purpose of this blog is to share with you my experience in renovating my house. Renovation can be a hassle for most people especially in sourcing for contractors and supplies. I hope the information I've shared here can shorten your time spent on doing research or marketing.
    Feel free to drop me a comment or question on all my posts, I assure you that they'll be answered in shortest possible time.

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