Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pregnant again

Am officially 5 weeks pregnant. Alhamdulillah. Harap2 tak terukla morning sickness. Skang ni dah rasa dah tp still mild. Pray for us:-)

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Modern country living room


These are all my favorite style when it comes to living room design.

I love country style. Mylocx loves modern contemporary style and he likes country too as long as it's not too crowded and overdo and too classic. Haha.

One thing in common..we love neutral shades.

If we combine our taste...hmm it'll be a modern country style.

And i think, modern country style is not bad at all. Here i listed some of my favorites for modern country living room..(not sure if mylocx likes them;)


Saturday, July 9, 2011

::Bibik bakal dapat cucu??::


Dah namanya rezeki. Anak sulung bibik preggy jugak seyh..baru 3 minggu. Kalau betul i'm preggy...memang lebih kurangla dgn anak bibik i nih.

Ok..dunno if i'm happy or wat. Haha. I should be happy for her la kan. But the sad part is..cukup2 contract dia 2 tahun (which is end of January 2012)..she's thinking to go back to her hometown. To look after her daughter during confinement n her grandchild too. Yela, cucu first tuuu...

Kalau tak, dia memang ingat nak continue another 1 year kat sini. But everything is Allah's plan. And He knows best rite?

Apa pun, alhamdulillah all these whiles, bibik's performance sangat tip top la..especially for looking after sofea. So sad..huhu. She's been a very good companion to me too..

Hmm..so i guess we need to think and plan again..nak hantar anak nursery or looking for another bibik. Hmm..kalau nak bibik lain, kena decide and proceed awal coz amik masa 1 2 bulan jugak utk settle semua benda barula maid tu datang. Plus, tak campur lagi kalau2 bibik tu boleh harap ke tak. Aihh pening-pening.

Kalau amik bibik lain pun, hopefully boleh sampai around few weeks before bibik sekarang ni balik indon. So dia boleh educate sket2 apa yg patut pada new bibik tu. And harap2 tak degil kalau suruh pakai sopan2 n pakai tudung bila ada lelaki dalam rumah.

Bibik i ni awal2 dulu tak pakai tudung pun n baju harian pun byk seluar 3 suku je. Tapi bila gitau elok2 n i beli baju2 n seluar lain, alhamdulillah dia ikut. Dia pakai baju2 yg longgar, seluar panjang or kain batik dan pakai tudung bila mylocx ada kat rumah.

Tak sangka pejam celik dah nak dua tahun bibik kat sini. Rezeki sofea je la nampaknya kena jaga ngan bibik Ropin.hehe. haihh..

Friday, July 8, 2011

Floor Depot: Floor measurement

Haritu dah bayar deposit for Floor Depot during the IDEA exhibition at One Utama. So after setting the appointments with one of the crew, he paid a visit to our newly purchased home on 7th july with range of samples (laminated flooring) and did the measurement.

He's a friendly malay guy. At first, he's sketching the plan of the house and start doing the measurement. Upstairs tu (including stairs) lantai parkay dah ada yang rosak. Dia suggest buka dulu parkay2 tu semua baru pasang laminated floor tu. Downstairs (living room area) is marble floor. Yang marble floor tak payah cabut whatsoever boleh terus pasang atas marble tu. Cuma skirting je derang akan tanggal.

For the kitchen area, dia suggest letak cabinet dulu baru derang datang pasang flooring. Jimat sket sebab tak yah letak kat bawah kitchen cabinet tu.

We asked quotation for the whole interior of the house except bathrooms. Still not make up our minds yet nak pasang flooring kat seluruh lantai rumah atau tak tapi yang pastinya upstairs memang nak ganti semua. So ask for the quotation dulu, and kalau rasa2 ok n cukup bajet nak pasang for the whole house proceed je la. Kalau tak nak, boleh cancel mana2 area yang tak nak tu.

Laminated floor is to be installed last sekali...bila contractor n wireman dah settle semua kerja including fixing, painting, installing, cleaning etc etc.

Next step: Calling for the contractor and wire-man.

Will update more later.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

faint line on a pregnancy test

Harini i ada rasa stomach cramp and tak sedap badan. Last period was on 5th june. So agak2 dah lewat 2 hari je baru. Tapi gatai jugak nak buat home pregnancy test (urine). So i used my first morning urine..

and appeared like this after 3 - 4 minutes.

Just a faint line.( Sory bad image;p)

And i went to see the doc just now...around 3.30 p.m and turned out negative. Tapi doc tu mcm pelik sket. She said no need to wait until 4-5 minutes ke apa..kalau betul preggy a few seconds je dah nampak the second line. But internet and the explanation on the home pregnancy kit tell me
differently. And she didn't take my words seriously bila i cakap pagi tadi buat test 2 kali dua2 ada 2 line tapi faint je la.

Confident abis doc tu i x preggy and macam nak cepat2 je i keluar. Dahla pompuan. Tapi makcik2 la..dats y malas nak layan ckp byk2 ngan dia. Dia ingat i baru2 kawin and terlebih excited nak first baby kot tapi bila i kata i dah ada baby setaun 9 bulan barula sebok nak entertain. Apa punya pesen la mak cik oii..pangkah la klinik ni.huhu.

I dun really mind if i'm not pregnant..tapi i bengang dengan layanan doc tu..nak kata tak cukup ilmu dah ada title Dr and ada klinik sendiri. haihh..

Btw, this is what i got from the internet:

What does a faint line on a pregnancy test mean?

On a pregnancy test, a faint test line - or color band - is usually indicative of a positive result, as long as it's read within the allotted time frame - or reaction time of the test (usually at 5-10 minutes). If you do the pregnancy test properly and read it within the recommended time, then a faint and weak line is very likely a positive pregnancy test. Explanations for a faint positive line include:

  • You may be testing too early after conception - the hCG in your body may not be at a sufficient level for test detection. hCG doubles every two days, so wait and test again using first morning urine.
  • Different test sensitivity. As tests detect hCG at different levels, a faint line on one variety of test may appear as a stronger line on a 20 mIU test.
  • Urine dilution. Your urine may be diluted due to frequent urination or consumption of liquids. First morning urine is recommended for pregnancy testing as it contains the most concentrated presence of hCG.
  • Chemical pregnancy. Sometimes, an early pregnancy is detected - followed by negative test results. A chemical pregnancy means implantation takes place followed by a miscarriage - usually before any other pregnancy symptoms are detected.

So okla.doa2la i ada rezeki..kalau tak de pun tak pe..ketentuan Allah;)


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

White Kitchens

To be honest, my taste is traditional / rustic white when it comes to kitchen design. However, we already signed up for a promotion which is not using a wood material for the kitchen cabinet. Coz as we know, wood material is very expensive. But still, i opt for white no matter which material is used. But high gloss kitchen cabinet is a no-no for me n mylocx. We dun like modern minimalist design. Thinking to replace the traditional country look with classic contemporary look sebab tak dapat nak pilih wood kitchen cabinet.huhu.

Why do we like white?

Think it's an ideal setting for the home cook. Clean, crisp and bright. Don't u think so? Love it! And dapur yang kecik pun boleh nampak luas dan tak serabut. Besides, wood finishing looks richer against white, printed fabrics pop even more and lighting fixtures will stand out.

We're not picking the design yet. Only agreed with the promotion offered. Deposit is RM500. Kalau tak jadi burn aa duit tu. Tapi insyaallah tak cancel dah kot coz dah consider macam2. Hopefully they're worth it. Nanti after set appointment, derang akan datang measure and design (up to us) then baru sesi pilih memilih bermula. Hehe.

Actually, i suka design IKEA jugak tapi 0% installment only for IKEA credit card. Kalau card credit lain bukan 0%. Riba' plak kan. huhu. Signature Kitchen design looks very nice too. But too modern for my liking;) Kian Classic is ok ok la.. But people said Kian Classic is very good at promotion n finally ketuk orang kasi mahal. haha..

Actually, we have to know what we want..and at least know a bit of what they're saying. Do your research on kitchen cabinet, materials used, materials needed etc etc.. Kalau dapur lama dah ada hob/hood/oven misalnya, n still elok, tak payahla amik package yang ada benda2 tu semua. So nanti tak dela terkezut tengok price quotation tu sangat mahal compared to the initial price yg derang kata. Normally, initial price yg derang kata murah tu guna material yg murah jugak n tak termasuk accessories bla bla bla.. I think the normal price for good quality kitchen cabinet is around 10k above kot.. n depending on the size la.. (just my 2 cents)

Take a look at these following designs... Lovely aihh??? ;)

Till then. Daa...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

IDEA 1 Utama

Been to 1 Utama last friday n we ended up paying deposit for the Floor Depot and Kian classic. Well, actually memang dah study n buat research kat internet sket2 so hopefully they're worth it. I'll update more later;-)

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Home & Design


This is home & design-related entry. It's for our future reference.

Hmm.. we've gone for a little tour to our future house. Like i said, it's not a new house. Quite old actually. Hehe. So we're not that surprise if the house is not welcoming at all. Frankly said, there are quite a lot of things need to be done. Hmm...remodeling i would say.

The things i hate and wish i could get rid of them once n for all:

- The parquet floor on the stairs n upstairs.

- The bathroom doors, and old mangkuk tandas.

- The upstairs and kitchen windows. (Dun ask me why.haha)

- The paint of the interior.

- The old kitchen cabinet.

- Dan...... pokok mangga besar depan rumah.hahahaha..

Ok enough of those things. Hopefully we can do something about it and the concern now is the budget. We'll see how it goes later.

About the stairs....i have a few options in mind. I love these...

Sometimes people overlook the stairs but it actually can affect the look of the interior of the house. I love hardwood flooring for stairs but it's costly, so i guess laminated flooring probably the good option.

To make the ideas come to life......we gotta get creative. Huhh.. this probably the hardest part? Maybe?


Friday, June 10, 2011

happy birthday to ME =p=p=p

Oh thank you thank you for all the wishes guyz~

I'm officially 26th now....huhu.

And thanx to my dear locx.... for these........

(sekadar gambar hiasan...=p)

Truly relaxing..


new set of jamu coz yang lama dah nak habis..;)

..and for everything...

your love is more than anything i could ask for..

love you..


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pinjaman PTPTN...dah habis bayar?

Yes I dah habis bayar...alhamdulillah..

Ala..sebab pinjaman dulu pun 3K lebih je. Lepas tu dah dapat biasiswa perguruan KPM.

But apepun, memang lega dah habis bayar hutang ni..

Sebab lagi lambat langsai...lagi bertambah pulak jumlah nak bayar utk kos pentadbiran. Tensen tol!

Dan kita kena ingat..agama kita sangat menuntut pengikutnya menyegerakan bayar hutang...biarlah cepat2 habis bayar drpd dok shopping tak tentu hala. Hehe.


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Thursday, June 2, 2011

When grandma meets pool:-P

My parents was coming to my house n planning to spend aa few days here.

This evening, my mom was very excited to bring sofea to the swimming pool.

And when my mom got into the water, she's swimming like crazy..though not a good swimmer.hahah. Oh she's the one who's wearing that grey hijab. The one with the orange hijab is my bibik.hehe.

Sebaiklah splash2 sekejap je. Kang ada yang kena marah ngan pak gad pasal tak pakai proper outfit. Kalau setakat bawak or guide kids swimming tak pe pakai biasa2 je masuk air..tapi kalau nak swimming or spend lama2 dalam air kena pakai swim suit.huhu.

Btw, my mom rasa geram sebab dah tak selincah dulu bila swimming.hehe. It's ok mom..yg penting puas hati dapat berendam dalam pool n main2 ngan sofea.hahah..


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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The best online trading portal/facility in Malaysia

Ok..this is stock-related entry.

Just wanna list down some of the best online trading facility in malaysia based on my research on the internet. It's just in random order.

1. HLe-broking

2. OSK

3. Apexetrade

4. iTradeCIMB

5. Jupiter

6. Hmm...any other recommendations? ;p

I'm planning to play the stock game first as a learning process. So far, i got a few options but still not making any decisions. CIMB stock game perhaps? Oh and here are the options:

1. itradeCIMB stock game

2. OSK 188 stock game

3. MBB stock game


Monday, May 30, 2011

Home renovation tips

hahah..title macam i je yang pro. Tak dela. Just wanna share and put in the blog as reference. So happy coz the tenant finally checked out. hehe. So bolehla nak mintak kunci drpd owner untuk survey2 rumah tu lagi sekali. Last time pergi masa tenant ada lagi. Just a short trip n tak sempat pun nak survey2 secara detail.

Oh ye..we bought this house subsale. Rumah ni rumah lama. Why did we buy it?

Hmm.. potential area n the neighborhood are the major reasons.. Sekarang dah memang pasti yang jiran sebelah-menyebelah kami adalah orang melayu jugak.

Haihh...pening pening memikirkan house renovation nih..Yang penting kena pergi check dulu all the defects dan buat planning betul2 supaya tak delah wasting money untuk perkara2 yang tak perlu.

Here's one of the articles regarding house renovation i found very interesting. It's UK's website. Tapi, adalah some points yang boleh dijadikan rujukan.hehe.

The 20 most common renovation mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Taking on the Wrong Project: No matter how organised or experienced you are, renovating is a stressful and timeconsuming process, so unless a project is guaranteed to give you either your dream home, or make you money, you are taking on the wrong property.

Whether you are thinking of renovating your own home, or are looking to buy a place to renovate, assess the property’s potential and have a clear idea of your goals: are you looking to create a long-term home, to climb the housing ladder, or just to get as much space as you can afford?

Unless you plan to live in the property for the foreseeable future, you should make sure that you will be able to resell it should you need to, and at least break even.

2. Buying Without a Survey: Don’t wait to discover damp, rot, subsidence or other major structural defects until it is too late. Find out as much about a property as possible before you buy, or before you start any work. A building survey, undertaken by a Chartered Building Surveyor (www.rics.org.uk) will provide information on the type of construction and materials used, and will give details of any defects found, their remedy and an indication of the likely cost.

It is also worth commissioning a measured survey of the building, providing you with a detailed set of floorplans and elevations upon which to base your proposed design alterations.

3. Hiring Cowboy Builders: Renovation can turn into a nightmare if your builders or subcontractors fail to do a good job. Always be suspicious of an estimate or quote that is considerably cheaper than all the others, or someone who is available for work immediately. Ask for references, and speak to their previous clients.

Make Sure Your Builder…

  • Is confident of undertaking the required work.
  • Understands the job and what is involved.
  • Has undertaken similar work before.
  • Will provide details of previous clients.
  • Seems to understand what you are trying to achieve.

Ask Their Previous Clients…

  • What was the builder like to work with?
  • Was the work of a satisfactory standard?
  • Was the project completed on time?
  • Was the project completed on budget?
  • Were they neat, tidy and reasonably quiet?
  • Would they use them again?

4. Underestimating Costs: Renovation work always costs more than you expect. This is because some problems are not revealed until you start work and uncover them, but mostly because items are forgotten from the budget, or because you change your mind and alter the design or specification. Professional renovators always leave a contingency of between 10-20% to cover these costs and fully expect to have to spend it.

Before you can start to predict costs, you need to have a good idea of your proposed plans, your specification for fixtures and fittings, and have decided who is doing what. To estimate costs, look at other people’s projects and expect to spend a similar amount, taking into account how much work they did themselves, when the project was completed, and the variation in labour costs.

Alternatively, get a builder’s estimate. This is a builder’s best guess of what your renovation project is going to cost, based on what they can see and the information you have provided them with. This is not a quote and the builder cannot be held to it, but an experienced builder should be able to give a fairly accurate guess.

Finally, prepare your own budget by listing all tasks, the materials required, and who is going to do the work. You can then go out and get quotes for materials and estimates for each trade. Make sure you allow for skips, scaffold hire, plant hire, and tools.

5. Ignoring Rules & Regulations: There is no point in ignoring the requirements of the law, as it will eventually catch up with you, so do not undertake any work without first checking the following:

  • Do you need planning permission? Ask the local authority.
  • Do you need Building Regulations approval? Ask the local authority.
  • Do you need to notify neighbours? Check the Party Wall Act.
  • Do you need to notify leaseholders or get permission from others? Check your deeds for restrictive covenants, leases or other overriding interests in the land.

If you fail to get planning permission, you can apply retrospectively, but if this fails you may have to undo alterations or extensions. Altering a listed building without consent is a criminal offence.

If you fail to get Building Regulations approval, you will have to prove compliance. This may mean undoing completed work. If you fail to observe the Party Wall Act, it can lead to an injunction and delay your project whilst you get an agreement in place. Breaching a restrictive covenant or the terms of a lease can lead to an injunction, and you may have to make a financial settlement or remove your alterations or extensions.

6. Using the Wrong Materials: The use of modern impermeable materials, such as very hard cement mortar mixes, plastics and impermeable coatings, can create all sorts of problems in period houses constructed using traditional materials, leading to damp that can result in damage to the structure. In the case of earth-based construction systems, such as cob, clom, clunch, clay daub and dabbins, the effects of insensitive repairs such as chemical damp-proof courses can be disastrous.

  • Avoid replacing soft lime mortars with hard cement mixes when re-pointing.
  • Avoid hard cement renders on traditional solid-walled buildings — use a breathable, flexible lime-rich mix.
  • Do not use waterproof paint or sealant on a traditional solid-walled building.
  • Avoid hard cement backing for gypsum plaster on the inside of the external walls in solid-walled buildings.
  • Ensure materials are visually sympathetic. Avoid stone cladding, pebbledash, roughcast or PVCu on a period building.

7. Scrimping on Design: A good design scheme can transform a property and its value, and is worth every penny. Poor design, or no design at all, can cause the following problems:

  • Ill-judged applications could prejudice the planning process, leading to refusal and planning blight.
  • Poor design can squander potential, waste space and fail to maximise value.
  • Over-complicated design can add unnecessary costs and delays.
  • Failing to listen to your brief and objectives can lead to an unsatisfactory result, wasted time and fees.
  • Lack of detail or errors can cause delays and complications on site and expose you to charges for variations to the contract.

8. Taking the Wrong Energy-Saving Measures: The energy saved by installing double glazing in place of single will take 15-20 years to pay itself back, by which time you may have moved on. There is no point, therefore, in replacing period windows that could be repaired just to save energy. Instead, focus your budget on those energy-saving measures with the shortest payback. These are as follows:

  • Draft exclusion
  • Energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Hot water tank and pipe insulation
  • Loft insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Upgrading to a condensing boiler

It is worth investigating whether your local authority operates any grants to help with energy-efficiency measures by calling or visiting their website. Grants and VAT relief are also available on some energy-efficiency measures. Visit www.est.org.uk for details.

9. Removing Period Detail: Removing original period windows and exterior doors can destroy a period property’s character, and its value, unless they are sympathetically replaced. Authentic replicas are expensive, so always consider repair as a first option. Cheaper, off-theshelf joinery is rarely appropriate and is unlikely to fit the original openings and so will look wrong.

If the original external joinery has already been removed, research neighbouring properties or books to find appropriate styles. Avoid modern hybrid products, such as front doors with built-in fanlights.

Try and observe the techniques and materials used in the building’s original construction and try and repair, or replace, on a like-for-like basis. Internally, try and preserve original doors, floorboards, fireplaces and plaster mouldings if they are still intact. Most features are not purely decorative, but also have a practical purpose, either structural or cosmetic, and removal is only likely to necessitate an alternative solution. Conservation is cost efficient and ecological.

10. Making Piecemeal Additions: Do not renovate your property by making small, half-hearted additions, as and when money allows. It is common to find an old cottage that has had several small extensions added, on an almost room-by-room basis, with flat roofs, lean-tos, boxy conservatories, and other carbuncles bolted onto every elevation. Such additions eventually cripple a property, both in its ability to function as a home with a fluid layout, and in terms of value.

Difficult though it is, it is often best to take a step or two backwards before moving forwards, by demolishing such additions and taking the building back to its original form before extending and remodelling. Unfortunately, sometimes this previous legacy of improvements has added just enough value to make their removal unviable financially.

11. Wasting Existing Space: Before making plans to add an extension to your renovation project, consider how you can use the existing space. There are many measures that will help to make a property feel more spacious and which will add to its value, yet which cost a fraction of the price of extending. Think about converting the attic, garage, cellar or other attached outbuildings. The following ideas can be applied to any property but are particularly appropriate to those where space is an issue:

  • Reuse wasted circulation space.
  • Use carefully positioned mirrors.
  • Use a space-efficient staircase.
  • Create mezzanine levels.
  • Improve the flow, adding doorways.
  • Change the direction a door swings in, or use sliders or bi-folds.
  • Remove walls and remodel.
  • Use space-efficient furniture with dual purposes.
  • Add patio doors to create the illusion of the garden being part of the house.
  • Improve lighting design.
  • Use informal room dividers.
  • Use space-efficient storage.
  • Combine rooms — such as open plan kitchen/dining room layouts.
  • Use borrowed light.
  • Install space-efficient heating.

12. Creating New Damp Problems: Solving damp is one of the most important tasks for any renovator, but sometimes well-intended improvements can inadvertently create new damp problems. Here are some of the common causes:

  • Raising external ground levels above the dampproof course (DPC), or above floor level, leading to penetrating damp.
  • Painting the exterior of a solid-walled building (no clear cavity) with impermeable waterproof paints or sealants—leading to penetrating damp.
  • Adding double glazing and blocking fireplaces, flues and vents without compensating with adequate alternative ventilation — leading to condensation problems.
  • Sloping new paths towards rather than away from the building—leading to penetrating damp.
  • Making new additions, such as a conservatory or extension, without fitting flashings, cavity trays, or other suitable means to divert any damp away from the building.
  • Using hard cement fillets as a weatherproofing measure in valleys, abutments or at the base if chimneys — it will crack, and damp will be able to get in. Use lead flashings, valleys and skirt/apron.
  • Sealing the roof structure with new felt or spray-on urethane insulation without ensuring the timbers are adequately ventilated.
  • Using hard cement render mixes on the exteriors, as they will eventually crack and draw in penetrating damp through capillary action.
  • Pouring a new concrete floor in place of a suspended timber floor without adding adequate damp-proofing measures, both horizontally and vertically, and compensating for the loss of subfloor vents.

13. Taking on Too Much DIY: Undertaking work yourself can allow you to control costs and quality, but don’t be over-ambitious and plan to do more work than you really have time – or the skill – to undertake successfully. You could end up slowing the whole project down and living in a building site for years, which can in turn lead to family conflicts and potentially to accidents.

Bad DIY will also cost you dearly, slowing down the other trades, wasting materials, sometimes causing work to be done twice, and ultimately devaluing the property if it is not put right. You can get so tied up in DIY work that you lose focus on running the project and keeping up with decisions.

14. Working in the Wrong Order: A typical hierarchy of works for the renovation of a derelict property is as follows:

  • STOP FURTHER DECAY: Keep out the elements. Take out buildings insurance, including public liability.
  • STABILISE THE BUILDING: Make the site safe to work on. This might mean underpinning or piling work to stabilise existing foundations, the insertion of steel tension rods or ties to stop lateral spread, or the insertion of steel props, beams or scaffold to prevent further collapse before repairs.
  • STRIP BACK AND SALVAGE WHAT CAN BE REUSED: Private individuals can get rid of waste for free at local authority tips. Salvage anything of value and store for reuse or sell on via eBay or a salvage yard.
  • UNDERTAKE MAJOR BUILDING WORK: Build or replace any floors, walls, roofs or extensions. Carry out any re-pointing, injecting of DPCs, tanking, rendering, chemical treatments etc. If possible, only break through to the existing structure once the new work is complete.
  • MAKE THE SHELL WEATHERTIGHT: Once the roof structure is complete, the structure should be made weathertight. Exterior doors and windows should be installed and glazed, or covered with boards.
  • FIRST FIX: Build internal stud walls, fix floorboards, door linings, window reveals and cills and then undertake first fix plumbing and electrics.
  • RE-PLASTER/REPAIR PLASTER: Apply plasterboard/dry-lining to walls and ceilings, or repair any damaged plaster. Floor screeds for the ground floor will be laid at this point.
  • SECOND FIX: Lay timber, stone or tiled floors, hang doors, fix skirting and architrave, box in services. Install the bathroom, kitchen, boiler and fit radiators. Complete all painting, staining and tiling.

15. Making Unsafe Structural Alterations: Removing structural elements such as load-bearing walls, chimney breasts, lintels, columns, piers or buttresses, or cutting out roof timbers without compensating for the alteration can lead to disaster. The building may not collapse – although this is not unheard of – but it will lead to major movement in the building, followed by all manner of problems, from stuck windows and doors to warped floors and partial collapse of walls, roof or chimney stack.

An experienced builder will be able to identify which components are structural and how to compensate for their removal. The building inspector will want to know of any changes and how you propose to deal with them, and they may request calculations from a structural engineer.

16. Living on Site During the Major Work: Living on site can offer many advantages such as improved security, being on hand for weekend or out of hours deliveries, being available for early site meetings, being able to keep an eye on the work, or having the project close to hand for those working on a DIY basis. The downside is that the project is always there and you cannot escape it, which can become oppressive. It is best to move out at least whilst the major work is being undertaken, such as major demolition or construction, especially if you have children or pets.

If you cannot move out, try and isolate the construction work from your living space using plastic sheeting carefully taped up, by avoiding knocking through to connect new and existing parts until you are ready to plaster, and by making sure the builders have separate welfare facilities, i.e. a WC, rest room and access to water and a kettle.

17. Leaving Builders to Make Decisions: Renovating involves making countless decisions, from which improvements to make and the choice of fixtures and fittings, down to the route for new services such as plumbing, or how details should be finished off. Many of these decisions need to be made quickly if they are not to hold up work, and so you need to allow time for this, based on what will be the most practical and aesthetically pleasing solution. If you leave such decisions to builders, they will invariably do whatever is easiest and quickest for them, and this can look awful. The trouble is, once the work is done, you have to pay twice if you later want to make changes and the builders will hate you for it too. A good builder should warn you well in advance of the decisions that they need you to make. Listen to them, spend time on site visits, and keep up to speed.

18. Ignoring the Garden: Don’t forget to leave some money in your renovation budget for landscaping the garden and forming the drive and paths. If you are renovating a long-term home you can leave this until time and money allow, but if you are planning to sell on, an incomplete garden can have a serious impact on resale value, no matter how nicely the property is renovated.

19. Getting Carried Away With Fixtures and Finishes: As you reach the second fix stage of the project, it is easy to think you are on the home straight, under budget, and that you can start splashing out on designer bathrooms, taps, expensive handmade tiles, luxury showers, chrome sockets and switches, column radiators and all manner of great features. The trouble is you probably still have a third of your budget to go, and you can easily run out of money.

Keep track of your budget throughout the project and always have an idea of how much you have left. If you do underspend, or you have budgeted for high-quality finishes, then no problem, but do not end up running out of money needed to pay for work or bills still to come.

20. Paying Too Much Tax: If a contractor is not VAT registered, make sure they do not charge you VAT. If your project is subject to any VAT concessions, make sure that the appropriate rate is charged.

If your renovation project is a conversion or the renovation of a dwelling that has been empty for ten years or more, then it is largely zerorated for VAT. Your contractors should charge the reduced rate (currently 5%) on eligible labour and materials, and you can claim this back, together with any standard-rated VAT (currently 17.5%) you have paid to buy materials. See HMRC Notice 719 (www.hmrc.gov.uk).

If you are undertaking major reconstruction of a building that has little architectural merit, consider whether or not it would be more costeffective to demolish it altogether and start from scratch, as this will save you 17.5% VAT on all eligible labour and materials (you are allowed to leave a basement in place, or a single facade if required to do so by the planners).

VAT relief is also available for some other types of renovation work, providing it is undertaken by a VAT-registered contractor. Make sure you are charged the right amount.

‘Work qualifying for VAT relief but with no DIY’ refund scheme:

  • Approved alterations to listed buildings.
  • Substantial reconstruction of a listed building.
  • Dwellings empty for at least three years.
  • Renovation of a dwelling that involves a change in the number of units.
  • The installation of energy-efficient materials.

Source: http://www.homebuilding.co.uk

Friday, May 27, 2011

Teaching sofea swims underwater

well, this is the progress so far..i started introduce her to the pool when she's about 10 months. Not frequent though. Tu pun dah kira lambat. Between 3 - 6 months is a very good time. Wanna know why? Google please...haha. Frankly because they still have natural reflex to swim and not to swallow water. It's the natural ability of every baby. But it's gonna slowly fade away from 6 months onwards.

Macam sofea...she loves water. Tapi sebab i bwk pergi swimming when she's a bit older, dia tak pandai nak swim underwater. Have to learn from the basic like other kids. So sekarang dalam proses nak familiarize dia dengan basic underwater swimming.

What i've learnt from Mr Google..mula2 kena buang rasa takut tu dulu. make it fun. Eg: 123- pour! Tell her we gonna pour the water onto the head, count 1,2,3 n pour. Mula2 memang dia tak suka. Tapi buat for several sessions at least 4 times per week. Time mandi kat rumah pun boleh. hehe. If the baby is not ready yet, never submerge their face/head in the water. This can be very scary n probably will affect them until adult.

Blow the bubbles. Haa yang ni penting untuk ajar dia supaya tak telan air bila swimming. Buatla fun2 sket tiup2 air kat tapak tangan ke, blow bubbles time swimming ke....macam sofea, awal2 i introduce blow bubbles...dia tak nak blow pun. haha. tapi when i count 123..n buat gaya tarik nafas panjang2 n buat gaya tiup angin dia suka plak nak ikut. Cuma lambat sketla dia nak buat tu kat air. Seriously it takes time n patience. Kalau dia tak nak, don't force it. Try lagi nanti2. Normally i buat time sofea mandi kat rumah je. hehe.

When you see progress, boleh start ajar rendam telinga dalam air. Part ni, selalu sofea indirectly belajar time dia swimming by herself in the kids pool. Kdg2 tu, saja2 je dia letak telinga kat air. So bila bwk swimming selalu, lama2 dia tak la rasa alien sangat kan bila air kena kat telinga. Ni pun basic underwater swimming juga.

Hmm okla..yang basic ni pun takes weeks of practices. Yang penting, the frequency of learning. Keep the session short like 30 minutes..but do it several times a week..minimum 4 times a week for a few months.

I pun tengah try ni... jomla try sama2..;)


School holiday!

Yeay! After several hectic weeks with loads of works to be done, it's holiday at last!

Hmm my main objective : ganti puasa! Hahah.. Tak habis ganti lagi ni.

2nd objective : sofea learns the basic of underwater swimming. Hehe. I figured that we can't force children to swim..but we can create a joyful moments of learning so that they'll feel comfortable n safe in the water. So far, she's very confident above the surface. But I dun think she's ready to go below the surface.

And thanx to internet....at least I get some ideas on how to teach my daughter to love water and finally swimming. But surely a long process n need a lot of patience, compassion, time n energy. Huhu. We'll see how it goes;-)

3rd objective : finish marking the students exam paper.

4th objective : Finish reading my book on japanese candlesticks so that I can start investing in stocks using virtual money. N after I convince mylocx i'm a good investor n know when to buy or when to sell, then I can jump into the real game. Tapi itu rasanya jauh lagi. Yg penting, learn the fundamental things first. Hahah.

Last but not least....harap2 dapat update blog selalu.hehe.


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Sunday, May 22, 2011

The power of nur kasih the movie

Ok...masih lagi dalam kehangatan filem nur kasih. To those who still not watching, dun be surprised if you see the cinema is full of malays, mainly women, kids n makcik makcik.haha.

Bukan apa tau..ni la first time i tengok setiap masa penuh dgn orang esp aunty2 or even nenek2. Fenomena sungguh!

Hmm..today is sunday. Planning nak tgk pirates of the carribean coz yesterday tak sempat nak marathon 2 movies. Hahah. Mylocx is soo banyak songeh when i asked him to watch nur kasih. Especially when there's a movie he soo wanna watch. Which is POTC of course. U know what he said regarding all these? Muka legend hati pun legend. Ahh sangat tak boleh blah. But still, he bought me the ticket.;-) thanx dear..

Orait peeps.. Go n watch it now..such a beautiful movie. Love it with all my heart. Take note the coversation between adam n the uztaz. Walaupun sekejap je babak tu, tp membuatkan kita tak habes2 berfikir.


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