30 July 2017

Renovation Update 19

Remember the last time our contractor, Reach Out and Build, said they were finished? Well, they've done it again.

Everyone, from the office manager to the foreman working at the house, said that they will be done by July 26. I was there the day before and things looked so promising that I scheduled the landscaper to start on July 27. I should have known better than to believe them as here's what "finished" looked like as of 4 PM on their supposedly last day:

The carport roof was leaking in more than one area. The video above shows water dripping from the back portion of the roof. There's another area in the front where the rain was coming through just as badly.

We had two air con brackets made, but the gap for both was 1.5-2 inches too large. So the workers decided to apply cement over two brand new, just removed from the box, air conditioning units.

I asked them to return the shelves they built and have them fixed at their shop. The edges were not smooth, the finish wasn't duco, and the brackets and screws were a mix of different colors and types.

Attention to the smaller details isn't their strongest point. I've been pointing out for weeks now that the paint of the gate latch needs fixing, and the cement around the gate holes needs to be repaired.

Above is what our carport floor used to look like. Below is what it looks like now. They did get rid of the excess cement, but created mini potholes in the process.

In the meantime, since the garden soil had already been loaded onto their truck, the landscaping could not be cancelled. Here's the progress of our landscaper as of Friday, July 28.

The powers that be over at Reach Out and Build have decided at this late stage to replace the workers assigned to our house. So, they will continue once the new guys have gotten their work permits.

25 July 2017

Refinancing Saga Conclusion


Last July 11, PSBank called to tell me that they had been trying for a week to contact Banco de Oro (BDO) regarding the loan transfer, but they couldn't seem to reach anyone.

I sent BDO an email to inform them of this and to ask for a rate update. They immediately replied that, "Upon checking, 5.50% rate will no longer be applicable since the promo period already ended." The new rate is now 6%, but there will be other fees to facilitate the transfer on top of the Php 30,000+ we've already paid (not including the insurance costs). Not sure how much the additional fees will cost, but I asked for an estimate the next day (July 12).

On July 16, after not getting a reply despite sending follow-up emails, we decided to cancel. We asked them how to get a refund for the fees and still no word from their end.

PSBank called again on July 17 that they still had not heard from BDO, so I decided that same day to go directly to the BDO branch where our loan officer is based. I was informed that she was not around, but to leave my name and number so that they can call me back.

Two days later, zilch, nada, nothing. I then called their office and was able to talk to someone who had such an authoritative voice, I somehow felt reassured that Carissa would indeed be getting back to me this time. And true enough, that afternoon, I finally received a reply. We are now expecting the refund by next week.

Well, so much for that refinancing idea. I don't think we'll try this again - at least not with BDO since they don't seem at all interested in getting us as clients.

20 July 2017

Landscaper: Christina's Lawn & Garden

While Marliz Driftwood Shop's labor charge was cheaper, their rates for plants (per piece) was higher. So I was thinking that I might be able to save more with Christina's Lawn & Garden especially if I decide on adding more greenery.

The village has a crew of guys who help maintain the landscaping for the public areas, and one of them offered his services for our garden. At first I was enthusiastic as he had the lowest quotation, but a closer look at his plan (which I somehow lost), showed a few plants and mostly pebbles. And looking at pictures of other gardens he has done in the area, I felt that his aesthetic didn't match mine. But the deal breaker was that he was not keen on letting me visit the garden center where he'd be getting his supplies. I asked to see the place and he has yet to reply back.

Since my knowledge of plants is almost zero, I want a supplier where I can go and actually look at my options.

15 July 2017

Window Shopping: Landscaper

The garden area is small, tiny actually at roughly 70 sqms., but I've received quotations ranging from Php 42,000 to as high as Php 271,000! The list below is in alphabetical order, though limited only to the ones I'm considering:

The Flowerbee is the landscaper for Sonya's Garden.

In case you're wondering what's included in a Php 271,000 landscaping service, here's the quotation as given by Beauty Blossoms who partnered with a landscape architect (just click to enlarge):

10 July 2017

Repairs, Etc.

We're now halfway through the process of making the house livable. The carport still isn't finished, but they've started on the other items on our to-do list:

A recent finding was that some of the exterior window frames, which are made of wood, have rotted and need to be replaced.

But since our contractor made a mistake with the polycarbonate roof, we've decided to compromise. We'll keep the lighter colored roof in exchange for four of the windows being repaired free of charge. We've also decided to have all the window frames replaced for a uniform look and we were thinking that it's just a matter of time before the others follow the rotted path.

Honestly, I would rather have the darker polycarbonate roof as it will give a little bit more shade. Earl, however, doesn't want to spend any more than we already have. Though maybe it was a good thing that they made a mistake since we're getting a discount on the window frames?

05 July 2017

Fabric Samples

One of these options will go on the sofa:

And here's what I've chosen for the curtains:


I'm not really into plaid or the color yellow, but somehow this is what will end up on one of the wing chairs:

The fabric pictured above are all from Larry's Hitex Division, Inc. (formerly Larry's Curtains) in Divisoria which is currently having a sale. They're getting rid of old inventory to make way for new stock. But even without the sale, their rates are way cheaper than the prices found in the SM Megamall branch (Php 350 versus Php 950).

According to one of the sales agents, the family that owns Larry's Curtains have divided the stores. So the Divisoria branch is owned by one brother, the SM Megamall store is owned by another brother, and the one on South Expressway is owned by yet another brother.

Note: The ones I bought range from Php 150/yard (curtains) to Php 485/yard (sofa).

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