JUNE 2011 - Nic & Wes Builders Pte Ltd Newsletter (Issue 13)

Subject: JUNE 2011 - Nic & Wes Builders Pte Ltd Newsletter (Issue 13)

Send date: 2011-06-01

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 JUNE 2011 ISSUE 13



Driving through the various residential neighbourhoods it’s not hard to sniff out an interesting house without even stepping into the home. Is it because I work for a design and build firm? No. In fact, I believe if anyone took a drive in any neighbourhood, they would understand why spotting a great looking house is not all that tough. Many a time, people judge a home based on its exuberant interior detailing however subconsciously the first impression of a home leaves the imprint. The exterior design of a home is undeniably important but easily overlooked.

For instance, would you imagine a white box with mismatched windows to be the entrée to interesting interiors? I doubt you would. The exterior façade is equally if not more important than the interiors of a home. Similarly, dressing for an event is like second nature to most, so why should dressing the home exterior be any different. It is after all the face of the home which creates the most crucial impression being the first impression. Here are some basics features to take note of when designing your front façade. 


From the beginning proportions become the blank canvas for the look of the house. Depending on the house type, the structure will vary.


Intermediate terrace houses are confined width wise while allowing maximization of height however, it is essential to adjust the height with details to prevent a cold building-like façade. Adding a balcony to an upper floor can break the flatness of the front. Similarly adding a gable roof above the car porch adds dimension. 


Semi-detached houses allow use of space on one side of the home. While it can look somewhat thwart due to only one side being detached, evening out the space is possible to create some balance. Utilize the detached side with a polycarbonate sheet to shade a decked area for outdoor dining.  


Bungalows allow a 360 degree use of space which can give the structure a possible boxy effect. Creating a full length glass wall feature corner to the façade or a split level layout gives interesting dimensions to the layout.



The basic skeleton that holds the house together can sometimes stick out like a sore thumb to a façade. Good thing is that with the right design tips and tricks, this common problem can be solved. Odd columns can still fit in with a little improvisation. Two closely located columns can be converted into a divider with wooden slats carefully positioned in between. Especially useful for tropical and contemporary style houses. The good news that follows classical and colonial styled homes is the actual presence of columns that actually add to the moldings of the design.



Windows though just a feature has its fair share in making or breaking a house. Too many windows can crowd while too little can make a house look cold and uninteresting. A wide sliding door or even French windows not only keep a house well ventilated; it gives a slight preview to the home as well. Casement windows also make nice additions to a house façade being versatile for classical, contemporary and modern styles.


There is a wide variety of roofs to choose from. Tiled or metal roofs are the two main materials commonly used. With styles - hip, gable and shed roofs make up popular choices. The trick however is getting the right combination between material and style.  

Themes to a home help determine which combination of roof will suit the house best.  


For instance, tropical styled homes would do well with tiled hip to gable roof combinations.


A modern home instead would fit a metal shed roof instead. Like a hat, the roof needs to fit with the rest of the house in order to blend rather than look like a mismatched ensemble.

Colour and Texture

The most eye-catching element to an exterior façade would probably be the colour. Like the other elements, it’s all about making them blend. Whites, off-whites and creams tend to make list for can’t-go-wrong options. However, bold colours can still be used for the exterior front façade.


Modern homes can opt for shades of grey which work very well with the style.  


Contemporary and tropical houses on the other hand allow a blend of earthly tones like mustard and browns.


If bold colours are too loud an option, trimmings like wood, tiles, culture stone and carvings easily enhance the façade just as well.



Whilst greenery may not exactly be part of the façade design, it can help tone down the coldness of the concrete structure. Tall plants add that contrasting pop of colour for a back to nature effect. Plants evidently seem to make a house more homely.

Design is ultimately a subjective matter, but the blending of different elements is essential to make any house stand out. Keep to these basic guidelines in mind when building your home and it’ll have passersby turning their heads within your estate. 



With spiralling home and land prices, the price differential between apartments, inter-terrace, semi-detached and bungalows have increase tremendously this couple of years. Making it more expensive to top up to own a bigger place even from an inter-terrace to a semi-detached or a semi-detached to a bungalow. 

Property prices are expected to rise due to lack of supply, increasing population, scarce land available and the new ruling of payable stamp duties if re-sold within a 4 year period discourage current sellers to sell.  

Interest rates are looking to rise (China has raise interest rates several times in 2010 and 2011) which will start to bite in time to come for other Asian countries.  

All the above factors has resulted in many homeowners to stay put rather than move without a valid and sound financial planning (even if you have cash out and has a profit of 500k or a million dollars, profit takers better know what they will do with the excess funds, if not properly plan, it can be gone in no time). 

Selling and buying of properties entails coughing out vast sums on stamp duty, legal fees, mortgage, temporary homes and movers cost. These fees could easily amount to 5-10% of the value of the current house. Instead of incurring non-yielding cost (throwing good money away), owners have the option to invest and enhance their current property by engaging reliable Design and Build firms to create additional valuable design and space which owners and their family can enjoy a better quality of life in the hope of higher capital gain in the future.  

Added value or asset enhancement can be done through the following: Makeover (without structural change to current building – no mandatory submissions needed), Additional & Alterations, Reconstruction or New Erection.  Houses with small deficient plot land area of merely 1,400 sqf or below have been reconstructed or newly erected to a new build up area of over 3,000 sqf which is a luxurious living space in today’s land and space scarce Singapore. Imagine what more can be done if you have land areas of 1,700 to 2000 sq ft and above? This being said, property that has mandatory submissions and approvals generally command better value and also helps in expediting refinancing with the banks.

The property market is a long term investment, predicting future values are not an easy task. Afterall, who would have known that Baring brothers or Lehman Brothers were surmountable to economic destructions? There are no guarantees to future values of your property, but with proper guidance and planning for improvements to add additional space, floors or rooms to your current property, it will definitely create a bigger living area and should increase the value of your property (i.e. shoe box apartments are costing millions these days). Thus, adding space is probably the most cost effective yield enhancement for especially landed property owners either in a short and long term investment prospective. 

However, current or potential apartment owners too can enhance the value of their property by engaging a respectable Interior Design and Build specialist to carry out added value works. Add a loft if ceiling heights permits, update your kitchen, add a new bedroom, improve your bathroom, re-paint walls with colour tones or add feature walls, use energy efficient electrical fittings, space savings carpentry works etc. that can have the same positive investment outcome and objective of landed homes.

So, before you jump in hoping to enhance the value of your property, please seek a specialist or professional’s advice to make a more informed decision to make your money work for you on your current property. Mitigate your risk by engaging a respectable, honest and sincere Design and Build specialist to help you in adding not only living space but optimizing the potential future asset value enhancement of your property and most importantly a greater home that will improve the quality of life for both you, your family and generations to come.

Best wishes on all your potential endeavours.  




Type: Semi-Detached

Tenure: Freehold

List Type: For Sale

Land: 4,200 sq. ft.

Built In: 3,800 sq. ft.

Rooms: 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, wet and dry kitchen, dining room, 2 living rooms, tea room, garden, balcony

Amenities: Walking distance to Opera Estate Primary School, close proximity to schools, Bedok and Kembangan MRT Stations, various food outlets and supermarkets along Siglap Village, Siglap Centre and Chai Chee.

View Time: By Appointment

Contact: Randell (8100 0810)

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