Free Space Intent
No. 8 Ubi Road 2, Zervex #02-07, Singapore 408538
Reviewed by Calvin Tan Cheow Hwee・Submitted 29 Dec 2020・Project completed Dec 2020・Designer Carlos Sim & Jacqueline Ek
This is our fourth home renovation. Learning from the previous three not too satisfactory renovation experiences, my wife and I wanted to be more careful this time round. We really hope to be able to find an ID designer/company who could truly understand our needs, sincere and responsive, and able to deliver the jobs promised within time and cost. Then we met Carlos from FSI. Carlos was the first ID Designer to call us after we put up our request at Qanvast. The first meeting went well. We noticed this young gentleman was very detailed, keen to listen and diligent in jotting down our requirements. Our apartment is a 39 years old, ex-HUDC walk-up apartment on the 4th floor. It was tenanted out for about 9 years. It was in a state of despair when we decided to take it back for own stay. Our vision was to transform this old lady into a Lite-Industrial style apartment with high ceiling and a loft. While other designers were eagerly providing us proposals and quotes for the work scope, Carlos unexpectedly informed us that he had to turn down our project. This was because after carefully reviewing our requirements with his management, Carlos came to the conclusion that it would be difficult to get the MCST’s approval to build a loft at our apartment (which we had strongly desired). Although FSI was really in need of jobs after the 3-months CB period when all renovation works were halted, Carlos explained that they did not want to promise us something that they eventually could not deliver. They also did not want to by-pass the MCST and build the loft “illegally” for us, as this might get us into trouble in the future. This act of honesty and integrity really impressed us! After much deliberation, my wife and I decided to give up the loft idea. We asked Carlos to continue working with us to complete the preliminary design and quotation. The rest was history. Carlos came up with a near perfect design that excited us and met our needs and budget. We signed the contract, went through a 2 months detailed design phase, and handed over the apartment to Carlos and his reliable contractors to begin actual works. The workers hacked and cleared up all debris, bought in renovation materials (all through 4 storeys of stairs!). Despite many challenges with the unique design and associated high ceiling works, Carlos and his team met all the major deadlines and took care of everything for us. We would like to specially mention that Carlos brought in Jacqueline, a cheerful young lady designer from the same company, as his partner when the work started. While Carlos and I would spent times reviewing the structural works, Jacqueline and my wife would exchange ideas on wardrobes and cabinets design for bedrooms and bathrooms. After a few site/office meetings, tiles and materials selection sessions at suppliers, the four of us were fast evolving into a real team with lots of synergy, ideas and funs working together. Work started on 10 September, and the apartment was handled back to us on 10th December, a slight delay from the original schedule of end November due to manpower shortage. Cost variance was about 13% higher than the original budget of $7Xk, mainly due to new requirements discovered and subsequent design changes after work started. Despite the slight delay and running over cost, we were truly grateful to Carlos and his team, for trying their very best to keep to the schedule and budget, without compromising quality. If not for their excellent efforts, the project could have faced even more delay and cost overrun, during this challenging Covid-19 period. On the day of completion, we specially bought a cake, sat down with Carlos and Jacqueline, enjoyed the space we envisaged and created together, in celebration of the rebirth of our apartment! Last but not least, we wish Carlos, Jacqueline and all those who have contributed in this project, that you would continue your excellent endeavours in touching and changing the lives of other home owners, seeking a fruitful and enjoyable experience for their home renovation.
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The information is based on the projects we received in the past year and may not represent the firm's full portfolio and capability.
Reviewed by wsy・Submitted 29 Mar 2021・Project completed Feb 2021・Designer Raymond and Jasmine
Very satisfied with the renovation done by Freespace Intent! Raymond and jasmine were very on the ball and very responsive throughout the renovation period. They gave great suggestions and tips on space planning due to the small size of the condo, yet not compromising on the design we wanted. We understood that there were shortage of carpenters and workers across all IDs due to circuit breaker but they were impressively prompt in the whole renovation despite that, hence able to meet our request to handover before CNY. (Raymond was chasing us to make certain decisions from time to time instead of us chasing them haha. I believe usually it's the other way round. That's how on the ball they were! ) Jasmine was highly contactable at all times too. Even our enquiries were promptly attended to after handover. Great quality carpentry and very friendly workers who worked on our place as well. End product looks the same as the digital rendering presented as promised. No regrets! Thank you so much Raymond and Jasmine!
Reviewed by Kelvin Koh Tong Weng・Submitted 15 Feb 2021・Project completed Dec 2020・Designer Raymond and Jacqueline
We decided to hire FSI for phase 1 of our renovation project: 3D design as we felt they had the design chops to get what we wanted and bring our vision of the design to life. We wanted a light pastel themed for the living room with the kitchen having a simple white design cabinets and toilets having feature walls with matching side and floor tiles. It was a great experience from pre-design to actually getting the 3D design out as their experience, professionalism and skills are of high quality. We eventually did not hire them for the execution as the quote was out of our budget but decided to still execute the well designed 3D anyway. Will highly recommend them to anyone who is keen to have awesome designs for your future place.
Reviewed by Denise・Submitted 14 Feb 2021・Project completed Dec 2020・Designer Raymond Seow & Carlos Sim
All the accolades you have read of FSI, I can personally vouch they truly deserve. At risk of repeating what others have already said many times over, I would however like to share what makes FSI really stand out in this crowded industry for me: ⭐️Frank, sensible & practical advice/approach (that does not shy away from hard truths, even before you engage them) ~ Credit must go to The Boss ie. Raymond Seow; while other IDs whom I met gave me quotations based on my indicative budget, Raymond was the only one who questioned the feasibility of doing so without having gone through the design details. ~ Other IDs expected a 10% down payment upfront based on their quotation (which can come up to tens of thousands for a big project) but FSI’s approach is to charge a design fee first & then come up with more accurate costing once the design is more or less done. Their take is that if their costing is not acceptable to you eventually, you are welcomed to take their designs/drawings and engage your own contractor to implement them. This gives you an opportunity to assess how well you can work with the ID and a ‘Get-Out-of-Jail-Free’ card (since you are not locked in by the hefty 10% down payment) if things don’t work out between you and the ID ultimately (which thankfully, I didn’t have to use). ~ While my renovation budget tended to be more design-centric, Raymond never failed to give cost-saving advice. Normally, based on what I know of others’ experience, it is the ID’s over-indulgent flights of fancy which the client must rein in so as to manage the budget. Whereas it is rare for an ID to counsel the client to save money. Being that rare ID, Raymond has demonstrated that his heart is in the right place when it comes to his clients’ interests. ⭐️Superb service (before, during & after) ~ Prior to engaging FSI, I’d met up with several IDs at my place and shared specific requirements for my renovation which included revising the layout of certain areas. Amongst the first proposals that were presented to me thereafter, FSI was the only one that faithfully “stuck to the script” – the rest presented versions that seemed ‘tone-deaf’ or perhaps, were aimed at helpfully expanding my design imagination (which did not help me since I was a client who knew exactly what I wanted). Raymond never tried to impose his design preferences on me but did his best to put himself in my shoes & see things from my perspective. ~FSI was also the only one to come down to my place at the very first meet-up with a team who went straightaway to work in doing measurements and taking photos. This commitment of resources even before there was any talk of potentially engaging them for the project, reflected their dedication to serving their clients. ~ For my project, Raymond had another ID (Carlos Sim) and a Project Manager (Perlinda Too) to assist him. Carlos was the Project’s CPU, meticulously handling the technical details on dimensions and drawings while Perlinda did the heavy lifting to make sure the ‘output’ could/would be in line with the ‘input’. Together, the 3 of them made up my ‘Dream Team’ who would bend over backwards (to the extent of even somersaulting, I reckon) in order to fulfil the many wishes I had for my renovations. They were never fazed when my plans/decisions changed mid-way through the renovation works but always tried their best to accommodate my requirements. They were also game to try out some of my ‘radical’ ideas (like my TV Console) and do things they had never done before (like my ceiling-hung kitchen cabinets). In particular, thanks to Carlos’ brilliant idea and Perlinda’s ingenious execution of works, I managed to get a virtually dust-proof display case. ~ While things did not work out as planned/intended all the time and issues did crop up along the way (which was understandable, given the incredible number of details that an ID has to juggle & my design-as-you-go changes they had to cope with), the FSI Dream Team never failed to swing into action. They were more than willing to re-work the construction in order to right any wrongs or solve problems. A test of great service is not how an ID responds to issues/problems during the renovation but their response after handover and when all payments have already been made. FSI is truly the Gold Standard as they are still going the last mile and extra mile in settling move-in teething issues for my project as well as entertaining my add-on requests. ⭐️Integrity & generosity ~ Right from the start, FSI has always been very open and transparent about their pricing strategy. An ex-ID friend once told me that Variation Orders (VO) are like ‘blood’ to an ID as it brings out the ‘Shark’ in them – that is where they would take advantage of your (by then) helpless situation (since you’ve already put your hands & feet in the water) and extract as much financial compensation as possible for the changes. If such is common in the industry, I must be lucky as I’ve had countless VOs during the construction phase but never encountered any shark at FSI. On the contrary, I even had the benefit of some charges waived for my change requests. Mine was a very extensive renovation journey involving literally gutting and re-building the insides of my 35+ year old apartment, spanning more than 1.5 years from design phase & including the Circuit Breaker hiatus. It has truly been a roller-coaster ride – fun but adrenaline-pumping with its fair share of ups & downs, twists & turns as well as thrills & spills. However, I could not be more fortunate than to have Raymond, Carlos & Perlinda as my Companions on this ride. Even though I do have some regrets on some aspects of the renovation, I can safely say I have absolutely no regrets getting FSI onboard for my project. From Raymond, I have gained wisdom (in seeing things ‘half glass full’); from Carlos, insights (into a whole new world of the renovation industry) and from Perlinda, the most useful knowledge (that Lighter Fluid is an amazing cleaning agent!). Theirs was clearly a labour of love, blood, sweat & tears to transform my apartment into what I wanted and for that, I will forever be in their debt.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are Free Space Intent's reviews like?
Based on 108 reviews left for Free Space Intent, the firm achieved an average rating of 4.84. Read homeowners’ reviews of Free Space Intent.
Where is Free Space Intent's showroom?
Free Space Intent has 1 showroom in Singapore, mainly in North-East and East. See all of Free Space Intent's showroom addresses.
Is Free Space Intent an HDB-registered or a Casetrust-accredited firm?
Free Space Intent is currently an HDB-registered firm. It is however not recognised under the Casetrust Renovation Business scheme.
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Is Free Space Intent popular among homeowners?
39 homeowners have recently enquired with Free Space Intent for their upcoming renovation project. Enquire with Free Space Intent.
Is Free Space Intent a reliable firm on Qanvast?
Yes, based on the reviews left by our community of homeowners who reviewed on our platform, Free Space Intent was accredited the Supertrust badge from 2019 to 2021.
The Supertrust badge is awarded based on a couple of factors, such as the number of projects the firm has closed (i.e. homeowners can trust them with renovation projects), ranked within the top 15% firms, and garnered at least 10 positive verified reviews in that year.
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