The New Homeowner’s Guide to Renovating Your Home

The New Homeowner’s Guide to Renovating Your Home

If you’ve just gotten your house keys and need to renovate your home, it’s time to get your project management mode on.

There are two options for renovating your home. The first option is to find an interior designer who will manage the entire process from design to moving in. And the second option is to work with contractors and different service providers and self-manage the entire renovation project.

While the option of having an interior designer is much easier than working with multiple contractors, it’s still important to know the different steps needed in order to complete your renovation.

If you’re planning to go without an interior designer, this article from our friends at SGHomemaker.com can save you many headaches and tearing your hair out.

Here are some general guidelines for renovating your home.

1) Design and Planning

Bring out a notebook or Excel sheet and make notes on everything from ideas to costing from suppliers to even advice from friends. This will help keep you on track throughout the process.

It is important to set your budget so that you don’t overspend or get into too big of a loan for your house. If you don’t have a budget limitation, the sky’s the limit!

To start planning, you’d want to go through SGHomemaker.com’s home ideas blog to expose yourself to home renovation styles and unique furnishing ideas. The many things to plan for include paint colour, curtains or blinds for different rooms, what kind of lighting, wardrobes, furniture, electronics, etc.

As you identify the style you want for your rooms, living room, kitchen, toilets, etc. It is important to know that the photos that you see online may or may not have the same ceiling height, area, length, and width. Keep a tape measure and laser tape measure handy so that you can measure every area of your house and also measure furniture when shopping.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of contractors in Singapore. Take your time to ask for quotes and advice with your planned requirements. The rule of thumb is to always compare at least 3 quotes.

2) Demolition and hacking works

If you’re planning to restructure the house, have your contractor check with the relevant bodies (HDB or whichever) whether your desired changes are permitted. Experienced contractors will be able to advise you based on their experience on what can or cannot be done.

Depending on how you want the house renovated, hacking could be the first step. It’s important to remind contractors to dispose of waste in the appropriate designated areas for waste disposal.

Costs for hacking a wall could be between $400 and $1,000 depending on the overall size.

3) Electricity points, plumbing and air conditioner trunking

You have to plan and do any shifting of electrical points, pipes, and aircon trunking early as this can affect other aspects of the renovation. The air-conditioner units can be installed later, but trunking should be planned and done in advance if possible.

A decision to make here is for your water heater, do you want a storage tank heater (takes up most space), electric heater (electricity is most costly), or gas heater?

Have your electrical, bathroom, and kitchen accessories ready when the electrician and plumber comes. Usually they can fix up these items for you.

electrical outlets

4) Masonry works and flooring

A few areas where you may want to build kerbs are at the main entrance door, kitchen entrance door, and the toilet/shower area. Sometimes cement concrete bases are constructed for the kitchen cabinet, refrigerator, and washing machine.

If you’re intending to change the floor tiles, the cost could be from $6,000 upwards depending on the kind of material and the size of your house.

5) Windows and grills

Windows can be top hung, sliding, or casement. You can also soundproof your windows and tint the glass so prevent too much heat from entering the house. Most importantly, consider adding window grills for child safety.

There are different types of window grills, from the invisible to European art design, to match different home designs.

6) Painting and wallpaper

You can choose to paint patterns, have different wall colours for each room or each wall – it’s up to your imagination. Wallpaper would be the lower cost option to creative painting and easily changeable as your tastes change in the future.

SGHomemaker.com previously shared tips on how different room colours can affect your mood and productivity. For more information, check out the articles ‘Paint Colours for Maximum Productivity‘ and ‘What Does Your Room Paint Mean’.

Ensure the painters lay cardboard protection on the floor area so that your new floor does not get paint all over it. If unfortunately paint gets onto your floor, just be polite and ask the painter to help clean up.

Cost for painting can range from $650 upwards depending on the type of paint and size of the painted area.

7) Ceiling works

Want false ceilings to beautify your home? Common areas for false ceiling include the living area, dining area, bedroom passageway area, and foyer area. L Box and Lighting Holders can create a classy effect for your home.

8) Carpentry works

Carpentry work can be done for items like kitchen cabinets, wardrobes, TV consoles, doors, feature walls, bed frames, false ceilings, and different kinds of tables and cabinets.

Try negotiating for a better price if using the same material and design for the whole house – usually material is cheaper when ordered in bulk.

If you do opt for carpentry work, be sure to follow these tips on how to care for your wood furniture.

carpentry wooden sideboard

8) Cleaning up

As a final step after all the heavy duty work is over, you’ll need a few people to help with disposal of renovation debris, and to do some general cleaning as well as a chemical wash.

9) Moving in of furniture and electronics

Finally, the furniture and electronics can move in. This is always the last step to avoid unnecessary damage to these precious items during renovation. And yes, it’s time for you to move in, too!

The information here serves as a guideline and there is definitely much more to learn along the way. Hope these tips are useful to you and, at the end of the day, what’s most important is to have a comfortable home to stay in.

Bear with the renovation process for a few months and live in comfort with a great sense of achievement.

If you need more help and guidance in renovating your home, feel free to reach out to the guys at SGHomemaker.com, the one-stop portal for sourcing home products and services.

British Natalie lives in Berlin, but is a Parisian at heart. Her love of all things clean and organised means she's always got a useful tip or two up her sleeve.

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