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5 Important Tips You Must Know Before You Start Renovation 🪚

If you are one of the lucky ones to have a successful BTO ballot or if you just bought an HDB resale flat, chances are that you will be busy the next few months renovating and turning it into your dream home.

Before you begin the process, we look at some tips you must know before renovating.

Tip 1 - How much to spend?

The most important point to take note of is the budget or how much are you willing to spend.

We’ve compiled some figures based on checks with several interior design firms and contractors in the below table:

HDB flat type

​Expected BTO median renovation cost

​Expected Resale median renovation cost

​3-room flat

​$35,000 - $38,000

​$40,000 - $50,000

4-room flat

​$40,000 - $46,000

​$50,000 - $80,000

5-room flat

$47,000 - $56,000

$68,000 - $80,000

The costs shown in the above table for home renovation are for the basic work such as hacking, masonry, carpentry, painting, etc, and using basic materials. Costs will differ if there are major works to be done or if you are looking for high-end materials.

You will also have to factor in whether you are buying new furniture and appliances or using back those you already have.

If you are buying new furniture and appliances, it will be wise to set aside another $20k to $30K to complete your dream home. If you are using back your previous furniture and appliances, it is still advisable to allocate an additional budget (approximately $10k), in case of unforeseen circumstances such as rot and decay or you may want to add certain features along the way.

Tip 2 - Choosing a contractor or interior designer

After deciding on a budget, it is time to decide if you want to engage an interior designer or a contractor.

If you choose to engage an interior designer, be prepared to pay more as they will provide designs based on your discussions with them.

Interior design firms usually work with their preferred contractors, so it is hassle-free and you only liaise with one contact.

ID firms can also propose the latest designs and styles such as Scandinavian, Minimalist or Industrial, or cater to your requirements.

If you engage a contractor, you will have to have your own design or theme as the contractor will only carry out works.

Using contractors would mean you may have to liaise with different parties for the various works such as flooring, plumbing and electrical.

Doing the coordination and planning would mean that you save money in the process.

Whether ID or contractor, the key thing is to work with someone you're comfortable with and trustworthy.

Always ask friends and family for recommendations of whom they had worked with and were happy with the results and level of workmanship, or check online for any negative feedback.

Tip 3 - Trends and styles selection

You must have an idea of what you want your dream home to look like, but that doesn't mean following trends and the latest style blindly.

Source: Home & Decor SG

Choose a design style that suits your lifestyle and requirements. Some styles may look lovely but they are not child-proof.

If you are engaging an interior designer, discuss with him/her your preferences and what you like and don’t like and let them come up with designs.

If you are using a contractor, you can research online by scrolling through platforms such as Pinterest and other ID websites for ideas and come up with your own unique style.

A home should not only look nice and warm but also livable and function well, especially if you have young children or elderly folks.

Tip 4 - Set a clear timeline

For BTO flats, you are given 3 months from the date of the HDB renovation permit to complete the renovation works and for resale flats, the timeline is 1 month.

Therefore, you need to plan your schedule carefully to avoid delays and overrun.

Get a schedule from your designer/contractor on the scope of work so you know what to expect.

This also allows you time to source for appliances and furniture and plan for the delivery of the items!

Tip 5 - Monitor progress on a regular basis

Whether you hire an interior designer or contractor, it is always good to monitor the progress.

If you can spare the time, visit once a week to check on how things are going.

That way, if you spot something that is not to your liking, you can let the workers know and rectify it immediately before it is too late. Look out for telltale signs of work done hurriedly or shoddily.

Areas to pay special attention to would be tiling and carpentry. Ensure that tiles are aligned and the grouting is even and smooth.

Lastly, after all the work is completed, be sure to do a final inspection.

Areas to look out for would be the flooring, cabinets and paintwork. Check out all sockets and switches to ensure they are working. That way, you can be sure of a smooth and worry-free home renovation process.


For more property news, resources and useful content like this article, check out blog here.

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