19 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Your Renovation

19 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Your Renovation

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Renovating your home can be very exciting. It’s all about new possibilities and the promise of coming home to a comfortable and great-looking space after a long day at work. Before you start however, here are some things you need to take note of.

1. Charge for additional electrical power point
There is a charge for every additional electrical power point
While convenient, do note that additional electrical power would cost between $60 and $70. In addition, each installation for new lighting point is between $30 and $40. All these will add up to your overall renovation costs.

2. Cost for air-con wiring and re-wiring
The cost for wiring an air-con has been included in the price of your air-conditioning system. If you think that the service comes free, think again.

3. Ask for a detailed renovation quotation

Source: Interior Doctor

Renovation quotations do not include detailed specifics of materials, such as tiles and finishes used, so if possible, ask your contractor to measure your unit and state every work to be done in the quotation as clear as possible.

4. Clearing of debris and haulage costs
Take note that the standard cost for clearing debris and haulage is set at the price of $215 plus GST. Be wary of contractors who ask for more than that amount to clear debris or haulage because the cost is actually paid to them directly from HDB.

5. Renovation permit
While there is no need to pay for renovation permits anymore, it is still mandatory for HDB renovations to apply for a permit for certain works through the HDB website. Also note that for renovation of HDB units, you have to engage a contractor that has registered under the HDB Registered Renovation Contractors’ Scheme.

6. Cost of chemical wash
Chemical wash or acid wash is usually done at the end of renovation works to give you home a final polish before you move in. The cost for this is between $95 and $100.

7. Check water holes for cement or sand
This is especially important because some contractors may throw cement or sand into the pipe during renovation, which may lead to leakage in the future.

8. Cost of gas piping
If you opt for gas piping instead of cylinder gas, you will have to get your contractor to liaise with City Gas to connect gas piping to your cooker hood. The $70 incurred is for the trip. The billing of the gas piping on the other hand will be billed to you directly by PUB.

9. Painting
The cost for painting is between $1,100 and $1,500 for a unit, and should comprise of five colours.

10. Installation of bathroom fixtures and electrical point

Source: Image Creative

Some contractors may quote for the installation of bathroom fixtures and electrical points separately. If possible discuss with the contractor to install these items free of charge during renovation works.

11. Hacking of walls
When bringing down walls, make sure your contractor include touching up of tiles in his quotation. This area usually includes the area that is left exposed by the wall that has been hacked off.

12. Take note of add on prices
This is especially important when asking for quotation from contractors for kitchen cabinets because the base price quoted usually refers to basic materials. So when asking for quotation be sure to ask for every detail, such as the size and material to be used.

13. Installation of ceiling fans
This will cost around $25 to $30.

14. Water heater installation.
This will incur additional costs too, at around $60 per unit.

15. Materials used
Depending on whether you install treated or non-treated wood for cabinets, the price may vary.

16. Inclusion of accessories
Try to get your contractor or interior designer to include electrical switches, doorknobs and handles in the package price or quotation because these small things can add up. To save some money, you can source for your own accessories so that you won’t be charged inflated prices for them.

17. The disadvantage of open-concept walk-in wardrobes

Source: Homevista

These can be a nightmare to maintain because moisture from the bathroom can lead to mouldy interiors and items. To solve this, position your open-concept walk-in wardrobes away from moisture rich places.

18. Ditch the kitchen sliding door

Source: Weiken

To save cost, forego the sliding door separating the kitchen and living area because it does not make much of an impact in keeping odours out. What’s more, you can actually utilise the open-concept plan to add storage spaces or counters.

19. Choose a reliable interior designer
To assess whether your interior designer is reliable, do some background check before you engage them. Usually, the best ones are based on customer’s video reviews. You should also check out the designer’s recent completed projects where you can examine the carpentary workmanship.

Leong Mee Lee

Leong Mee Lee is freelance writer based in Singapore. She has written articles and blog pieces about home decor design, architecture, food and travel for a number of online and offline media in Singapore and beyond.


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