As a newbie homeowner, you’re in a stressful situation. You’ve finally plonked down a large sum of money for your first property (and probably wiped out the money in your CPF account whilst you’re at it). Now it’s time to renovate your place, and the number of decisions that you’ll be faced with is countless. What flooring would you prefer? Do you want to knock down your walls? What kind of countertops do you want installed? It’s overwhelming, to say the least.
For most people who are in this predicament, your friends and family will probably chime in with their opinions and past experiences. However, if you don’t have many friends who are existing homeowners, or you just want to do more research, we’ve compiled a handy list of 23 renovation tips from seasoned homeowners who share what they regret about the past renovation works they’ve done. They’ve learnt their lessons the hard way – but with this list, you don’t have to!
Kitchen Renovation Tips
- Don’t purchase pots and pans from IKEA; they’re poorly made and rust easily
- If you’re going with the “industrial chic” theme, resist installing stainless steel pipes. They might fit the aesthetic, but it’s hard to maintain them and keep them shiny
- Tailor the height of your cabinets and sink to suit the tallest person in the family
- Fountain taps are hard to clean and maintain due to their large surface areas
- Sinks with attached dustbins are a bad idea – unless the dustbin compartment is rubber-sealed properly, you’ll get water seeping through the gaps
- Whilst a range hood looks very fancy and fashionable, it’s often unnecessary, and you probably won’t use it enough to warrant the price tag
- White countertops might look nice, but they’ll get scratched and stained very easily (try scrubbing out red wine stains and you’ll know what I mean)
Toilet Renovation Tips
- Shower screens with sliding doors are troublesome to maintain, and the doors get jammed easily
- Bi-fold doors in toilets are tough to clean, and tend to become mouldy easily
- Don’t install recessed ceiling fixtures directly over where you intend to place your mirror, as this will cast shadows on your face and make it difficult for you to do your makeup (for the women), or shave (for men)
- Don’t go for basins which are small or shallow; water will splash out every time you use your sink
- Considering installing his & her sinks so that you and your partner can get ready in the mornings without having to fight for the toilet
- Concrete flooring is currently in-trend and also amazingly easy to maintain
Bedroom Renovation Tips
- Open concept wardrobes, whilst trendy, will result in your items collecting dust
- With your air conditioning unit, it’s important to place your fan coils in the right area. If this is placed in a corner, you won’t be able to cool the room properly; it’s better to have it halfway along the wall, and facing your bed.
- If you have space below your bed, buy storage containers that come fitted with wheels to keep tucked under your bed
- Don’t use bold or trendy colours in your bedroom. These may work in your other rooms, but your bedroom should be relaxing and comforting, and you’ll get sick of bright or loud colours quickly.
General Renovation Tips
- False ceilings might look nice, but they trap a lot of dust as well as bug carcasses
- Laminated flooring warps quickly due to water seeping in when you mop your floor. After a while, your floor will become uneven.
- Floor to ceiling doors will give the illusion of more vertical space
- Instead of purchasing furniture locally, buy from Taobao and have them shipped to Singapore. You can save as much as up to 70% on individual items, but remember to check the reviews of the item, and only buy pieces which have been rated and reviewed by many people!
- With wallpaper, avoid vertical or horizontal patterns if your ceilings and walls aren’t perfectly aligned
- When deciding what colour to paint your wall, don’t print out the colour on a piece of paper, or use a paint chip to hang against your wall. Get a paint sample and paint it directly on your wall in order to see how it looks like against the texture of your wall.
Need more ideas? Check out our articles on cleaning hacks for the ultimate low-maintenance home, 7 striking paint ideas for the free-spirited home owner, and 6 items you need to have in your home for maximum swag. Happy renovating!