8 Things to Look Out for When Renovating on a Budget

8 Things to Look Out for When Renovating on a Budget

Renovating can be an extremely stressful affair, especially if you’re on a budget. Even if you have deep pockets, it is still wise to plan carefully to stretch your dollars and yet achieve the best outcome. Here, we’ll round up what to look out for to help you navigate the process wisely.


Find a credible contractor or interior designer.

This might sound obvious. But many times, in our haste to get an affordable professional to undertake renovation, we go with the cheapest quotation made avail to us. However, too-good-to-be-true renovation packages can be unreliable, resulting in more time and money needed to rectify work poorly executed. As such, it pays to ensure that the firm has the accreditations to carry out the work required. In Singapore, source for firms that have the CaseTrust accreditation. If you’re renovating your HDB, find a HDB-registered firm. Always do your due diligence to prevent future headaches – this rule applies whether or not you’re on a budget.


Communicate your budget

List what needs to be done in your space and work out your budget accordingly. Create a spreadsheet to record renovation costs, as well as expenses for furniture, appliances and fittings, and work strictly within budget. If you spend more on one item, cut back on another to keep on track financially. Be realistic when budgeting and leave some room for expenses that could chalk up due to unforeseen circumstances. Communicate your budget with your contractor or interior designer and let him or her know your constraints right from the start.


Mix high-end with cheaper materials

Offset your costs by mixing expensive solutions with more economic ones. For instance, opt for vinyl flooring over granite tiles, and then invest in an elegant marble or granite kitchen countertop.


Renovate in phases to go easier on your wallet. For a start, choose to focus your dollars on flooring and electrical works, as well as remodelling of kitchen and bathrooms. These works are usually more extensive and something you’ll want to do before you settle in for good. You can carry our renovation on other rooms when you have saved enough.


Go for evergreen designs

Go for designs that will stay relevant for years to come, to make your money feel well-spent. This way, you wouldn’t feel compelled to update your space when a fad passes.


Scrutinise your quotation

Before you sign off on a quotation and make your first payment, vet through it carefully to ensure that every item is accounted for. This is the time you should negotiate on price. Also do not be afraid to ask for cheaper alternatives to achieve a similar outcome in your space.


Refurbish what you have

If you’re moving into a resale unit, retain certain elements to cut back on cost. Consider replacing existing kitchen cabinet doors, while keeping the original structure intact. By replacing just the doors, you can choose a desired laminate with your preferred handles or knobs to have a brand new kitchen from the outside. Otherwise, replace existing kitchen countertop or backsplash with on-trend and functional ones to elevate your space. When retaining dated windows, spruce them up with beautiful blinds and curtains that take the focus away from the windows.


Convey your timeline

Do not expect the contractor or interior designer to have the same sense of urgency as you. If you need your home ready by a certain date, be sure to convey this from the start. Check on work progress and visit the site frequently to monitor. Put a halt to renovations if the work carried out is not going as planned so that you can rectify them as quickly as possible and proceed with the rest of the work. After all, a delay in your move-in date can mean incurring another month of rental.

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