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How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

April 14, 2017
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Nobody likes to mess up - even if it's the first time.

Renovation can be a daunting prospect, especially when you are a complete newbie at it.

What should you do or expect? When should you start planning? With so many things to figure out, sometimes you just need a helping hand to lead the way. And, that's why we are here! Below is a timeline to guide you through the different steps and things to do in a renovation, so that you can achieve your dream home without a single hitch.


So, you just bought a house - what’s next?

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Interior Designer: Anwill Design Sdn Bhd

It will take months, even up to a year (for new developments) before you get to collect your house keys. That does not mean that it is time to lie low and wait for the impending date! Start making preparations - trust us, planning in advance would save you the hassle later on.

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Now is the best time to gather inspiration and make a decision on the style and features that you'll want in your dream home!

Create A Mood Board

Start collating your ideas in a mood board, which would come in handy for interior designers to figure out what you want. Here at Qanvast, homeowners can save their favourite home projects on boards, available on our app and website. The best part? You can share these boards with other users, which is really useful if you want to discuss with family and friends!

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Interior Designer: GI Design Sdn Bhd

Research On Budgets

Start researching and deciding on a budget you'll be comfortable spending. Figuring this out in advance will leave you ample time to save up some money, or explore some of the financing options. Not sure what's a good ballpark figure? Check out our listed projects for a wealth of information on renovation costs, based on property type and size.


How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

The past three months should be ample time for you to confirm the following:

  • The style/direction you’re going for.
  • A list of must-have features (like doing a walk-in wardrobe).
  • Your renovation budget.

With these elements settled, it is time to find the right interior designer for the job!

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Interior Designer: X Two Concepts

Find Interior Designers

Searching for the right ID is like looking for a needle in a haystack - where should you start? Fret not; we can recommend 5 relevant interior firms, based on your budget and preferred style for free! Just drop in a quote request here, sit back and wait for the shortlisted IDs to arrange a meet-up!

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Interior Designer: M3 Concepts

Meet (A Few) Interior Designers

It is always better to talk things out in person. Make it a point to visit a couple of interior designers (at least 4 - 5) to explore various design ideas and also make a balanced comparison in terms of service and cost.

Before you hit the showrooms, do remember to prepare these essentials so that your designer will have something to work with:

  • Your floor plan
  • Your mood board (physical or online)
  • Your desired time frame (e.g. when are you collecting your keys, and by when you would like to move in), so the IDs can work out a schedule.

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

The big day is drawing near! By now, you should have met up with a couple of IDs; it is time to engage the one that you’re most satisfied with, in terms of cost, design and chemistry.

Sign The Contract, and Lay Some Ground Rules

Do a little celebration dance and shake hands with your new designer - one major hurdle, down! After which, do not forget to go through the contract with your ID to clarify any details (like materials or labour), as well as some ground rules for renovation (what is the rectification period? Is there a time period that workers are allowed to do any works, etc.)

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Interior Designer: Hoe & Yin Design Studio


Collected Your Keys? It’s Time To Start Renovating

After what seems like an endless wait, finally things are coming together! From 2D drawings to real life, here is when the actual renovation begins. And it is going to take more hands-on, execution work.

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Finally, a peek into your future home! Take this as a chance to get a general feel/dimension of the actual space, and clear the processes needed to kickstart your renovation on track.

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Interior Designer: Anwill Design Sdn Bhd

Check For Defects and Take Measurements

A good home needs a solid foundation. Before your renovation can start proper, it is always best to invite your ID to spot any defects in the house. Furthermore, he/she can take measurements and get a general feel of the space to decide if any designs need to be revised.

Apply For Renovation Permits

Unfortunately, all renovations done in Malaysia will require a permit in order to start any works. Send your application to the local majlis (town hall) or developer upon collecting your keys. Why? It will take anywhere from weeks to months before the permit is approved, which might lead to a delay.

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Interior Designer: X Two Concepts

Get Your Utilities Up and Running

What is a home without the key necessities - water and electricity? Workers will need power for their tools and water to wash off any dirt and grime during renovation. You can head down to your local utility office (e.g. the local TNB office for electricity) to activate these services.

Shop For Fittings

With a clearer idea of your physical space, it is also a good time to shop with your ID for key elements such as your flooring, feature wall finishings, kitchen and bathroom fittings!


How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Yay! Your permit has been approved and you are given the green light to start works. Here are some things to take note when managing a renovation.

Confirm Your Renovation Schedule

How long does it take to renovate a home in Malaysia? It really depends on the type and size of property, but here is a rough guideline to help you get started:

  • Condo: 1 to 2 months
  • Terrace: 2 to 3 months
  • Semi-Detached: 2 to 4 months
  • Bungalow: 2 to 6 months

Confirm with your interior designer the schedule for your renovation. Slight delays are common, so do note that you might have to extend any alternative living arrangements you have!

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Interior Designer: Designers' Home

Keep Your Home Safe

Your development’s security is not enough. Besides, tons of people will be coming in and out of your house - contractors, builders, electricians and workers. Do not leave valuable items lying around, and install a lock that only those overseeing the renovation - such as you and your ID - can access.

Stay Updated

Trust your interior designer to manage and provide you timely updates - but try to drop by every week to make sure works are done according to plan. If there are any problems spotted, inform your ID so he/she can make the necessary changes.


How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Give you and your ID a pat on the back, it is finally time for the big reveal! All that is left is to put the finishing touches, such as arranging for furniture and other decor accents to be delivered to your home. One last thing, though:

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Interior Designer: GI Design Sdn Bhd

Do A Final Check

Sure, everything looks pristine and spanking new, but play it safe. Run through your entire house carefully to check if your cabinet doors swing properly, if your surfaces or floors are scratched, or if your power points are working. If not, highlight to your ID to make rectifications.

How To Renovate Your Home (Without Messing Up)

Interior Designer: GDY Design and Construction

Lastly, Housewarming Party!

Everything okay? Kick back and invite your friends and family over - plan a housewarming party to show off your gorgeous home to everyone!


Got your planning down pat, but still looking for more local home inspiration? Download the Qanvast app, available on the App Store and Google Play for design inspiration from over 200 interior firms, on the go!

Meet interior designers. Get quotes. Based on your requirements, we will recommend you up to 5 firms with the Qanvast Guarantee. Get Free Quotes

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