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Pay Attention to These 5 Hidden Renovation Issues

October 13, 2017

Renovating your home is no walk in the park. With so much to consider like your budget, time spent and the design of your home - it can be easy to gloss over the small details! But that's where the major killer is - these 5 minute renovation details could throw a major wrench in your everyday living once you move in. What are they and what should you look out for? Let's check it out:

1. Wiring and Electrical Planning

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: Paperwork Design Studio

This part of the renovation process is often ignored by homeowners because we assume that the contractors/electricians know what they are doing.

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: Icon Factory

That's probably true, but only you will know how you'd utilise your electronics and where you'd most likely use them. Which is why planning the placement of your sockets is highly important. Are there enough sockets and outlets in your kitchen to accommodate your numerous appliances? What about the downstairs bathroom - is the wiring equipped to handle a heater?

What to Do:

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: Eleven Interior

  • Before meeting up with an ID, sit down and think about the different appliances you will be regularly using at home.

  • Plot out areas where you'd most likely use (for instance, the living area where you have your entertainment systems and you'd spend time the most) and relay them to your contractor.

2. Carpentry Materials

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: Paperwork Design Studio

If you are hiring an interior designer to redo your home and it involves carpentry – you must be absolutely clear on the materials that will be used, as this will directly affect the cost.

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: Co Prozfile (Singapore)

For instance, wooden ceiling beam finishes can range from faux wood (polyurethane wood) to solid timber. Faux wood is lightweight, resilient to termites, almost maintenance-free, cheaper, and will not rot. But both materials can look almost identical. Thus, if you don’t actually need the beams for structural support, then faux might be the way to go. It's these small little differences that might pile up

What to Do:

  • Ask your interior designer/contractor the materials you plans to use and consider if it is indeed suitable in terms of cost, durability and style.
  • Do your own research as well on the pros and cons of different types of carpentry materials. Most carpentry will use a plywood body with laminate finish, but of course, highlight to your designer if you'd customise with other materials.

3. Lighting Points and Planning

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: The Arch

Ever heard of light overkill? Sure, we are not experts at ambient lighting, but don't leave the lighting works entirely in the hands contractor/interior designer.

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: Spazio Design

While some of them are honest enough to give you advice on the right amount of lighting points, others might deliberately add on a ton of lights to jack up their quotes. In the long run, you would have to deal with countless light switches you don't need - plus a whopping electric bill every month.

What to Do:

  • Do a little self-research on the costs and type of lighting effect you want to achieve - then set a budget for it.

  • Discuss your options with an interior designer - but don't forget to get alternative quotes from electricians and find the best price between the two.

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: IQI Concept Interior Design and Renovation

  • At the same time, determine which lighting components to install in your home. For instance, if you are deciding between LEDs and T8 fluorescent tubes, know that while LEDs more expensive, they also happen to be energy-efficient and can save you more in the long run. Plus, it doesn’t give off UV rays like the T8, is more ambient and emits less heat.

4. Air Conditioner Planning

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: Anwill Design Sdn Bhd

We've been taking our air-conditioners for granted for far too long. Besides choosing the right system or type of air-conditioning unit (standing, split-system or vented systems?) don't overlook the planning of your air-con locations and installation process.

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: Grazioso Design

Some things to look out for? Planning of your exhaust pipes, electricity points and the right areas for mounting. For example, pay extra attention to the size of insulators used to cover the copper exhaust pipes - if they are too loose or wrapped to tightly, this can cause condensation to leak out, resulting in those ugly wet marks or mould spots you see on trunking or walls.

What to do:

  • Determine the type of air-con you'd like to install before the renovation works start and where to place them. This will help the interior designer prep in advance and reduce any last-minute changes in terms of electrical placements and hacking works.
Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: Only Solutions

  • Consult with an air-con technician on the best practices for installing an air-con. For instance, while some interior designers may propose concealing the split air-con unit behind a partition or false ceiling, this can actually reduce the cooling effect of your air-con.

  • Another point for consideration is the supply of electricity; do check with an electrician if your home has sufficient capacity to support the heavy usage of multiple air conditioners with high horsepower.

5. Furniture Size

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: Amorphous Design

Picking the right furniture is perhaps one of the most important aspects that could make or break your entire look. It's all about balance, proportion and a pinch of style - does your furniture mesh well with your renovated design?

Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: SQFT Space Design Management

And wrong it can go, when you have mismatched furniture filling up the space. Think small areas cramped up with impossibly big pieces, or a cavernous home filled with Lilliputian furniture. Not a good look.

What to Do:

  • Wait it out; hold off until the renovation works are complete and then buy suitable furniture (in proportion to your new home's style and size).
Hidden Renovation Issues

Interior Designer: GI Design Sdn Bhd

  • When furniture shopping, don't go trigger happy and buy whatever that catches your eye. If possible always have pictures of your home on hand to help you visualise how it'll fit into your new home. And make measurements!

  • After which, go home and mark out the dimensions with tape in your home - this way, you'd have a clearer idea of how big/small the piece actually is, and if it's a fit for the size of your home.

Details matter.

Whether it's seeing the big picture or scrutinising down to the tiniest detail, a good interior designer can guide you through every aspect of your renovation. And we can help - request for quotes here, and we can match you up with 5 interior firms, based on your budget and style!

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