6 Money-Saving Renovation Tips for New and Resale HDB Flats
Useful things to know that’ll help you plan a better, but also more affordable home.
Be it an HDB flat or a condo, renovating a home in Singapore often means forking out a hefty sum of money (read: typically upwards of $30,000 ). So, it’s only natural for any thrifty homeowner to find ways to save on their renovation. And if you’re looking for some tips, keep scrolling for 6 recommendations that’ll (hopefully) lessen your financial burden!
1. Keep Optional Component Scheme items
In essence, the Optional Component Scheme (OCS) is an opt-in scheme by HDB that allows homeowners to outfit their BTO flats with essential finishes and fixtures; these include but aren’t limited to internal doors (timber and UPVC sliding), wash basins with taps, as well as shower sets with mixers.
Interior Firm: Visionary Interior
But despite the convenience of the OCS, it’s likely that not every item it provides will appeal to you due to personal design preferences and/or lifestyle needs.
Like for instance, some homeowners might understandably want louvred doors instead of UPVC sliding doors for better ventilation or simply prefer bathroom taps with a matte black finish over chrome ones.
Interior Firm: Mr Designer Studio
However, if a budget-friendly renovation is what you’re looking for, it’s recommended that you keep the items from the OCS because replacing them is likely to incur dismantling costs. And that’s on top of the cost of paying for the OCS itself as well as the sum you’ll have to fork out for new fittings/fixtures of your own.
2. Retain and refresh existing features
While you won’t be getting brand-new OCS items with a recently purchased resale HDB flat, it’s more than likely that it’ll come with its own fair share of pre-loved fixtures and fittings like cabinets, flooring finishes, or even a bay window platform.
Of course, upcycling every one of these features won’t be possible due to wear and tear (they’re second-hand after all), but if and only if, they’re still in good condition, you could consider making them part of your interior design plans. Doing so could allow you to save some money and might even get you a more appealing home!
Interior Firm: Stylemyspace
3. Overlay the floors with vinyl or tile
One renovation process that’s loved by cost-savvy homeowners is overlaying existing flooring with either a new layer of vinyl or ceramic/porcelain tiles. And it isn’t hard to get why: on one hand, it’s less costly compared to hacking and installing new flooring, and on the other, it significantly cuts down on renovation time.
But as with any existing home feature, it’s important to inspect the condition of your marble/stone/tile floors first before retaining them (we cannot stress this enough), this is because they must be in good condition to serve as a secure base for any new layers.
Keep an eye out for 1) broken tiles, 2) large gaps between flooring pieces, 3) extremely uneven surfaces as they’re all signs that overlaying isn’t going to be an option.
4. Don’t alter your flat’s layout
Interior Firm: Adroit ID
Tearing down the walls between two rooms to create a bedroom/walk-in wardrobe suite or a significantly larger living area might be a popular thing to do these days, but the fact of the matter is that it’ll add to your expenses.
Depending on factors like the number of walls to be torn down and wall thickness, you can expect hacking works to cost between $1,500 to $5,000 – and that’s excluding haulage/debris clearing costs that’ll likely cost you hundreds more. So, if you wish to save, keep your existing room layout intact.
5. Opt for loose furnishings
Interior Firm: Ascend Design
Sure, a bespoke kitchen island or a built-in seat by the window is going to be a nice addition to your new HDB flat, but it’s also a fact that these carpentry items are pricier than loose, store-bought furniture.
For instance, a built-in bedroom wardrobe is going to cost you an estimated $200 to $350 per foot run (or per 30.48 cm). In comparison, a ready-made, 200 cm-long PAX wardrobe from IKEA will cost you just $760.
6. Look for alternative finishes/lookalike materials
Interior Firm: Fifth Avenue Interior
The idea that you need expensive materials – think marble, hard wood, or even gold – to make a home look good is outdated. These days, there are plenty of lookalike building materials on the market – and they’ll let you create a luxe abode at a fraction of the cost, but with all the character intact.
Interior Firm: Fifth Avenue Interior
Aside from compact laminates that mimic the look of natural wood and stone, there are also sintered surfaces (materials comprised of quartz, porcelain and glass) that replicate the look of marble perfectly.
What’s more, these man-made alternatives possess useful qualities that make home maintenance fuss-free, such as high heat resistance as well as non-porous surfaces. The way we see it, using such materials for your renovation only means one thing: even more value for money!
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