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Renovation Journey: Keeping A Simple Home With Kids

At A Glance

  • Marican and Zanna, early 30s, facility management and safety manager
  • Home to: 2 adults and 2 kids
  • Size: 140 sqm / 1506 sqft
  • Location: Jurong East (3-bedroom maisonette)
  • Renovation duration: 8 weeks
  • Cost of renovation: $48,500
  • Cost of furnishings & appliances: $12,000
  • Interior design firm: Lux Design
  • Interior designer: Wayne
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Planning a renovation for a 20-year old maisonette is not an easy feat given that there are more areas to inspect and repair due to its old age. Yet, this experienced and cheery couple, Marican and Zanna, bravely took the plunge to purchase a maisonette. We get them to spill the beans on what makes their renovation a success.

Qanvast: How did you find out about Qanvast?

Zanna (Z): We were selling our house and Marican found many modern designs by Qanvast on Facebook. We saw many designs online, but they were all Scandinavian, which was not what we looking for. Through Qanvast, we actually found a few interiors we liked.

Marican (M): What we liked about Qanvast was that we could get recommendations according to our preferences, especially budget, which we were worried about initially.

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Qanvast: How did Qanvast help in your renovation journey?

M: After receiving Qanvast’s recommendations, three out of five interior designers got back to us, Lux Design being one of them. The search process for interior designer was quick as this is our second time doing it and we know how to sieve out the designers that are more suitable. For our first renovation, social media and Facebook were not as popular, so we literally went to 20 different interior designers from Jurong to Ubi. [laughs] The app was really useful too and I liked using it because you get to search for ideas based on the type of house, the budget, the size of the house.

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Qanvast: Why did you choose to work with Lux Design?

Z: It was because of Wayne and it is also based on our gut feeling. They knew what they were talking about during the discussion, and did not hard sell. This left a good impression on us and we trusted them.
Prior to that, we had also reviewed Lux Design’s portfolio before. When Qanvast recommended us Lux Design, we decided to go with them.

Qanvast: What was the renovation budget you had in mind and how do you keep to the budget?

M: Our total renovation cost us less than what we budgeted, $50,000. The cost for our entire renovation is $48,000. We tried to stick to our budget by removing any unnecessary additional costs.

Z: I have already done my calculations and noted that the things I wanted would not hit $50,000. Lux Design managed to keep to our strict budget.
We wanted to install Blum for our kitchen cabinets, but we eventually scrapped the idea as it would exceed our budget. We also wanted the full-length power track from Eubiq. It is good to identify your needs and wants and allocate your budget. Sometimes we have to manage our own expectations as well. [laughs]

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Qanvast: What was the experience like with Lux Design?

Z: They did not hard sell to us. We visited their showroom and their boss, Eric, was also there to talk us. We could feel their sincerity in wanting to help us with our renovation.

We had a tight timeline where the renovation had to be completed within six weeks as we have to handover our previous house. Eric gave us the assurance that they could complete the project for us to move within six weeks. They eventually did so!

Qanvast: Any hiccups along the way?

Z: There were quite a number of hiccups along the way but we managed it along the way. The more complicated issue was the staircase, which was initially not properly done and we deemed unsafe for our kids. We highlighted this to Wayne who told us that he would resolve the issue without any additional charges.

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Qanvast: Is there anything to look out for when renovating an old flat or maisonette?

Z: This is a 20-year-old flat. The common issue for old flat is its wiring. All the fundamental works such as water leakage need to be checked and factored in before the renovation. These are not it is not just the cosmetics issue, hence it is important to flag it out to your interior designer.

Qanvast: Any renovation tips that you would like to leave behind for our homeowners?

Z: Both partners should have a good gut feel about your interior designer as you will be working closely with them. If not, whatever you get will not be up to your satisfaction. This was the experience with our previous home renovation - the interior designer only had the ‘chemistry’ with my husband. There were some things that I did not really like or I felt I could have asked for more but it was hard to raise out.

In comparison, I enjoy the process of renovation this house. If I had a request and they are unable to do it, Wayne will come up with another suggestion based on what I like. That itself is important.

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M: If you are a first-time homeowner, you would have to go around different interior designers so that you would have a sense of the renovation cost. Speaking to different interior designers will help you learn new things along the way.

The important factor is the rapport. If the interior design agrees to accommodate all your requests, that would be an issue as well.

Qanvast has also made things easier with providing us a platform with many real images (not just 3D images). Hence this time round we didn’t have to consult 20 interior design firms! [laughs].

After learning some tricks here, do you feel as though achieving your ideal house isn’t that far-fetched a dream after all? Simply drop us a complimentary quote request here and we will recommend 5 interior designers who match your renovation needs.

If you're looking to commence your renovation research, fire up your Qanvast app today. Browse hundreds of interior ideas in Singapore along with the renovation cost breakdown and homeowners' reviews. Get the free Qanvast app from the App Store or Google Play!

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