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When Should I Start Planning My Renovation?

February 17, 2017
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When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

You'd be surprised - the best time to start planning a renovation is actually a year before collecting your house keys.

Why so early? Like all major decisions in life, it pays to think carefully and ahead. And creating a dream home that you'll have to live in for years? We think that's a big decision that'll need all the time it can get. So, if you're still unsure of when and what to look out for in a renovation process, check out our step-by-step timeline guide below to help you get started!


When Should I Start Planning My Renovation?

It might feel like a long way to go, but don't just sit around awaiting your keys! Now's the perfect time to picture your dream home, and research on the various styles or features you'd like in your new abode.

Create a Mood Board

Start looking around for interior decor looks that strike your interest, and create a mood board to save them. Our app and website let you easily create boards, allowing you to browse and save thousands of local home projects.

Bidadari Park Drive by Inizio Atelier

Interior Firm: Inizio Atelier

You can even share your boards with others, which will be really convenient if you'd like to discuss ideas with friends or family!

Research On Your Budget

Figuring out a comfortable budget in advance will give you enough time to start saving up, or consider your financing options. You can easily get information about costing on our listed projects, which include renovation costs and breakdowns of works done to the space.


When Should I Start Planning My Renovation?

At this point, you should have more or less decided on:

  • the decor theme
  • some basic features you'd like to work on (e.g. structural works, tiling, etc.)
  • your ideal budget, with a comfortable range to work with

Here begins the hunt for the perfect interior designer!

iNz Residence by Starry Homestead

Interior Firm: Starry Homestead

Finding An Interior Designer

Not sure where to start? Based on your style and budget, we can match you with up to 5 interior firms for free free. Request for quotes here, and we'll shortlist the best firms who will arrange for a quotation meet up.

Hougang Avenue 8 by Forefront Interior

Interior Firm: Forefront Interior

Meeting An Interior Designer

Make sure to visit some showrooms and discuss details with the designers you've contacted. Ideally, you should meet at least 3 to 5 firms before making a decision on who to engage.

Have these items ready before you meet up with them:

  • Your floor plan
  • Your mood board (physical or online)
  • Your expected renovation time frame (e.g. when to start the renovation works, when to move in, etc.), so that your designer can work according to your schedule.

When Should I Start Planning My Renovation?

The big day is looming ahead! After gathering information about quotations and ideas from the various IDs, you should engage a firm that you are most comfortable with, in terms of pricing, design and chemistry (that's really important!).

First Steps To Working With An ID

After shaking hands, what's next? Now's the right time to discuss what your must-haves and no-nos in this renovation. Whether it's a feature wall, open-concept communal area or a walk-in wardrobe, let your designer know so he/she can fit it to the space plan.

Bedok North Street 2 by Tan Studio

Interior Firm: Tan Studio


When Should I Start Planning My Renovation?

Woohoo! It's the day of your key collection and you're obviously excited. But don't look at your new home with rose-tinted lenses just yet - make sure everything is in the right place!

Check For Defects

Bring along the defects list provided by HDB/developer (click here for our list), and a lock to secure your home. You will need a seasoned, meticulous eye for this, so it would be better to invite your designer along to help spot anything amiss and take measurements!

Set Up Your Basic Utilities

It's really important to get the basics working before embarking on a renovation. In order to renovate, workers will need electricity for their tools and water for washing grime or dirt - so don't leave them hanging!

Costa Rhu by Free Space Intent

Interior Firm: Free Space Intent

Apply for a utilities account with SP Services to activate the water, electricity, gas and waste collection services, soon after collecting your keys.

Go Shopping!

Now that you've gotten a physical feel of your space, it's also a good time to shop for some fittings, such as your flooring, feature wall finishings, big kitchen appliances, and bathroom fittings so that your designer can factor these items into the design/renovation planning.

Circuit Road by Habit

Interior Firm: Habit


When Should I Start Planning My Renovation?

After months of planning and discussion, it sure is a big relief (and joy) to see your dream home coming together. That doesn't mean you can take the back seat and let the magic miraculously happen yet! Here are some things to take note of when managing a renovation.

Confirm The Renovation Schedule

While renovations for BTOs usually take about 8 - 10 weeks, and resale 12 - 14 weeks, it is best to clarify the schedule with your ID to ensure a smooth moving process. Do note that slight delays are common, so be prepared to extend any living arrangements whilst renovating!

Punggol Central by Butler Interior

Interior Firm: Butler Interior

Keep Your Home Safe

There will be many people entering in and out of your house - contractors, builders, electricians and the like. Remember not to leave any valuable items lying around, and install a lock that only those overseeing the renovation - such as your designer - can access.

Keep Tabs On Progress

Trust your designer to provide you with timely updates on your renovation, but do make an effort to drop by at least once a week! Make sure works are done to plan and inform your designer if you find anything unsatisfactory or defective.


When Should I Start Planning My Renovation?

The big reveal is finally here! All you've got to do is put the finishing touches - arrange for furniture and other decor accents to be delivered to your home. One last thing, though:

Do A Final Check

Do a run over with details like power points, or the swing of hinges, and be sure to highlight any problem areas that need rectification.

Housewarming Party!

Have everything down pat? Kick back and pop some champagne - plan for your housewarming party to show off your gorgeous home to everyone!

Jalan Tupai by Summerhaus D’zign

Interior Firm: Summerhaus D’zign


Life's definitely easier when you have a handy timeline to guide you in your renovation. Submit a free request to meet IDs and our dedicated Qanvast Guide will follow up with you on a personalised list of firms that fit your requirements.

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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