Looking at remodelling your abode on a super-duper tight budget? You are on the right track! Here is how you can shave thousands of dollars off your renovation costs.
1. Avoid Hacking As Much As Possible
Hacking is a renovation process to remove and demolish any existing wall or floor tiles, built-in furniture, walls or other built-up structures. Depending on the extent of the area to be hacked, the cost ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Aside from costs, hacking is also time-consuming and could take up to a week. Once the hacking is done, efforts are needed to make good the surrounding area that was hacked. In addition, haulage and disposal cost money too.
Design: SS+D Pte Ltd
Pocket friendly hacks #1, overlay instead of hack
Instead of hacking, you can opt to overlay the existing floor tiles with tiles, modern vinyl or laminate. Apart from these alternatives, you should also consider using the metallic epoxy to refurbish the existing flooring or even the worn out kitchen counter top.
Design: The Interior Lab
2. Say No To Half Hacked Walls
Half hacked walls, also known as pony walls, are usually done to bring in more natural light or partially divide a space, while retaining some privacy for the room occupants. They are a manifestation of the open floor plan movement where the walls start coming down in favour of more open living areas. However, half-hacked walls actually cost more, since they took more labour and material. This is because aside from spending resources and time to make good the hacked site, the half-height walls still have to be reconstructed from scratch.
Pocket friendly hacks #2, opt for alternatives to partition the spaces
Instead of having a half wall, a low bookshelf can be used to separate a space, while pulling double duty for storage. In addition, if the room is meant to be used as a study room, you can consider using a half height workstation screen to partition the spaces.
Design: Third Paragraph Interior
3. Review The Need For Masonry Works
Masonry works involve cement and they are commonly referred to as brick or tiling works such as building the refrigerator and kitchen cabinet bases, shower kerbs, and tiling floors or walls. Again, depending on the extent of the area and material used, the costs can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. The more reconfiguration, wall and floor hacking works are needed, the more masonry works and costs are incurred.
Design: Zenith Arc
Pocket friendly hacks #3, skip masonry works for the kitchen
Reconsider the need for the refrigerator and kitchen cabinet bases in the kitchen. In the past, these are a necessity since the elevated bases make it a breeze for the homeowners to wash the kitchen floor with water. Hence, these bases are not necessary if you only mop the kitchen floor. Furthermore, the refrigerator base will restrict the size and the placement of your fridge in the future.
Design: E+e Design Pte Ltd
4. Opt For Accent Wall Alternatives
An accent wall, also known as a feature wall, is designed to inject visual impact into a room through the use of interesting contrasting texture, colour and design. It is mainly meant to accentuate the design style and can also take up a sizeable part of the renovation budget. They are commonly found in the living room in the form of the TV feature wall, which is the focal point in that space. Sometimes they are used as a demarcation to separate spaces too.
Design: Editor Interior
Pocket friendly hacks #4, opt for tinted mirrors or customised painted walls as feature walls
There are many more affordable substitutions for fancy feature walls that still make a huge visual statement. To help keep your budget in check, simple alternatives such a tinted mirror, fancy wall papers, or a customised paint job, done in different colors and texture, can do the job easily too!
Design: 96 Interior
5. Reduce The Unnecessary Bespoke Carpentry Works
Although customised carpentry helps you to save money over the long run, it is far more costly due to the high-quality materials and craftsmanship involved. They are usually recommended in situations where there are niche, awkward spaces where commercial off the shelf furniture cannot be used. Furthermore, since carpentry fabrication is labour-intensive, it takes additional time and can eat into the renovation time.
Design: Facelift Design Interiors
Pocket friendly hacks #5, choose mass produced affordable furniture options
Avoid turning to made-to-order carpentry works unless absolute necessary. Steer clear of unconventional designs which involved curves or unusual operational mechanism. Unlike in the past, mass produced loose furniture such as TV consoles, storage bed platforms and cabinets are now available in many designs and materials, and hence they easily match any interior themes. Furthermore, they offer more flexibility and can be easily swapped out when you change your mind a few years down the road. Disposing used furniture in the virtual marketplaces also allow you to recoup some money.
Design: M Atelier Interior Design
6. Rein In The Scope Of Electrical Works
The cost of the electrical work can take up a huge chunk of the renovation budget, especially when you did not plan the scope of the electrical work properly. Installing lighting points can start from $60 each and the installation costs for the cable, data or LAN point, the cost can start from $100 each. When you multiply the number of lighting points or cable, data or LAN points with the number of rooms you have, and the bill can easily hit thousands of dollars.
Design: Fifth Avenue Interior
Pocket friendly hacks #6, discuss and plan the scope of electrical works first
Although false ceilings provide more flexibility in terms of lighting options , you will need to spend more on the number of lighting points. Hence, options such as L-box or cove lightings, since they require a lesser number of lighting points. Furthermore, L-box or cove lightings are able to spread lighting evenly in a space at a fraction of the electrical work price.
Design: Arche Interior
7. Refurbish Instead Of Replace
If you are renovating a resale unit, a bulk of the renovation cost comes from having to replace the flooring, doors, window grills, cabinets, pipes, electrical wiring and so on. However, this is just a start since there might be more surprises in store for you once the renovation starts. In fact, the replacement cost depends on a range of factors such as the state and age of the property, the size and how much of the original state you wish to replace. Case in point, redoing the walls, floorings, window grills and cabinets take up at least a few thousand dollars. Each fire rated door can cost as much as $800 onwards and the costs of demolishing and removal are not factored in yet.
Pocket friendly hacks #7, before you trash, try to refurbish
Instead of making a decision to replace immediately, take a step back and review whether the item in question can be repaired and restored. For instance, old tiles, marble or parquet flooring can be revived easily by the restoration specialists for a fraction of the replacement cost. In addition, furnishing such as doors and cabinet can now be easily refurbished instantly at a small fee using durable laminates that are made to last and anti-bacterial, fire retardant, water and stain resistant. Furthermore, these laminates are available in a wide variety of designs, easy to mount and only takes up at most 1 to 2 days to be installed, without the mess.
8. Go Big In Material Swaps
The cost of renovation hinges heavily on the type of material used and the cost of the material depends on the type, quality and country of origin. Case in point? Some materials such as Marble and Onyx tend to be pricer, since their veins need to be matched continuously from tile to tile, to attain the magnificent and eye-catching effect for that luxurious look. Furthermore, aside from the time spent for the tilers to plan and lay the tiles, if one of the tiles are accidentally chipped, they might need to redo the entire area and this meant more cost and time delay. In addition, similar types of marble from different origins are priced differently. For instance, Italian marble costs much more than the marble that comes from China.
Design: Subtlesato Studio
Pocket friendly hacks #8, discover how it is for you to swap for budget friendly alternatives
You might be surprised to find out that achieving that “atas” look does not necessarily need to cost you an arm or a leg. For instance, the marble look-alike homogeneous tiles, are available in a wide variety of hyper-realistic marble vein designs and colours, at a significantly lower price point. Check out these 8 Easy Budget Friendly Material Swaps You May Not Have Thought Of.
Design: LOME Interior
9. Request For In-House Expertise
A renovation project usually requires a myriad of expertise; ranging from electricians, carpenters, painters, tilers to epoxy, wallpaper specialists and so on. Hence, the typical partnership between them and the Interior Design companies is that of a subcontractor. This arrangement allows the Interior Design companies to easily tap into such network of specialists whenever the situation arises.
Pocket friendly hacks #9, find out if it is cheaper to use their in-house expertise
Some Interior Design companies have in-house expertise and even own factories or workshops. This is because the companies have either evolved into an Interior Design outfit from their original vocation (for example, the company could have been specialising in carpentry works in the past), or have decided to employ their own fleet of specialists to better manage their resources and costs. Hence, it is worthwhile to find out more, before you decide to engage your own.
10. Go For Contractors
Aside from aesthetic design, Interior Designers work with indoor spaces to make them functional, safe by planning and determining the space requirements. They also take on the role of project managers, who oversee and work with the various subcontractors to ensure that the renovation project executes smoothly and delivers on time.
Design: Hock Hoon
Pocket friendly hacks #10, decide if it is worth while to turn to contractors instead of Interior Designers
Turning to contractors directly might be able to shave as much as 20% off the renovation costs, since you are essentially taking on the job of the Interior Designer. However, this is recommended only if you have prior experience or the renovation needs for your abode are very simple and straightforward. Don’t forget, managing the contractors requires some degree of technical know-how and experience. Hence, you do not want to end up in situations where you ended up spending more, to rectify mistakes due to inexperienced decisions. Therefore, if you are a newbie, it is best to leave running of renovation projects in the hands of the professionals.
Design: Place To Relax
This article was originally posted on Renonation.sg, Singapore’s leading renovation and interior design site.