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10 Unexpected Ways to Identify and Manage Your Hidden Renovation Costs

Design: A.W.A Design Office


What is every homeowner’s worst nightmare?


The answers are actually aplenty! Some of them include having received news that their renovation professionals have run off with their money, while others include disputes that arise from the Renovation Company’s failure to honour their contractual obligations or delivering of unsatisfactory services. After all, the Renovation Industry was the 4th most complained about industry in 2015, after the vehicle, electrical and electronics, and beauty industries.

Nevertheless, the most common answers involve having to face sudden, hidden and unexpected renovation expenses due to the inadequate and poor planning.

In this post, let us highlight 10 areas which you should absolutely watch out since they would cost you unnecessary renovation charges.

Design: 96 Designers Group


1. Plans are meant to be changed…
but not frequently.

When it comes to poor, ineffective plans, they are meant to be changed. However, whenever it comes to changing of mind for the design concept and floor layout, this would incur added costs, especially when the renovation works have already started. Hence, you will face additional costs for the rework needed to reverse the renovation works which have commenced.

Recommendation: Discuss with the renovation professionals all your renovation plans and understand which areas will cost additional money if there are any change of plans before commencing on the renovation.

Design: The 80’s Studio


2. The writing is on the wall…
so don’t ignore it.

Demolishing half a wall doesn’t mean that the price of hacking the wall will also be halved. This is because after the wall has been demolished by half, work has to be done to make good the wall.
Estimated cost: ~$600

Furthermore,  the demolition of walls can only be done after you have obtained the certification from a Professional Engineer and obtain the necessary approval from the Condominium MCST or HDB. Professional Engineer is needed for civil or structural works because he or she will supervise the demolish process to ensure that no load bearing, structural elements such as beams, slabs and columns are damaged.
Estimated cost: ~$1500

Recommendation: Half walls may look trendy now, but going for totally wall-less, open concept look would make the room look more timeless and spacious.

Design: Aestherior


3. With great power…
comes great electricity bill.

Having power points at almost any corner of the house might sound like a great idea since you will get to use your electrical appliances and charge your laptops and handphones anywhere. However, every additional electrical point will cost extra since there are hidden costs involved in rewiring the cables.

Recommendation: Mark out the areas, such as the kitchen counter top, which you have decided to use the electrical appliances. Make sure that the appliances are spread out evenly to avoid cramming all of them to one corner. This is because this will make them inconvenient to use. In addition, consider constructing a charging station at a central location in the house so that it is easier for you to access your handphones and laptops.

Design: D5 Studio Image


4. Successful Renovation…
is a sequence of right events.

Getting the right sequence matters a lot in a renovation and the general guideline is to start from the ceiling, wall and followed by the floor. Hence, you should discuss in detail the entire list of renovations you intend to do and make arrangements for the renovation to be carried out in order accordingly. For instance, ensure that the curtain railings are installed before the false ceiling is up, so that you do not have to waste time and money to reinforce the false ceiling.

Recommendation: Discuss all the minor renovation works which you intend to carry out, even if they do not involve your renovation professionals. They include installation of curtains, paintings, TV  and so on. This is because such works may involve additional reinforcement works for the  false ceilings and walls.

Design: Earth Interior Design


5. It is the little details…
that count.

There is a saying that the devil is always in the details. In this context, ignoring nitty gritty details which might seem insignificant at first, would cost you greatly since small amounts can add up to quite a tidy sum. Hence, these unexpected costs could significantly derail your renovation project!

Recommendation: Take time to run through and itemize every single renovation work! Make sure that you clarify the country of origin, brand, materials, measurements and the make and brand of all the items listed in the quotation too.

Design: Erstudio Design


6. Remember that good things…
usually come in pairs.

Doors,  windows and balcony sliding frames…what do they have in common?  When it comes to renovating resale apartments, aside from setting aside money to purchase and install brand new doors, windows and balcony frames, you must remember to budget some money to dismantle the existing ones too!

Recommendation: Ensure that the renovation professionals are detailed in their quotation by asking for the costs of dismantling every “supply and install” quotation item.

Design: Free Space Intent


 7. Heavier, thicker…
doesn’t mean it is better.

It’s one of the most common questions that every homeowner would ask; do you really need two coats of paint? Many homeowners want just one coat of paint to save costs. However, many failed to realize that short-sighted painting decision would could you in the long term.  This is because a second coat helps to hide paint overlaps, smears and uneven paint job and also makes it more durable by physically strengthens the paint. Furthermore, a second coat of paint helps to enhance the colour, making it much richer.

Recommendation: You should find out whether if your renovation professionals are using one-coat, heavier and thicker paint and ask specifically for two coats of paintings to be done.

Design: Icon Interior Design


8. Type of materials used…
really matters.

Before the commencement of renovation work, the renovation professionals would ensure that the floor will be adequately protected with protective floor covering in the form of thick plastic protective or cardboard sheets. However, you should be aware that although the thick plastic sheets are more expensive, they offer a much better protection for your floor. Furthermore, even though cardboard sheets are much cheaper, they are easily torn and you will end up spending more to repair the damage done.

Recommendation: Ask your renovation professionals to specify what type of protective coverings they are providing for the flooring. Find out how much you need to top up should you choose to go for the  plastic protective sheets.

Design: Jubilee Interior


9. With a little bit of legwork…
you could save hundreds or even thousands!

The easiest way to save money is for you to do some legwork, compare the renovation quotations and items offered with other companies or shops.  In addition, certain renovation scope of work is a lot cheaper when you choose to order or purchase the items yourself. These include purchasing of air conditioners, lightnings, and even paintwork which is a lot cheaper when you look for the suppliers directly.

Recommendation: Standardize your scope of renovation works and the list of items to purchase before asking for quotations from multiple renovation professionals and suppliers.

Design: Poetus


10. Finally, get the most
from your Credit Cards!

Nowadays, most banks reward you to use their credit cards in the form of loyalty points, cash rebates or cash rebates. Therefore, you should use the right credit card which helps you to earn as you spend on your renovation expenses.

Recommendation: Find out whether your payment can be done by credit cards for every purchase which you intend to make.


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