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All you need to know before embarking your DIY Renovation Journey Part 7 – 6 Problems Encountered and DIY Solutions which Every Homeowner should Know

Previous Post: All you need to know before embarking your DIY Renovation Journey Part 6 – 6 more Renovation Lessons which every DIY homeowner should know

This month, we have shared a total of 12 renovation lessons which every DIY homeowner should know. Today, let us share with you 6 DIY solutions to the 6 problems which we encountered during our DIY renovation journey.


Problem #1: Unsure what ceiling fan size to buy

Before the start of the renovation, we faced conflicting recommendations from various vendors; they gave different advice on the ceiling fan size we should purchase.


In the end, we decided to purchase one unit of the ceiling fan of our preferred size to perform an onsite assessment. By performing an actual mockup, we will get to determine the recommended size of the L-box false ceiling before the renovation commence. This move proved extremely wise since we were able to limit the width of the L-box and the size of the downlights in order to cater to the size of the ceiling fan which we originally wanted. In this case, we worked out the size of the L-box false ceiling and the X in the middle is the position of the ceiling fan.

Problem #2: Uncertain which laminate colour to use

In the same vein, we were unsure which white laminate would blend in the most with our white washed walls. In fact, we were dismayed to discover that different laminate brands and product ranges have different kinds of “whites” to choose from; some are creamy white while others are bluish white.


We brought the shortlisted white laminate samples on-site and held them up against the wall.  Fortunately, under the natural lighting, each white laminate shows up differently. Thus, this made it so much easier for us to make a choice.

Problem #3: Unable to visualize the proposed carpentry design

Although we have been given quite a number of carpentry design sketches, we were unable to visualize the actual product. Furthermore, we wanted to be absolutely certain that the new proposal would not result in some ergonomic issues and so, we decided to seek alternative ways to achieve the visualization.


In the end, we made use of the painter’s tape to mark-out the carpentry design by delineating the dimensions of the “doors”, “open shelves” and so on. In fact, it is the same painter’s tape which we had used to indicate the location of the defects. Actually, the painter’s tape is very versatile since we also used it to paste reminders at the various important locations around the apartment to remind the contractors.

Problem #4: Getting the communication right with multiple contractors

Although we used group chat to discuss with the contractors, some lapses still occurred since our instructions were lost in the sea of messages. In addition, there has been some miscommunication since the contractors misinterpreted the instructions.


We arranged for all the parties for a face to face meeting. During that session, everyone of them was given a floorplan with detailed instructions. Although we walked through these plans with the contractors, we still paste copies of the instructions throughout the apartment to make sure that everyone was on the same page.


Problem #5: Limited Kitchen Cabinet Storage

There is very limited storage space for the kitchen. Hence, in order to increase the storage area,  we explored the idea of adding customized shelves to the kitchen and sink cabinets. Nevertheless, this option would not come cheap.


In the end, we researched for a cheaper alternative and found flexible, extendable shelves which allow us to adjust the width and height of the shelves freely. The advantages of these extendable shelves are that they are extremely versatile; they can be taken down anytime and ready to be used in another cabinet.

Problem #6: Expensive Magnetic Insect Screens for Casement Windows

Finding magnetic insect screens for our apartment is a big challenge due to our casement window design. This is because since window handle will protrude once it is closed, typical magnetic insect screens could not be used. Nevertheless, although the “casement” styled magnetic insect screens offered by the vendors would resolve this issue, they are far too expensive for us.


In the end, we decided to purchase 8 customized “casement” styled magnetic insect screens from T-mall Taobao and DIY the installation. The assembly process is very straight forward and easy. Most importantly, we manage to achieve big savings since they only cost us a fraction of the price!


Next Post: All you need to know before embarking your DIY Renovation Journey Part 8 – Creating a Hotel-styled Bathroom with KDK Ceiling Exhaust Fan


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