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

1. On-site planning

Review the feasibility of your plans before the commencing the renovation 

You need to assess the feasibility of your space, false ceiling and lightnings plans which were done based on the floorplan before you start your renovation. In order to evaluate the viability, you have to transfer these plans onto the actual site with the help of the painter’s tape.

The green painter’s tape indicates the carpentry, the yellow painter’s tape delineates the false ceiling.

Case in point

We have transferred all the plans on-site before inviting the various renovation contractors over for an assessment prior their quotation. This allows them to better visualize where the tricky areas are and the extent of work and effort needed to address these problematic places. In addition, a couple of the renovation contractors had dissuading us from getting a 48″ ceiling fan because they had assumed that it was too big. However, after indicating the exact ceiling fan location with the help of masking tape, we were assured that a 48″ model was not over-sized.

The ceiling fan proved small enough for our floorplan.


 2. False Ceiling

Check the thickness of the super slimmed down-light transformer

The thickness of the false ceiling is determined by the dimensions of the down-light transformer (also known as the driver) when super slim down-lights are used. This is  because even if the down-light is thinner than the other model, the thickness of the ceiling will still be affected by the thicker component. Hence, you should also look out for the thickness of the transformers when you are comparing the different super slim down-light models.

Where the Curtains are installed will affect the false ceiling design

Remember to indicate the locations where you intend to install the curtains.  This is because the curtain pelmet need to be factored into the false ceiling design. This in turn impacts the location of the down-lights.

Case in point

We have completely forgotten to inform our Project Manager where the curtains would be installed. Nonetheless, it was fortunate that he had left enough allowance between the down-lights and walls such that the curtains would not obstruct the down-lights once they are installed.

We forgot to get the curtain pelmet done!

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Do you know?

“The advantages of installing false ceiling are many. One of the benefits includes concealing unsightly wires that ran across the rooms. Also, it allows you to use down-lights in any corner of the room and it also provides excellent thermal insulation. This is because the air, which is trapped in between the gaps, acts as an excellent insulator which keeps the heat out and keeps the room cooler. Since they also reduce the space of the room, they help to enhance the performance of the air conditioners.”
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3. Lights

The position of the curtains, ceiling fans will affect the placement of the down-lights

If you intend to setup your curtain in such a way that it “splits” in the middle, remember to align the location where the “split” is with the position of the down-light.

Case in point

Since our Project Manager didn’t realize that the curtains would be installed, the down light was off center from the place where the curtain was “split”. Fortunately, he managed to get this rectified as soon as possible.
The down light was “off-center”.

In addition, since ceiling fan will disrupt the lighting and cause a dizzy-like effect, the down-lights should be installed at least 60 cm away from the fan blades.


4. Ceiling fan

Ceiling fan blades should steer clear away from any casement doors

Aside from checking the distance of the down-lights to the fan blade, you should also check whether if the top row of the wardrobe casement doors will knock against the bedroom ceiling fan blades once they are fully opened.

Case in point

We had originally wanted the top wardrobe to be partitioned as 2 casement cabinets. However, this will meant that the casement doors will hit against the fan blades once they are fully opened. The design was thus revised to 3 casement cabinets instead.

The casement door should not hit against the ceiling fan once it is opened.


5. Laminates

Never choose your laminates based on the laminate sample book

The tiny piece of laminate sample is definitely not big enough for you to fully appreciate its actual design, especially if you are choosing laminates with design. Hence, if you have time to spare, you should visit the laminate companies to check out the pieces of the laminate design in large sizes. Some laminate companies even provide A4 samples for you to keep. If you are running out of time, some laminate companies such as Arova and EDL allows you to view the samples online and even send A4 laminate samples to you free of charge!

Sign up to receive your free laminate samples!


6. Curtains

Choose the color of your curtains on-site once your carpentry has been completed

You should not choose the color and the types of fabric for the curtains at the showroom. This is because unless you are an expert, you would not be able to tell whether the color, tone and fabric matches the laminate which you have chosen. In addition, the color and tone of the curtain will appear differently under the natural lighting setting of your place. Therefore, you should always make the choice of your curtain at the actual site instead of the showroom.

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Do you know?

Do ask the following questions when you are choosing the curtains:
1. Is the material fire resistant?
2. Does the fabric shrunk after wash?
3. Does the color fade under sunlight?
4. Does the curtain need to be dry cleaned?
5. What is the thread count of the material?
6. How does the finishing of the sides look like?
7. What is the gap of the curtain rod between the window panels and the wall?
8. How much material is being set aside to ensure that the curtains look full after they are fully retracted?
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