Undertaking renovation work is never an easy process for homeowners. There is a lot of thought and consideration that one should take note of – be it from budget, the housing style and choosing the right contractor. Good news is, with thorough thought and planning, nothing seems impossible. In fact, one could also make the renovation process an enjoyable one for all. Furthermore, the elaborate process that you are going to take will have an end outcome: A dream home to come back and relax each day.
Deciding on a plan
Deciding on a plan is the first crucial step to undertake in any renovation process. As the buyer and consumer, it is important that you reach a decision on the ideal home that you want. This can come in the form of planning your room layout to selecting the type of interior design that is close to your heart. Some popular styles you can look into includes the contemporary, the modern and minimalist design. To plan your room layout, you can consider getting hold of the layout plan of your house first. If you are residing in a HDB flat, you can purchase your floor plan from HDB at a cost of S$5 per unit floor plan (inclusive of GST). If you are not sure how to read a floor plan upon getting one, fret not as there are various guides out there to help you read and comprehend this document.
Another element to include in your planning is your estimated budget. Having a budget in mind, will help you look out for the type of renovation that suits your needs and the best contractor to work with. A survey done reveals that that the average cost of renovation in Singapore for a four-room HDB flat is S$56,000. Meanwhile, if it’s a BTO flat, you can look forward to a lower pricing of around $35,000. The reason for this difference is that renovating existing/resale flat may include additional work like demolition which is a substantial cost itself. Another point to consider is that different housing layout and design have different costing e.g. Retro style is currently the lowest on budget at an average cost of S$30,000 while Contemporary design accounts for the highest budget with an average cost of S$82,000. To aid you further, potential buyers may also visit Inspiration section to refer to past projects and decide on a practical budget for your own needs.
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Compare and Choose
Once you have decided on the style, design and budget, the next step is to make a comparison on the few interior design companies and to choose one that best meet your needs. Indeed, with various alarming news of renovation-work-gone-wrong reported in the news, choosing a good interior designer is no easy feat. However, iCompare again proves useful in this instance, enabling you to do a quick yet thorough comparison on the various interior design companies out there. Additionally, iCompare also provide recommendations that can aid potential buyers in their decision-making process. To guide you further, other steps that you can consider includes checking on the company’s license and certification (e.g. CaseTrust RCMA Joint Accreditation Scheme for renovation businesses), seek references from family and friends and selecting a contractor with at least 5 years of experience in the industry.
Meet the companies
If you’ve shortlisted several companies, it is time to do the legwork and meet these companies in person. During the discussion, it is important that you convey your needs to them and provide as much information as possible. By sharing this information from the beginning of the discussion, the contractor can share with you their feedback and perspective and you can decide if the company’s style of working would work best for you. Besides the basic questions of whether the interior design company is able to deliver your practical needs (i.e. the style of your home and within the requested timeframe), some other questions that you can ask includes the mode of payment, communication channels between yourself and the contractor as well as future modus operandi should there be changes to the renovation work.
Decide on a company
After you’ve asked all the questions that you need and solicit feedback and response from the experts, it is time to sit down and deliberate. A good technique would be to list down the pros and cons of selecting each company and selecting the one that can best meet your requirements with convenience.
Sign the contract
Once you have selected the company of your choice, it is time to arrange another appointment with them and sign the contract. Before signing and validating the contract, ensure that you check every detail and understand the companies’ Terms & Conditions. It is important to bear in mind that there are still room for changes in the contract before you commence with signing proper. Hence, do not be pressured to sign the contract immediately. Some pointers to take note of includes providing scope for future amendments especially in the event of unforeseen circumstances as more often than not, changes do happen during the renovation process. Establishing a clear contractual agreement would not only establish clear communication channels but avoid future disagreements between both parties.
Start the remodelling
With the signing of the contract, half of the battle is already won. From planning you are now dealing with the execution. Throughout the renovation process, it is vital to ensure that you check the progress of the renovation work to maintain the quality as well as to avoid big mistakes which might be difficult to amend if they are detected late. It is also recommended to include weekly meetings with the contractor so as to discuss the progress of your renovation work. Aside from communicating with the contractor on the agreed communication channel, it is also wise to keep yourself alert for any notifications from the contractor to ensure you do not miss out on important information from them.
Photo credit : NID Interior
Collect your house
Last but not least, after all the hard work, it is time to collect your house. Before accepting handover from your designer, it is important to check the house thoroughly to ensure that everything is as per your requirement and the contractual agreement. Another advice would be to check with the interior design company on the personnel you can contact during the warranty period. With that said and done, you are now ready to enjoy the comforts of your newly renovated home.
photo credit: bridetomum