There are so many different emotions that culminate upon the buying of a new home. With all the excitement of moving in and the euphoria of having somewhere to call your own, sometimes we neglect spending the proper amount of time on planning, leading to renovation drama. It is easy to pick interior designers from a phonebook but how do you know you will like what they have decided on your behalf? Many Singaporeans have faced issues with their homes after renovation has been completed and unfortunately it just takes more time and money to fix these. Reading through these common reno blunders might help you steer clear of the same fate.
There’s a saying that goes, ‘If you fail to plan – you plan to fail’ and it holds true time and time again. Just looking at pictures in catalogues or roaming through IKEA’s extensive isles and expecting the same layout to work in your house without proper consultation, measurements and procedures is a recipe for disaster. Having a proper sit down with an interior designer who knows his or her stuff is absolutely essential. Talk through various ideas and possibilities of where things could go in your house and don’t be afraid to change the layout of your house. Breaking down a few walls before you move in is always better than deciding that you have to move out again to get more work done in the future.
Many rookie homeowners start with not much in the bank and therefore will always choose a cheaper option. Remember that money saved now may end up being money spent later. And it will probably be a lot more later. Don’t think of ways to skimp on renovation but do think smart. Whatever your initial budget is, it may be a good rule of thumb to raise it by 15% to make up for any unexpected extra costs that come along the way.
Just because it is on Instagram it doesn’t mean that it will work for your house. This is especially true of HDB resale houses, unless you are willing to spend the money. Sometimes the styles, shapes and colours we see online just don’t fit with our homes due to things like lighting or space constraints.
So often, we want homes to be aesthetically pleasing, so we buy all this fancy schmancy furniture and stick them in every nook and cranny we can find. Thus forgetting that we actually need practical storage space for all our stuff! Maximise storage space by getting floor to ceiling cupboards that are built all the way into the recesses of the wall. If they’re not stylish enough for you, design their facades with mirrors, decals or fancy paintwork.
Working from home this year may have been a big problem for many people. Perhaps extension cords were running all over your room to power up computers and charge phones. The lack or improper positioning of electrical sockets are some considerations we usually overlook. Sometimes we find sockets hiding behind beds or in such high places they’re virtually impossible to use.
Poor lightning and ventilation are common issues in households. Lights may have been chosen from showrooms with high ceilings; transported to the average home, they make tiny homes even tinier. Chandeliers and fans may encroach into your headspace. Where you place your fans and lights is also important. Did you realise too late that you needed one in your kitchen or maybe two in the living room? Think about the spread of light and wind around the house. Maybe just one light and one fan is not sufficient.
If the lockdown and confinement period this year taught us anything, it would be to declutter. Having too many things in your house, especially if they’re badly placed causes nothing but trouble. Inhabitants unable to move without bumping into something or each other are not happy home dwellers. Control the flow of traffic in your house by having clear lanes and spaces for both people and things.
Remember that having clear requirements, proper planning, and a good conversation with someone who knows better could save you a lot of grief and make moving into your home a much smoother experience.