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10 Best Home Renovation Tips to Save You More Than $30,000

10 Best Home Renovation Tips to Save You More Than $30,000

profileXue Miao

Adulting sucks.

You’ve got to deal with getting insurance, paying your bills and all sorts of other responsibilities that make you want to be a carefree child again.

Source: Giphy

That said, one good thing that adulting brings along is being able to afford your own place.

While looking into ways to save for your new home, you’ll also need to factor in the hefty price tag of renovating your home.

We all have our own Pinterest-worthy dream homes,

But unlike The Sims where we can just use the “motherlode” cheat code for an easy 50,000 Simoleons every time we run out of money,

Renovating in real life comes with hard truth that our money is limited.

So if you’re one for cost-savings wherever possible to get the most out of your home renovation,

Here are 10 renovation tips that can save you more than $30,000!


TL;DR: 10 Best Home Renovation Tips to Save You More Than $30,000

What You Can DoApproximate Cost Savings
Save or Skip On Renovation Loan Costs$1,000 - $5,000
Use Credit Cards to Maximise Cashback/Miles$500
Design It Yourself$10,000
Reduce Built-In Furniture$10,000
Buy Big-Ticket Items at a Discount$6,000
Opt for Vinyl Flooring$3,000
Get Your Lights and Fans From Malaysia$2,000
Use Paint for Your Feature Wall$2,000
Omit False Ceilings$1,680
Use Bulky Item Removal Service by HDB$50
Total$36,230 - $40,230

Disclaimer: Values are based on average costs with reference from different home renovation websites. 

It also includes real-life experiences and feedback from house owners.

Do note that these values are just approximate costs and prices can vary based on the size of the house, types of materials chosen, etc.

1. Save or Skip On Renovation Loan Costs

Before you even fork out money for your home renovation, it is important to ensure that you have the finances to do so.

Taking on a renovation loan can help with your cashflow as you will have more breathing room in your finances to invest elsewhere.

However, that also means that you’ll have to pay interest on your renovation loan, which leads to some people preferring to pay everything upfront.

Ultimately, this really depends on your financial situation and preference.

That said, if you are taking on a loan, make sure to opt for home renovation loans, first before taking up a personal loan if you have reached the cap.

Moreover, consider taking on green renovation loans that offer lower interest rates, provided you meet certain conditions.

Green renovation loans are actually a good thing too as you are encouraged to go with energy-efficient appliances, which will also save you some money in the long run!

2. Use Credit Cards to Maximise Cashback/Miles

Never slip up on any chance to maximise your cashback or miles, especially for large expenses such as a home renovation!

I’ve personally seen friends chalking up enough miles to fly first-class for TWO!

When paying for services or furniture, try your best to use your credit cards to lock in all those sweet rewards to get some of your money back.

Here are some of the best cashback cards with no minimum spend that you can check out!

3. Design It Yourself (DIY)

Interior design companies usually offer comprehensive services, including project management, design consultations as well as other miscellaneous works. 

However, these usually command a heftier price tag.

If you’re someone with an eye for detail, consider going directly to a contractor if you have a good idea of how you want your home to be like.

Interior DesignersDirect Contractors
Project management service from planning, designing, coordinating different contractors to supervising to completing the entire process.

If you hate planning or simply do not have so much time to figure out the whatnots, this is a good option.
Gives you flexibility in sourcing the contractors that best fit your budget but is much more time-consuming.

This is a good option for individuals who prefer being more hands-on and already know the specifics they want.
Commands a heftier price tagEasier on your pocket in general as they do not provide design and project management services that IDs do
High level of customisation/personalised services throughout the entire renovation
- Provides floor plan and 3D drawings
- Provides design options to choose from
When you have specific design wants (and don’t want) or have minimal renovation requirements, this can save you time from combing through multiple drafts of designs. An experienced contractor may also provide advice on placements of wiring, furniture etc.
Accountable for your project from start to end unless there is a change of hands. Hence, if something goes wrong, you can still find a professional to seek advice from, including the chosen material and colours. Less accountability if something goes wrong as there is no project manager except yourself. It may be hard to find someone from the industry who may have a good overview to help unless you know someone personally whom you can seek advice from.

For a more in-depth comparison of whether you should choose an interior designer or a contractor, check out this article here:

4. Reduce Built-In Furniture

To maximise our spaces, built-in furniture might sound like a great option.

However, customised carpentry could end up being rather pricey, setting you back by at least $10,000 due to the workmanship and design that goes into it.

In addition, built-ins are not suitable for those who would like to have the option of revamping their spaces, as there would be an added cost of hacking.

If you are looking to shift houses in the future, consider having loose furniture instead as this that you’re able to bring them over to your new place.

No need to get brand new furniture when that happens!

5. Buy Big-Ticket Items at a Discount

We all know that purchases like a fridge, dining tables, and TVs can cost a bomb altogether, so why not try to cut some costs there by waiting for a good sale?

Many retailers hold sales annually to clear existing stock and make way for newer models and with nation wide sales such as the Great Singapore Sale,

You won’t be hard pressed to find really good deals too.

If you know how, you can also find legitimate, imported TVs that cost up to half a local set at retail price (I’ve bought my Samsung 55″ TV for $1,120 instead of $2,400 at Best Denki),

Or find cheap furniture on sites such as Taobao and EZbuy.

6. Opt for Vinyl Flooring

Fancy flooring involving marble, tiles or parquet can be very attractive for your dream home.

Then again, these can cost lots of money and aren’t immune to damage either.

If you’re a bit more careful and want to go for something more affordable,

Vinyl flooring could be a suitable budget option for your home.

Note: The HDB Optional Component Scheme comes with floor finishing. Do compare and see what’s the best for you!

7. Get Your Lights and Fans From Malaysia

A popular suggestion by homeowners is to get lights and fans from Malaysia.

By crossing the causeway, one would find popular brands at more than half the price as compared to Singapore!

Some popular spots frequented by homeowners are Tampoi Lighting Centre and Starworld Lighting with both being just a stone’s throw away from each other.

However, do note that there is no international warranty if you purchase from these stores.

8. Use Paint for Your Feature Wall

If you’re someone who wishes to have a feature wall to spruce up your space, paint might be a good cost-effective alternative.

Paint is also the easiest material to change if you are looking to have the versatility to try something different in the future.

Apart from being more expensive, a feature wall built from other materials might also be more difficult to maintain.

This includes textured surfaces such as stone features, which might be more difficult to clean too.

9. Avoid False Ceilings

Yes, yes we get it.

Everyone loves false ceilings that provide a seamless look while hiding unsightly cables.

Plus, they also come in handy when installing cove lights to make your home look like an atas five-star hotel.

However, do consider that false ceilings are costly and may make your place feel slightly smaller.

There are plenty of other ways to make your space brighter, such as strategic placement of mirrors or using light-coloured wall paint.

10. Use Bulky Item Removal Service by HDB

I never knew our town councils offered free bulky item removal services!

No more having to procure moving services to shift any unwanted furniture out for disposal.

Free things ftw (for the win)!

However, there are a few things to note for such services.

For instance, you can only remove a limited number of items in a month, and there might be exclusions the types of items that can be removed, such as large furniture, built-in fixtures, or pianos.


Home Renovation Hacks That Will Save You Money

Of course, this is not a be-all and end-all guide to renovation hacks. 

If you’re looking for more tips, feel free to ask around in the Seedly Community and share your own tips as well!

Join the Seedly Community

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About Xue Miao
A millennial who is learning to adult. She doesn't believe in the rat race and hopes to live on a farm someday.
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