Here’s How You Can Save More Than $30,000 on Your Renovation Costs
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Here’s How You Can Save More Than $30,000 on Your Renovation Costs

profileXue Miao
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Adulting might be 90% horrible.

But one of the good things that come out of it is being able to afford your own place.

While looking into methods to save for your new home, one big price tag that comes with it would be renovation costs.

While most of us eager homeowners would have our own dream Pinterest-worthy homes, we acknowledge the fact that the more we wanna zhng (read: beautify or upgrade) our space, it also means more dollars involved.

If you’re one who is looking to shave some dollars off your renovation bills, be sure to check out some of the tips below!

TL;DR: Here’s How You Can Save More Than $30,000 on Your Renovation Costs

What You Can DoApproximate Cost Savings
Design It Yourself$10,000
Have Fewer Built-In Furniture$10,000
Buy Big-Ticket Items at a Discount$6,000
Getting Your Lights and Fans From Malaysia$2,000
Omit False Ceilings$1,680
Choosing Vinyl Flooring$3,000
Use Paint for Your Feature Wall$2,000
Use Bulky Item Removal Service by HDB$50
Use Cards to Maximise Cashback/Miles$500
Total$35,230

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. These prices can vary based on the size of the house, types of materials chosen, etc.

Design It Yourself

paintbrush and paint

Interior design companies usually offer comprehensive services.

These services include project management, design consultations as well as other miscellaneous works.

Engaging an interior design firm would be appealing for time-starved working adults, as it brings about convenience since the project management portion of the renovation process is being outsourced.

However, hiring such a service would also mean a bigger price tag.

According to Sghomeneeds, interior design projects cost about $25,000 to $45,000 for a 3-room BTO renovation, and $33,000 to $58,000 for a 4-room BTO renovation.

In addition, there is a risk of encountering horrible interior designers.

If you’re someone with an eye for detail, it is totally possible to garner inspiration from Pinterest, and shop for your own materials and supplies.

This is especially so for projects that do not require a lot of remodeling.

For such cases, you can whip out your trusty DIY skills, and also source for your own contractors.

Personally, I totally don’t mind that few months’ worth of trouble and work, if I could save that extra chunk of money. 😉

Have Fewer Built-In Furniture

bookshelf furniture

In order to increase storage space within the small space we have in our current HDB flats, built-in furniture might sound great.

However, these custom carpentry would usually end up being rather pricey due to the workmanship and design that goes into its personalisation.

Custom carpentry alone would usually set you back by at least $10,000.

Loose furniture is usually cheaper as compared to built-ins.

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.

Also, if you are looking to shift houses in the future, having loose furniture means being able to bring them over to your new place.

No need to get brand new furniture when that happens!

However, for those who still prefer to have furniture with customised dimensions, IKEA’s PAX Planner is a good alternative for your customised wardrobes!

IKEA PAX Planner
Source: IKEA

You can build your wardrobe, from choose your own dimensions for the racks and fixtures.

One way for your apartment to look good is to go for the minimalistic theme (which is also so trendy nowadays).

hdb flat dining room area homerenoguru
Source: Homerenoguru

This space is a good example.

So pleasing to the eyes, and still so gorgeous.

Buy Big-Ticket Items at a Discount

sale discount tag

Purchases like dining tables, mattresses, TV, sofa, or your fridge which might cost a bomb altogether.

A great way to save on these purchases is to wait for festive stock clearances and seasonal sales.

Retailers usually hold sales to clear their existing stock, to make way for newer models.

These sales are usually AMAZING. (Often more than 50% off!)

Another way to clinch good deals is to purchase display sets from retailers.

These sets are usually still pretty new as models get replaced rather quickly, and they come at a huge discount.

In addition, you can also try your luck with haggling at departmental stores, citing that you’ve seen a better deal somewhere.

Chances are, you might be able to get a couple of bucks off, or get bundled deals at great value.

I know of someone who got a great deal for a TV and soundbar bundle through haggling.

In addition, there are retailers who are offering special deals through group buys or BTO projects.

For instance, Gain City offers special deals for BTO projects.

Do keep a lookout for them!

Getting Your Lights and Fans From Malaysia

fan

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!

One popular spot frequented by house owners is Tampoi Lighting Centre.

Another would be Starworld Lighting, which is just a stone’s throw away from Tampoi.

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

Also, do check on your dimensions such as maximum height for your fans and lights to fit your room.

Do your homework before your trip to avoid making repeated trips!

Omit False Ceilings

ceiling lamps

False ceilings might help in hiding of unsightly cables to provide a more seamless look.

They might also come in handy if you are looking to install cove lights, to light up your space like an atas hotel.

However, false ceilings may not only be costly, but might also cause your place to feel slightly more claustrophobic (with the size of HDB flats we have now).

Cove lights are also very expensive due to the lighting components, as well as its workmanship.

To create a brighter look for your space, you might like to look into incorporating mirrors and glass panels at areas with the sunlight filtering in.

Besides that, light wall colours also help in brightening spaces up!

Choosing Vinyl Flooring

flooring pattern

Vinyl flooring is a popular choice when it comes to cost savings.

Vinyl flooring is also generally more affordable than tiles or parquet.

Though there are also exceptions (very expensive vinyl vs cheap tiles).

In addition, for house owners shifting into resale units, vinyl flooring can be overlaid on top of existing tiles.

If tiles are chosen, hacking has to be done for the existing flooring.

And hacking costs $$$.

This process (and retiling afterwards) means more downtime and also the need to ensure that water-levelling and waterproofing is all done well, to prevent major issues in the future.

However, do consider whether vinyl is suitable for your home, as it does come with a few disadvantages such as being easily scratched or having a shorter lifespan.

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

Use Paint for Your Feature Wall

wall paint blue

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.

Use Bulky Item Removal Service by HDB

yellow sofa

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)!

There are a few things to note for such services.

For instance, there is a monthly limit in the number of items removed.

Also, there might be exclusions to certain types of items that can be removed, such as large furniture, built-in fixtures, or pianos.

Use Cards to Maximise Cashback/Miles

Now, this is definitely a must for any big purchases, amirite?

Never slip up on any chance to maximise your cashback or miles, especially for big purchases!

I’ve personally seen friends chalking up enough miles to fly first-class flights for honeymoon for TWO. 😱

cashback credit card with no minimum spend

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

Home Renovation Hacks That Will Save You Money

Owning a home usually comes with a huge price tag, but there are ways to trim that bill.

If you’re looking to get more tips and advice on your home or renovation journey, check out some tips we have at our SeedlyCommunity!

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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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