10 Burning Questions From New Homeowners Before Renovations

Last updated on August 11th, 2018 at 11:02 pm

Congratulations on getting the keys to your new home! You know you are ready to start that home renovation project but you are not sure where to begin. Home renovations is certainly a daunting task and choosing the right person to work with is often a gamble.

Where should you start? What should you consider? How do you make an informed choice?


In this article, we share with you 10 common questions that homeowners often find themselves asking:

1. How many Interior Designers/Contractors should I talk to before deciding?

While there is no hard and fast rule as to how many firms you should speak to before deciding, the average homeowner speaks to at least 3 companies before deciding on The One. This is especially important for you to get a good sense of a reasonable renovation costing to ensure that items are not over priced, but instead value for money. The cheapest quote might turn out to be the most expensive one over time. Make an informed choice and once you have done so, move ahead with absolute confidence with the chosen ID or contractor.

2. When is a good time to talk to an Interior Designer/ Contractor?

A good time to start talking to an ID or contractor is when you are already prepared. Being prepared would mean that you have a rough idea of what you would like for your home and the intended budget. While it is important to take time to select the one suitable for you, but once facts are established and the chemistry is right, you may trust your instinct and take a leap of faith together. The really good ones are probably choosing their customers as much as the customers are choosing them.

3. How much does it cost to renovate my house?

When it comes to renovations, you really pay for what you need to do. In general, new BTO homeowners might require less capital outlay as compared to resale homeowners who may need to do a major overhaul to their homes. EC and Condo owners on the other hand may only require minimal carpentry and other renovation works as their homes are usually quite furnished and in move-in condition already. You would have a better idea of the actual cost if you can provide your ID or contractor with the works required and always try to get them to quote on an itemized basis. This makes it easier for you to know which items contribute to the bulk of the total cost.

While you may also wish to compare pricing of the seemingly same item between companies, do note that different companies might differ in their level of workmanship and can also provide different quality and design selections for the same quoted item, which means you can’t always do an apples-to-apples comparison.

4. Should I find an Interior Designer or a Contractor?

It is common belief that a contractor is someone who only take orders and execute them without giving much advice. On the other hand, an ID is one that may oversee the overall space planning, design conceptualization and advice you on appropriate building materials to use. It might be true in a general sense but do ask the company how would the whole renovation process be like in terms of discussion and communication channel.

It is not uncommon for some IDs to assign another project manager to link up with you after the design is finalized. While some owners are alright with this, some may find it to be confusing and doing repetitive discussions. Also bear in mind that the renovation process is not just about good design in terms of aesthetics. An interior designer should also have the inner understandings of the basic renovation process and the practicality of their designs when put to the test.

A rule of thumb might be that if you do not have too much time on hand or know very little about renovations, you may likely end up incurring extra cost to rework with the individual contractors, in addition to all the stress that comes along. A reliable ID might be able to allay your worries and make your home renovation process a smooth one as much as possible.

Lastly, engage someone whom you can trust upon with their knowledge and skills and that you do like their personal or team portfolios of real photos. (Not rendered 3D drawings!)

5. Is the renovation contract the only amount I need to set aside in my renovation budget?

All renovation contracts will not typically include any furnishing and appliances cost. While some firms may give away some appliances as ‘free gifts’, the above are some significant additional cost that you would have to buffer for in total. Do not over spend on renovations such that you may have to scrimp on at the later stages.

You would not want to be doing up a $50K renovation with only $500 left for your TV, sofa and mattress.

A good advice would be to take a trip down to furniture and electronics shops to get an idea of what the average item that you require cost and tabulate all of them into an excel sheet. Prudent financial planning is an important part of the initial planning process.


Post was in collaboration with minimalist.sg.

READ MORE AT: https://minimalist.sg/10-common-burning-questions-for-new-homeowners/





The Astute Parent

A parent who has a sharp acumen on sieving through 'alien' financial jargon to dish out bite size financial tips from a parent's perspective.