3 costly mistakes to avoid during renovation

3 costly mistake

There are many costly mistakes one can make when it comes to renovation. For this post, I have listed out the top 3 most commonly happened mistakes that almost all homeowners commit. I will also explain why it is costly (my definition for costly is the additional and more expensive than usual charges) for homeowners.

Costly mistake 1: Not understanding your contract in details

Do you really know what is solid plywood, laminates, BLUM anti slam hingers or internal colour PVC? If you do not know, you must ask. There is very big difference between colour PVC and white PVC for the internal of carpentry works. Prices can defer by 20% or more. During contract negotiation, you could have gotten the colour PVC (internal white PVC is the basic and internal colour PVC is the upgraded better version) at 5% lower as compared to after contract confirmation.

Therefore it is important to understand the full contract details, up till the micro details like what type of toilet bowls or shower mixers installations is included in your contract. Especially for condominiums and landed properties, concealed toilet bowl water tank and shower mixer installation can cost 4 to 6 times more. Normal quotation usually provide only normal accessories installation prices. You really don’t want to get a price shock when your contractor or interior design inform you of the excess charges.

Costly mistake 2: Buying accessories (lighting, bath, or furniture) without your interior designer

The worst situation you can be in is to buy a really expensive accessory but cannot install due to pricing (sometime installation can cost much more than the accessories itself), structure, measurement or ruling (HDB has really strict ruling against concealed accessories, wiring and pipping).

Most of the time, without your interior designer around, you will have no idea about measurements your house, installation issues or even the possible additional cost involved. Almost all purchases are not refundable even if it is not delivered. Some items especially those on promotional prices are not exchangeable. After you have purchased the accessories, if you are unable to install it, you will be wasting your money (some accessories can cost thousands of dollars).

To avoid such situation, your interior designer’s advise is really important during accessories shopping. He will be well prepared with all the necessary information to guide your thru your purchases. All the bath, lighting, furniture and electronic accessories purchases usually cost $10,000 and above (in total). You really need to spend your money on something that you can use and install.

Costly mistake 3: Making changes in the mids of renovation

Making changes in the mids of renovation is very disruptive to the renovation process. The renovation will be delayed and the additional cost will be high. Economies of scale is gained when the workers can do everything within a short period of time. When additional work is required (meaning their part of job is already completed but they have to make another trip back to do another job at the same site), the labour cost is high and there is no economies  of scale at all. With the high levy fee on foreign labour and almost 90% of our construction labourer being foreigner, it is very expensive do a job using multiple trips.

For example after hacking is completed and while doing tiling works, you realised that you need to hack another part of the wall. Not only does the tilers have to stop tiling works, the workers in charge of hacking will need to make additional trip up to the  job site just to deliver additional material, hack a particular piece of wall, followed by clearing of the debris . The hacking of that wall would have cost you just $300 when done during the initial phase of hacking. The last minute hacking will cost $600 because there is no economies of scale.

In conclusion, to avoid all these unnecessary cost and save yourself some money:

  1. be attentive to details (especially to your contract)
  2. make use of your interior designer’s expertise (they are there to reduce your problem and thinking)
  3. be prepared and plan well before the start of renovation (know what you want so that you do not make too many changes)

Blog about Interior Design, renovation and home improvement.


One Response to “3 costly mistakes to avoid during renovation”

  1. Kelvin

    Apr 20. 2016

    Thank you for your share regarding the 3 costly mistakes when we are renovating our homes. I experienced mistake 2 and 3 when I was renovating my place about a year back, especially on the tiles that we bought for our swimming pool but ended up not using. After reading your post here, I fully understand and will remember these 3 mistakes if I am to renovate my home again. Thank you once again sir.

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