Carpentry: What you will need to decide

Discussion with your interior designer about carpentry is one of the most headache part in a renovation project. It can take hours with many decisions to make. If possible, try to discuss this issue at a location which is comfortable and quiet. It can be at the interior designer’s office (where all the material samples are easily accessible) or your preferred location, for example the place you are currently staying (where you can be comfortable for the long duration). Following are the major decisions that you will need to make for your carpentry:

Material finishing selection

There are generally 3 types of finishing (using solid plywood):

  • Colour PVC finish (for no door/open concept)
  • Laminate finish (most common with thousands of selections)
  • Veneer Ply finish
Material finish for all carpentry is usually decided before contract signing. Interior designer will recommend the suitable finishing depending on design or budget. However, most first time homeowners do not know the difference between each material finishing. It is good to take a look at the material samples so that you have an idea about what you will be getting. Making late changes at the later stage of the renovation can cost you more money (you have less negotiation power after contract is signed). Different material comes with different cost starting from colour PVC being the cheapest and veneer ply being the most expensive.

Colour or design selection

Laminates samples 1

Laminate samples 2

Colour PVC samples

Veneer ply sample

Veneer ply samples 2

Selecting the colour or design (PVC, laminate or veneer ply) is the part where homeowners usually take a very long time to decide. Even with the help of 3D perspectives, homeowners can still be indecisive because there are just too many choices (different colour shades, tones, surface, design, etc).

After selecting one colour (example laminate for the door of the wardrobe), you need to decide the next colour for the body. The headache will come when you will need to use your imagination to think whether the door colour matches the body’s. This is especially true for woodgrain finishing. Unfortunately, there is no software (currently)that allows you to see your colour selection immediately (meaning select the colours and see the result instantly).

To save time and headache, request your interior designer to preselect all the colours and designs with 3 choices. This is to limit the choices so that it makes your decision easier. Experienced interior designer is suppose to know which selections are the better choices, isn’t it?  For example, your interior designer will select 3 types of grey laminates (shiny grey, matt grey, grey with some design) for your wardrobe door and 3 types of white laminate (shiny white, ivory white, white with flower design) for your wardrobe body. This will limit your selections from thousands to 3 for every decisions (just imagine you still have TV feature wall, kitchen cabinets, bed frame, etc).

Internal structure

This is particularly important for wardrobe and kitchen cabinets. Only you know what you have, what you need, where you want to and how to store your things. Choice one is to list out all your things to store, size and number of your items, how you wish your items to be store (example all the shirts need to be hung instead of folded). Just leave the problem to your interior designer. After he  come out with the solution, you can make changes from there. The other choice is to do it yourself. You will need to know the size of your wardrobe or kitchen cabinet. Do your planning on a piece of paper and consult your interior designer after that.

Wardrobe internal planning sample

Other materials and accessories

Kitchen top: This is usually decided before contract is signed.

  • Solid surface
  • Marble
  • Quartz

Kitchen top sample 1

Kitchen top sample 2

Kitchen top sample 3

Area between top and bottom kitchen cabinets: This is also decided before contract is signed.
  • Spray painted glass backing
  • Tiles
  • Plaster
  • Stainless steel backing

Hinges and drawer system: This is also decided before contract is signed. Good hinges and drawer system such as Blum can increase your carpentry cost by 20% to 40%.

Handles, dish drainer, etc: These are some of the accessories which you will need to decide on the designs and location.

Lightings: You can decide whether you are interested to make your wardrobe or kitchen cabinets more impressive looking by installing lightings. Usually the cost involve is your lighting fixtures. You will need to decide where to install the lighting fixtures so that the carpenter can make spaces for it.

Kitchens accessories: The type of hob and hood, size of kitchen sink, electronics such as microwave move can affect the design of the kitchen.

Blog about Interior Design, renovation and home improvement.


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