Whether you like it or not, there will come a time when you need to do a home renovation to update certain rooms or increase the overall value of your home.
"Creating the space of your dreams is a combination of inspiration and practicality. As we live in our homes, we figure out what is wrong with them. It is through time and frustration we figure out what changes would make our home a better place," says Jeanne B. Lawson, author of The Complete Guide to Renovating Older Homes: How to Make It Easy and Save Thousands.
However, before embarking on a renovation journey, it helps (a lot, actually!) to ask yourself the following questions:
1. What type of renovation do I plan to do?
According to Alex May of Planning Your Perfect Home Renovation, there are three distinct categories of renovating: repair and maintain; refurbish and enhance; and rebuild. "Every renovation is made up of lots of little jobs-painting, polishing, plumbing, removing, demolishing, rewiring, rebuilding."
Will you just need to repair a crack on the wall? Will you transform your traditional-style kitchen into a contemporary one? Or will you hack an entire wall to make the living room more spacious?
"The three 'Rs' of renovating are worth remembering, not only because they help you plan but they also help you understand what you are in for," says May.
2. Which room or rooms do I want to renovate?
Are you only renovating one room or planning to do multiple rooms? It's important to identify as this might affect the overall look of your home. Unless you are going for an eclectic look, a country-themed kitchen seems out of place in an industrial-style home. Knowing how many areas to renovate will also help determine your budget.
3. How do I plan to use the room?
Do you plan to use that extra bedroom as a nursery or storage? Will you need an open kitchen so you can see through the living and dining spaces while you cook? Do you like the living room to be a place where you can host gatherings? Answers to these questions will dictate the layout, budget, and other elements needed in the room you're renovating.
4. How should I allocate my renovation budget?
Budget is one of the keys to a successful renovation. "Pay strict attention to your budget and do not let the remodeling project get out of hand. It is easy to get carried away, buying more than you should and improving the home beyond what the resale market for your home will bear," warns William Resch in Tips When Remodeling Your Home. (We've got great insights on how to allocate your renovation budget!)
5. Will these renovation works increase the value of my home?
You don't want a renovation that will only prove to be a burden to your property, especially if you're planning to sell it later on. Check this list for projects that can actually increase the value of your home.
6. What interior design style do I like?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on personal preferences. One homeowner may lean toward the raw industrial style, while one dreams of a minimalist Zen-like home. Ask yourself which interior style you want for your home so you can plan the look and flow among the rooms accordingly. This will affect your choices of ceiling and flooring materials as well as fixtures and furnishings.
7. Who should I engage for my home renovation?
Torn between hiring an interior designer, contractor, or design-and-build firms? After careful research and talking to various interior designers and homeowners, we have uncovered the differences among these three that could help you differentiate and determine what kind of services you should engage and expect. Let this infographic serve as your guide.
Also, find one that is accredited by CaseTrust-RCMA. By choosing CaseTrust-RCMA accredited companies, your money is protected, and your peace of mind guaranteed.
8. Do I need a permit for the renovation works?
It's important to check before you hack, add, or demolish anything in your home. Whether it's a BTO or resale flat, you have to secure prior approval from HDB. A submission of approval is also needed if you plan to build arches and rounded corners, as well as in situations where the door to the bedroom is repositioned.
And of course, we suggest you inform your neighbours about your renovation, if possible, to maintain a good relationship with them.
9. Am I ready for the renovation?
Renovations almost always involve humps and hiccups. "Keep your emotions in check: in particular, learn the meaning of patience. Frustration can build up, often to the point of anger and lawsuits. Being upset is not going to get the job done," advises Resch.
Prepare yourself and your home for major renovations, including accommodation arrangements, dealing with delays, and many others.
10. Will I be needing the services of a home inspection company?
You've probably heard of many new homeowners' horror stories on piping defects, flooring problems, and architectural issues. Did you know you have the option of engaging the services of a home inspection company to safeguard your home from future safety and liability issues as the Defects Liability Period (DLP) for new homeowners is only valid for one year?