My house renovation is starting this week! It’s kinda exciting and we’re anticipating to see how our design comes to realization.
We’ve decided against engaging an interior designer as we have a pretty clear idea of how we want our HDB home to be. And i don’t think I’ll need external help in deciding which colours to use for the walls, flooring, cabinets etc.
I am particularly excited to see how the study room will turn out. It’s a concept we got from our Seoul trip months back.
By handling all the design and planning ourselves, we actually saved quite a lot (but of course with good negotiating skills). This is what we call trade time for money. Below are some useful money saving tips that might be useful for new HDB home-owners who have just collected their keys!
Money Saving Tips for New Home-Owners
1. Use contractor instead of interior designer. If you have a design/theme in mind, you can look for ideas online and show it to your appointed contractor. By using contractor, you save more than 20% which is alot since it is going to be five-figure sum. Check out Pinterest (it’s free to sign up) as I got some of my inspirations from there. You can also check out some local renovation /interior design magazines for ideas and snap pictures of the things that interest you.
If you are looking for a contractor, do drop me an email / message and i will share my contractor’s contact details with you.
2. Negotiate to get the best price. No matter whether you are using an ID or contractor, always bargain. It doesn’t hurt to do so and there’s only upside. Probably the only downside is that the ID or contractor will hate you. We managed to cut the quoted price further by about 15%!
3. Buy electrical appliances during SALE! Great Singapore Sale is a good period to buy electrical appliances and mattress. And not forgetting Philips Carnival (once or twice a year if i am not wrong). We’ve bought Philips air fryer, hairdryer, food steamer, rice cooker for less than $500.
4. Get pre-loved furniture or electrical appliances. I must first say that i don’t really like to use 2nd-hand things and i have never used any 2nd hand things before. But, i was offered a free fridge and super-branded vacuum cleaner for free and they have been used for less than a year, so why not? I rejected the book shelves though. If you have any property agent friends, they might have expat clients moving out and do not want to bring back these things. You can actually buy from them or get them for free. We got them for free because JM’s sis served expat families mainly and there was this family who is moving back to their country after a 1 year stint here.
5. Get your lightings/furniture from Taobao.com. It is really a treasure where you can get things at half the price in Singapore. It has almost EVERTHING you will need – from lightings, furniture to even toilet bowl. Yes, we got a toilet bowl from Taobao!
6. Be active on the Facebook page of your BTO project or at least be active reading the posts by others. Many a times, people share money-saving tips and they organize bulk orders so everyone can save together.
7. DIY your furniture. It’s not just about saving money but it’s kinda fun to make your own furniture or decorations. We’ll be making our own study table and i will be doing the graphic design for the artwork to be hung on our wall. It will be a proud moment for us to see our masterpieces in our home!
I will share pictures of the renovation process, end results and the total costs subsequently.
Thanks for reading :)