• Sense & Semblance

5 Ways to Save Money on Renovation

Renovating a home often comes with a rather big price tag, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars. This can be extremely nerve-wrecking, especially for those who are tight on budget. We all want that Pinterest-worthy home but often, most of us are reluctant to shell out a huge sum for it due to various reasons. So, with that said, you may ask, “Is it even possible to achieve a gorgeous home on a tight budget? Or do I have no choice but to live in a plain ol’ boring home?”. The good news is you don’t necessarily have to spend a bomb to get your home looking bomb (ha, punny!). With the right design and choice of materials, you can cut costs without cutting corners. Here are some tips to help you shave some dollars off your renovation bills without compromising on the overall look of your home!

Tip #1: Overlay existing flooring with vinyl instead of hacking and retiling

Thinking of re-doing your flooring to match the theme you’re going for? It is a misconception that the only way to change the flooring would be to hack off existing tiles. An alternative (and more affordable) way to do so would be to overlay.


Hacking requires more work to be done and this translates into higher costs. If you’re looking to save some money, consider overlaying the existing tiles instead! Overlaying tiles simply involves placing a new layer of vinyl flooring over the existing ones, without having to hack previously-installed tiles. Not only is it cheaper, it also requires a shorter renovation time! Hacking typically takes 3 days to be completed before it is ready for retiling, and another 3 days for the retiling to be done – that’s about 6 days in total! With overlaying, you eliminate the time required to remove the tiles beforehand, making it a more efficient option.


However, do be sure to check the condition of your existing flooring before deciding which method to go for as not all tiles are suitable for overlaying – especially if they are old and hollow. Overlaying onto unsatisfactory tiles may cause it to pop up and consequently, causing the new flooring to crack. If that happens, you may have to redo the entire flooring which will incur additional costs (that nobody wishes for).


Tip #2: Use paint to create your own unique feature wall

Feature walls are known to give the interior a decorative focal point, making it a popular design among homeowners. However, it can be quite expensive and cost you a few thousands depending on the design and choice of material. And we know not everyone is willing to splash out that much for it.


A good alternative is to do up a painted wall! For those with an ultra-tight budget, consider buying some pints of paint and do-it-yourself­ (DIY). Of course, that would require more time and effort on your part. If you do not have the luxury of time or lack the confidence in painting your own, you can also choose to top up a few hundreds on your painting package to get it professionally done. Both options are comparably more cost-effective and yield amazing results – a win-win situation!


Tip #3: Minimize the use of curves and arches

True that, curves, arches and odd-shaped carpentry are ways to add a unique twist and personality to the interior. Beautiful, indeed! But the downside is that it usually costs more when such designs come into play.


These designs are more challenging to set up due to its complexity. This requires a lot of workmanship and with the additional labor work, naturally, higher costs are incurred. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, try reducing the complexity of the project by opting for simple, linear built-ins instead. This will help reduce the amount of time it takes to build, and ultimately, reducing the construction costs (remember, time is money).


Tip #4: Avoid installing the whole area with false ceiling

No doubt, false ceilings are extremely functional and work very well at concealing unsightly wires, cables, ducts, and light fittings. Costing anywhere between $4 to $6 per square foot to install, it may eventually add up to quite a substantial amount.


Instead of installing the whole area with false ceiling, opt for one that runs just along the periphery of the walls. Not only will it reduce the costs involved, it also retains its aesthetic appeal by making your ceiling look taller while giving you the feasibility to create mood lighting. Sweet, another win-win situation!


Tip #5: Reconsider the type of wardrobe

We don’t deny that sliding wardrobes look amazing, given their sleek and contemporary look. Furthermore, they do not require much space to open up owing to the sliding mechanism. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, sliding wardrobes are typically more expensive than those with regular hinged doors (again, owing to the sliding mechanism).


Of course, there are other factors that affect the overall wardrobe cost, such as the size, material, hardware, and accessories etc. But the general consensus remains that hinged wardrobes, with all above factors being equal, are more affordable than sliding ones – which will definitely help you save some extra dollars!



Remember, many a little makes a mickle. By incorporating some of the above tips, you can save a substantial amount while achieving your dream home.