• Sense & Semblance

Basic Renovation Tips for First-Time Homeowners

So… you’ve just gotten your keys to your new home and now, you’re picturing how you want your dream house to look like. You know you want to renovate your house, but you don’t know where to start, right? Well, you are not alone. Renovation your first home can be stressful and daunting… but it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some basic tips that will help make your renovation journey a little smoooother.

Tip #1: Prepare and plan ahead

One of the most common blunders new homeowners make is diving headfirst into the renovation project without a single clue of what to expect. However, jumping into it unprepared may result in undesired renovation mishaps, causing the process to be full of disappointment.


Give yourself a realistic timeline and understand that your home renovation can take longer than you think. With proper time planning, it allows you to have extra (precious) time on hand. As such, you will be able to do more in-depth research and decide on your preferred design style before meeting different IDs.


Consider the factors that are important to you. How long do you plan to stay in the home? Are you planning to have kids in the future? Will your elderly parents be moving in with you? Planning ahead will help you decide if your project will still match your expected lifestyle years down the road.


Tip #2: Set a budget and put money aside for it

Everyone knows the importance of budgeting and it only makes good sense to do so. The budget needs to be a rough figure for the entire project. What this means is that besides labour and material costs, costs for FF&E (furniture, fixtures and fittings), electronics and appliances have to be factored in as well.


Set a realistic budget for the project that includes all the estimated costs. While one typically strives to stick to the initial planned budget, don’t forget to set aside some spare cash that might come in handy in the event of any unforeseen “emergencies”.


Also, share these numbers with your ID! These professionals will be mindful of your budget, and it helps them to better plan and allocate resources accordingly.


Tip #3: Don’t follow design trends blindly

It can be tempting to incorporate various Pinterest-worthy elements into your dream home… we understand. Unfortunately, blindly following design trends can pose a great risk. Certain “of-the-moment” features, albeit aesthetically-pleasing, can require tons of effort to upkeep. Think about your living habits – do you lead a busy lifestyle with little time for housework? If your answer is yes, go for design features that are low-maintenance. You will definitely thank yourself for that in the long-run!


Take time to conduct in-depth research and consider thoroughly if a particular design theme fits your budget and lifestyle needs. For instance, white carpets are beautiful and a timeless piece, but they are also more prone to stains and can be a pain to clean… definitely not a good idea if you have little children.


Communicating your future plans will also make it easier for the ID to personalize the desired layout and features of your home to suit your family’s lifestyle needs.


Tip #4: Compare renovation loan packages

You are most likely feeling the financial pinch from forking out cash from your hard-earned savings or CPF account for the downpayment of your home. And now… the next question is, what about your renovation costs?


Banks in Singapore offer renovation loans for homeowners to finance their renovation works, allowing them to take up to five years for repayment. Do proper research to assess if you fulfil certain eligibility criteria to apply for one.


Compare the renovation loan packages offered by different banks as they may have varying interest rates, loan quantum and additional fees. Check with your home loan provider to see if they offer exclusive discounts since you are already an existing client. With this information, you can then choose the cheapest renovation loan available on the market.


Tip #5: Don’t rush your renovation

We get it – you’re excited for your new home and so are we! However, renovating your new home takes time and if you want good results, it is important not to rush unnecessarily. Designing requires careful thought, which is why it is usually the most time-consuming part of your renovation journey.


Avoid rushing into making decisions – if not you might find yourself in an exasperating situation. Once the renovation begins, any further changes may result in time delays and unnecessary costs. Nobody wants that, right?


Give some serious thought to what your ID proposes. Afterall, you will have to live with these decisions for several years, in addition to shelling out a 5-digit sum for the project. Cheap renovation packages may sound tempting, offering prices too good to be true. Make sure you know what the catch is and if there are any hidden costs involved before committing to it.




We hope the above tips come in handy for renovating your first home and may your renovation journey be an enjoyable one!