An open concept walk in wardrobe

Qanvast interview – What to keep or change during renovation

Why Knowing What to Keep or Change in a Renovation Matters

September 24, 2019

Knowing what to keep and what to change can save you more than just hard-earned money.

Recently, we crunched the numbers to find out just how much homeowners will need to renovate a 3-, 4- and 5-room HDB flat in Singapore and revealed that revamping a resale home will cost somewhere between $42,000 to $65,000.

With these figures in the ten thousands, that brings us to the question: is it possible to save some money on your renovation, or make it worthwhile in the long term?

Walk In wardrobe interior design
Walk In wardrobe interior design

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Interior Firm: Renolux Interior

The answer is ‘yes’ and it all begins with knowing what’s worth keeping or changing when renovating a resale home, according to the two local interior designers whom we spoke to, Jermyn of Renolux Interior . Here’s what they had to share!

Jermyn from Renolux Interior

To save some money on a renovating a resale home, what features would you recommend keeping and restoring?

Jermyn (J): One of the most common things that’s retained is flooring, specifically marble and parquet flooring. Usually, I would advise homeowners to polish (marble floors) or varnish (parquet floors) because it would cost about 10% of the cost of replacing them.

Other than flooring, maybe the door and door frames. If they are in good condition, there’s no need to replace them. That’s because if you add up the cost of replacing them all, it could cost up to a thousand for a 4-room flat.

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Interior Firm: Renolux Interior

Built-ins, like cabinets and wardrobes, can also be kept, but it depends on their condition.

We have to take a look at whether they are mouldy, whether the hinges are working, and whether they will match the home’s new look. For example, if the cabinets are pretty old and you’re doing up the entire living room, they could look out of place. It’s also important to evaluate how much longer they will last.

What are some factors that homeowners should consider before keeping a feature or fixture?

J: I have met homeowners who wanted to keep certain features in their homes for sentimental reasons, one of them wanted to keep a TV console because it was hand-made by her father. To accommodate her request, we built around the old console, instead of creating a new one from scratch.

But more importantly, safety is a factor that homeowners should think about. If there are fixtures, like doors and windows that are loose, it’s more worth it to overhaul them than risk injury.

Also, if your estate has recently undergone HDB’s Home Improvement Program (HIP), I would advise keeping your current bathroom fixtures as they are still relatively new. Saving money in this area also means you’ll have more resources for the rest of your home.

An open concept island facing the living hall
Open concept Island

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Interior Firm: Renolux Interior

What are some examples of cost-effective renovation works that also make the biggest difference for a home?

J: I would say the two most common types of works that are affordable but have the most value are painting and installing new flooring, specifically vinyl. That’s because if you do both, that would effectively refresh almost every surface in your house. These two jobs also cost much less in comparison to other works like carpentry, yet they have a big impact on the look of a home.`