12 Tips To Renovate Your Home On A Budget In Singapore!

12 Tips To Renovate Your Home On A Budget In Singapore!

Been living in your apartment and always wanted a renovation to refresh the look of your home? Then you have to prepare tens of thousands of dollars to get started! In fact, the average cost of renovating a 4-room HDB flat can cost around $56,000, that isn’t exactly cheap! This is doubly true especially if you are looking to deck out your kitchen or give your living room a significant transformation.

In addition to the cost, you will have to be prepared to set aside up to 8 weeks of downtime when you are renovating your HDB flat. That means additional cost if you have to find accommodations during that period if you can’t move in with your parents or relatives! But before you throw up your hands in the air and scrap your renovation plans, don’t worry! You can definitely renovate your home on a budget and give your living space a swanky new look that you and the family will be proud of!

1. Do A Clean-Up & Rearrange Your Home First

A great first step is to clean up your house and sort around your household items and furniture, and that means throwing away or recycling unnecessary items that no longer serve any purpose. This will allow you to clear away unwanted clutter and also expands your living spaces, allowing you to view your home in a brand new light.

While you might feel lazy embarking on a cleanup, these following benefits might just make you change your mind:

  • You might discover a new purpose for that extra room in your home and decide to turn it into a study room or even a home gym!
  • Visualise how your items are to be arranged and how extensive a renovation you will need.
  • Raise money by selling old furniture and appliances online, adding much-needed cash into your renovation budget!

Best of all this clean up can be done at your own schedule and doesn’t cost a single cent!

clean up home

2. Plan & Prioritise Your Rooms For Renovation

Always plan your renovation first before you call your interior designer or contractor and the first step is to prioritise your rooms for renovation. While it is ideal to renovate and breath new life into every single room in your home, sometimes it is just not feasible especially if you are on a tight budget. Instead, what you can do is to prioritise the rooms to be given a make-over and allocate your budget accordingly to how extensive the renovation is going to be. It is much better to focus on a few rooms (or maybe even just the living room) and get it done really well to your satisfaction than a haphazard renovation across the entire house!

plan your rooms

3. Skip The Fancy Boutiques & Head To Places Like IKEA

Sure, that fancy Italian leather sofa for your living room and that sandalwood desk for your study will definitely be great additions in your home renovation but not exactly budget-friendly when it comes to the big picture. Skip the fancy limited edition furniture boutiques and head to locations where you can get quality furniture at a fraction of the cost!

Here are a few great locations you can consider to get your furniture shopping done at fantastic prices:

  • IKEA: Perhaps the most affordable mega furniture store in Singapore (and perhaps the world), IKEA offers you a wide range of furniture perfect for your renovation needs. From rugs to beds to armchairs and cupboards, if you seek it, IKEA most likely has it!
  • Courts: While Courts is known for their computers and appliances, Courts also have their own range of contemporary furniture with regular discounts of 50% or more! If you want to stretch your renovation dollar even further, Courts is a great place to shop.
  • Forty-Two: With a massive range of furniture in their catalogue, FortyTwo is a great place online to browse and buy a wide range of furniture that covers everything from dining furniture to lightings and beddings.


4. Refresh Your Old Sofa With New Upholstery

One of the bigger costs when it comes to the furniture aspect of your renovation is your sofa, they can easily range from the hundreds to thousands of dollars!

Instead of buying another sofa brand new, consider revamping your current one with some new upholstery to match the new design you are envisioning. A two-seater sofa will require no more than 10m of fabric and shouldn’t cost you more than $30 to $60 a metre – that means $600 in total on the high-side, much cheaper than a brand new sofa.

One great place to source and browse through a myriad of designs is Spotlight Singapore.

refresh old sofa

5. Be Creative With Various Types Of Curtains

One of the best ways to inject your room with new life and colours without blowing up your budget is to get creative with curtains and blinds. Depending on the style you are going for, here are 3 types of curtains that would fit nicely into your renovation plans:

  • Pleated Curtains: If you are going for a formal or traditional style, this type of curtains will be a good option due to them being made from thicker and heavier fabrics. Pinch pleat curtains that are stitched and pinch at the top allows you to infuse your bedrooms with an elegant look while box pleat curtains are more suitable for dining rooms and lounges.
  • Eyelet Curtains: Embodying a modern style and being easy to open and close, grommet curtains are an excellent choice and practical for bedrooms.
  • Rod-Pocket Curtains: Made of lightweight or sheer fabrics, these curtains are more casual and make a great addition to living rooms (if you are going for a minimalistic look) or the study and relaxation rooms.

Wondering where to browse and buy these curtains? Check out mc2 and The Curtain Boutique in Singapore, both of which have fantastic galleries for you to view and enquire.

Remember to choose your curtains wisely!


6. Ditch The Marble Flooring & Go For Rugs

When it comes to renovation, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is a new sparkling marble flooring or quaint parquet flooring, however, that might not be feasible if you are on a budget.

One great way to refresh your floor look is to introduce a rug and not just any random rug, but one that is custom made to your specifications and look to complement the overall theme of your room. From intricate traditional patterns to modernistic and contemporary shades and textures, rugs allow you to breathe new life to your room’s overall feel.

If you are looking for custom rugs or carpets in Singapore, check out Jehan Gallery!


7. Utilise Wall Panelling For A Fresh New Look

If you are getting bored of the same four walls in your room, wall panelling is a great way to hide old and drab walls (especially if the paint job has worn off)! Not only does it help cover up the old, but it also doubles up as a feature in the room that will help draw interest to, especially if other parts of your room don’t really change.

From soft-stone and wooden fluted panelling to brick panelling, wall panelling can help refresh the entire look of your room with just minimal investment.

wall panelling

8. Go Green With Potted Plants

If you haven’t noticed, most beautiful homes always seem to have a touch of greenery in their rooms and it might be time for you to follow suit! Not only are potted plants highly affordable, low maintenance as well as coming in various aesthetic styles that will suit many of your renovation styles that you desire.

But that’s not all, green plants in your own can also help purify the air in your home, reduce stress and repel insects, making it not only a showpiece in your room, but a feature that has practical benefits!

Here are some indoors plants to consider that are both beautiful and practical:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Bonsai
  • Ficus (Fiddle-Leaf)
  • Monstera
  • Golden Pothos

Want to learn more about the exact type of potted plants to get and their benefits? Check out our article on 8 indoor plants that you should know before buying!

potted plants

9. Pay In Cash To Enjoy Discounts

While many renovation and interior design firms will gladly allow you to pay in installments, the smart renovator will choose to pay in full using cash.

Why? It’s simple! When you pay in cash and in full, you have the power to bargain and obtain a significant discount from the renovation firms and dodge any credit card charges or interest charges!

Here is a basic rule for you to stick to, especially if you want to renovate your home without incurring any crushing debt – ‘If you can’t pay in cash, you probably shouldn’t choose it’.

It’s time to stretch that dollar by paying in full!


10. Hire Only The Help That You Need

When it comes to renovation, there is a temptation to just kick back and hire 3rd-parties to get everything you need and handle every part of the renovation process. But that will cost you quite a sum of money that is billable by the number of hours of help that you enlist – which could easily add up to thousands of dollars!

Here are three great ways to hire only the help that you need so that you won’t get in the way of the renovation process but won’t also blow up your wallet as well!

  • Handle all of the DIY furniture or assembly yourself: If you buy furniture from places like IKEA, most of them can be assembled by yourself and provide clear instructions on how to do so.
  • Hire friends that are in the renovation trade: Whether it be contractors, flooring specialists or interior designers, you can hire them and negotiate if they can provide you with discounts (which they probably will!).
  • Get the family involved: From cleaning the home and transporting the furniture from the store back home to helping you assemble that new wooden cabinet, it’s time to get each family member to help you with the renovation. 

Hire intelligently, get your family and friends involved in your renovation. Not only will you be able to save money and time, you will also spend quality time with your loved ones as well!

renovation process

11. Focus On Long-Term Savings For Appliances

Renovations normally involve the purchase of new appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, water heaters, lightings as well as a washing machine – all of which are energy intensive appliances! While you might be tempted to shell out the bare minimum for these appliances, saving that sum of money upfront might not be such a wise idea.

With electricity prices constantly fluctuating, it is much smarter to purchase energy efficient appliances that might cost a little more upfront but will help you save on the electricity consumption.

How do you spot such appliances?

It’s easy with the tick system from the National Environment Agency (NEA). Just look for the green tick label below on your appliances before you consider purchasing them.

green tick label

The more ticks there are, the more energy-efficient the appliance is – which means the greater the amount of savings you will enjoy! Looking to buy an energy efficient aircon that will help you save money over the long-term? Check out our article on how to select the best aircon in Singapore!

12. Ditch The Plan To Structurally Change Your Home

One of the biggest renovation expenses you can dodge is structurally changing the layout of your home. That means removing walls, changing the location of your toilets and merging two rooms into one. While you might have a grand plan for a mini-cinema room, drastically altering your home’s blueprint will incur a huge amount of investment that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

This will not only come from the materials needed, but also the level of professional help you have to engage that might cost you a tidy sum. Unless the functionality of your living space is really intolerable, it is better to focus on other aspects of your home renovation and leave the idea of changing your home’s layout alone!

Fund Your Home Renovation By Saving On Your Electricity Bill!

Let’s face it, we can all benefit from more money in our pockets, especially if we have home renovation plans on the horizon. Thankfully, with iSwitch, you can enjoy monthly savings off your electricity bill with our price plans. 

Whether you are looking for guaranteed savings or enjoy a fixed rate for a few years, we can help you begin the road to consistent savings on your electricity consumption!

Learn more about our residential price plans and sign-up online today!


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