How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Renovation/Interior Design

So you’ve got your design plans, picked a designer and have your deadline set. Before you even begin, let’s have a look at the biggest problems most people face when renovating their living or work space.

  • Here ignoring your local building regulation

Every country has a different building laws and regulations you have to follow. Often times, before you can begin your renovation, you will need an approval and permit from your local council. It may take time, but if you are thinking about getting shortcuts, saving time by not inquiring for a permit, think again.

Depending on the size of your renovation, failure to obtain a permit may result in fines, work delays, re-doing your project with an approved license and sometimes even problems when you are re-selling your property. In short, it is not worth the risk.

To avoid any delays, make sure you count in the time taken to obtain the licenses you need.

  • Discounting on quality materials.

Interior designing can cost a lot and you want to cut cost where you can. However, buying cheap materials will only cost you more problems than it solves them.

HGTV’s Don’t Sweat It host Steve Watson says, “One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to home renovation (is that) they try to be cheap when they buy materials. The bottom line is, you’re going to get what you pay for.”

Michael Holmes from Renovating& gave a few tips to follow when choosing materials:

  • Avoid replacing soft lime mortars with hard cement mixes when re-pointing.
  • Avoid hard cement renders on traditional solid-walled buildings — use a breathable, flexible lime-rich mix.
  • Avoid hard cement backing for gypsum plaster on the inside of the external walls in solid-walled buildings.

Quality materials are expensive for a reason – they save you cost in the long run.

  • Discounting on design

According to Michael Holmes, getting a poor design will cause you problems such as:

  • Planning disfigurement.
  • Wastage of space and failing to maximise value.
  • Inaccurate measurements
  • Delays and additional costs.

Nancy Soriano, former editor in chief of Country Living magazine says that, “if your dimensions are off and it’s not equal and symmetrical, you’re not going to get the full impact and effect that you want.” That in return will add to your time and cost of your project.

On the other hand, if you are not confident with your DIY skills, hire a designer. A good designer will help you visualise your vision and turn it into reality. They would also be able to do it within your budget.

  • Negotiating your vision

Since you are paying for this project, you should have the end say. Contractors and designers are there to advice you but you do not have to agree on everything if it is not in-line with what you have in mind.

If the parquet finish is slightly more expensive than you expected and your designer talks you into a different material, you don’t have to agree with it.

At the end of the day, you are not only paying for it, but you are also going to live in it for quite some time and you do not want to end the project half-satisfied. It is more likely than ever, you would end up re-doing your project and spending more.

  • Not sticking to your work plan.

Before you even begin renovation, you should have a plan and stick to it. The reason being is so that everyone knows what to do and when to do it.

For example, you should do your floors before you build your cabinet. If it goes in the wrong order, you might have to rebuild your cabinet again, that will add up to your time and cost.

If changes need to be made, make sure everyone is aware of it.

If your renovation includes fixing or repairing decay make sure that is done first before you build the rest of the space. There is nothing worse than having water leak through your newly painted walls or termites eating through your brand new parquet floors.

  • Discounting lighting

Carpenter Carmen De La Paz says, “Another mistake that homeowners will often make is not taking into consideration the lighting in their home. The lighting in your home can completely change the colors, the feeling and the ambiance.”

Make sure you have enough windows to ensure natural lighting. If your building does not allow you to have enough of them, make sure your design includes enough lighting.

  • Narrow hallways, stairs and doorway

Just because you want to maximise space in your bedroom doesn’t mean you should discount on your doorways and hallways.

These three main space may not look like they do much but they are vital.

Essentially you want your doorways and stairs to fit one to two person. You should also think about moving furniture.

If you are re-selling your property, narrow hallways, doorway and stairs would be a major problem.


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Renovation or designing your own space can be such a hassle at times. However, we hope that this list has helped you to foresee and prevent certain circumstances that might come your way. For more information, please visit ThunderQuote.

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

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