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Hidden costs to look out for so you don’t bust your renovation budget

Waiting for that BTO (that you will inevitably blow the next 30 years’ of your salary on) and well-executed renovation may seem like forever, but with proper planning, it’s not as stressful as you might think.

Financial issues can be a source of anxiety between couples after getting the keys to their new home. So instead of waiting to learn from these mistakes (and avoid unnecessary “discussions” with your other half), take some advice from people who’s been through home ownership so you can “siam” all the hidden costs (and “discussions”).

Home renovation

1. Make up your mind

Take all the inspirations you can online, put up a mood board, consult your ID or contractor, and then stop. You think you’re being helpful by suggesting newer and better ideas every few months, but fickleness in design, construction layouts or furnishing choices will inevitably incur additional costs and cancellation fees.

2. You must be able to navigate your house with a blindfold 

We’re exaggerating, but what we mean is that you need to be REALLY familiar with the layout of your home. Avoid buying furniture or appliances until the renovation is complete. The last thing you want is to end up with a washing machine that cannot fit into the space you set aside for it. Explaining that to your partner will not be fun. TL;DR: Measure EVERYTHING!

3. Cheaper is not better

Those who want to spend more money, raise up your hands. No takers? Good, because we’re on #teamaffordable too. Usually, one-stop design and renovation companies have a bad rep for unreasonable furnishing markups. Not to mention, there have been too many scams and cases of renovation companies running away with the homeowner’s hard-earned money.

But what if a reputable company took control of that, providing 360-solution without the unreasonable markups and risk of scams? Enter DesignStudio by COURTS – in partnership with Ciseern and T-Werkz – which provides a collaboration of both interior renovation services and furnishings at affordable prices. DesignStudio even offers a modest term repayment for the budget-conscious, without the need to visit the bank or take up a loan. So you literally enjoy the best of both worlds with easy monthly payments on your home renovation as well as the latest range of TVs, Home Appliances, Furniture and even Bedding. Definitely more convenient and time-saving, IMHO!

4. Snooze and you lose!

At the risk of sounding like your mother, don’t sleep on it and do your homework. Learn about different materials and costs. Source for reputable and reliable contractors that you can trust to deliver good work, and who can put a reasonable price on their workmanship without swindling you over. Remember, knowledge is power and can put you in a better position when negotiating your renovation contract.

5. Sit down with your partner and work out the budget

It’s no secret money issues can cause a huge rift between couples. Manage your financial expectations right from the start and remember to budget a little more for the “just in case” scenarios. That could mean establishing what is important and not important (“if I have to give up that Dyson vacuum cleaner, then YOU can do more of the vacuuming…”) or even planning out instalments. To that effect, the multitude of payment plans offered by COURTS offer the flexibility to work out your budget versus lifestyle, with term charge rates from 5.99% per annum. Although they may not be as low as those offered by banks, the loans cover both renovation and furnishing costs through monthly payments that can be approved within 24 hours. Too easy!

Hidden cost to take note of…

Electrical rewiring and lighting rearrangement 

 Installing power outlets sounds straightforward enough, until you realise it involves rewiring the entire home, hacking down walls and plastering them back up again just to shift a few cables around. Not only is this a huge hassle, you might even get a shock when the renovation and electrical bills arrive.

Door frame removal

Let’s say you don’t like the door that came with the house. And since you need to live with it for a while, you decide that a new door would make you feel better. Consider then that door frame removal requires more work than expected. What’s more, contractors often charge for both removal and installation, so be prepared to set aside a considerable sum if you plan on getting a new set of doors for your crib.

Debris disposal and haulage

Who cleans the house after renovations are done? It takes more than just a broomstick and dustpan to haul out all the heavy debris and unless you really enjoy cleaning, it’s better to leave it to the professionals. From manual labor required to the lorry rental for transporting the access rubble, there could be additional cost pegged to that.

Floor protection fees 

Think of this as insurance for your floor. With all the drilling, hacking and hammering going on, you don’t want to risk your floors getting damaged during the renovation. Which means more money needed to get it fixed. The horror! Most contractors will recommend insurance so expect to factor it into the overall budget.

Undoubtedly, the process of moving into and renovating your dream home is an incredibly exciting affair. Do your due diligence, and all you need to do after that is to move into your beautiful new home.

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