bto renovation tips

BTO Renovation Tips

by | Jun 4, 2024

You’re absolutely right – renovating your BTO can be both exciting and daunting.

Having seen many homeowners make costly mistakes, I’ve put together a list of insider BTO renovation tips to help you avoid common pitfalls and create the BTO home of your dreams.

Plan Functional Layouts First, Then Focus on Aesthetics

Prioritize functionality and flow before aesthetics. Before you start shopping for furniture or picking out paint colors, create a detailed floor plan.

Consider how you’ll use each room and the flow between them. Think about traffic patterns, storage needs, and the placement of electrical outlets and lighting fixtures. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different layouts until you find one that works best for your lifestyle and maximizes your space.

Remember, a well-planned space will not only be more functional but also more aesthetically pleasing in the long run.

Mistake: Overlooking the importance of space planning.

Many first-time homeowners, especially those living in smaller BTO flats, tend to focus on aesthetics and individual furniture pieces without considering how they fit together within the overall space.

This can lead to cramped layouts, awkward furniture placement, and a lack of functionality. I’ve seen living rooms where the island table blocks the pathway, fresco dining table that requires a long walk from the kitchen every meal time, and kitchens with insufficient counter space for meal preparation.

Embrace Timeless Design Reflecting Personal Style

Instead of chasing trends, opt for classic design principles like clean lines, neutral colors, and quality materials.

These will create a timeless backdrop that you can easily update with accessories or pops of color as your style evolves. Remember, your home should reflect your personality and taste, not the latest fad.

Invest in pieces that you truly love and that will bring you joy for years to come, especially those that can withstand the wear and tear of family life.

Mistake: Choosing trendy designs that may not stand the test of time.

It’s easy to get swept up in the latest interior design trends, especially with social media showcasing picture-perfect homes. However, trends come and go quickly, and what’s hot today might feel dated in a few years.

I’ve seen homeowners invest in bold, patterned feature walls or quirky furniture pieces only to regret them later when their tastes evolve. Moreover, if you have young children or pets, those spotless white fabric sofas might not stay white for long.

Start planning at least 3 months before key collection

Start planning early, create a detailed BTO renovation checklist, and communicate clearly with your contractor. The key is to be proactive and organized.

Begin your planning 2-3 months before your BTO is ready. Create a detailed renovation schedule that outlines each phase of the project and includes buffer time for unexpected delays.

Communicate your expectations and timeline clearly with your contractor and maintain open communication throughout the renovation process. By starting early and setting realistic expectations, you can minimize surprises and ensure a smoother renovation journey.

Mistake: Setting an Unrealistic Timeline

Setting an unrealistic BTO renovation timeline is a common pitfall, especially when you’re excited to finally have a place to call your own.

You can envision being alone with your spouse, being yourselves, putting your feet up on the table, and not having to worry about combing your hair before leaving your room – a far cry from cramped old rental spaces or living with parents. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and underestimate the time it takes to transform your BTO into a reality.

Remember, BTO renovations involve multiple stages, from design and planning to procurement and construction. Each stage requires careful consideration and can be impacted by various factors like material availability, HDB approvals, and unforeseen issues.

Invest in quality materials for long-term durability and satisfaction

While it might require a larger upfront investment, opting for durable materials will save you money and headaches in the long run.

Choose flooring that can withstand wear and tear, solid wood or high-quality laminate for cabinetry, and quality piping insulator for your aircon.

These materials might cost more initially, but their longevity and low maintenance will more than make up for it over time.

Mistake: Opting for cheap materials that may require frequent repairs or replacement.
It’s tempting to cut corners and save money on materials, especially when you’re working with a tight budget. However, this can be a costly mistake in the long run.

Cheap materials tend to wear out quickly, leading to frequent repairs or even replacements.

For example, low-quality laminate flooring might peel or chip easily, while flimsy cabinetry might warp or break down over time. Even opting for subpar piping insulator for your aircon can lead to condensation and water damage issues. Not only is this frustrating, but it can also end up costing you more in the long run.

Research 2-3 experienced, reputable interior design firms

Research credentials, check references, and prioritize experience and reputation. Don’t rush into hiring the first contractor you come across. Take the time to research their credentials, check their references, and review their past projects.

Look for a contractor with a proven track record of delivering quality work on time and within budget. A reputable contractor will be transparent about their pricing and provide a detailed breakdown of costs.

While their prices might be slightly higher, you can rest assured that you’re investing in quality workmanship and peace of mind.

Mistake: Choosing a contractor based solely on price.

It’s understandable to want to save money on your BTO renovation, but choosing the cheapest contractor can backfire. Some contractors might offer low prices to attract clients, but they may cut corners on materials or workmanship, leading to shoddy work that needs to be redone later.

Additionally, inexperienced contractors might not be able to handle complex projects or unforeseen challenges, causing delays and additional costs.

Hire professional cleaners after takeover from ID

Interior firms typically perform a general cleaning before handing over to you. However, it’s advisable to hire professional cleaners and set up a maintenance system for your new space. Don’t underestimate the value of a thorough post-renovation cleaning.

Professional cleaners have the tools and expertise to remove even the most stubborn dust and grime, leaving your home sparkling clean and ready for you to move in.

Once your home is clean, establish a system for keeping it organized. Assign designated spaces for storage, create a cleaning schedule, and make it a habit to tidy up regularly. This will help you maintain the beauty and functionality of your newly renovated space for years to come.

Mistake: Neglecting the post-renovation cleaning and organization.

After weeks of construction and chaos, it’s easy to overlook the final step of deep cleaning and organizing your new space.

However, the dust, debris, and leftover materials can make it difficult to truly enjoy and settle into your newly renovated home. Some homeowners might attempt to clean themselves, only to find it a time-consuming and exhausting task.

Use Layered Lighting for Better Home Ambiance

Consider a layered lighting approach with ambient, task, and accent lighting.

Think of lighting as a tool to enhance your home’s ambiance and functionality. Don’t rely solely on overhead ceiling lights.

Use a mix of ambient lighting (for overall illumination), task lighting (for specific activities like reading or cooking), and accent lighting (to highlight artwork or architectural features).

Experiment with different light temperatures (warm vs. cool) to create the desired mood in each room. Invest in dimmer switches to control the intensity of your lighting and create different atmospheres throughout the day.

Remember, lighting can make or break a space, so don’t neglect this essential aspect of your BTO renovation.

Mistake: Neglecting the importance of lighting in creating the right ambiance.

Many homeowners focus on the bigger picture of their renovation, overlooking the crucial role that lighting plays in setting the mood and functionality of each space.

They might settle for the default lighting fixtures provided by the developer or opt for a few basic lights without considering the different types and placements required for different activities and moods.

This can result in spaces that are either too harsh and bright or too dim and uninviting.

Select Easy-Clean Materials

Choose low-maintenance and easy-to-clean materials for different areas.

For kitchen backsplashes, opt for larger format tiles, solid surface materials, or even glass, which are easier to wipe clean and resist staining. In bathrooms, consider larger tiles with regular grout that can be easily cleaned and resealed as needed.

For living rooms, if you love the look of slat walls, consider using a smooth, faux-slat wallpaper that mimics the appearance but is much easier to clean.

Mistake: Choosing High-Maintenance Materials.

While small tiles might look visually appealing as a kitchen backsplash or in the bathroom, their numerous grout lines can become a breeding ground for dirt, grime, oil stains, and even mold in damp areas.

Over time, grout can also wear and tear, becoming discolored and unsightly, especially with lighter grout colors. Similarly, slat wall panels, often used in living rooms, can be a dust trap, with dust settling in the vertical slats and proving difficult to clean.

Similarly, slat wall panels, often used in living rooms, can be a dust trap, with dust settling in the vertical slats and proving difficult to clean.

Wrapping Up

Need help navigating your renovation and avoiding these costly mistakes?

Explore our customizable BTO renovation packages at LE Interior Design.

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you create the home of your dreams.

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