Rabu, 20 Juli 2011

Renovating your old apartment?

Since the wife and I have just commenced our fourth major home renovation in six years (and by "major", we meant gutting down the whole interior of the apartment and redo), we like to share with you on things that you probably should take note of when renovating your home.

Please bear with us if you find some of these pointers elementary:

If your apartment is more than 10 years old, it may be a good idea to replace all electrical wirings - these are likely to have deteriorated with age.

For older apartments, you should also think about replacing all iron pipes with PVC ones, as the former are likely to corrode with age - It is definitely less of a hassle (and probably less costly too) to do so when you are renovating your apartment than having to replace the pipes after, e.g. when leakages occur (imagine: sewage pipe).

Again for older apartments, you may want to redo the "water-proofing" of the floors in your toilets and even kitchen - this will reduce the chance of water seepage to the apartment downstairs and having to pay for the repairs.

Try to minimize the hacking of walls if you can - Should you need to rebuilt these in the future, you are likely to get ugly hair-line cracks on the newly erected walls after awhile. This is especially prevalent along the edges between the existing and new walls.

If you must hack off some walls/beams, please make doubly sure that these are not structural walls/beams - we know this may sound obvious to most, but some of you may recall the incident in Jurong East some years ago where residents of a block of HDB flat have to be temporarily evacuated. This was because some smart alack had decided to hack off part of a structural wall in his unit, causing structural instability to the whole block!

Before you start replacing your existing air-cons with higher BTU ones or increase the number of air-con units, do ensure that you have enough power in your apartment to support these – You certainly do not want to cause a power overload in your home.

When working with a contractor, do ensure that all renovation costs are already factored into the original quotation. And should there be any additional work that needs done, make sure that you mutually agree and are fully aware of the extra cost to be incurred – Imagine our shock when one of our previous contractor came to us with an additional bill for $20K after the renovation was completed, supposedly for items that he had omitted in his original costing.

We will add to the list if we think of anything else. Meantime, please feel free to share your renovation "experience" in the comment section.

Happy Renovating!

Per suggestion by our good friend EQ, we have replicated this post on our Discussion Forum. Please visit the page to add on to our list or share experiences!


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