Getting the keys to your first home and planning for its renovation is one of the challenges that you and your spouse will face. It is a fun exercise worth planning together, but not when you end up overspending beyond the budget that you have set aside.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of cost items to take note when doing your home renovation. Contractors may not include some of these items because it is assumed that you know these costs are covered separately. Some might deliberately leave these items out to make the quotation look cheaper, only to add them on once you have confirmed the project.
1. Cost Of Electrical Work
Electrical work is a cost that is usually outsourced from your interior designer or contractor to an electrician that they work with. Most quotation should provide an estimated cost.
Get your contractor to give you an accurate estimation based on your expectations. This does not necessarily need to be the exact amount, but at the very least, an estimated figure along with an explanation on how this cost is derived would give you a guide on how the charges are like.
If the figure appears too high, you might want to check with other electricians as well to see if you can find a cheaper alternative.
2. Bathroom Accessories
Bathroom accessories such as shower screen, storage heater, mirror, towel shelf and rain shower equipment may appear like reasonably priced items individually. However, when you add them up, this could easily exceed $1,000 per bathroom.
Some contractors may charge you for the installation of bathroom accessories. Again, this might not be reflected in the original quotation. Hence, it is worth finding out how much installations would cost and if you could possibly get it waived.
3. Curtains, Air cons, Window Grilles
Most homeowners in Singapore would want all 3 of the abovementioned items in their home. These are items that are unlikely to be included in the quotation that your contractor gives you.
These items can easily cost you between $4,000 and $5,000 in total so they deserve to be included as part of your budget from the get-go.
4. Lighting Fixtures
If you ever wondered why condominium show flats always look so good compared to the actual product, pay a closer attention to the lighting fixtures in these show flat units.
You would realize that many average-looking units can look beautiful once the right type of lighting is installed. A spa theme bathroom can only be achieved if you used the right type of lighting fixture for it. Likewise, no amount of renovation can make your bedroom look like the Shangri-La unless you pay special attention to the lighting of the unit.
Getting the right types of light is not going to be cheap. A contractor (or interior designer) should be able to advise you on the type of lights you need and the estimated amount it is going to cost you.
5. Haulage, Painting & Cement Screeding
These are the unavoidable cost that you will be incurring, and which you should ensure is in your original quotation. Haulage and painting cost is almost always required while cement screeding is needed for HDB flats that do not come complete with tiles.
Most contractors should automatically include these costs. If they don’t, you should double check with them on why these items were left out, rather than for these costs to be passed on to you at a high markup after the renovation project has commenced.
What Else Did We Miss Out?
There is no doubt there would be other different types of hidden costs that we have not included. Share with us on Facebook what are some of these costs that you know of.
DollarsAndSense.sg is a website that aims to provide interesting, bite-sized financial articles which are relevant to the average Singaporean. Subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available on our website. Follow us as well on Instagram @DNSsingapore to get your daily dose of finance knowledge through photos.
Bonds and Fixed Income