Save More on Renovation With These 9 Budget Hacks!


Renovating a home is still set to be a costly affair in 2017. Average renovation costs ring up to a tune of $51,000, according to data extracted from projects and contracts on Qanvast. 

Yet we’ve seen some achieve gorgeous spaces – on an ultra-tight budget. All it takes are the right choices.

Hack 1: Split Your Renovation Works

Instead of going for the full shebang, pace your finances better. Think about which works are most important to renovate on right now, and split your house’s renovation into different phases.

Interior Designer: Authors Interior & Styling

Hack 2: Allocate an Allowance for Resales

Resales tend to be more expensive to renovate than brand new BTOs due to dismantling existing built-ins, maintenance works for areas suffering wear and tear, and incompatible components (e.g. tearing out and installing new air-con piping due to uncompatible old pipings).

Interior Designer: Space Factor

Hack 3: Avoid Half-Hacked Walls

Interior Designer: D5 Studio Image

Half walls are more labour and material intensive; you’ll have to fully hack down a wall then build it up to half size. In fact, it might be cheaper to do a fully hacked wall.

Hack 4: Go for Vinyl Flooring

Interior Designer: Chapter One Interior Design

The right flooring material and finish can take up a huge chunk of your renovation budget. The most cost-effective? Vinyl flooring, which is hardy and waterproof – perfect for wet areas.

If you don’t plan to spend much on flooring at all, grind or polish existing flooring for a sparkly new look.

Hack 5: Overlay, Don’t Hack

Interior Designer: Space Factor

As we mentioned, hacking is expensive, and especially so for wet areas like the bathroom where waterproofing works will need to be done. Use vinyl flooring – they can be overlaid on top of existing tiles!

Hack 6: Avoid Circular, Angular or Odd-Shaped Carpentry

Interior Designer: In2Space Interior

Odd shaped, circular or highly detailed carpentry designs require a lot of workmanship and therefore more expensive. Go for built-ins that are linear and simple to cut down on carpentry costs. Otherwise, opt for less-built ins and install loose furnishings instead.

Interior Designer: Apex Design

Hack 7: Go Scandinavian

If you’re not particular, pick the ever-affordable Scandinavian style. Why is this popular look slightly cheaper than other interior styles?

Three reasons:

1. A focus on clean, simple lines and carpentry (point 6!);

2. Emphasis on loose furnishings and décor;

3. A big variety of affordable Scandinavian furniture (think Taobao and Castlery).

Interior Designer: Charlotte’s Carpentry

Hack 8: Paint Your Feature Wall

Interior Designer: KDOT Associates

Instead of spending on wallpapers or fancy craftstone, homeowners can simply spend a couple of hundreds for a uniquely painted wall. It’s no fuss, easy to maintain and doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Hack 9: Don’t Go Overboard with Lighting Points

Interior Designer: Authors Interior & Styling

Lighting (and electrical works in general) can add up to a princely sum during renovation and after in terms of electricity bills. Also, recessed/cove lights can cost a bomb – thanks to the workmanship required and lighting components used. 

Interior Designer: Authors Interior & Styling

Save up by cutting down on the number of lighting points and swapping them for these tricks to bring in light, naturally: 

  • Make use of mirrors and glass panels to bounce off and reflect light to the rest of the space. Place them near a light source or near your windows.
  • Use lighter wall colours like white or cream to create an illusion of ‘brightness’.

Get a detailed breakdown of renovation costs in our ‘Budgeting For Your Renovation’ Price Guide!

How much do each of your renovation works add up? Download our Budgeting for Your Renovation Price Guide and get an extensive low-down on various renovation costs – from carpentry built-ins to flooring – plus the latest trends and useful tips to help you renovate smarter (even on a tighter budget).

Speak to interior designers for free quotes

Whatever your lifestyle needs, the right interior designer can bring these home ideas to life. Request for a quote here, and get matched with 5 interior designers, based on your budget and style.

Want more local home ideas? Download the Qanvast app here. Save your favourite images, discover new home products or simply read up on handy renovation tips to aid you on your renovation journey!


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