Renonation x Gain City @ Gain City Megastore @ Sungei Kadut (Meet the Designers) 10-11 Nov 2018

A weekend spent meeting homeowners that took place at Gain City Megastore (Sungei Kadut), an event organized by Renonation.sg. All our ID (Interior Designers) were deployed to the event and formed up teams which took turns to attend to enquiries for their new homes.

As this was a 2-days only event (10/11 November 2018, Saturday & Sunday), walk-in customers were expected and various renovation packages were implemented to cater for both RSVP (from renonation’s invitation) and walk-ins. Floorplan was the only criteria that homeowners were expected to bring along and we did encounter several walk-ins without their floorplans. Fortunately it was not a big issue after all as our experienced ID were still able to offer sound advice and brief package introduction as a free consultation. (with no obligations). It was an enjoyable event for the ID as their bond is strong and offered each other assistance as and when it was required. Great team work effort!

Homeowners were able to browse around home furnishings and electrical appliances as they browsed the first 3 storeys, and the event is held on the 4th storey together with another 6 reputable ID firms. See you in our next upcoming event soon!

Here are the photos taken at the event hall.

Event info can be found here

HDB (Resale) vs Condo Renovation

In this article, we will cover the topic about renovating a resale HDB versus a condominium, and how different they can be.

 A typical 5 room resale HDB and a 3 bedroom condominium floor plan.

A typical 5 room resale HDB and a 3 bedroom condominium floor plan.

The examples below shows general and common items that is involved in a resale HDB and Condominium, quite a big difference as we can see.

 

Resale HDB:

Commonly requested works: Hacking of walls and floor tiles, relocation of lighting points/power points and doors, laying of floor tiles, relocation of piping, plastering works, false ceiling installation, general carpentry works, painting works.

The reason for such massive works involved is because a resale flat has its plentiful amount of floor space to “play” with, building up the design requires space, getting rid of the old tiles, cabinets and even electrical wiring. Forming it up with tangible materials such as feature wall, false ceilings, partition walls, and glass panels etc.

There is also difference when it comes to doing up an old HDB flat, unlike new BTO flats, most of the sanitary and plumbing points such as incoming water pipes, drainage pipes, floor traps and WC for new BTO flats are fixed (unless you opt out the sanitary fittings under the Optional Component Scheme (OCS) during the flat selection appointment), hence relocation requires hacking and reconnection of the points. A case in point, a resale HDB flat would require a lot more hacking works than BTO flats though it may be subjective to individual homeowners.

Just like many new homeowners paying for a big ticket item, renovating a resale flat can be quite daunting as most of the works are involving hacking of existing walls, relocation of electrical power points, and carpentry works etc. Fret not, with the help and advice from professional Interior Designer, such can be meticulously planned and carried out.

Hence making it a dream home can be easily achieved. (No pun intended or to debunk the practical design of current BTO flats)

Check out our reviews here.

Condominium:

Commonly requested works: Installation of feature wall, flooring overlay, general carpentry works.

Usually there isn’t much works required for a newly built condominium as most of the provisions are installed, nicely painted and designed. Most of the times condominium renovations are quite minimal but there are exceptional cases especially for a resale condominium, which homeowners requested to do a major renovation to change the entire look in the house.

Examples of resale HDB renovation works

The below examples of the work in progress are taken from one of our resale projects showing the existing kitchen area with hacking works and after wall tiles are installed.

Another resale flat that went through a major renovation works, showing the kitchen area


Examples of condominium renovation works

Here’s some kitchen work in progress photos of a condominium project showing the existing kitchen area with custom built-in kitchen cabinets and countertop installed.

As seen above, certain works such as partial hacking of wall tiles and installation of electrical power points, relocation or connection are necessary for a kitchen makeover.

Photos taken at a condo project, revamping the toilet, cement screed & water proofing of the floor at the shower area.

In a nut shell, resale HDB renovation works are quite massive as most homeowners request for a major revamp instead of partial works. Condominium homeowners usually retain their original design especially the carpentry works or developer’s provisions as their warranty is still in service, unless it is a resale condominium, major revamp works are possible as well.

 

Below are some photos of our recent completed project at The Criterion, Executive Condominium

Sleep more with fewer distractions

Having adequate sleep is one of many working adults’ wish especially when coping with a new or stressful job, getting used to a new environment or even in a newly renovated home. Yet many of those distractions that we are facing every night is causing the loss of sleep or even poor sleep quality. Have you thought of how to make that few hours of the night more fulfilling?

Let’s spell out the distractions

 

Keep it lean.

There is no need to transform your room into a gym, a workplace filled with laptops or computers, or playroom with a TV screen and video games. All these are taking away your precious sleep. Keep all the electronics out of the bay, especially in your bedroom.

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Save the energy and your pocket.

Keep the room free of gadgets such as cellphone, tablet, laptop, handheld game console or e-book reader. The lesser you use it in your room, the lesser you will need to recharge it, hence saving bills over time! There’s always traditional alarm clock which works all the time.

 

The darker the room, the better it is.

Don’t leave bedside lamps on, eliminate all light in the room, best is to install blackout blinds or curtains to enjoy the total darkness. If a mobile phone is the one last thing you cannot bear to part with for the next few hours, flip the phone and keep the screen-side down.

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Silence is golden.

Unwanted noise and sound is one of the culprits when it comes to sleep, be it from across the living hall, rooms or even across the opposite blocks or streets. Worst still, sometimes it is just out of our control, such as traffic noises or neighbors. There is one way to counter this, by using sound machines which produce therapeutic, soothing and mellow sounds that will aid in inducing sleep, sending you straight to dreamland.

 

Smells and bells.

Another popular method is to introduce aromatherapy but limited to a certain scent which can be very effective to sleep, such as lavender and vanilla. It creates an atmosphere that is calming and relaxing.

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You are how you sleep.

Choosing the right size and suitable type of pillow and mattress makes difference here. If you experience stiff neck or back pains due to the sleeping posture or position, it may be time for a new one. Spend some time trying it out can save you the trouble of getting it replaced, or best still you don’t even need to replace it for a long time. 

We hope you’ve found the tips useful! Follow us on our Facebook for more images, information and tips on renovations! What other tips would you like to share with other new homeowners?

Cost of renovating your HDB home and how to save money on renovation

The biggest complication after getting your BTO or EC is calculating the total cost of renovation. The average cost of renovating a HDB home is slated around $55000. To understand this concern of most Singaporeans here are some advice on how to save money on renovation.

Key components:

·             Price vs Quality: Cheaper packages might come with a downside. Being economical can be a good option but at a cost of compromising quality.

·             Reputation: It is essential to always research the credentials and history of the interior designer before deciding further.

·             Budget: The budget must be set realistically with regular information on sales and promotions.

 

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No one would want their new home to be under unreliable and suspicious firms. Everyone would rather do it once, do it good. It should be noted that renovation cost is usually 5-digits, which is a large amount and should be a long term investment. A proven reliable and dependable interior designer could save you from many unnecessary problems. Apart from reputation, the overall cost of renovation is a big factor before signing a renovation deal. All the materials including wiring, plumbing, furniture and carpentry are not small items that can be purchased easily. Homeowners who are not careful with their budget planning will be surprised by the total sum of renovation cost needed. It is why many homeowners listed renovation cost as their top concern to avoid the burden of repaying loans.    

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Homeowners usually visualised how their future home should look like before renovating. Browsing portfolios of the interior designers served as a source of inspiration. The search for portfolios are considered as homework for homeowners done extensively to suit their design needs. The reliability of the design firm is regularly emphasised before signing a deal. In Singapore, an official regulation for renovation firms and interior designers has yet to happen. This would mean anyone can easily open an interior design firm, claimed to be a well-known designer and accept projects. This resulted in rising number of renovation scams in Singapore. Therefore, a small research goes a long way to decide what is best for your home. Read through social media and forums and reviews on the firm. Importantly, do a check if the renovation firm is registered under ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) to check if their business is legitimate.

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The most important factor in regards to renovation cost is never to pay the full amount of your renovation even before the work has begun. Many homeowners tend to pay large sums of amount even before any work was done. While a few firms would demand a small amount of deposit, regardless of circumstances never pay the full renovation cost before you see anything done. Be concerned with contractors that demand a huge payment upfront. Pay the ensuing instalments only after you have seen actual work done, which means you should also regularly visit your home during renovation to check its progress.

Further mistakes done by Singaporeans includes following unnecessary trends and lack of planning in the long run. Rather than embracing their own creativity, many homeowners tend to follow trends blindly. Trends would not last very long which is why following them are not recommended. As a result, homeowners get tired of the trend after just a few years. It further accelerated into seeking for alternatives which require more cost, time and energy. There could also be problems in regards to obtaining permits from HDB, as certain materials used for renovation can be illegal. While your interior designer firm should be capable of advising you, it is best recommended to make inquiry on what can or cannot be done to prevent further trouble down the road. Any illegal structure can affect the coherence or structure of the house.

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In conclusion, doing your own due diligence is important for better decisions and saving money for your home renovation. Having a wide variety of options is better than having just a single option. Choose the firm you are comfortable with and set a realistic budget. There could be times unforeseen circumstances might pop up and you may not be able to rely on your budget therefore set yourself some buffer amount to safeguard any price changes. Always get advice from the designer on alternative design or materials that can help reduce cost. Again, research is crucial and the designer is also knowledgeable in what to cut. Continuously look around for ideas before jumping into just one. Always keep an open mind, preference of others does not necessarily be suitable for you.  

Inspirations for a small kitchen.

The kitchen is the heart of the home where the bonding of family and friends began through cooking, eating and embracing each others' company daily. For those who love to cook or busy families alike, the kitchen is the core of daily life. A kitchen does not have to be flashy. The best solution to family-friendly kitchens is simply to have more ample space for mingling. Minimalism yet a neat and clean design will make cooking and food preparation much more simple. Here are some tips to create a simple yet clean kitchen for your home.

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Durability and surface of the kitchen stove are important factors for a hygienic kitchen. When one thinks of a material that is easy to clean, metal comes to mind first. The surface of a metal is easy to clean, at the same time have an appealing look. Stains from metal are easily removable. The most important factor of using metal is its ability to transfer heat optimally. 

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The positioning of the gas stove above fits nicely for cooking and for every other requirement as it gives a nice convenience as well as easy to clean and maintain. 

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The peach-like colour scheme of the cabinet above looks simple and normal but the clean palette makes the appearance calm-like. Having a lot of white space can help to reflect light, which gives the impression that the kitchen is smoothly clean yet spacious than it really is. 

Most importantly, embrace your kitchen as it is essential for any home even if it is has a small space. The simplicity of the kitchen will make cooking and food preparation even more simple and fun. With a limited space, the line of vision does not have to be cut off as the kitchen space will look even smaller. A small kitchen does not have to be boring. The overall design of the kitchen shown in this article is compact yet charming and efficient. It is all about working with the layout, a small kitchen can indeed be simple with style. 

 

What's Your (Home) Style?

Like your wardrobe or taste in films, your home is a reflection of who you are. Read on to find out more about your particular style and gain some tips on nailing the look for your home.

Modern

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A modern style, quite simply, never goes out of style. Classic clean lines, a quality finish and timeless design elements define the Modern aesthetic, one that is not easily swayed by the hottest or latest. Materials such as wood, leather and polished metal feature prominently while in terms of colour, the palette of choice is neutrals such as grey, browns, black and white.

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You’ll love it if…

You are a fan of classic, iconic and timeless looks. Think Audrey Hepburn or Marlon Brando. You stay away from the kitsch and trendy and prefer to pick pieces that are clean and unadorned, because for you, it’s all about going the distance. Certainly, time is on your side because the years only prove that a modern style stays relevant at any age.

Scandinavian

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Used to describe design from the Scandinavian countries Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Minimalist in nature, a Scandinavian style is functional and simple and warm. Don’t be deceived by its understated look, behind every well-lit and open Scandinavian home is ample time spent carefully selecting pieces of good craftsmanship made of sustainable raw material.

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You’ll love it if…

You are a fuss-free, minimalist who keeps your external environment clean, perhaps because of a more colourful and creative inner world within. You believe in eco-friendly and sustainable design solutions – where less is more – and have less tolerance for unnecessary clutter or adornments.

Eclectic

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A mixture of styles, influences and inspirations but ultimately tied together in a cohesive whole so as not to descend into messy, cluttered chaos. Eclecticism is one of the hardest styles to master because like painting a masterpiece or composing a song, every object has a particular role to play in the overall harmony and balance of the space. An eclectic style is not afraid to pair zebra stripes with mosaic tiles, floral patterns with baroque, as long as it makes visual sense as a whole.

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You’ll love it if…

You have a bold personality and unique sense of identity that is informed by many inspirations – from the books you read and the films you watch. You have a knack in mixing and matching things effortlessly and have been told that you have a certain flair in the way you do things. You are certainly not afraid of experimenting and being playful with colour and will often try unexpected combinations for fresh results.

Industrial

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Borrowing from the stripped-down style of factories, lofts and yards, industrial design is facing a huge movement thanks to its mass appeal, functional yet edgy elements and affordability. Raw, unfinished and rough surfaces and textures are all part of the industrial style makeup along with materials such as unfinished wood and metal as well as elements such as exposed pipes and light bulbs, cement screed and distressed furniture.

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You’ll love it if…

Utility takes precedence over other factors for you – if it is not useful, it does not belong in your home. Uninspired by cookie-cutter furniture from the usual stores, you possibly have a few home DIY projects up your sleeve, including up-cycling salvaged materials and reclaimed furniture. While you definitely prefer function over form, you manage to stay cool with sturdy and solid pieces to go along with your raw and direct personality.

Minimalistic

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Minimalism is almost an un-style – the opposite of style. It is philosophy of living with only the bare essentials so as to almost become a discipline. Simple, clean lines and shapes, minimal and natural colours, basic furniture and lots of space mirror an owner who believes in paring life down to the key fundamentals. No decorative elements, unnecessary adornments or features are allowed as they are distracting to the pursuit of purity.

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You’ll love it if…

You believe strongly in the intangible and the immaterial in life more than the material. You constantly try to de-clutter and cut back on the amount of things you need and want in life. All this inner work is reflected in your outer world, and you think twice before ever buying one more thing extra to add to your home. You strive to keep your house simple, basic and clean – just like you.

At the end of the day, all you need is an interior designer who perfectly encapsulates what you want in your home, and 9 Creation can help you to connect with our interior designers.

5 Important Pre-Renovation Planning You Should Not Neglect

You may think that the bulk of a renovation process lies in the period when the house is undergoing renovation work, but the truth is there is a lot to be done pre-renovation too. So what are some of the things that you absolutely need to pay attention to before you renovate? Read to find out!

1. Decide if you plan to live in this house for 5 years, 10 years, or a lifetime

Before anything else, ask yourself this crucial question: How long do I plan to live in this house? If it’s only for a short while, then making decisions are easier since it’s unlikely that you’ll be making huge changes to your home. However, if you plan to live it for the next 10 or 20 years, you’ll have to consider the needs of anyone living with you. Do you have kids now, or are planning for one? Are your parents staying with you in the future? Think about the space that each person needs, and go from there.

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Tip: Leave one bedroom empty if you are planning for kids. Use it as a storage or entertainment room before that, and renovate it before the arrival of the little ones. Instead of fixed carpentry, consider having loose furniture such as a chest of drawers, wardrobe, etc. You can easily replace the theme and furnishing of the room once your toddler has outgrown them.

2. Analyse your family dynamics and flow

Have family members who need loads of quiet time? Or maybe you need a quiet personal office at home. How about lively kids who may disturb the grandparents’ rest when they play? Such family dynamics should be considered when it comes to planning and allocating the space in your home.

In the mornings, will there be a squeeze in the hallway with sleepy bodies shuffling off to the bathroom? Prevent this by paying attention to traffic patterns in your home, to ensure that everything flows smoothly during stressful mornings at home.

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Tip: Consider having a multi-purpose study room, as it can also double up as a make-shift guest room for your parents who might want to pop over for overnight visits from time to time. You can also add child-friendly stairs for the little human to meet their needs.

3. A renovation should be an investment that adds value to your home

You can skimp on most things, but a renovation is not one of them. Cutting costs by going for cheaper materials may seem tempting, but can you guarantee that they won’t end up breaking on you in the long run, with you forking out more to cover the original slipshod work?

Think of a renovation as a long-term investment that increases your gains, by going for workmanship and materials that are good quality and long lasting.

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Tip: Workmanship is not just about design materials. It is also about the hardware and mechanism, such as soft closing, doors, wardrobe hinges, etc. Invest in good stainless steel fittings or appliances to save yourself the hassle of replacing them.

4. It's all in the details

The smallest details count, so make sure that you are paying adequate attention to them! This is especially important when it comes to kitchen or bathroom renovation decisions, which many people gloss over. What kind of kitchen splash-back will best serve your kitchen needs? How about draining solutions, and are you more of a top mount or under-mount sink type of person? Every decision counts towards the overall look that you envision for your home.

Tip: Little nitty-gritty details will improve your life tremendously. Thinking through the layout and organisation of your bathroom and kitchen will minimise future frustration. For example, tiles are one of the most common backsplash materials that not only add great style to your kitchen, but also are easy-to-clean surfaces great at combating merciless oil splatter stains.

5. Design your space around your appliances

The last thing you want to find out is that your oven doesn’t fit into that tight spot on your countertop. To avoid this, ensure that you have all the dimensions of your kitchen layout, and also your appliances such as the fridge and microwave. Give your appliances a little wiggle room to ensure that everything fits in nicely. Built-in appliances such as an oven are also great for a seamless, clutter-free appearance.

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Tip: Instead of placing your oven below your stove, consider having your built-in appliance installed at a comfortable height to reduce having to bend when you need to use it. Plan your kitchen such that the workflow facilitates easy movement between the refrigerator, stove and sink. This is called the kitchen triangle that keeps everything within arm’s reach while you are cooking.

To pave your way to a plain sailing renovation journey, why not consult interior designers for their expertise in that area? Drop us a message and we will connect you with our interior designers.

 

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail | Best Time to Plan a Renovation

You'd be surprised - the best time to start planning a renovation is actually a year before collecting your house keys.

Why so early? Like all major decisions in life, it pays to think carefully and ahead. And creating a dream home that you'll have to live in for years? We think that's a big decision that'll need all the time it can get. So, if you're still unsure of when and what to look out for in a renovation process, check out our step-by-step timeline guide below to help you get started!

It might feel like a long way to go, but don't just sit around awaiting your keys! Now's the perfect time to picture your dream home, and research on the various styles or features you'd like in your new abode.

12 MONTHS BEFORE COLLECTING KEYS

Create A Mood Board

Start looking around for interior decor looks that strike your interest, and create a mood board to save them. There are some interior portals, such as Qanvast, HomeTrust, The Interior Portal etc., allow you easily create boards, allowing you to browse and save thousands of the local home projects.

You can even share your boards with others, which will be really convenient if you'd like to discuss ideas with friends or family!

Research On Your Budget

Figuring out a budget that you'll be comfortable with in advance will give you enough time to start saving up, or consider your financing options. You can easily get information about costing on the listed projects, which include renovation costs and breakdowns of works done to the space.

3-4 MONTHS BEFORE COLLECTING KEYS

At this point, you should have more or less decided on:

  1. the decor theme
  2. some basic features you'd like to work on (e.g. structural works, tiling, etc.)
  3. your ideal budget, with a comfortable range to work with.

It's time to find the suitable professional for the job. Here begins the hunt for the perfect interior designer!

Finding An ID

Not sure where to start? We can help - based on your style and budget, we can match you up with our professional Interior Designers, totally free. Simply sit back and arrange non obligatory appointment with our Interior Designers with just 1 click away!

Meeting An ID

You are strongly advised to visit our showroom and discuss details with the IDs or it is also possible to arrange a meet up at your convenience.  Don't forget to prepare these essentials, so the IDs will have something to work with:

  1. Your floor plan
  2. Your mood board (physical or online)
  3. Your expected renovation time frame (e.g. when to start renovation, when to move in, etc.), so the IDs can work according to your schedule.
 Example of Floor Plan

Example of Floor Plan

1 MONTH BEFORE COLLECTING KEYS

The big day is looming ahead! After gathering information about quotations and ideas from the various IDs, you'll need to engage one that you are most comfortable with, in terms of pricing, design and chemistry (that's really important!).

First Steps To Working With An ID

After shaking hands, what's next? Now's the right time to discuss what your must haves and no-nos in this renovation. Whether it's a feature wall, open-concept communal area or a walk-in wardrobe, let your ID know so he/she can fit it to the space plan.

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KEYS COLLECTION DAY

Woohoo! It's the day of your key collection and you're obviously excited. But don't look at your new home with rose tinted lenses just yet - make sure everything is in the right place!

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Check For Defects

Bring along the defects list provided by HDB/developer, and a lock to secure your home. You will need a seasoned, meticulous eye for this, so it would be better to invite your ID along to help spot anything amiss and take measurements! 

Tools to bring

Here are some useful tools to have while combing through your new house for any defects:

  1. Tape and markers: Use masking tape to indicate defects, and markers to write down a description of the problem. You could also come up with a colour scheme: red marker for serious defects and yellow for minor ones which will let the HDB contractors know which problems to focus on.
  2. Coins or marbles: Detect hollow spots on floor tiles by tapping on it using a coin or marble.
  3. LED Plug-in light: To make sure that all electrical sockets are functional.
  4. Spirit level: To make sure that doors and windows are properly aligned and upright.
  5. Camera: To have your own visual documentation of any reported defects.

You could also seek further assistance and advice from Building Service Centres.

Set Up Your Basic Utilities

It's really important to get the basics working before embarking on a renovation. In order to renovate, workers will need electricity for their tools and water for washing grime or dirt - so don't leave them hanging!

Apply for a utilities account with SP Services to activate the water, electricity, gas and waste collection services, soon after collecting your keys.

Go Shopping!

Now that you've gotten a physical feel of your space, its also a good time to shop around with your ID for some key elements, such as your flooring, feature wall finishings, kitchen appliances and bathroom fittings.

DURING RENOVATION

After months of planning and discussion, it sure is a big relief and joy to see your dream home coming together. That doesn't mean you can take the back seat and let the magic miraculously happen yet! Here are some things to take note when managing a renovation.

Confirm The Renovation Schedule

While renovations for BTOs usually take about 8 - 10 weeks, and resale 12 - 14 weeks, its best to clarify the schedule with your ID to ensure a smooth moving process. Do note that slight delays are common, so be prepared to extend any living arrangements whilst renovating!

Keep Your Home Safe

There'll be many people coming in and out of your house - contractors, builders, electricians and the like. Remember not to leave any valuable items lying around, and install a lock that only those overseeing the renovation - such as your ID - can access.

Keep Tabs On Progress

Trust your ID to provide you with timely updates on your renovation, but do make an effort to drop by at least once a week! Make sure works are done to plan, and inform your ID if you find anything unsatisfactory or defective.

AFTER RENOVATION

The big reveal is finally here! All you've got to do is put the finishing touches - arrange for furniture and other decor accents to be delivered to your home. One last thing, though:

Do A Final Check

Do a run over with details like power points, or the swing of hinges, and be sure to highlight any problem areas that need rectification.

Housewarming Party!

Have everything down pat? Kick back and pop some champagne - plan for your housewarming party to show off your gorgeous home to everyone!

Life's definitely easier when you have a handy timeline to guide you in your renovation. In the midst of waiting for your house keys, and looking for an ID to create your dream home? Schedule a FREE non-obligation appointment with us today via the link here: https://9creation.com.sg/appointments/