Transforming a property into your dream home is no easy feat, and many homeowners spend tens or even hundreds of thousands on renovations.
Save money by trying these five DIY home renovations.
Construct and upcycle your own furniture
You don’t need to spend a fortune on brand new furniture. One easy option is to turn to the second-hand market, as there are many expats who leave Singapore after a few years and need to get rid of high-quality furniture. Doing so is better for both the environment and your wallet.
It is not hard to construct your own furniture using wooden pallets and crates, which can be repurposed to create bed frames, coffee tables, side tables and benches. Wooden pallets can be obtained inexpensively or even for free on the second-hand market through platforms like Carousell and Gumtree.
Another easy option is to repurpose used or vintage furniture by cleaning and sanding down surfaces and then spray painting them in modern colours.
Skip the built-in wardrobes and create an open closet system
It is common for households in Singapore to commission built-in wardrobes and cabinets when doing renovations. But these are actually not necessary as you can buy or build your storage solutions separately. Built-in wardrobes, cupboards and cabinets cannot be removed once they have been constructed, so they can be costly if you decide someday that you no longer want them.
One easy way to remove the need for built-in wardrobes is to create an open closet system. You can do so by installing your own hooks, poles and shelves on the walls, hang a curtain or a piece of fabric in front of the open closet if you wish to hide it. You can also purchase standing garment racks if your storage needs grow.
Design your interior on your own
While it can be tempting to hire an interior designer, be aware that doing so can increase your temptation to commission expensive fixtures and fittings such as built-in storage and platforms.
You can absolutely design your own interior. However, unless you are particularly gifted, you should probably stick with a minimalist or a simple Scandinavian theme, as such interiors use fairly neutral palettes with lots of white and wooden features are thus more difficult to get wrong.
Look to the Internet for inspiration and try to keep things simple, as it is always easier to add new features than to remove an installation you are not happy with.
Paint your own walls
Painting walls is tiring, but it is not difficult and can be undertaken without any help from a professional.
Before you begin to paint, inspect the walls to ensure there are no cracks that need to first be filled with plaster. Mould, if any, should be removed using vinegar or a mould killing product.
Protect the area around your walls by covering it with plastic sheeting or, if you want to save money, newspaper. Then dip your paint roller in the paint and start applying it to the walls.
Do your own tiling
It is possible to do your own tiling rather than pay a contractor do it for you. You’ll have to first remove the existing tiles, if any, using the help of a scraping blade and hammer drill if necessary.
Once the existing tiles have been removed, clean and sand down the floor to prepare it for the new tiles.
You should already have measured the space and planned how you wish to lay the tiles out beforehand. To lay the tiles, you will need to mix up some mortar, spread it on the floor and then position the tile on top. Keep the gaps between the tiles uniform using plastic spacers. As you work, keep checking the alignment.
The trickiest bit is cutting tiles to fit the edges and corners of the room. If you don’t have a tile cutter, you can rent one.
Finally, fill the joints in between the tiles with grout, let it harden, and then apply sealer.