Home Renovation Tips & Ideas
My future home will not actually be ready until some time and considering this post was written nearly 5 years ago, it might not be really relevant when the time comes but I’ve actually bookmarked it then and kept it till now. Filed here for future reference.
Kitchen & Bathroom Tips
- Avoid Ikea’s stainless steel items. They get rusty easily. For pots, get WMF instead. If you are buying stainless steel items, use a magnet.
- Regret getting the stainless steel bathroom accessories from Poh Joo.
- Try not to get so many chrome stuffs. It will tarnish very easily.
- Bathroom accessories most are chrome, but no choice cos stainless steel is super super expensive.
- Avoid chrome legged computer table / study table / dining table.
- Fountain tap, it’s a hassle to keep it clean and shiny all the time, too much surface area.
- Sink with an attached dustbin compartment, unless the dustbin area is rubber sealed tight, if not please don’t get, water will seep through the gaps.
- If using instant heater, get only 707 brand.
- Stainless steel pipes are big effort to keep shiny. in the end i had them all painted over.
- Tell your ID/contractor the exact location you want your toilet handspray to be installed, so that you don’t need to bend your body down just to take that handspray.
- Do away with shower screen, so cumbersome to clean. I would ditch glass shower screen with sliding doors for my next house. Bottom part get rusty, doors get jammed easily and they are difficult to maintain.
- I heard that if you really want to have shower screen, do it without the door, it will help you save costs and trouble.
- Choose white basin instead of glass basin for toilet. No issue with maintenance.
- regret cheap toilet bowls (no power when flushing) and sinks from sim siang choon. all stink and stain.
- If you get a big wall mirror for the bathroom, try and make sure it is hung with brackets rather than just being stuck to the wall. We had one that started to develop ‘patches’ 6 months after installation. We removed it and bought a mirror with brackets which has had no issues at all.
- Do not install toilet bi-fold doors in kitchen and masterbed room. Bi-fold doors are not easy to maintain. Moulds grew and could not get rid.
- Get vanity top on your own, it costs a bomb in Singapore. You can actually buy them on Taobao. Leave a comment if you need the link.
Money Saving Tips
- Get your own switches and door knobs/lever handles and get ID to minus off the cost of those from the quote. You can buy nice clipsal ones at wholesale prices at Choo Chiang (Veerasamy Road).
- Window grills, largely redundant, it restricts your view. Unless it’s facing corridor, then it’s needed for security purposes.
Home Maintenance Tips
- Open concept walk in wardrobe can be a nightmare – moisture attack, dust attack.
- Clear glass top study table, can easily see smudges and dust.
- False ceilings, cove lights etc. are difficult to maintain. Bugs can die inside and they are dust traps.
- Don’t do roller blinds. Roller blinds is quite troublesome when compared to curtain. Maintenance is difficult too. Ikea roller blinds are low quality. The white has yellow spots growing all over it. The mechanism was not too good, can’t pull up and down.
- Bed frame without legs, less area to clean, no hiding area for cockroaches or bugs.
- Keep wallpaper joints away from direct blowing air-con as after prolong blowing, the joint becomes bigger and bigger.
- Try to do a built in oven in your kitchen cabinet to save space. Remember to leave some space beside your stove for you to pour your food from your pan/wok.
- Glossy white laminate is good. Lamitak is good enough.
- Good quality granite top which is heat resistant using solid surface top which has suffered huge patches of discoloration. Quartz is pretty common nowadays. Here is what I read from a webpage called solidsurfacesingapore:
You should know is what is there inside each material.
- Granite is 100% Natural stone
- Quartz is man-made and contains 85%-95% crushed quartz with a resin binder
- Solid surfaces are also man-made and have Acrylic or Polyester Plastics inside.
Heat and Scratch Resistance
Granite is not affected by heat at all and is highly resistant to scratches as well; so can be the best choice if this is your concern. Quartz can be affected by high heat when it is over 400 and for scratches it’s again highly resistant too. On part of solid surfaces, they are not heat resistant and hot pans may warp, melt, crack, or discolor the solid surface and they get scratches easily too, so you need to be extra careful about solid surface counter tops.
If cleanliness and hygiene are your main concerns, you may opt for Granite or Quartz as they both are highly resistant to bacteria. If you opt for Solid surface, it may not be that hygienic as it gets scratches easily; it absorbs the moisture quickly and is very likely to provide shelter to bacteria if it’s not cleaned properly.
Fabrication and Appearance
Fabrication may not be the concern if you’re more concerned about the hygiene and longevity, however it may be if you’re looking for styling as well. Granite and Quartz may require seams, but Solid Surfaces are seamless and are usually set on a wood sub structure.
Maintaining granite is comparatively easier, and Quartz comes second. Both may need periodic sealing to prevent staining. Solid surface on the other hand needs extensive care, however, scratches and stains can be sanded out with periodic polishing.
Granite is the most expensive one, while Quartz is in middle and Solid Surface is comparatively cheapest of all. There may be a big difference in prices of Solid Surface and Quartz, but when it comes to compare the prices of Quartz and Granite, the difference is not much. If you’re on budget, you may look for Solid surface, if it’s concern of luxury, then granite and if you are looking for affordable luxury, Quartz will best suit you!
- For pots and pans, go to CK tang, Metro, OG, BHG (sometimes only) during their sales to buy WMF, Corningware, Luminarc to use. which is safe, functional, proven and easy to maintain.
Living Room Tips
- When you do custom-made feature wall, try to do the feature wall on “complicated wall”. Don’t do it on straight nice wall.
- Don’t buy blackout curtain. This will make your room very very dark. Try a blind instead.
- White sofa are hard to maintain. If you really want one, try buying a throw to lay over it. Have heard that leather is a no good due to its maintenance (you have to wipe it and polish it, also, cannot let it get hot).
- Should install air-con or ceiling fan. For ceiling fan, I highly recommend KDK brand due to its affordability and durability.
- Refrain from getting tower fans no matter how stylish they look.
- Would advise everyone NOT to do laminate flooring as it will wrap after sometime because when you wash the floor, water will sip in inevitably and the pieces will slowly and surely start to become uneven.
- Dark matt floor tiles for kitchen. Looks clean everyday.
- Lights, some look very nice but if the wattage of the light is high, you’ll incur larger bills and probably switch them on lesser.
- Open concept walk in wardrobe can be a nightmare for maintenance – moisture attack, dust attack.
- As much as plenty of storage space is awesome, you also end up storing a lot of useless rubbish which should be thrown away years ago. Many storage cabinets in the living room can make the room look really cramped.
- Do not build-in for kids room, your kid is growing and the furniture grow as well.
- Marble is beautiful but unless u have a helper who can ensure that every drop of spill on the marble is immediately removed, there is going to be a stain very easily. Marble table is just not practical with all the food and wine and sauces.
- I’m going to use Quartz.
- Listen to your aircon installer about placement of the fan coils. If installed in the master bedroom over the bathroom door, it will look great but as it is in a corner,it can’t cool the room properly.
- If you upgrade your fan coils to a higher capacity, make sure the compressor can also cope with the higher load. If it cannot with all fan coils on at the same time then you will get reduced cooling.
- Place the air-con beside the bed instead of facing the bed as it’s not good for the air con to blow into our nose
- DO NOT BUY SHARP AIRCON.
- I’ve heard that Mitsubishi Starmex is still the best. Also, York is pretty good too. I really love York’s design, its so classy and pretty. Have to check which white doesn’t turn yellow.
- If you are thinking of doing an open-concept kitchen, you will need at least 18BTU, if not 24BTU or 26BTU, with a system 4+1 (3 bedroom and 1 living room). If you want to get a system 5, go ahead but do note that you cannot switch the air-con simultaneously and it would not be cooling.
Additional bunch of useful home organisation ideas that I have in mind;
- Hang your shelves upside down so that the brackets automatically create built-in compartments.
- Install shelf over your bathroom door for the stuff you don’t regular access to such as cleaning supplies, extra towels, bulk items, etc.
- Kitchen basket under a shelf/desk for cable management.
- Shoe rack could serve as a nice shelving for the desk.
- Store bins on the ceiling.
- Use a shoe organiser to store cleaning supplies.
- Attach undershelves in a cabinet to take advantage of vertical space.
- Store your games in uniform boxes.
- Store foil, cling wrap inside a magazine rack.
- Use a peg board to store frequently used kitchen tools.
- Put the washing machine/dryer on a shelf and take advantage of vertical space below them.
- Attach a hook to the side of food containers for easy scooping.
- Use wire CD racks to organise Tupperware lids.
- Use magnet to store hygiene tools.
- Install a wire shelf in the dead space of a closet to coral wrapping paper.
- Store pot lids with short curtain rods or magazine rack.
- Maximise your fridge storage.
- Organising office/craft supplies.
- Install a rail in the sink cabinet for cleaning products.
- Store matching sheets inside of their pillowcases.
- Use a deep kitchen drawer to store utensils vertically.
- Use a magazine rack for extra storage space behind cabinet doors.
- Store bulk items in stackable, uniform bins.
- Replace the standard shampoo and body wash bottles with uniform bottles.
- Use tension curtain rods as dividers for cupboards.
- Use a pegboard with inserts to keep dish drawer neat, customise them to your plate and bowl sizes.
- Organise your measuring spoons and cups with easy reference.
…and that is all. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna turn this into a BuzzFeed/Pinterest blog.
29 March 2018