i Malaysia and Singapore Renovation Guide

Malaysia and Singapore Renovation Portal

Deciding to renovate a property is one thing but the actual process is a totally different ball game altogether. This is going to be something that will cost money and you DO NOT ever want to get it wrong.

Planning your expenditure is CRUCIAL!

Once you decide that you want to do some renovation to your property, then you have to plan. This is not just shortlisting what to do and then making the decision. You have to divide the cost based on certain factors which are:

  1. The entire space or specific parts (eg: kitchen, living room, etc)
  2. Every aspect or specific areas (eg: tiling, electrical, piping, etc)

Your useful guide to the cost of renovation according to sections

It is very easy to have a ballpark figure for renovating the entire property and then the breakdown by the parts. But this will not be a practical way to calculate your budget as you might end up either over or under budgeting. If that is the method you intend to carry out renovation, then choosing the former (over budgeting) would be a better option. Start with about RM250,000 and then work your way into the different parts of the property. Below is how you should calculate the cost:

Styling your kitchen for ultimate comfort when dining

The kitchen is an important part of your home. It is where you spend your time enjoying a meal. The more modern homes will have kitchens used as places to hang out and to just chill. Take note that the kitchen is among the parts of the property with the most electrical appliances. Hence, you should take into consideration:

  1. Fridge – Costing from RM800 for a small one to RM4,500 for a duplex unit
  2. Stove and Oven – Depends on how you intend to cook. Standard stoves can be as low as RM250 while built-in modern ones can cost up to RM1,500 per unit
  3. Dishwasher/ Sink – Malaysian homes do not use dishwasher much. A good wash basin (sink) would be sufficient which cost between RM200 to RM500 depending on the brand.
  4. Kitchen cabinets – This is a tricky part. You need to have the right idea to get this right. Minimum cost for installing kitchen cabinets would be from RM3,500
  5. Tiling – You must prepare specific tiles for the kitchen which is different from the other parts of your home. This will usually be about RM5 per square meter.
  6. Decoration items – To build up the aesthetics, lighting and decorative items would be essential. You can usually get this online or at stores like IKEA

Living room – The most comfortable place in your home

There can be NO compromise when it comes to your living room. This is where you rest and relax and you must put a lot of efforts there. Planning the cost might be challenging.

  1. Flooring – Go full carpet or nice-looking tiles. Depending on the size, tiling would put you back to about RM5 per square meter
  2. Furniture – Sofas and couches can be costly depending on the brand. Go for established brands like Lorenzo or Cellini or you can get cheaper ones from Harvey Norman or IKEA. Budget about RM2,000 to RM5,000 for a full set. You should consider looking at TV shelves and coffee tables too
  3. Electrical equipment – This is where the possibilities can be endless. It really depends how large you want your TV to be and what sound system you would like. But if you are tight on budget, remember that such appliances can be upgraded in the future.

Bedrooms – Your ideal beds and baths

Renovating the bedrooms can be a bit tricky if you have children. Your own bedroom might be easy to decide but determining how your kids like it might be challenging.

  1. Paint – Use cool and pastel colors for the bedrooms. That is the common rule of thumb as it promotes rest and a relaxing environment.
  2. Beds – You can never be too compromising when it comes to bed. You want beds that are hard enough to support your back and comfortable enough to give you a good night’s rest. Good mattresses from King Koil or Dunlopillo will usually cost about RM800 to RM1,500 depending on the material
  3. Linens – You might want to invest in a good set of bed linens and comforters. Try not to use microfiber material as they can be quite warm. Look for Tencel material, cotton or silk bed linens.
  4. Pillows and bolsters – You need to test them to know which one works for you. Memory foam pillows are quite popular which usually cost about RM150 and above
  5. Lighting – LED lights will be cost-effective but you might want to go for warm and yellow lights

Great ideas for your porch and external areas

The porch area is very important because you will park your vehicle there. Most homes will use ceramic tiles as they dry faster and easier. You might want to install a cabinet here to store your items such as water hose, car shampoo, sponges, tools, etc.

Renovation costs based on specialization

Once you have segregated the rooms and segments of the property, you need to group your costs based on the specialization that includes the following:

Electrical wiring – Find the best for your property

This is one part of the renovation that can be neglected. When it comes to wiring, you can never be too careless. It would be advisable to look for the best manufacturers which are of international standard so that you can be assured of safety.

  1. Cables – Your contractor or electrician will be able to advise you on the best cables to use. Check and see you have bought the correct type and that they are certified. Depending on the cables you use, installation should be about RM3,000 to RM5,000 as they are embedded into walls (in most cases)
  2. Plugs and sockets – There are no two ways about this. Go for the renowned and reputable brands. Clipsal wall switches (usually about RM15.00 each) are among the known brands. Schneider and Phillips have their own too. Try not to install generic ones which might not be safe

Piping and Water – Find only the most capable contractors

Like electrical wiring, your property’s water piping system must be efficient with no problems. The moment something gets stuck, it will be very depressing which means you might have to break some parts of the wall. Hence, renovating this system requires a lot of foresight because once they are installed (within the walls and ceilings), you will not be coming across them for a long time.

  1. Installation – Your contractor must advise you on the best piping material to use. This includes water system flowing in and out of your home. Minus the material, it should cost you not more than RM8,000 for the installation (not inclusive of the sewerage system)
  2. Equipment – You must ensure that you are using the best material like ceramic for toilets and stainless steel for pipes. These are equipment that ensures your food is clean when installed in the kitchen. After all, you do not want pipes that damage too easily or get broken by house pests in the short term.

Paintings and Tiling – Choose the perfect ambiance

You need to carefully consider what makes up your home when it comes to ambiance. Colors are important but you will need to look at the tiling in certain parts. The usual market rate in Malaysia:

  1. Tiling – From RM5 per square meter
  2. Painting – RM300 for a single room, RM500 for master bedrooms, RM800 for living rooms and from RM2,500 for a double-storey house
  3. Patchworks – charged on case-by-case basis. In most cases, this is for repair work around the house. Contractors usually charge an all-in-one fee to repair where necessary. So be prepared to pay about RM3,000 for this service (inclusive of material – minor ones)

Extending your home – Necessity or Indulgence?

The cost of extending your property can be quite high. This is because you need to consider the material involved while getting the approval from the local council. Although you own the property, you cannot simply extend the property as it might breach safety regulations. This is where you need to consider:

  1. Material – From concrete to steel brackets, painting and tiling, you might need to put aside about RM45,000 for an extension of about 5 square meter
  2. Approvals – to get the local council’s approval, there are some processing fees involved. You need to engage an architect’s recommendation and technical drawings. This will cost you from RM8,000

Putting it all together – What is most vital for you?

At the end of the day, renovation can be a joy if you start on the right note or a pain if you don’t. It is simple as that. Before you start, plan how you want to do this. If you are going to move out of the home and let renovation happen, then you can let the contractor quote you on the entire property. But if you can stay in while certain parts are renovated, then going on in phases would make perfect money sense. Ultimately, you want a comfortable place and that is what you deserve!

Malaysia Renovation Concepts

Renovation Concepts – Malay design

In countries like Malaysia, you are very fortunate to be able to choose many different traditions and cultures that can best reflect your personality. One of them is our very own Malay style design. It must be noted that adopting a Malay design space is not limited...

Renovation Concepts – Indian design

Designing the home or any space for renovation requires a lot of planning and long term decision making. When you are planning to give your home a makeover, it means that you are ready to pay a certain sum of money to change the outlook of the home for many years to...

Renovation Concepts – Chinese design

The Chinese tradition is very rich and evident in the Malaysian society. This is among the many different communities and culture that co-exist harmoniously in the country. Malaysians are very fortunate to be able to appreciate many different culture and design styles...

Renovation Tips for all stages of your project

Installation of Air-Conditioning units – What you MUST know?

Air-conditioning in your home is very crucial as we are living in tropical countries where the heat can sometimes be almost unbearable. As such, you will most likely want to install air-conditioning in certain parts of your home like your bedroom and perhaps dining...

Top 5 Tips in Choosing an Interior Designer

Choosing an interior designer is very much like letting someone decide the final outcome of your renovation. In a way, it is very daunting mainly because this person is one who will decide your living environment, one which you have to live in for many years (or...

Kitchen Cabinet Specialists – How to choose a suitable one?

One of the biggest headaches in renovation is in choosing the best company that can help to install suitable kitchen cabinets for you. If you are the person spending most time in the kitchen, then this is your area of concern because you need to be in an environment...

Choosing the right contractor in Malaysia and Singapore for your renovation needs

So, you are planning to renovate your space and you want to do this by selecting the best contractor. How then should you start? In most cases, people who are planning their renovation will appoint a contractor based on word of mouth and from people they know. However, not everyone is as fortunate who has a contractor they can trust. So what should you look for if you want to appoint a contractor? Below are some of the pointers.

Contractor or Designer's Expertise

Every contractor is an expert in some area. They can be experts in tiling, marbling, kitchen cabinets, toilet and drainage, electricity and wiring and such. It would be best to know what the contractor specializes in before appointing them. In most cases, they will have the tools to prove their claims. Never believe one who tells you he can do ‘everything’.

Past Records of Contractor

Before appointing the contractor, check and see what they have previously worked on. Ask them about their past projects and if possible visit the locations to evaluate their work.

Total Renovation Cost

Contractors will know that you have a budget to work with. Ensure that all the costing and pricing are finalized before starting work. If they keep over-quoting you, choose another contractor. Choosing the wrong contractor can be disaster, so always ask for recommendations from friends and relatives or search in our renovation forum.

Professionalism

Contractors should be professional enough to let you decide on what you want. They should not try and push every idea to you. They should allow you to buy your own material like cement, bricks, wood and tiles because their job is to get the fittings done. Contractors who insist on buying all the materials are usually those who want to earn more from you.

Timeframe

Find a contractor who agrees to your timeline as long as they are not too demanding. If they cannot complete it on time, they will tell you beforehand and not make any empty promises and mislead you in terms of the schedule.

Tips on LED Lighting, light bulb, CCTV and automation

Electrical systems and equipment are integral parts of any home or corporate space. These are systems that are automated in their respective ways which are installed to make life easier and more accessible. When it comes to electrical systems, there are a few types which must be given emphasis because apart from being vital, they will determine the outcome of your expenditure each month.

Lighting

When renovating your space, you should consider changing the lighting types from conventional bulbs and modules to LED (Light Emitting Diode). This technology is currently being used by corporate spaces as well as residential homes around the world because of several reasons.

The main reason is because they are very energy efficient which means that they do not consume as much electricity as conventional bulbs. LED Tubes and bulbs are very effective because they provide constant illumination and do not emit as much heat. Hence, in using these bulbs, you will save up to 70% in terms of electricity bills.

CCTV

Closed-Circuit Television systems are very useful in today’s environment because it provides you with the peace of mind. If you are planning to renovate your home or office space, consider installing a CCTV because you will be laying the cables behind the walls and edges.
Automated Systems

Automated system is like automatic-gates, remote control lighting switches and such. One of the systems that you can consider is to install automatic sensors which will detect the room temperature and then adjusts the cooling units. Another type of sensors that you can consider is those that detect the lighting of the space.

By installing these systems, you will surely save more on bills because you will not be consuming as much electricity for cooling and lighting in the long term because they will be automatically adjusted accordingly.

Tips before you start the renovation

Renovation can mean different things to different people. If you are planning to renovate, there are several factors that you need to consider prior to starting so that you will not have to suffer any wastage of funds and time because this process will very much determine the next few years of your lifestyle. Here are some tips that you should consider.

Objective

You need to first identify why you want to renovate. Is it because you want to beautify a space or because something is broken? If there is no reason to do so, maybe you can wait a few years instead of launching a makeover or perhaps you want to change the Feng Shui of the space you are living in.

Planning

Whatever you choose to do, you need to plan carefully. Renovation is not only about breaking down things and changing new ones. It requires you to think about timing, costing and the people involved and deciding on what to do.

Cost

That will be one of the most important parts of your planning. You need to start with a budget and then work your way from there. Always get a quotation and never overspend. If you think you cannot afford what you want to do, perhaps it is better to cut down the scale or to wait for a later time.

Contractors and Designers

If you are giving your home a complete makeover, it would be best to engage an interior designer in Malaysia who will help you to take care of everything. They will deal with the contractors while helping to work within your means. In most cases, the interior designer will be involved throughout the entire process where they will be aware of your budget. Our renovation forum is the best place to look for advices on home renovation and interior design. Our fellow members in forum.com.my are ready to assist you with your new renovation plan and project.

Alternatives

It is most important that during the process of the renovation, you move to an alternative place to stay. You need to factor the costing for this as it means uprooting the family for a few months.