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Home remodeling may be exhilarating but careful planning is needed

Image credit: Grant McLean/Flickr

Home remodeling can be a very exhilarating experience. Before you jump straight into your renovation works and end up being disappointed and frustrated, proper design and budget planning will definitely help you to reduce disagreements which you may encounter with your renovation contractor, and to spend within your budget.

The following areas are not exhaustive but may provide you with a good start.

home remodeling
Image credit: Grant McLean/Flickr

Design Planning for Home Remodeling

Design Styles

There are various design styles you can consider. Usually, the design styles are dictated by market trends. Some of the styles are Modern, Zen, Country and Classics. There are many interior design/renovation companies in the market that can offer you professional advices and you might want to seek their advices before you decide on the style.

Colour Schemes for Home Remodeling

Choosing the correct paint colour for your walls, ceiling and floor in your home is important. Your choice of colour in a particular room will not only reflect your personal tastes, but will establish the atmosphere and style of the room as well. The trend of paint colours fall in and out of favour over time, rather than indicating the current colour trend, it is better to understand how different colours are related and affect each other.

– Colour Basics

There are about 10 million different colours, but all these colour are derived from 3 primary colours
i.e. red, blue and yellow. Primary colours cannot be created by mixing other colours. Secondary colours are orange, green and violet: created by mixing 2 primary colours e.g. mixing red and yellow to get orange. Tertiary colours are formed from a variety of combinations of primaries and secondaries. Shades and tones are formed by lightening or darkening colours with the addition of white or black.

It is a device that helps you choose colours and its combinations. Related colours are positioned next to one another on the colour wheel. As they are made by mixing the elements of each colour, related colour blend well together. Any group of related colours used in a room will create a harmonious scheme.This will create a restful feel within a room. Complementary colours falls directly opposite each other on the colour wheel. Hence, complementary colours can be used together in a room to create attractive, dramatic colour schemes.

Black, white and grey are neural colours. These colours are not shown on the colour wheel. Colours with large amount of white or black such as beige, off-white or cream are considered as neural colours. They can be used to provide the backdrop for other colours, or they can be used alone in the room to create a harmonious scheme.

Warm colours contain element of yellow and red. The combination can make the room appear to be small and intimate. On the other hand, cool colours, which contain element of blue and green, make the room seems large and cooling.

A light-coloured surface reflects more light than a dark-surfaced. Hence, a light-coloured room will appear more open and bigger while dark-coloured surface makes the room smaller.

– Tips on Colour Mixing and Matching:

  • Colours appear to be more intense when set on a white or near-white background.
  • Dark colours look even darker when placed near light colours.
  • Complementary colours look more intense when used next to each other.
  • Warm colours evoke a cosy, intimate mood.
  • Cool colours evoke a tranquil mood.
  • The lightness and darkness of colours can also affect mood. For example, a deep yellow will produce a more intimate effect than pale lemon.
  • Colour can be used to create spatial effects. Light colour and cool colour will visually make a room larger. While dark and warm colours will make the room smaller.

Budget Planning for Home Remodeling

Prior to sourcing for renovation contractors, you may want to talk to loan consultants to find out more about the renovation loan packages available to you, to assist in your budgeting.


Even if it is a referral from a family or friend, always double check and request to see other renovation works or ongoing projects of the contractor. And never ever go with the first or only quotation you get for your renovation works. Always get at least 3 quotations from different renovation contractors to check if you are getting the best deal.

The saying, “if it is too good to be true, it probably is” is befitting especially for dishonest renovation schemes by unscrupulous contractors.

Some contractors may not always include items like cost of electrical works, bathroom accessories, curtains, air-conditioners, window-grilles, lighting fixtures, haulage, painting, cement screeding and disposal in the renovation quotation. Some contractors assume that these costs should be covered separately. Others may deliberately leave these items out to make the quotation look cheaper.

Always ask the renovation contractor to make the quotation as comprehensive as possible so that you are comparing ‘apples-to-apples’ with the different quotations you have, and so that you can award the renovation works to the right contractor.


Case executive director Loy York Jiun, for example, advocates that consumers should “always negotiate for progressive payment as the work commences, instead of paying in full up front”. A reputable renovation contractor will always provide options for progressive payments for homeowners. If anyone asks you for upfront full payment, even before the commencement of any works and regardless of the size of the works, it should make you very suspicious. It is better that you err on the side of caution with such contractors, no matter how attractive their proposal looks to you.

The following is a good guide for progressive payment to your renovation contractor:

10% – Deposit on signing of renovation contract;
40% – 1st balance payment upon commencement of renovation works;
40% – 2nd balance payment upon completion of 70% of renovation works; and
10% – Last payment should be issued 2 weeks after satisfactory completion of ALL works.

Written by Ravi Chandran


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