My tips and thoughts about renovation, Part 2

Finally i’ve been settled into my new home. It seems endless and still a lot of stuff needed to be done until i can say that it’s completed. Moving on from Part 1 next will be furniture.


Choosing our furniture is the most exciting part, i’d say. It determines what kind of style and taste we have. Before shopping for furniture think about what theme you would feel most comfortable in. Look at magazines or books of inspirations. Shop around at furniture stores before deciding. A lot may look good but do you really want that in your house? You need to feel comfortable and a sense of you in it. After all it is your house and you will be seeing it for a long time.

Big pieces to consider 

In my opinion big pieces like the sofa and dining table is something you might want to spend some money on. Most of us spend a lot of time in the living area and a comfy reliable sofa does make a difference. Would you prefer fabric sofa or leather? Of course both will also give you a different feel and atmosphere. Not to say you should jump in and buy a expensive sofa but a price that’s reasonable enough to at least last a good 5 years. Cheaper sofas had cheaper material and life span. Of course material and other stuff that comes with it has it’s limitations.

If you are going for fabric sofas think about seat covers. To make a extra set can be costly Rm 1k and above. It’s high quality material and can last a long time (imported material especially made for sofas)

Leather would be easy maintenance, wipe and clean. For our weather it can be hot and sticky as well.

Size of your dining table, either 5 ft or 6 ft. Look at your dining space and measure it out what is the appropriate size so it’s not too small or too big. Consider pulling out the chairs for space, will there be any other console table or shelves around it. What type of material do you prefer, glass, wood or marble? Think not only fashion but function as well. How often would everyone use the dining table? Dining table can be a multi purpose table as well.

For example, i choose a marble table with rounded edges cause i have kids. I also choose a design that has no 4 table legs instead just one big stand in the middle so that the kids won’t easily bump into it. Marble is also easy to take care and clean. Not easily scratch with kids around also i don’t want a glass table theni don’t have to worry about tapping on the glass. Some things to ask yourself before choosing a dining table.

What type of bed to consider? Bare in mind if you have small kids you might want to consider a king size bed. Before you know it, your bed will become a family bed. Everyone just loves to cuddle together 🙂 Before deciding on the king, do you have the space? You want to have proportions to be even out in the room. After the bed there’s no space to even walk then there’s no point.

Few things to consider, if you want to have a big wardrobe maybe your bed will have to sacrifice or vice versa. So think about items that you would need in the room. What should be a important big item and what can you sacrifice.

Kitchen cabinets

If you need to do a new kitchen or simply remodeling it think about what material would you like. There are lot’s of designs to choose from. From wood, acrylic, laminate, melamine, glossy finish etc all of these choices will give you the type of finish or look you want for your kitchen. If you have a open kitchen bare in mind that it has to go along with your living room (otherwise it will look weird, but not too matchy matchy)

Kitchen accessories do you need it? What is it and do you need it? It’s those that’s inside of your cabinets. Soft close, pull out baskets, dish rack etc. It many seem useless some times but it does come in handy if you are the type that’s always in the kitchen. Pick out cabinets that you frequently use or in a odd place to put the accessory in so it’s easy to maneuver.

Example: i had a pull out basket in one of my odd corner lower cabinets. It’s easier for me to take things instead of squatting and trying to dig things out that’s down in the corner. I had Blum system (soft close) in all my cabinets to prevent my kids from banging their little fingers. I also choose round handles so no one will get poke  (regardless kids or not) These are some of the details to think about before making all the decisions of your kitchen cabinet. Don’t forget to make space if you wish to have a build in oven and don’t forget to let them know the size of your fridge.

What kind of top?

Nice solid surface looks nice and so does the price. There are lot’s to choose from but do know that cheaper material will not work or last as good as the solid ones. Look into your budget and see what you can afford. Can always change the top later on, not much of a hassle.

Will stop here for now, too many details if i continue on. Till next time.


My tips and thoughts about renovation, part 1

A guide to headache and heartache of a renovation, tips on how to save $, part 1

When think of renovation, all i can think of is a headache. A lot of nitty gritty stuff that’s unexpected. But nonetheless am excited for my new home. After going through a few renovation for my shop and home now i can share a few tips on what to look for and how to save a couple of bucks. Let’s get real before we start…. BUDGET? It will always exceed, so be realistic.

Interior designer or do it yourself?

So you got a new home and can’t wait to transform it into your dream house…. but do not know how? So you’ve thought of interior designers. After consulting with the interior designer you’ve realize that they cost a bomb and probably won’t fit into your budget.

Go online to search for inspired rooms and home decor. Buy books or magazine. With pictures and research that you have found it’s not that difficult to replicate what ideal home DIY style. It will take a lot of time and effort but the bucks you will be saving can get your more things into your ideal home.

When putting up glass, tiles or grille or anything miscellaneous try to source from direct supplier. Prices will be much cheaper from direct manufacturer. Make sure they are specialize in that product and not those that sell everything together (those are not direct supplier)

Which contractor to choose from?

Before choosing the contractor enquire a few to compare prices and amount of work that’s needed to be done. Compare and measure yourself what’s important and what’s needed to be done first and is it worth the price. Workmanship is very important but it also come with a price.

  • Chinese contractors are pricey but usually will have good workmanship.
  • Indonesian contractors are cheaper but possible poor workmanship. Having said that if able to find a well experience head the work could be just as good as the chinese contractors.

Having said that, all contractors can be a pain in the ass. When ask to fix something or change something all they will ask for is $ to make the changes. So do negotiate before starting work, so if the job came out something not what you have requested they have to make changes without any extra charge. Be firm, don’t be afraid to tell them your ideals and demands.

What you should know about paint…

There are lot’s of paint in the market but which one to choose? It’s very simple actually, the cheaper ones will have low quality and branded ones are costly but  quality ones.

Brands like Dulux ICI, Jotun and Nippon all are high end brandst with a lot of fancy technology in their paint which is good these days. Fast dry, low voc, reduce smell, environmental friendly etc. Comes with a great variety of color selection and color mixing shades. Of course the prices are also not cheap. Roughly around Rm 130 and above for a 5 liter can. Lower end brands cost as low as Rm 78 for a 7 liter can only.

Popular paint like Maxilite by ICI are low end paint that’s made for economical use. After painting there will be a powdery finish, in the long run the powder will come off the walls. If must it’s only recommended to use on ceiling. It is not very lasting. Good for commercial use where by there’s frequent renovation and with the wear and tear it won’t hurt your pocket. Comes in 1, 7 and 18 liters, the biggest can cost roughly around Rm 78 only. Consider re painting the house every 4-5 years to refresh the look and maintain the appearance.

Electric wiring, lights, phone lines and internet connection

It is important to have good wiring throughout the house. Especially with aircon points. It will require a higher voltage. It will last you a very long time unless something goes wrong. It is advisable to wire all the power points and light points during renovation. A conceal wire will give the house a sleek and clean finish. You would not want 1 or 2 dangling wire hanging around your walls would you? Don’t forget if you need to hang a fan, let them know ahead of time.

How many power points do you need? Look around the house and see what area and what would you be needing it. It is easy to pull a extra power point right next to the existing one. If you are lucky some electrician won’t charge per point but some do. It’s always better to have extra at least you won’t need to have a string of extension in the house later on. Try to negotiate a lump some instead of charging per point. Most likely it won’t be a problem.

Make sure astro lines are working.Ask them for extra astro line if needed in another room. If you need to relocate the point to somewhere else let the wiring man know. Same goes for the telephone lines. That will determine where your internet connection will be.

All of this will reduce further complications with lighting and wire problems in the future. If there’s anything that needed to be fix it will be just small stuff.

More to come, stay tune for part 2