How to Renovate your Home

Read Up & Do Research Before You Choose Your ID
Think about it. You don't have much time once you start your ID search. The ID will push you to make a quick decision. If you make a hasty decision you may end up with a nightmare ID/Contractor! So first do your due diligence research.

What Research Must I Do?
  • Read up forumers' experiences with their IDs. An excellent forum is Renotalk. Other good forums are, and Get an overview of what's happening. 
  • Don't blindly follow forumers' ID recommendation. Some posts may be fraudulent. Either made by IDs posing as forumers. Or made by home owners paid by their IDs to say good things about them.
  • That's why I am reluctant to recommend my ID. If you pm'ed me for my ID, I will simply oblige you out of courtesy. But please understand giving you the contact does not mean I endorse or recommend him. 
    • Read "How to Choose ID/Contractor" and related posts on this blog.
    • Get quotations from IDs you've short-listed. Compare them against promotional offers either directly solicited by you or through ID sites. Knowing what others offer help you in your negotiations with your ID.
    • Be aware though the ID may not use a standard quotation format as a tactic to make direct comparisons difficult.

      To counter that, break down your ID quote into itemized costs. Compare against other forumers' itemized costs. If you wish, you may submit your ID's itemized costs in our format to help build a database of itemized costs. Over time we'll have a database of itemized costs that'll help readers to make useful comparisons.
    • Some ID firms use Google Ads to advertise their packages and promotional offers that appear on this Blog. Such ads usually appear inside blog pages such as "How to Choose ID/Contractor". This saves you valuable time searching for local ID firms on the Net.
    • Before renovation starts, research appliances, fixtures and fittings that you intend to install, such as burner hobs, cooker hood, oven, ceiling & wall lights, etc. These fixtures will impact your home design and costs. If you makes changes after you've accepted the ID's quotation, he may use that as an excuse to charge additional costs. Or even if he wants to allow changes, it may be too late. 
    • An example is my experience in "FX-900: Butting the Head". I decided to buy the Fujioh hood after renovation had already started! By then, it was too late for my ID to make changes as the factory had already made the kitchen cabinets to standard dimensions. Likewise, also the acrylic worktop that had to be cast-and-pressured produced to fit my kitchen length.
    • Don't forget to research materials too. Such as marble, granite, compressed stone, ceramic tiles, laminated tiles or other materials for your flooring. Or for worktops - do you go for solid wood worktops from Ikea, generic acrylic or branded worktops such as Dupont's Corian, Formica's Acryliss, etc? Obviously you need to research and decide on these before renovation begins.
    • Again, save time researching by accessing my series on "How To Choose" and "Reviews" to serve up Google ads

      that may provide useful & relevant info in your research. Sometimes sites apparently not connected to your search may have info that is useful e.g. I was researching on granite worktops and came across a Dupont Corian ad. Accessing that site gave me tips on general worktop maintenance and care - just what I was researching for!
    • HOT TIP! For even quicker research, use the "Search My Blog" box on my home page for your searches. Google will serve ads that have direct, immediate relevance to your search. If you use the normal google search box on your browser e.g. search term "sink", you'll have to wade through pages of useless junk before you come across anything useful to your search.This is because Google interprets your searches depending on what you're reading. If you are reading the blog, Google serves ads that are closer to what you are looking for. Doing the same search on yr browser produces results that are more general in nature.
    • After you feel you've done enough reading and research, compile a shortlist of IDs you may want to check out further. At this stage you also have an idea of what you want to renovate or change in your home. And list the items, fixtures and fittings you'll likely buy and install.
    Selecting Your ID/Contractor
    • Prepare a checklist of questions you'll ask each ID.
    • Ask each ID to show you work he's completed or is currently in progress. Be aware he may pass off his colleagues' work - which show better workmanship - as his in order to impress you. You can tell by watching how the owner - if he's present when you visit - or the workers, react and relate to him. Usually I will make surprise site visits alone, by myself, to double-check. But only if I have to e.g. if I've some misgivings about an ID I want to hire but wanna give him a chance. Most IDs are honest, but occasionally you may come across a black sheep. So be prudent.
    • HOT TIP! Make friends with fellow forumers who are renovating their homes. Ask to visit their homes whilst

      under renovation. If you're impressed with the workmanship, ask yr friend for the ID's mobile to ask for quote later, not immediately. Don't show you're impressed. He might be influenced by your enthusiasm to inflate his quotation price! Quietly take photos before you leave the place - this way you're sure he'll use the same subcons he's using for the forumer's reno. Later, when you negotiate, insist the ID hires the same subcons he's using for your friend's reno. Hopefully, that may help you achieve good workmanship. Be aware though other factors also play a role in producing good workmanship.
      To Be Continued...
        Related Posts
        1 How to Renovate Your Home
        2 How to Choose: ID / Contractor
        3 How to Choose: Cooker Hood
        4 How to Choose: Air Conditioner
        5 How to Choose: Kitchen Taps
        6 How to Choose: Kitchen Worktops
        7 How to Plan Your Kitchen
        8 How to Light Up your Living Space
        9 How to Ensure Proper Installation of Toilet Bowl
        10 How to Create a Clutter-free PC Desktop

        Coming soon!
        How to Choose: Windows
        How to Invest in Properties
        How to Invest in Listed Stocks


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