Monday, June 30, 2014

Practical considerations for new home renovation

Going to renovate your new home before moving in?
 
Below are some practical tips for your consideration before you call your contractor to start the renovation work:-
 
Accessibility:
  • Always make your home convenient for old folk, pregnant lady or disabled people, particularly on the design of steps, stairs, etc. Think about having proper handrails along staircase and in toilet. Use non-slip flooring materials especially in toilets and bedrooms.
Living Room:
  • You will need quite a number of wall sockets near your TV for all your audio-visual equipments.
  • If you plan to subscribe to satellite TV such as Astro, plan for the location of its dish and conceal a signal line from the dish to your TV.
Kitchen:
  • If you have an apartment/condominium/studio unit with open kitchen concept, or you plan to have an open kitchen in your house, you need to plan properly to avoid cooking fumes from wide-spreading all over the place with its smell and grease. Some major considerations include proper external ventilation, installing a cooker hood with high air suction power, etc.
  • Normally, fire accident starts from the kitchen. Make sure your house has fire extinguisher, smoke detector and fire blanket placed nearby the kitchen.
  • If you are going to have an open kitchen, make sure your smoke detector will not easily give you false alarm from the kitchen's cooking fumes.
  • Without the isolation of walls and fire-resistant door, fire from open kitchen could spread faster and fiercer. To reduce the risk of fire, consider using electrical cooker instead of gas cooker.
  • Plan for the location and size of your washing machine, dish washer, etc. These machines need power supply as well as water inlet and drainage.
  • Dustbin that will conceal behind your kitchen cabinet might look cool, but beware of the smell. It is better to have ordinary dustbin with cover, located outside the cabinet.
Toilets and bathrooms:
  • Most of the time, we use shower much more often than bathtub. Shower saves more water than bathtub too. If your house does not come with a bathtub and you plan to install one in your bathroom, think carefully either it is a "need" or "want".
  • Most of the time, people with Jacuzzi in their home does not use it often too.
  • However, bathtub can be useful to soak and wash your bed sheets, curtains, etc.
  • Ceramic basin is a better choice than glass one. Dirt and stains are very visible on glass surface.
  • It is always a good idea to have ceiling fan on top of your dining table, and/or air-cond in your dining room.
  • Install water heater with built-in pump. It won't cost much more for the pump function, and you will appreciate it when water pressure is low.
  • If you want to have washlet toilet (electronic toilet seats with water spray feature) either now or in the future, make sure there is wall socket around to supply the electric power. 
  • If you want to have hot and cold water piping, include them in your renovation before you move in.
  • Install some hangs and hooks inside the bathroom. There is always clothes, towels, etc. that you need to hang.
Bedroom:
  • New couples that plan to have kids, make sure to allocate some space in your master bedroom for baby cot beside your bed.
  • Dressing room with open wardrobe looks nice, but get prepared for the dust. Wardrobe with doors is more practical. Flipping doors are more durable than sliding doors.
General:
  • It is better to have more wall sockets than having to pull power extensions later. Plan the position of your wall sockets properly. Some wall sockets might be wasted if you put big furniture and cover them up later.
  • Plan for all air-conds location, and conceal their piping.
  • Energy saving light bulbs are de-facto standard, and LED lighting could be an even better choice.
  • Buy an aluminium ladder and keep it in your store room. You will need it for house cleaning and maintenance, for example, cleaning ceiling fans, dismantling air-cond filters for washing, replacing light bulbs, etc.
  • Floor colour in living and dining halls should be light, and floor colour in kitchen should be deep. This will make your floors look cleaner.
  • Plan for as much storage place as possible. You need to have sufficient cabinets and cupboards in kitchen, dining room, living room, bedrooms, etc. There is always a lot of things to keep.
  • Crystal lights are beautiful, but difficult to clean. Most of the time, you won't switch them on too.
  • Bookcase, cupboard with doors can isolate dust from settling on your books and whatever thing you put inside.
  • Up-facing lamp shade will collect a lot of dust too, compared to traditional down-facing lamp shade.
  • Use black filler for floor tiles instead of white one, because after some times, the white filler will become black too.
  • It is a good idea to have a small cabinet on top of washing machine to put detergent and laundry accessories.
 

2 comments:

Peter Yew said... Reply To This Comment

Having an exhaust fan in each bathroom is good as it not only suck out odor but also moisture from hot shower. Especially useful if the bathroom doesn't have natural window outlet. This concept is common in temperate countries but is equally useful here due to high level of humidity.

Paul Dabbs said... Reply To This Comment

Those are some sensible ideas. I think the trick with home renovations is covering all sorts of possibilities the first time to avoid having another renovation due to another defect. I particularly like the idea of having more sockets. In that way, should you feel the need to rearrange furniture multiple times, you won’t have a hard time having to rewire and place extensions again and again. Thanks for sharing!
Paul Dabbs @ Paul Dabbs Custom Homes

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