Renovating your old apartment?

By The Folks @PropTalk - July 21, 2011 8 Comments

Since the wife and I have just commenced our fourth major home renovation in six years (and by "major", we meant gutting down the whole interior of the apartment and redo), we like to share with you on things that you probably should take note of when renovating your home.

Please bear with us if you find some of these pointers elementary:

If your apartment is more than 10 years old, it may be a good idea to replace all electrical wirings - these are likely to have deteriorated with age.

For older apartments, you should also think about replacing all iron pipes with PVC ones, as the former are likely to corrode with age - It is definitely less of a hassle (and probably less costly too) to do so when you are renovating your apartment than having to replace the pipes after, e.g. when leakages occur (imagine: sewage pipe).

Again for older apartments, you may want to redo the "water-proofing" of the floors in your toilets and even kitchen - this will reduce the chance of water seepage to the apartment downstairs and having to pay for the repairs.

Try to minimize the hacking of walls if you can - Should you need to rebuilt these in the future, you are likely to get ugly hair-line cracks on the newly erected walls after awhile. This is especially prevalent along the edges between the existing and new walls.

If you must hack off some walls/beams, please make doubly sure that these are not structural walls/beams - we know this may sound obvious to most, but some of you may recall the incident in Jurong East some years ago where residents of a block of HDB flat have to be temporarily evacuated. This was because some smart alack had decided to hack off part of a structural wall in his unit, causing structural instability to the whole block!

Before you start replacing your existing air-cons with higher BTU ones or increase the number of air-con units, do ensure that you have enough power in your apartment to support these – You certainly do not want to cause a power overload in your home.

When working with a contractor, do ensure that all renovation costs are already factored into the original quotation. And should there be any additional work that needs done, make sure that you mutually agree and are fully aware of the extra cost to be incurred – Imagine our shock when one of our previous contractor came to us with an additional bill for $20K after the renovation was completed, supposedly for items that he had omitted in his original costing.

We will add to the list if we think of anything else. Meantime, please feel free to share your renovation "experience" in the comment section.

Happy Renovating!

Per suggestion by our good friend EQ, we have replicated this post on our Discussion Forum. Please visit the page to add on to our list or share experiences!


8 comments to ''Renovating your old apartment?"

  1. why don't you create a topic on Renovation in your discussion forum?

  2. Love u folks... Ur new apartment or your en bloc not going through, hence renovating ?

  3. The Folks @PropTalkJuly 21, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Hi Anonymous (21/7/11, 5:50PM):
    It's a 30+ years old apartment that we are renovating for own stay.

    We are unaware of any collective initiatives (yet) but if the development does get "en bloc-ed", we are happy to move... again.

    Our philosophy is never be overly sentimental when it comes to property, especially at the right price! :)

  4. How wise? Every time you move, how do you select a new property? Sometimes, a person may not know the vibes (paranormal) of a new place. An old, seemingly wise person once said..."Don't always move"...she may be out of date. Also, some people fall sick when moving to a new place. So my question to you is, besides location location location and price, what are the factors do you consider and or "questions" do you ask? My friend moved to her "new" place and the TV switched on by itself. She nonchalantly switched it off and said loudly, "dont disturb". Another time, the radio volume get louder itself and she said the same. Thereafter, it sort of stopped. Playful.

  5. The Folks @PropTalkJuly 22, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Hi Anonymous (22/7/11, 8:43AM):
    You have a rather interesting question there.

    We base our choices primarily on "earthly" (practical) considerations. These include:

    1. Location - This should not be too far from the city as our daily lives revolve mostly around the city area.

    2. Size - The apartment must be at least 1500sqft and has min. of 3 bedrooms.

    3. Price - We have a "policy" of not spending more than what we have sold our prior apartment for on the next one.

    The "paranormal" side of things are normally taken care of by our geomancer, which we will always consult prior to any purchase.

    As far as "vibes" are concerned, we always ensure that BOTH the wife and I feel comfortable with the place before we consider buying it. If we walk around the apartment and one of us does not feel entirely at ease, we will strike this off our list.

    Maybe we have been lucky so far (* fingers crossed *), but the only apartment we really had bad "vibes" about was this high floor, sea-facing one located in the eastern part of Singapore - the apartment was about 20 years old but was left vacant since the day it TOP-ed. It felt kinda spooky inside so we took one look at it and bailed as quickly as our feet could carry us!

    On a final note, did your friend check if her TV/radio were actually voice/sound activated...? :)


  6. Again...thank you for your comments. Very good advice you give!

  7. Can I contact your geomancer for services? Will write to you in email.