Allocation of Budget For Renovating New vs Older Apartments

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

There is a reason why we focus on the journey and experience of a renovation process as much as the the quality of the product delivery. Budgets are not limitless and datelines are always imminent.

I see these as a good thing, as it sets boundaries to the possibilities of any project.

This is where a designer will (or should) be on the same page and set priorities of the interior design endeavours to align with any given boundaries. New development and sub-sale apartment units also sets different boundaries.

Here are a few distinction between the two, differentiated by the top 3 areas where home owners usually allocate their budget.

New development apartments:

#1. Built-ins

  • Shrinking apartment sizes meant requirements for storage goes up.

  • Feature walls to soften odd shaped layouts.

  • Platform storage/ sleeping to save space.

#2. Flooring

  • Reluctance to hack of brand new finishes but boring and standard finishes meant seeking quicker and cheaper alternatives like vinyl flooring.

  • To introduce a pop of wow factor or feature like peranakan tiles.

#3. Lighting

  • As electrical provisions by developers are fairly new, budget is then allocated to lighting features.

Sub-sale apartments:

#1. Wet works

  • Re-doing existing tiling finishes and even brick walls due to dated layout.

  • Bathrooms are almost a must-do to renew plumbing, fittings and newer water heater systems.

#2. Electrical

  • Including socket points re-location, entirely renewing of electrical wiring and lighting.

  • Tendencies to introduce electrical socket points at exiting tiled up area like bathroom (shaver, hair dryer) and kitchen backsplash.

#3. Built-ins

  • Relatively more low-profile as budget has already been allocated to renewing older parts of the house (especially hidden scopes like plumbing and electrical).

  • Even if there are existing built-ins in good condition, many would chose to renew or replace them as the usage and outlook does not gel with the new finishes.

These points are even more relevant to me on a personal level now, as I am currently on a search for a new home.


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