OSB Logo



Guide to Renovating Your Home in Singapore --- Esp For First Time Home Owners

So you are getting the keys to your first home, it's exciting and a little scary at the same time. Many of you will feel slightly lost and overwhelmed about the sheer number of decisions to make for your new home. Also, home renovation in Singapore is not exactly low cost and good contractors are hard to find. This guide is to help you make this initial stage easier for you.

Hire a Professional or DIY

Firstly you have to choose whether to have a professional designer/ contractor do everything or most of the home renovation for you or go the gung-ho and do as much as possible on your own.

The following are basically the three main options and their respective pros and cons.
1. Hire an interior designer and have everything done for you
2. Design the home yourself and hire a main contractor to get everything done
3. DIY the renovation home project

1. Hire an interior designer and have everything done for you
Hiring an interior designer is almost certainly the most hassle-free way forward. However, choosing the right designer can be a time-consuming matter.
From experience, the standard of design work can vary greatly from designer to designer.Shortlist a few designers and have a chat with them. Find the one who you're most comfortable with, in terms of communication and his/her presentation of design ideas.
Hassle-free (Your designer normally also coordinates everything else for you.)
- Great Result (If you chose the right designer, your home will definitely look good at the end of it)

- Cookie Cutter Look (Beware cookie cutter designer churners. A common trick of some firms is to recycle almost 100% ideas they use in other projects.)
- Higher Costs (Your cost will be higher than that of hiring a general contractor. This difference varies. But if your designer is good, this cost is well spent.)
Ideal for People who:
- Have not decided on a definitive look for their home
- Do not have the time to spare to do any coordination at all
- Simply want a surer way of having a great looking home at the end of it all

2. Design the home yourself and hire a main contractor to get everything done
Nowadays as people are more well-travelled and we have an increasing culture of entertaining guests at home, some of you have some design ideas that you love and have a semi-clear/ solid idea of how you would like your home to look.
Alternatively, you are on a tight budget and you would like to go about the process in a fuss-free manner.
Well, then hiring a main contractor would be the viable option. The main contractor will be able to give you a quotation for all your renovation items.Compare some quotations to get a sense of current market costs. But beware, do not simply go for the cheapest one. It's not difficult for a dishonest contractor to skimp on costs by using substandard materials or workmanship. Instead, choose the contractor that you trust most.
- Hassle-free (Your contractor will be in charge of the renovation works. You need only to decide on the design of the home and pass on the instructions to him.)
- Lower Cost (If your contractor is a trustworthy one, your cost will be lower that of a design firm.)
- Peace of Mind (If there's any quality issue, your contractor will resolve it with the craftspeople.)
- Look that Doesn't Work Out (Since this is the first and probably only time you are designing a home, there's the real danger of your home not looking as good as you first envisioned it.)
Ideal for People who:
- Have a clear idea of the design direction that they want their home to take
- Have some design experience or hobby that deals with art
- Are on a tighter budget
- Expect a fuss-free experience

3. DIY the renovation home project
You have watched some home improvement shows and you feel you want to do everything on your own to make the home "truly yours" in every sense of the word.You are thinking of doing all the simpler tasks on your own and hiring the craftsmen on your own.
- Sense of Ownership (If you manage to pull everything off successfully, you will definitely feel more connected with your home .)
- Lowest Cost? ( The reason why this is a question mark is because at the end of the day, the time you spend on your home renovation project will be huge. What's the cost of that time you spent? A simple example would be painting. You think you will save a few hundreds by doing the painting yourself. However, you do not realise that it takes the both of you painting for 4 to 7 full days to finish the job.)

- Time Consuming (You will need at least one of you to be fully available during the renovation period of 2 weeks ~ 2 months to do all the coordination. If both of you are working couples, it will be near-impossible.)
- Shoddy Workmanship by Yourself (It's not likely that your work will be good. The craftsmen have practised their trades for years, day in and day out to become good.)
- Danger of Quality Dispute (Because you're likely to work with the respective craftsmen only once, you do not know the quality of materials or workmanship they will give you. If there is any dispute, it's not likely that it will be resolved easily. If the dispute is over a huge matter, like for example, the flooring is uneven, you will likely have to find someone else and pay to rectify it.)
Ideal for People who:
- Are truly adventurous and want to go through the process on their own
- Have sufficient free time to supervise and coordinate the works
- Do not have much renovation to do

What to Expect from OSB
We can design and manage your project from start to finish. We will match you with the most suitable designer for your needs and style. We have a group of designers covering a variety of design styles for you to choose from.
Alternatively, you can tell us your design and we will work with you into bringing it into fruition. You can either give us guidelines or give us detailed drawings to follow.
During the course of the project, we will update you about the progress of the project so that you are always kept in the loop. We always strive to be on time for delivery of your project.
Quality of materials and worksmanship is assured as we only use trustworthy suppliers and experienced craftsmen. We also do a final check of the finished work before we hand it over to you.