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Essential tips for moving into your newly renovated living space, ensuring comfort, safety, and a seamless transition. IMAGE: UNSPLASH

Post-Reno Checklist: Don't Neglect These Steps For Your Dream Home

You’ve gone through the ups and downs of your home reno and it’s time to roll your suitcases in and start living in your new abode. But hold up – before you jio your squad over for a housewarming party, there are a few crucial steps left to ensure everything is just right. Think of it as the final chapter in your renovation journey, the part that ensures you can live comfortably and confidently in your new space.

Here’s what I did before settling into my dream home, and I hope this checklist will help you too.

Engage a professional for a deep clean or DIY

First things first, your forever home probably looks like a scene from Dune – covered in several layers of dust. A professional deep clean can be a lifesaver. They’ll tackle every nook and cranny, getting rid of all the construction gunk and debris – even the ones you can’t see with the naked eye. Expect to fork out around $400-$500.

Or if you’re broke like me, and want to save the cash for that expensive dream rug, you can roll up your sleeves and go the DIY route. Stock up on heavy-duty cleaners, microfibre cloths, and a good vacuum, preferably the ones with integrated wet and dry cleaning. And be prepared to clean every day for the first two weeks.

Pro tip: If you’ve installed the air conditioners early or mid-reno, clean the air filters and vacuum out any vents. They’re probably a dust mine at this point.


Air out your carpentry fixtures

Your built-in wardrobes and fancy kitchen cabinets come with an unwanted guest: formaldehyde. This chemical, commonly found in new wood products, can cause some nasty indoor air quality issues. Before the big move, open all those cabinets and drawers, and let them breathe for a few days. If possible, keep your windows open to aid ventilation and speed up the process.

I made the mistake of not airing out the new cabinets in our new home, and spent weeks wondering why it had a weird smell that left my eyes stinging!

Defects checking: inspect twice, celebrate once

Here’s a quick checklist I used for each room:

  • Check for any scratches or unfinished edges
  • Ensure all soft-closing hinges do what they’re meant to do, which means there shouldn’t be any slamming
  • Measure carpentry lengths against the quote
  • Look through the paint job
  • Check your flooring for scratches, especially if you laid new vinyl

Bring out your contract or quote and match each item with the delivered product. This is seriously mafan but could potentially save you some money. If you spot any discrepancies, get your ID or contractor to address them promptly or even seek a refund if you’ve been overcharged.


Plumbing, lighting, and electrical working or not?

Turn on all taps, flush every toilet, and inspect under sinks for any signs of water leaks. A puddle forming is a bad sign. That’s what happened under the sink of my master bathroom, and I got the plumber to reapply the silicone seal immediately.

Also, test all lighting fixtures to ensure they’re working correctly. For electronic appliances, go beyond just turning them on. Run a quick cycle on the washing machine, heat something in the microwave, and test the induction oven and hob for the extra peace of mind.

Insect-proofing your home

Cockroaches are the bane of my life. And if you’re just like me, you should seal the gap underneath your front door and any other possible openings. In my house, I also put a sealant to cover up the washing machine drain hose pipe, because I heard from a friend that the disgusting bug had previously crawled out from the same opening at his house. Consider getting your home professionally treated if you’ve noticed a lot of bugs around.

Complete the warranty registration for your appliances

Set a reminder on your phone to alert yourself to register the warranties for all your shiny new electronics and other eligible items. Suay suay, at least you’re covered.

Most importantly, keep a copy of all documents, even the delivery order. I learned this the hard way when I misplaced the delivery order for my new TV, which I purchased last year in advance to save on GST. I needed the delivery order as documentation so that my warranty will start from the delivery date, and not the purchase date.

In the end, I managed to get it sorted, but it was a hassle, and took several hours of back and forth with the retailer.

Long-term enhancements

A few more things before you start moving in:

Think about adding a seal to your vinyl floors to make them more resistant to stains and easier to maintain. A little extra effort now can save you a lot of cleaning hassle later.

You can also think about applying solar films to your windows. It can reduce heat build-up and help keep your home cool in crazy hot Singapore.

Lastly, read up on home contents insurance. Depending on the insurance provider, this plan covers your personal belongings from theft, damage, and other unforeseen events, like a fire. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. Don’t forget to read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line.

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