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If you don't make the proper measurements, later jialat when your appliances arrive. IMAGE: NICHOLAS YONG

My First (And Last) Time... Making These Reno Mistakes

Last December, I finally levelled up – becoming a proud homeowner with my better half. We purchased a resale HDB in the northeast that wasn’t too far from our current place.

Like most new homeowners, we planned our dream home together. We searched around for IDs and contractors, pinned a bunch of design inspirations from Pinterest (okay, that was mostly her, tbh), and followed a lot of reno IG and TikTok accounts.

As soon as the reno started, our nightmare began. Somehow, we ended up making a bucketload of mistakes along our reno process, most of which could have been easily avoided. These are our reno mistakes - learn from them, and all the best for your own reno!

The standing sink in my common toilet. | IMAGE: NICHOLAS YONG

Not checking the specs

To save money, we sourced and bought most of our furniture ourselves. One of those items was the standing sink for our common bathroom. Only when the plumber came to install it did we realise that the back of the standing sink wouldn't fit where we had intended it to be. We were told he needed to cut a hole in the back of the sink 🫠

He tried his best to make the cut as clean as possible without damaging the sink, but if we had checked with our contractor first, we wouldn't have had to go through all that trouble.

I struggled to carry the sink over. | IMAGE: NICHOLAS YONG

Not checking/changing the delivery address

We purchased a bunch of items to deliver to the new HDB for our contractor to install – like our toilets, shower fixtures, kitchen stuff, etc. But there were a few items we mistakenly sent to our old place because we forgot to change the address on Shopee and Lazada.

No worries, I thought, because our new home was only a 15-min walk away. I managed to move the smaller stuff like the vacuum cleaner and containers by hand. But oh my god - the new kitchen sink. 🫠 I never realised how heavy a kitchen sink was - the 15-minute journey became a 1-hour trip. Jialat.

Not getting a trolley

I was adamant about not buying a trolley – after all, what was I going to do with it once I was done moving house? Famous. Last. Words. 🫠

Because of the sink incident, I realised how much a trolley would have helped. Even though I was partly through my move, I decided to get a trolley anyway. What a difference it made. I was able to easily lug over a bunch of stuff (like my huge collection of football jerseys) with ease.

And in the future, who knows, you might be helping a friend move too. Cue: a good pal who came to the rescue with his trolley and car, and my wife and I were able to move the rest of our belongings over the weekend. Tip: Although a trolley is a godsend, do not try to move a queen-sized mattress with it. 🫠 Trust me, the effort is not worth it.

The wine/coffee bar area in our living room.| IMAGE: NICHOLAS YONG

Not checking measurements

My wife dreamed of having a wine/coffee bar area in the house where she can prepare beverages for our guests. From our very first meeting with the contractor, we knew we wanted to make this happen. After we gave our stamp of approval to the proposed design, we were looking forward to seeing how it would turn out.

The day before it was supposed to go up, we received bad news – the contractor did not take into account the space for the wine fridge, 🫠 and so, for a few days, we had a back-and-forth conversation about how to fix it. Luckily, it turned out for the best. Don't make the same blunder ya!

We also had another incident involving our dining table, which turned out to be larger than the allocated space we had planned. Lesson learned: Measure everything. Then measure it again. And have a backup plan, just in case.

We bought more things from Shopee and Lazada over the past few months compared to our entire lifetime. | IMAGE: NICHOLAS YONG

Getting kan cheong over sale prices

When looking for furnishings and other essential items, we searched on Shopee and Lazada every other day, added to cart the stuff we wanted, then waited for the big 3/3 and 4/4 sale days hoping to get the biggest discount.

As it turned out, both of those shopping platforms host sales on random days for just about all occasions. Plus, the discount given was usually at the same price as on the advertised sale days anyway. Save yourself the stress and just hit "buy now" whenever you please.

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