Considering how busy our lives are, it can be difficult to juggle what we have to do and what we want to do. Most of the time, home renovations fall in the latter category. Furthermore, full renovations are expensive and may not be an option for everybody. However, you don't have to redo your entire flat to freshen up your interiors. Below, we break down the cost of 4 small but noticeable home upgrades you can do if you are strapped for cash and time.
Swap Out Bathroom Fixtures
(Design: Collective Design)
If you don't have time for a full bathroom renovation, you can consider upgrading your toilet, sink or faucets. It is a fairly affordable renovation and can be typically done in a day. However, the results can be quite drastic, even with something as small as changing an outdated faucet. You will most likely have to hire someone to install your new toilet or sink, since this requires advanced plumbing knowledge and set-ups. On the other hand, you will be able to swap out smaller fixtures like faucets, toilet paper holders, showerheads and towel racks yourself.
Update Your Lighting
(Design: KZ Design)
Unless you have recessed lights that are hard to swap, changing your light fixtures can be something to consider that's fairly affordable and can change the entire vibe of a room. You can mix and match styles such as installing a classical chandelier in a contemporary room or opt for a contemporary light fixture to spruce up a classical styled room. You may have to bring in an electrician if you are thinking of switching from one type of light fixture for another (for instance, changing ceiling lamps to track lights) or if you have no prior experience in DIY home improvements. However, even if you hire an electrician, prices are not unreasonable. The average cost of an electrician installing a chandelier ranges between S$120 to S$140 and a ceiling fan costs between S$150-S$160.
Painting Your Walls
(Design: The Scientist)
Sometimes adding (or removing) some color can change the entire atmosphere of a room. If you aren't looking to make any structural or furniture changes, you can consider painting your walls a different color. You have several avenues with this option. For really time-strapped homeowners, a simple accent wall can be enough to change the look of a room. Some currently trending options are dark shades and bright colors like red. If you have more time, you can consider painting the entire room a new color. Bright, light colors work well for small spaces, whereas larger rooms with a lot of light can get away with bold colors such as deep blues, reds and greens. Re-painting a room is also one of the cheapest home improvements you can do. A litre of paint costs an average of S$22, so you can change the look of a room for under S$100.
Switch Out Cabinet Hardware
(Design: Aiden T)
If you are looking to change up the look of your kitchen, you can start by doing something as simple as swapping out the hardware on your cabinets. This is a very simple and easy to do DIY project that can help modernise the look of outdated kitchens. This can also be a good idea if you don't have hardware like knobs or pulls on your kitchen cabinets and you want to create a more unique look. Prices range from S$3-S$4 for low-end cabinet pulls to upwards of S$20 for high quality, on-trend versions from stores such as Excel Hardware. While it is a relatively affordable home improvement, you should be careful not to underestimate the total cost. While a single drawer pull that costs S$15 may seem reasonable at first, your total cost can end up S$300 to fully outfit a small kitchen with 12 cabinets.
Even Small Changes Can Make Big Impacts
There are a myriad of things you can do to freshen up your living space without opting for a full renovation. In fact, sometimes, a small change like a new wall color or a new showerhead can make a space feel almost new. One thing to keep in mind even with small changes is to know the limits of your abilities to prevent accidents or damage. This is especially true with changing ceiling lights or plumbing, as damage can result in costly repairs that most likely won't be covered by your home insurance. In these cases, it's more prudent to spend a little bit more and get professional help than to try a novice DIY attempt.
Written by Anastassia Evlanova for Value Champion.