Renovating a house is exciting but it can also be hard on your relationship. No home improvement project is worth a broken heart.

However, renovation in Singapore is undeniably expensive, and money is often the cause of couples’ quarrels during home renovations.


7 Tips to Prevent Couples Quarrel During Home Renovation

Here are seven tips from Vancouver-based reality TV Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott to build your love and home at the same time.

Create a Vision Mood Board

Before embarking on the project, sit down as a couple to create mood boards that represent your dream house together.

Going through the photos will help each person understand what the other likes and land on style and design choices that can prevent disagreements later on.

Make final decisions together with that dream house in mind.


Pick your battles – it is not worth getting into an argument just because you want that extra fancy chair in your living room.

Now that you are in a perfect union with your significant other, it is important to find some sort of balance so you both feel like you are designing your dream home together.

You never know – compromising on two styles may create something even better.

Divide Responsibilities and Conquer

You don’t have to both work on absolutely everything together. Assign responsibilities to each other. Renovating a house is a major project and both of you should be actively involved.

You could also consider making your favourite part of the house your responsibility. At that same time, remember to ask for your partner’s opinion to make them feel valued and appreciated.

Set a Budget – and Stick to it

Sit down and go through all the must-haves for your beautiful home.

Also make a list of things you can leave without and set aside a contingency budget for any unforeseen surprises – and no we don’t mean splurging on that 50-inch HD TV.

Keep an eye on the bottom line as running up debt only adds stress to your relationship.

Follow a Strict Timeline

Take a leaf out of successful couples’ rule books – many couples managed to complete their home renovations swiftly in 12 weeks or so because they stuck to their milestones.

You definitely do not want to wake up to an incomplete house so map it out ahead of time, without rushing, and stick to it.

Take Time Off the Renovation

Don’t forget to schedule date nights. Surprise your partner with tickets to a musical or reserve a table at their favourite restaurant.

With all the potential ongoing stress, it is important to take time out to reconnect and unwind. Make sure you’re still having fun and spending quality time with each other outside the house.

Enjoy the Journey

Treat this as a new experience you get to share with your partner. Have fun and make sure you laugh off all the tense moments. While your house may not last forever, your relationship should.

When the going gets tough, remember why you wanted to build a home together with your partner in the first place.

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how to plan renovation singapore

Couples Quarrel During Renovation: 6 Ways to lower renovation cost

We approached folks on Orchard Road to find out what their dream home consists of, and the cost-saving steps they will take to achieve a stress-free and affordable renovation.

Prioritise Needs vs Wants

This is a critical step. First, go through every part of the house, from foyer to master bathroom. For each of it, list down the elements you “cannot live without”, such as a storage vanity for your toiletries, versus those that will undoubtedly make the space look better, such as concealing the bathroom pipes. Practicality should be a priority and you should only consider your “wants” if you can spare the extra moolah for this home renovation.

Another example is the kitchen island. While it can go into your needs list — especially if you bake for a living — your budget will dictate the size and type of countertop you might choose. 

Approach this list with objectivity, and discuss with your designer ways you can fulfil all your needs and some “wants” without bursting your budget.

Meet Interior Designers & Compare

While prices and packages are important, you should also shortlist at least three to five designers to hear out their ideas.

Every interior designer interprets a moodboard differently, so even if you do not end up signing a contract with them, you will walk away with new ideas and solutions for your home renovation.

You will also have a better idea of what can be charged during renovation e.g. removing the HDB-given sink in the process of overlaying bathroom tiles as well as what HDB needs to approve, such as changing the position of the bedroom door.

Renovation Budget: Reconsider renovation materials

Love the look of real wood flooring? Parquet, despite its benefits, can be costly. If you have not budgeted for this, consider alternatives to wood flooring like wood-look tiles or, for an even more affordable and pet-friendly option, wood-look vinyl flooring. And, did you know that glass and mirrors can be expensive?

Ask your interior designers for alternatives or ways to achieve the same look for less.

Other ways homeowners save on material and labour cost during home renovation is to opt for concrete screed flooring and half-height backsplashes.

affordable renovation tips

Furniture Shopping: Use cashback credit cards

Earn as you spend. Furniture and appliances, like the dining table and ceiling fans, are things you will inevitably spend on during home renovation, so you might as well earn some cash or miles from it.

Cashback credit cards require practically zero effort, and you get the cash back to your credit card account.

Join HDB BTO Group Buys with Neighbours

Moving into a BTO or new condominium? Make friends with your new neighbours! Everyone loves a good discount and there is no harm in organising a group-buy from your favourite retailers.

It is good to check with the retailer, to see what discounts they can offer for group-buys, before you ask your neighbours, though!

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