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The Do’s & Don’ts of DIY Home Renovations

Whether you’re renovating your home to spruce it up for selling or planning a revamp for personal reasons, you can always take up the task yourself. But remember, DIY renovations are a lot more than just ripping out old carpets or wallpapers and adding a fresh lick of paint. Jumping the gun and diving straight into action without doing even a little bit of homework will not only end up in a waste of money and time but can also incur potential injuries and terrible blunders.

So to help you plan and carry out a successful DIY renovation, we’ve rounded up all the important do’s and don’ts you should consider to feel much more confident while taking up the job.

Do: Set Aside An Emergency Fund

There’s a solid chance that the budget you’ve set for your DIY home renovation might be pushed to the limit, with unplanned and unexpected expenses popping up along the way. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to set aside an additional 10-20% on top of the predicted costs — especially in the case of kitchen and bathroom renovations — to be prepared for issues and expenses you were unaware of before starting the project.

Do: Spend Enough Time Looking For Inspiration

Deciding on themes, styles, and concepts for a DIY home renovation can surely pose a challenge. To make sure your reno results in a space that will resonate with your personality and taste, consider surfing the following areas to find interesting ideas and inspiration.

  • Remodelling TV shows: Shows like The Great Interior Design Channel, DIY SOS, Grand Designs, Renovation Nation, etc., will give you a detailed look into the latest and most popular designs. They also suggest an estimated price and show how involved a particular task is.

  • DIY Magazines: Thumbing through the glossy photos of magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, House Beautiful, etc., can spark great ideas for your project.

  • Other people’s homes: Visiting recently upgraded homes of your family members, friends, and your neighbours, will give you a first-person look at specific features and get you tips and advice on how to get the same look and what to avoid to prevent an investment that falls flat.

  • The internet: Using websites like Pinterest, Instagram, DIY Kitchens, etc., can give you millions of stunning renovation ideas.

  • Chatting with a Guru: Just having a quick chat with a professional interior designer for personalised advice and smart hacks can be your golden ticket to bringing your inspiration to reality. Whether you get their help to create an optimised floor plan or a hyper-realistic 3D rendering that helps you visualise your concept, or getting unlimited access for 1:1 guidance, our Gurus have got you covered!

Do: Curate A Clear Plan

One of the most important secrets to a successful renovation is a well-thought-through plan. Here are the aspects you should include and elaborate in your reno plan:

Depending on the type of renovation you’re planning, you can add or subtract from the aforementioned list to make one that is workable for you.

Don’t: Renovate If You Don’t Love It

A DIY renovation is only worth all the effort, time, and money if you really have your heart on, literally, doing it yourself. Whether it’s pushing you to temporarily shift in the guest room or putting your bathroom and kitchen out of commission, the stress of disrupting your usual routine and comfort zone is only bearable if you love what you’re doing. As such, it is important to be clear whether or not you’re invested enough to deal with all the hurdles that come with a DIY renovation.

Don’t: Be Unsafe

Health and safety should be your number one priority. DIY renovation tasks like lighting projects, lifting heavy objects, swinging the hammer, etc., require handling with extreme precaution and care, and should include measures like:

  • Leave electrical projects like installing lights in a new location to a professional.

  • Wear protective goggles and gloves when working with a hammer.

  • Do not lift heavy objects over your head before you are warmed up.

  • Keep a well-stocked first aid kit.

  • Wear earmuffs and earplugs when using loud tools.

  • Use a ladder-locking device when tackling heights.

Don’t: Paint Without Preparation

The key to a smooth DIY painting project is preparation, which includes details like sanding over rough patches, filling holes, wiping down walls, and covering all windows, doors, and electrical outlets with painter’s tape. Additionally, if you’re going for a drastic colour change, for example, from a bright to a nude hue, don’t skimp on a primer.

Post-Paint Tip: Remove the painter’s tape when the paint is dry to the touch (not all the way through). This helps avoid pulling off the fresh paint layer.


Without a doubt, a DIY renovation can be very rewarding and save you thousands on contractor expenses. Just make sure to familiarise yourself with the do’s and don’ts of the job you’ll be taking up, celebrate little victories along the way, and enjoy the process without overwhelming yourself!

Ready to refurbish your home all by yourself? Get in touch with one of our Home Design Gurus for expert advice and guidance on how to optimise the functionality and aesthetics of your space before diving in!


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