If budget is something you’re highly conscious about, you could leave out certain areas of your home til later, and focus on making your home livable first for your daily life. Namely your bedroom and bathroom. Thankfully Malaysia’s abundant and affordable street fare makes it possible for us to eat out without breaking the bank, so it’s possible to leave out your kitchen til later.
Assuming you’re like everyone, having the essential parts of the home done up first is probably prudent. We did up *almost* the entire house internally, and left the kitchen to Phase 2 and the exterior of the house to Phase 3.
Here’s what we did.
Phase 1: Interior (except for kitchen)
This was before the dining chairs came in…. Forgive the green Ikea stool
And this is after dining chairs are in.
As you can see there are still boxes around the place, that’s because we haven’t done the kitchen yet. Hence my being unable to unpack. (Note: As this post is published, the kitchen has been booked and pending delivery which will be in a month’s time. Will post pics when everything’s in. Promise.)
Phase 2: Kitchen
Be forewarned – this may only work if you’re not someone who loves to cook and practically lives in the kitchen.
In this case, the kitchen should ideally be planned about the same time as the rest of your house before commencing any physical work.
The usual procedures in KL makes it possible for you to put down only 10% of the initial quotation. Whichever kitchen makers you’re speaking to will then send someone to do the measurements, and advise you on the wiring and plumbing work that needs to be sorted before they’ll install the kitchen cabinets. At this point, you have the option of only getting the wiring and plumbing done, and then leave out the kitchen while you do up the rest of the house. Later on when you’re financially ready, you can pay up the remaining 90%. Usually it’s only a week before the kitchen cabinets are installed that you’re required to settle the rest of the payment, although this may differ across different companies. Remember to check during initial contact what the procedures are when you’re first asking for quotations.
Phase 3: Exterior
The exterior should also be planned at the same time as the rest of your house before any physical work is done… But it’s only so that your wiring and plumbing people may do the hacking and patching up at the same time as the rest of your house.
Remember to keep in mind any lighting or fan points if you plan to have a cosy corner to hang out outside your house. Remember to install additional plugpoints too for your music docks/ additional standing fan and of course vacuum cleaner (so you can vacuum the inside of your car!).
When I was planning the house I forgot about the vacuum cleaner and didn’t plan a plug point for it. Now to vacuum my car I’m gonna need 3 extension cords because the closest plug point’s on the first floor. Duhh.
(Note: At publication date, my planned pergola will be up *very* soon, but we still haven’t sorted out the tiles yet. And I did mostly take my own advice save for that plugpoint downstairs. Our wiring, plumbing and paint work’s all done! Will post pictures once everything’s up.)
Referring to this original timeline that I had prepared earlier, steps #1 – #4 will have to be uniform for your entire house. Meaning, if you’re painting your whole house, it’s best to get it done in its entirety. This is because buying paint in bulk is heaps cheaper than buying a few litres every couple months.
It’s also better to get one contractor to do your wiring, plumbing, painting and installation of fixtures all at a go. These are basics of renovation work and something all general contractors are able to do (unless they’re idiots, then you shouldn’t be dealing with them in the first place).
This may be a case of me pointing out the obvious, but when you give more work to one contractor, it’s easier to negotiate their fee down, so it’s a more economical way to go about it in the long run.
If budget’s not that big an issue, see here for a more comprehensive breakdown on what you can do to your home step-by-step.
I hope this post helped clear any confusions. Share your love, or tell me if I’m full of s**t by commenting below.
Whatever it is, don’t forget to enjoy the process and all the best!