Reno Hacks: Choosing Good, Affordable Materials

While there are many aspects to renovation such as design and labour, one particular component provides the foundation (literally) – materials!

With flooring works potentially making up a huge chunk of the renovation budget, homeowners are constantly looking for cheaper alternatives to stretch their dollar! To save you the research, we’ve curated a handy list of affordable materials for every section of your home.

Wall Finishes: Traditional Matte Paint

Interior Firm: Metier Planner

Most homeowners are familiar with painted walls. They are the most common option for wall coverings, as they are cheaper and require less work than wallpapers.

Before making your decision, know that some types of paint may cost significantly more than others. Examples that are air-purifying, anti-bacterial or odourless cost approximately $80+/5 litres. Meanwhile, the traditional matte paint costs only about $50+ per 5 litres.

Interior Firm: Jubilee Interior

If you do not prioritise these health benefits, just opt for paint with a normal matte finish. Homeowners on a tighter budget may even consider a DIY paint job. This will help shave a couple of hundred dollars from your budget, as a paint package typically costs about $1,000+ for a 4-room flat.

Opt for Vinyl Flooring

Interior Firm: Meter Square

Vinyl has recently become a popular choice amongst homeowners because it’s so affordable. Typically priced at about $4.50 – $8.50 per square foot, vinyl is a pocket-friendly flooring option for the entire home. Other options like parquet or stone tiles can cost more than $10 per square foot.

Interior Firm: Design Plus

Better yet, vinyl tiles/strips can be laid over existing tiles, which means lower hacking costs! Vinyl floors are mostly water-resistant, fire-resistant and soft underfoot – making them a suitable option for homes with children or elderly occupants.

However, vinyl floors are prone to dents and scratches from sharp objects or furniture. Each vinyl piece also needs to be aligned carefully, as gaps will make the flooring susceptible to water damage.

Choose Laminates for Your External Carpentry Finishing

Compared to other options like wood veneers and melamine, laminate finishes are a popular choice – due to their affordable price point and range of finishings.

Interior Firm: Authors Interior and Styling

Solid colours and matte finishes generally cost less than those with prints (woods, marbles, etc.) or embossed and textured finishes. Similarly, laminates with special anti-fingerprint or scratch-resistant qualities will cost more.

Interior Firm: Design 4 Space

On average, one standard laminate sheet (2.4m x 1.2m) will set you back about $30+ for solid colours, and $40 – $50+ for wood/marbled patterns. However, as one sheet is enough for multiple cabinet doors, the overall price difference is not likely to be significant.

Opt for White PVC for Your Internal Carpentry Finishing

PVC and polykem are the most widely used materials for the insides of your cabinetry. Usually, white PVC is often the most budget-friendly choice, followed by coloured PVC and polykem..

Interior Firm: Black n White Haus

Do note that even though PVC is typically long-lasting and resistant to scratches, they are susceptible to heat and water damage. White PVC can also easily discolour over time.

Consider Laminate for Your Kitchen Countertops

Interior Firm: erstudio

Laminate countertops are by far the most affordable option for kitchen countertops. Other alternatives are solid surface, engineered quartz and natural stone – the cost increases in that order! Most laminate tops are essentially plywood slabs finished with a laminate covering.

Interior Firm: Schemacraft

One of the benefits of laminate countertops is its wide variety of designs. Laminates panels can look a lot like the real material it’s modelled after – be it stone or wood. If properly cared for, they can last just as long too!

Interior Firm: Authors Interior and Styling

However, if you cook often, consider selecting a hardier material, such as engineered quartz, which is highly heat-resistant. But bear in mind that once its surface or sealant is damaged, the countertop cannot be resealed again and must be replaced entirely.

Consider Ceramic for Your Bathroom Tiling / Kitchen Backsplashes

Ceramic refers to a range of clay-based surfaces, which may include homogeneous, porcelain and ceramic tiles. Hardy and largely water-resistant, ceramic tiles are a popular choice – its costs range from $3 – $15 per square feet.

Interior Firm: Charlotte’s Carpentry

Due to a higher firing temperature and kaolin (clay mineral) percentage, homogeneous and porcelain tiles are generally hardier and less prone to moisture absorption than ceramic tiles. This makes them perfect for outdoor areas! But they are also slightly costlier than ceramic tiles. Prices may also vary according to the design and where it was manufactured.

Interior Firm: Aart Boxx Interior

That being said, with tiled backsplashes, cleaning may be a problem. Food spills and grease can get trapped easily in the grout lines and are difficult to remove. So if you cook often, a seamless, glass panel may be a better option.

This article was adapted in collaboration with Qanvast, Singapore’s go-to renovation platform for homeowners to meet the right interior firm for their home makeover. Check out the original article here.

Prices listed in this article are accurate at the point of the original article’s publication.

SHARE THIS ON