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The Renovation Checklist – A Must Know For First Time Homeowners

Right! You just received the keys to your first home and obviously, you’d want to turn it into the ideal abode before moving in.

Take note though that the renovation works, furnishings and decorating are just as important as actually buying your first home

Most permanent fixtures are either expensive or difficult to replace or both. It is therefore better to make a comprehensive checklist before you even go about looking for renovation contractors. 

If you have bought your house from the HDB, you should also include the structural integrity in your checklist and only hire renovation contractors and interior designers (and other workmen) that are approved by the HDB and other related government bodies.

Here is a quick checklist to help you kick-start your renovation project.

Budget and Instalments

  1. What is your current budget for renovation?
  2. Do you want to renovate the entire house right away or divide your plan into easy steps and take one sub project at a time?
  3. Have you researched the interest rates and made up your mind as to how much you can afford right now?

Your Family Plan

  1. Do you plan on having children in the near future? Do you plan to have only one child or a couple of them?
  2. What kind of interior space do you want for them? Do you want them to grow up in a contemporary home with great values or a home that keeps your cultural values?
  3. Do you already have your parents living with you? Is either one of your parents or both likely to move in with you at any point in time? Consider their needs and preferences as well while planning your living space and bedrooms.
  4. Are you a couple who likes to entertain regularly? Or have house guests? Plan your living space and kitchen that makes entertaining a joy and not a burdensome chore.


  1. How do you wish to furnish your home? 
  2. Do you want to pick a theme or do you want diversity in each section of the house? Plan each and every room meticulously to the last detail. Write a list of all furniture you want in each room and all fixtures you want to install. 
  3. Do you want to make colourful bedrooms and nursery for children or make everything fit a specific pattern?
  4. Do you have any furniture that you want to bring into your new home? Is your renovation plan compatible with your existing furniture?
  5. Do you, by any chance, have antique furniture pieces that you want to match with the rest of the decor of your new home?

Lighting and Ventilation

  1. Do you like the windows that are already there in the house that you bought?
  2. How do you plan to do them up so to speak?
  3. Have you planned the panes, curtains and drapes? Do they match the furniture you already have or planning to procure?
  4. Where do you want to have your lights? Do you prefer chandeliers or mellow lights?
  5. Do you have any wall hangings that you want to use or have an idea what you would like to hang on your living room wall or the bedroom walls? How does the position of windows affect the light on those hangings? 

Flooring, Bathrooms and The Kitchen

  1. Do you like the existing flooring? Is it brand new or well maintained? Do you want to replace the flooring or repair it?
  2. Do you want to carpet your entire house? Would you want to match or add contrast to some of your furniture with the flooring?
  3. Are all the bathroom fixtures in a good condition? Do you foresee any leakage of taps, showers and faucets or breaking of toilet seats or the tub for instance?
  4. Are there enough storage space in the bathroom for all your hygiene supplies and essentials like towel rods and shower curtain rods?
  5. Is your kitchen equipped as a peaceful and happy workstation? Is it convenient for you to entertain or have house guests?
  6. Does it factor all the needs of your present and future family? Is it a flexible design that can be changed later on based on your needs?

There you have it, a comprehensive renovation checklist for a newlywed couple, looking to make a home out of your new house.

Although you are not likely to look so far into the future (as your old age and grand children), the time you buy a house or embark on a renovation project is as good a time as any to also make big plans and visualise your entire life together. 

Do it with your heart. Dream big! Be sensible and practical too. Your life together is all that matters. Make it beautiful in your new gorgeous home!