The majority of Hong Kong home owners do not begin to think about renovation, until they’ve reached the final stage of a property deal, two months before completing the transaction.
Practically speaking, however, home owners should plan ahead a year before that. They should consider beforehand what their living priorities are, and what design elements they see as the most important.
If possible, you should exchange renovation ideas with other home owners in order to widen your sphere of knowledge and find the flat and design that suit you the most.
Recommended renovation timeline
One year ahead: make up your mind about design
Do look at a copious amount of design demonstration photos. This helps you single out one to two favourite styles and streamline the decision-making process.
Should you find it difficult to make up your mind, considering visiting your friends’ renovated homes and think about this: What potential living problems will you encounter if you lived there?
Nine months ahead: make preliminary decisions
Write up a list of materials and decoration items you might need. When you go out and happen to encounter these things, take pictures of them for later reference.
At the same time, start paying visits to flats renovated by different contractors. Apart from the inspiration, this also helps you sort out which contractors you should consider hiring or avoid.
After making some preliminary decisions, you will be able clearly illustrate your renovation needs to interior designers.
Ascertain what desired and attainable material options there are before a design blueprint has materialised.
Six months ahead: the design comes into being
Hire a design company to do the design for you. If the handover hasn’t taken place yet, request for an architectural drawing from the estate management office.
The structural design of the flat is going to affect your final decision on the renovation.
Three months ahead: measurement and quotation
Find an experienced and able renovation company to realise the renovation design.
Before hiring a design company to carry out measurements, try to finalise most of your renovation decisions.
This can increase the efficacy of the communication between you and the company, and minimise the need for revisions in the quotation.
Finally, you’ve reached the construction stage, and can make orders on renovation materials.
This certainly is not the only feasible renovation timeline.
For example, hiring a design company to design and renovate your flat is usually a more affordable option.
The concrete illustration of a renovation timeline is to show that each step within the timeline affects the next. The importance of planning cannot be over-emphasised.
The interaction between renovation decisions
How do earlier decisions affect later ones? Here are some examples:
- The choice of flooring affects the cost of installation (E.g., the installation of fibreboard flooring does not necessarily involve levelling out the floor base)
- The type of curtain affects the proximity of the furniture and the wall, as well as the position of the air conditioner
- Sofas and chairs affect the house’s partitioning, space allocation, colouring and the positions of lights and switches
In conclusion, home owners should make decision early, according to the list of renovation items. Let the designer know about your must-haves so that they can anchor the design according to your preferences.