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Hi all, I have been wanting to write about my renovation experience for a while now but have been putting it off until now . We took our keys back in July 2013 and officially moved in in Nov 2013. This forum has been a great source of information for me and I would like to give something back to the community. Hopefully, it will be of some benefit to anyone who is reading this . First of all, the floor plan: We started researching for our renovation since 2012. We read forums and flipped through home decor magazines at the library or bookstores etc. Take pictures - they might come in handy in future when you meet with contractors. A good idea is to write your notes in Google Drive so you can access them anywhere. We also kept a spreadsheet with all the quotation breakdowns from the contractors/IDs we contacted. This keeps things neat and easy to compare. Do include the prices of everything else you will need to budget for e.g. furnishings, electrical works etc. In this way, we knew for sure how much we spent in total for renovation (including all hidden costs!). Try to know what you want before going around asking for quotations. For example, we knew (after looking through countless magazines ) that we want a Scandinavian look for our house. That means: - furniture with simple and clean lines - bright, open spaces - light-color themes - wood-looking flooring - minimalism In short, there are lots of planning and research to do even before getting your keys. Do walk around home exhibitions (regularly at Expo) and furniture stores (IKEA). Shortlist the stuff that you like. Take note of prices and put them down in your budget spreadsheet. We had planned for a renovation budget of 40K (including furnishings) and I was quite proud that we spent within our budget AND did not compromise on the Scandinavian vision . Preview: I will try to narrate and dissect our renovation process in future posts in this topic so stay tuned! (I am rather slow in writing, so bear with me, hopefully just need a few weeks! ). P.S. In the meantime, you can head over to my wife's blog (http://yunzhijian.blogspot.sg/) for pictures and her views on our renovation (YES she has already finished her blog!! And I am still on my first post!!)