Sharing home renovation experiences and inspiration

Part 1: My first home renovation journey – Transforming an 18 year old condo unit

Hi everyone! I finally found the time to blog about my first home renovation journey. It was a challenging 3 months,  with many sleepless nights, sweat and tears along the way, but at the end, the result was truly worth it, and that’s why I want to share my experience here.

I bought an old condo unit (18 years old), 1,200 sqft with 2 bed 2 bath. I bought it because it was in a good location, the unit layout was quite square-ish with no weird corners, and the condo had a “resort” feel to it. Only downside was that the place was very old and in need of a major reno!


Here’s the condition of the condo unit before renovation:

Old living room

Tired-looking living room

Dining area

Dining area

Eerie kitchen

Eerie kitchen

Guest bedroom

Guest bedroom

Guest bathroom

Guest bathroom

Master bathroom

Master bathroom

Major renovation work I did:

  1. Replaced all the floor tiles AND wall tiles in the kitchen, living room and bathroom
  2. Replaced the internal water pipes (the pipes were old and rusty, with brown water coming out of the tap)
  3. Removed and put in new build-ins
  4. Re-wired the entire unit
  5. Installed new fixtures e.g., lights, air-con, fan

I asked for quotation from a few contractors and eventually chose Steve because I could see his workmanship was good (he allowed me to inspect one of the units he was renovating), and most importantly, his price was FAIR.

3787 Quotation comparison version 2

All in, the renovation came up to ~RM90k. The big items were:

  • Built-in kitchen cabinets RM15,200
  • Built-in wardrobe for master bedroom and guest bedroom RM8,500
  • Labour to install wall tiles in kitchen and 2 bathrooms RM8,900
  • Labour to install floor tiles in kitchen and living room RM5,600
  • Painting for the entire unit RM5,000
  • Hacking floor tiles in the kitchen and living room RM4,500
  • Plumbing works RM2,600

The remainder are small items that added up to big amount! For example, installation of AC points (RM110 each), plaster ceiling in each room (~RM400 each room), installation of sanitary items (RM800 in each bathroom) etc

What I’ve learnt when choosing contractors is that I have to be prepared to scrunitise every line of the quotation and clarify with the contractor if I’m not clear what he meant, especially whether the quotation includes material costs or just labour cost.

Once I decided to appoint Steve, the real work begun!

Next post, I will share some of the work in progress photos and experience. Be prepared for a messy and dusty site!



Part 2: Home renovation in progress – Getting down and dirty


  1. Wilson

    Good start!

  2. Nanook

    Looking forward to share your journey

    • Geoh

      Thank you thank you! I also have more people lined up to share their journey, some you know 😉

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