Building & Renovating

Renovation 101: Helpful Reminders and Tips

If you're considering a renovation project soon, these inputs will surely come in handy


Yesterday, we gave you insights on the basics of a renovation project. Today, we delve deeper into the different factors that you need to consider before pushing through. Do you need to tap an architect and an interior designer? Do you need a permit before you can begin?

Know the answers to these questions plus a couple of helpful tips:

Always take your budget into consideration.

Major renovations are more complicated and may cost more. Working with P100,000 is a limited budget if you plant to significantly alter a portion of the house. It is important to decide as to which space/s to be prioritized. Prioritizing will help you stay within your practical working budget.

What can I do with my old furniture?

Once you’ve identified the areas for renovation, inspect the spaces and check pieces that can be reused or repurposed. Reusing materials will help keep the cost low. For example, a plywood from an old built-in cabinet may be used to build a new center table, if still in good condition. If you have pieces of broken old ceramic tiles chipped off from the floor, you may use it on kitchen splashboards in place of expensive mosaic tiles. You may lay it out in a random pattern.

What’s next after I’ve inspected the area for renovation?

Upon inspection, you need to have a floor plan or layout ready.

Do I need to enlist the services of an architect or interior designer?

Commissioning the services of an architect or interior designer will immensely help in maximizing a limited renovation budget as design mistakes and unconfident quantity estimates will be kept at a minimum, and specifications will be cost-sensitive.

To view a list of professionals that you can work with and see a couple of their projects, visit:

Can I work on a renovation project without professional help?

Yes, but you may benefit from having a sketch / guide of a general layout of the desired final outcome of the renovation. Having a plan will help you define the renovation direction and avoid unexpected changes mid-construction that may have serious cost implications.

Do I need to secure a permit for a renovation project?

As per the National Building Code of the Philippines, securing a building permit is required for all renovation projects. The National Building Code of the Philippines defines renovation as any physical change made on buildings and structures to increase the value or quality, and/or to improve the aesthetic.

Other tips to keep in mind:

1. Diligent supervision during construction is important especially when trying to keep within a budget without professional design assistance. This also ensures that all materials are used correctly and workers are working to achieve the needed output.

2. After the renovation is completed, it is necessary to have a design professional inspect the correctness of the construction work done and determine if the new space is safe for occupancy. Keep in mind that it would be an expensive inconvenience to spend more on trying to fix unsafe work.

3. Renovations can be complex and costly but if you’re armed with proper planning, professional guidance, and practical prioritization – you can go through the fun and exciting experience without breaking the bank.

Ready for your own renovation? If such undertaking is part of your long-term plans, you may want to consider a simple makeover for your home first. For makeover inspirations, visit

Architect Ivy Tablante is part of Structura Architects - an architectural design studio based in Manila, specializing in Residential, Commercial, Office, and Retail Projects. They provide full professional design assistance, from conceptualization to construction.


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