Do It Yourself (DIY), or Pay Someone Else (PSE)?
And where do you find the resources or the help? Read on to find out.
To start, you’ll need the following: a paint roller with a sleeve in the desired nap, angled brush and/or masking tape (for edging), paint tray, drop cloth and step stool or ladder. You can find it all at Nippon Paint, which also sells paint (5 litres of its Odour-less Premium all-in-1 interior wall paint ranges – depending on the store – from $77, for light hues, to $80 for dark ones). However, without employing a cardcarrying interior designer, you can’t try a paint “sample” in SG. Also, you need some place to stash the supplies once you’re done.
If you’re going with a bold colour or unique finish, hire a licensed painter. Try Dulux Pro Painting Contractor Dennis Koh of Trigger Solutions, who painted The Finder editor’s home, or Piyo from Painting Services Singapore. Ask for a price quote up front.
NEXT: Wallpapering →
Unless you do this for a living yourself, you really ought to outsource this job – particularly in Singapore, where you may be contending with environmental factors (e.g., heat and humidity). Looking for great papers? Check out The Wall Story or Wall Affairs, which hosts big warehouse sales.
If you’re in a modern condo or HDB, the walls should be fairly straight and smooth, and a skilled handyman shouldn’t have too many problems. Just be sure he’s registered by checking with HRD Professional Handyman. If you’re in an older house with uneven walls, though, consider Joshua Subash’s team at Handyman Mechanics.
Whether you’re hanging a painting, shelf or towel rod, you want to make sure the item is securely mounted.
First, figure out what your walls are made of: Hollow drywall? Powdery plaster? Brick?
Then, talk to the staff at your local hardware or DIY store to see what mounting supplies are suggested based on the weight and size of the items you wish to mount. (Note: If the hardware uncle says you need a heavyduty drill, go on and pay someone else.)
If you don’t have the tools or time to DIY this task, there’s no shame in PSE – particularly since it shouldn’t cost a bundle in Singapore.
We recommend licensed contractor Kai (9090 3039). Get a quote beforehand, as prices may vary.
You can safely use a mild liquid dish detergent and warm water to clean granite or marble countertops, but never use acidic cleaners, which can etch stone.
In general, wipe up spills on stone surfaces ASAP, so they don’t soak in and stain. Too late? Go with Sir Grout’s pH Neutral Soap-less Tile and Maintenance Cleaner ($40) on grimy surfaces. It works like a charm!
Save your time (and back!), and call in Sir Grout’s trained pros to make your tile floors, walls and tubs sparkle (the estimated cost for large 2’x2′ tiles is $3.50 per square foot; 8” square tiles are $6 per square foot).
While they’re there, have them apply ColorSeal to prevent future staining and mildew
Have a marble stain that won’t budge? You may have to have it buffed out. Ask the pros at Jin’s Brother Renovation Contractor to come inspect the damage and provide a quote.
NEXT: Replacing light fixtures →
Be sure that you’ve cut off the power to the fixture you’re trying to change.
Beyond that, the trickiest part of replacing a light is knowing that you have the live neutral and earth/grounding wires connected properly. Yellow is typically live, black is neutral and green is ground. (In SG, you may find, brown is live, blue is neutral and green is ground.) And if you have colours other than this, call in an electrician!
If you’re not sure how to handle electric jobs, why risk it?
You can easily find a list of electricians recommended by the Singapore Housing Authority here. In addition, CWC Electrical Engineering Service is a government-approved, 24-hour electrician service that can deal with everything from rewiring to handling electrical outages. Call for a quotation.
NEXT: Plumbing repairs →
Fixing a clogged drain or toilet is pretty simple, if you can stand the yuck factor. A good ol’ plunger or plumbing snake, from a DIY or hardware store, can usually remedy the prob.
Leaky faucets are typically because of a faulty washer. To replace it: Shut off the water, otherwise you’ll have an even bigger mess! Carefully pry off the cap of the handle. Pull the handle off and use a crescent wrench (check the DIY store) to remove the nut. Once you’ve unscrewed the stem, replace the washer and then put everything back together.
Have an emergency? Call the Plumber Singapore hotline. They’re open roudn the clock, licensed, registered plumbers that charge by the job, not the hour (from $60 for a clogged toilet).
Or, try the Singapore Plumbing Society to have a nearby plumber sent to your home within three hours (rates per job range from $60 to $900 and up).
NEXT: Painting walls →
By Jeannette Arrowood, The Finder, October 2016