This Homeowner Saved $800 By DIY Installing A Glass Block Feature Wall In Her Laundry Room

17 May 2024 | BY

Buying all the materials from Taobao helped this homeowner save a good chunk of change for her DIY project.

diy glass block feature wall

The trend of glass block features in HDB interiors has been on the up and up, and this homeowner was determined to have this chic design in her home. Hazel of @lightindwelling wanted to incorporate some form of glass blocks in her new 5-room resale HDB flat. But rather than have her interior designer and a contractor finish the job for her, she decided to DIY the glass block wall herself to add some character to her laundry room.

Here’s how she saved nearly $800 by taking on this side project by herself as well as ordering all the materials from the trusty Taobao.

Buying all the materials from Taobao

glass blocks diyImage credit: Hazel/Lightindwelling

It’s pretty common for homeowners to flock to Taobao to buy the materials that they need, and Hazel was not one to go against the grain. She found the glass block that she wanted—a rectangular glass block that had little embellishments—and swiftly placed an order for 30 of them. A cursory search on Taobao showed that there are multiple shops selling these glass blocks, and they average around $2 per block.

glass blocks on taobaoImage credit: Taobao

Those Taobao shops also have plenty of different glass block designs that can fit into all sorts of interior themes. Some stores you can check out include:

wooden blockImage credit: Hazel/Lightindwelling

She also got wooden blocks from Taobao that could span the height of her ceiling to act as the side supports for the glass block wall rather than put up drywall in the cramped space. However, there were some logistical issues about shipping such a long piece of wood, so it arrived at her doorstep in 2 pieces. 

To ensure that everything came together without falling apart, Hazel bought super sticky glue and some tile adhesive grout from Taobao as well. She noted that the super sticky adhesive glue was used for the wooden blocks, probably to secure it to the floor, ceiling, and wall.

While she didn’t specify how much she spent on all the materials, we could hazard a guess and say that the total cost was probably around $150-$200 inclusive of the shipping to Singapore.

Saving $800 by doing it herself instead of through an ID

DIY glass block feature wallImage credit: Hazel/Lightindwelling

Hazel noted in her Lemon8 post that doing up this glass block wall by herself helped save her almost $800 compared to what her interior designer quoted her. Granted, this would’ve included not only the material cost but also the labour cost from the contractor and a markup on top. For what it’s worth, $800 is not chump change, and in the grand scheme of things, helped bring down renovation costs quite significantly.

In the midst of her measuring and arranging the glass blocks in her laundry room, she decided to get a handyman to help take over the project and finish the wall. “Sometimes, recognising our limits and seeking assistance is a sign of wisdom!” she said in the Lemon8 post.

diy glass block wallImage credit: Hazel/Lightindwelling

Hiring the handyman might have turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as he intuitively secured the blocks with metal bars in between to give the small wall some much-needed stability.

While some might dismiss the notion of this being a true DIY project with the engagement of the handyman, we’d argue that Hazel still did plenty of the legwork herself, and she definitely had a lot of cost savings to be proud enough of her efforts too. 

DIY glass blocks feature wall in an HDB flat

diy glass block wallImage credit: Hazel/Lightindwelling

Singaporean homeowners don’t get enough credit for being a handy bunch. From creating arches at home to building a glass block wall from scratch all on their own, there are so many cool projects that they’ve done to spruce up their ordinary HDB flats.

You can follow Hazel on her Instagram and Lemon8 profiles.

Check out other DIY projects in HDB flats:

Cover image credit: Hazel/Lightindwelling

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