Moving into your dream home is like running a marathon – after paying up your down payment and getting your keys, you can barely catch your breath before renovations begin. And unless you have prior experience, you’ll likely find the renovation process to be very stressful and overwhelming.
But with the right help, you can achieve an end result that is extremely fulfilling without being thrown into the deep end. Apart from having quality IDs and contractors who can align with your vision, knowing a bit of reno jargon can help you communicate better with them, making the process much more efficient.
To start off, here are 14 reno terms to help ease you into the renovation world.
Image credit: @ebbys_home
Hear the word “backsplash” and you may not intuitively relate it to the kitchen. To put things into context, a kitchen backsplash is a stretch of wall between the countertop and upper cabinets. The term also applies to the place behind your bathroom sink as well.
Typically, a backsplash usually comprises tiles, natural stone, glass or stainless steel. Most people opt for tiles for its non-porous and waterproof characteristics as the backsplash is supposed to catch grease and other common splashes while cooking – pretty much explaining how it got its name.
Image credit: The Local INN.terior
If you’re thinking of infusing some Victorian flavour into your home, you’ll probably have to do some wainscoting. Essentially, wainscoting is the process which creates a series of textured and embossed “frames” on the walls, giving birth to the sophisticated Parisian or Victorian look.
3. Fluted panels
Image credit: thesurface.studio
Talk about effortlessly luxurious designs and fluted panels top the list. Essentially, fluted panels are made from thin strips of material vertically aligned to create a series of straight grooved recesses, a popular way to make an otherwise flat surface more visually striking.
Fluted panels normally refer to decorative panels made up of wood or composite materials that have vertical grooves running along the length of it – hence the “flutes”. These panels are used on walls to create an accent wall or to conceal entrances of doors, some even use these panels on their ceilings to create more depth and visual interest in their homes.
BONUS: Fluted glass
A beautiful fluted glass partition in this loft condo.
Not to be confused with fluted panels, fluted glass is a type of glass with vertical ridges much like fluted panels. These panels are often used as a partition or panel for windows and doors to provide a tiny bit more privacy than traditional windows.
4. ABS Trimming
Image credit: Fifth Avenue Interior
Be it choosing materials for your doors or cabinetry, many would opt for laminates as you can have the luxury of choosing from a whole range of shades and textures at an affordable price. That being said, one hot tip is to ensure with your ID or contractor that your laminates come with ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) trimming.
Technical jargon aside, abs trimming is a special plastic that is used to conceal joints, cover gaps and make the workmanship of your home look its best. While these may incur additional costs, they are especially important as it protects the carpentry, making the laminate more resistant to premature peeling.
Also known as a partition wall, a drywall is sound-insulating and lightweight. Drywalls are found in almost all new HDB flats, where they comprise most of the internal walls of the unit. Those “hackable” walls in your HDB? Probably drywalls.
Image credit: Claybook Interiors
Fixtures that are attached firmly to your walls, floors and ceilings, but still removable are called fittings. This term covers can apply to lighting, doors and windows, the bathroom and kitchen and even storage and decorative elements.Here are some examples of fittings within the different categories:
Lighting – pendant lights, track lighting
Bathroom – shower head, faucet
Kitchen – cabinet pulls, cooker hoods, sink
Image credit: @kesteemo
For homes that receive relatively less natural light, one way to make the room brighter is to install sconces.
Sconces refer to a type of light fixture that is mounted on a wall, a sconce can not only serve as a decorative fixture, but can be functional in giving small amounts of light just enough to cosy up a space.
Image credit: Mr Designer Studio
Apart from having cement-finished walls, another key feature in the industrial style playbook is having your electrical trunkings exposed. These are the rectangular compartments that protect your cables, connecting them from the rooms to the major power source.
8. System 2, 3 or 4
Image credit: TheSmartLocal
System 2, 3 or 4 are industry jargons describing the no. 1 must-have in tropical Singapore – air conditioners. While all 3 systems are units with 1 compressor, systems 2, 3 and 4 have 2, 3 and 4 indoor air conditioner units respectively.
9. Shaker cabinets
Image credit: Fifth Avenue Interior
Even in predominantly modern spaces, you can still easily inject a dose of American retro into it by having shaker cabinetry. Characterised by their recessed centre panels and wooden or metallic pulls, shaker cabinets can give lots of style, even in the simplest of designs.
10. Light Reflectance Value (LRV)
Image credit: Free Space Intent
When it comes to choosing colours, terms such as Light Reflectance Value (LRV) come in extra handy. To give you some bearings, absolute black has an LRV of 0 while pure white has an LRV of 100.
By keeping in mind the LRV of your colour palette, you’ll be able to roughly gauge how bright your living spaces will be.
11. Anti-slip rating
Image credit: @patricklau.photography
Anti-slip ratings are an especially crucial factor to consider while choosing your flooring. These ratings are part of a spectrum ranging from R9 to R13, the former referring to slippery tiles, while the latter being non-slip and coarse ones.
12. Load-bearing walls
Image credit: @thebareloft
While the open-concept layout is a genius idea to make a space look way bigger and brighter, that isn’t to say that we have free rein to hack whichever walls we want to hack. In particular, load-bearing walls shouldn’t be touched.
By HDB’s wall hacking policy, load-bearing walls can’t be hacked as they carry the weight of the ceiling. Usually, they are built along the same line in the units across all floors, which means that removing one of them in one unit can become a huge hazard and unleash a whole domino effect.
13. 3D Rendering
Image credit: Planner 5D
“3D rendering” isn’t just a phrase for techies and interior designers alike. In fact, the term 3D rendering means a realistic depiction of how you want a space to look like. Through a room planning platform, wannabe homeowners can easily take their hands to modelling their own dream home so their IDs have a better idea of their vision.
Important reno terms to know
For most homeowners, renovating your home is a rite of passage. While there are countless things to look out for, not to mention the costs involved, it can easily be one of the most stressful experiences.
But by slowly exposing yourself to the reno world, you can make the process a lot less daunting for yourself. Soon after, you’ll be able to reap what you’ve sown and earn a beautiful place that is your home.
For more renovation tips:
- We ask: Singaporeans’ biggest renovation regrets
- We ask: Singaporean’s ultimate renovation tips
- Interior designer renovation guide
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