Home Renovation Guide Part 4: The Four Essential Foundation Steps
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In our previous article, we covered some important things to consider and prepare for prior to starting a renovation. Now, we will outline the four key steps involved in preparing the unit - plumbing, masonry, carpentry, and painting - which will be addressed based on the specific needs and progress of the project, rather than following a set order.

Plumbing and Electricity:

Homeowners need to carefully plan the layout of their living room, kitchen, and bathroom ahead of time. This involves considering the placement of lights, appliances, furniture and other items that will dictate the number of electrical switches and outlets, as well as water inlets and outlets needed. Additionally, gas lines, telephone, broadband and air conditioning pipelines should be installed during this stage. If there is a need to change windows, adjust external water pipe locations, install air conditioners or set up chimneys for water heaters, scaffolding may be required. It's important to have detailed discussions with the interior design company to ensure all arrangements are properly coordinated.


During the masonry process, tasks such as levelling the floors and walls, waterproofing the kitchen and bathroom, and installing floor and/or wall tiles are involved. To ensure a smooth flow of work and prevent delays, it is recommended to order bricks, bathtubs, toilets, and other materials two to three weeks before the masonry work begins, allowing for proper coordination with the construction schedule.


Carpenters often create custom features such as light troughs, hidden curtain rod tracks, wooden casings for air conditioners, built-in cabinets, kitchen cabinets and platform beds. While some items are prefabricated on the mainland and transported to the site for installation, others, such as light troughs, curtain rod tracks, and customised casings, are usually constructed on-site. To ensure a seamless process, the dimensions of built-in ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, and other appliances should be provided in advance to allow the carpenter to customise cabinets of the exact size. As the painting process nears completion, the carpenter will begin installing wooden doors and frames, laying wooden flooring, and completing other finishing touches. Homeowners should coordinate with the carpenter's construction schedule and order the necessary materials in advance to avoid any delays in the carpentry work.


In order to paint walls and ceilings effectively, the process should begin with priming, followed by plastering, and finished with painting. It is important for homeowners to select the desired paint type and wall colour prior to the painter commencing the job.

Each of the above processes also involves safety issues during the renovation period, which will directly affect your future comfort and convenience, so you should choose an indoor design company that has established good construction safety standards and green procurement standards. They will:

  • Clear instructions for the renovation contractor to adhere to relevant safety, water conservation, and energy-saving guidelines and regulations
  • Ensure that all technical installations are carried out by qualified technicians
  • Ensure that workers use appropriate personal protective equipment and take good fire prevention measures, equipped with suitable fire-fighting equipment such as handheld fire extinguishers
  • Choose paints, carpentry, and furniture materials that do not contain harmful substances or metals, with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde emissions meeting relevant regulations.
  • According to the Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, it encourages the use of appliances that are rated as first-class energy efficient.
  • Implement green procurement standards to encourage the selection of suppliers with environmental labels and to purchase products manufactured in Hong Kong or Asia to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Therefore, homeowners also have the responsibility to ensure the safety of renovation projects and contribute to environmental protection by carefully choosing excellent interior design companies.
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