Moving in Dubai

The Big Reveal

Ready to give your home a facelift? Marco and Cinzia from Smart Renovation ( talk renovation essentials…

Why renovate?
The vibe of your home greatly impacts your mood, mental health and over all well-being. Your home should reflect your lifestyle and fulfill your needs, whether that’s having a dedicated room to meditate in, a safe play space for the kids, or an ergonomically optimised home office. A well-executed renovation will also always add value when you decide to sell.

I’m thinking about renovating, where do I start?
First of all, think about the areas you want to revamp, how much you want to spend, and how a renovation will improve or enhance your lifestyle. Next step is to find the right design team for your project. Our top tip is to make sure they understand what your requirements and are excited to deliver the home transformation you’re looking for.

What are the most common renovations?
Villa extensions are super popular. Upgraded flooring is another one as this can make a big difference to look and feel without any major structural changes. Kitchen and bathroom renovations are always on people’s wish lists as they can date relatively quickly and need a personality stamp.

What budget should I allow?
It all depends on the extent of the renovation plans, size, style as well as the design concept. A simple makeover, for example, can be relatively inexpensive if it’s only about upgrading the paintwork, lighting and flooring. At the other extreme, if you plan on making structural changes then budget deserves detailed consideration. At the end of the day, you need to work on a figure that you can afford, but also build in a contingency.

Can I renovate without interior designer expertise?
Of course, but it can be an extremely stressful experience if you don’t have that insider knowledge and track record. It’s not only the big jobs either; getting the smallest details perfect will benefit from an expert eye. Instead of saving, most people end up spending more to fix mistakes due to a lack of expertise.

Do I need to seek approvals before I start?
Yes, for structural changes. But don’t worry, your design team and fitout company will take care of this for you. It’s worth noting that if you’re changing the Affection Plan, then developer, municipality and, in some cases, even civil defence permissions are required. You also need a certificate of approval from Dubai Municipality before commencing building work.  

How long does a typical renovation take? 
For a two-bed, three-bath apartment you’re looking at anywhere from two to four months. A villa can take an average of four to eight months, depending on the scope of work. Patience is therefore key. A well-executed structural renovation takes time, and anyone who tells you that they can fast-track the project is probably not the right choice.

How can I ensure I’ve found a credible contractor?
It’s critical to find a company that understands your vision. Ask for a portfolio, project samples, and customer testimonials, and check to see if they have online reviews. Great contractors are the ones who look beyond the aesthetic and make sure that your home functions perfectly, whether it’s impeccable tile grouting, shower waterproofing, electrics in working order, or leak-free plumbing. Don’t rush your decision, take time to do your due diligence.

Any potential issues I need to consider?
A common one is potentially unhappy neighbours. Noise pollution can be incredibly upsetting and with many people now permanently working from home, you need to be considerate and still get the job done. Another one is choosing the wrong contractor and a poorly executed project. Word to the wise: always get a professional to check your quote and always go for a turnkey project, where all charges are included. 

Want to know more? Reach out to Marco and Cinzia at

%d bloggers like this: