Renovations in Israel

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Renovation – or as it’s called in Hebrew – “shipputzim”. Wherever you’re going, someone’s always going through a “shipputz”, be it the supermarket, the post office, the dentist’s clinic, and most of all – your neighbors at 7 AM sharp. Israelis love their “shipputzim” – always chasing the newest design trends from Europe and the USA.

And yet, it is overwhelming even to them. It’s a complicated field with its own jargon, culture, logistics, and more. However grand the results may look, renovation can be a highly stressful experience. Here’s some information that might help you avoid that.

The first step of your “shipputz” should be finding what you like. If you don’t know where to start, Pinterest is your friend. Create boards for the rooms you want to renovate, bring out your personal style. Figure out which colors, patterns, textures, and materials attract and inspire you. At first, fill the boards with anything that catches your eye. Then, take a break, come back, and start filtering out and editing the boards until you’re left with a concise representation of your style. Don’t make the mistake of skipping this step – your room boards will be used as references throughout the whole renovation process.

You might want to find an interior designer. You’re going to spend quite a lot of time together, so make sure you pick someone you can really connect with, not only stylistically but personally as well. Your designer will be seeing your most personal spaces – the rooms in your house – and express their opinions about your style. To some, this might be an emotional experience. Therefore, the importance of genuinely getting along and feeling comfortable with your designer is truly of high importance.

Next, set your budget. Your expenses might exceed what you had initially planned. Try to be prepared for a deviation of about 10-15%. This list of services and their pricing approximations can give you a good idea of what to expect:

  1. Kitchen – an average of NIS 30k (labor + material). Starting at 15k, the price will depend on the kitchen size, quality, and your standards. Usually, the company that sells you the kitchen will also install it.
  2. Bathroom – an average of NIS 15k (labor)
  3. Flooring – an average of NIS 150 per sq.m (labor)
  4. Painting – NIS 1-1.5k per room
  5. Complete renovation of an apartment – average of NIS 700 per sq.m (labor) or NIS 1,500 (labor + material).

For example, a complete renovation of a 4 room (3 bedroom) apartment of 100 sq.m will be about NIS 100k for labor and materials. Note that new apartments will usually require fewer repairs and thus significantly reduce the cost.

Now, the key to a successful renovation is finding a contractor – or in Hebrew, “kablan” – whom you can trust and rely on. They are the ones who will manage all the different laborers and professionals and keep an eye on the quality of everyone’s work. It is nearly impossible to keep track of all the other professionals you might need throughout your renovation. A good contractor is tough to find and usually relatively expensive due to the high demand, but it ends up as a good investment.

In conclusion, once you’ve set up a good team, it should be smooth sailing. Your “shipputz” experience will teach you a lot about the Israeli people, culture, language(s), and more! Just be patient and enjoy the ride.

This article originally appeared on Buy Home in Israel, and reposted with permission.