In addition to more usable space and reduced costs associated with home renovation, renovations also increase its value. In what way? Because it usually involves clearing out the clutter, you can then repurpose the items you find in the home.
This, of course, benefits the space, the functionality, and the overall look of the home. Remodelling and design trends also make a home very appealing to buyers, which increases its saleability.
But when there’s a home renovation, there’s also the possibility of spending a huge amount of money, meaning you need to be very sure about what you’re doing first. After all, it’s where you’re going to spend most of your day, and you don’t want to waste money on something that could have been done easily by a professional.
It takes longer to renovate a 3, 4, or 5-room HDB flat than it does for a similar-sized build-to-order flat. This is due to the unique requirements for each type of space.
You are also going to need money. Completing an upgrade requires a certain budget, which you can determine by reviewing each project’s information and comparing estimates from different companies for fulfilling your requirements.
Luckily, there’s no need for you to guess if you don’t need more space or if the cost of completing an upgrade would warrant additional costs. In this article, as we have done the hard work for you, all you need to do is give it a thorough read-through.
When it comes to the cost of a residential flat renovation, there are many factors to consider. Although it is common knowledge that Singapore has some of the best property prices in the world, this fact cannot be taken lightly.
If you are contemplating renovating your home or want to make changes to your current property, it is important to know what to expect to make an informed decision.
Renovation costs for new condominium apartments
Research shows that the average home renovation cost in Singapore is about $30,000 to $40,000. This includes the cost of the renovation work itself (demolition works, repainting and repair works etc.). According to this estimate, a three-bedroom condo could cost as little as $28,000.
If you’re looking to get your hands on a new condominium apartment, you’ll find that its makeover process is much quicker than that of a Build-to-Order (BTO) flat, which usually takes about 6-7 weeks only. Even so, the length of time needed for your renovations depends partly on the quality you’re aiming for.
Renovation costs for resale condominium apartments
Hefty renovation costs are just one of the many factors to consider when deciding whether you can afford to buy a larger resale condo unit. If you’re buying one, you should expect the cost to be between $55,000 and $70,000.
Renovation period for resale condominium apartments
These condominium apartments will take 6 to 8 weeks to complete, and if your apartment is large enough, it might take longer. But it’s worth mentioning that another factor is that resale condos tend to have more unique floor plans and features than new condos.
The Singaporean government provides housing for citizens. Housing is available for purchase or rent in the public and private sectors.
Renovation costs for new HDB/BTO flats
If you fancy a 3-room BTO flat, be prepared to set aside a budget of around $38,850 for renovation. The average renovation costs associated with a 4-room flat, on the other hand, cost between $43,000-$45,000.
The renovation costs of a new 5-room flat will usually be at least $45,000.
Renovation costs for resale HDB flats
A resale HDB flat in Singapore can cost around $40,000-$55,000 for a 3-room unit or from $45,000- $52,000 for a 4-room unit. Whereas a 5-room-type typically requires renovation costs of $59,000 – $79,000.
Considerably the heart and soul of a home, the living room and dining spaces are often the most seen places of any house when visitors come around to visit and is often where people gather together. This makes these rooms the largest parts of a home, and it’s very much true for most HDB flats.
Surprisingly, despite being larger, these rooms actually cost less money to renovate compared to other places in a home. The costs are as follows:
|Hacking||$100 to $400||$400 to $700||$700 to $3,900|
|Masonry||$100 to $1,300||$1,300 to $3,000||$3,000 to $22,000|
|Carpentry||$200 to $3,400||$3,400 to $6,100||$6,100 to $23,700|
|Ceiling & partition||$200 to $800||$800 to $1,200||$1,200 to $3,200|
Bedrooms are very personal spaces in a home, and very often, much work that ends up being done is through furnishing, if not heavily personalized.
The estimated renovation costs of a bedroom (per room) is as follows:
|Hacking||$100 to $600||$600 to $1,000||$1,000 to $5,200|
|Masonry||$200 to $1,300||$1,300 to $2,800||$2,800 to $8,800|
|Carpentry||$200 to $4,400||$4,400 to $7,500||$7,500 to $33,700|
|Ceiling & partition||Up to $600||$600 to $1,100||$1,100 to $5,000|
Kitchen renovations are not often done to increase the space of an area, but they usually focus on creating a functional and visually pleasing design.
A kitchen is a room that helps you with cooking and connects to your dining and living areas. Thus, it is important to take note of their functions before remodelling or renovating.
Despite the usual smaller size of a kitchen, you would think it requires less money to renovate. However, its functional nature demands a lot of touches that can really add to the cost.
|Hacking||$100 to $500||$500 to $900||$900 to $3,200|
|Masonry||$200 to $1,300||$1,300 to $3,900||$3,900 to $11,300|
|Carpentry||$100 to $4,300||$4,300 to $6,900||$6,900 to $17,900|
|Ceiling & partition||$100 to $200||$200 to $500||$500 to $1,700|
The bathroom is just as important a space in a home as any other room. Unlike the rest of your home, the bathroom will often have more extensive adjustments because the walls may need to be tiled or retired, and you might need to reinstall plumbing.
The renovation costs for a bathroom are:
|Hacking||$100 to $500||$500 to $1,000||$1,000 to $6,800|
|Masonry||$100 to $1,500||$1,500 to $5,700||$5,700 to $17,500|
|Carpentry||$200 to $1,200||$1,200 to $2,100||$2,100 to $9,000|
|Ceiling & partition||$100 to $400||$400 to $800||$800 to $3,900|
Don’t forget to account for all the expenses you’ll incur during this renovation:
|Electrical wiring||$300 to $1,700||$1,700 to $3,200||$3,200 to $7,700|
|Painting||$200 to $1,400||$1,400 to $1,800||$1,800 to $4,100|
|Windows, doors & grilles||$400 to $2,600||$2,600 to $5,100||$5,100 to $13,800|
|Disposal & cleanup||$300 to $1,100||$1,100 to $1,700||$1,700 to $13,900|
Here are a few examples of common materials used in flooring and wall tiles, along with their costs:
|Vinyl||$5.50 to $6.50 psf|
|Laminate||$6 to $8 psf|
|Ceramic tiles||$10 to $12 psf (including labour)|
|Cement screed (polished)||$15 to $30 psf|
|Hardwood (e.g. parquet)||$30 to $50 psf|
|Marble||$40 to $70 psf|
One of the main renovation costs for building a kitchen space is your choice of materials. Will you be opting for laminate and tile, or will you be going with solid wood and granite?
|Laminate||$8 to $20 per foot run|
|Solid surface||$55 to $175 per foot run|
|Wood||$20 to $150 per foot run|
|Ceramic tiles||$30 to $80 per foot run|
|Granite||$55 to $175 per foot run|
|Stainless steel||$80 to $125 per foot run|
|Engineered quartz||$90 to $105 per foot run|
The more you modify your home, the more you will have to invest in it. While the associated costs for each work item are hard to pin down, hacking, masonry, and carpentry will probably be the main cost components when it comes to renovating any home.
Hacking is like destroying in that: it involves removing existing structures such as walls, flooring, built-in furniture, etc.
However, hacking may not be necessary in some cases. You don’t have to rip everything out of the house if you want to change the flooring.
Instead of hacking, the installation of modern vinyl, laminate, or engineered wood floors can often be dovetailed with existing tiles.
Masonry is the application of cement to build shower kerbs, cabinet bases, and floor tiles.
As part of the hacking and reconfiguration process, the more masonry you have to do, the higher the costs are. In the same way, the larger the surface area, the more raw materials and labour are required, meaning the cost of masonry will increase accordingly.
Carpentry is a craft that’s more than just building furniture and deals with wooden materials in general. If you require custom-made furniture, a professional carpentry service can provide you with solutions.
Although custom-built furniture is aesthetically pleasing and durable, many furniture manufacturers sell affordable furniture items that are appropriate for any style and can help you minimize your expenses.
Though the cost of renovation may seem intimidating, there are several things you can do to mitigate the cost.
You’re probably excited to start working on your dream home makeover, but if you want it to be done right, it’s always a good idea to go over the work with a professional. The reason is that there are many things that can go wrong while working on your own. So don’t be afraid to contact the industry experts.
Don’t proceed without a budget plan. It’s important to discuss your budget with the contractors at the beginning of the project, as insufficient communication could lead to unnecessary expenses and unrealistic goals.
It is always advisable to have a contract signed with a contractor before accepting their proposal to ensure your security.
Walls and ceilings will be built with inferior materials if the budget is underestimated.
Do not do anything that violates building codes. As is the case with most government entities, HDB has many rules regarding public and private housing. Here’s a quick list of HDB rules you should remember before you start getting your flat redone:
- HDB must approve all hacking plans before execution.
- It’s compulsory for residents to use pre-packed cement screed on dry areas, such as walls and floors of bedrooms and living room.
- Before you begin renovations on your new bathroom walls and floors, you must wait for three years so that you do not destroy the waterproof membrane installed previously.
- Unfortunately, you cannot permanently conceal your plumbing. In the event of a clog or plumbing issue, HDB must easily access the pipes for inspection.
- For bomb shelters, you’re not allowed to do the following:
- Remove or cover the doorpost notice
- Removing or altering the door
- Lay tiles on the interior walls, spray a cement sand finishing or paint the walls with plaster.
- Overlay the existing floor with tiles or skirtings
- Attempt hacking and installing panels or tiles on the external walls of the shelter
- Installation of power tools on the interior walls
- Verify that HDB’s fire test will pass the new door before you replace the old one. The purpose is to prevent smoke from spreading in the unit and causing a fire.
- To prevent accidents and injuries, you can replace the windows, but your safety railings and grilles cannot be removed. You can have windows that open outwards but not directly into the corridor.
- If you’re scheduling a renovation, some rules dictate that you can only do renovation work during known periods:
- Weekdays and Saturdays before 9 am to 5 pm
- Every Sunday and on public holidays
- In excess of 3 months following the issuance of your HDB permits
It’s important for you to have an idea of how much you can afford so that you can set aside a budget, but the most important thing to do when looking at renovation quotes is to make sure that the contractor you pick does quality work.
When you ask a contractor, interior designer, or design-and-build company about what they offer, they will all give you a different list of value-added options.
Here’s a comparison table to help you figure out which one works best for your renovation needs:
|Component||Contractor||Design & build||Interior designer|
Renovation contractors: The contractor-only model is best for homeowners who have time to get involved with the renovation work and want to save money by avoiding the additional cost of hiring an interior designer. A contractor typically charges based on the cost of construction materials and how much physical labour they have to invest.
A detailed renovation plan probably means a higher degree of customization and increased cost. The customer’s involvement is also higher, so this option is best for those who have excess time to oversee the construction on-site.
Interior Designer: Creating 3D designs that you approve of is an Interior Designer’s job. This also includes taking the burden off you by handling the planning, sourcing, and decision-making for you, so you can trust them to do a great job.
Consulting with an ID includes paying for the materials as well as a commission.
Design & Build: They offer to combine the project management, design, and construction work into a single package. The price you pay is based only on the cost of materials — you don’t have to pay fees for the design.
However, it is important to note that Design-and-Build companies are more proficient at building than designing.
If you know what you want, but hiring a professional doesn’t fit your renovation budget, then it’s good to have Design & Build as another option to help you manage the renovation works.
To start, you should be scrupulous in checking a company’s references before you hire them and avoid being taken in by deals that are too good to be true.
If you want a contractor, one of the first things you need to do is check if they’re on the HDB vendor list. If you prefer an interior designer, some of the requirements are listed in the CaseTrust guidebook.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, you should only hire a renovation contractor listed under the Registered Renovation Contractors’ Scheme (RRCS).
There are also restrictions related to other types of work on your flat, such as plumbing or window installation. You can find information about HDB licensed workers on their website.
If you engage a design firm that is CaseTrust-accredited, then you can rest easy knowing that your money is safe. If the company collapses before the work is complete, your deposit will be protected.
When you decide to renovate, you want to work with someone that can accomplish your plans without compromising what you want for your home. You also want someone with a keen eye for details and can fit all the necessary work while fitting within a reasonable cost.
Even when you choose only from those with accreditations, the list of firms can still be very long. Fortunately, we’ve narrowed down the best ones for you.
Livspace, Asia’s biggest interior design business, offers full-range renovation and provides award-winning interior designers and who oversee renovations from start to finish. They accept any type of home, from condos and HDB homes to landed property.
There is an online platform for home renovation that matches homeowners to the best firms for interior designers on the island.
This company houses a team of leading interior designers for homes of all types in the country.
ZLC focuses on residential and corporate interior redesign, with 30 years of experience. The ZLC brand is the go-to brand for anyone looking to upscale their aesthetic.
A major strength of this company is its one-stop full renovation services, such as design consultation, conceptualization, and project costs and management.
Feel like your dream home needs renovation work, but you don’t have the renovation budget? It’s not a problem. A home renovation loan, in particular, is a special type of personal loan that you use to renovate your unit. Usually, you have to pay back the bank over a period of years.
There are plenty of loan options available depending on the type of home and property size.
Borrowers can take out a home renovation loan via the RHB Bank. With 2.98% interest rates and a one-two week approval time, borrowers will have no problem meeting their repayment obligations. This loan also enables applicants to repay the loan in up to five years at no additional cost.
OCBC (Organic City Bank) is the only bank in the country that allows a third-party borrower to refinance their existing loan at any time during the lifetime of the loan. You just need to fill in some very simple paperwork, and you’ll be approved within 4-6 working days. Interest rates are competitive with most banks in Singapore, with an average of 4.18%.
The Maybank Renovation Loan is among the most conventional renovation loan you can get. It comes with surprisingly attractive low-interest rates of 4.1% and a grace period of two working days before the bank decides whether to reject your application.
If you seek financial assistance for your home renovation, there are well-established Moneylending companies that offer personal loans. You can get immediate approval for your loan through them if you meet the requirements.
Luckily, moneylenders are often more lax with their requirements than most banks, so you can be confident that there is a lender that can give you the money you need.
Renovation works can be hectic, but it’s critical to choose the right renovation contractor for your home. In choosing a renovation firm or contractor, please remember to be cautious and budget accordingly.
If you have been looking for personal loans for home renovations and need a reliable and licensed money lender, A1 Credit offers a wide range of financing services.
It is a leading provider of personal loan in Singapore for home use with an extensive network of locals.
A1 Credit is expanding its range of services and aims to offer better service to its clients by offering more flexible payment terms and supplementing its strong network with additional capital where required.