Skip to main content

With the rising number of homeowners in Singapore, it’s pretty much a common journey for most of us to embark on a home renovation project. In fact, it’s highly likely that home renovation will end up being one of the most significant expenses in your lifetime.

So, let’s get down to brass tacks. How much should you prepare to spend on your home renovation? What are the key costs involved, and how can you keep your budget in check?

Here are some factors to consider:

HDB Renovation Cost in 2023

Your renovation costs can vary depending on the size of your HDB flat. If you’re dealing with a resale flat, it could also cost you more.

HDB Flat Renovation Cost (Avg.) Renovation for Resale (Avg.)
3 Room (60 to 65 sqm) $32,000 $42,600
4 Room (90 sqm) $42,600 $58,500
5 Room (110 sqm) $52,100 $65,200

Please note these figures are approximate and sourced from Qanvast.

If you’re curious about renovating a condo or landed property, you can roughly estimate the cost based on floor area.

HDB Home Renovation

What’s Usually Included

Your renovation project may encompass various aspects, such as:

  • Hacking (including labor for demolishing and rebuilding walls)
  • Masonry (which covers flooring and tiling)
  • Carpentry (wardrobes, cupboards, custom storage solutions)
  • Ceiling and partition work (false ceilings, partition walls, etc.)
  • Plumbing (fixtures like washbasins, taps, toilet bowls, shower sets)
  • Electrical (outlets for lighting, data, heater, power points)
  • Painting (for walls and ceilings)
  • Glass and aluminum work (window panes, mirrors, partitions, grilles)
  • Cleaning and polishing (entire house cleaning, debris removal, marble floor polishing, etc.)

Factors that affect Home Renovation Cost

The cost of renovating a home in Singapore is contingent on several factors:

1. Size and Type of Home: Larger homes incur higher renovation expenses. For instance, while small homes under 100 sqm may require budgets under $30,000, larger HDB flats can demand up to $70,000 for renovation. Additionally, the type of property, whether new or resale, significantly influences costs, with older properties often requiring extensive refurbishment.

2. Extent of Work: The scope of renovation work, such as hacking, masonry, carpentry, and additional fixtures, constitutes a significant portion of the budget. Factors like dismantling built-in fixtures, constructing new walls, or installing custom carpentry contribute to overall expenses.

3. Quality and Type of Materials: Material selection, ranging from flooring to wall decorations, profoundly impacts costs. For example, ceramic flooring is more affordable compared to marble, and opting for paint over wallpaper can result in substantial savings.

Home Renovation Cost 2023

Let’s break it down for some specific areas of your home renovation:

Living Room Cost: The cost of renovating your living room can vary based on your interior design choices. It may range from a low of $5,900 to a high of $52,800. The key expenses in the living room typically revolve around masonry (flooring) and carpentry for built-in furniture like TV consoles, cabinets, and shoe shelves.

Kitchen Cost: If you’re looking to save money during your HDB renovation, pay close attention to the kitchen. Carpentry and cabinets, which are often essential, tend to be the costliest components. Kitchen renovations can range from around $6,300 to as high as $34,100.

Bedroom Cost: Your bedroom can be an area where you economize a bit. By retaining your original HDB tiles, painting the walls, and opting for flat-packed wardrobes and bed frames, you can reduce your bedroom renovation expenses. Bedroom renovation costs can span from $6,900 to $52,700.

Bathroom Cost: When it comes to bathroom renovation, you have the potential to save considerably on new HDB BTOs. For resale flats, however, the bathroom renovation can be quite costly due to the need for waterproofing, anti-mould paint, and proper tiles. The bathroom renovation cost may fall between $3,600 and $37,200.

Miscellaneous Costs: Home renovations often come with various miscellaneous costs that aren’t typically reflected in interior design firm quotations. These expenses can add up and may involve other contractors. Examples include electrical work, painting, glass, aluminum, cleaning, and more.

Factors Affecting the Cost: Several factors influence the cost of your home renovation, including:

  • Size and type of your property (HDB, condo, landed, etc.)
  • Whether it’s a new or resale property
  • Type and extent of work required
  • The materials you want to use
  • Your choice between an interior designer or contractor

HDB Renovation Rules: If you’re renovating an HDB flat, remember that you, as the flat owner(s), are responsible for the renovation works. Comply with these essential HDB renovation rules, including engaging licensed contractors and obtaining approval for demolition and hacking works.

Saving on Renovation Costs

To manage renovation expenses effectively, homeowners can employ several cost-saving strategies:

1. Clear Design Vision: Having a clear idea of desired renovations and choosing simpler design styles can help reduce costs significantly. Scandinavian and Nordic-themed interiors, for instance, are more budget-friendly compared to elaborate designs.

2. Choosing Between Interior Designers and Contractors: While interior designers offer comprehensive design services, engaging contractors can be more cost-effective. Evaluating the pros and cons of each option based on budget and project requirements is essential.

3. Buy-As-You-Go Approach: Instead of investing in built-in furniture, homeowners can opt for buying furniture gradually. Prioritizing custom solutions and purchasing essential items as needed can result in substantial savings.

4. Opting for Cost-Effective Materials: Choosing cost-effective flooring options like vinyl or laminate over hardwood or marble can significantly reduce expenses while maintaining aesthetic appeal.

Interior Designer vs. Contractor

Which is Better?

Interior designers offer comprehensive services that include professional design work, project scheduling, and management. They come with an additional project fee, which can significantly affect your budget. In contrast, contractors focus on task-specific work and may not provide design input. You’ll need to manage the entire renovation project yourself when working with a contractor.

Renovation Contractor

How to Find a Legit One: To ensure a smooth renovation experience, choose an HDB-approved contractor. Additionally, research the background of renovation firms, check for transparency in cost quotations, and verify all costs upfront to avoid hidden charges.

Financing Home Renovation

In addition to saving, homeowners can explore various financing options:

1. Saving Alongside Down Payment: Setting aside funds for renovation alongside down payment savings is prudent. Additionally, flexible insurance savings plans like Income’s Gro Cash Flex Pro offer financial security and convenience.

2. Home Renovation Loans: Banks in Singapore offer renovation loans tailored explicitly for home refurbishments. These loans allow borrowers to cover renovation expenses up to a certain limit, facilitating manageable repayment over time.

3. Personal Loans: While personal loans provide flexibility in fund utilization, they often carry higher interest rates compared to renovation loans. However, they offer an alternative financing avenue for homeowners with diverse financial needs.

Home Renovation Loan

HDB Home Renovation Loans in Singapore

If you need financing for your renovation, consider getting a renovation loan from a bank. These loans offer competitive interest rates and flexible tenures. Here are some options to explore:

  • Citi Quick Cash Loan
  • DBS Renovation Loan
  • OCBC Renovation Loan
  • CIMB Renovation i-Financing
  • Standard Chartered CashOne Personal Loan
  • HSBC Personal Loan

Remember that you can also use personal loans once your renovation loan is exhausted.

10 Ways to Reduce Renovation Cost

Here are ten strategies to help you manage your renovation expenses more effectively:

  1. Set a realistic budget and stick to it.
  2. Budget an extra 20% as a buffer.
  3. Consider overlaying tiles instead of hacking.
  4. Mix premium and economical materials.
  5. Buy ready-made furniture instead of built-in.
  6. Hunt for cheaper prices on big-ticket items during sales or online.
  7. Refurbish old furniture or take on DIY projects.
  8. Avoid investing in interior design themes that may become outdated.
  9. Refrain from using wallpapers in Singapore’s tropical climate.
  10. Custom-make replicas of designer furniture to save on costs.

Step-by-Step Guide to Renovating Your New HDB Home

“Thinking about renovating your home? We’ve got a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the whole process, from coming up with your interior design ideas to making sure your neighbors stay happy during the renovations. Let’s dive in!

  1. Get Inspired: To kick things off, start brainstorming your interior design vision. Some people even start planning before they get the keys to their new home. Think about the kind of renovations you want – maybe some fancy carpentry, new floors, or even knocking down walls. Pro tip: Create a mood board with pictures of designs you love. Scour Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram for inspiration.
  2. Set a Budget: Now, it’s time to budget. Depending on the scale of your project, having a budget in mind is crucial. Get quotes from different interior designers or HDB licensed contractors to understand the costs and materials. Don’t hesitate to ask for detailed breakdowns.
  3. Find the Right Help: Choosing the right interior designer or contractor is essential. They should understand your style, be responsive to your needs, and open to feedback. For contractors, make sure they’re listed in the Directory of Renovation Contractors to ensure they know HDB’s guidelines. Do your research, shortlist your top picks, and compare quotes.
  4. Apply for a Renovation Permit: Before you start tearing down any walls, remember to get HDB’s approval first. Your licensed contractor will need to submit an online renovation application to HDB. Check the status of your permit on My HDBPage.
  5. Check Other Services: During your renovation, you might need additional services, like air-conditioner installation. If it involves mounting outside or projecting from your flat, make sure to engage a BCA-trained installer and report the installation to HDB.
  6. Be Neighborly: Noise from renovations can be quite the disturbance, so be considerate. Inform your neighbors at least 3 days before starting. Follow HDB’s renovation time limits and keep noise levels down. Also, remember to keep them informed about noisy works.
  7. Payment and Disputes: Renovation contracts are private agreements. If any disputes arise, try to resolve them amicably. If that doesn’t work, consider seeking mediation or legal assistance.
  8. Lift Etiquette: Expect some chaos during renovations, with movers and bulky items taking up the lifts. Remind your contractors to be careful and avoid damaging the lifts.
  9. Keep It Clean: A tidy neighborhood is a happy neighborhood. Make sure any waste from the renovations is disposed of correctly. Don’t let debris clog up the sewage system or chutes.
  10. Regular Home Checkups: Lastly, don’t forget to regularly inspect your home’s fixtures and fittings. This will help you catch issues early and save money on major repairs. For more tips, check out our home maintenance guide.

With these insights and tips, you’ll be better prepared to embark on your home renovation journey without breaking the bank. Happy renovating!

Leave a Reply