Renovation Rates

Home Renovation Rates in Singapore: How Much You Should Budget and Ways to Reduce Your Expenses

Home renovation is always about one thing: how you can make a home into more a place you picture yourself living in. In addition to adding more usable space, improving aesthetics, and increasing functionality, it also adds value. 

All of this, however, costs money. The renovation cost is usually something that you have to factor in prior to purchase and is usually covered by a renovation loan. Nevertheless, home renovation in Singapore can be expensive when you factor in the overall home renovation costs. Find out the best home renovation loans in Singapore.

In this article, we’re going to look at how you can prepare a renovation budget and decrease the total renovation cost.

How Much are Average Renovation Costs These Days?

Before we dive into the different ways you can save money, it’s important to determine the average renovation cost. 

The type of property is the biggest factor that can affect the average cost, as seen in the table below:

Type of HDB Flat Average renovation cost for new flat Average renovation cost for resale flat
3-room (60 to 65 sqm) S$32,000 S$42,600
4-room (90 sqm) S$42,600 S$58,500
5-room (110 sqm) S$52,100 S$65,200

 

Renovation Costs for New Condominium Apartments or HDB/BTO Flats 

According to research, Singapore’s average home renovation cost is about $32,000 to $52,100 for new condos. This cost includes how much the renovation work itself will be, factoring in demolition, repair, repaints, and more. 

A new, premade flat could cost lower. But if you want to get a 3-room built-to-order (BTO) flat, you might shell out an estimate of $38,850 to cover the entire project. 

The average renovation costs associated with a 4-room HDB flat will undoubtedly be larger, which is estimated to be between $42,000-$45,000, with 5-room flats usually starting in the $50,000 range or higher.

 

Renovation Costs for Resale Condominium Apartments or HDB/BTO Flats 

A resale flat resales will more likely require more extensive renovation. Keep in mind the possibility of hefty costs.

In Singapore, a resale HDB flat can get you a renovation bill of around $40,000-$55,000 for a 3-room unit, around $58,500 for a 4-room unit, and renovation costs of $65,200 and up for 5-room units. 

 

Renovation Costs for Landed Properties

Landed properties vary in size and are therefore harder to quantify, but since the cost will be based on the property size, you can make an estimate from the given figures above and calculate a good ballpark amount per square metre.

 

Major Works that Affect Home Renovation Costs

  • Hacking. This includes the work done to hack, rebuild, repair, and touch-up walls. 
  • Carpentry. This involves customized storage solutions like existing built-in furniture, wardrobes, cupboards, and more.
  • Masonry. This involves your flooring, tiling, building shower kerbs, and other stone work. Masonry work is often determined by labor and the area size.
  • Ceiling and Partition. This includes walls, false ceilings, box-ups, and other partitions.
  • Painting. For painting your walls, ceiling, and any other fixture that makes sense to paint.
  • Electrical Works. This includes lighting, data, heaters, and power points. Most of all this concerns the placement of electrical outlets.
  • Plumbing. This concerns your taps, toilet bowls, sinks, shower sets, and other water fixtures in your home.
  • Glass and Aluminium. This concerns glass partitions, mirrors, and most of all any windows, and other glass fix-ins.
  • Cleaning and Polishing. Cleaning up your entire house after the work, including removing and disposing of debris, polishing your floor, and more finishing touches.

 

Renovation Demand

There’s another factor that has driven the increase of your expected renovation cost. Singapore has seen a rise in demand for renovation work both for HDB housing or private properties. 

The likely reason is the constant increase in property values in Singapore, which pushes aspiring homeowners to purchase resale HDB flats, public housing, or older properties for a lower final cost. This of course means that, in order to make these new homes into something that is their own, the home renovation project becomes extensive.

The increase in demand for home renovation, whether it’s a resale condo or private property, means an increase in the overall average cost of renovation. Good news for the renovation contractor or interior designer, less so for you and your monthly income.

 

Estimated Renovation Costs for Each Part of the House

While giving you exactly what the actual cost is will not be possible (after all, the ultimate cost will depend on more factors) we can give you a ballpark figure of the average home renovation cost that you can set aside.

Using a four-room HDB flat as an example, here is how much renovation will cost for each space, along with the extent of the work required. Moderate/extensive hacking is bound to cost more than light work, after all.

1. Bedrooms

Bedrooms may be smaller than other rooms in your flat, but they are more likely to cost more than others. This is because bedrooms are more personal, and this intimate nature will likely demand more work to perfectly capture your preferences.

Moreover, whether you’re in a master bedroom or not, you might require extensive carpentry work to get the home fixtures you like.

The estimated costs of renovating a bedroom are as follows:

Service Light Moderate Heavy
Hacking $100 to $600 $600 to $1,000 $1,000 to $5,200
Partitions & Ceiling Up to $600 $600 to $1,100 $1,100 to $5,000
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

 

Man Renovating House

2. Living Room & Dining Room

Being the household’s largest and most public rooms may make it seem like the living and dining rooms would cost more, but that’s far from the truth. 

Due to their lack of functionality and the lack of need for build-in fixtures, they require fewer changes; ergo, less work overall.

The estimated costs are as follows:

Service Light Moderate Heavy
Hacking $100 to $400 $400 to $700 $700 to $3,900
Partitions & Ceiling $200 to $800 $800 to $1,200 $1,200 to $3,200
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

 

3. Bathrooms

Bathrooms are also small spaces in a home. Despite this, the functional nature of bathrooms means that they are like to stack up the cost.

You are more likely to make changes, too. From removing existing tiles, existing cabinets, and adding more features like heating, new tiling, installing some plumbing, renovating the toilet, and more.

The estimated costs are as follows:

Service Light Moderate Heavy
Hacking $100 to $500 $500 to $1,000 $1,000 to $6,800
Partitions & Ceiling $100 to $400 $400 to $800 $800 to $3,900
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

 

4. Kitchens

The main objective of a kitchen renovation is to improve functionality and aesthetics, not to expand the space. As these spaces may be connected to other areas like the living or dining room, it is best to plan the space before beginning renovation work.

Their functionality means there is a likelihood of more cost to renovate. The estimated charges are as follows:

Service Light Moderate Heavy
Hacking $100 to $500 $500 to $900 $900 to $3,200
Partitions & Ceiling $100 to $200 $200 to $500 $500 to $1,700
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

 

5. Additional

From extra carpentry works and alteration assignments, you may incur additional expenses. Here are some of the most common:

Service Light Moderate Heavy
Painting $200 to $1,400 $1,400 to $1,800 $1,800 to $4,100
Disposal & cleanup $300 to $1,100 $1,100 to $1,700 $1,700 to $13,900
Electrical wiring $300 to $1,700 $1,700 to $3,200 $3,200 to $7,700
Windows, doors & grilles $400 to $2,600 $2,600 to $5,100 $5,100 to $13,800

 

Understanding the Factors That Affect the Renovation Cost

The cost of your home renovation depends on several factors. Among them are:

  • The size and type of your property (HDB, condo or landed, etc.)
  • The status of your property, whether brand new or resale, and its general condition and age.
  • The extent of work you require done.
  • The type of construction materials you want to use. 
  • The interior designers or renovation contractors that you hire to do the work.

 

1. Property Type & Size

Likely the biggest factor and the most straightforward, the larger your home by square foot/metre means the more work it requires.

From greater amounts of labour, and more materials used, size greatly affects the cost to expect in the final bill. A private condo or landed property will cost significantly more than public housing due to two reasons.

The first is private properties have unique configurations, like split levels and double-height ceilings, that will cost more work. 

The second is that HDB flats have certain restrictions (like visible plumbing, or disallowance of bay windows), and the freedom that you have with private properties leave you more room to experiment—with added cost, of course. 

 

2. Property Status & Age

Resale flats are generally more expensive to renovate than new ones, which many homeowners don’t consider. 

Pre-loved flats often come with built-in furniture that must be dismantled and disposed of, dated configurations that just need an upgrade, and even just the bigger likelihood of repairs. 

These may prompt you to spend more on hacking and masonry just to get the exact preferred technical specifications. 

 

3. Extent of Renovation Work

Several factors impact the cost of renovations, and while individually they might seem doable, they can cost a lot in total. How many of these you want to do will greatly influence your expenses.

The bigger ones to worry about are hacking existing fittings, masonry, carpentry, and disposal. Depending on what you want to do, plumbing and electrical can also add up. Bigger surfaces also mean most expenses on painting.

 

4. Type of Construction Materials

The material you want to use can also be a significant source of expenditure. You can add a refined look to your home with heavy wood doors, marbled countertops, ceramic tiles for tiling floors, and sophisticated custom carpentry for kitchen cabinets, but if you don’t use them carefully, you could blow your budget. 

You might also want to think about the shipping and labour costs of getting unique items for your home.

 

5. The Interior Designer or Renovation Contractor You Hire

Who will you hire for project management? Your chosen interior designer or renovation contractor is a big factor in determining the cost. Different businesses will charge different prices for their services.

 

10 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Renovation

Changing something means spending more, and you’ll always want to change something in a new home. 

If you can’t reduce the renovation works to be done on your new home, there are always other ways and financial tips to follow to reduce the overall cost. 

Here are a few to consider:

  1. Don’t go over budget.
  2. Reduce Built-in furniture.
  3. Find discounts on big expenses.
  4. Substitute expensive choices for affordable ones.
  5. Reuse materials.
  6. Know where to save and splurge.
  7. Declutter.
  8. Research on requirements.
  9. Choose renovation services carefully.
  10. Choose from financial products carefully.

 

1. Don’t Go Over Budget

The most important thing is to have a renovation budget and stick to it. This doesn’t mean you have to skimp on your renovation, but you have to set limits on what you can and can’t spend.

You might be tempted to spend more throughout the project, but discipline can go a long way.

2. Find Discounts on Big Expenses

When you furnish your home, choose to buy during sales, especially for the bigger items that you need.

There are seasonal offers on TV sets, mattresses, sofas, furniture, and other larger items that can really help reduce your expenses.

3. Reuse Materials

Kitchens are really functional and will demand a lot of different appliances. One way to make sure you can save is to simply reuse your old appliances.

Alternatively, you can buy, sell, or trade on different trade websites to grab comparatively great deals on fresher looking stuff.

In the same vein, this can apply to other decisions when renovating. Instead of hacking the old tiles, you can opt for laminate flooring to cover them up, saving both cost and time.

4. Substitute Expensive Choices for Affordable Ones

We’ve mentioned earlier that your choice of materials greatly affects your total expenses. It’s why you have to be careful what kind of items you use, and opt for going for similar materials that cost less than the ones you prefer.

5. Know Where to Save and Splurge

If you just got to have that rare wood for your cabinets, or you’ve decided not to budge on your choice of floor tiles, then you just have to decide where you want to indulge and where you want to be thrifty.

Assess your expenses because even cheaper items can look good when paired correctly. All you have to do is spend smart.

6. Reduce Built-in Furniture

Built-in cabinets and wardrobes are great for maximizing storage, but the custom work required to finish it costs a lot more than loose furniture. 

Again, remember to spend smart. Cut down on some options you can do without, especially if you plan to move out eventually anyway.

7. Declutter

Take it from Marie Kondo—get rid of everything that doesn’t “spark joy”. Decluttering and selling off unnecessary items help you cover some of the cost in both renovation and moving, while also helping you get more space.

8. Research on Requirements

When it comes to HDB flats, you have to make sure you’re completely aware of the existing HDB renovation rules. Mistakes are not only going to cost you time, but more money to repair.

Check the guidelines here.

9. Choose Renovation Services Carefully

It goes without saying that your choice of contractor, designer, or builder will greatly affect your renovation expenses.

You don’t necessarily have to choose the cheapest, but you need to find a legit renovation contractor service that addresses your needs while keeping within your budget. 

10. Choose from Financial Products Carefully

Finally, choose your renovation loan carefully. The rule of thumb is to not borrow too much and hit just the right amount. Renovation loans can help cover your expenses, but they can add to the cost in the long run.

Review your renovation loan options. Remember that you can use personal loans as well, as a personal loan can help supplement any expense that you have yet to cover.

 

Renovation Floor Plan

Renovation Contractors, Interior Designers, or Design & Build Services?

Knowing the difference between the different services you can require can really help you project the cost of renovation, so it’s important to know who you need to hire.

1. Contractors 

Contractors will go about your home renovation project on a task-by-task basis. Their services are often based on functional suggestions, so you won’t get any design or thematic plans in their offers.

Contracts also don’t often come with project management. You’ll have to do the management and planning yourself, oversee the important parts of the work, and if you choose to, focus on the interior design.

Managing contractors can be tough because of how long renovations can take (weeks to months).

2. Interior Designer

Interior designers provide a full-service plan from professional design services to project management. Their services often come with floor plans, 3D previews, and project scheduling.

Their specific design expertise means that when they provide renovation work, it can really rack up your bill. 

Despite the expense, hiring an interior designer is without a doubt the best way to get exactly the look you want in your dream home, based on your tastes and specifications.

3. Design & Build Renovators 

Design and build services are in the middle ground between contractors and interior designers. Simply put, they are contractors who are in some way trained in design and conceptualisation to help you make more aesthetic choices.

This might seem like a bargain at first, and in some ways it is. But don’t get your hopes up—they usually offer a set package following an existing template instead of a plan customised to your property, along with generic additions. 

So if you find something that fits your taste and your budget, it is without a doubt a good choice to consider.

 

Closing

Home renovation, for many, is a necessary step into owning a home—it’s even a rite of passage. But that doesn’t mean it has to cost you an arm and a leg!

  • The point of purchasing a property is the first time you can save on costs. If you are going to live on your own with family members, opt for a smaller place!
  • Saving on renovation is all about spending smart. You don’t necessarily have to compromise your preferences—you just need to look for ways to achieve them with lower costs.
  • When you choose a renovation service and renovation loan, don’t hesitate to shop around. Don’t jump at the first choice because you might find more affordable deals.

Reach out to Instant Loan! It is a great loan comparison service that provides you with a tailored list of loans catered to your needs from the top licensed moneylenders in Singapore. Take advantage of our free loan quotes today!

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