The true cost of a renovation in Singapore

A comprehensive outline of the costs of HDB renovations, their resale benefits, and how to renovate effectively.

The true cost of a renovation in Singapore

Renovating is an opportunity to build a brand new home without ever having to move. It is a cost effective way to improve your daily life and make your house or apartment feel a little more personal. There are a few different types of renovation, usually categorized as either ‘cosmetic’ or ‘structural.’

Cosmetic renovation refers to updating the existing features of a home, though work like painting, minor repairs, replacing furniture, flooring, and updating fixtures or fittings. A cosmetic renovation is therefore much cheaper than a structural renovation, as structural renovations are drastic remolding efforts that will usually require contractors such as extensions, conversions, re-wiring or re-plumbing.

Both types of renovations can add value to your home. By how much will depend on the scale of the renovation, but the average home improvement adds approximately 10% of the home’s original value. Renovations can be undertaken in part or in full, and you can opt for a light, moderate, or extensive renovation with each.

On average, the cost of renovation Singapore is around $15,000-$20,000 SGD for a full, light remodel. This will vary depending on the size of the property, with 2 room HDB costing the least. Moderate full remodels cost approximately $40,000-$50,000 and extensive remodels can be anywhere upwards of $116,000.

You can also choose to renovate each individual room separately, giving you the opportunity to save up for the others and update your home gradually. The cheapest room to renovate is generally a bathroom as it has common amenities like the toilet and shower, followed by the bedroom, living room, and kitchen.

Given that more than 80% of Singapore’s resident population lives in HDB flats, the most common home renovation Singapore is a HDB renovation. The Housing and Development Board is the public housing authority responsible for planning, developing and building Singapore’s housing estates. As such, they have renovation guidelines with which both the homeowner and the contractor must comply.

This can occasionally complicate renovation plans if you are denied a permit that you anticipated approval for. To make sure you know what is allowed, you should familiarize yourself with the list of HBD renovation guidelines here.

Even works that do not require a permit from the HBD must be undertaken by registered contractors from the Directory of Renovation Contractors. As the homeowner, this is your responsibility and you have to make sure that your contractor also follows the HDB guidelines. (Note that they will usually be familiar with the rules already, so it should not be a major stress for you).

These restrictions are mostly in place to prevent renovations which could compromise the building’s structural integrity, affect the exterior, pose a fire hazard or public eyesore, or infringe on the lease agreement. Reasonable renovations undertaken by a competent architect and contractor will almost always get approve. The kind of renovation products likely to be rejected include:

  • removing structural members such as a reinforced concrete wall or staircases with executive maisonettes
  • partitioning with combustible or toxic emission materials
  • installing awning or other fixtures outside of the flat
  • plastering the ceilings
  • overloading the floor slab by more than 150kg/sqm
  • laying floor finishes outside the entrance door without having recess area or step.

Given that you are probably an organized and rational person (especially considering you are reading this article), the above list probably will not impede your plans in any way. However, there are a few other things you might want to consider before beginning renovations.

The main influence on your renovation ability will be your budget. It will determine the type, level, quality and scale of your renovation. Predicting the cost of your renovation is an important part of this process, and you will want to consult a renovation cost estimator to get a realistic understanding of the amount that your ideal renovation will cost you – as well as getting a quotation from potential contractors.

To help you get an understanding of the different factors involved in determining the renovation cost Singapore, here is a renovation cost breakdown Singapore.

Cost of Renovation Singapore: Factors that will influence the cost of your Home Reno Singapore

To help you begin planning the budget for your renovation, here is an outline of the different elements that might influence the overall cost, the average renovation costs for properties with those elements, and how to cut back on costs where possible. Singapore renovation cost outline below.

1. Type of House

The type of property will have a huge influence on how much renovation costs vary – and the resale value that a renovation will add.

HDB BTO flats are new properties subsidized by the government which have basic, up-to-date amenities. This makes them the least expensive type of property to renovate as they do not need extensive or functional adjustments, only whatever the homeowner wants to enhance their own enjoyment of the property. Generally, a HDB BTO renovation for a full home design and furnishing will range from $30,000-$100,000 depending further on the specifics of the project.

HDB Resale properties are more expensive to renovate as they are usually older and their amenities are likely to be outdated / require significant changes. This will often mean they require an update or replacement to their plumbing or electricity systems on top of everything else. The average renovation cost for a HDB resale property is approximately $30,000-$100,00 for a full home redesign including furniture.

2. Size of House

The size of a house will obviously influence the cost, increasing per room.

3 room – a new 3 room BTO flat will cost around $32,000 to renovate on average. For resale HDB flats or condos, the number climbs to $42,000.

4 room – a new 4 room BTO flat will cost around $42,600 to renovate, while a resale flat will take on average $58,500.

5 room – a new 5 room BTO flat will cost around $52,100 to renovate. A 5 room HDB flat will cost approximately $65,200.

3. Type of Renovation

Whether a renovation is light, moderate or extensive will influence the renovation costs Singapore. The average renovation in Singapore costs between $7,500-$71,370 for an average 4 room HDB BTO flat.

Light remodels cost around $15,000-$20,000 SGD for a full but non-intensive renovation.

Moderate full remodels cost approximately $40,000-$50,000.

Extensive remodels can be anywhere upwards of $116,000.

You may also choose to just have remodel one room, if you find a renovation package too expensive. On average:

Bedroom renovations cost between $500 (light) to 12,700 (extensive)

Living Room renovations cost between $700 (light) to $12,500 (extensive).

Kitchen renovations cost between $800 (light) to $11,950 (extensive.

Renovation packages are an effective way to save some money on your renovation. It also helps to limit the amount of work that you have to personally undertake, freeing you from time consuming tasks and stress. Quanvast are one of the best known interior renovation companies offering affordable renovation sg packages.

Perhaps you may even want to consider a furnishing loan – this is a specific loan that will allow you to purchase furniture for your remodel. They have very competitive interest rates and do not require collateral, making them a popular choice for renovators on tight budgets. Try a renovation loan calculator to find out what financial aid you can expect to receive if necessary.

For more information on HDB flat renovation, see here for an outline of the 5 best reno design ideas. You can find information about the beauty of false ceilings or how to style your HDB flat with space smart furniture.  


Like what you just read? Similar articles below