Renovating your home is a great way to refresh a beloved, if aging, property, and to alter it to better serve your needs and suit your tastes.
While everyone wants to live in a beautiful home, the uninitiated usually balk when confronting the price of a renovation package. How can something so straightforward end up costing so much?
Well, the truth is, home renovations may appear straightforward (change the doors, replace the windows, give a fresh coat of paint, change the aircon, etc.), but they are very complex tasks that often require a high degree of planning and coordination, and involve many disciplines and professions.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at home renovations in Singapore, including average costs and typical work involved.
Average renovation costs by property type – HDB, condominium and landed property
|Property type||Home renovation budget range*|
|HDB flat||2-room: $24,000 to $29,000
3-room: $34,000 to $38,000
4-room: $41,000 to $49,000
5-room: $47,000 to $56,000
|Condominium apartment||Studio: $17,000 to $20,000
2-bedrooms: $34,000 to $39,000
3-bedrooms: $54,000 to $64,000
|Landed property||From $30,000 to $70,000, depending on size of property|
Do note that the figures provided above are very, very rough ballpark figures. The actual amount in your final renovation bill will pretty much differ according to:
- the extent of the work you want done (just a minor touch-up, or a complete teardown and refurbishment)
- the type of work needed (hacking, masonry and carpentry are the three major categories here, more information below)
- the size of your property (the larger the house, the more materials and labour needed)
- the materials and finishes you choose (some are simply more expensive than others, even if they are functionally the same)
1. Average renovation budgets for HDB flats
If you’re looking to renovate a HDB flat, you might have heard the following rule of thumb: “3-room = $30k, 4-room = $40k, and 5-room = $50k”. As it turns out, this is popular wisdom that is somewhat true judging by the prices surveyed in our table above.
Do note that HDB resale flats will always be more expensive to renovate (by around 10% to 20%). This is because you are likely to have more old furniture and fittings to teardown and remove, which means more manpower and time needed.
New HDB flats, on the other hand, come with only the basic fittings installed, so its faster and less laborious to do any additions.
2. Average renovation budgets for condominium apartments
Renovation costs for condominiums can be surprisingly budget-friendly, especially for new units, which come with quality fittings and luxurious finishes (which are included as an excuse to charge you more money). Some minor additions and alterations may be all that are needed to satisfy your needs.
If, however, you are renovating a resale condo unit, you may need to set a high renovation budget in an attempt to restore the unit to its former glory, or to take it to the next level.
Also, do note that some condominiums can be much larger in floor area, and combined with the desire for high-end fittings, can result in an inflated renovation budget – easily surpassing the S$50,000 mark.
3. Average renovation budgets for landed properties
Part of the appeal of landed properties is the relative freedom to have a home in any style, shape or configuration you want, in order to stand out. (Apartments, meanwhile, all look mostly the same from the outside.)
As such, some landed properties may have additional features that require advanced construction or engineering techniques. Or perhaps a special type of material is required.
All these mean that renovation budgets for landed properties can be as varied as the properties themselves, so it’s even more difficult to come up with an average budget range. However, the basics still apply.
Additionally, it may be worthwhile to pay extra for a specialist, if you’re going for something unconventional.
What do typical renovation packages include?
Renovation projects are complex, involving many different skills, qualifications and processes. Nevertheless, a typical renovation package can be broken down into eight different categories of work. Read also 10 Best-Reviewed Renovation Contractors in Singapore.
See the following table for an explanation.
|Category of work||What it entails|
|Hacking||Mainly involved with hacking and/or rebuilding or plastering up walls. Do note that load-bearing walls cannot be modified in any way at all (except painting).|
|Carpentry||Customised fittings such as built-in wardrobes, cabinets and other storage features that are often affixed or anchored in certain positions. Cost is dependent on material, labour and size.|
|Masonry||Typically involves tiling, flooring and wetwork, and is charged according to labour and materials used. As an example, using smaller tiles to create complex patterns need more time and effort, and hence would be more costly.|
|Ceiling and partition||This category of work covers anything related to ceilings (touching up, repairs of spalling concrete, etc) or the addition or relocation of partitions. Materials used will heavily influence the cost here.|
|Plumbing||Renovation works that involve plumbing, such as laying of pipes, fixing of basins, taps and other bathroom and kitchen fixtures.|
|Electrical||Renovation works that involve the electrical network of the property, including running of power lines, addition or relocation of power sockets, replacement of old wires, etc.|
|Painting||Painting the walls, ceiling and doors of the property in the desired colour. May involve multiple steps such as sealant application, re-plastering, and multiple coats.|
|Cleaning-up and disposal||Safe and proper removal of old fittings, furniture and other renovation debris. May also include polishing and general cleaning work upon completion of renovation works.|
Depending on the actual scope of your renovation, these categories of work may be involved in some degree or another.
Now that you have a rough idea of how much your renovation project could cost, and the type of work that might be involved, the next step is to look for a suitable interior design firm or contractor to help bring your vision to life.
Want to give your dream home a makeover, but don’t quite have the funds to do so? Fret not. Loan Advisor can help you compare and find the best home renovation loans – quickly, conveniently and for free!