Singapore is a great country for anyone to take root and establish themselves. However, even Singaporeans know that HDB housing, the cheapest in the land, can be quite expensive to own or rent. Its pre-owned condition adds huge expenses if the new owner wants to renovate and upgrade its facilities and overall condition.
Thankfully, Singapore’s financial institutions offer excellent HDB renovation loans for homeowners looking to improve their property’s overall condition. A renovation can be costly, but they’re worth all the trouble if you intend to stay permanently in your HDB flat.
Home Renovation Cost in Singapore
Even if it’s the most affordable when you compare its price against condominiums and traditional residences, an HDB flat is quite expensive. Additionally, this considerable investment urges you to beautify it further to make it worth your while.
Undeniably, it will cost you a body part to save enough money to perform a full property renovation. The overall cost of home renovation in Singapore depends on the following aspects. Furthermore, we’ll explain the characteristics that make these items more affordable and friendly to your budget.
Type of Residence/Property
An HDB flat is a state-subsidized property, which drives down its ownership costs below regular market prices. The Housing Development Board (HDB) only supplies an HDB flat or property to Singapore citizens. If you’re a foreigner with permanent residence in the country, you can only own an HDB flat if you co-purchase it with a citizen.
These public-owned properties can come in the form of simple 1-5 room flats. HDB also provides condominium-style properties without the “community” approach to their HDB flat properties. Lastly, HDB can help you fund a traditional landed house, too.
Each one of these has varying costs. For example, the simple HDB flat will cost about 50% less than the full-fledged landed house. Residences with existing fittings or furniture may cost more upon purchase and renovation (due to tearing off costs).
Its Age and Condition
As with most real estate, HDB flats, condos, and landed houses have differing states upon your visitation and purchase. Some HDB properties are more affordable because of a recent fire that led to the reinforcement of its foundations but without assurance of longevity. On the other hand, some flats are more expensive because they need something beyond renovation.
In many cases, all types of HDB properties are more affordable if they’re aged beyond 20-30 years. During your property ocular, you will likely notice wear and tear in different interior and exterior areas, which will require additional renovation to restore.
The Depth of Renovation You’d Prefer
Critical-condition HDB properties require in-depth renovation to restore them to full functionality. However, you can use conventional materials to patch up and upgrade areas while deprioritizing interior aesthetics. In doing so, many new HDB owners save up on renovation costs.
However, an in-depth renovation that drastically changes the residence’s structure requires more labor, expertise, and equipment from your contractor. Additionally, you’ll need more materials to replace faulty issues as well.
Most homeowners with enough cash can handle deep reconstructions that meet their vision. In some cases, resale flat owners need thorough remodeling because of massive property damage or deplorable conditions.
Materials You’ll Use
Luxury materials, such as stylish granite countertops, architectural interior floor tiles, and other materials your hired interior designers may recommend meeting your remodeling vision for a 4-room flat, will drastically inflate the material costs you’ll use.
However, these are worthy investments, especially if manufacturers guarantee that their materials can last for decades and provide lifetime material warranties.
The Renovation Contractor You’ll Be Using
If you’re remodeling a considerable number of areas in your 4-room HDB property, you might use more than one renovation contractor. Truthfully, you’ll find all-in-one contractors providing general renovation services in Singapore. On the other hand, HDB owners who want an in-depth, vision-anchored interior aesthetic will want to use specialist contractors for guaranteed exceptional workmanship.
Additionally, high-quality materials require manufacturer-certified contractors to install them correctly. In doing so, you enjoy both long-lasting fixtures and a lifetime warranty on both labor and materials. If you choose not to use certified contractors, you may not qualify for the manufacturer’s lengthy labor guarantee.
The Average SG Property Renovation Costs Per Room
Renovation costs have a rule of thumb: the more extensive space and rooms an HDB property has, the more costs in renovation you’ll need to handle. On the other hand, this rule only gives you rough estimates of your total costs for renovating your property.
The costs for HDB renovation might increase if the flat has gone through a severe and dilapidated condition for a long time because of the long labor periods and materials needed to restore it. Additionally, the more walls your flat has, the more insulation and reconstruction materials you’ll need.
The average HDB flat has four rooms. A 4-room HDB flat with a 90-square meter zone will require about S $40,000-S $50,000 for a usual or average renovation. This remodeling will not involve in-depth architectural reorganization, piping, and electrical overhauls, and adding bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
Based on this average 4-room HDB flat renovation costs, there are three usual room sizes for HDB properties and the hypothetical costs you may encounter.
For an in-depth 3-room HDB renovation, property owners will need to save up about S $30,000 – S $50,000. For most lightly-used, damaged, or aged HDB 3-room flats, you’ll mostly need the following services:
Plumbing: which costs about S $100 – S $200 for light work and S $200 – S $500 for moderate work.
Masonry: to block and fix cracks on walls and often inclusive of repainting. It costs about S $200 – S $1,300 for light masonry and S $1,300- S $3,900 for severe cases
The costs of labor we listed above do not include the room flat materials for additional living room or flooring modifications. Additionally, if you’re hiring interior designers and carpenters to remove and add new fixtures and room elements, you might have to pay more than five digits in total for your renovation costs.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the average HDB flat with four rooms can cost about S $40,000 – S $50,000. However, with in-depth repairs, additional aesthetic improvements, or full ideal customization, the total renovation cost for an average four-room HDB flat can skyrocket up to S $110,000.
You can certainly reach that figure if you hire interior designers to improve your living room or master bedroom aesthetics with track lights or a feature wall (or even beyond). However, on average, most aged properties only need the same services:
Electrical Wiring: Modern costs for electrical wiring go from S $300 – S $1,700 for light labor and materials plus S $1,700 – S $3,200 for a significant or full restoration
Ceiling and Partition: with its wider square meter size, that can span a living room or master bedroom, 4-room renovation will require up to S $600 for light repairs and a maximum of S $1,100 for moderate repairs.
On average, a Singapore homeowner can spend about S $50,000 – S $70,000 to restore the functionality and capability of a 5-room HDB flat. For a resale flat with a young age of fewer than 15 years, the renovation work involved might require less from the following services. However, you can expect the extensive, in-depth costs of labor with the following if the 5-room HDB flat is quite beyond its prime:
Plumbing: S $800 – S $3,900
Masonry: S $5,700 – S$17,500
Electrical Wiring: S $1,700 – S $3,200
Ceiling and Partition: S $1,100 – S $5,000
Who Has HDB Renovation Loan Eligibility in Singapore?
The Housing Development Board does not concern itself whether you’re hiring an interior designer or multiple contractors to perform your property renovation. However, it will raise concerns about your eligibility to own an HDB property and use the government-subsidized financing plans available for renovation.
As we’ve already mentioned earlier, HDB only allows citizens to own HDB properties. Furthermore, only citizens with legal ownership of a flat can take out an HDB renovation loan if they fulfill the following requirements.
Above The Age Limit
Singaporeans applying for a loan to address any immediate renovation cost should be about 21 years old and above. Anyone below this age does not have any qualifications to take out financing.
The Property Owner
Only the recognized HDB property owner can take out HDB renovation loans. No other family member or spouse can take out a renovation work loan, except if he or she is a co-owner.
Within The Singapore Renovation Loan’s Fiscal Requirements
Like any personal loan, the HDB’s financial assistance service has a minimum income requirement for potential investors. These minimum requirements depend on the HDB property’s total cost, renovation costs you’ll incur, the property type, number of rooms, and amenities available.
On average, it’s safe to assume that a Singaporean earning above S $20,000 can get an HDB renovation loan for a 3-4-room flat without missing their repayments (assuming they endeavor to pay on time).
Additional Costs You’ll Encounter With Singapore Renovations
Home renovation work involves unforeseen costs all the time. Even if you’ve planned your budget carefully, renovating plans can sometimes fail to materialize according to your vision. Furthermore, specific methods, equipment, and labor might damage, deform, or negatively affect a part of your property you didn’t want to remodel.
Besides accidents, additional services, materials, and labor that can bring your remodeling vision to life can be costly. Therefore, be prepared to face additional costs that you’ll commonly find with the following remodeling additives regardless of the number of room HDB flat has.
Specialized Interior Design
A 4-room property can look plain for an investor. Therefore, hiring an interior designer can help them add a new dimension or rhythm to their property. A designer can conceptualize and create a space that brings relaxation and positivity to its residents. However, their specialization is quite costly. An interior designer’s positive results for all of his or her projects are always worth the added investment.
Upgrading or Overhauling Electricals
Electricity is a necessity for any shelter. Appliances, smartphones, and security devices depend heavily on sufficient electricity that runs smoothly and without hazard for homeowners. In some cases, a 4-room property might have quite a detrimental condition that it makes you think twice about calling an interior designer until you can overhaul the entire electrical system.
Unfortunately, electrical overhauls are some of the most expensive services you’ll encounter when renovating. You might need to shell out additional funds, especially when the property recently suffered water damage.
Adding or Subtracting Bathroom Facilities
If you’re living with one or two people in a 4-room home, you might want to give your bathroom more space by using the additional room. Renovating specialists can add a new restroom complete with new fixtures you might prefer — provided you can shoulder the costs of a new shower cubicle, toilet, and bathtub.
On the other hand, hacking or removing additional bathrooms to make room for more people to live in your property will cost you less than adding a bathroom. However, it is still added expense on your behalf to remove and build a room from an overly large bathroom.
Improving Your Kitchen’s Appearance and Overall Functionality
In some HDB properties, the kitchen is left in poor condition by a previous owner that it requires an extensive renovation. It might also be too small for a family of four occupying a 4-room property. Additionally, a new flat owner with many kitchen appliances hauled from their previous property will want to renovate their new kitchen’s appearance too.
In any case, renovating kitchen and dining areas will cost a pretty penny. If you plan to do so, make sure you save up a bit more (or add a bit more in your renovation loan application).
Virtually every new flat owner will want to repaint an aging property’s walls with a new coating. Unlike real estate, HDB property maintainers have no obligation to apply a new coat of paint for new owners. However, this is advantageous, especially if you intend to use drywalls to improve the overall aesthetic of your new home. Still, it will cost you a bit more than the average renovation required to restore its functionality.
Improving Interior Insulation
A 4-room property that has aged significantly will have cracks that require caulking and drywalls that require replacement. Fortunately, aging HDB properties can have significant price reductions. However, your savings might go directly to improving your property’s interior insulation and overall structural integrity.
The Best Financing Options to Overcome Your Initial Renovation Cost
Bank Renovation Financing
Whether you’re buying or renovating your new HDB home, you’ll need an HDB Letter of Offer after you’ve successfully had your purchasing application approved. You’ll need to meet the minimum requirements we’ve mentioned earlier when it comes to age, ownership, and income. With the banks’ substantial cash reserves, you can fully fund your purchase or renovating project for an HDB flat.
Renovating loans differ from personal financing because it requires your contractor and material supplier’s invoices to verify your total renovation costs.
However, you might find it challenging to get your financing approved if you have poor credit scores. Make sure to improve your credit history and dependability or use the HDB’s financing service instead.
Moneylender Renovation Loan
Many moneylenders offer considerable amounts for renovation loans, even for borrowers with bad credit. Like bank renovation loans, you’ll need to provide your HDB Letter of Offer, contractor and supplier invoices, and meet all the age, ownership, and income requirements.
Thankfully, Singapore has a significant number of moneylenders available. If it becomes cumbersome, you can count on Loan Advisor’s reviews and select highly-graded moneylenders to find the perfect renovation loan for you. Check our listings and compare them now!