How much it would cost to renovate your HDB flat

By Aaron De Silva / EdgeProp | January 1, 2018 8:00 AM SGT
Just as real estate in Singapore doesn’t come cheap, so too do renovation costs.
Popular renovation and interior design sites like Hipvan claim that remodelling can be done for less than $30,000. Now, $30,000 isn’t a small sum. But in the context of local renovations, it’s considered a modest amount.
According to interior designer Mark Chen of Artistroom, a budget of $30,000 can only go so far.
He recommends trying to allow room for more comfortable budget.
The members of interior design studio, Artistroom. Image Source: Lookbox Living
“It’s possible to get by, but only if the flat is a BTO (Build-to-Order) or EC (Executive Condominium) with the flooring done, doors installed and kitchen cabinets provided. With a budget of $30,000, you could do simple carpentry works, add false ceilings, light fixtures, aircon units, and extra storage space, like a built-in wardrobe.”
Anything more, like the hacking of walls, would be a stretch, he says.
Ballpark Figures
Financial advisory site Value Penguin calculated the average cost of renovation for a 4-room flat, and arrived at a figure of around $55,000. Here’s a breakdown of their calculations.
Type of work
Average cost
$ 6,000
$ 50 per foot run x 120 ft.
$ 11,625
$ 8,000 to $20,000, depending on material
$ 24,000
$ 100 to $500 per ft. run
$ 4,000
$ 50 to $150 per piece
$ 1,350
$ 1,000 to $1,700 depending on paint type and wall size
$ 7,500
Includes aircon units and washing machines
$ 875
$270 to $400 per bathroom and kitchen
$ 55,350
Commenting on these figures, Chen says that the painting, tiling, appliance and plumbing costs ought to be higher. Paintwork expenses would be around $2,200 to $2,500, for example. “For the demolition cost, they didn’t factor in raw material costs like cement etc.,” he adds. “Depending on how much raw material is used, this would add another $2,000 to $4,000 to the bill.”
In Chen’s experience, “Remodelling and redoing the entire space of a resale 3-room flat would cost around $60,000 to $90,000; $80,000 to $110,000 for a 4-room; and $130,000 to $160,000 for a 5-room.”
The renovation costs for resale flats are quite a bit higher compared to newly built BTOs or ECs. This is due to the condition and size of...