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A Complete Guide To Home Renovations In Singapore

A Complete Guide To Home Renovations In Singapore

Having a beautiful and functional home is on every Singaporean’s wish list, so congratulations on finally renovating! But before calling your contractor, there are some primary concerns to address, first.

In this guide, we’ll cover key steps for home renovations in Singapore, including the sequence of renovations and the costs involved in renovating a landed house. We’ll also explore whether DIY renovations are feasible!

1. Determine the level of home renovation you need

1. Determine the level of home renovation you need

By carefully evaluating the scope, budget, purpose, lifestyle needs, compliance, and professional consultation, you can determine the appropriate level of renovation for your home in Singapore.

So, make a thorough and honest checklist to assess the following factors. 

✔ Scope: Define the extent of renovation required, whether a minor makeover, partial renovation, or a full-scale transformation.

✔ Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to invest in the renovation, considering costs for materials, labour, permits, and unforeseen expenses.

✔ Purpose: Identify the primary goals of the renovation, such as improving functionality, enhancing aesthetics, or increasing property value.

✔ Regulatory compliance: Understand the regulations and guidelines set by the Housing Development Board (HDB) or relevant authorities regarding renovation works in Singapore.

✔ Lifestyle needs: Consider your lifestyle preferences, family size, and future plans to ensure the renovation aligns with your long-term needs.

✔ Professional consultation: Seek advice from architects, interior designers, or renovation experts to assess the feasibility and complexity of your renovation plans (we will expound on this in later sections).

2. Know where to start renovating first

2. Know where to start renovating first

For both landed property and HDB renovations, it’s often advisable to start with structural and functional aspects before focusing on aesthetic enhancements.

As a rough estimate, the cost of renovating a landed property in Singapore typically ranges from S$100 to S$300 per square foot. 

The cost of renovating an HDB flat in Singapore typically ranges from S$20,000 to S$50,000 for basic renovations, while more extensive renovations with high-end finishes and customisations can cost S$80,000 to S$100,000 or more.

Landed Property Renovation

✔ Structural integrity: Begin by assessing the structural integrity of the property. Address any issues related to the foundation, roof, walls, or structural supports. This ensures the safety and stability of the entire structure.

✔ Plumbing and electrical systems: Next, prioritise upgrading or repairing plumbing and electrical systems. This includes fixing leaks, updating wiring, and ensuring compliance with safety standards. Addressing these essentials early prevents future disruptions and ensures the smooth functioning of utilities.

✔ Foundation and flooring: If necessary, repair or replace damaged flooring and address any issues with the foundation. This sets a solid base for subsequent renovations and prevents issues like moisture damage or uneven surfaces.

✔ Space planning: Once the structural elements are addressed, focus on space planning. Determine the layout of rooms, functional zones, and traffic flow to optimise the use of space and meet your lifestyle needs.

✔ Interior finishes: Finally, proceed with interior finishes such as wall finishes, cabinetry, and fixtures. This includes painting, installing flooring, and adding built-in features to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the property.

HDB Renovation

✔ Essential repairs: Start by addressing any essential repairs required by the HDB, such as fixing leaks, repairing structural issues, or addressing safety concerns. Ensure compliance with HDB regulations and obtain necessary permits.

✔ Plumbing and electrical checks: Similar to landed property renovations, prioritise plumbing and electrical checks and upgrades. Ensure that the wiring and plumbing systems are in good condition and meet safety standards.

✔ Layout considerations: Evaluate the existing layout and consider any changes required to optimise space and improve functionality. This may involve removing or adding partitions, reconfiguring rooms, or creating open-plan living spaces. 

✔ Storage solutions: In HDB flats where space is often limited, consider incorporating efficient storage solutions to maximise usable space. This may include built-in cabinets, storage platforms, or multi-functional furniture.

✔ Aesthetic enhancements: Finally, focus on aesthetic enhancements such as painting, flooring, and adding decorative elements. Personalise the space to reflect your style preferences while ensuring compliance with HDB renovation guidelines.

3. Set a healthy and flexible renovation budget

3. Set a healthy and flexible renovation budget

Setting a healthy and flexible renovation budget involves thorough planning and financial assessment, determining needs vs. wants, researching costs, setting clear priorities, and considering long-term value.

✔ Assess your finances: Begin by evaluating your financial situation. Consider your savings, income, and any additional funds you can allocate towards the renovation project.

✔ Prioritise needs vs. wants: Distinguish between essential renovation needs and optional upgrades or luxuries. Allocate a larger portion of your budget to must-have items while leaving room for discretionary expenses.

✔ Research costs: Research the typical costs of renovation materials, labour, permits, and other expenses relevant to your project. Obtain multiple quotes from contractors and suppliers to compare prices and ensure accuracy in budget estimation.

✔ Include contingency funds: Factor in a contingency fund of around 10-20% of your total budget to account for unforeseen expenses or changes during the renovation process. This cushion provides flexibility and helps mitigate financial stress if unexpected issues arise.

✔ Set clear priorities: Determine which aspects of the renovation are non-negotiable and prioritise spending accordingly. Focus on areas that will have the most significant impact on your daily life and property value.

✔ Consider long-term value: Invest in high-quality materials and durable fixtures that offer long-term value and require less maintenance over time. 

While they may have a higher upfront cost, they can save you money in the long run by reducing repair and replacement expenses.

✔ Review and adjust: Regularly review your budget throughout the renovation process and make adjustments as needed. Keep track of expenses and compare them to your initial estimates to ensure you’re staying within budget.

✔ Seek professional advice: Consult with renovation professionals, such as contractors or interior designers, who can provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions about budget allocation and cost-effective solutions.

4. Gather some design considerations for your renovation

4. Gather some design considerations for your renovation

Design considerations for your renovation encompass a wide range of factors that contribute to creating a functional, aesthetically pleasing, and cohesive living space. There are also some great interior designers in Singapore to advise you!

✔ Functionality: Prioritise functionality by designing spaces that suit your lifestyle and daily needs. Consider the flow of movement within the home, the usability of each room, and the efficiency of storage solutions.

✔ Space optimisations: Make the most of available space by optimising layouts and using multi-functional furniture. Incorporate storage solutions that maximise vertical space and reduce clutter.

✔ Natural light: Maximise natural light to enhance the ambience and spaciousness of your home. Consider the orientation of windows and the placement of reflective surfaces to amplify daylight throughout the space.

✔ Colour palette: Choose a cohesive colour palette that reflects your personal style and creates a harmonious atmosphere. Consider the psychological effects of colour and use it to evoke the desired mood in each room.

✔ Material selection: Select high-quality materials that are durable, easy to maintain, and in line with your design aesthetic. Pay attention to textures, finishes, and patterns to add visual interest and tactile appeal.

✔ Energy efficiency: Incorporate energy-efficient features and appliances to reduce utility costs and minimise environmental impact. Consider options such as LED lighting, insulation, and energy-efficient windows.

✔ Accessibility: Design with accessibility in mind to accommodate individuals of all ages and abilities. Incorporate features such as wider doorways, lever handles, and barrier-free showers to ensure inclusivity and ease of use.

✔ Technology integration: Embrace smart home technology to enhance convenience, security, and comfort. Explore options for automated lighting, climate control, and home entertainment systems that seamlessly integrate into your design.

✔ Personalisation: Infuse your personality into the design by incorporating elements that reflect your interests, hobbies, and experiences. Consider incorporating artwork, souvenirs, or heirlooms that hold sentimental value.

✔ Future flexibility: Anticipate future needs and trends by designing spaces that can adapt to evolving lifestyles and preferences. Incorporate flexible furniture arrangements and versatile design elements that allow for easy updates over time.

5. Be aware of hidden renovation costs 

5. Be aware of hidden renovation costs

There are several hidden renovation costs that homeowners should consider when planning a renovation project. These costs often arise unexpectedly and can significantly impact the overall budget. 

✔ Structural issues: Unforeseen structural problems such as termite damage, rotting beams, or foundation issues may require costly repairs or reinforcements.

✔ Permit fees: Obtaining permits for certain renovation projects may incur fees, which vary depending on the scope of work and local regulations.

✔ Unforeseen changes: During the renovation process, unforeseen changes or modifications to the original plan may arise, leading to additional labour and material costs.

✔ Upgrades and add-ons: Homeowners may decide to upgrade materials, fixtures, or finishes during the renovation, which can increase costs beyond the initial budget.

✔ Delivery and disposal fees: Transporting materials to the renovation site and disposing of construction waste may incur additional fees, especially for large or bulky items.

✔ Utility costs: Extended renovation timelines can result in increased utility bills, particularly if temporary utilities such as electricity or water need to be used on-site.

✔ Contractor delays: Delays in the renovation schedule due to factors like weather, supply chain disruptions, or unforeseen complications may prolong the project timeline and incur additional labour costs.

✔ Hidden damage: Hidden damage behind walls or beneath floorings, such as water damage or mould, may only become apparent after demolition has begun, necessitating repairs and additional expenses.

✔ Professional fees: Hiring architects, engineers, or consultants for design advice or project management may involve additional professional fees beyond the initial contractor costs.

✔ Cleanup and final touches: After the renovation is complete, there may be additional costs associated with cleaning up the site, applying finishing touches, and ensuring the space is ready for occupancy.

Tips for Saving More During a Renovation

To keep costs manageable, practical strategies can make a significant difference. Learn how to optimise your budget and achieve your renovation goals without breaking the bank.

DIY whenever possible

DIY whenever possible

Consider tackling certain tasks yourself if you have the skills and experience. Simple DIY projects like painting, installing shelves, or assembling furniture can help save on labour costs.

Even with prior experience, begin with smaller DIY projects that have a lower risk of mistakes or complications. This will allow you to gain confidence and experience before tackling larger projects.

However, always prioritise safety when working on DIY projects. Wear appropriate protective gear, use tools and equipment correctly, and follow safety guidelines and instructions.

Reuse and recycle

Reuse and recycle

Salvage materials and fixtures from the existing space whenever possible to reduce waste and save on replacement costs. Consider repurposing old furniture or decor items to give them a new lease on life.

Instead of replacing worn or outdated furniture and fixtures, consider refinishing or refurbishing them to give them a new lease on life. This can involve sanding, painting, reupholstering, or replacing hardware to refresh the look and functionality of the item.

If your renovation involves landscaping or gardening, compost organic waste such as grass clippings, leaves, and prunings to create nutrient-rich soil for your plants. 

Choose cost-effective materials

Choose cost-effective materials

Choose cost-effective materials that offer good quality and durability within your budget. Look for alternatives that mimic expensive finishes or opt for generic brands to save on costs without compromising on quality.

Look for products with certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Cradle to Cradle (C2C) to ensure they meet high environmental standards.

You can also explore salvage yards, architectural salvage stores, and online marketplaces for reclaimed materials such as wood flooring, doors, windows, and fixtures. 

1. Eight Design

Address: 140 Paya Lebar Rd, #01-04 AZ@Paya Lebar, Singapore 409015 (Google Maps)

Contact: +6562668880

Hours: Daily, 10 AM–8 PM

Price: $$


For over 15 years, Eight Design has provided interior design and renovation services in Singapore, specialising in HDB renovations. 

The company offers tailored solutions to transform homes into functional and enjoyable living spaces, whether it’s a small room or an entire HDB flat.

2. Sense & Semblance

Address: 1 Pemimpin Dr, #04-07 One Pemimpin, Singapore 576151 (Google Maps)

Contact: +6569049006

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9.30 AM–6 PM

Price: $$


Sense & Semblance provides comprehensive design services, including consultation, space planning, project management, and styling, to bring each client’s ideal home to life. 

It specialises in blending design elements and principles to achieve a harmonious balance of practicality and aesthetics.

3. Jaystone Renovation

3. Jaystone Renovation

Address: 34 Boon Leat Terrace, #04 12b, Singapore 119866 (Google Maps) 

Contact: +6566536215

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 AM–5 PM

Price: $$


Jaystone is a direct renovation contractor in Singapore, boasting a skilled team of tilers, carpenters, and renovation workers. By bypassing middleman fees, the company offers affordable pricing and maintains control over workmanship quality.

4. TK Contractors

Address: Floor 1, 6D Mandai Estate, #03-12 M-space, Singapore 729938 (Google Maps)

Contact: +6591158246

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 AM–6 PM

Price: $$


TK Contractors offers modern, quality carpentry services by skilled carpenters, along with lighting, power point sockets, LEW testing, CCTV installation, access control, plumbing, fire prevention systems, roofing, and painting. 

Its services range from innovative ideas to traditional works.

5. Home Guide Interior Design

Address: Floor 2, 2 Leng Kee Rd, #02-03 Thye Hong Centre, Singapore 159086 (Google Maps) 

Contact: +6562532539

Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 AM–7 PM

Price: $$


Established in 1992, Home Guide is an experienced interior design and renovation company in Singapore. It specialises in HDB renovation packages ranging from S$10,000 to over S$20,000.

6. Hoong Fatt Heng Renovation 

Address: 322F Changi Rd, Singapore 419797 (Google Maps)

Contact: +6590220191

Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 AM–7 PM; Saturdays, 11 AM–5 PM

Price: $$


Hoong Fatt Heng, a trusted and long-standing renovation contractor in Singapore, offers comprehensive one-stop renovation services. 

Specialising in hacking, tiling, plumbing, carpentry, painting, ceiling works, roofing, and electrical services, the company provides a wide range of renovation solutions under one roof.

7. Om Decor

7. Om Decor

Address: 65 Corporation Walk, Singapore 618461 (Google Maps)

Contact: +6566006000

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 AM–5.30 PM

Price: $$


Om Decor collaborates closely with clients to optimise results. It initially started as Ah Siang General Contractor in the 80s. 

The company prioritises sticking to a timeline and upholding quality, aesthetics, and space usability. To accomplish this, clients’ ideas are discussed thoroughly to make sure they’re practical and translatable into real life.

8. Zq Pte. Ltd.

8. Zq Pte. Ltd.

Address: 25 Mandai Estate, #03-07 Innovation Place, Singapore 729930 (Google Maps)

Contact: +6564875223

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 AM–6 PM; Saturdays, 9 AM–2 PM

Price: $$


ZQ Pte Ltd specialises in both reinstatement and renovation services for various properties, including homes, offices, and shops. It has over 20 years of experience and is a member of the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA).

The company’s services include reinstatement, renovation, carpentry, demolition, electrical, partition, painting, plumbing, and wet works.

9. Sin Siang Huat

9. Sin Siang Huat

Address: Floor 1, 10 Anson Rd, #10-20 International Plaza, Singapore 079903 (Google Maps)

Contact: +6592375770

Hours: Always open

Price: $$$


Sin Siang Huat specialises in home renovation with over 40 years of electrical work experience. The team also has creative interior designers and dedicated project coordinators so clients can get all renovation-related consultations under one roof. 

Customers can get free quotes upon request.

10. Unimax Creative

Address: 288 Balestier Rd, #02-02, Singapore 329731 (Google Maps)

Contact: +6562260110

Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 AM–5 PM

Price: $$


Unimax Creative offers non-obligatory sales consultations to understand its clients’ needs and present their visions for their dreams. 

Clients have raved about how the company maximises space and aesthetics and how the team listens, sketches, and welcomes suggestions at every turn.

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