Budgeting & Saving

Average Cost of Home Renovation in Singapore

We’ve covered the real estate market a lot here on Value Penguin. As we’ve shown, real estate prices on the island of Singapore can be sky high. If you are looking to remodel a home, what are the costs you can expect? Will the cost of a remodel also be sky high? For most consumers, there are two reasons they consider a home remodel in the first place:

  • They own a home and are looking to improve the quality and value.
  • They are interested in buying a depressed home, and want to know how much it will cost to renovate the property. If the renovation will be required, the renovation cost is effectively part of the purchase price from the buyer’s perspective.

Whichever situation you are in, it is a great starting point to understand the average cost of a home renovation within Singapore. Keep reading to find data on the average cost of a home remodel and some questions you should consider before getting started.

Average Cost of Home Renovation for a 4-room HDB Flat

We calculated the average cost of home renovation based on a 4-room HDB flat (i.e. 90 sq meter) since it represents the biggest proportion of residences in Singapore (32% of all homes). According to our research, the average cost of home renovation for a 4-room HDB flat is around $55,000. This cost includes all of the raw material required and the labor needed to complete the project. In general, there are seven major components you will need to pay for.

Remodeling AreaAverage CostNote
DemolitionS$6,000S$50 per foot run x 120 ft
PlumbingS$875S$270-S$400 per bathroom & kitchen
ElectricalS$4,000S$50-S$150 per piece
Flooring and TilingS$11,625S$8,000-S$20,000 depending on material
PaintS$1,3501,000-S$1,700 depending on type of paint & size of walls
Carpentry WorkS$24,000S$100-S$500 per ft run
ApplianceS$7,500A/C, Washing Machines, etc.
TotalS$55,350

At any one of these six steps, your choice of materials can decrease the cost of a remodel substantially. For instance, using laminate instead of marble in the kitchen and vinyl instead of granite in the bathrooms are just a few simple ways to save. For instance, below is a table that shows the range of pricing for each flooring material options. When we are talking about 101-140 sq meters of floor area, a difference of S$5-10 per square meter could be a huge difference.

Flooring MaterialLow End CostAverage CostHigh End Cost
MarbleS$10 per square footS$12.5 per square footS$15 per square foot
GraniteS$10 per square footS$15 per square footS$20 per square foot
ParquetS$7 per square footS$10.5 per square footS$14 per square foot
LaminateS$3.5 per square footS$4.0 per squre footS$4.5 per squre foot
VinylS$6 per square footS$6.25 per square footS$7.5 per square foot
Ceramic/TilesS$3 per square footS$9 per square footS$15 per square foot
Installation LaborS$3 per square footS$6.5 per square footS$10 per square foot

If money is an issue, consider the raw material at every step of the process and see if cheaper solutions exist. On top of this raw material cost, completing a portion of the work yourself can be a great way to save on labor.

Average Cost of Home Renovation Depending on Style

Although the average cost of renovating a home is around S$55,000, this cost could actually vary heavily depending on how you redesign your residence. There are largely 9 different style categories that people choose in Singapore. Below, we feature the average cost of home renovation for each design type, according to Qanvast.

StyleAverage Cost
ContemporaryS$82,000
ModernS$65,000
TraditionalS$71,000
TransitionalS$82,000
RetroS$30,000
VintageS$62,000
ScandinavianS$67,000
EclecticS$70,000
IndustrialS$60,000

How Involved in the Process Will You Be?

When it comes to a home remodeling, there are several levels of involvement to consider.

Some consumers enjoy doing the entire project by themselves and only paying for raw materials and any necessary tools. On the other hand, some property owners choose to work with an interior designer or contractor who can manage the entire process from start to finish. Some people will do a combination of these two approaches, and complete basic jobs by themselves but hire out specialists to do the jobs which require expertise – like electrical and plumbing.

Before getting started, carefully consider your available time and experience level in these fields. There have been many a home remodel which have dragged on longer than anticipated with a homeowner trying to complete the entire project themselves. Being realistic about your availability and budget can make the process go smoothly.

How Will You Finance The Project?

If you don’t have the money on hand, you will need to find financing. Many homeowners will take out a personal or home equity loan in order to make a renovation possible. Our research has shown that it is almost always preferable to use a renovation loan, rather than a personal loan, for this type of project. In general, personal loans will carry interest rates which are 6% - 7% higher than renovation loans. This is made possible because many times the value of the home being remodeled is used as collateral. From the banks perspective, a renovation loan is simply safer than a personal loan.

Set a Budget

Regardless of how you finance the project, it is important to first determine the maximum amount you can spend on the remodel. Most experts recommend setting a budget first, and then removing 15% from this total. In essence you now have 85% of your budget to work with and have 15% available if cost overruns occur. If this is your first remodel, be realistic and expect some things to not go as planned. By creating a 15% buffer, you will be confident that the project can be done at your price point and not create a financial strain for you or your family.

Final Thoughts

A home remodel can be a great way to add value to your home and make it more enjoyable to live in. At Value Penguin, we will be with you as you look for a home, find financing, and begin your remodel.

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