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October 11, 2021

How Much Should You Spend On Renovations?

Chances are, even the best property available for you on the market won’t be perfect. But that’s not a bad thing — the journey to one’s dream home rarely ends after making the purchase and moving in. With millennials becoming first-time homeowners much later in life than previous generations, much more thought is being put into making the most out of this hard-earned property.

This is largely why renovation has become so common. But how much of a budget will you need to set aside for this?

Like with most things in life, the answer to this is… it depends.

Of course, the biggest factor that would influence your overall renovation budget would be its scope. More work means more materials, which means a higher upfront cost. Even seemingly simple renovation jobs could leave you forking out 4 or even 5 figure sums.

Luckily, lots of resources are available to you to help you arrive at a figure for any renovations you’ll need to be done… resources like this very article! If you’re intending to renovate your property — newly-purchased or no — we’ve got you covered.

1. Plan Your Renovations Ahead

As we’ve mentioned, the single biggest determinant for the cost of your renovation project would be its scope. So make sure to come up with a thorough plan of what exactly you’d like to be done to your home before you start contacting the relevant people. Here are some of the most common tasks for renovation projects in Singapore.


This refers to the removal or modification of built-in furniture, structures, and even the walls on a property. Doing this cleanly can be very labor-intensive work! So, if you have a lot of things you want to be removed from your property, you can easily look at up to five-figure fees.


This refers to pretty much anything involving cement. Any hacking you’ll have done on your property would also require an equal amount of masonry done, so that’s one thing to keep in mind.


If you have any custom furniture needs for your property, then you will need to have carpentry work done. This is relatively self-explanatory. Pricing for this depends on the amount and size of the custom furniture you’ll need built, as well as the specific materials you’re looking to use. A simple desk might not cost much if you’ll have it built with plywood, but the same design could be up to thrice the price if you want it done in oak.

2. How Much Do These Renovations Cost?

So, how much will tasks like these cost on average? Here’s a rough estimate for how much you’d spend to have these done for a 4-room HDB Flat.

Factoring additional costs such as appliances, the average cost for lightly renovating a 4-room HDB flat can climb all the way up to S$36,000 since some areas will likely need more work than others. For instance, you might not need any hacking or masonry done, but you may need to avail of moderate to extensive plumbing and electrical work for your new home.

3. The Cost Of Aesthetics

Costs can also fluctuate wildly if you have a specific interior design theme in mind for your home. Modeling your home to fit a certain style can introduce all manner of additional costs to your renovation project due to the cost of materials and additional labor.

To illustrate, here’s a look at the differing costs for flooring materials alone:

This may not look like much, but costs can quickly add up depending on the size of your property. So, you may need to reconsider getting marble flooring done on your property unless money is no object to you.

Up next, we have a ballpark of what your total costs may end up being depending on the overall style you have in mind for your property. Costs change depending on materials, furniture, and decorative items such as rugs or art. Funnily enough, going for a minimalist design for your property may end up being more pricey than it’s worth!

4. Who Should You Hire?

Now, we understand if you don’t have the time to make extensive renovation plans for your property. If you’re looking to work with a contractor, you’ll also need to formally manage the entire project. This would require you to physically be on-site throughout the renovation process, which we understand may not be an option for some people. As such, you can opt to go with an interior designer instead.

An interior designer will plan and manage the entire project with you based on your needs. Just take note that you will have to pay a premium for their services. Aside from the up-front renovation costs, you will also need to pay an interior designer additional fees such as their consultancy fee. Some interior designers even add a markup to the renovation costs, as they will be the ones sourcing the materials and manpower themselves.

So, are you still interested in getting your property renovated?

It’s definitely a crucial part of the budgeting process for your next property. Just keep in mind that this article is a rough estimate of the costs you may be facing. Each home is different, so even light hacking and masonry work may differ per home. As we’ve said before, prices can vary wildly depending on the project. Just make sure to do your due research for your needs, and talk things out with whoever you end up hiring for the project. Good luck!