BTO Renovation Cost in Singapore in 2024 (and 6 Top Tips to Lower It!)

BTO Renovation Cost in Singapore in 2024 (and 6 Top Tips to Lower It!)
BTO Renovation Cost in Singapore in 2024 (and 6 Top Tips to Lower It!)

Renovation costs in Singapore have increased over the years, and BTO renovation costs are no different. So, if you’re reading this article, congratulations are first in order to collect the keys to your long-awaited BTO flat. The next order of business is to renovate and furnish your home to suit your every whim and fancy.

In the Feb 2024 BTO launch, the wait time for five of the seven BTO projects was less than 3.5 years. Still, this is a marked improvement from the wait time of four to five years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For those of you who have already collected the keys to your new BTO home, here’s a little guide to help you budget for your dream HDB renovations.

How Much Does BTO Renovation Cost in 2024?

3-room flat

$34,200 to $52,100

4-room flat

$52,500 to $66,000

5-room flat

$62,000 to $70,000

BTO renovation costs and durations will vary depending on your needs and how you’d like your space to look. The following estimates are provided by Qanvast.

Generally, BTO renovation works do not cost a bomb, especially if you’ve opted in for the additional fittings and flooring when you bought the flat from HDB. Besides the kitchen, you may not need to renovate anything else and rely on store-bought furniture instead (built-in carpentry work is expensive). 

Average BTO Renovation Costs in 2023

3-room flat

$45,800 to $55,700

4-room flat

$49,500 to $62,800

5-room flat

$55,000 to $69,000

As you can see, average renovation costs have dipped slightly compared to the previous year. This is largely due to the stabilisation of working conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a shortage of labour and raw materials, which led to renovation costs soaring. Now, things are back to normal. However, the cost of raw materials has steadily risen over the years. Ultimately, this factor will likely continually drive up renovation costs.

3-Room BTO Renovation Costs in Singapore

As expected, average renovation costs in Singapore go up as the size of your home increases. The average renovation cost for a 3-room BTO flat is between $34,200 to $52,100. Less material is required to furnish your home, which explains why it’s cheaper than a 5-room BTO renovation cost. 

What this does is give you more budget when renovating your home. You can save or channel the extra money into fancier items like built-in furniture or custom bathroom tiling.

4-Room BTO Renovation Costs in Singapore

The average renovation costs for a 4-room BTO flat fall between $52,500 to $66,000. A 4-room flat is a fair amount of space for couples who are just starting out or Dual Income, No Kids couples.

If you plan to have children, it makes sense to furnish your home in a way that allows you to reconfigure the layout easily. For example, don’t have too much built-in furniture in your extra bedroom. This way, you can easily convert the space into a baby’s nursery (and, later on, a child’s bedroom).

5-Room BTO Renovation Costs in Singapore

Due to the size of a 5-room BTO flat, renovating it is more expensive. Average renovation costs start at $62,000 to $70,000, a hefty sum as most buyers probably have plans for the additional space. Be prepared to shell out more if you have a ‘more is more’ design attitude.

Factors That Influence BTO Renovation Costs 

Size of BTO Flat

As mentioned, the larger your flat, the higher the average renovation costs. This is because more raw materials, furnishing, and labour are required to build your home. For example, if you have a lot of walls to cover, painting costs can add up.

Who Renovates Your BTO Flat

Unless you have the expertise to carry out renovation works, most people pick from these three renovation provider options: interior designers (IDs), contractors or design-and-build services. Prices vary based on service levels, workmanship, expertise and job scopes.

Going straight to a renovation contractor is the cheapest option, but it means there will be no design and project management help. Be prepared to create the design you want and oversee the renovations from start to finish.  

Materials Used for Your BTO Flat’s Renovation

If you’re the type who insists on custom carpentry or parquet wood flooring, it’s easy to rack up astronomical renovation costs due to the materials needed. For instance, excluding the subfloor layer, ceramic tiles typically cost between $10 to $15 per square foot, but hardwood flooring will set you back $30 to $50 per square foot.

Scope of Renovation Work Done to Your BTO Flat

The more elaborate the interior design, the more work is required to transform your home. Naturally, the accompanying price tag will increase. Areas which can push up renovation costs are:

  • Carpentry (e.g. cabinets for your kitchen and custom TV consoles)

  • Hacking (e.g. removal of existing tiles, walls and built-in furniture)

  • Masonry (e.g. subfloor layer when tiling floors, base of cabinets)

  • Disposal of unwanted materials

Other renovation works you will have to include are:

  • Tiling

  • Plumbing and electrical work 

  • Window and grills

How to Lower Renovation Costs in Singapore 

Are you on a tight budget? Here are some tips to help you save a few bucks (or more) on your renovation costs in Singapore. 

1. Have a Clear Direction on Your Desired Home Design

You want a vague idea of what your home will look like. Create Pinterest boards and pin home designs you like. Look at local interior design websites for inspiration. Furthermore, design trends change every year.

For the year ahead, popular 2024 interior design trends include:

  • Bold wallpaper

  • Warm neutrals and colour palettes, with green as an accent colour (like emerald and deep greens); red, orange, beige and earth tones are in vogue

  • Curves replacing straight lines (think boucle, puffy sofas and comfy chairs, circular furniture, mirrors, artwork, you name it)

  • Concrete accents

  • Art-deco, maximalist elements

Additionally, draw a list to determine ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. This will minimise the changes your ID has to make and help you decide what to give up should renovation costs exceed your budget.

2. Design Your Own Home

If you intend on making minimal changes to your home, you can choose the DIY route and skip an ID. You can use online tools like SketchUp to plan the layout of your home. 

Once you’ve finalised the design, source for and work directly with contractors to carry out the installation and construction work. Make sure these contractors are registered under HDB’s Directory of Renovation Contractors. Don’t forget to check the HDB website and apply for the relevant HDB renovation permits.

3. Overlay Tiles Rather Than Hack Them

Not only is hacking tiles an expensive endeavour, but it also requires masonry work to repair the floor surface before installing your desired tiles. Go for laminate flooring instead. It is much cheaper and can cost up to $8 per square foot (PSF).

4. Source Your Materials, Accessories and Fixtures

IDs typically have their preferred contractors and contacts for materials, accessories and fixtures. While they will take care of everything for you, they usually charge a sourcing and purchasing fee on top of material costs. 

So ask if accessories such as door knobs and cabinet handles are included in the finalised renovation quote. If they are, you can request to source for your accessories. For instance, if you want a granite or quartz countertop for your kitchen island, you can cut out the middleman and head down to industrial warehouses to purchase directly from suppliers. For everything else, there is Taobao or Ezbuy.

5. Minimise Carpentry Works and Built-in Furniture

Rising design trends such as maximalism and the return of raw, natural materials such as concrete, oak and marble can often be expensive. While such exquisite tastes could come with expensive price tags, you can always find more affordable options to build the same look at furniture stores in Singapore or sustainable secondhand furniture shops.

Alternatively, select furniture made from materials such as rattan or wicker. These related materials will give off a similar vibe to wood furniture.

6. Paint Your House Yourself

Painting costs for a 3-room BTO flat range between $900 and $1,800, depending on the type of paint and the number of colours used. If you are crafty, you can paint your own walls or put up wallpaper yourself to save costs! 

Need Help with Your New BTO Flat? Contact Sendhelper!

If you need help with post-renovation cleaning or are looking for a handyman for all the little nitty-gritty fix-ups, you can get help from services like Sendhelper.

Sendhelper is a home services brand provider that can help you manage your home. Not only can you find a handyman, but you can also hire cleaners, cooks, and even certified professionals to provide home caregiver services. Simply download the Sendhelper app on the App Store or Google Play and find all the help you need at your fingertips.

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