Singapore Renovations: Expected Costs and Durations For Home Renovation in 2021

Doing a home remodel is a huge decision, but it can also be a step towards getting the dream home you envision for yourself. If you’re thinking about renovating your new or resale HDB flat or condominium and is wondering what are the cost and duration for your home renovation, then this article is for you! Here’s are some past trends in home renovations, to guide your renovation decisions in 2021.

expected renovation cost in 2021

Cost & Duration of Renovating NEW HDB BTO flats

Hooray! Your BTO flat is ready at last. Now the last thing left to do is laying down the walls and flooring, windows, and other features of your choice. So, what are the cost and duration to expect for your home renovation? The good news is, because you’re adding these elements from scratch, the renovation will be shorter and cheaper because you don’t need to pay to remove previous elements. But of course, there are several tiers of HDB renovations, depending on how large the flat is.

3- room flat4-room flat5-room flat
$38,850 – $44,000$43,000 – $46,000$45,000 – $52,000

The cost of renovating a new 3-room flat has ranged from $38,850 to $44,000 during the year of 2020, up at least $6000 from 2019. Renovating a new 4-room flat costs between $43,000 to $46,000. Between 3- and 4-room flats, the major difference in a typical flat’s layout is one additional bedroom in the 4-room flats.

The good thing about this is that bedrooms aren’t too pricey to renovate, normally, so the price difference in the renovations of 3- and 4-room flats only differ by a few thousand dollars. Similarly, renovating a new 5-room flat cost between $45,000 and $52,000, with the major addition being more space in the living/dining area compared to the 4-room flats.

The most expensive rooms to renovate are usually the kitchen and the bathrooms, since they are, after all, a couple of the biggest boosters to your home’s resale value.

For the duration, renovations to 3- and 4-room flats took up to 2 months to finish in 2020, and 5-room flats took a little over 2 months (without delays).

With the typical pattern of inflation, we can expect that the renovation prices are likely to be higher in the coming year. Plus, with the surge in demand for HDB houses following the circuit breaker period, the higher demand for interior designers and contractors may push the renovation prices up higher. In 2021, though, the renovation period might be less prone to CoVid-19 related delays, and therefore might be shorter, especially as Singapore enters phase 3 of the circuit breaker.

Cost & Duration of Renovating RESALE HDB flats

From room to room, renovating a resale HDB flat is more expensive than renovating a new one. Why? You can’t get “in with the new” without going “out with the old”! Yup, there are extra costs for hacking down what’s already in place in the flat to replace it with your own dream-home elements.

So expect to add another $8,000 to $40,000 on top of the cost of renovating a new HDB flat if you’re doing a full remodel on a resale flat.

We estimates that while 3-room resale flats still took up to 2 months to complete (without delays), 4-room and 5-room resale flats could take about 2.5 months.

The good thing about renovating HDB resale flats, though, is that you don’t actually need to do a complete remodel! If some parts of the home are in good condition, and you’re happy with the design there, you could simply leave those parts as is, and then focus on the “problem areas” that you absolutely want to change.

In short, even though each step of renovating a HDB resale flat is typically more expensive than renovating a new HDB flat, there might be fewer steps involved in turning a HDB resale flat into your dream home. But that also means that the selling price for HDB resale flats are also higher than new HDB flats.

Cost & Duration of Renovating NEW Condominiums

Now, not all condos are under HDB, but we thought it would be useful to include what we know here anyway. According to online research, typical renovations for new condominium apartments are relatively inexpensive at $24,000 to $33,500 in 2020 for a 3-bedroom condo.

But that’s because in renovating condo units, people typically don’t do full-scale remodels. In fact, a lot of what you’d usually need to do in a complete renovation is already covered when you buy the condo. And that’s probably why the purchase price of condos are typically so much higher than HDB flats.

The additional small renovations you choose to make can take up to 7 weeks to complete, and can be as short as only one month if you have fairly minor renovations.

Cost & Duration of Renovating RESALE Condominiums

Hacking is expensive, and since you might be taking apart and rebuilding things that would otherwise have been included in the purchase price, the cost of renovations here has a huge spike compared to new condos, at an estimate of $55,000 to $70,000.

It can take two months or more to complete the renovation, depending on the size of your condo, your renovation needs, the rewiring works needed, and even the layout of your condo.

In order to keep your costs down, the key here is just to avoid making unnecessary renovations. One of the most costly (yet minor) things to avoid is to change the position of an air conditioner or a bathroom fixture, because these can involve pretty intensive rewiring and plumbing works.

So when you’re looking to purchase a resale condominium apartment, be careful to pick an apartment that is already fairly liveable to you, with no major issues. This will help you minimise your renovation costs as much as possible.

So, the above data is a rough calculation for your cost and duration for your home renovation. If you are looking to renovate a place and haven’t settled for an interior firm yet, you can get matched up to 4-5 different IDs here.


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