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Honestly, Here's What Your Reno Budget Can Really Get You

May 31, 2018

Disclaimer: Prices may vary, depending on the interior professional, house condition, design and materials used. Budgets here refer to renovation costs for HDBs and condos only. Costs do not include furnishings.

Budgeting for a renovation can be a muddle, especially when real-life examples out there vary in the extremes. On one end, there are gorgeous abodes done up to the ring of $20,000. On the other, a seemingly plain home can also take $70,000 to do up! Just what exactly justifies their price?

While it looks like these numbers are plucked from thin air, it ultimately boils down to a couple of factors - your home’s size, condition and the type of design and works you plan to do. So, what budget is best for your needs? Here, we’ve broken it down to 4 budget ranges to help you figure things out:

$30,000 and Under:

The Vales by

View this project by

Recommended for:

  • Smaller homes under 100 sqm.
  • Studio apartments, 1, 2, 3 or (at most) 4-room layouts.
  • New HDB flats and condos that don’t require dismantling or maintenance work.
  • Partial renovations (e.g. doing up one area of the house)

What to expect:

Sol Acres by Happe Design Atelier

View this project by Happe Design Atelier

In terms of design and materials: At this budget range, don’t expect fancy designs or complex built-ins that’ll cost a lot to fabricate and install. Carpentry is often kept in simple forms. Likewise, the type of materials used here is usually limited to affordable (but basic) options like laminate or vinyl, solid stone, and ceramic tiles.

Henderson Road by Authors • Interior & Styling

View this project by Authors • Interior & Styling

In terms of amount of works done: Expect this range to account for only light hacking, basic masonry and minimal carpentry works. It’s also about cutting out what’s unnecessary – many renovations under $30,000 are so as they leave out renovating certain areas (like the kitchen/bathroom) or works, such as hacking or flooring. This is especially common in new condos and HDBs, as they come with perfectly functional fittings that don’t require changing.

Tampines GreenRidges by Craftwerkz Interior

View this project by Craftwerkz Interior

Lastly, size plays a part – you’ll notice that most renovations in this range are for spaces under 100 sqm. The smaller the area to renovate; the lower the price.

Some homes in this price range:

Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 by The Makers Design Studio

View this project by The Makers Design Studio

Location: Bukit Batok West
Renovation Cost: $30,000

Toa Payoh East by Arche Interior

View this project by Arche Interior

Location: Toa Payoh East
Renovation Cost: $30,000

$30,000 - $50,000

The Esta by EA Interior Design

View this project by EA Interior Design

Recommended for:

  • 3, 4 room layouts. Basic works for 5 rooms or bigger.
  • New HDBs and Condos
  • Resales (if there isn’t much dismantling/maintenance work to do)

What to expect:

Fernvale Street by Ethereall

View this project by Ethereall

In terms of design and materials: Here, you’ll get to play around more with design elements. Think simple wall paneling, open-concept kitchens, glass partitions and the like. Your design can also incorporate more built-in features, like a basic walk-in wardrobe. This range also opens up a wider selection of materials to choose from. While you won’t be able to afford luxurious marble stone or full parquet, you can still make do with patterned tiles and laminates.

Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 by Colourbox Interior

View this project by Colourbox Interior

In terms of the amount of works done: This budget range will allow you to cover essentials like flooring, electricals, and carpentry, along with some options, like hacking, tiling, and paint jobs. It can also account for larger homes (like 5-room flats) or resales that don’t require much dismantling, repairing and maintenance work, though at the expense of other aspects like design and carpentry.

Some homes in this price range:

Toa Payoh Lorong 1 by ARK-hitecture

View this project by ARK-hitecture

Location: Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Renovation Cost: $46,000

Bukit Batok West Avenue by Space Atelier

View this project by Space Atelier

Location: Bukit Batok West
Renovation Cost: $43,000

$50,000 - $70,000

Dorset Road by Third Avenue Studio

View this project by Third Avenue Studio

Recommended for:

  • 3, 4 to 5 rooms (or bigger) layouts
  • Resale HDBs and Condos that require more recovery work.
  • Larger homes (100 sqm and above)

What to Expect:

St George Lane by Space Atelier

View this project by Space Atelier

In terms of design & materials: It’s at this range where we get to see distinctively fanciful designs and extensively built-up areas. There’s also room for creative, innovative fixtures, like having sliding partitions or a concealed bomb shelter piece (complete with cubby seating). Materials-wise, expect even more variety of materials to choose from. For instance, some might opt for floor-to-ceiling cement blocks. Others, a marbled backsplash and herringbone parquet floor.

Kent Road by Ethereall

View this project by Ethereall

In terms of the amount of works done: If your home’s a resale that needs a ton of restoration work, this budget range might be a good place to start. Likewise, if your space is big, say a 5-room or executive apartment that has literally ‘more room’ to work on, $50,000 - $70,000 is a decent amount for covering a whole gamut of works – flooring, electricals and all. Otherwise, this bumped up range mostly accounts for more extensive (and complex) carpentry work.

Some homes in this range:

Telok Blangah Rise by Urban Home Design 二本設計家

Location: Telok Blangah Rise
Renovation Cost: $59,000

Sembawang Close by Butler Interior

View this project by Butler Interior

Location: Sembawang Close
Renovation Cost: $60,000

$70,000 and above

The Terrace by Fuse Concept

View this project by Fuse Concept

Recommended for:

  • People who seriously want an Extreme Makeover-level home overhaul.
  • Crumbling resales that are major fixer-uppers
  • Huge homes like maisonettes, penthouses, executive apartments and jumbo flats

What to Expect:

Joo Chiat Road (Block 257B) by Prozfile Design

View this project by Prozfile Design

In terms of design and materials: Welcome to the mile-high club - the place where old houses are completely turned 180-degrees and new homes take your breath away. Literally, no expense is spared, whether it’s in terms of the luxurious materials used (natural stone tiles, wood partitions or marbled countertops), shapeshifting layouts planned or seriously genius built-ins. It’s all there – if you’ve got the cash to spare.

Park Grove by Schemacraft

View this project by Schemacraft

In terms of the number of works done: It’s beyond extensive. Here, you can even afford to deck most parts of your home with built-in fixtures. Even if your area is huge (like >120 sqm), anything above $70,000 should be able to cover a comprehensive range of works that entail in a renovation. Similarly, unless your resale space is one kick from crumbling, this price range would sufficiently account for major restoration works, plus a decently built-up space.

Anchorvale Crescent by D5 Studio Image

View this project by D5 Studio Image

Location: Anchorvale Crescent
Renovation Cost: $75,000

Compassvale Street by 19 Eighty Three

View this project by 19 Eighty Three

Location: Compassvale Street
Renovation Cost: $145,000

Next stop? Get your personalised renovation budget!

Note: This article is simply an average estimate of costs and works. Ultimately, each home is different! For a more detailed breakdown of your ideal renovation budget based on your home's size, condition and the various works you'd like to do, check out Qanvast's Budget Calculator here.


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