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Mission Possible: 10 Affordable and Aesthetic BTO Renos Under $50K

November 17, 2022

Good-looking homes on a tight budget? We’re sold!

With prices hiking up for just about everything, tightening our metaphorical purse strings is a prudent choice, so you might find yourself having to trim your renovation budget.

While it may mean skipping fancy materials and features, it doesn’t mean forgoing aesthetics. With some well-thought choices, like retaining OCS items and using alternative finishes, you can still give your BTO flat a pleasing makeover under $50k, as these 10 homes prove!


1. A bright and airy 4-room BTO at Dakota Breeze | $28,000

Considering that carpentry is arguably (on average) THE most expensive type of renovation work for any home, choosing loose furniture will help you keep renovation costs low.

Just keep in mind that loose furnishings you purchase directly aren’t accounted for in these costs.

Dakota Breeze by Yang's Inspiration Design
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The owners of this home opted for a loose TV console instead of a built-in TV feature wall, and a free-standing cabinet by the entranceway.

Dakota Breeze by Yang's Inspiration Design
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To change up the soft and light tones with pops of colour, the homeowners used plants around the home, from the living room to the service yard and even the bathroom.

And if you haven’t got the time – or green thumbs – to take care of real plants, consider artificial plants as accents around your home.

Dakota Breeze by Yang's Inspiration Design
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Dakota Breeze by Yang's Inspiration Design
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2. An earthy-toned 3-room BTO at Alkaff Crescent with minimalist vibes | $ 38,000

Alkaff Crescent by Aestherior
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If you’ve been saving Scandinavian designs that don’t break the bank, here’s another one!

The minimalist aesthetic of this home is any Scandinavian lover’s dream, with light furnishings and decor balanced with darker and moodier wood tones around the home, including the vinyl flooring.

There’s some mid-century modern influence too, as seen in the freestanding TV console and rattan lamp shade.

Alkaff Crescent by Aestherior
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Much like the home above, the homeowners have built-ins only where necessary, like in the kitchen and the bedroom, while opting for loose furniture in the living room.

Alkaff Crescent by Aestherior
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3. A black-and-white themed 3-room BTO at Pine Lane with clean lines and warm tones | $26,000

Pine Lane by ELPIS Interior Design
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This home is all about keeping it simple and comfy – forgoing a feature wall that would add to the renovation cost, the homeowners chose to break up the monotony of the plain walls with a blend of varying textures and materials.

Pine Lane by ELPIS Interior Design
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The upholstery and soft furnishings in the living room amp up the cosiness while the black-and-white theme repeats throughout the rest of the home for a pleasing consistency.

Pine Lane by ELPIS Interior Design
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4. A 4-room BTO at Dakota Breeze with clever multi-purpose carpentry | $35,000

Dakota Breeze by Flo Design
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If you’re parking a considerable part of your renovation budget for carpentry, make the most out of it with multi-purpose carpentry.

At first glance, the built-ins in the living room don’t look like anything out of the ordinary, but the pocket doors next to the TV actually open up to reveal a study!

Dakota Breeze by Flo Design
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affordable BTO renovation
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You can also set up a wardrobe that doubles as a partition for some added privacy, just like the owners of this home did.

affordable BTO renovation
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5. A 4-room BTO at Canberra Street anchored in functionality | $27,000

Speaking of multi-purpose built-ins, you can extend the concept to concealing your household shelter!

Canberra Street by Studio CS
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Canberra Street by Studio CS
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Instead of storing shoes in the household shelter, you can have racks/shelves set up on the inside of the door concealing the shelter. Now that’s one way to grab your shoes on the go and keep your entryway free of clutter!

Explore: Household Shelter an Eyesore? Not In These 7 Homes

Canberra Street by Studio CS
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If much of your budget goes to custom carpentry, you might have to keep other features simple, like opting for simple, less opulent materials for tiling, flooring and cabinetry.

Canberra Street by Studio CS
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6. A cosy 5-room BTO in Bedok South Horizon with subtle textures | $37,000

Bedok South Horizon by The Alchemists Design
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Not a fan of the flooring finishes your BTO flat comes with and want to change it to one of your choice? Consider overlaying the flooring instead of hacking – that’s because masonry is another type of renovation work that could add up to a hefty sum.

This also helps you save on hacking costs if you opted in for OCS, but realise you’d rather a different finish.

Bedok South Horizon by The Alchemists Design
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If you’re on a tight budget, try laminate flooring or vinyl overlays for communal areas and save up for masonry in areas you want to highlight. In this home, that’s the kitchen backsplash with its timeless subway tiles and the fun terrazzo tiles in the bathroom.

Bedok South Horizon by The Alchemists Design
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7. A 5-room BTO at Canberra Walk with striking lighting | $33,000

Canberra Walk by E&S
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While you can use recessed lights and cove lights to keep your lighting fixtures ‘hidden’, the construction of a false ceiling can eat into your budget.

Canberra Walk by E&S
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Instead of installing a false ceiling for such lighting, you can source for other lighting fixtures that still add personality to your home, like pendant lights or track lights. If you’re not sure where to start, you could always consult your ID.

Besides ceiling fans with lights, this home uses a variety of track lights and pendant lights around the home to add visual interest while keeping the spaces brightly lit.

Canberra Walk by E&S
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8. A 5-room BTO at Sumang Lane with a different colour palette in every room | $45,000

Sumang Lane by Orange Interior
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To create a contrast between parts of your home, use different colour palettes for fixtures or even the walls.

Sumang Lane by Orange Interior
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The owner of this home kept the living room a monochromatic grey, with a muted grey wall and a partial marble look for the built-ins.

Meanwhile, the kitchen is in pastel blue and white, complemented by the patterned backsplash, while one of the bathrooms has cheery yellow cabinets and a terrazzo countertop.

Sumang Lane by Orange Interior
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Sumang Lane by Orange Interior
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9. A 4-room BTO in Bidadari that mixes up interior styles for an expressive home | $40,000

Bidadari by Massing Design
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One way to spruce up your home’s look without additional renovation works is to use loose furnishings and decor.

That’s exactly how this home makes a statement: with paintings that match the spaces and texturally changing up the look with rugs and rattan/wooden furniture.

The homeowners’ choice to have a mix of traditional and modern styles also gives them freedom to experiment with different textures and materials.

Bidadari by Massing Design
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Bidadari by Massing Design
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10. A moody 3-room BTO at Northshore Drive, inspired by industrial design elements | $28,000

Northshore Drive by R Interior | R 设计团队
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Bright themes not your style? Here’s a home based on a dark palette with contrasting materials and textures.

If you want recessed lights to add warmth to the space so it doesn’t come off too moody, consider a partial false ceiling like in this home.

Northshore Drive by R Interior | R 设计团队
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You can shave off the cost of constructing a complete false ceiling, and balance the lighting with a ceiling fan with a light.

As a finishing touch, add some plants for bursts of refreshing green!

Northshore Drive by R Interior | R 设计团队
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Northshore Drive by R Interior | R 设计团队
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