Home renovations take know-how and inspiration. Here you'll find information on the best materials and great advice from the leaders in the field. It's everything you need for a successful remodel.

Understanding The Real Costs Behind Renovations

Guide  |  December 8, 2017

In this day and age where beauty seems to be everything, hiring an ID is not just the solution, but a must. The RIGHT ID will go above and beyond their job scope to ensure that they bring you the best design philosophies along with the best prices. Listed we have the breakdown of the major renovation works in a house.

The stipulation in the article is that we chose to work on a $30,000 to $40,000 budget, as we feel that that is the most common price range. Also, a 4-room flat is the most common production by the government. In this article, we've broken down the six main aspects of a full house renovation with the premise stated above. 


1) Flooring 

The cheapest type of flooring would be laminated wood as the material is cheaper than its counterparts and also much easier to install. Real wood, stone or tiles are more expensive not only because of the materials themselves, but because of the installation process. Common flooring like tiles are a common sight to see in HDB’s because of its durability and ability to be paired with any design style. Homogenous tiles for the entire house range from $7,500 - $8,500 with vinyl going at $6,500 - $7,500. 

Pro Tip: Choose Porcelain over Ceramic if you’re looking for greater durability though it’s slightly more expensive.

Homogeneous Tiles. Elegance Concept (Dining Room)

Full Project: Here

 Parquet Flooring. Tan Studio (Kid's Bedroom)

Full Project: Here


2) Painting

Another aspect of the house that needs major attention to, because everybody has their own taste and style, is the paint job. While not the most expensive, it is one of the last things that will be done because everything else has to be done first, like electrical points, carpentry and feature walls. The average cost to paint a full 4-room HDB would be about $1,500 to $2,000. The differences in price would depends on the type of paint used and also the number of walls that need painting. 

Pro Tip: Some views differ for whether painting should come first or last. For us, we believe it depends on what you are doing with your walls. If you're going to have a built-in cupboard, then maybe painting might not be necessary. But if it's movable furniture, then painting the wall would be wise. 

Whitewashed. Ethereall (Kitchen)

Full Project: Here

Black + White Paint. ChanInteriors (Living Room) 

Full Project: Here


3) Carpentry

One part of the budget you might actually be able to control to a large extent, is the carpentry. This is due to the fact that the price of wood is standard as it exported from nearby regions. But it's the design style that each couple might have that would cause the change in price. From basic kitchen table tops that might cost $150 - $300 to $400 - $500 for bedroom cupboards, the price is mostly dependent on what each couple wants the outlook of the house to be like. 

Pro Tip: If you're displaying things on the wall like your liquor collection or hanging your clothes, then getting a stronger wood material would be wise. You wouldn't want to come home and see your Yamazaki on the floor or your clothes all crumpled in a heap. 

Kitchen Shelves and Counter Tops. DB Studio (Kitchen) 

Full Project: Here

 Alcohol Shelves + Kitchen Cabinets. Areana Creations (Kitchen) 

Full Project: Here


4) False Ceiling 

Another area that people will focus on are false ceilings. This is due to the fact that such works define the house and would differ from person to person. A low arch would set a different tone from a high one and therefore have a different in pricing. 

Pro Tip: The most common use for false ceilings is to hide the wires for the lighting running within it. Occasionally, even brackets might be hung from there (as seen in the picture), therefore get a sturdy one and be wary of how the wirings are being ran from within, so as to prevent power trips and outages. 

False Ceiling for lights. Boxplan (Living Room) 

Full Project: Here

False Ceiling for lights and wine glass holder. Project Guru (Living Room) 

Full Project: Here


5) Electrical Wiring 

Obviously, another must-do in any household unless you come from the 1800s, where lamps is your go-to light source, is Electrical Works. For this, it is usually about 8-11% of the budget (as stated above), adding up to $2,800 - $3,900 for the entire house. This would obviously differ if the couple wants more lights or fans around the house, or vice versa. The cost is broken down into the number of powerpoints there is in the house and what's the purpose. A telephone point would cost about $110, whereas a normal powerpoint would range anywhere from $90-$170. Also, the installation of fans and lights would differ in price with the former costing around $60 to $20 for the lights. 

Pro Tip: Remember to check whether your electrician includes the cost of concealment and plastering or would that be an additional cost. 

Track lighting. Luova Project (Living Room) 

Full Project: Here

Track lighting + Fan. Aart Boxx Interior (Living Room) 

Full Project: Here


6) Hacking of Walls 

One of the harder jobs to complete purely based on the sheer mess it would create, hacking of walls would be the first things Interior Designers would want to lock down so that they can plan the smaller nuances later on. For HDB's, permits need be attained before hacking because some of the walls can't be hack to prevent the entire structure from losing its integrity. Hacking of a wall per foot run, is about $50-$70 (one wall panel). This varies if the wall is thicker or the amount hacking is needed. If multiple works need to be done, it would require about $3,000 - $5,000. 

Pro Tip: Check with your ID whether haulage and clearing of debris is included in the overall price or if you might require another party to do so. There's going to be A LOT of mess, so there's no way you can clean by yourself ... 

Hacking of wall to make the 3 rooms. JC.M (Walkway)

Full Project: Here

Hacking of wall to have an open-concept studio. Ethereall Pte Ltd (Studio) 

Full Project: Here


We hope that you've enjoyed reading the budget breakdown and have a clearer understanding of where your money is actually going into. Of course, while this is a guideline with prior research done, do note that it would vary slightly with each house and most importantly the two variables - duration of renovation and materials used. 

If you're still unclear of how much your new BTO or even resale might cost, why not let a trusted Interior Designer help you ease the process and make sense of your floor plan. You might even be more akin to the ideas they might give. Simply scroll down and fill up the form and let us do the rest. Happy browsing! 








Connect with 5 IDs under 30seconds

Contact Number
Key Collection Period
Renovation Budget
Email Us
If you have a story you want to tell us, thoughts on the blog you would like to share you can email us at We would love to hear from you!
Free Renovation Quotes From 5 IDs Click Here