Singapore's HDB BTO Renovation Cost Guide (2022)

·9-min read
Singapore's HDB BTO Renovation Cost Guide (2022)
Singapore's HDB BTO Renovation Cost Guide (2022)

Congratulations! You've collected the keys to your BTO flat, the next order of business is to renovate and furnish your BTO apartment.

But before we get into that, did you know HDB will be launching up to 23,000 additional BTO flats in 2022 and 2023? It doesn't stop there, about 6,000 flats will be built on the Keppel Club site in the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW).That's definitely good news for those wanting a BTO flat.

Now to get you started, we've put up this HDB BTO renovation cost guide to help you figure out how much you should budget for renovations.

Related article: HDB BTO August 2022: The 6 Announced Estates and Where We Hope the BTOs Will Be

How Much Does BTO Renovation Cost?

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

HDB BTO Flat Type

Estimated Renovation Cost

3-room flat

$35,000 to $38,000

4-room flat

$40,000 to $46,000

5-room flat

$47,000 to $56,000

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

Related article: Designing Your Kitchen: 8 Practical Steps to Create a Functional Cooking Space

3-Room BTO Renovation Costs

As expected, BTO renovation costs go up as the size of your home increases. The estimated renovation cost for a 3-room BTO flat is between $35,000 to $38,000. Less material is required to furnish your home, which explains why it’s cheaper as compared to a 5-room BTO renovation cost.

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

4-Room BTO Renovation Costs

For a 4-room BTO flat, the renovation costs fall between $40,000 to $46,000. A 4-room flat is a fair amount of space for couples who are just starting out. 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

Due to the size of a 5-room BTO flat, it’s more expensive to renovate the space. Costs start at $47,000 to $56,000. Be prepared to shell out more if you’re the type who has a ‘more is more’ design attitude.

Taking a Personal Loan to Finance Your Home Renovation

Thinking of renovating your home and taking a personal loan to finance the purchase? Browse and compare the various personal loans available in Singapore on Lendela, at no cost! Start by filling out your application here:

Factors That Influence BTO Renovation Costs

Size of BTO Flat

As mentioned, the larger your flat, the higher the renovation costs. This is because more raw materials, furnishing and labour are required to put together 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 come up with the design you want and to oversee the renovations from start to finish.

Related article: Renovation Contractor VS Interior Designer In Singapore: Which Should You Pick?

Materials Used for Your BTO Flat

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 $10 to $12 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 really 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 work you will have to include are:

  • Tiling

  • Plumbing and electrical work

  • Window and grills

hdb-bto-renovation-costs-singapore 1
hdb-bto-renovation-costs-singapore 1

How to Lower BTO Renovation Costs

On a tight budget? Here are some tips to help you shave a few bucks (or more) off your BTO renovation costs. Or, you can try opting for a renovation loan if you require assistance!

1. Have a Clear Direction on Your Desired Home Design

You want to have 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 are always changing every year. For this year, the trends to look out for are minimalism, multifunctional spaces and more!

Related article: 5 Top Luxury Interior Design Trends to Look Out For in 2021/2022

Additionally, draw up a list to determine what are ‘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, choosing the DIY route and skipping an ID is an option. 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.

Related article: HDB Floor Plans Over the Years: How 3 Homeowners Have Adapted to Changes

3. Overlay Tiles Rather Than Hack Them

Not only is hacking tiles an expensive endeavour, but also will require masonry work to repair the floor surface before installing your desired tiles. Go for laminate flooring instead. Laminate flooring is much cheaper and will cost you only $6 to $8 per square foot.

hdb-bto-renovation-costs-singapore-2
hdb-bto-renovation-costs-singapore-2

4. Source Your Own 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 own 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 and ezbuy.

5. Minimise Carpentry Works and Built-in Furniture

Popular design trends like the ‘Japandi’ aesthetic feature much wood and built-in furniture work. While extensive custom carpentry looks classy, it’s not necessary. Browse for affordable options at furniture stores in Singapore or go green with secondhand furniture.

Related article: 5 Home Renovation Practices in Singapore Which Are Not Eco-friendly And What You Can Do Instead

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

hdb-bto-renovation-costs-singapore 3
hdb-bto-renovation-costs-singapore 3

6. Paint Your House Yourself

Painting costs for a 3-room BTO flat range between $800 to $1,500, depending on the type of paint and number of colours used. If you are crafty, paint your own walls or put up wallpaper yourself to save costs!

More FAQs on BTO Renovation Costs

Where Can I Find Information About New Launches of BTO Flats?

Check out our HDB BTO launch guide here.

Do I Have to Renovate at a Certain Time?

On weekdays and Saturdays, general remodeling should be done between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Do I Need to Provide a Notice for HDBs?

Before the renovation work begins, a Notice of Renovation must be clearly placed at the flat's door and must remain there for the duration of the agreed renovation time.

Can I Pay My Renovation Loan With CPF?

No, you cannot use your CPF savings to finance your renovation loan.

Does HDB Provide Renovation Loan?

No, HDB provides housing loans, not renovation loans.

How Do You Qualify for BTO?

Depending on the scheme you're buying the flat under, you have to be at least applying with at least one other citizen or PR as a family nucleus, apply with parents and siblings, or children under your custody. You can check your eligibility here.

How Long Must I Wait Before My BTO Flat Is Built?

The waiting time for BTO flats is usually about three to four years. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, there may be delays, stretching it to five years or more.

Which Type of Flooring Is the Best?

You will find the most popular types are laminate flooring, floor tiles and vinyl flooring in Singapore. This is partly due to how durable these materials are against Singapore’s humid climate.

For more property news, resources and useful content like this article, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.

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This article is written by Cheryl Chiew. Cheryl likes bread and cats, especially so when cats tuck in their limbs so that they look like bread. Drop her an email that finds her well at cherylchiewsn@gmail.com.

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