FAQ On BTO/Resale Renovation

What is the normal timeline for a HDB renovation project?

A full kitchen remodelling can take up to 4 weeks, while a whole house renovation usually takes up to 6 weeks. This is considering that all works can be carried out smoothly and no delays are faced from owner, contractor or suppliers.

The above are timelines before Covid. Due to Covid, kitchen carpentry can take up to 6 weeks to completion. While a whole house renovation can take up to 2 months to completion. Depending on the works that is needed done, it can also take longer. For example if you are hacking the flooring of the whole house for a masionette. The masonry works alone can take up to 2 months.

How much does it cost to do a whole house renovation for a HDB flat?

There is no definitive answer to the question above, as the costs varies from house to house. Depending on the space, whether it’s a 3 room, 4 room, 5room, Executive or even a masionette the price will vary depending on what you’re going to do to it.

For example, a whole house renovation for a 5 room resale flat that includes the flooring, kitchen, 2 toilets, whole house windows, rewiring and carpentry for the whole house can go up to $70,000 these days. You can imagine what they price is for the same range of works for an Executive or even a Masionette unit.

While the above have not taken into consideration your sanitary fittings and air conditioning units, these alone can cost you anything from $2000 up to $9000 or even more depending on the range of items that you choose. For example, an instant heater shower set will definitely cost lesser then a mixer shower set. A mixer is a sanitary fitting that is used for hot/cold with storage heater tank unit.

The price can go up more when you include works such as plastering of the walls and ceiling, and do Lbox with cove to spruce up your ceiling space. So, the actual costs of renovation really depends on what you need to do vs what you want to do for your space, while balancing the budget that you have for your renovation and also for the furnishings later on.

What should I do when planning to renovate my HDB flat?

After you have decided that you are going through with the renovation, the first thing would be deciding who you would like to work with for your project.

An architect, an interior designer or a contractor. I will try to explain the best I can for the different functions that they carry out.

The first will be an architect. Architects that do interior work are generally one of the priciest to engage. Why you may ask? They charge by a fee or by project value. Most in the industry charge by project value. Meaning that they charge a percentage amount on top of the total costs of the renovation. The value that they provide is huge. They are trained professionals, and will provide you detailed drawings for your proposed projects. And they will help you to get quotes for the project. In doing so, they do have main contractors that they prefer and have working experience with.

The second, will be an interior designer. Majority of these IDs are not trained in interior design. Although many have spent time in the industry and have huge industry knowledge in interior design and project management. Some top tier interior designers charge a design fee and will see to it that every picture frame, sofa and cushion that they propose are available in the market. And others do the project management on top of the designing work that they do, while not charging a design fee. There are also interior designers who just sit in the office and churn out drawings after drawings with no project knowledge at all.

Coming to the last one, we have the direct contractor and they fall into at least 3 different categories:
– First is the main contractor, who works with other sub-contractors to carry out the project.
– Second is the contractor who does most of the work themselves. For example:- hacking, electrical, plumbing etc. There is no one contractor who has in-house all the workers in the different trades. If they did say this, then they are lying.
– Last comes the sub-contractors who you will need to source out yourselves. Evaluate whether they are reliable. And manage each one of them yourselves.

The above are just some examples of who you can choose to work with. If you need further help in deciding and understanding more, reach out to us for our consultation service. It’s cheaper than making a mistake later on.

What can I do to help expedite my HDB renovation process?

Here are the steps that you can follow so that less pressure will be put on you later. After deciding to go ahead with renovation, you can scroll through pinterest to look for some ideas and designs that you like. Take some time for this, and choose maximum 2 designs option only before proceeding to the next step. Then you can visit tile showrooms like Soon Bee Huat and Hafary. Here, you can spend a few hours going through the available tiles based on the design ideas that you have. The decision does not have to be immediate, as you can take some samples back.

Sleep on it and come back again to have a look. This is better than signing a contract, and be pressured to make a choice because of timeline and scheduling. After this, you can start to shop around for your sanitary fittings. Again, you don’t have to make the purchase on the spot. And don’t let the sales personnel tell you otherwise. Get a feel of what’s available in the market and the different price points. Ask for recommendations from your chosen main contractor, as they are guaranteed to have suppliers that they always work with. You can always go back to the places that you had window shopped when you don’t like their recommendations.

Finding a laminate that you like can be a bit tricky as main contractors have different preferences for their laminate suppliers. But it’s not a big issue and makes the process more seamless if you already have your own choices. There are definitely more choices to be made, especially when it’s a whole house renovation project. By doing the above, you’ll definitely feel less pressurized when the project kicks off. As the 2 items above are important to get the project started, and any delays in this will delay the starting of the project.

Do you let us know should you require a plan on how to go about the whole renovation process, especially when you are going to do the project manage yourself and engaging your own sub-contractors. We provide a service that will walk you through the whole process.

Which months are the best to start renovating my HDB unit?

Not everyone has the flexibility of choosing when they prefer to start renovation. It’s usually down to the completion and handover dates of their respective units. What homeowners usually do is to plan at least 2 months ahead of their takeover date. Planning early helps, because when you get the unit earlier you have already made some preparations for the renovation to start early too if it fits your contractor’s schedule.

The most hectic month in the industry is towards the end of the year, starting around October. It gets more crazy coming into November and December. This is mainly due to the trend of homeowners preferring to renovate towards year end, planning the buying and selling process towards year end and also caused by the multiple holidays at year end.

And with Chinese New Year after that usually very close by. As we all know, Chinese New Year is always the biggest industry closure in Singapore and even Malaysia. Most close for 1 week while some choose to close for the whole 2 weeks of the festive season. After this, it’s followed closely by the Islamic month of Ramadhan and Hari Raya. Majority Malays start to rush for renovation and prefer completion dates before Ramadhan as they will be fasting and the month is focused more on worship. After this will be the June school holidays. As the middle of the year is not filled with holidays, the peak period does not put much strain on the industry compared to year end. So be sure to look out for the months above, if you have the flexibility of choosing.