Beginner’s Guide to Home Renovation in Singapore


For many Singaporeans, it’s probably your first time owning a home. It’s even more thrilling to renovate it. You would have ideas accumulated over the years of what your ideal house will look like.


However, house renovation in Singapore may not be as idealistic. There are some considerations to have. You’ll want to make sure the renovation is worth your investment. Here’s a beginner’s guide to home renovation in Singapore.



Home Renovation Step #1: Assess Your Needs Before A Renovation



This is the cornerstone of all your renovation woes. If you got this settled, the subsequent questions from budgeting to equipment required, engaging a firm and completion process will be easily resolved.


Here are some sample questions to get you kickstarted:

  • What will your house be used for?

  • Which part of the house will you dedicate most resources to?

  • Do you need a new kitchen?

  • Can you reuse your existing furniture?

  • What kind of structural changes do you anticipate?


Once you’ve got a better understanding of how extensive your home renovation will be, you can indulge in the more enjoyable process:

  • Review past interior design samples and collections for inspiration

  • Window-shop for your desired furniture

  • Consider if you want to renovate at different periods or all at once



Home Renovation Step #2: Plan Your Finances



You can expect your renovation to take an average of 12 weeks to complete. During this process, you’re expected to make 95% of the payment. An average HDB renovation can be north of $20,000. The larger your home and the more complex your renovation, the higher the cost.


Naturally, you need to know your options even before contacting an ID firm. Key considerations include furniture, flooring, carpentry, and appliances. Don’t forget to budget for home insurance too.


Applying for A Renovation Loan


Maybe your savings are a little tight at the moment. A renovation loan is a good option to consider. Renovation loan charges lower interest than a personal loan. However, the loan is restricted to specific expenses. E.g. flooring and tiles, electrical and wiring, etc.


It’s always good to shop around the different banks to check their rates and processing fees. Getting a competitive renovation loan can help shave off additional expenses.



Home Renovation Step #3: Find A Suitable ID Firm or Contractor


With a freelance interior designer or ID firm, you can expect personalised and quality designs. While a contractor is more budget-friendly, the designs and materials used are quite standardised.


With the internet, you can get shop for home renovation ideas in Singapore and quotes from different parties. Platforms like Yallowbox can give you exclusive quotes and provide personal consultation to create the most suitable interior design for your home.

You may have an elaborate plan for your renovation that your ID firm can execute. However, you still require approval from government authorities. Seek your ID firm or contractor’s help to secure the permit and handle other administrative matters.


HDB-registered Firms


All home renovation contractors in Singapore must have an HDB permit to renovate the HDB. Without which, you’re considered doing an illegal renovation. To ensure the safety of residences, HDB has set out strict guidelines for all ID firms or contractors to follow.


What If Your Designer Doesn’t Have an HDB Permit?


Well, you can still hire them to design your house. They can always subcontract to a registered firm to execute the plan.



Home Renovation Step #4: Plan Around The Renovation Timeline



You should plan your move-in date according to the renovation timeline. It’s advisable to set 2-3 weeks buffer for unforeseen delays. Unless you’re living with your parents, alternate housing can be a significant cost.


Sometimes, the waiting cost outweighs the savings from an interior designer who charges cheaper but takes longer to finish. You’re encouraged to get a proposed schedule from your designer. This gives you a good gauge on the completion date and plans for contingencies.



Home Renovation Step #5: Settle on A Design



After you have found a design of your liking, dedicate time to iron out the details with your designer. From the materials to the furniture and fittings. If you’ve done your research, you can negotiate for a cheaper price.


However, you shouldn’t compromise the quality of materials at a cheaper cost. You’ll feel the aftereffects or lower quality materials with extensive repair work down the road. If you’re tight on budget, invest in priority items and then get the items in due time.


It’s also vital to keep note of the following info:

  • The warranty for fixtures, furniture, and fittings

  • Designer fees

  • Supervision of the execution



Home Renovation Step #6: It’s Furnishing Time!


You think the past steps were tedious. This is the part that makes or breaks you – the execution. It can be a pleasant ride or nightmarish rollercoaster. Hence, you should request regular updates from your designer and contractor on the progress. They have to ensure existing furniture or interiors are well protected during the renovation.


With all these in mind, your home renovation can be a pleasant experience. The key is always engaging the right professionals who can competently handle your request while you wait to collect your ideal house.