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A Comprehensive Guide to Landed Property Renovations in Singapore

Maelyn Lagman

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By investing time and effort into careful planning, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the complexities of renovating your landed property, from choosing the right interior design to ensuring regulatory compliance for all types of works.  

Table of Contents

10 steps to plan your landed property renovation

1. Dream big

Gather inspiration from magazines, websites, and social media platforms. Create mood boards and sketches to visualise your ideal living spaces.

Follow design and build firm for homes and offices, DreamR, for inspiration.

2. Set a realistic budget 

Determine how much you’re comfortable spending and allocate funds to different aspects of the renovation. Remember to factor in a contingency for unforeseen expenses.

Sample cost breakdown for a typical landed property renovation in Singapore

A realistic budget is the foundation of a successful renovation. To give you an idea, here’s a sample cost breakdown for a typical landed property renovation in Singapore.

ItemEstimated Cost (S$)
Design Fees (Architect/ID)10,000 – 30,000
Building Works100,000 – 500,000+
Electrical and Plumbing15,000 – 30,000
Finishes (Flooring, Tiling)20,000 – 50,000
Carpentry (Kitchen Cabinets)10,000 – 30,000
Furnishings and Appliances20,000 – 100,000+
Permits and Approvals5,000 – 10,000
Contingency (10-20%)Based on total cost

Landed property renovation costs: Room vs. Whole property 

Renovation TypeEstimated Cost (S$)
Single Bathroom15,000 – 30,000
Kitchen30,000 – 80,000
Bedroom10,000 – 25,000
Living/Dining Area20,000 – 50,000
Whole Property200,000 – 800,000+

3. Define your objectives

Clearly articulate your goals for the renovation. Are you aiming to modernise the interiors, expand your living space, create a home office, or enhance outdoor areas?

4. Prioritise your needs

Identify the areas that need the most attention and allocate your budget accordingly. It’s essential to strike a balance between aesthetics and functionality, ensuring your space not only looks beautiful but also serves your needs effectively.

A modern dining room features a large, dark wood table surrounded by brown leather chairs. The room is illuminated by a cluster of spherical pendant lights and a wall-mounted television. Artwork adds a touch of personality to the space, showcasing a Chanel bag and a skull.
Renovation of a Good Class Bungalow by DreamR.

What to consider when renovating specific areas of your home 

  • Kitchen: If you love to cook and entertain, prioritise high-quality appliances, ample storage, and durable countertops. Consider open layouts for better flow and interaction.

  • Bathrooms: Focus on functionality with good ventilation, water-efficient fixtures, and slip-resistant flooring. Luxurious touches like a soaking tub or rain shower can enhance your daily routine.

  • Bedrooms: Create a serene and comfortable space with adequate storage, good lighting, and sound insulation. Consider adding a walk-in wardrobe or ensuite bathroom for added convenience.

  • Living Areas: Opt for versatile layouts that can accommodate various activities, from relaxing with family to entertaining guests. Choose durable flooring and furniture that can withstand everyday use.

  • Outdoor Spaces: If you have a garden or patio, consider creating an inviting space for relaxation or outdoor dining. Invest in weather-resistant furniture, lighting, and landscaping.

  • Home Office: If you work from home, prioritise a quiet and well-lit space with ample storage and comfortable furniture. Ensure reliable internet connectivity and power outlets.

5. Think big picture

Explore different design styles, materials, and finishes. Consider factors like durability, maintenance requirements, and energy efficiency.

6. Assemble your dream team

The image depicts a meeting at a renovation firm in Singapore, featuring a collaborative team of interior designers, architects, and project managers. One person stands at the head of the table, leading the discussion, while others are seated, actively engaging with the presentation and materials around them. The backdrop includes various sample materials and a large screen displaying a modern interior design, reflecting their focus on creating well-planned, aesthetically pleasing spaces.

Engage an architect to create a detailed design plan that aligns with your vision and adheres to all relevant regulations. An architect can help you optimise space utilisation, suggest innovative solutions, and ensure structural integrity.

While many interior designers in Singapore are also qualified architects, you can choose to hire both professionals for their unique expertise. An interior designer can take your vision and refine it further, curating the look and feel of your home with carefully selected finishes, furnishings, and decor. They can also help you source materials, coordinate with contractors, and ensure a cohesive aesthetic throughout your home.

7. Obtain all necessary permits 

Work with your chosen ID firm to identify and obtain the necessary permits and approvals from relevant authorities.

Permit/Approval TypeDescription
Building Works PermitRequired for structural changes like adding extensions, removing walls, or major alterations.
Planning PermissionNeeded for changes to the property’s approved use (e.g., residential to commercial) or significant exterior changes.
Conservation GuidelinesApply to properties in conservation areas, with additional restrictions to preserve historical character.
Setbacks and Height RestrictionsLanded properties must adhere to specific distances from boundaries and maximum height limitations.
Parking RequirementsAdequate parking provisions must be maintained throughout the renovation process and after completion.

8. Map out your timeline

We know that renovations in Singapore, especially for landed properties, can sometimes face unexpected delays. That’s why creating a realistic timeline with clear milestones and deadlines is crucial. A well-structured timeline not only helps you track progress but also allows you to anticipate potential roadblocks and address them proactively.

When developing your timeline, consider factors like the scope of work, availability of materials, and any potential disruptions due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. By having a clear roadmap in place, you’ll be better equipped to manage expectations and ensure your dream home becomes a reality on schedule.

9. Find the perfect fit 

Beyond ensuring timely completion, the right ID firm or contractor can significantly impact the overall success and enjoyment of your renovation journey. Here’s why selecting the right partner is important:

  • Expertise and Experience: Experienced contractors possess the know-how to handle the complexities of landed property renovations. They are well-versed in local regulations, construction techniques, and material selection, ensuring your project meets the highest standards.

  • Project Management: A reliable contractor will oversee the entire renovation process, managing subcontractors, coordinating deliveries, and ensuring that work progresses smoothly. This frees you from the stress of micromanaging every detail.

  • Quality Assurance: Reputable contractors prioritise quality workmanship and use high-quality materials. They will ensure that your renovation is not only beautiful but also built to last.

  • Problem Solving: Unexpected challenges are bound to arise during a renovation. A skilled contractor will have the experience and resourcefulness to find solutions quickly and effectively, minimising disruptions to your project.

  • Budget Management: Experienced contractors can help you optimise your budget by suggesting cost-effective alternatives without compromising on quality. They’ll also keep you informed about any potential cost overruns so you can make informed decisions.

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your renovation is in capable hands allows you to relax and enjoy the process. A trustworthy contractor will prioritise your satisfaction and ensure that your vision for your dream home becomes a reality.

When selecting a contractor, you should look for:

  • Valid Licences and Insurance: Ensure they have the necessary licences and insurance to operate legally and protect you from liability.

  • Positive Reviews and References: Check online reviews and ask for references from past clients to gauge their reputation and reliability.

  • Transparent Communication: Choose a contractor who communicates clearly and keeps you informed about progress, challenges, and any changes to the plan.

  • Detailed Contracts: Ensure that your contract outlines the scope of work, payment terms, timeline, and any warranties or guarantees.

10. Maintain open communication

Maintain open and transparent communication with your architect, interior designer, and contractors throughout the project.

Dos and don’ts of landed property renovations

DosDon’ts
Do hire experienced professionals for major renovations.Don’t attempt major structural changes without professional guidance.
Do set a realistic budget and include a contingency fund.Don’t underestimate the costs of materials, labor, and permits.
Do obtain all necessary permits and approvals before starting.Don’t ignore or try to bypass regulations; it could lead to fines and delays.
Do choose timeless designs over trendy ones.Don’t be swayed by fleeting trends that may quickly become outdated.
Do plan carefully and take your time to make informed decisions.Don’t rush the process; hasty decisions can lead to regrets and costly mistakes.

Differences in renovation rules and costs: Condo vs Landed vs HDB 

Property TypeRulesCost
CondoMore restrictions, especially for exterior changes (e.g., balcony enclosures, facade modifications). Requires approval from the Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST).Moderate
LandedMore freedom for renovations, including structural changes and extensions. Subject to BCA and URA guidelines, including setback requirements, height restrictions, and conservation rules.High
HDBStricter regulations, including limitations on hacking walls, flooring materials, and ceiling heights. Requires approval from the Housing Development Board (HDB).Most affordable

Get started with DreamR

Contact us today for a consultation with our team of Interior Designers and Relationship Managers, and let’s transform your landed property into the haven you’ve always envisioned.

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