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Detailed Breakdown of Condo Renovation Costs in Singapore

Maelyn Lagman

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The average cost to renovate a new launch condo in Singapore ranges from $25,000 to $35,000 for a 2-bedroom unit, and $30,000 to $45,000 for a 3-bedroom unit. For resale condos, the renovation cost is generally higher due to the need to update older fixtures and systems, ranging from $40,000 to $60,000 for a 2-bedroom unit and $50,000 to $80,000 for a 3-bedroom unit​. Here, we break down the renovation costs for different types of condo units and share with you essential tips for saving on unnecessary renovation expenses.

Breaking down renovation costs: New launch vs Resale condo

Renovation cost for new launch condo 

Number of BedroomsCostScope of Work
2 Bedrooms$25,000 – $35,000Basic renovations with minor touch-ups and enhancements.
3 Bedrooms$30,000 – $40,000Standard renovations can range from 30,000 – 45,000 with reconfigurations and built-in furniture.
4 Bedrooms$40,000 – $54,500Typically involves more extensive customisation and enhancements.
5 Bedrooms$45,000 – $54,500Comprehensive renovations, often including high-end finishes and fixtures.

Renovation cost for resale condo 

Number of BedroomsCostScope of Work
2 Bedrooms$40,000 – $60,000Extensive work to update older fixtures and fittings, including plumbing and electrical systems.
3 Bedrooms$50,000 – $80,000Higher costs due to additional carpentry, structural changes, and modernizing older systems.
4 Bedrooms$70,000 – $105,000More extensive renovations including structural changes and high-end finishes.
5 Bedrooms$80,000 – $200,000Highest renovation costs due to the extensive work needed to update and reconfigure the layout in older, larger resale condos.

New launch vs Resale condo renovation costs

Number of BedroomsNew Launch Condo CostResale Condo Cost
2 Bedrooms$25,000 – 35,000$40,000 – $60,000
3 Bedrooms$30,000 – $400,000$50,000 – $80,000
4 Bedrooms$40,000 – $54,500$70,000 – $105,000
5 Bedrooms$45,000 – $54,500$80,000 – $200,000

4 factors affecting condo renovation costs

#1: Size and layout type

A floor plan of a bedroom with a bed, dresser, and chair. There is also a doorway leading to a hallway and another doorway leading to an ensuite bathroom.

Generally speaking, the bigger the home, the higher the renovation cost. This is because larger homes have more square footage that requires work, which translates to more materials (paint, flooring, tiles, etc.) and more labor hours. Every additional room or area in a larger house means extra costs for plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and other works.

The layout of your condo unit also matters. A more complex layout, especially for new launch condos with more built-in features than resale condos, makes a renovation project more complex and potentially more costly. 

If we compare a 2-bedroom condo with a 5-bedroom condo:

  • A 2-bedroom condo might have a renovation cost ranging from $25,000 to $60,000 depending on whether it’s a new launch or resale unit.
  • A 5-bedroom condo could have renovation costs ranging from $45,000 to $125,000 due to the larger space and additional features that require work.

#2: Scope of work: Minor enhancements vs Full-scale renovation

A modern bedroom decorated in neutral tones, featuring a large abstract painting above the bed and floor-to-ceiling windows with sheer curtains.

The bedroom of a 3-bed condo in River Valley, as renovated by DreamR.

Minor enhancements typically involve cosmetic updates such as painting, replacing fixtures, or updating flooring. Costs are relatively lower because they do not require extensive labor or expensive materials. For example, repainting a condo might cost between $2,000 to $5,000, while updating fixtures and fittings could add another $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the quality of materials chosen.

On the other hand, full-scale renovations involve more comprehensive work, such as structural changes (tearing down walls), reconfiguring spaces (creating a new layout), extensive electrical and plumbing work, and installing custom-built furniture. These costs can be significantly higher, ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 or more depending on the extent of the work and the size of the condo.

#3: Quality of materials and finishes 

Using standard or budget-friendly materials like laminate flooring, basic tiles, and off-the-shelf fixtures can keep costs lower. For example, laminate flooring might cost around $3 to $5 per square foot, while basic ceramic tiles might be $2 to $4 per square foot.

Meanwhile, high-end materials like marble, hardwood, and custom cabinetry can significantly increase renovation costs. Marble flooring can cost $10 to $20 per square foot, while custom cabinetry can range from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the complexity and materials used.

#4: Complexity of customisations and reconfigurations 

A modern living and dining room with a minimalist design. The rooms are decorated in a neutral beige color palette, with textured accents and natural materials.

The living and dining areas of a 3-bed condo in River Valley, as renovated by DreamR.

Simple customisations such as built-in wardrobes or basic shelving units are less costly and easier to implement. For instance, a built-in wardrobe might cost between $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the size and materials.

However, when you add new rooms, which involves adding new walls, or make a bedroom bigger, which involves hacking existing walls, you’re making significant changes to the unit. These types of works require more planning, higher labour costs, and sometimes, special permits. Costs can range from $10,000 for minor reconfigurations to over $100,000 for extensive changes.

5 tips to save on renovation costs

Renovating your condo can be an exciting but costly endeavor. However, with careful planning and smart choices, you can significantly reduce your expenses. Here are some effective tips to help you save on renovation costs without compromising on quality or aesthetics.

1. Plan and prioritise

One of the most effective ways to manage renovation costs is to plan and prioritise your projects. Focus on essential renovations first, such as structural repairs, electrical and plumbing upgrades, and necessary updates to kitchens and bathrooms. These are critical areas that impact the safety and functionality of your home. Once these essentials are taken care of, you can gradually add luxury items as your budget permits.

A kitchen is shown in two contrasting styles. On the left, it is modern with teal cabinets and black countertops. On the right, the kitchen is minimalist with light beige cabinets and white marbled countertops.

The kitchen of a 3-bed condo in River Valley, as renovated by DreamR.

For example, if your condo needs a new kitchen layout, prioritise this over non-essential updates like installing a new entertainment system. By addressing the must-haves first, you ensure that your home remains livable and safe, while luxury upgrades can be phased in as finances allow. This approach not only spreads out the costs over time but also allows for more thoughtful and deliberate enhancements​.

2. Compare renovation quotes

Getting multiple quotes from different contractors is crucial for ensuring competitive pricing. Different contractors may offer varying rates for the same job, so it pays to shop around. When requesting quotes, be sure to provide each contractor with the same detailed project plan to get accurate comparisons.

For instance, if you’re planning to remodel your bathroom, get at least three quotes detailing the same scope of work, materials, and finishes. This will give you a clear understanding of the market rate and help you identify any outliers. Additionally, consider the reputation and reviews of each contractor, as the cheapest option may not always be the best in terms of quality and reliability. 

3. Opt for ready-made furniture

The Before and After of a built-in TV console of an apartment in the city, as renovated by DreamR.

Custom-built furniture can add a unique touch to your home but often comes at a high price. Opting for high-quality ready-made furniture is a cost-effective alternative. Ready-made pieces are typically mass-produced, which significantly lowers their cost compared to custom items.

For example, instead of commissioning a custom-built wardrobe, consider purchasing a modular wardrobe from a reputable furniture store. Brands like IKEA and Castlery offer stylish, functional pieces that can fit seamlessly into modern condo interiors — and they’re not awfully expensive. These pieces are often designed with versatility in mind, allowing you to adapt them to your space without the hefty price tag of custom-built furniture​​.

4. Choose simple designs

Simplified designs can dramatically reduce renovation costs. Elaborate details such as intricate ceiling moldings, complex tile patterns, or custom cabinetry can quickly escalate expenses. By opting for clean, simple designs, you can achieve a modern and elegant look without breaking the bank.

For instance, using large, plain tiles instead of small, intricate ones can save on both material and labor costs. Similarly, opting for a straightforward false ceiling design rather than one with multiple layers and integrated lighting can also cut costs. Minimalist designs not only save money but also create a timeless aesthetic that can easily be updated with accessories and decor.

5. Reuse and refurbish

Before deciding to replace everything, consider what can be reused or refurbished. Existing furniture and fixtures can often be given a new lease on life with a bit of creativity and effort.

For example, if your kitchen cabinets are structurally sound but look outdated, consider repainting or refacing them instead of replacing them entirely. This approach can save thousands of dollars and still achieve a fresh, updated look. Similarly, old wooden furniture can be sanded down and re-stained to look new again. This not only saves money but is also an environmentally friendly option.

How to develop a realistic budget for your condo renovation

1. Get detailed quotes from multiple contractors

To create a realistic budget, start by getting detailed quotes from multiple contractors. This allows you to compare costs and understand the scope of what each contractor is offering. Be sure to include specifics in your request for quotes to ensure accuracy and comparability.

2. Include a buffer for unexpected expenses

Renovation projects often come with unexpected expenses. To avoid financial strain, include a buffer of 10-20% of your total budget to cover unforeseen costs. This could be for issues like discovering structural problems that need fixing or deciding to upgrade certain materials during the renovation process.

3. Explore financing options

Financing your renovation project can help manage the costs more effectively. Several banks in Singapore offer renovation loans with competitive interest rates and special packages. Here is a comparison of some renovation loan options:

BankInterest RateLoan AmountRepayment PeriodSpecial Features
DBS4.68% – 5.88%Up to 6 times monthly income (max $30,000)Up to 5 years1% processing fee waiver, fast approval
OCBC4.98% – 5.38%Same ^Up to 5 years0.5% processing fee waiver with certain packages
UOB4.50% – 5.30%Same ^Up to 5 yearsFlexible repayment terms, online application discount
Maybank4.99% – 5.33%Same ^Up to 5 yearsCompetitive rates, easy application process
Standard Chartered5.68% – 5.88%Same ^Up to 5 yearsSpecial promotions and bundled offers

Renovate your condo with DreamR

Renovating your condo doesn’t have to be a stressful process. At DreamR, we have a team of veteran interior designers and project managers that ensure your condo renovation is completed on time with the highest quality of service and materials.

Contact the DreamR team today to get started on your dream renovation project!

Instagram: @thedreamrproject

Website: www.thedreamrproject.com

FAQs for renovating a condo in Singapore

How much does it cost to renovate a condo in Singapore? 

Renovation costs for condos in Singapore typically range from $25,000 to $400,000 for new launch condo units and $40,000 to $125,000 for resale condo units, depending on the scope and complexity of the project.

Can I renovate my condo? 

Yes, you can renovate your condo. However, you must follow the guidelines set by the condo’s Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) and obtain the necessary approvals before starting any renovation work​.

Does condo renovation need a permit? 

Yes, certain types of renovation work, such as structural changes or significant electrical and plumbing modifications, require permits from the relevant authorities and approval from the condo’s MCST​.

Can you modify walls in a condo?

Modifying walls in a condo is possible, but it requires approval from the condo’s MCST and, in some cases, permits from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). Structural walls, in particular, have strict regulations governing their modification​​.

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