Skip to main content
Hamburger Menu Close


CNA Lifestyle

Renovating your new home? Here are 5 popular features – and how much they cost

From open concept living spaces to a bathtub, here are some of renovation features that seem to be on-trend among Singapore homeowners.

When it comes to adding renovation features to your newly bought home, where should one start? What’s on trend and what exactly can be done regardless of space constraints? We’ve shortlisted some five features that you might want to consider – and how much these will cost you.


An open kitchen area with a more spacious feel and look. (Photo:

Nowadays, structural alterations are common in HDB flats. An open concept gives the homeowner the flexibility to have a bigger communal area and bedroom space when needed. It is a common suggestion made by interior designers to knock down as many walls as possible to open up the kitchen and bedrooms. This way, the entire home can be seen.

Take a kitchen, for example. Open up the space into the living room and this results in an open kitchen area with a more spacious feel and look.

READ: Looking to rent a place with your cat? Make sure you follow these steps

Hacking of walls are an essential step in creating that open-plan layout; removing a single wall in a HDB flat can cost anywhere between S$400 and S$900. However, this greatly depends on the length, thickness of the wall and the area.


Getting a kitchen island built from scratch can cost between S$75 and S$180 per sq ft. (Photo:

If you think a kitchen island is just for show, you now have legitimate reasons why you actually benefit from having one. From storage to additional seating, a home of any size will benefit from the versatility a kitchen island offers. These provide extra storage space while keeping your house looking sleek and beautiful at the same time.

How much? Getting a kitchen island built from scratch can cost between S$75 and S$180 per sq ft.

Get creative and consider adding a range hood and a stove or grill on your island. It could very well become the main hub for both cooking and entertaining. Instead of having big, empty spaces in your kitchen island cabinets, where you have to stack pans upon pans, make the best of your feature by adding a smart space in the form of drawers and shelved, cabinet spaces.

READ: Does your ceiling leak? What to do when a neighbour’s property damage spreads to yours

Generally, the more cavernous the space, the less valuable it is for storage.

This may be the time to hire a qualified carpenter to build out shelves, sliders, and drawers or drop by IKEA to get some.


Vinyl is probably the most cost effective option. It’s also durable, with an estimated cost of S$5.50 to S$6.50 per sq ft. (Photo:

You might not like the floor finishes that come with your place, or they just won’t suit the design of your dream home. There are many new designs for tiles out there, with some even replicating the look of wood or stone. New tiles cost between S$6,500 to S$9,000 depending on the size of the unit, including the labour for laying of tiles and the necessary foundation below.

If you prefer to be more cost- and time-efficient, you can consider going for the waterproof vinyl overlay instead of hacking your floor to replace with marble, mosaic or homogeneous tiles. As a flooring material, vinyl is probably the most value-for-money option. It’s cheap and durable, with an estimated cost of S$5.50 to S$6.50 per sq ft.


Identified by its minimalist design and clean, white spaces, the Scandinavian style makes a small interior look bigger and modern. (Photo:

In recent years, the Scandinavian interior design style has gained much favour across many small HDB flats and condominium apartments in Singapore. Identified by its minimalist design and clean, white spaces, this style makes a small interior look bigger and modern.

READ: Transform your kitchen space with breakfast counters, handle-less cabinets and other features

A Scandinavian interior design style would usually mean the following:

- Light-coloured or wooden flooring

- White or neutral-coloured walls

- Wood-textured or rustic-style furnishings

- Letting in lots of natural light through large windows

- Clean lines and airy interiors with minimal clutter

The costs of furnishing a home can vary. Some homeowners furnished their abode for less than S$20,000 while others go well over S$60,000.


One bathtub can range from S$600 to S$3,000. (Photo:

Enjoying a soak in a tub isn’t impossible, as long as you follow the regulations stipulated by the HDB during your bathroom renovations.

Create space for a bathtub by enlarging the existing bathroom, or combining two adjacent bathrooms to get a bigger one. When installing a bathtub in addition to a shower, it is recommended to have an area of at least 66 sq ft for the whole bathroom,

Another thing to take note of is that you can only do alterations to your bathroom three years after the completion date of the block, and you still need to obtain a permit from the HDB.

The price for one bathtub can range from S$600 to S$3,000.


But before you decide which one to go for, there are other things to think about, too. As much as you want your interior design to be up-to-date, be careful not to try and blend too many trends into your home. The key is to consider your interior design choices based on your personal needs, lifestyle, and budget.

It is important that you choose a practical interior design style that will complement your lifestyle.


If you haven’t yet determined to what extent you are renovating, a good estimate is to set aside at least S$100 per sq ft. The cost varies according to factors such as your design, requirements and materials used. However, don’t forget the other components such as loose furniture, soft furnishings, lighting fixtures, window treatments, electrical appliances and sanitary ware and fittings.

This story first appeared in

Source: CNA/mm