How much do you spend on renovation in Singapore?
it never easy to gt a new house in Singapore, it is even harder to get a go interior design and renovation contractor for your dream homes. I will consider myself fortunate that I brought a fully furnished renovated resale flat 12 years ago when housing price is at its lowest.
I’ve gotten all the living hall and dinning table sets from a friend who wanted to renovate his whole condo. Just pay him a little and arrange my own movers to clear his house.

I’ve spent S$300 on wall painting and get my hubby and his wall artist buddies to paint the whole house with Mcdonald’s and KFC provided.

I’ve spend another S$300 to get my father kaki relocation services to move all heavy stuffs over.
Another S$1000+ on 2 ceiling fans and 3 KDK wall mount fans (install by my hubby – love him, he is a good handyman.)

Other miscellaneous spending:
New Cooking stove – S$300 +
New 32” Sharp Aquos – S$899
New phone set – S$169
New dressing table – S$200
New 2 Single beds for my kids – S$1800
New extra cupboard for my clothing – S$600
New big fridge for the family – S$899
New 10kg washing machine – S$799
Total amount close to: S$7266


I was just married 4 years ago with a new born baby, all my savings have gone to wedding dinner, honeymoon, holidays and new born baby. Forking out S$7,000.00 was not an easy task for the 2 of us.

Sometime, I feel lucky and fortunate after looking at the bills most of my friends (sorry) that they are footing for their new homes.
To understand more about their spending on their renovation, I dig more details on their spending on 2 couples.

These 2 couple of mine were married and are moving to their new home this year.
One in August 2017 and the other in October 2017
Both couples bought a HDB 4 room BTO flats (with the same layout) from HDB at a price ranging from:

HDB 4 room S$450,000 (East side of Singapore)
HDB 4 room S$550,000 (Telok Blangah)

Both couples have almost similar design concept and budget for their their renovation.
(They targeted  S$25,000.00 – S$35,000.00 for their new home renovation)

However, Couple A get a interior design contractor to handle everything for them while Couple C decide to be his own contractor, getting all the cheapest items and parts from everywhere and Taobao.

Let take a good look at their expenditure below:

Couple A Couple C
Living Hall Wall erection Custom Shelf cabinet
Custom TV console Custom TV console
Window Grill No Window Grill
Aircon 3+1 Aircon 3+1
Bedroom 1 Custom Built in Cupboard Empty – computer room
Window Grill No Window Grill
Bedroom 2 Custom Built in Cupboard Empty – guess room
Window Grill No Window Grill
Master bedroom Custom Built in Cupboard Custom Built in Cupboard
Window Grill No Window Grill
Common toilet Shower screen – glass Shower screen – glass
Off the shelf basin cabinet Custom basin cabinet
Master toilet Shower screen – glass Shower screen – glass
Off the shelf basin cabinet Custom basin cabinet
Kitchen NA Wall hacking
9ft + 7ft top and bottom cabinet 9ft + 7ft top and bottom cabinet
Renovation duration 4 weeks of actual work 10 weeks of hard work
Total spending S$22,000.00 S$40,000.00


There is a difference of S$18,000.00 between the 2 of them. Although couple C have not install windows grill and cupboard on the other 2 rooms, but he hacked the wall in between the kitchen and dining hall to have a bigger visual of space. (Understand this cost him a huge bomb)

Okay, here is the story of Couple A,
A young lovely couple, staying at Telok Blangah new BTO 4 room HDB flats.

Couple A actually source for a few interior design and renovation companies and finally decide to go for the last resort who is refer by one of most of her friends – Brilliance Renovation.

On their first appointment, Brilliance Renovation’s boss himself meet up with this couple and explain to them on a rough sketch, layout and understand the concept of their dream home. It took the boss almost 2.5 hours to explain and educate them on the layout, quotations breakdowns, costing and pit holes to watch out for. (In the event, if they decided to engage another company)

Needless to say, immediately after the first meeting, couple A cancel the pre-order air-conditioner 3+1 and ceiling fans with a major branded company and request for a contract to engage Brilliance Renovation.

On the next following week, samples for kitchen table top, laminates for cabinet and cupboards, wall paint colors samples were given to couple A. The boss spend another 2 hours explaining and educating them on how to select the correct material for different usage, Different material can be use for different purpose and different period of time.

On the 3rd week, couple A were brought around to shop for the necessities fitting for toilets, fans and lightnings.

Actual renovation works start on the next following Monday.
It took them another 3 weeks of renovation works with daily updates and progress from the project manager and they are ready to move in on the by the 4th weeks.

Sound simple?
But why do they spend lesser when engaging an interior design and contractor compare to couple C who manage everything on his own?
Couple C is getting most items and parts from Taobao, but wy are they still forking out a difference of S$18,000.00

Here’s the catch,

  1. Interior design & contractor will bring to you to local stockists and main distributors to purchase the necessities items, although they will get a small cut from it, most of the interior designer and renovation contractor will rebate back to help them stay competitive in pricing and saving for their customer.
  2. Why are stockists and main distributors cheaper? They are different from those fanciful showrooms (with fanciful pricing too). Most of them operate from a warehouse in hard to reach location, that is why, they are always cheaper than showrooms. (end of the day, you pay for showroom prime location and rental)
  3. Stockists and main distributors are able to identify who are their main customers. Interior designers & contractors will always bring new customers to purchase from them. While walk in customers normally come and go once a while. They will quote a higher price to walk-in customer (close to retail price) and lower price to interior designers & contractors’ customer for long term relationship. So next time, when you are buying for your own house, try to tell them you are a interior designer or a renovation contractor, hopefully, you bring your partner to act as a customer and provide them a proper renovation company name card.
  4. Peace of mind – heed my advice, let the experts and professional do their job. We are not in their trade, they are doing all these everyday and definitely know the right way to do it at the minimum cost in order to stay profitable. Although, everyone of us can be a handyman and create our own homes, you may end up like couple C, fork out another S$18,000.00 out of the pocket mainly to cover all the mistake he made and the stress he was handling everyday for almost 3 months.

Last but not least, I have not have a chance to try out this interior design and renovation contractor that had been circling around my group of friends. If you happen to see them or try them out, do let me know if they are still maintaining their standard of service, quality and pricing. Or give them a good whack at their facebook!

On my next upcoming topic, I will be explaining to you how my Couple C coup up an additional cost of S$18,000.00. See you soon!

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