Nowadays, giving your HDB flat the much-needed makeover without breaking the bank seems impossible. Luckily, some smart planning and clever cost-cutting strategies can put the odds in your favour! Forget the lavish lighting fixtures and expensive stone countertops you see on home makeover shows. Focus on high-impact elements that make the biggest difference. Add some budget-friendly materials and furnishings, and you’ll be enjoying your brand-new home before you know it. Here are a few renovation tips that will help you learn how to renovate your Singapore home affordably:

What is the current renovation landscape in Singapore?

A basic HDB renovation in Singapore typically costs anywhere between SGD 30,000 and SGD 50,000. While this price trend is still affordable, it puts a strain on most budgets, leaving homeowners with limited options. Still, applying a few money-saving tips will quickly turn the impossible into doable:

What’s trending now

Most Singapore homes are practical yet lack the space most people wish to have. That’s where creative layouts like open-concept kitchens, minimalist designs, and smart home automation come into play. In most cases, homeowners favour knocking down walls for more spacious, multi-purpose rooms. Moreover, the latest trends ditch clutter and replace it with clean lines and neutral tones for a simple HDB home.

Budget renovation strategies

The key to a successful HDB renovation is meticulous planning. In this regard, you must carefully map out what you need to do room by room. Ask for quotes from the best renovation contractors in Singapore and choose the best deal for your needs. If possible, implement some of these budget makeover strategies:

How to plan a low-cost HDB renovation in Singapore

So, you want to renovate your HDB flat on a budget? It’s definitely possible with some strategic planning. Here are some tips to keep costs low:

Follow the HDB rules

Make sure you understand HDB’s guidelines for renovations before starting any work. They will help you save money and avoid legal fines and the potential risk of having to redo work. Key things to note:

Set a realistic budget

Determine how much you can spend and stick to it. Some ways to keep within budget:

Top 5 Affordable Renovation Ideas for HDB Flats

Undoubtedly, planning a cost-effective HDB renovation requires lots of tinkering and creativity. Luckily, we have a list of the best affordable renovation ideas for your 3-room HDB flat:

Open up the space

Carefully inspect your layout and repurpose your kitchen to create an open floor plan. Typically, you can do this by removing non-structural walls – a trick many Singapore homeowners use to open up space. Pair the idea with multi-functional furniture like sofa beds, nesting tables and folding chairs to make your HDB flat as spacious and airy as possible.

Reface your kitchen cabinets

Of course, repainting your old cabinets sounds like an excellent idea, but have you tried refacing them with new doors and hardware? This solution may look like a job only a pro could do, but most modern cabinets are DIY-friendly. With a bit of skill, you can do a DIY installation of a tile or laminate backsplash, all for a fraction of the cost of a complete kitchen renovation.

Make cosmetic bathroom changes

Sometimes, replacing outdated fixtures like showerheads, faucets, and lighting fixtures is all you need in a bathroom. Of course, a new vanity top or sink will certainly add to the picture without breaking the bank.

Consider affordable flooring

Vinyl and laminate are durable, low-maintenance options that mimic the look of wood or stone at a lower price point. Refinishing existing wood or concrete floors is also an inexpensive choice. Sand, stain and seal for a custom finish.

Use paint and wall treatments creatively

A fresh coat of paint in a trendy hue or colour palette transformation greatly impacts little investment. As mentioned, you can save on your budget by doing some staining alone. You can do this by painting kitchen or bathroom cabinets or simply installing creative wall treatments like decals, stencils or wallpaper on one accent wall.

DIY vs Hiring a Contractor: Which Is More Cost-Effective?

In Singapore, choosing between hiring a contractor or DIY work can be tricky because of the HDB guidelines. Still, you can do most minor things alone and save money. In this regard, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons before you decide what will work best:


Of course, sparing all or part of your reno and doing it yourself can save you lots of money on contractor fees. Besides, it will let you work at your own pace without forcing a speedy completion of the renovation. Of course, this choice comes at a major time commitment, including your time to source all materials yourself. While taking matters into your own hands sounds exciting, it’s not a good idea for those inexperienced with home repairs.

Hiring Contractors

Contractors have the proper training, tools, and experience to handle renovations efficiently. They can complete the work faster so you can move on to enjoying your new space. However, contractor fees in Singapore can be quite high. Get multiple quotes to compare and check reviews to find reputable contractors. Discuss the scope of work in detail to avoid surprise fees later on. Some renovation even have renovation packages you can use for discounts when renovating your home, so be sure to ask!

A Combination of The Two

Make cosmetic changes like painting, flooring, or cabinetry to save money. Hire pros for major work like plumbing or rewiring walls. Provide contractors with the materials you want used to avoid markups on supplies. Make sure to be home during work hours to oversee progress and address any issues right away


Undoubtedly, having a big budget will ensure you get the best renovation materials and the longest time for the perfect makeover. But don’t let the high costs of renovating in Singapore scare you off! You can create a space you’ll love coming home to daily without spending your fortune away. All you need is some creativity and patience to choose what’s best for your home without compromising on quality. Just go in with a plan and stick to it, and your wallet and new home will thank you!