May 13, 2019

Home renovation can be a costly and stressful affair, especially for new homeowners. Whether you are buying a BTO or resale flat, renovation costs are a big ticket item you will need to spend on after purchasing your home. But Don’t fret! We’re here to shed some light on the process and helped you make an informed decision. 


In 2018, the average renovation cost of a BTO flat is $48k, while the average renovation cost for resale flats is  $68k. That is a difference of almost 40%! But what exactly goes into this lump sum, and how can we break it down? 

There are a number of different components that go into your renovation costs. They included demolition, plumbing, electrical works, flooring, paint and carpentry. The average cost of each of these services can vary depending on the type of flat. This is because the type of flat can help to offset certain costs. 

For instance, BTO flats will need all manner of plumbing, electrical works, flooring and paint works. Whereas a resale flat might not need extensive works if the existing design reflects that you are looking for. 

But besides the costs, what are the main differences in renovation work between the two? 

Hacking and Rebuilding

A BTO flat is like a blank canvas ready to accept what you put on it. You’ll need to put in the preliminary foundations to make it liveable before you start moving in. This means flooring, electrical wiring, adding false ceilings and any fixed carpentry work you desire. 

On the flip side, to get a resale flat ready for renovations, the house has to be hacked to its bare state before any work can be done. Tiles have to be removed while existing built-in features have to be demolished to make room. The labour that goes into this is one of the reasons why renovating resale flats incur additional costs. Naturally, the best way to reduce these costs would be to ensure that the resale flat you are looking at is close to what you envision. 

Repair and Refurbishing

When someone has lived in a flat for some time, you can expect some wear and tear even if it is well maintained. This can come in many forms, from chips and scratches on the flooring to clogged bathroom pipes or leaks. It is only natural for new homeowners to want their place to look like new even if they are buying a resale flat! And there’s nothing wrong with that, but these little repairs need to be considered and factored into your renovation costs for a resale flat. 

The nature of BTOs means they do not face this issue. 

Layouts and Complications

The fixed layout of BTOs means that you know what you are getting into and can plan your renovations around the structure of the flat. This makes things much more straightforward! 

For a resale flat, the previous homeowner might have changed the living area to better suit their lifestyle. They could have constructed false walls, moved power sockets or access points and change the wiring in the flat. All of which should be factored into your renovation plans, which means scoping the resale flat and adjusting your expectations to work around them. 

Whether you are renovating a BTO or a resale flat, a good interior designer who understands your goals and works with you to achieve your dream home is a must. Design 4 Space is an established Interior Design firm with thousands of projects under their belt. They have more than 60 different renovation packages for BTOs and resale flats to cater for any need or budget. 

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