HDB Renovation Singapore

3 Room Flat Renovation

3 room flat renovations are generally and relatively faster in refurbishment turnaround time owing to a few reasons. The obvious reason being 3-room hdb flats in Singapore are smaller in sizes therefore the floor areas and wall spaces require shorter amount of time to complete wall finishes and flooring applications.

Tighter spaces to work with means more  constraint in the layout of furniture which is why most 3-room hdb flat owners prefer to keep the home styling simple, fuss-free and minimalistic to avoid cluttering. This translates to lesser built-in and custom furniture as well as furnishing, cutting down on both the time and renovation costs of 3 room flats.

3 room HDB flats have their fair share of eligible home buyers, i.e. families, siblings , joint singles and singles whose monthly income do not exceed S$5,000 qualify to purchase a 3 room flat in Singapore. Recently, singles above 35 years of age are also eligible to purchase brand new 2 room flats. This is the group who want homes to call their own and not having to stay with their parents; more often than not, basic renovations to satisfy moving-in condition suffice as they hope to move into their new apartments quickly.

HDB 3 Room Floor Plans

In Singapore, HDB 3 room floor plans are configured into several types depending on which year they were built. There was the 50 sqm model 3STS (3-room Standards) built in the early 1970s that has only one combined W.C./bathroom in the kitchen that houses a private rubbish chute. The slightly bigger model 3I (3 room Improved) that is of an average size of 60 sqm comes with separate toilet and bathroom.

In the 1980s, HDB developed the 3-room Simplified models that are about 65 sqm of average area, with a store room this time, and two bathrooms one of which is attached to the master bedroom. The rubbish chute system is also located outside the flat as a shared disposal system among neighbours staying on the same floor. The bigger 3NG (New Generation) models have their stores in the main living room space instead of the kitchen. The rarest and most spacious of all are the 3A models and they are usually the corner or end unit of a particular stretch of coridoor. Occupants who are staying in those built from mid to late 1980s that are corner units have longish floor plans that are of more than 70 sqm, or some were even modified to over 80 sqm. As such they have deeper set-in living hall areas that are narrow and long. While corner 3 room units are hard to come by these days as the hall and room offers open views as opposed to facing common corridors, the layout makes built-in cabinetry works such as tv consoles or racks extremely difficult because the built-up areas may make the circulation space even narrower.

Some older 3 bedroom flats come with only one bathroom/ toilet and is accessible from both the master bedroom as well as the kitchen. Such configuration will also cut down some time and costs in the HDB renovation package on toilet renovation works since there is one bathroom lesser.

Current 3-room flat designs include utility/ yard/ wet kitchen areas where the washing machine, fridge and clothes-hangars can be placed away from the main cooking areas. Such floor plans come with the wet areas separated from the dry areas, making the kitchen space more functional and cleaning easier. Smell and grease coming from the cooking will also not affect fresh laundry hanging in the utility area.

3 Room HDB Flat Interior Design

Illusion of bigger sense of space

Elongated layouts of 3 room corner units are most tricky, as the living area, and rooms tend to be long and deep, making circulation spaces extremely narrow, almost like passageways or corridors. When it comes to designing for such layouts, built-in carpentry as well as loose furniture have to be parked to one side in order to optimize space for circulation.

Alot of Scandinavian interior designs adopt such design configuration and the outcome can be tastefully done. This gives designers the opportunity to create an extensive length of a feature wall by playing with linear forms in creating depths and textures. The narrowness of the space can be countered by running adjacent lines across the longer lines of the space form, for example, by laying hardwood strips on the floor or having ribbed wood wall panelling.

Design forms and Finishes

It will also help if furniture such as couches and coffee tables are longish and sleek, and with finishes that are light-colored or organic light wood or light-reflecting glossy surfaces may all help in making the interior brighter and appear bigger in sense.

Space Configuration

Singles who bought resale 3 room HDB flats have the option of converting one of the two bedrooms as a study or home office. For such rooms, glass walls or incorporating see-though glass slats will not only allow a greater sense of depth of space but also allows sunlight from the room to come through to the main living space.

Amalgamation of spaces is also very common among 3 bedroom flat owners. If your living room is next to the common bedroom, or the master bedroom is next to the guest bedroom, you have the option to knock down the interparty walls to make your living hall or master bedroom much more spacious, provided that prior assessment and approval for such hacking and demolition works have been obtained from the Housing and Development Board.

Wall Treatment

Where wall treatments are concerned, try to do away with having murals or paintings or fancy patterns like stripes or stenciled wall designs or even elaborative wallpaper covering to further clutter the already limited space you have. Face the fact that there is a reason why art galleries have to be spacious for art pieces to be displayed and appreciated. Instead, play with one or two toned (one accented colour) paint colours as well as textures. Painting for a 3 room flat costs between $900 to $1,200 in Singapore, depending on the condition of the flat and whether or not the unit is vacant or occupied.


Decorative motifs may be opulent but without high ceilings and vast spaces to showcase and accentuate the contrasts these patterns bring, they compete with the other elements and thus clutter the space. For small spaces like 3-room flats, avoid furnishing like embroidered upholsteries, carpets and draperies, just to name a few.

HDB 4 Room Renovation

HDB 4-room renovation packages offered in Singapore are highly versatile for our customers as 4-room flat types remain the most common, making up the highest percentage of HDB dwellings in Singapore.

Although the sizes of 4-room HDB flats have decreased over time (today’s average size of a HDB 4-room unit is approximately 90 sqm, or 969 sqft), renovating or remodeling 4-room HDB unit types still offer a good base size for HDB contractors to work on due to the various 4 room models (4A, 4NG, 4I, 4S & 4STD) made available by the Housing and Development Board. They are also often of regularly-shaped layouts. The 4A type is generally bigger than the rest of the four-room flat type floor plans; some are even up to 105 sqm in size.

4-Room HDB Renovation – what to note?

HDB 4-room flats typically come with a living room (doubled up as living/ dining areas), 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (1 en-suite to master bedroom, 1 common bath), and a kitchen.

Key areas of consideration when renovating, revamping or re-configuring a 4-room HDB flat:


Beside the type of floor finishes you select, the floor area largely determines the cost of new flooring.  An average 4-room HDB flat is of 90 sqm, or 969 sqft in area. Assuming an average per square foot price for laminate flooring (simulated wood flooring finish) to be at $4.00 psf. Taking 85% of the total floor area as living and bedrooms floor space, expect to pay at least about $3,300 for laminate flooring alone.

If you opt for better quality flooring such as hardwood floors or marble finish, be prepared to pay about 2 or 3 times of what it would have costs you for laminate flooring, respectively (> $6,000 for hardwood flooring and >$9,000 for marble floors).

Wall Finishes

The easiest and quickest way to treat your walls is by painting them. If you engage a renovation contractor for the job, the renovation company would definitely include painting service as one of the items. Based on today’s HDB painting prices, painting contractors typically charge about $1,600 to paint up a whole 4-room HDB flat unit. If customers prefer premium paints such as Odourless or Wash and Wear, they can expect to pay approximately an additional $500 on top of the regular quotation. This price may be lower if the renovator that you engage also does the painting job as part of the HDB renovation package.

Other wall treatments such as wallpaper or special effect painting, for eg, Momento painting, charges will differ according to the quality of the material and the skills and experience of the painting workers.

Built-in Furniture & Fittings

Another aspect of renovation that contributes to the bulk of the renovation cost is built-in furniture. Wardrobes, walk-in closets, kitchen cabinets, sink, hood & hob, bathroom cabinets, are home basics. Such storage systems and spaces are necessary to keep household things in place.

Other built-in features such as cornices, cove lightings, curtain pelmets, platforms, box-ups, etc are optional. As time advances, many customers opt for minimalistic approach to renovating their flats in order to keep designs clean and simple as well as minimize expenses.

Hacking & removal works

Reconfiguration and revamp works are sometimes necessary especially when you buy over a resale flat with pre-existing built-in conditions you do not like. It is common to hack away and replace old flooring tiles, old wardrobes, old bathroom fittings, and even structures such as walls and decorative arches when you buy over a resale flat.

Some 4-room HDB flat owners prefer to amalgamate their master bedroom with another common bedroom to create a seamless walk-in-wardrobe space for that luxurious feel and convenience.

4-Room HDB flat under DBSS & BTO Schemes

If you purchase a 4-room HDB flat under the DBSS Scheme (Design, Build & Sell Scheme), the unit would have come with ready higher-end interior finishes including wall and floor finishes, kitchen cabinets, built-in wardrobes and sanitary fittings. This bulk of built-in costs can be paid through your CPF, and this can provide some financial relief to some HDB home owners.

And if you opted in for the OCS (Optional Component Scheme) for your HDB BTO (Build-To-Order) flat, you will also save some costs in doing up your living room and bedrooms floor finishes, internal doors as well as your sanitary fittings like wash basins, shower mixers, faucets and taps, etc.

HDB Renovation Permit

As with all HDB renovation works in Singapore, all HDB owners who wish to renovate or revamp their flat units will have to apply for a HDB renovation permit for approval from the HDB prior to carrying out any refurbishment or restorative works. The renovator is able to submit the application on your behalf to HDB for their approval.

The renovation company has to be a contractor that is licensed and registered with the Housing & Development Board, regardless if a renovation permit is required.

The list of renovation works (building & sanitary works) that require a HDB renovation permit can be found under the HDB Renovation Guidelines.

Renovation Costs (estimated) for a 4-Room HDB flat

Considering the above and taking an example a new 4-room flat with basic average requirements, you can expect to set aside minimally:

Flooring: $5,000

Painting: $1,600

Built-in: $11,000

Misc – Electrical wiring, lightings, air-conditioners, fittings: $5,000

Total: $22,600

Note: This is only a guideline for those who are looking to renovate their 4-room HDB flats. HDB renovation package prices can differ from case to case depending on the type of finishes and materials selected, quality of workmanship, floor area, flat sizes, etc.

Where older flats or resale flats are concerned, additional works such as plastering to smoothen uneven wall and ceiling surfaces, hacking of old floor finishes and retiling works, dismounting of old kitchen cabinets and wardrobes, etc will incur more costs than just refurbishing the place alone.

HDB Renovation Services

HDB Renovation packages usually come in different range to suit different HDB types and renovation budgets. There is no way to fix HDB renovation package prices simply because there are too many types and qualities of materials involved and various HDB renovation design ideas to begin with. For example, built-in wooden furniture & furnishings come in many wood types and designs. As such, our HDB renovation costs are often custom-made and designed for customers.

Size of HDB Flat

The cost of renovation depends primarily on the number of rooms such as bedrooms, bathroom, toilets, kitchen, living room, etc as the size of the HDB flat will determine the extent of labour and the quantity of materials used. Apart from the size of the HDB flat, the renovation design requirements such as the type and quality of material choices, design intricacies, logistical support, etc. also largely determine the renovation quotation.

Of course there are also other considerations that will affect the HDB renovation package prices, depending on the type of HDB flat you purchase or are occupying.

HDB Resale Renovation Packages or Renovation for New HDB Flats

For example, if you buy a BTO (Built-To-Order) HDB flat, it would have come with floor finishes and bedroom and bathroom doors installed, therefore this will save you some renovation costs.

Newly bought HDB flats will also mean no hacking required to remove any existing wall and floor finishes such as floor tiles, old paint, or any existing built-in furniture. This will again take a fraction off your renovation quotation.

Depending on the age of the resale flat you are renovating, the condition of the walls may require plastering to even out the surfaces before a fresh coat of paint can be applied, the cement screed of the floors may require levelling up for the proper laying of tiles. Other additional scopes may also include electrical & plumbing works. Where wet works are involved, you will be required to apply for a HDB Renovation Permit through your HDB renovation contractors or the interior design firms that you engage prior to any HDB renovation works you carry out in Singapore.

If you have intention to renovate your HDB flat, contact us now for a non-obligatory appointment. We’d be happy to be of service to you.