How much do you exactly need to renovate a landed property?
Mar 22, 2017
Whether it’s a good class bungalow or a cluster house within a new launch project, owning a landed property is an ambition at the top of the property ladder homeowners desire to achieve. Alas, for the majority of us, it might seem like a distant pipe dream simply out of our price range.
But, what if you do have enough money to afford one? Aside from the purchase price, how much else would you exactly need to renovate and maintain the landed property? We break down the costs:
Basing cost estimates with terraced houses as an example
Terraced houses are the most common type of landed property in Singapore, so for the purpose of this article, we’ll be using it as a base of comparison. With terraced houses, you’ll most likely get between 2000 – 3000 square feet of floor area, spread out over 2-3 storeys.
Breaking down the renovation costs
Let’s start with calculating how much the flooring will cost. As with other non-landed properties, there are many options in the market to choose from:
Marble flooring typically costs around $15 per square foot (psf), so you’ll most likely be paying between $30,000 - 45,000 for a 2000 – 3000 square foot home
Parquet costs an estimated $11 psf, bringing the total cost to $22,000 – 33,000
Vinyl costs around $7 psf, amounting to $14,000 - 21,000
Laminates are the cheapest option at an average of $4 psf, with total costs amounting to $8,000 – 12,000.
Based on the above estimates, and together with labour costs at an estimated $10 per square foot, the flooring alone can range anywhere between a reasonable $25,000 to an exorbitant $115,000.
Bear in mind certain areas of the property will require more material, such as the stairs. The good news is that because of the larger floor area you’ll need to cover, it’s possible to enjoy economies of scale when buying in bulk from the contractor. This may translate to 10-20 percent off the usual cost price.
Next, you have to factor in the cost of painting the entire house. For a three storey terraced house, you’re most likely be looking at forking out at least $4,000 for painting the interior (with a maximum of three colours).
It’s worth pointing out with regards to painting, landed property is unique from HDBs and private properties in that homeowners of the latter two are not directly liable for the costs of painting the entire exterior of the building.
That’s right - landed property owners will have to foot an additional $3,500 - $4,000 for sealing, manpower and paint material costs if they choose to have a fresh coat of paint for the façade of the building. If the painters require scaffolding, part of the total cost will also go into constructing and disassembling the scaffold, priced at a range of $5,000 – 8,000.
Carpentry costs are subjective, dependent on how extensive the workmanship is needed and the materials used. Contractors usually charge on a per-foot basis, and based on market rate, that’s usually between $200 - 400 per foot for renovation a typical HDB BTO unit. Now, assuming said BTO unit is a 5-room flat at 1,100 square feet, the overall bill will generally add up to be around $10,000 – 15,000 for basic carpentry work*.
almost double the floor area, so it’s fair to estimate the cost to be four times more – anywhere upwards from $40,000.
(* Our definition of basic carpentry work covers installation of kitchen cabinets and table-top, false ceiling and feature wall in the living room as well as a built-in wardrobe and dresser in the master bedroom)
An otherwise overlooked, but important, aspect of the house is the electrical wiring of the property. Electrical wiring will experience wear and tear over time, so you’ll need to be conscientious to check the entire house for switches and electrical units that are faulty or do not work properly.
If you do find electrical wiring issues that require attention, or an overhaul of the existing internal electrical structure of your home (eg. addition/removal of plug points, running of wires etc), be prepared to spend another $5,000 and up. This is because you’ll need to engage professional technicians to do rewiring and testing.
As a side note, a common issue landed property owners face is the installation of air-condition units. A typical three storey terraced house would require around 6 – 8 air-conditioners, so that means you’ll need to budget another $10,000 - 15,000 for this.
Other areas unique to landed properties
Much like having to consider exterior paint as mentioned earlier, there are other built-in features landed properties have that make them stand out from their non-landed units. These include the front porch and gate, balconies and alcoves, the backyard, the garden and the roof/rooftop terraces. Of course, the total costs will depend on how extensive you wish to embellish these areas.
The final word of renovating landed properties
As you can tell, renovating a landed property involves a ton of capital – around $130,000 - $200,000 (excluding furnishings) to be conservative, so it’s best to budget ahead before thinking of purchasing one.
Also, when renovating landed properties, contractors may tend to push you to purchase more expensive fixtures, because they might think you can afford to pay for them. Always be ready to inform them to stay within your budget, so that you don’t unintentionally break the bank.