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Need help planning for renovation!

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My parents own a 4NG HDB in Hougang (~1,000 sqft). We're currently staying elsewhere so this apartment has fallen into a bit of a disrepair. My dad plans to re-renovate this house completely - virtually everything will go! He works as a contractor so I can trust him to make the decisions & get a good deal for the most part. However, I prefer to live there rather than move out in the long term for various reasons, so it only makes sense that I contribute some input as to how I want the house to turn out, right? Problem is, I'm sorely lacking in any relevant knowledge seeing as how I had only recently started my first job.

I want the house to incorporate eco-friendly & ageing-in-place concepts & technology in the choice of materials, design, furnishings etc. I am open to using home automation & other innovative new technology to support that goal. This is the big overarching idea, and that's all I have at the moment - I don't know enough to proceed from here. My dad is more of the traditional and conservative sort so if I want to do any of these, I'll most likely have to do my own research and pitch the suggestions to him.

What I need help with is outlined as follows:

  • What online resources would you recommend for me to get insights & ideas on how to achieve & implement my objectives?
  • How can I keep abreast of the latest innovations and technologies for the home?
  • What would be a rough ballpark estimate to achieve this? I understand it can vary widely, but we're actually still quite some time off from doing the actual renovations so it may not be time yet to consult interior designers and get actual quotes. Right now I just want to set a financial target to save towards so a recommended figure as a rule of thumb is good enough for me at this point.

I'm still at the stage where I don't know what I don't know, so please be patient with me and ask whatever you want, to guide me towards giving the right info and asking the right questions. Thanks!


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Just sharing what I have found out so far as i am also planning for a major renovation for my house next year. Some of the things what you can consider are:

  1. touch activated switches
  2. motorised curtains
  3. motorised pole systems for hanging clothes
  4. smart home - i think there is an IDA exhibition at Esplanade Xchange which features smart home.. may give you some idea though

Dont really have a estimated price, but you can considering purchasing from Taobao/Tmall where the cost of such items are very very low compared to what you can get in SG (around 50-70% lower). Two things to take note: (1) quality cannot be assured (2) some things might not be "approved" for installation by Spring Singapore (e.g switches which require some form of safety test). Since your dad is a contractor, he would probably know if these are allowed. To me, safety is the most important..

In any case, do take time to browse through the threads. You will find tons of valuable information.



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Just to share that I recently renovated my 5 rm flat in SK, still on-going though. I didn't do a full fledge reno of the whole house but quite extensive in the sense that I replaced my 3 bedrooms laminated flooring to tiles & installed built-in platform, wardrobe & cupboard in all 3 rms. I removed my balcony & converted to be part of living rm. I also replaced whole house windows, grilles, toilet doors, WCs/basins/toilet accessories for both toilets, rewired & painted whole house. Just basic reno as in no eco-friendly, no techy stuff, & it's already ~60k. I'm setting aside another 5-6k for blinds in the bedrooms & furniture. Hence, with full reno in your whole house with eco-friendly & techy stuff, you may need to set aside quite a significant amount. I would set aside at least 100k if it's me, even if dad is a contractor, I said so because unless dad has also done similar reno projects involving eco-friendly & techy stuff, he may then have business contacts to provide good deals.

You said that your dad is the more traditional & conservative type, so you may wish to also consider if he & your mum would be able to adapt & learn to live in an eco-friendly, techy environment, would they be able to operate automation/technology systems, are they resistant to technology type of generation? Sorry, not sure how old are your parents, but this applies to me. Just to share with you, my parents used to stay with me for a period of time, my dad would not use vacuum cleaner or even magic wipe to vacuum/wipe the floor, he went to buy a traditional broom to sweep the floor. My mum prefers to use traditional wok to cook instead of using happy call. My ILs still prefer to hand wash clothing than to use washing machine. What I wish to highlight is that if they are more of the older traditional generation of parents who prefer the traditional ways, they may not get used to the new technologies in the house & may have trouble operating them. If don't operate correctly, the likelihood of the systems failing is higher & maybe faster as well, so you may also incur additional cost to repair or replace them. E.g. if your mum is the one who does the washing & hanging of clothing, you have motorised system instead of traditional bamboo, is she okay to operate it? It may sound simple to us, for my generation & even my kids, they learn even without me teaching them, but not so for old folks. Our ideal home may not be the same ideal home as our parents, so have to think of long term usage when all of you moved back. 


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