What do Singaporeans think about renovation?


Renovating a home is a huge endeavour – and we want to know what homeowners in Singapore feel!

In our inaugural Qanvast Home Renovation survey, we set out to find the answers to a few things and more - What are their expectations? The highlights and challenges they encounter? Is home renovation as ‘difficult and risky’ as it’s often painted to be in the news?

We gathered the opinions of over 500 local homeowners who were at various stages of renovating their homes (planning, currently renovating and recently renovated). Their answers gave us an insight to the general sentiment of Singapore’s renovation landscape. Let’s take a look at 10 major local home renovation trends in 2018:

*Based on a 5 point scale, with 5 being the most important, and 1 being the least important

For Singaporean homeowners, designing a functional space that’s comfortable is the most important. On the flip-side, only 28% of homeowners prioritised safety the least.

*Percentages do not add up to 100% as respondents could choose more than one option.

The industrial style is no longer the most popular option – with only 14% choosing this option. In fact, the two most popular interior styles are Scandinavian (60%) and the Minimalist (60%) aesthetic.

Interior Firm: Schemacraft

Light pale shades combined with minimal built-ins and simple shapes is what’s ‘in’ right now. Alternatively, the coastal look (25%) is an up-and-coming theme that’s getting popular as well.

3. Maximising small spaces is still a major focus for homeowners

Interior Firm: Space Atelier

*Percentages do not add up to 100% as respondents could choose more than one option.

With close to half of our respondents responding with a home size of somewhere between 70 – 99sqm (44%), it’s no doubt that many Singaporeans are looking for ways to expand their space – visually and functionally. 

Homeowners are looking for three important features: More space to move about (72%), more light filtering into their homes (67%) and more storage solutions (62%).

Budgeting and Spending Habits:

4.  $30,000 – $50,000 on renovation works may not be enough

Interior Firm: Aart Boxx Interior

A common pattern we’ve seen: 45% of homeowners surveyed expected to spend $30,000 to $50,000 on works alone, while another 34% were looking at a budget of $10,000 to $30,000 and this is regardless whether they own a resale or a new property. 

However, this sum may not be enough, especially for resale properties which may require additional work. We weren’t surprised when more than half of our respondents (64%)  said that they went beyond their initial budget. Be sure to set aside some buffer (at least 10% of your initial budget) for any unforeseen expenses.

5. Furniture and appliances: >$20,000

Interior Firm: Jubilee Interior

For furniture and appliances, 43% of respondents were looking to spend $11,000 to $20,000, followed by 37% who gave a range of $6,000 to $10,000.

6. Singaporeans spend the most in these 3 areas

Interior Firm: The Scientist

The living room (36%), kitchen (29%) and bedroom (24%) is where homeowners spend the most of their renovation budget at. This is where foot traffic and usage are heavier, so don’t feel guilty about spending a little more here. 

Thoughts on Interior Professionals

7. Interior designers: Communication and chemistry are more important than experience

Interior Firm: Lemonfridge Studio

*Based on a 5 point scale, with 5 being the most important, and 1 being the least important

67% of homeowners surveyed still go for an interior designer for their renovation. This is because ID’s are able to provide design concepts and solutions, and can help them manage the entire project as compelling reasons.

Someone who’s genuine, comfortable to talk to, and is able to relate every detail of the renovation clearly to his clients is the ideal candidate. Communication and chemistry/trust are two of the biggest factors that influence a homeowner’s decision to hire, even more than experience or design skills.

8. Poor communication is a huge turnoff

Interior Firm: Poetus

*Based on a 5 point scale, with 5 being the most important, and 1 being the least important

Poor communication – whether it’s a lack of updates, or misinformation – is another turn off for homeowners. Similarly, pushy sales tactics are one of the biggest deal-breakers for homeowners as well.

9. Biggest Issue: Poor workmanship

Interior Firm: Chapter One Interior Design

*Percentages do not add up to 100% as respondents could choose more than one option.

Poor workmanship is something that many Singaporean homeowners frequently face. Over 75% of survey respondents who have completed their renovation cited workmanship is an aspect that they would like to see improvements in. 

Interior Firm: Weiken.com

*Based on a 5 point scale, with 5 being the most willing, and 1 being the least willing

Homeowners are willing to fork out for better quality materials and quality workmanship as compared to other areas like design, materials, furniture and appliances.

10. Singaporean designers are boring

Many respondents feel that the market was ‘competitive’, but ‘lacked creativity’.

At the same time, there is a lack of professionalism in work. From slip-shod workmanship, delays to outright scams, there’s a general distrust and wariness. This leads more homeowners looking out for accreditations or doing their own research to give themselves more assurance.

Create a space you love

Embarking on a renovation journey? Request for a quote here, and we can match you up with 5 interior firms – based on your budget and style – to get quotes.

About Qanvast: Create a space you love today with Singapore’s first mobile platform. Qanvast (pronounced as ‘canvas’) connects homeowners to trusted home professionals. Browse for reviews, renovation prices and portfolios from interior designer firms in Singapore at your fingertips!




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