Hidden and Miscellaneous Costs in Renovation Quotation

Have you read my previous post on What are the Renovation Costs Involved? In this post, I will be sharing with you on uncovering the hidden and other miscellaneous costs in a renovation quote. This is extremely important as it affects your budget for the renovation.

Renovation permit

If your contractor is HDB approved, the cost for applying the permit is most likely free of charge. As a homeowner, do bear in mind that you are responsible for the renovation works. Noisy renovation like hacking and drilling are only permitted to be carried out from 9am-5pm daily on weekdays only. The contractor is also required to display a renovation notice outside your unit to inform your neighbours about the renovation.

I have also heard about cases where non-HDB approved contractors go around borrowing licenses from other companies to register for the renovation permit. Personally, I do not recommend engaging a non-HDB approved contractor as they might not be in compliance with certain works where layman like us may not know about.

Haulage and debris removal

Based on my research, there were a lot of debate on this cost. I was shocked when I found out that the typical market rate is from $500 onwards. Wut?! Hence, I was pleasantly surprised when my contractor quoted me less than $200, phew! Some Town Council do provide this service to the residents but not all and the charges vary. Do seek advice from your own Town Council to find out more.


It is best to get the ID or contractor to go down to your unit to get exact dimensions before getting quotes. This is also extremely helpful if you are comparing quotes. Be sure to take note of any changes in the measurements and clarify the costs before signing off the agreement.


Materials vary and it can be quite costly for top graded ones. As mentioned in my previous post, don’t waste the money on expensive materials if you are not a heavy user. Make sure that the cabinets come with soft hinges and ABS trimming. Soft hinges prevent cabinets from slamming and ABS trimming is normally used to smooth out the sharp edges. Clarify the type of table tops and laminates, where they are made from and how much does it cost per foot run, etc.


Do find out whether you are allowed to have choices of color for your painting works. Things like brands and types (Eg. Nippon, odourless, etc) should also be indicated upfront. Check the additional costs if you were to switch or add-on colors. Typical market rate should be between $1,200-$1,800, including labour costs and a choice of up to 5-6 colors.

Installation of accessories

The contractor will usually install about 2-3 items for the kitchen and bathroom free of charge. This can be negotiated with them. If the ID or contractor were to bring you to the shops to buy accessories or lightings, do not agree as they will usually earn commission through these “extra services”. Hence, it is best to purchase these items yourself.

Electrical points

Additional electrical power points are usually necessary in a new house. The cost for each electrical point is approx. $60-$80. I had also requested to modify the telephone points in the rooms to LAN points. This allows you to connect to the home fiber network without doing additional cabling and wiring.

City Gas piping

You will be required to open an SP Services account and your contractor has to arrange with City Gas to connect the gas piping. Based on my bill, it cost $120 to install the gas pipe. If you are using City Gas for your heater as well, the cost will be different.

Chemical wash

Chemical wash, also known as acid wash is usually done after the renovation. Typical market rate should be around $120-$150. The chemical wash will remove the mess such as cement stains or accidental paint splatters in the house. This can be done once or twice, depending on the agreement with the ID or contractor.

By reviewing all of the above hidden costs, you may then select an ID or contractor that best fits your budget. Good luck in your home planning! smile

Check out my other posts on Home related matters:
heart Apps and Sites for Home Inspirations
heart Selecting an Interior Designer/Main Contractor/Package Interior Designer
heart Inspirations for Feature Walls
heart Getting the Keys
heart Renovation, Start!
heart Plan for Your Renovation Budget
heart What are the Renovation Costs Involved
heart Kitchen Essentials for the Home
heart Hidden and Miscellaneous Costs in Renovation Quotation
heart Where to Shop for Furniture via Online & Offline
heart Horrendous Service from SleepSavvy