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What A $29K 4-Room HDB BTO Japandi Reno Looks Like: Hacking, False Ceilings & Carpentry

8 August 2023 | BY

This $29K 4-room HDB BTO renovation stands as living proof that it isn’t as expensive as you think to create the Japandi home of your dream.

It’s usually very difficult to keep costs low when renovating, especially when you have a theme in mind. 

However, these homeowners managed to give their 4-room BTO a modern Japandi facelift while integrating smart features, all with a mere budget of $29,000 whilst not compromising on essential construction procedures like hacking and the installation of vinyl floors. 

A $29k self-designed Japandi home

vinyl flooring in dining area with dry bar

Image credit: Puchi Home

The homeowners’ wanted a modern Japandi home integrated with smart features. Their vision centred around crafting an open and inviting space perfectly suited for entertaining friends and family whilst creating a simple and versatile layout to accommodate a growing family.

One of the first ways the homeowners cut costs was to do without an interior designer. They settled on just a contractor and first searched for inspiration through Pinterest. They then took the rendering of their home’s theme into their own hands using 3D software such as Sketchup and Planner 5D.

“We had everything drawn on a 3D software so we skipped hiring an ID. We only had to find contractors to execute our vision,” they explained.

Hacking of walls for an open-concept living area

living area before and after reno

Image credit: Puchi Home

As the primary focus of the renovation efforts was primarily directed towards the living areas and the kitchen, 2 walls were hacked: the wall between the study and the living room, and the wall between the dining room and kitchen. This was to create an open-plan space that made the living area much more spacious.

Meanwhile, the kitchen was closed with a concealed entrance, and a dry pantry/bar was integrated into the dining area. In a TikTok video, they shared that hotel mini-bars inspired their dining area and bar. “It was not just for aesthetics but planned to be highly functional,” they shared.

dining area before and after reno

Image credit: Puchi Home

The overall cost of the renovations to the dining area totaled up to $6,810 which included lighting, furniture, and carpentry.

As they had known that they wanted to incorporate accent cove lights and recessed lighting in their living room, they also built a 4” false ceiling into the space. 

As the house came without HDB flooring, screeding was required, and as hardwood floors were completely out of their budget, they opted for vinyl flooring instead. As a result, the most expensive aspect of the renovation was the flooring which came up to a total cost of $6,035.

vinyl flooring before and after reno

Image credit: Puchi Home

In total, $10,600 went to flooring, hacking and partition whilst around another $18,000 went to carpentry, tiling, masonry and others.

Overall, this brought the total to around $28,600 for the entire renovation, which is surprising considering how they’ve managed to achieve quite a clean and sophisticated Japandi look – complete with limewashed living room walls.

They then spent around another $20,000 on all the furniture they needed to bring their modern Japandi smart home to life.

living area after reno

Image credit: Puchi Home

But, they shared that if given the luxury of a larger budget, they would’ve chosen more premium materials and explored more design possibilities. 

$29k reno for a 4-room BTO flat


Breakdown: hacking, partition, false ceiling, flooring #fyp #home #hdb #hdbrenovation #interiordesign #renotok #sgrenovation

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Although they admitted that it was a pretty steep learning curve to design a home without an ID, as it involves much more than simply creating a Pinterest board, they wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“If you are willing to put in the time, effort and elbow grease to design your place, I highly recommend you to do so. The end result can be really rewarding,” they said.

Keeping your wallet happy during a home reno may seem impossible, but Puchi Home has proven that it is simply a matter of juggling between essential needs and desired wants and carefully allocating resources to ensure your budget is not exceeded.

For more on home reno:

Cover image from: Puchi Home

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