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This Singaporean Couple Spent Only $50k On Their Executive Maisonette Renovation, Here’s How They Did It

15 July 2023 | BY

From strategic decisions to reno compromises, the Teo’s give us a breakdown of their $50k EM reno.

Spending just 50k on an Executive Maisonette Renovation

With 2 storeys and an abundance of space, Executive Maisonettes (EMs) aren’t cheap to renovate. With the average EM reno price tag crossing the $100k mark, it’s no surprise that many homeowners hesitate to invest in these spacious housing options due to the high costs associated with maisonette renovations.

Yet, not all hope is lost for aspiring EM owners on a budget. Mr. and Mrs. Teo – who also go by their social media handle @teohomies – prove that renovating your EM doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet.

From opting for a partial vinyl overlay, to cutting carpentry costs and making carefully considered compromises, the Teo’s managed to renovate their Executive Maisonette for just $50k – all while keeping to a tight renovation timeline of 8 weeks.

Renovating their Executive Maisonette on a $50k budget

50k Executive Maisonette Renovation - Living roomImage credit: Teohomies

While the family of 4 previously resided in a 4-room HDB, the Teo’s sought a more spacious home for their children to grow up in. After narrowing their options down to an Executive Apartment or Executive Mansion, they eventually settled on getting an EM – “We wanted a clear segregation between the communal and personal spaces, and we love the EM balcony’s double volume height too,” they explained.

50k Executive Maisonette RenovationImage credit: Teohomies

The Teo’s primary goal was to create a bright and spacious space for their family while sticking to their $50k reno budget. Fortunately, the original state of their EM proved to be a solid starting point for their home renovations.

Having been renovated 7 years back by the previous homeowner, the Teo’s EM was well-maintained and in decent condition. By strategically choosing to retain several aspects of the previous home renovation, the Teo’s managed to lower their total reno cost without relinquishing their vision of a bright and open home.

Kept the original floor tiles and spent $3.5k on a partial vinyl overlay

Transition from vinyl flooring in the living area to tiled flooring in the kitchenTransition from vinyl flooring in the living area to tiled flooring in the kitchen and dining area.
Image credit: Teohomies

While many homeowners choose to hack and replace tiles to achieve a new look for their homes, Mr. and Mrs. Teo took a different approach by opting for a partial vinyl overlay. Drawn to the warm and natural appearance of vinyl flooring, the couple spent $3.5k on the overlay, which was installed without the need for tile hacking.

Tiled flooring in kitchenImage credit: Teohomies

However, while the floor in their living area was overlaid, the Teo’s chose to retain the original tiled flooring in the kitchen and dining area for practical reasons. “These 2 areas are constantly exposed to grease and oil, so tiles were the better choice for cleaning and maintenance purposes,” they explained.

Tiled flooring versus vinyl flooringOriginal tiled flooring in the kitchen and dining area, versus vinyl flooring in the living area.
Image credit: Teohomies

Since hacking and replacing tiles tends to be a major contributor to high reno costs, the couple’s decision to do a partial vinyl overlay instead of re-tiling their home allowed them to cut costs and stick to their $50k budget.

Cut carpentry costs by retaining built-in wardrobes & doors

Built-in bedroom wardrobesBuilt-in wardrobes from the previous homeowner.
Image credit: Teohomies

Aside from hacking and tiling, carpentry is another renovation aspect that often poses a significant financial burden. With their kitchen and dining areas already going through major carpentry overhauls, the Teo’s weren’t keen to further increase their carpentry costs.

Fortunately, the built-in wardrobes from the previous homeowner were in good condition. Coupled with the fact that the colour of the wardrobes aligned with the Teo’s vision for their bedrooms, it was an easy call for the couple to retain the existing built-in wardrobes rather than have them replaced.

In a similar line of thinking, the Teo’s also decided not to replace any of the doors in their home – including the main door – as they were all in decent condition.

Saved 5k by retaining the copper-coloured window grilles

Copper-coloured window grillesOriginal copper-coloured window grilles.
Image credit: Teohomies

While the original window grilles in their home were copper-coloured, Mr Teo wasn’t fond of their appearance and initially intended to replace them with black grilles for a more cohesive look. However, a $5k quotation for changing the entire set of window grilles quickly put an end to those plans.

Eventually, the Teo’s made the practical decision to retain the existing copper-coloured set of grilles, since it was still in good condition. They also reflected that the colour difference between copper and black had minimal impact on their home’s interior, so it was a relief that they decided against the minor cosmetic change that would’ve set them back $5k. 

Decided not to renovate the bathrooms

Upon discovering that the bathrooms in the home were left in good condition, the Teo’s made the decision to retain all the floor and wall tiles in their 3 bathrooms, while the bathroom fixtures were changed for hygiene purposes.

Executive maisonette bathroom with original floor and wall tilesThe basins, toilet bowls, faucets, and towel hangers in all the bathrooms were changed, for a total cost amounting to ~$3k, which the couple treated as a miscellaneous expense.
Image credit: Teohomies

Had they chosen to redo the entire bathroom, it would have cost the couple roughly $3-4k per bathroom. With 3 bathrooms in their EM, Mr. and Mrs. Teo ended up saving roughly $10k by deciding to retain the existing bathroom layout and tiling.

That being said, in hindsight, the couple reflects that they should have done a bathroom overhaul. While they haven’t encountered any problems with their current bathrooms to date, Mr. and Mrs. Teo reflected that they would prefer to have new bathrooms that better suit the bright and airy theme of their home interior.

Spending only $50k on their Executive Maisonette renovation

Both Mr. and Mrs. Teo emphasise the importance of the renovation budgeting and planning stage. By thoroughly discussing all their reno decisions and expenses, the couple managed to avoid encountering any post-reno regrets.

“Always decide if this home will be your forever home,” the Teo’s advise, explaining that homeowners seeking to minimise reno costs can consider minor renovations – instead of a complete overhaul of their homes – if they’re planning to move out in a few years.

For more on the Teo’s Executive Maisonette, check out @teohomies.

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Cover image adapted from: Teohomies

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