A compilation of hidden costs


New Member
hi guys,

very sorry, but no, you can't have the list - until you've read this entire thread, and followed instructions, and actually KNOW what you're asking for.

In any case, all of those who are asking for "list" from me by messaging to this thread, are almost 99.9% those who have not read this thread - and probably think they're asking for a List of Hidden Costs. well, you're entirely wrong then, coz that is not what I am mailing to those who bother to read this thread at all.

If you should require a list of Hidden Costs, you should READ THIS ENTIRE THREAD, and do everyone a favour and compile it for everyone.

sorry if I sound pissed, but I AM frankly - quite pissed, as I have already made my views clear many times. two times of which are on this page itself - if you even bother to scroll up tp read.

please do yourself a favour and read the thread for more tips on how to avoid hidden costs.

that said. I shall seriously, from now, on, said what I'd said I'd do - I shall IGNORE those who message this forum in this thread to say "please email me the list".

thanks for listening. and reading.



New Member
Hi pst,

I can see you have certainly done your homework!!! You must have spent quite a lot of effort on all these research. How much time do you actually spend in all?

I'm afraid time is not on my side...


New Member
hi stevy,

sorry took me some time to reply you, as I have been very busy and have not checked my yahoo mail for some time...

yep we certainly spent a lot of time and effort in research. guess I was rather interested in it, so I made the effort to research more. plus I figured since we're gonna be staying in the house long term, and we aren't exactly rich nor have excess cash to burn, thought we should do research and satisfy ourselves that we have done the best we can in order to get the best value possible for the amount of money we spend...

for our reno alone (excluding furniture and electricals and aircon) we spent $32k. our place is a WIS 132sm (1,421sf) hdb exec apt in JW.



New Member
Hi PSt
I meant ur compilation of:
1) List of the IDs
2) Reno Quotes excel sheet.
3) Defect list
4) Electrical shops list


New Member
just PM u....read that u only accept PM...sorry to have posted here! Pardon me as I'm a new bird in the thread of renovation


New Member
I will be getting my keys soon. HAvent' scout for ID yet. Very new and lost with ID.
Can u send me yr list of hidden costs and other useful compliation u have.
Thank you so much!
[email protected]


New Member
hi everyone!!
For those newbies, er..

i think you all NEED to PM PST in order to get the list.

How to PM? Just click on PST name and send the msg.

How to switch on your own PM? Go to your profile and scroll down to one of the settings that say 'enable private msg'..something like tat..

Hope tis will help to cool down PST


New Member
Anyone care to share (by PM) their compilation list/notes with relating to reno and home decor? Thanks in advance for your sharing.

PST, i read your frustration above. Just a little suggestion, perhaps you can consider to post your excel file in the forum for others to self-service.

Anyone care to guide how to upload the file onto the forum (as I would like to learn)?


New Member
Hi beetle,

can u possibly email me the hidden cost list update? my com is down and the com i'm using now has some security settings against downloading.

[email protected]

Thanks a great deal!!!


New Member
Thks beetle !

Btw, is it applicable for both 4 rm & 5-rm ?

U sure that we, owners dun hv to pay haulage but ID shld pay ?

How abt debris fees ? Who shld pay ?

Does the receipt show separate cost for haulage & debris fees ? I was told that it was lumped under 1 sum & same description.


New Member
Juz to share info from my part. I just finished bulk of the reno, and was given a list of variations. We got a shock when we see the list. It might be reasonable, but really, it caught us off-guard.

Do agree with your IDs/contractors on the elctrical and plumbing costs. We were unaware of the cost of each additional electrical points, 2-way points etc. Even a 5cm shift in the lighting point is a cost! Even installtion of items such as heaters, it requires wiring etc. So physical installation may be FOC, but other cost is still there. My ID has told us they will help to install this and that... but wasn't clear on the point that it will be charged. So its better to agree with your IDs/contractors that whatever additional cost ON TOP of the signed contract/quotation has to be agreed (best written down black n white) before it is even started. This applies to each and every single item!

Think this also helps to gauge what will be the total amount of variations it will come up to.

I have to be clear here too, that my ID did a pretty good job for the reno... just that we wasn't prepared for the every little cost along the way. So best to be sure!


New Member
this i agree... i was also given a bill for extra costs incurred. made us so angry cos our ID did not tell us there'll be extra charges incurred. she just asked us if we want this and dat to be done without advising us on the costs involved.

there were some extra costs which we thot was quite reasonable and are willing to pay for it. there are others which we dun agree on and now, we are still not willing to pay for it despite the fact we're finishing the reno.


New Member
Li (piglet81),
i totally agree with wat u said...The variations were scary...It adds up to a bulky amount. And the worse of all, I am fed up with the ID firm... Such a total dissappointment!!!! Its a popular ID firm and this designer spoilt the whole image!!!
Back to the cost, ya..even bits of shifting, costs involved. And did u check carefully evry labour cost? Sometimes, they even add in fixing some lights for u which u can do it yourself for like $30 per fix!!!!!
And I noe there is this last payment dat we pay them. I guess its the afterservice warranty for 1 to 2 years in case we need them to come bk n fix something!!!! They claim its free!!!! No free lunch man!!!!!
Recently, just less than a month after moving in, we saw some scratches on the glass. We feel its too deep n want them back. The ID came plus the person who did the light. Guess what???? They shifted the blame saying dun noe who scratch. We did not care who did it but just want someone to do something about it.... The guy unwilling said that during the handover with ID, y did we not mention????? Comeon, whats the afterservice for??? And even the ID is on their side... They insist they feel there is no need to redo anything... Well, are they staying in the house??? They just do not want to redo the work done. The ID even mention that if we want to redo the glass, they had to take the glass out and while replacing with new glass, other furniture may be affected too...like scratched, or spoilt...\
wat the ****?


New Member
hi eling

wow... ur ID not very good on afterservice ya?? Mine's not that bad, at least we have seen some minor stuff that needs to be cleaned or touched up etc, they will still come down after handover is completed.. have been provided with a written agreement on a 2 yrs warranty on workmanship too.

But its like give-and-take on my part, certain things we unhappy we still accept, cos not much of an issue, or we could settle it ourselves. but some things die die cannot one, must ask them to redo or make it better.. so at least my id is still pretty accomodating on that part...*phew*


New Member
Yah I agree with beetle bailey (bailey). Just that since our contractor already quoted us a fairly reasonable price, we're not that particular about insisting that he pays for haulage etc. But do check thoroughly before handover. We got our friends to come down and view our place, at the same time they also help us look out for possible faults/touch-ups to be done.

As for things like tile price etc, note that whatever materials for floor, parquet, cupboard, window grill, you need to check with the contractor what materials range he/she is giving you. Where possible, get him to state in the contract. If you're note sure, ask him to show you samples. Sometimes it's not intentional that they hide, if you ask, they'll tell. If you're particular about it, do take a look at the range of designs & price for the tiles before you sign so that you know what tile price quoted in the contract is more suitable for you.

As the renovation goes on, the contractor/id will probably suggest additional things to put up or a modifation of material/design. Always check for the price difference for any change proposed and note down the item and price. This way it makes verification at the end much clearer.


New Member
I get quotation from various ID companies and discovered their quote are at least 100% mark-up vs contractor.
All ID companies charged me $1.4K to hack away old kitchen cabinets & remove old aircons. While my contractor did it FOC. And for instance, powder coated casement window & grilles quote was $5.5K from ID whilst I got the same thing at $2.5K by going direct to grilles specialist.

Now almost done with my renovation. At $40k I revamped the entire house, changed whole house flooring, plastering, rewiring, false ceiling, new casement windows, painting, curtains, lightings, bathroom accessories, stove & hob, new water pipes, EVERYTHING in !

I used my previous wet work contractor (he did my 1st house, good price & quality). I also managed to find a carpenter who is a sub-con for ID companies. He quoted me market price, though his price is still a few $K higher than conventional carpenter. At least I still get ID grade carpentry since I by past the middle man (ID) and went direct.

My guess is, to get exactly the same thing as what I have now, I will probably have to pay at least $80K to ID company

But bear in mind, lots of coordination work. Because I ended up as the project manager, need to manage time line between different parties.


New Member
Hello Hippo2002,

Can share with me the list of different contractors for different jobs that you have engaged? I'm going to renovate my house in Feb and may not want to engage ID. Thanks.


New Member
yes, I came up with the design & they do the job

frankly speaking, there is no hidden costs in all my renovation

I cover all aspects before entering negotiation including what freebies I want from them

You have a lot of power before you sign on dotted line

any cost that pop up along the way, you can refused to pay if the contractors didn't tell you upfront

unless it's for additional work done, you are not obligated to pay

hold on to the final payment until they satisfied all your requirements


New Member
for instance, my plumber wanted to charge us additional $10 per heater just to join pipe to heater and $3 per valve (he only provide 1 valve per WC, anything else is considered additional) and charge us $40 to install undersink water filter and $$ to install bathroom accessories

We kick up a fuss with my main contractor and we pay not a single cent extra

We agree to pay plumber $50 to return during carpentry stage to install sink tap. This is market practice so that's reasonable

got to decide yourself what is reasonable and what is not


New Member
Hi hippon,

Think your plumber is trying to make some quick monies. Before you sign the contract, didn't you clarify those stuff?

For me, I clarify with my main con all the plumber job scope coverage beforehand.

no extra cost or hidden cost incur.


New Member
yeah, our main con said he will install all bathroom accessories FOC and $380 for stainless steel pipeing for whole house

that's why we disagree with plumber's additional charges since we are not asking anything additional

we design how to run water pipe in the house & water filter (do by-pass) & he was very obedient after scolded by our main con & fulfilled all our requirements

Our previous plumber also charged us $30 to return during carpentry stage for our 1st house so we thought $50 is ok after 6 years


New Member
Hi Hippo,

Referencing to your thread on your ala-carte renovation, I am interested to get the contact of your windows and grilles specialist. Can you send it to me please? Thank You in advance!

Email : [email protected]

Apart from the above request, may I know if your $2.5K of windows & grilles is for your entire home including the ventilation window in your toilets? Is yours a private or HDB flat and how many rooms?


New Member
$2.5K for powder coated casement window & grilles
for entire house

I top up another $280 to upgrade to 2mm double hollow tube. $2.5k is for 1.2mm only

exclude toilet iron-wired windows

HDB 5 room flat with 3 bedrooms

email you the contact


New Member
Hi sumobear,

imo you cannot just guage from other flat owners the price vs your price. as the amount/size of window panels differ a lot. pricing is based on psf, type of window (eg casement, sliding, top hung, etc), type of glass (tinted, clear, frosted, etc), grill/windows designs, powder coat or plain, etc

what you can do is compare the prices you get yourself, vs the given contacts price.