HDB Renovation in Singapore

5 Things You Should Know Before Carrying Out Your HDB Renovation in Singapore


Getting the key to their HDB flat is a significant milestone in the lives of many Singaporeans. This means that they are now homeowners with a place they can finally call their own. And like most proud homeowners, the next step is likely to carry out their HDB renovation to suit their taste and comfort.

If you are among one of the newly crowned homeowners, this is an article for you to read before you embark in your interior design journey. Now, you may be thinking why bother with the details when you can leave them to the appointed interior design firm to sort them out? Well, although interior design firms can deck up your home to your liking, as the homeowner, you are ultimately responsible in ensuring that the renovation guidelines laid out by HDB are complied with.

Here is the 5 less exciting but crucial information you should know before you start your renovation journey in Singapore.

1. Make sure your ID professional is listed in the Directory of Renovation Contractor (DRC)

HDB only allows DRC-listed ID contractors to carry out HDB renovation. This is to ensure that the work carried out is conducted safely and does not damage the HDB property. To be listed in the directory, these ID professionals have to complete the training course stipulated by the HDB and have the necessary experience and a good track record. If you use an unapproved contractor, you may end up with a fine of up to $5,000 plus other penalties. Most reputable ID firms would be listed in DRC, but do check before you sign the dotted line.

2. Get HDB’s written approval before tearing down the walls

Any demolition and hacking of walls – whether partially or entirely – requires HDB prior written approval. I repeat, written, not verbal. This is for HDB to ensure that the hacking does not affect the structural integrity of the building nor compromise the safety of the public. Like before, there may be legal consequences for you as the homeowner if you do not comply with the rule.

3. Display your Notice of Renovation during the renovation period

Your appointed ID firm or contractor must get a permit from the HDB before carrying out any HDB renovation. Once the permit is obtained, the Notice of Renovation must be prominently displayed at the entrance of the flat before and throughout the approved renovation period. If your renovation involves noisy work such as hacking of walls or tiles, a written notice to your immediate neighbours must also be given at least 3 days in advance.

4. Renovation must be done within the approved period and time

HDB also limits the timings for carrying out HDB renovation. For general renovations, they can only be done between 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and no work is allowed on Sundays and public holidays. If the renovation involves noisy and excessive drilling works like knocking down walls or removing wall or floor finishes, work can only be done on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm (no work to be carried out on weekends and public holidays). If your unit is a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat, your renovation needs to be completed within 3 months. For existing units, work must be completed within 1 month from the date of the permit.

5. Contractors must use only HDB approved materials

To ensure a cleaner environment and more uniform finishes, the HDB mandates that only HDB approved materials such as pre-packed cement screed for the floor and pre-packed plaster for the walls are allowed. As pre-packed screed is pre-mixed in a standard ratio at the factory, it requires minimal on-site preparation and higher consistency in the finished work. It also reduces the overall time needed to complete the renovation.

By following these guidelines, you can be assured that your renovation is completed legally and following HDB’s requirements. 

Starting the Renovation

Are you ready? On your mark, get set, go!

Now, it’s time for you to relax and let the ID and his/her team transform your flat into your dream home.

If you wish to discuss your design with us, call us at 6778 6866 or drop us an email at enquiry@starryhomestead.com.

6 Essentials Steps of HDB Renovation Cover

6 Essential Steps of HDB Renovation


Getting your HDB flat may be exciting, but the idea of going through the process of renovation may be daunting for some people, especially first-timers. Fortunately, hiring an experienced interior designer can alleviate some of the stress because the person can help manage your entire renovation process. However, to stay on top of your HDB renovation, you should be aware of the steps involved in completing it so as to ensure that the result is exactly what you have envisioned.

Here are the 6 essential steps of the HDB renovation process that will lead you to achieving your dream home.

1st Meeting: Design and Planning

This is probably one of the most crucial meetings because it lets your interior designer (ID) have an idea of the space he will be working with, your lifestyle, preference and taste as well as your spatial needs. It’s also the best time to exchange your ideas and have an in-depth discussion with your ID on your flat’s layout and design concept. The ID would share some design and materials that can be used in the renovation.

Do remember to bring up the important topic of budget. By stating your budget, it gives your ID a clearer picture of what can be worked with and be included in the overall design plan.

2nd Meeting: Quotation and Layout

It is worthwhile to look into the details so that you don’t miss anything out. One way is to sit down with the ID and go through the proposed quotation. During the meeting, both parties can weed out items that are deemed unnecessary or add in new things that were missed out earlier. At this point, you should also discuss the proposed layout and the overall interior design concept. The best outcome of the meeting is to confirm a design concept and be ready to sign the renovation contract.

3rd Meeting: Selecting Materials

During the third meeting, your ID will guide you in your material selection. At this point, you will be introduced to the materials needed for renovation such as tiles and laminate and fixtures like lighting and other accessories. Love the look of marble and chandelier? If you have not budgeted for them, ask your ID for alternatives that can make your home look just as good.

At the same time, you and your ID can use this opportunity to discuss the details of the design concept so that a 3D rendering of the finished apartment can be prepared. Rendering usually takes about 2 weeks, so plan your schedule accordingly. Additionally, all documents needed for the application of permits from HDB for works like demolition or construction of walls should be prepared in this meeting.

4th Meeting: Tying Up Loose Ends

At this point, you are almost ready to start the renovation. But first, it’s probably a good idea to tie up loose ends and finalise the details, including going through the 3D rendering and making any final changes, if any. Once everything is concluded, you can then decide on the renovation period.

Site Inspection

Site inspection is essential, particularly for Build-To-Order (BTO) flat owners. When you get your key to your new flat, you’ll be given a Defect Feedback Form, and you’ll need to submit your defect list within 7 days of your key collection. The other reason to do defect checks before the renovation is that HDB does not cover rectifications during or after your own renovation works. During your site inspection, you can also confirm with your ID that the necessary HDB permits are obtained or in the process of applying.

Starting the Renovation

Are you ready? On your mark, get set, go!

Now, it’s time for you to relax and let the ID and his/her team transform your flat into your dream home.

If you wish to discuss your HDB interior design with us, call us at 6778 6866 or get your free quote now drop us an email at enquiry@starryhomestead.com.

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