A Guide to Planning Your HDB Home Renovation

Renovating your home can be an exciting project, especially for first-time home owners! From designing your home to completing renovation, knowing when and what to do at each stage of your journey can help you save costs and ensure a pleasant experience.

To help you out, MyNiceHome has put together a timeline and checklist for the various renovation stages to make your journey as seamless as possible!

1 Year Before Key Collection – Decide on Your Theme

Procrastination is the enemy of all good home renovations. Don’t make the mistake of waiting after your key collection before you start thinking about the theme and features that you want in your new home. This is a creative process that takes time!

Home Tours: A Glamorous 4-Room Flat in Tampines

Pro tips:

  • Start a mood board to collate images of home designs and concepts that you fancy.
  • Keep an eye out for complementary furniture and appliances as they would influence your carpentry, tile works, placement of your electrical points or even configuration of your home spaces. Having these in mind early can help facilitate discussion with your interior designer (ID) or contractor.

Our favourite sources of inspiration? Pinterest, Instagram and MyNiceHome!

3 Months Before Key Collection – Choose Interior Designer/Contractor

Engaging a good interior designer (ID) or contractor takes the guesswork out of renovation and lets you focus on other aspects such as home furnishings and other paperwork.

Besides dedicating ample time for selection, it is important to ensure that the ID shows understanding of your needs and requirements, and your desired concept. They should also be responsive to queries and receptive to feedback, to work with you on ideas or suggest viable alternatives where need be.

Pro tips:

  • Do your research! Ask around for recommendations and study the IDs’ portfolio and customer reviews. Some questions to keep in mind – Does their style meet your personal preferences? How are the reviews for their service and workmanship?
  • Shortlist and meet up with the IDs or contractors to discuss your plans and expectations.
  • Compare quotations, bearing in mind that the extent of work and materials used can make quite a difference in the costs.
  • Once you have set your mind on a particular ID or contractor, you would likely have to go through several rounds of discussion with them before arriving at the final design.

3 Weeks Before Key Collection – Shop for Fixtures and Fittings

Lighting, bathroom and kitchen fittings – all these items are essential for your new home, while adding character and unique details. Start shopping at around 3 weeks before key collection, to account for shipping and potential delays.

What you should be doing:

  • Look out for offers including group-buy promotions for new BTO flats.
  • If you are purchasing from an overseas supplier, check if the fitting is compatible for use in Singapore and suitable for the local climate
  • Be aware of the time it would take for the item to ship.

Where to buy:

  • Any e-commerce website (keep an eye out for sales!) or group-buys in your BTO group chats.
  • Alternatively, visit reputable brick-and-mortar stores to get instant feedback and recommendations from the staff.

Key Collection

Congratulations on collecting to keys to your new home! Be sure to read up on what you can expect during the key collection process, how to conduct defects inspection, and things to look out for in your new flat.

1 to 3 Months After Key Collection – Renovation

Upon obtaining approval from HDB, renovation should be completed within 3 months for new flats and 1 month for existing flats. This will minimise inconvenience and noise disturbances to your new neighbours, especially those who may be working from home or have young children at home. Read our guide on renovating your HDB flat to familiarise yourself with the steps involved!

Pro tips:

  • Your good and early planning should be paying off at this stage, but you should regularly check in on the works going on at your new flat, to ensure that your renovation can be completed on schedule.
  • Make sure that your renovation works are being done according to the agreed specifications and design, as well as HDB’s renovation guidelines. Identifying and rectifying any mistake early will definitely save you money, time and effort.
  • Maintaining friendly relations with your future neighbours is important for a healthy start to your home ownership journey. Be mindful of the noise disturbances to them, and remind your contractor to put up a notice outside your flat that indicates the start and end date of your renovation works. This will help your neighbours make arrangements to avoid the noise and dust during this time.
  • Inform your neighbours ahead of any noisy renovation works. This is also a great opportunity to get to know them!
  • Take active steps to reduce any noise disturbances. For instance, close the door of your flat during periods where loud noise from your renovation works could be generated.

We hope you found this guide useful. Happy planning and renovating!

  • Adrian Tan

    Tech junkie and in-house tech support. Built up his street cred over the years by recommending his colleagues who are facing IT-related issues to restart their computers.