Planning to renovate your new home now that you have just become a home owner? To help you get started on this massive project, here are some handy tips that you should note before you commence your renovation.

Engage an HDB-registered renovation contractor

Always check that the contractor you are using is listed in the Directory of Renovation Contractors on HDB’s website. These contractors are aware of HDB’s renovation guidelines, so you will have greater peace of mind in your renovation.

You might have lots of ideas for designing your dream home but bear in mind that they must not compromise the structural integrity of the building. So be sure to check if you need a permit for your renovation items.

Once you get the go-ahead from HDB for your renovations, remind your contractor to display the renovation permit outside your flat to keep your neighbours informed, until the renovation works are completed.For newly completed blocks, the renovations must be completed within 3 months from the date of the permit. For resale flats, the works must be completed within 1 month from the date of the permit.

It is also important to remember that noisy works such as demolition of walls, removal of wall/ floor finishes, cutting of tiles and heavy and excessive drilling works can only be carried out from 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays.

Restriction period for bathroom floors and walls

New BTO flats come with waterproofing membranes for the wall and floor tiles in the bathrooms and toilets. This helps to prevent water from seeping through the flooring into your neighbour’s flat below. You cannot replace the tiles within 3 years from the date that the block is completed.

However, you can overlay your preferred tiles over the existing floor tiles, or apply a slip-resistant laminate on the existing tiles to achieve the look you desire.

Demolition of walls

If you are planning to demolish or hack any walls in the flat, you need to first get approval from HDB. Once the permit is granted, keep an eye on the timeline. Your contractor must complete all hacking within 3 days.

Ferrolite Partition Walls

Some new flats are installed with eco-friendly Ferrolite Partition Walls which are typically used as partition walls for bedrooms. The walls comprise 2 concrete panels with a sound insulation core and are connected to the ceiling or beam using steel angle plates.

When mounting heavy objects on such walls, ensure your contractor uses the appropriate type of anchor bolt for adequate support. To avoid damaging the connecting angle plates, it is important not to drill holes within 200mm from the ceilings, or in the middle of the walls.

Use pre-packed cement screed

If you are screeding the floor of your new BTO flat, you will need to use pre-packed cement screed on the dry areas, such as living area and bedrooms. The pre-packed screed is blended to the required proportions at the factory, and requires minimal on-site preparation. This offers ahigher quality of finished work and less material waste. Also check that the floor level is not raised by more than 50mm after the screeding.

Let us know if you have other renovation tips to share at

  • Britina Tan

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