All ready to renovate your flat? Before you get started, familiarise yourself with these steps to enjoy a smooth and hassle-free process. Here are the top 8 things that you need to know!

1.  Engage a Contractor listed in the Directory of Renovation Contractors

When engaging a renovation contractor, it is important to engage only those listed in the Directory of Renovation Contractors. This also applies to renovations which do not require HDB’s prior approval.

The Directory of Renovation Contractors lists contractors who are familiar with HDB’s renovation rules and requirements which are in place to protect the structural integrity of the building. You can view the Directory of Renovation Contractors on HDB InfoWEB, or via the Mobile@HDB app.

That said, HDB does not endorse or guarantee the quality of the renovations. The contractors will be fully responsible for the contractual responsibilities towards you, their client, including workmanship.

2. Submit a Renovation Application

You and your renovation contractor must obtain HDB’s prior approval before starting any demolishing and/ or hacking of walls, whether partially or fully. This mandatory requirement protects residents’ safety, as unauthorised demolishing and/ or hacking of walls may affect the structural integrity of the building.

For renovations works that require HDB’s prior approval, ensure that your renovation contractor submits an online renovation application to HDB together with the acknowledgement form signed by you, the flat owner, before commencing work.

You will receive a Short Message Service (SMS) notification upon the submission of the renovation application by your renovation contractor. To view the status of your renovation permit application, log in to My HDBPage (My Flat > Purchased Flat > Renovation) on HDB InfoWEB.

Learn more about HDB renovation permits here. You can also read up on guidelines and important information for works that can be done in your flat on the HDB InfoWEB.

3. Contact Other Agencies on Related Works

During the renovation process, you will most likely require other services such as air-conditioner installation.

If you plan to mount your air-conditioner on the exterior of your flat, or if any part of the air-conditioner will project from your flat, you must engage a BCA-trained air-conditioner installer. Once the air conditioning unit has been installed, you will also need to email the installation report to the HDB Branch managing your flat.

Check out the list of other works below to find out if a licensed worker/ contractor is required:

4. Keep Renovations to Permitted Hours

Noise from renovation works can be disruptive to your neighbours, especially those who have young children, or are working from home. We can maintain harmonious relations with our neighbours by adhering to the following:

  • Inform your neighbours staying within a radius of 2 units at least 3 days in advance before renovations begin. Do remind your contractor to put up the Notice of Renovation outside your flat early and throughout the renovation period.
  • Only carry out renovation work between the stipulated timings below.
  • Should you be carrying out DIY (Do-It-Yourself) works, do limit it between 7:00am and 10:30pm, and keep noise to a minimum with the tips below.
  •  When possible, close the main door of your flat while works are ongoing, to help reduce noise disturbance to your neighbours and do remember to inform them in advance of any works that may generate noise.

5. Manage Payment and Any Renovations Dispute

The renovation contract between flat owners and their contractors is a private one, and not regulated by any government agency.  If there are disputes over the renovation such as pricing, costs, work schedule, type or quality of renovations, these should be resolved between both parties.

If you are facing challenges with settling the matter amicably, both parties may approach the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), Singapore Mediation Centre or the Small Claims Tribunals for assistance or seek legal redress.

6. Use the Lifts Properly

Renovating and moving into your new home is an exciting time for all home owners! However, it can also be hectic, dusty, and noisy. Movers and contractors carrying bulky items will be a common sight, and lifts may take a slightly longer time to arrive.

Do your part by telling your contractors or vendors not to jam the lift doors when moving materials and furniture as this can damage the lifts, causing inconvenience and delay to other lift users.

7. Keep your Neighbourhood Clean

Unwanted items such as packing materials and renovation debris discarded around your estate can potentially create safety and health hazards, and will mar the image of your estate.

Do remind your delivery persons, movers and contractors to dispose of renovation debris and unwanted items properly by carting them to disposal sites. They should not wash or flush debris into the sewage system or dispose of bulky items into the refuse chute, as this could cause damage and inconvenience you and your neighbours.

You may report instances of lift misuse and dumping of debris in the common areas via the OneService website or app.

8. Care for Your Home Regularly

Finally, it’s important to carry out regular checks on the fittings and fixtures in your home. This can help you spot areas that require attention before they become serious and save you money on major repairs.

Read more useful maintenance tips on MyNiceHome or the HDB InfoWEB.

With these key tips in mind, renovating and maintaining your flat can be pleasant and stress-free. Posting photos of your newly renovated home on Instagram? Tag us @singaporeHDB – we would love to feature it!

To help you settle into your new home, do read our other guides on the Features in Your New BTO Flat and Creating a Friendlier and Livelier Neighbourhood.

  • Kay Liao

    Resident sysadmin and brand guardian. Passionate about research and font size consistency. Collects languages, ceramics and house plants in her spare time.