As a first-time home owner, you may have many questions about renovating your new flat. You’re not alone! We’ve rounded up questions most asked by other BTO flat buyers so that you are well-prepared when starting on your home renovation journey.

Click on the hyperlinks to navigate to the various sections:


Floor Plan

Q: How do I read the floor plan of my HDB flat?

We’ve got this handy guide for you, so you can read your floor plan like a pro!

Q: How do I know if my flat has an open-concept kitchen?

HDB no longer provides a kitchen wall for new BTO flats i.e. kitchens are open concept by default, unless the layout does not permit it.

For earlier BTO projects where the kitchen wall was optional for flat buyers, the wall is indicated in dotted lines on your floor plan.

Q: What is the height of my flat from floor to ceiling?

The height of BTO flats is typically between 2575 to 2600mm, with some exceptions such as first floor or top floor units.

Q: Can I hack walls in my flat built using Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC)?

Structural walls are marked out in your flat’s floor plan. Walls that are shaded in black, structural columns and all beams/ slabs cannot be hacked or tampered with.

It may be possible to hack the non-structural walls of your PPVC flat. Nonetheless, regardless whether your flat is a PPVC unit or not, you must obtain a renovation permit for your renovation works where required, including the demolition or alteration of all types of walls and structures.


BTO Flat Features & Fittings

Q: What features and fittings does my BTO flat come with?

You may read this guide to learn more about the features of your new BTO flat, from drywalls to the clothes drying rack, and how to maintain them.

Home owners who booked their flats from the February 2019 sales exercise can also look forward to modern high-quality fittings, such as a sleek main gate and door, and larger glazed porcelain tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms. These quality HDB fittings can help you achieve a more modern aesthetic in your home.

Q: Is the flooring that HDB provides durable?

All new BTO flats come with durable and quality fittings including tiles or vinyl flooring. To maintain your flooring and keep it in good condition, simply sweep or clean with a slightly damp mop daily. Avoid using abrasive cleaning aids or detergents that contain acid or bleaching compounds.


Optional Component Scheme (OCS)

Q: What are the items under the Optional Component Scheme (OCS)?

You may refer to the list of items on our HDB InfoWEB at go.gov.sg/hdb-booking-flat-ocs.

Q: If I did not opt for the items under the OCS when I booked the flat, can I still do it now?

If you did not opt for the OCS items when you booked the flat, you would not be able to do so at a later stage. This is because the contractor would have already ordered and/ or installed the required quantity of finishes and fittings.

Q: I cannot recall what I had opted for under the OCS. How can I check that now?

You can refer to the OCS Option Form that was given to you when you booked the flat. If you have misplaced the form, you can contact us at go.gov.sg/hdb-efeedback-form for assistance.


Doors, Gate and Windows

Q: What is the height of the windows in my flat? What are the types of windows provided in my flat?

You may refer to the block plans in the sales brochure for your BTO flat, which provide the general description and specifications of the windows, including their height.

Q: Am I able to change the windows of my flat, and are there additional costs for the process?

For window-related works, do check out the renovation guidelines specific to your BTO precinct. Generally, the windows you choose will have to be similar to the original HDB windows to maintain a unified façade. Do note that all window works must be carried out by a BCA Approved Window Contractor.

Q: Am I allowed to change the gate of my BTO flat?

Yes, it is possible – but do read up on the guidelines and conditions before choosing a new gate. For example, the gate swing must not obstruct public escape. There are also requirements for gate width, and the number of panels.


Kitchen, Service Yard and Bathrooms

Q: Am I allowed to conceal the pipes in the service yard?

Yes, you can, but remember to provide a minimum removable access opening of 600mm x 600mm, to allow for inspection and maintenance. To prevent leakages, the floor slab and wall must not be tampered with.

Q: Can I opt out of the floor and wall finishes for the bathrooms?

Floor and wall finishes are provided in newly-built BTO flats to protect the waterproofing membrane. Home owners must not remove or replace the tiles for wet areas such as the bathrooms for a period of 3 years. Any tampering of the floor and wall finishes during this period will void the warranty.

Q: Can I opt out of the water closet (WC) for the bathrooms?

The installation of Water Closets (WCs) enables HDB to carry out a mandatory low-pressure air test to verify that the entire sanitary system, including the sanitary appliances, is airtight and sewer odours will not be emitted into the flat. This low-pressure air test is a requirement by PUB for BTO projects to obtain the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) for completion, and provides quality assurance to flat owners. Flat owners who choose to replace their WCs will need to engage a licensed plumber to carry out the installation, to ensure that the fitting is done properly and airtight. 

Q: Am I allowed to change the WC and basin in the bathrooms? Can the WC and basin be shifted within the bathrooms?

Yes, it is possible to switch the WC and basin in your flat’s bathrooms, as long as the existing floor slabs are not tampered with. The WC and basin will need to remain connected to the existing sanitary pipes provided. Do ensure that you engage a PUB Licensed Plumber to carry out water and sanitary plumbing works!

Q: Can I hack my bathroom door frame? Will the waterproofing be affected?

Yes, you can, as long as the door is not part of a structural wall. After removing the door frame, your contractor must apply a layer of waterproofing membrane to the affected area on the floor.

Q: Where is the location of the floor trap in the kitchen?

The floor trap is located near the intended position for the kitchen sink.


Electrical, Plumbing and Gas

Q: Where can I get a copy of my flat’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing plans?

You can find the electrical and piping plans for your new BTO flat in the distribution board (DB) box within the home. You may retrieve the plans after collecting the keys to your flat.

Q: Is my flat is fibre-ready? Where are the fibre optic points located in my flat?

All BTO flats are fibre-ready. Fibre points are located in all the rooms in your unit, together with the TV points.

Q: How many data points and power/ electrical points are provided in my flat? Where are they located?

One data point is provided in each room including the living room. The number of power points would depend on your flat type.

Q: Can I change the location of power points in my flat that are on structural walls?

You will not be able to change the location of power points on structural walls. Structural walls cannot be hacked or tampered with, to ensure that the structural integrity of the building is not compromised. Consider changing the power points on your non-structural walls instead!

Q: Are there gas pipes installed in my flat?

Yes, all BTO flats are installed with gas pipes.


For a hassle-free renovation journey, make sure to check out these articles too:

  • Kay Liao

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

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