First time home owners might not know of the rules and regulations by the Housing Development Board while renovating their flats. As homeowners have exciting ideas on how they would want the final outcome of their flats to be, they gotta bear in mind that there are rules not to be broken.
It's the responsibility of professional firms like us to ensure that all the renovation activities are on the right side of the law. Here are the 5 renovation rules that might or might not interfere with your desired home design ideas.
1. Allowed time frame
Renovations are allowed to be carried out on weekdays and Saturdays, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. For heavier renovation works that involve demolishing of walls, removing of large debris, cutting of tiles , heavy and excessive drilling these activities are only allowed to be done on weekdays, from 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Strictly no renovation can be done on public holidays.
These restrictions are in place to ensure that your neighbors from surrounding units and blocks get ample rest time when they are at home. Think about when you were woken up by renovation noise. Oh boy.
2. Renovation permit
For any demolition or hacking works which involve walls (be it partial or complete), can only be carried out after the HDB's written approval. Often, the renovation contractor will submit an electronic application to HDB on your behalf as part of the scope in the renovation package.
The renovation contractor will also prepare a renovation notice paper that states the period of renovation and the person in charge contact details. You would probably have seen this while waiting for lift at your HDB block as the renovation notice has to be prominently displayed during the renovation period.
3. Work that require permit
HDB has permits for pretty much everything, from activities that gotta do with floorings, walls, doors and even windows so it is important to be mindful of these before you go into the actual renovation phase.
For example, if you want to replace the existing tiles, you need to be granted a permit from HDB as there are guidelines on the type of floor finishes. Even if you do not want to go through this trouble and just choose to top up the flooring with tiles, another type of permit needs to be in place as well since there are guidelines to follow on the required height between the floor level and windows.
Most popular home design ideas involve hacking of walls, so permit is compulsory regardless of full or partial hacking work. Most important thing to note is to be mindful of structural walls as hacking is strictly not allowed.
4. Work that does not require permit
On a good note, you will be surprised that popular design requests like built in bathtubs or platforms do not require permits but more of to follow its renovation guidelines.
To have a bathtub, you just have to make sure that its weight alone cannot be more than 150 kg and flooring should not be raised or reduced in order to fit the bathtub.
5. Engage the professional
It is compulsory for homeowners to engage renovation professionals from the DRC list that is published on the HDB website. These companies are authorised and were given applicable licenses to carry out HDB renovations.
Engaging a company from this list would also minimize your risk as it has been prequalified by HDB by meeting its strict requirements in terms of minimum experience, track record and profitability, etc.