8 HDB Renovation Rules and Restrictions that Homeowners Need to Take Note of

  • Sep 5, 2022
  • 4517 views

Design: The Local INN.terior

New to HDB renovation? Hard to navigate through the complex labyrinth of rules and regulations? Not sure if you are running afoul from the authorities? To help you jumpstart your renovation journey, here is a quick guide on what you need to take note of.

#1. Only licensed contractors can be engaged

Types of works Contractors need to be listed in 
Home renovations  HDB Directory of Renovation Contractors (DRC)
Window works HDB Directory of Renovation Contractors (DRC)
Water service and sanitary works Public Utilities Board (PUB) Licensed Plumber list*
Check if appointed licensed plumber is currently debarred
Gas service works  Energy Market Authority (EMA) Licensed gas service worker list
Electrical Installation works Energy Market Authority (EMA) Licensed gas service worker list


* From 1 April 2018, only PUB licensed plumber will be allowed to install, fix and maintain plumbing systems for water service and sanitary works. A handymen (without PUB licence) can only be engaged for simple plumbing works.  

Design: Key Concept

#2. There are renovation restrictions placed on certain HDB blocks

Check on whether there are renovation restrictions placed on the HDB unit block which you intend to renovate.

Design: LS2 Design & Construction

#3. Special precincts such as DBSS flats have special renovation guidelines

Special precincts such as DBSS flats are built with unique designs and special features. Therefore, additional specific renovation guidelines pertaining to the precinct must be adhered to.

Design: Comfort Home Renovation

#4. Not all recess areas can be purchased

Check whether the space in front of your flat is eligible for purchase under the Sale of Recess Area Scheme and submit your application to purchase.

Design: Blend by ImC

#5. Utilities Account (water and electricity) for a new flat with SP Services Ltd must be applied first prior application for a renovation permit

You are required to open a Utilities Account (water and electricity) for a new flat with SP Services Ltd first, prior a renovation permit can be granted.

Design: E+e Design Pte Ltd

#6. HDB permit is required to install new 15 Amps power points for air-conditioners or other higher capacity equipment/appliances for older HDB blocks

If you have purchased an old resale flat, check your block's electrical loading before you apply for an electrical/air-conditioner installation permit. HDB blocks which have been completed on or after 1 Jan 1994 and blocks under the Main Upgrading Programme (MUP) are not required since they have provided with a 40 amp main switch. However, there is no need to apply for an HDB permit for installation of air-conditioners that use existing approved air-con points and other electrical works. Nevertheless, you still need to submit an application (using SP Services Ltd's Form CS/5H) to HDB. Thereafter, you may apply to SP Services Ltd to test the extensions.

Design: Studio Gold

#7. HDB permit is required for certain types of renovation works

Certain types of works can only be carried out with HDB's prior written approval and the approval is granted in the form of a permit. If a HDB permit is not obtained, HDB has the right to demand the flat to be reinstated to its original condition.

Areas  Renovation works to be carried out
Floor 


Replacement of floor finishes: Ceramic, Homogeneous, Terrazzo, Marble, Parquet/ timber and Other tiles Replacement of existing bathroom/ toilet floor finishes after first 3 years from the date of completion of the block.
Topping up of flooring using light weight screed/ block at balcony/ kitchen/ bathroom/ toilet
Walls Demolition of non-load bearing reinforced concrete (RC) elements, such as partition walls, party walls, stiffeners, lintols or hangers
Demolition (partial or complete) or alteration of internal non-structure lightweight partition walls, such as hollow block/ brick walls,  Drywalls or Ferrolite walls
Creation of opening in non-structural wall between two (2) flats Replacement of internal wall finishes up to ceiling level
Replacement of existing bathroom/ toilet wall finishes after first 3 years from the date of completion of the block<
Door Replacement of main entrance door and/ or frame along fire escape route (i.e. for door opening into passageways such as staircases, lift lobbies)
Repositioning of internal door entrances
Recess area All other renovation within sold recess area (e.g. installation/ replacement of grille/ gate/ door/ fixed awning/ roof/ windows/ floor and wall finishes, topping up of floor and demolition/ erection of non-load bearing walls, etc.)
Staircase Replacement of existing staircase balustrades/ railing in executive maisonettes where there is a vertical drop in level of 1m or more
Erection of safety barrier on internal staircase or wall facing void of executive maisonette where there is a vertical drop in level of 1m or more
Bathroom & Toilet Enlargement of bathroom/ toilet after first 3 years upon completion of block
Replacement of bathroom/ toilet vent
Awning Installation of awning at open-to-sky balconies of topmost unit
Installation of awning at open-to-sky balconies at intermediate floor units
Others Installation of all other types of fish tank or pond
Windows Installation/ replacement of window on parapet
Installation/ replacement of grilles at service yard/ balcony parapet (if any)

Design: PRDT Interiors

#8. HDB permit is only valid for a certain period of time

For new BTO flats, the approved renovations must be completed within 3 months and 1 month for resale flats. This is because to minimise inconvenience to your existing neighbours during the renovation period.

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