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HDB Rules You May Overlook

Renovating your BTO or resale HDB unit? Here are some important HDB regulations that you need to observe before and during your renovations:

  • Certain types of renovation need a permit from HDB before work is to be carried out: Examples include hacking of walls and installation of windows. Failure to obtain the permit will mean that the work is unauthorised and HDB is entitled to require the owner to reinstate the premises to its original condition. Before installation or commencement of work, you should be given a form to fill out to apply for the permit. Check out the list of permits that you’re required to apply for here.
  • Some types of renovation are not allowed for a few reasons e.g. certain work may affect the integrity and safety of the building: Examples of work not allowed include plastering of ceilings and repositioning or enlarging the bin chute opening. A more comprehensive list can be found here.
  • There is a 3-year restriction period on the removal of toilet walls and floor finishes, which will commence from the completion date of the block: you can, however, lay new toilet floor finishes over the existing ones using adhesives.
  • Only BCA approved installers are allowed to carry out installation of windows and air-conditioners: You can view the respective lists here (window installers) and here (air-conditioners).
  • If your block has not been provided with higher electrical loading, you’ll need to apply for a permit before commencing with electrical works or air-conditioner installation: Renovating a resale flat or unit, but not sure of its electrical loading? Then check it online here before commencement of any work. Read more about it here.
  • Take note of renovation guidelines for DBSS flats: Depending on the site of your DBSS flat, there are various guidelines for you to follow. Check them out here.
  • Installation of grilles in BTO flats must follow pre-approved designs: Find out what designs you can install here.




The renovation process is more than just sourcing for the right ID/contractor, furniture or accessories; you also need to take note of the various HDB regulations. Be sure to do your homework before starting any major work in your home!

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