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1. Hacking or Erecting Walls

As a general rule, for any construction, demolition or alteration of non-load bearing walls, you will have to seek approval from the HDB. The existing reinforced concrete structures must be left as they are. If you are carrying out your own renovation works, be sure to get a government-approved professional engineer to supervise the works. In engaging the professional engineer, you will also need to prepare a copy of the approved plan and the conditions of approval.

Take note of one extra thing if you are planning to erect a divider wall to create an additional room. The HDB requires that every room have a direct fire escape route, as well as adequate natural lighting and ventilation if the room will be lived in, such as a bedroom or a study room. As such, ensure that the divider wall still allows for these things on both sides of the wall.


2. False Ceilings

False ceilings can be constructed without the need to seek approval from the HDB. However, the material of false ceilings is restricted to non-combustible materials, and the nails fastening them must be 6mm in diameter and penetrate no deeper than 40mm. There also needs to be a height of at least 2.4m between the finished floor level and the false ceiling. False ceilings are not allowed to cover the gas pipes in kitchens, and they are not allowed at all in bathrooms.


3. Bomb Shelters

Bomb shelters, or household shelters, come fitted with steel doors and reinforced walls, floors and ceilings to serve as a safe shelter in the event of an emergency. As such, they cannot be subject to most renovation works, including hacking of the bomb shelter walls or tampering of the walls, floor slab, ceiling or door. Naturally, the HDB mandates that one is not permitted to install permanent finishes or fixtures, or otherwise ones that cannot be removed easily in an emergency, anywhere in the shelter.

Homeowners are not allowed to paint over the door notice, locking bolts or door seal because these are crucial to utilising the bomb shelter if needed. The door notice contains information on using the shelter.


Must-Knows for BTO Renovation in Singapore

Few endeavours are more exciting than renovating your very own new unit. However, before you start planning anything, hold up and familiarise yourself with these must-know pointers. BTO renovation in Singapore comes with a number of regulations that all homeowners must strictly follow, lest they incur a fine that can go up to $5,000. These rules may seem stringent, but they are in place to ensure that the building is not supporting any additional extensions it was not meant to, and that the structural integrity of the building remains sound. Considering the steep fine and additional costs you would have to bear for removing the unauthorised installation, it definitely pays to be 100% sure that all of your renovations fall under the BTO regulations.Type your paragraph here.

While you can paint the steel door of the bomb shelter, it is advisable to remove the previous coat of paint before applying the new paint, in case the added layer of paint contributes to difficulties opening or closing the door. You are also able to cover up to 75% of the ventilation grill with a removable fixture.Bomb shelters may seem otherwise non-functional outside of an emergency, but be sure not to use them as mere storage spaces. Installing or placing obstructing fixtures in the shelter is not recommended as they will be difficult to be removed if the shelter ever needs to be utilised. 

4. Bathroom Renovations

The existing walls and floor finishes in bathrooms come with waterproof membranes that prevent leakage to neighbouring units, so there is a three-year restriction period for removing these walls and floor finishes in a new BTO. However, what you can do is to layer new tiles over the existing tiles.

While the size of the bathroom can be expanded for those who desire more space, it is capped at a maximum increase of 0.6 square metres.

5. Windows

Note that the full height windows, ¾ height windows and bay windows cannot be replaced. If they require replacement due to damages, homeowners will have to get approval from the HDB before replacing them. The process requires a contractor approved by the Building and Construction Authority.

As the best renovation company in Singapore, we pride ourselves on knowing the ins and outs of HDB and BTO renovation in Singapore. Our team of renovation experts has helped hundreds of satisfied customers achieve their dream homes, and we can do the same for you too. When you trust us to handle the renovation for you, rest assured that our specialists know exactly what they are doing and will adhere strictly to the BTO renovation regulations. Your ideal home is just a call away!