The HDB renovation guidelines have been put together to maintain the structural integrity and overall visual cohesiveness of the building. You have a lot of freedom when it comes to interior decorative work like choosing the right paints and textures. Other aspects of the renovation, however, cannot be carried out in any way you deem appropriate.
You’re not allowed to overload the building structure through the addition of heavy stone flooring or a massive bathtub, for example. You also have to check the building plan to determine which walls can be modified or demolished and which ones have to remain as they are.
In addition, you can’t demolish columns or structural beams – these are also needed to maintain the integrity of the entire construction.
The HDB also regulates the raising of floors inside flats, building façade modifications and extensions into void areas.
Other kinds of renovation work are permissible only if you obtain a permit before getting started.
If you don’t know what kinds of permits will be required for your renovation, talk to an HDB-licensed Singapore home interior design company. Interior design professionals know how the Housing and Development Board approaches extensive renovation and which ones necessitate preliminary approval.
Generally, you will need a permit for wall demolition (when it comes to internal, non-structural walls), floor replacement, bathroom expansion and changing of the floor level. You can also reposition internal doors and install water-based features after you get an HDB permit.
Keep in mind that for brand new HDB flats, you will have to observe a waiting period before getting started with more extensive renovations.
Currently, the waiting period is three years for modifications to the bathroom. This period is set to ensure waterproofing and prevent water leaks immediately after the building has been completed and in the first years after residents move in.
In essence, these re the major aspects of the home renovation that the HDB controls. As you see, the list is quite extensive and it has resulted in massive criticism from both home owners and renovation professionals.