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You are responsible for the renovations in your flat and have to ensure that your contractor carries out all works in line with HDB guidelines. The Housing & Development (Renovation Control) Rules 2006 require that you only engage contractors from the Directory of Renovation Contractors to carry out renovations in your flat.
The following offences, upon conviction, can lead to a fine of up to $5,000 and other penalties:
Did not engage a contractor from the Directory of Renovation Contractor to carry out the renovations and/ or breach HDB's renovation rules/ guidelines.
Contractor from the Directory of Renovation Contractors
Breach HDB's renovation rules/ guidelines
Contractor not listed in the Directory of Renovation Contractors
Carry out renovations or hold himself out as a contractor from the Directory of Renovation Contractors
The Housing & Development (Composition of Offences) Rules allow HDB to compound offences committed under the Housing & Development Rules. If the offenders fail to pay the composition sum, they will be prosecuted in Court.
You or your renovation contractor should:
Pre-packed screed is to be used for the laying of floor finishes in your HDB flat, while pre-packed plaster is to be used for wall finishes.
Pre-packed material (e.g. screed, plaster, etc.) is pre-blended to the required proportions at the factory, and ready to be used on site after adding water. This method saves time and improves productivity. It is also cleaner, since workers need not prepare additional materials on site.
Any renovation works you have planned for must be completed within 1 month for existing blocks and 3 months for newly completed blocks, from the date the renovation permit is granted. Please immediately inform the HDB Branch managing your flat immediately once your renovations are completed.
When engaging a renovation contractor, you should discuss matters like pricing, work schedule, and quality to reach a clear understanding. If you are dissatisfied with the work delivered, and both parties cannot resolve it satisfactorily, you may seek the assistance of CASE or the Small Claims Tribunals. Alternatively, you may seek remedy through court proceedings.
You may refer to CASE’s Consumer Guides for some tips when looking for a contractor.
You can read up more about crime prevention from the Singapore Police Force and National Crime Prevention Council.
In the event that HDB or the managing Town Council carries out any repair to your flat, you shall remove any renovation works and/ or fittings/ fixtures, to facilitate the repair work and reinstate them if necessary at your own expense.
HDB regulates the types of renovations carried out in HDB flats. Some require a permit from HDB, while others do not. You should take time to read through our renovation guidelines before you start your renovation.
Some renovations are not allowed because they:
The general and technical terms and conditions apply to renovation carried out in HDB flats.
A waterproofing membrane is laid on the cement screed before laying floor finishes in toilets. This prevents water from leaking through the floors into the ceiling of the flat immediately below. The toilet floor and wall finishes provided by HDB/ developer must not be replaced for a period of 3 years from the completion date of the block for this reason. You can, however, lay new toilet floor finishes over the existing floor finishes using adhesives.
The terms and conditions provided are intended to be followed as technical requirements for the various renovation work types listed here.
Some new flats are installed with Ferrolite Partition Walls, which are more eco-friendly and typically used as partition walls for bedrooms. The walls comprise 2 concrete panels with a sound insulation core and are connected to the ceiling or beam using steel angle plates. Any renovation that requires removal and hacking of such walls must be carried out by contractor from the Directory of Renovation Contractors and with HDB’s prior approval.
Ferrolite Partition Walls can withstand up to a maximum of 50kg load per bolt, depending on the type of anchor bolts used. You and your contractor must ensure that the appropriate type of anchor bolt is used when installing heavy objects such as wall mounted cupboards or cabinets. The overall length for any bolts used for installation should not exceed 50mm. Adequate support must be provided if the load is heavier than 50kg. Take care not to damage any concealed electrical cables when drilling into the wall.
Note that the minimum spacing for bolts installation should not deviate from the manufacturer’s requirement. The method of installation for the fixture should be as stated in the Manufacturer’s Specifications and Guidelines:
Recommended Types of Anchor Bolts
Maximum Load (Per Bolt)
Steel cavity anchor
M10 galvanised anchor rod with compatible Mesh sleeves and injection mortar
It is important not to drill holes within 200mm vertically below ceilings or beams (Strip A) when drilling into walls. This will avoid damaging the connecting angle plates. Care should also be taken when drilling within 200mm of the strip in the middle of the wall (Strip B) to prevent damaging the connecting steel plates. See the following figure for details:
It important not to use excessive force when drilling into Ferrolite Partition Walls because of the sound insulation core. The drill penetration depth must be limited to about 22mm. See the following figure for details:
For flats with concealed electrical wiring originally provided by HDB, please refer to our sketch (PDF, 707KB) before carrying drilling into the walls with concealed electrical wiring.
In the event of a written demand by HDB or the transfer of interest in the flat by the flat owner, the owner should reinstate the party wall between the flats to the original position within 1 month from the date of the letter of demand or before the completion of the transfer of the flat, whichever is earlier. The cost of the wall construction will have to be borne by the flat owner.
Only BCA Approved window contractors listed with HDB can carry out installation/ replacement of windows in HDB flats, as of 1 October 2004. You and your contractor need to comply with the minimum safety requirement when carrying out installation/ replacement of windows in HDB flats.
You are responsible for:
You will have to rectify the defect at your expense, if there are leakages in the walls after modification.
From 1 June 2018, all new homes and existing homes which undergo fire safety works will be required to install a Home Fire Alarm Device (HFAD). Under this new requirement in the Fire Code, HFADs installed should be automatic smoke detectors. A HFAD will give occupants early warning in the event of a fire, so that they can take the necessary action to extinguish the fire or evacuate safely before the fire escalates.
The installation of HFADs is mandatory for all renovations with fire safety works. The types of fire safety works includes:
a) Replacement of fire rated main door,
b) Renovation and enclosing of recess area, and
c) Enclosing of interaction balcony within an atrium (Lodgement to FSSD is currently required by PE/QP).
Even though the installation of HFADs is not mandatory for other existing home owners, SCDF strongly encourages them to install HFADs to improve fire safety in their homes. For more information on HFADs, you may wish to refer to SCDF’s website at https://www.scdf.gov.sg/HFAD.
If you wish to change ownership of your flat without a sale (i.e. without monetary consideration), find out more about the types of ownership changes and the eligibility conditions.