Applying for Approval

You need to engage a contractor listed in the Directory of Renovation Contractors (DRC) for all renovations in your flat. Other types of works that require you to engage an appropriately licensed person include:

Water service and sanitary works Have to engage a Public Utilities Board (PUB) Licensed Plumber
Gas service works Have to engage an Energy Market Authority (EMA) Licensed gas service worker
Windows Building Construction Authority (BCA)'s approved window contractor listed with HDB
Electrical Installation Electrical worker licensed by the Energy Market Authority (EMA)

 * From 1 April 2018, only PUB licensed plumber will be allowed to install, fix and maintain plumbing systems for water service and sanitary works. You can engage a handymen (without PUB licence) for simple plumbing works. For more information, please refer to PUB website.



General renovation

Find out about our general renovation guidelines, including applying for permits and engaging contractors listed in the Directory of Renovation Contractors.

Some types of renovation, such as those outlined in the guidelines for building and sanitary work, require a permit from HDB. You should only commence your renovation after obtaining the permit for these works. If the renovations do not require a permit, you would still need to comply with the set guidelines for the work otherwise they will be considered as unauthorised work.

HDB will require you to discontinue, correct, or remove such unauthorised work and reinstate your flat to its original condition. If the work is allowed to be retained, you will have to pay an administrative fee.

You need to authorise your renovation contractor to submit an electronic renovation application on your behalf. Your contractor is required to attach a copy of the acknowledgement form duly signed by you during the submission of the renovation application. An SMS notification will be sent to you once we receive the submission.

Login to My HDBPage under ‘My Flat > Purchased Flat > Renovation', to view your renovation permit once it has been granted.

Scanning of layout plans, elevations, sections or details of the proposed work may need to be submitted, if your renovations involve the removal or repositioning of fittings, demolition or construction of walls. Use the Purchase of Residential Floor Plan e-Service to purchase floor plans for your flat. Alternatively, you can approach the ‘Sale of Architectural Plan’ counter, at the 3rd storey atrium of HDB Hub (next to Payment Counter).

Electrical work and air-conditioner installation

Engage an EMA licenced electrical worker for all electrical work and a BCA trained air-conditioner installer for air-conditioners.

Certain types of electrical work require a permit from us before they can be carried out, such as those outlined in the guidelines for electrical work. For those electrical works that do not require a permit, you would still need to comply with the stipulated guidelines/ conditions when carrying out the works. If the works are found carried out without complying to the guidelines, they will be treated as unauthorised works.

If you are planning to install air-conditioner in your flat, you are advised to check the guidelines for air-conditioner installation works before proceeding with the installation works.

Your Licenced Electrical Worker (LEW) can apply for the permit using the Electrical Loading of Your HDB Block e-Service. Do note that you can only proceed with your electrical works and/ or air-conditioner installation works after obtaining the necessary permit. 

Work that requires a Qualified Person (QP)

Certain renovations require you to engage a Qualified Person (QP) to certify/ supervise the work in your flat. Refer to the Professional Engineers (PE) Board website for the list of QP.

Replacement of safety barrier

Some HDB flats have safety barriers (such as railings, lower panel of full or 3/4 height windows, wall facing void). These barriers are installed for the safety of residents and are designed to withstand horizontal loading as prescribed in British Standard (BS) 6399: Part 1 - Loading for buildings.

You are strictly not allowed to remove these barriers unless they are damaged. These are the steps you need to take:

  • Before any barrier replacement is carried out, engage a QP* to submit an application to BCA for approval using CORENET. This is a requirement under the Building Control Regulations 
  • You must also seek your Town Council's permission to replace external safety railings/ lower fixed panel of full or 3/4 height windows
  • HDB will only grant the renovation permit after you have obtained approval from BCA and the Town Council where applicable
  • The replacement works can only be carried out by a renovation contractor or BCA Approved window contractor listed in DRC (with at least a Class 2 General Builder's Licence).

For more information on Builder's Licensing, you can call BCA's Contractor Registration at: 1800-342-5222.

*The fees to engage a QP for BCA’s approval using CORENET is about $2,000. You will have to negotiate the fees with the QPs on a private basis. HDB is not privy to this engagement.

Demolition of non-load bearing reinforced concrete (RC) elements (E.g. stiffeners, lintols and hangers etc.)

Engaging a QP to inspect and supervise the demolition works will help to ensure that no load bearing RC structural elements (e.g. columns, beams, slabs and walls) are damaged in demolition process. We will let you and your renovation contractor know about the need to engage a QP for demolition works once we receive your renovation application.


  • The list here of works requiring the engagement of a QP is not exhaustive
  • You and your renovation contractor will be informed if your proposed renovation requires the engagement of a QP

Enclosure of Interaction Balcony (E.g. Installation of windows, awnings)

Some HDB flats come with interaction balcony. Flat owners who intend to enclose the interaction balcony with windows and/or awnings are required to note the following requirements:

  • You are required to engage a Qualified Person (QP) or Professional Engineer (PE) for Civil or Structural works to submit a building plan to SCDF for approval. Do note that this is a requirement under SCDF's Fire Safety Regulations
  • HDB will proceed to grant the renovation permit after SCDF's approval is obtained

You can refer to SCDF's website for more information. The list of QP and PE is also avaliable in SCDF's website.

Purchase of floor plan

HDB will have to conduct an evaluation for certain types of renovations such as demolition of walls. Renovation contractors are to submit to HDB, the flat’s floor plan showing the proposed work, together with the electronic application for renovations.

You can use the floor plan of your flat given to you in the Sales Brochure during the flat selection.

Otherwise, you will have to buy a copy of the floor plan at $5 through:

Charges for debris removal services

Your Town Council may provide this service.

You or your appointed contractor from the Directory of Renovation Contractors (DRC) can check with your Town Council if they provide debris removal services for renovation of newly completed HDB flats. Do also enquire about the charges imposed for these services.