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6 Renovation Works That Need an HDB Permit to Be Carried Out

October 25, 2021

Floor hacking, main door replacement, and waterproofing works are some of the tasks that require HDB’s permission.

renovation permits regulations HDB

We’re sure that no law-abiding homeowner would want to flout HDB’s renovation rules, so it doesn’t hurt to have a clear idea of what’s allowed and what’s not before getting a contractor to do up your HDB flat. Take note of these 6 renovation works that require HDB’s permission to be carried out!

1. Removing floor finishes

renovation permits regulations HDB

If you’re thinking about hacking away the existing floor finishes in an HDB flat and replacing them with claddings of your own, you must apply for a permit. The only exception is vinyl, which can be overlaid over existing tiles without hacking.

Likewise, you’ll need a permit to raise the level of the floors in your kitchen, balcony, and bathrooms as incorrect works can result in unnecessary structural stress that’ll affect the integrity of your flat.

2. Demolishing of walls

renovation permits regulations HDB

Before hacking any wall in an HDB flat, you’ll need a permit from HDB certifying that the planned demolition works will not compromise the stability of the flat’s structure. Similarly, adding arches or rounded corners to any existing openings (i.e., doorways and passageway entrances) will require approval from HDB.

3. Replacing the main door

renovation permits regulations HDB

Typically, replacing the main door of your flat doesn’t require a permit from HDB, but if your unit is located along a fire escape route (i.e., facing a staircase or lift lobby), it’s a must to get one.

The same applies to internal doors – if you plan to change their location, you will need permission from HDB; this is to ensure that any hacking works will not result in structural damage.

4. Removing wall and/or floor finishes in a bathroom

renovation permits regulations HDB

Newly built BTO flats have a 3-year restriction period in place for the removal of bathroom wall and floor finishes, so until then you’ll only be able to change the look of your shower surfaces by overlaying them with tiles.

By the end of the 3-year period, you’ll still be required to seek HDB’s permission for future renovation works if they involve hacking existing tiles/water proofing layers.

5. Installing a new air conditioner unit (only for some resale flats)

renovation permits regulations HDB

If the compressor is going to be placed at a dedicated air-con ledge, owners of new BTO flats won’t need to seek HDB’s permission to install a new air conditioner.

On the other hand, those living in resale flats provided with a 30 Amps main switch will need an electrical permit if they intend to install a new air conditioner using a new 15- or 20-Amps isolator.

6. Changing and/or installing window grilles

renovation permits regulations HDB

Aside from ensuring that they comply with safety requirements, one reason an HDB permit is necessary for replacing/installing window grilles is to ensure that the new fixtures don’t deviate too much in design (read: shape and colour) from those of your neighbours’ flats.

Also, take note that only BCA-approved contractors registered with HDB are allowed to conduct window installation and replacement works!

Renovation works that DON’T require HDB’s permission

We could go into further detail about various renovation works that don’t require an HDB permit, but we recommend looking at this nifty graphic from MyNiceHome instead:

renovation permits regulations HDB

This article was adapted from MyNiceHome, HDB’s official website for all things related to home buying and renovation in Singapore. Check out the original article here!

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