Where To Find Legit HDB Contractors and HDB Rules For Renovation
For new homeowners, renovation tips and advice are usually found by reading online tips, magazines or given from friends. When it comes to advise on hdb renovation contractors; friends are usually the ones to pass on the contact of contractors they have worked with. But what if you do not have any reliable leads to a good renovation contractor or interior designer (also known as IDs)?
Getting HDB approved renovation contractors
First of all, it is important to be aware of renovation scams. In recent times, there have been numerous scams, including renovation scams looking to make a quick buck out of gullible homeowners.
When you are searching for a hdb renovation contractor, ensure the company is a legit one. HDB has a list of approved contractors while for interior designers, check that they are CaseTrust accredited.
You can check if your contractor is HDB approved. It is important because HDB contractors are aware of the dos and don’ts when it comes to HDB renovation and they can advise you on HDB compliance.
How to find legit IDs?
Renovation scams usually occur when you are looking to engage an ID. There have been cases of ID firms taking homeowners’ deposits and then disappearing.
CaseTrust-accredited ID firms are required to protect their customers’ deposit payments through the purchase of a deposit performance bond. This is to ensure that you do not lose your deposit in the scenario where the ID company folds.
Firms who are CaseTrust-accredited also need to make sure they have cost transparency, accountability and good business practices. They also need to have well-documented dispute resolution methods and clear policies on fees and refunds.
Despite the fact that you are able to choose from a list of CaseTrust accredited ID firms, the list is nevertheless very long. Fortunately, you are able to check our platform to get recommendations and free quotes.
HDB renovation rules
You may already know, if you are new HDB flat owner, that there are certain rules and compliance to follow when it comes to renovating your HDB flat. If you are looking to hack away walls, especially to make your bedroom larger or to create a walk-in closet, you need to submit all your plans to HDB for approval before hacking.
Your floor plan usually shows walls, columns and beams (shaded in solid black or grey) that cannot be removed – these are usually loaded bearing walls, otherwise they hide important wiring and pipping and cannot be tampered with.
Also, if yours is a BTO flat, take note that the bathroom floor and walls cannot be changed for 3 years. The reason is that they are coated with a waterproof membrane to prevent water from seeping to the unit below. But you can choose to lay over the existing flooring with slip-resistant laminate or with new tiles.
One common feature of an HDB flat is the bomb shelter which most may find is an eyesore or want to hack it away because it takes up precious space. But there are rules pertaining to the bomb shelter and you are not allowed to change such as:
- Modifying or removing the door
- Laying tiles or skirting over its existing floor tiles
- Install anything that requires power tools on the interior walls
- Cover or remove the notice pasted on the door
- Hack on the external walls of the shelter to mount panels or lay tiles
- Lay tiles, spray wall finishing such as cement sand finishing or put wall plaster on the interior walls
There are restrictions on removing or tampering with the safety railings or grilles installed by HDB. Also, HDB front doors are fire-rated to keep fire and smoke contained within the unit so they do not spread outside. You can change your HDB front door but you have to ensure that it is fire-rated.
You are also able to replace HDB installed windows, but full height, ¾ height and bay windows cannot be replaced. Windows facing the common corridor cannot be opened outwards. For balconies with a sliding door, they cannot be removed because windows are not allowed.
Last but not least, you have to take note of renovation timings. Renovation work cannot be done before 9am and after 6pm on weekdays and Saturdays. It also cannot be done on Sundays and public holidays and disallowed past 3 months from the date of HDB permit.
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