Chat icon

Home And Living | 8 Things You Need To Know Before Starting Your BTO Renovation

8 Things You Need To Know Before Starting Your BTO Renovation

HDB guidelines and procedures to be aware of before starting your BTO renovation

Blog author image

By Shirley Yam |    January 04 2018

/ 2
"No matter if you are counting down to the dates to receiving your BTO keys or have already received your keys, this is a post you must absolutely read. "

Image credit: Shirley Yam

/ 2
"Once you are familiar with the HDB guidelines and procedures, it's time to whack and hack your BTO into your home-sweet-home."

Image credit: Shirley Yam

After months of waiting, you are finally getting the keys to your first house. Perhaps, you have not received your keys but are already planning ahead. No matter which it is, you should prepare yourself because the next time step can either be your most fulfilling project or the most tedious nightmare. It all depends on how prepared you are it: for your the BTO renovation.


The first few things you need to know are the HDB guidelines and procedures regulating your renovation. So I thought I’d try it easier for you by compiling them together:


#1: Your Contractors And Interior Designers Need To Be HDB-Approved


All renovation work has to comply with HDB guidelines. If HDB discovers that your contractor and interior designers are not HDB-approved, they can demand the flat to be reinstated to its original condition. Essentially, it means time wasted and more money flying out of your pocket.


Also, HDB-approved contractors and interior designers are better informed with HDB regulations and can advise you on the do's and don’t during the renovation process. 


#2: You Need HDB Approval To Demolish Or Hack Any Walls


Be it partial or complete, you will need written approval from HDB for any demolition or hacking of walls. This is to ensure that the structural integrity of the building is not comprised. While it may be a little disappointing for some of you, you can at least sleep in peace without having to worry if your house would suddenly give way.


It definitely going to be better for everyone that way. 


#3: BTO Renovation Needs To Be Completed Within 3 Months


The 3-months period effectively starts from the date your renovation permit is granted.


And yes, in case you weren't inform, you need a renovation permit from HDB in order to start any renovation workm which also means you need to plan with your partner, contractor or interior designer in advance, to ensure that you can complete your renovation in time.


Once renovation works are completed, don't forget to inform the HDB branch managing your flat of its completion.


#4: You Will Need A Utilities Account Before Renovation Permit Can Be Granted


Registration for Utilities Account can be easily completed through SP Group webpage. Before you begin your registration, make sure you have a softcopy of your NRIC or FIN (front and back) and a fee of $40-$200 readied as security deposit.


The rates of security deposit is dependent on your housing, residency status and GIRO account.


#5: The Sales Brochure You Receive During Flat Selection Can Save You A Small Fee


Certain types of renovation work have to be reviewed by HDB’s Technical Group, such as the removal or repositioning of fittings, demolition or construction of walls. They will then require your contractor to submit the flat’s floor plan, outlining the proposed work, and the electronic application.


So if you have kept the floor plan given to you in the Sales Brochure, you can save a small fee of $5. Otherwise, you can easily purchase them through HDB hub, self-service kiosk located at any HDB Branch or through HDB webpage.


#6: Some Town Council Offers Haulage And Debris Removal Services


Contractors and interior designers may charge differently for haulage and debris removal services. Fees can range from $250-$1,200, depending on the scope of your BTO renovation work. But some town council provide haulage and debris removal services, so you might want to check with your town council for price comparison.


 #7: You Have To Wait 3 Years Before Removing Toilet Wall And Floor Finishes


The toilet wall and floor finishes, that come along with the house, have been laid with waterproofing membrane. Removing them might cause water to leak through the floor and into the ceiling of the flat below your house. So HDB imposed a 3 year restriction period to prevent such incidents. 


That doesn't mean you cannot refurbish your toilet! You just need to lay new finishes over existing floor finishes using adhesives.


 #8: You Need To Make Sure Your Contractor Or Interior Designer Do Not Inappropriately Dispose Waste


Some contractors or interior designers get lazy and throw construction debris down the refuse chute or simply try to them flush down the sewer. In the end, you end up suffering from the damage done.HDB deems you responsible for your renovation works and any cost needed for the cleaning or repairing of damaged refuse chute or sewage.


It's easy to avoid all these unnecessary troubles. Just thoroughly check past reviews of all contractors and interior designers within your list (I'm sure you have one), and filter away the irresponsible bunch early. Or you can search for your interior designer here. All our interior designer are responsible and trusted firms that deliver safe and quality renovation works.



After getting all these details down, you are 20% more ready to start your BTO renovation. The rest of the 80% lies in the planning of your interior design, searching for contractor or interior designer, getting the right quote, nailing down all the renovation details... phew! and so much more other tasks!


But no worries, we are here. Come back and check for future articles, we will be touching on all the topics you need to know about BTO renovation. One article at a time. 

Comments ( 0 )

Our Promise

  1. CaseTrust Accreditation

    We only feature CaseTrust accredited firms.

  2. Stringent Internal Standards

    Minimum paid up capital, business best practices, and our own assessment of their desire to improve the ID industry’s reputation.

  3. More Than 10 Years Experience

    All our interior design firms have more than 10 years of experience.

  4. Clear Contracts & Fee Policies

    Standardised written contracts and clearly outlined fee policies.

  5. Deposits Insured

    CaseTrust-RCMA accredited Interior Design firms give you 100% deposit money-back guarantee.

  6. Excellent Customer Service

    We care for your home renovation; and we are committed to your needs.