Homeowners often become exhilarated upon acquiring a new home. The next course of action for most is to renovate the house so as to reflect their tastes and preferences. Renovation, to put it simply, is a massive project, but it need not be a daunting task at all. Below you will find valuable gems whose wisdom you should allow to be etched in your mind to be used in the day you will start the renovation of your home.
– Remember the three-year restriction period regarding the removal of floor and wall finishes in bathrooms
In case your new home does not have everything that you fancy in a house, before going ahead to ask a contractor to demolish everything, you should remember that new Build To Order (BTO) flats usually come with floor and wall finishing’s that possess waterproofing membranes wedged between the cement screed and the floor tiles. This is Housing and Development Board’s waterproofing measure meant to ensure that water does not leak through the flooring to the flat beneath. This tiles have a three year warranty which becomes void if you remove it. However, if you are adamant that you want the flooring of your choice, the contractor that you hire is able to fulfil your desires by tiling over the existing HDB tiles with the use of an adhesive. This is permitted by HDB, thus, you can achieve the look you crave for without necessarily voiding the three-year warranty.
– Do not be too quick to modify anything
It does not matter if you are a BTO or a resale flat, you still need the approval of HDB before you can demolish or hack any wall. The Housing and Development Board will assess and determine if the proposed modifications will in any way impact the integrity of the building. HDB does not approve the removal or hacking of reinforced beams, columns, concrete wall, or staircases within a house, say a maisonette. If you intend to build arches or round corners in the house, you will need to seek the HDB approval. The HDB permit is also needed where you need to reposition the door to the bedroom- in most cases this permit will be given so long as that entrance door is not built through a reinforced concrete wall. When your contractor submits the proposed plans to HDB then you will know if the proposed renovation projects are approved or not.
– Supervise the Renovations
If HDB permits you to carry out the proposed renovations, ensure the contractor displays the permits outside the flat until all the renovation work is complete. Your immediate neighbours should be informed as well of the proposed renovations at least three days before the renovations commence.
After the renovation commences, remember that the demolition works are only supposed to be carried out from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily during weekdays. Once the demolition is ongoing, not more than two handheld power tools are to be used concurrently for demolishing walls or remove the floor or wall finishes. It is noteworthy that the hacking down of walls should not exceed three days.
– Choose approved windows and grills
It does not matter if the new home is a resale unit or a new BTO flat, the requirement is that windows and window grills are supposed to be installed only by BCA-approved window contractors registered with the Housing and Development Board. When you go to collect the keys to your new flat, the Housing and Development Board officer will give give you a piece of paper that details the standard grills which you can use for your service yard. Do not panic if unfortunately you misplace the paper- the contractor is likely to know exactly what you will need to use for your service yard as well as the rest of the house.
– Employ only HDB-approved Contractors or Interior Designers
Make sure you only employ a renovation contractor registered with the Housing and Development Board to carry out the proposed renovation in your new premises. Contractors who do not have the approval of Housing and Development Board are not permitted to carry out renovation works on your flat. Moreover, contractors who are not approved by the Housing and Development Board may not be familiar with the HDB rules and regulations pertaining to the renovation of your new home. Contractors approved by the Housing and Development Board are guaranteed to build you the home of your dreams.
– Do not be tempted to use cheap quality materials
The use of high quality materials is integral to the HDB renovation turning out well. Conversely, going for cheap quality materials is a huge and costly mistake. Building materials are usually vulnerable to many challenges which often include physical pressure, heat and moisture. For high-quality results, you have to use high quality materials and fixtures. As the adage says, cheap is expensive. Therefore, getting the work done well the first time ensures that you will not need to come back for another renovation in another year or two. In addition, if you are employing a contractor to carry out the renovation work, then you need to resist the temptation of going for the lowest bidder. The lowest bidder may sometimes use poor quality materials, and, thus, do shoddy work. Rather, you should go for a reputable contractor who offers a competitive quote that falls within your estimated price range.
– Do adequate preparations
For any renovation project to succeed, there should be many hours of planning and preparation. Most HDB renovation projects often entail many things that are ordinarily time-consuming- for example, the finding and selection of the right materials, working with construction professionals, measuring materials and plenty of hands-on tasks. Thus, you should take time to prepare and plan the renovate project to achieve the best results. If you fail to plan, you may end up spending more than you envisaged, you may experience major delays, or other problems such as extra cost of materials. Before embarking on the HDB renovation, you need to create a detailed plan detailing the required materials, labor costs, finishes, fixtures, and budget and renovation time frame. Try to stick to the plan.