etting the keys to your 4-room BTO ( Built-to-Order) flat will thrill you. There are simple, common-sense ways to turn it into the luxury apartment of your dreams. Limited though space is, you can maximize it. A few space-saving tips will help you. Follow the guidelines issued by the HDB (Housing Development Board) before you start.
Nine things to consider before you renovate your BTO apartment
1. Review your budget
Spend more on a quality renovation that lasts. Cheap but low-quality finishing’s may not be durable. You may have to change them after a short while or end up paying more than you expect to repair them.
Do price comparisons and check-in with your contractor to see if you are within budget.
2. Find the right contractor
The best contractors are those recommended by friends and relatives. Seek out builders and interior designers who have approval from the HDB to carry out work.
3. Set realistic goals
Many people make the mistake of renovating beyond their means. Be realistic about your resources. If you want the home of your dreams but have a limited budget, renovate in stages.
4. Do your research
Seek the advice of friends who have gone through renovations before you start them. Get approval from the HDB, as any changes may affect the structure of the building.
5. Pay attention to details
Pay attention to details and start checklists for every room. This way, you can keep track of the work. Make sure that you choose HDB approved window grilles. You will receive notes about the types of grilles you can put up. Do not misplace these notes, as your contractor will need to know which grilles he can use.
6. Do not regret your decisions
A renovation is not easy to undo. You will have few regrets if you seek advice, choose the right contractor and compare prices.
7. Think about the future
It is better to renovate using an evergreen concept. Apply finishing’s and items that will stay trendy for years.
8. Open an SP services account
Open an SP services account once you have received the keys to your home. Doing this will aid the contractor’s work.
9. Supervise renovations
Your contractor should inform your neighbours about renovation work three days before commencing it. He should also display permits outside your home. Keep tabs on how the work progresses. Remember that your contractor can only carry it out between 9 p.m. and 5 p.m. He must also complete any hacking within three days. Knowing HDB requirements
You cannot renovate your flat without complying with the HDB’s regulations. Make sure that you know what they are before you begin.
1. Apply for a permit
Some renovation work requires a permit. You will have to reinstate features if you fail to get one. You will need a permit to hack non-structural walls or enlarge bathrooms. You will also need one before you can reposition doors, install arches or water features.
2. Get it done within the assigned time.
Finish the work within the allocated time. Since yours is a BTO flat, you must complete the work within three months.
3. Bear the three-year-rule in mind
Remember the three-year rule for BTO flats. It states that you cannot change floor or bathroom finishes within three years. This rule ensures that the waterproofing membrane on the cement does not cause leakage. You may still lay new finishes over the adhesives.
4. Waterproof your bathroom
Your contractor has to install a waterproofing screen and membrane before altering bathroom finishes. Make sure that he does so.
5. Check on the HDB’s requirements with your contractor
You are responsible for your renovation. Check that your contractor has not flouted any of the HDB’s requirements.
6. Do not place too much weight on the structure.
You cannot place more than 150 kilograms per square meter of floor area. If you want to use a freestanding bathtub, check how much it weighs.
7. Do not alter the structure
You cannot remove the reinforced walls, beams or floor slabs in your BTO flat. Seek your contractor’s help to differentiate which is which.
8. Do not take up void area space
Certain areas have to remain as they are. Check where these spaces are with your contractor.
9, Do not affect the facade of the building.
Remember that your renovation should not change the building’s facade. Do not add structures or apply paint to areas outside your home.
10. Do not raise your floor level too high
Using concrete, you can only increase your floor level 5 centimetres. Any increase in height includes floor finishes. 17 4-room flat renovation ideas
These added tips will help you to transform your BTO flat into a home that you will be proud to own.
1. Use an open concept
You may want to knock down non-structural walls in the apartment to give it a spacious, open look. Your contractor will secure a permit and tell you which walls these are.
2. Use moveable walls
Since HDB apartments are becoming smaller, owners have to make wise use of their spaces. Moveable walls will allow you to open up and enlarge your living and dining areas.
3. Look for furniture with many uses
Buy furniture that you can use in different ways. Beds with large drawers can store clothes. Doing this will save space.
4. Use your vertical space
Use your vertical space wherever possible. Mount shelves and lamps. They give you more storage space and serve as great focal points for rooms.
5. Create a built-in platform for your bed
Raise your bed on a vertical platform. You can use it as a storage cupboard or even install a foldable desk. Again, this is a wise use of space.
6. Choose the right colors
Small homes may come across as too dark. Make the home light and airy by painting it in a single hue. Light blue with a tinge of gray, for example, will counter the darkness.
7. Use a murphy bed
One space-saving trick is to use a Murphy bed which you can lower when it is time to sleep. A Murphy bed allows you to use the space in your room for other purposes during the day.
8. Use floor-to-ceiling curtains
Floor-to-ceiling curtains create the illusion of height. You can layer them for a more detailed look.
9. Play with space
You can make the space in your home appear bigger by using smaller objects. Smaller decorations will give the illusion of the place being larger than it is.
10. Space out your furniture well
If you want a carpet in your living area, you must organize your furniture around it. If you have a large carpet, all chair and table legs should be on it. Rest only the front legs on your carpet if it is mid-sized. Proper placement will make your arrangement appealing. Space out your furniture so that you can move about with ease.
11. Use sliding doors
Sliding doors do not open outwards, so they take up less space than swing out doors. Consider barn doors, a popular option.
12. Hang your artwork at eye level
Your artwork should be at eye-level. Visitors can enjoy it without straining their eyes. It makes your home appear more beautiful.
14. Reveal your personality.
Do not keep things of sentimental value aside. Lay them out even if they do not go together with other items. They will become talking points for your guests.
15. Have a focal point for each room
Each room should have a piece of artwork or a lamp that attracts a lot of attention. All other objects should play a supporting role to this item.
With these suggestions, you can turn a BTO flat into your personal haven.