All The HDB Renovation Guidelines You Should Know

adm_oom HDB interior design 17 Jan 2022

All The HDB Renovation Guidelines You Should Know


Floor Finishes

Flooring is one of the most important parts of your home interior design because it is usually the largest component of your home and the only part of the home that is in constant contact with your skin.


Flooring for Home Interior Design


Flooring works, namely the replacement of floor finishes of a certain material, the replacement of existing bathroom or toilet floor finishes, and the topping up of flooring using lightweight screed or block in your balcony, kitchen, bathroom or toilet, will require a permit. In addition, there are certain guidelines that your contractor must adhere to, even for works that do not require a permit. They include:


  • The total thickness of floor finishes and screed combined must not exceed 50mm
  • Floor finishes must be laid on the bare concrete surface provided by HDB. The original cement screed provided must not be left bare. 
  • A pre-packed waterproofing screed and waterproofing membrane should be used before laying new floor finishes.



If you want to hack down internal walls to open up spaces and create bigger rooms, do note that any demolition or alteration of non-structural walls will require a permit from HDB. Any reinforced concrete structures (structural walls) cannot be tampered with. Tampering with structural walls may cause damage to the building’s structural integrity.


Hacking the Walls Down for Home Interior Design


In the rare event that you need to make an opening in the non-structural wall between two flats, you will need to obtain a permit from HDB. You will also need to obtain a permit if you want to replace the internal wall finishes in your home, bathroom or toilet. 


Other erection of walls and partitions, laying of wallpaper, adding of solid timber or mirror wall panels to your wall will not require a permit, but these works are subject to certain guidelines and conditions.


Structural Walls for Home Interior Design



Do you love to cook and want to build your own kitchen? The good news is, you don’t have to apply for a permit for kitchen renovations. However, if you wish to demolish a wall to create an open-concept kitchen, or lay additional wall finishes, you will still have to apply for a permit.


Kitchen Renovation Design


Works such as extending your kitchen into the service balcony without removing walls, construction of concrete sink support or cabinet with a cement mortar base, and the construction of a vanity top does not require a permit but are subject to the following guidelines.


  • All services within extended areas should not be tampered with
  • Installation of exhaust fan is not allowed at the service balcony
  • Construction of concrete shelf is not allowed


False Ceiling

Wish to install a false ceiling for a more unique home interior design? Although you don’t have to apply for a permit, there are guidelines that your contractor will need to adhere to:


False Ceiling for a Unique Home Interior Design


  • The installed cornices and pelmet must have a minimum clearance height of at least 2.10 metres from the finished floor level
  • False ceilings must have a minimum clearance height of 2.4 metres measured from the finished floor level (not applicable for toilets and bathrooms)
  • No gas pipe is to be enclosed within the false ceilings


Door and Gate

If your unit is along a fire escape route and you wish to replace the main entrance door and/or frame, you will need to obtain a permit. The replacement door and/or frame must also be half-hour fire-rated and the frame must be installed with a self-closing device.


Door and Gate idea for Home Interior Design


Any repositioning of internal door entrances, such as your bedroom door, will also require a permit. These new entrances cannot be created through reinforced concrete (structural) walls. 


Any other door and gate works will not require a permit but are subject to guidelines and conditions.

With this brief overview of the renovation works that require a permit and the guidelines that need to be adhered to, you can get a better idea of what you can do for your home interior design even before speaking to your interior designer. 


To avoid violating HDB renovation guidelines or jeopardising the building’s structural integrity, it is important to work with a reliable interior designer in Singapore who has been approved by HDB. These HDB-approved contractors have been trained and are equipped with the necessary knowledge to safely conduct renovation works in HDB flats.


Fineline is an interior design company in Singapore with a team of reliable interior designers ready to help you design your dream home. Contact us today to find out more.