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A Complete Guide To HDB Renovation Guidelines, Design and Home Decor Ideas

A Complete Guide To HDB Renovation Guidelines And Design Ideas

When renovating an HDB flat, it’s important to apply for HDB renovation, get permission, and understand the guidelines for doing so. As you are reading this blog, you probably just bought a new resale flat or you’re getting ready to renovate a flat you own.

Certainly, you’re excited to begin the HDB renovation of your home, but before you do, you’ll need to get HDB renovation permission and follow HDB renovation guidelines.

But what is meant by an HDB renovation permit?

It’s written permission from HDB to carry out specific renovation tasks. These permits are required before any renovation work can begin.

You must also be saving HDB renovation design ideas on Pinterest or Instagram, looking for interior designers, or consulting others who have just had their houses renovated. Here are five unique and trendy HDB design ideas that are also very functional. Plus, they made the homeowners happy!

So letโ€™s get started by knowing HDB home decor ideas that need to be followed before you start with the renovation work.

HDB Renovation Guidelines You Should Know

While renovating your apartment, you must follow certain HDB renovation guidelines. Let’s have a look at these:

Flooring Replacement


HDB renovation package will include permits for flooring works such as replacing existing floor finishes made of a particular material, upgrading the flooring in your kitchen, balcony, or bathroom, or raising the flooring with lightweight slabs or blocks. Even for work that does not require permits, your contractor must follow certain HDB renovation Singapore guidelines like:

  • Floor finishes and slab shall not exceed the combined thickness of 50mm.
  • Floor coverings must go on HDB’s basic concrete. The original cement mortar must be covered.

Before putting in new flooring, apply a waterproofing screed and membrane.

Kitchen Renovation


To your relief, a permit is not required for kitchen renovation under the HDB resale renovation package. Though to create an open HDB kitchen design or add wall finishes, you’ll need a permit.

Works such as expanding your HDB kitchen design into the service patio without demolishing walls, installing a cemented sink foundation or cabinet with a cement base, and erecting a vanity top do not need a permit but are subject to guidelines.

When giving a material shape to your HDB kitchen renovation ideas Singapore, consider the following tips:ย 

  • All services in expanded areas should not be interfered with.
  • An exhaust fan installation is not allowed in the service patio

It’s not allowed to construct concrete shelves

Renovation of Walls


Any demolition or altering of non-structural walls requires an HDB permit. Reinforced concrete walls can’t be altered. Messing with structural walls can compromise a building’s strength.

If you need to demolish a non-structural wall between two apartments, you’ll require an HDB permit.ย 

You’ll need a permit to change your home’s, bathroom’s, or toilet’s interior wall finishes.

Other wall construction, wallpapering, and installing solid wood or mirror wall panels do not require a permit but are subject to restrictions and guidelines.

Gates And Doors


If your flat is on a fire exit route and you want to replace the front door or frame, you’ll need a permit. The new door and/or frame must be self-closing and half-hour fire-rated.

Internal door repositioning, like your bedroom door, also requires permission.ย 

A new entrance can’t be made in reinforced concrete walls. All other door and gate work are permitted but subject to rules and guidelines.

False Ceilings



Want to add a false ceiling to your home’s interior design? You are not required to apply for a permit but must follow these guidelines:

  • Mounted wooden beams and pelmet must be 2.10m above the finished floor.
  • False ceilings must be 2.4m from the finished floor level (not required for bathrooms and toilets)
  • No gas pipeline is to be enclosed in false ceilings.

You should work with an HDB-approved interior designer in Singapore to avoid violating renovation guidelines or compromising the building’s structural stability. These HDB-approved professionals are qualified to safely renovate HDB apartments.

HDB design ideas cannot be missed while renovating your space. We have compiled a few renovation ideas for HDB that can give your new home a dapper look with good functionality. Letโ€™s walk through design ideas!

HDB Design Ideas To Be Considered During Renovation

Since apartments in Singapore are getting smaller each year, space is a key concern. If you want to make the most of the space you have, you need to plan it out carefully.

Carpenters offer you some HDB design ideas that will help you make better decisions about how to design your renovated home, with an interior that is both practical and stunning.

  • Choose Open-Concept

Open-concept homes are trending. This simple design notion is the basis for many HDB interior design concepts. This allows people to build their homes based on their lifestyle preferences and requirements.

Demolishing walls and embracing an open-concept design idea would make a compact HDB apartment feel more spacious. An open concept provides for more flexible space planning in smaller homes.

At the same time, you can make certain changes in the flooring to make your home appear more lively, and bright. For ideas to make your floor interesting, check out our latest blog on 5 Best Flooring Materials For HDB Flats Renovation.


  • Pay Attention To Little Details

When renovating and HDB home decor ideas, pay attention to details. They transform your home’s appearance. Subtle changes might make your HDB interior appear fuller.ย 

Light switches, cabinet knobs, surface textures, and sofa cushions can enhance your home’s aesthetic.

Symmetry in your room evokes stability and peace. Art pieces, figurines, carpets, and lamps can make your rooms appear amazing.

  • Select A Suitable Color Palette

A little color alteration may completely transform your HDB apartment. Changing the color palette is a cost-effective method to update your home’s decor.

Like, white color is favored for elegance and spaciousness. It’s great for creating neat, harmonious, and contrasting color palettes. White reflects light, giving smaller spaces the feeling of vastness.

  • Invest in High-Quality Materials

When it comes to designing your renovated space, you can choose from a wide range of materials and finishes. It’s important to understand and pick the right materials for each room, and there are some points to keep in mind. When making your selection, you should consider factors like how durable the material is, how long it will last, how easy it is to maintain, and how well it will stand up to moisture.

  • Illuminate Your Home

Natural light enhances your home’s textures and colors. If you have plenty of natural light, make the most of it. Wide window sills let plenty of natural light into your home.ย 

This will give you enough of the morning sun. Introduce varied textures and patterns to every room to enhance visual appeal. Consider accessories and color palettes when choosing lighting temperature.

In Shortโ€ฆ

After knowing about the permissions, guidelines, and HDB design ideas, you have a better understanding of proceeding with your homeโ€™s renovation. You just need to be a little more creative and resourceful while making changes to your HDB flat or condoโ€™s interior.

You can get started with your HDB home decor ideas by following the many HDB flat interior design inspirations and concepts. Even if your HDB home is small, it gives you many options to renovate it your way.

Also, you can always choose to work with Carpenters, a Singapore interior design firm backed by experienced interior designers that can assist you in creating your ideal living space.

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    Night Cheong

    Senior Design Consultant with over 7 years of experience and a certificate in interior design from NAFA. Night believes that a well-designed space can enhance one's quality of life and is committed to delivering exceptional design solutions to her clients.