Image credits: google


Many times when we get our new place, we tend to dive straight into the planning of the living space – the many interior ideas follow by engaging of a contractor or interior designer to put the plan in place.

BUT! Just a moment. Do you know some of the ideas you have in mind may clash with the current HDB rules?

Every building structure has been planned with calculated load and structural stability. By changing any of the internal structures, it may create additional load on the structure or compromise the integrity of the building. Anyone found committing such offenses may be fined up to $5,000.

So what are the modifications we can do then?

Let’s see.

Hacking walls

Image credits: google

Under HDB’s rules & regulations, any alteration or hacking of walls in flats must obtain HDB’s approval before work is carried out.

Not only that, not all walls in your unit can be hack, but only the non-load bearing walls. Non-load bearing walls are walls inside your property that do not support any structural weight of the building. They do not bear any other weight of the property’s structure other than its own.

So before you start happily hacking of walls, remember to submit for HDB’s approval first!

Bomb Shelters

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Bomb shelters, also known as household shelters, are found in HDB units. They are fitted steel doors with four walls, floors and ceiling to protect the home occupiers in need of an emergency.

They are part of a structure component and is one of the area not to be tampered with, as stated in HDB rules & regulations. Removal or even hacking of the shelter are strictly prohibited

Even when you paint the doors a different colour, you are not allowed to paint over the door notice, bolts and door seal, especially the door notice, as it contains important information on the proper usage of the shelter. Even when you paint over it, you should take note that the layer of the finished painting is not too thick as there will be difficulties opening and closing the door.

If the steel ventilation plate cover in the shelter is to be removed, it should be secured inside the shelter on one of the walls with removable screws of a maximum of 50mm that have non-metallic inserts. HDB only allows up to 75% of the ventilation opening to be covered by a removable fixture.

False Ceilings

Image credits: Floor Xpert

A false ceiling is a dropped ceiling, hung below the main ceiling. There should be a minimum clearance height of 2.4m between the false ceiling and the finished floor level.

If applied in the kitchen, they should not cover the gas pipes for safety reasons. As of HDB rules, false ceilings are prohibited to be used in bathrooms.

Homeowners should ensure that there is a minimum clearance height of 2.4m between the false ceiling and the finished floor level. Only non-combustible materials should be used.

In kitchens, they should not cover the gas pipes.

False ceilings are not allowed in bathrooms.

So before you start any works to your unit, please remember to check with HDB on the regulations.


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