Renovation Works in Singapore: What to Expect When Remodeling a 3-Room HDB Flat

Imagine that you've just been handed the keys to your new 3-room HDB flat. As you step into the bare space, your mind starts to swirl with grand visions of your dream home. Sleek kitchen countertops, a cosy living room for weekend movie marathons, a serene bedroom that's a retreat from the world... But how do you turn this blank canvas into the home you've always imagined?

Welcome to the exciting, albeit slightly daunting, world of home renovations. This process can be as unique in Singapore as the HDB flats that dot our cityscape. But don't worry—we're here to help you from the initial planning stages to the moment you finally kick back into your newly transformed space.

In this blog post, we'll be your trusty guide, walking you through what to expect when renovating a 3-room HDB flat in Singapore. We'll cover timelines, HDB guidelines, and more, all aimed at making your renovation experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

So whether you're a first-time homeowner or a seasoned pro looking to refresh your space, we invite you to join us in exploring Singapore's renovation scene. Because creating a home isn't just about the physical transformation of a space—it's about carving out a little corner of the world that's unequivocally, delightfully you.

Let's roll up our sleeves and start building your dream home together. Your experience of transformation starts here.

Understanding the Basics of a 3-Room HDB Flat Renovation in Singapore

Key Stages of the Renovation Works for a 3-Room HDB Flat

Stage 1: Planning and Designing

This is where your dream home starts taking shape. You'll discuss your vision for your space with your designer or contractor. They'll measure, create plans, and propose a design that fits your ideas and budget.

Stage 2: Getting Approvals

Before starting, you need all necessary permits, especially for significant changes. Your contractor or designer will handle this, ensuring your plans align with HDB guidelines.

Stage 3: Demolition and Hacking

This stage involves removing old structures if your plans involve significant structural changes. It's noisy and messy, but it's the first step towards your new space.

Stage 4: Building and Crafting

This is when your new space starts to take shape physically. Crafting involves making and installing custom furniture and fittings.

Stage 5: Electrical and Plumbing Work

It involves installing and adjusting electrical wiring and plumbing systems. Ensuring these elements are correctly placed to support your daily living is vital.

Stage 6: Painting and Finalising

Once all the building and installation are done, it's time to add the final touches. This includes painting walls, installing lights, and fitting final fixtures and fittings.

Stage 7: Cleaning and Checking

Your renovation team will thoroughly clean your new space. Then, you'll inspect the completed work, looking for any issues that need fixing.

Stage 8:Moving In and Decorating

With most of the renovation, you can now bring your furniture and personal items. Now's the time to add your personal touch, making your renovated flat your dream home.

The Role of HDB Guidelines in a 3-Room Flat Renovation

Singapore's Housing & Development Board (HDB) has designed a clear set of guidelines for all HDB flat renovations. These rules ensure the structural stability of buildings, preserve the living environment for all residents, and enhance the safety of occupants.

Any significant changes, like tearing down walls or altering floor levels, need HDB's approval. This includes modifying the layout, such as transforming a traditional three-room flat into a spacious, open-concept space. The HDB guidelines offer detailed instructions on what changes are allowed and what aren't.

The guidelines also cover additional aspects of renovation, including air-conditioning installation, window replacement, and selecting materials suitable for flooring. They also set the hours during which renovation work can be performed to minimise inconvenience to other residents.

Understanding these guidelines is crucial for homeowners and renovation professionals. By following these rules in your renovation planning, you can ensure your project complies with HDB's regulations, leading to a successful transformation of your flat.


The Time Frame of a 3-Room HDB Flat Renovation in Singapore

Factors Influencing the Duration of Renovation Works

The Extent of the Renovation: The scope of your renovation project significantly determines its duration. A simple refresh can be completed in a few weeks, such as a new coat of paint and some new fixtures. On the other hand, a full-scale renovation involving structural changes, new flooring, wall hacking, and customised carpentry can take several months. Understanding the extent of your renovation from the outset will help you better estimate the timeline.

Approval and Permit Process: Before the hammers start swinging, necessary approvals and permits must be secured, particularly for extensive renovations involving structural modifications. This process can sometimes add weeks to your timeline. Engaging a renovation professional who is well-versed in navigating HDB's renovation guidelines can help expedite this process.

Availability of Materials: Your choice of materials can also impact the timeline. Some materials may be readily available, while others may have longer lead times. For example, if you're opting for a specific type of marble flooring that needs to be imported, you should factor in the additional time it takes for delivery.

Coordination of Work: Renovation is a symphony of various tasks - hacking, masonry, carpentry, plumbing, electrical works, and painting, to name a few. The seamless coordination of these tasks can influence how quickly the renovation progresses. Having a competent interior designer or renovation contractor who can efficiently orchestrate these tasks is invaluable.

Unforeseen Delays: Despite meticulous planning, unexpected issues might crop up during the renovation process - think hidden wiring issues, plumbing troubles, or even the discovery of pests. These unexpected issues can cause delays, so it's wise to factor in some buffer time when planning your renovation timeline.

Typical Timeline for a 3-Room HDB Flat Remodeling

Embarking on a 3-room HDB flat renovation is no small feat, and understanding the timeline you are working within is paramount. The exact timeframe can sway, influenced by numerous elements such as the breadth of the renovation project and the contractors' diligence. That said, here's a typical timeline that paints a general picture of a comprehensive renovation:



1. Inception and Conceptualising

1-3 weeks

2. Authorisation and Permit Acquisition

1-2 weeks

3. Dismantling and Reconstruction

1-2 weeks

4. Brickwork and Joinery

2-4 weeks

5. Electrical and Plumbing 

1-2 weeks

6. Painting and Finalising 

1-2 weeks

7. Sanitising and Scrutiny 

1 week

8. Settlement and Personalisation 

1-2 weeks

As you can see, renovating a 3-room HDB flat isn't a sprint, it's a marathon involving various stages that blend creativity, practicality, and meticulous planning. But don't let the complex timeline intimidate you. With the right team of professionals, you can savour this experience with confidence and excitement, transforming your flat into a space that truly feels like home.

To assist you in this venture, you'll want to collaborate with some of the best minds in the business. Check out Megafurniture's comprehensive list of top interior designers in Singapore. These design gurus are experts in turning ideas into reality and can guide you through the entire process, ensuring your renovation project is a smooth and enjoyable experience.

But what's a newly renovated home without the perfect furniture and accessories to complete the look? Megafurniture has got you covered there too. Browse our extensive range of stylish and high-quality home essentials. From sleek and modern pieces to timeless classics, you'll find items that will add the perfect finishing touches to your space.