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Prepping for Success: What to Do Before Your HDB Renovation

Upgrading your space? Congratulations! You're on your way to transforming your humble abode into a serene sanctuary you can truly call home.

Planning and preparing before your HDB renovation can be an overwhelming task, but knowing what to do before, during, and after your renovation can make it a rewarding and exciting process.

Moreover, understanding your priorities will help you save more on your renovation project.

From setting your budget and priorities to selecting the best interior designers in Singapore and preparing your home for renovation, there are many factors to consider before embarking on this journey.

Before Anything Else: Obtain Necessary Permits

HDB renovation permit

Depending on the scope of your renovation, you may need to obtain permits from the relevant authorities like the Housing & Development Board (HDB). Work on all necessary HDB approvals before your renovation start date to avoid any delays.

Even when pursuing renovation works that don't require permits, it's crucial to read the HDB renovation guidelines and considerations to ensure your safety. Moreover, it's important to work with registered and trained contractors who understand the said guidelines.

What to Do a Year Before HDB Renovation

HDB renovation preparation

So, when should you prepare for your HDB renovation?

If you're considering renovating your HDB, it's never too early to start planning. In fact, we recommend preparing at least a year in advance to ensure that you have enough time to research, plan, and hire the right professionals. Here are some key things to do a year before your renovation process:

Set Your Renovation Goals

HDB renovation goal setting

Before diving into your renovation project, spend some time to think about what you want to achieve during and after the process. Do you want to create more space, update your design aesthetic, or improve functionality? Once you have a clear idea of your goals, it will be easier to communicate with your designer or renovation contractor.

Determine Your Budget

HDB renovation budget

HDB renovations can be costly (we're talking about tens to hundreds of thousands here), so set a realistic budget early on. Consider how much you can afford to spend and what areas of your home you want to focus on. This will help you prioritise your renovation goals and avoid overspending.

Research and Gather Inspiration

HDB renovation design inspiration

Start looking for renovation inspiration online, in magazines, and on social media. Create a mood board or a Pinterest board to help you visualise your design ideas and communicate them to your interior designer or contractor.

3 Months Before the HDB Renovation

Choose Your Professionals

HDB renovation professionals

To make sure that the whole process runs smoothly and successfully, only hire professionals who have experience with HDB renovations. Research and interview designers and contractors to find the right fit for your project. You may do this during the early stage of your reno preparations so you have more time to assess your choices. Your contractor will also be responsible for applying for the renovation permit on your behalf.

Pro Tips:

  1. Do an extensive research about different interior design and renovation firms so you can maximise your selections.
  2. Shortlist your choices based on your design theme, renovation requirements, and budget.
  3. Interview the interior designers to better understand their plans and design visions as well as their workflow and timeline.
  4. Carefully compare quotations and watch out for contract red flags.

Communicate with Your Designer or Contractor

HDB renovation communication


Communication is key to a successful renovation. Make sure you clearly state your budget, priorities, and vision to your designer or contractor. Be open to their suggestions and ideas, and work together to come up with a design that meets your needs and budget.

Finalise Your Renovation Plans

HDB renovation planning and finalisation

By this point, you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your HDB renovation. Finalise your renovation plans with your designer or contractor, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Plan for Temporary Accommodations

temporary accommodation during HDB renovation

Depending on the scope of your renovation, you may need to find temporary accommodations during the construction period. Plan early to avoid any last-minute stress or complications.

Arrange Your Storage

HDB renovation storage

During your HDB renovation, you'll need to store your belongings in a safe and secure location. Make arrangements for storage in advance to guarantee that you have a place to store your items during the construction period.

Order Materials and Fixtures

online furniture shopping Singapore

If you haven't already done so, now is the time to order your materials and fixtures. This includes items such as flooring, tiles, lighting, furniture, and plumbing fixtures. Be sure to order from reputable home essential retailers in Singapore and factor in delivery times.

A Month Before the Renovation

Pack and Label Your Belongings

packing and labelling before HDB renovation

With your renovation start date looming, it's time to pack up your belongings and label them clearly. This will make it easier to store your items and move them back into your home once the renovation is complete.


Confirm Delivery Dates

Singapore furniture delivery

If you've ordered materials and fixtures, confirm their delivery dates with your suppliers. Make sure everything will arrive on time and be ready for installation.

Prepare Your Home

HDB renovation preparation

Prepare your home for the renovation by removing any fragile or valuable items from the work area. Cover furniture and floors with protective materials to prevent damage during construction.

Stay in contact with your contractor to ensure that everything is on track. Confirm the start date and ensure everyone is aware of the renovation schedule. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and that you have a clear understanding of what will be happening on the first day of construction.

Plan for Access

HDB renovation access planning

Your contractor will need access to your HDB during the renovation period. Make sure to plan for access and communicate any special instructions or requirements to your contractor.

Inform Your Neighbours

HDB renovation neighbourhood information

Renovation works can be pretty noisy and annoying for your dear neighbours. Before carrying out any renovation process, make sure to inform your neighbours ahead of time. Of course, noise can be inevitable, but informing them ahead of time can help in their mental preparations.

Post a notice of renovation outside your flat and personally tell your neighbours during the pre-renovation stage and apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

Plan for Contingencies

HDB renovation contingency planning

Renovations don't always go according to plan, so it's important to prepare for contingencies. Set aside some extra funds and time in case unexpected issues arise during the renovation process.


During the HDB Renovation

Check the Safety

HDB renovation safety check

It's a good idea to check with your renovation contractor before the renovation starts about the safety measures they will take to keep everyone safe. Make sure they use proper equipment like helmets, gloves, and safety glasses, and that they follow all the necessary safety procedures.


Monitor the Renovation Progress

HDB renovation progress monitoring

Set up regular check-ins with your contractor to discuss the progress of the renovation. This will allow you to ask any questions you might have, and to address any concerns or issues that arise. If you notice any delays or issues, don't hesitate to bring them up with your contractor. It's better to address any problems early on rather than waiting until it's too late.


Make Decisions

HDB renovation decision making

Be prepared to make decisions during the renovation process. Your contractor may need your input on design, materials, and other important aspects of your home renovation.


After the HDB Renovation

Inspect Your Newly-Renovated Space

newly renovated HDB flat

Inspect the completed renovation work to ensure that everything is in order and according to your requirements. Check for any damages, defects, or incomplete work and make a list of them.


Clean the Area

post-HDB renovation cleaning

After the renovation, there will be dust, debris, and leftover materials in your home. You may hire a professional cleaning service to deep clean your house, including floors, walls, ceiling, windows, and furniture.


Prepare the Payment and Check the Warranty

HDB renovation payment

Once you're satisfied with the work done, it's time to make the final payment to your renovation contractor. The process will depend on the terms of your renovation contract. Don't forget to get all the necessary invoices and receipts.

You should also check with your renovation contractor about the warranty period for the work done. Keep a record, and if there are any issues during the warranty period, make sure they're addressed promptly.


Time to Move-In!

furnishing a newly renovated HDB flat

If you have temporarily moved out during the renovation, it is time to move back in! Unpack your belongings and arrange your furniture according to your preference.



Renovating your HDB can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. However, with proper preparation and planning, you can ensure a smooth and successful renovation journey. 

Remember to start preparing well in advance, create a budget, communicate effectively with your contractor, and plan for contingencies. By focusing on these key steps, you'll be well on your way to creating the home of your dreams. Good luck with your renovation!

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