The dos and don’ts of HDB renovation

The dos and don'ts of HDB renovation


Are you planning to renovate your HDB flat? Before you get too caught up in the excitement of planning a renovation, it is essential to understand the do’s and don’ts of HDB renovation. Knowing the rules and regulations regarding HDB renovation can help you avoid costly mistakes and avoid potential legal trouble. In this article, we will provide an overview of HDB renovation regulations with a focus on the dos and don’ts. We’ll cover topics such as what time HDB renovation rules are in effect, the rules regarding hacking and drilling, and other important considerations. So if you’re ready to get renovating, let’s jump right in!

What Time are HDB Renovation Rules in Effect?

When it comes to renovating your HDB, it is important to understand the rules and regulations in place to ensure that noise pollution is minimized and safety standards are met. Renovation work is prohibited from 10 pm to 7 am on weekdays and all day on Sundays and public holidays. This means that any drilling, hacking, or knocking down of any walls must be done within these specified times.

While the rule does not apply during the weekend, it is important to follow the guidelines for noise pollution, especially for those living in shared spaces. It is your responsibility to ensure that your renovation work does not adversely affect your neighbors, and the HDB will take strict action if any disruption is caused. Therefore, it is essential to understand the renovation rules and take steps to minimize noise pollution.

Hacking and Drilling

Before starting any HDB renovation, it is important to understand which walls can be hacked and what kind of drilling is allowed. Hacking is the process of cutting through an existing wall to make changes or additions and drilling is the process of using a drill or other tools to make holes into a wall. When deciding which walls can be hacked, it is important to consider the type of wall and the purpose of the hacking. Generally, internal walls are able to be hacked while external walls remain untouched. As for drilling, HDB allows drilling as long as it is done safely and follows the safety regulations of the HDB. It is important to take proper safety measures such as wearing protective gear and having a fire extinguisher in case of any accidents.

Are You Allowed to Drill on Saturday?

When it comes to HDB renovation, Saturdays are a crucial day. For many people, it’s the only day they can get any work done due to their busy schedules. But is drilling and other activities allowed on Saturdays?

Fortunately, yes! HDB regulations allow drilling and other activities from 8am to 10pm on Saturdays. However, it’s important to note that the noise level should also be kept within reasonable levels to prevent any complaints from neighbours. Failure to do so may result in fines and other legal action. It’s best to take precautionary measures to ensure that noise pollution is minimized.

Which Wall Can I Hack in HDB?

When it comes to renovating your HDB, there are certain walls you can hack and others that need to be left alone. Generally, internal walls can be hacked, but not external walls. Hacking an external wall can weaken the structure of your HDB and cause safety issues. Distinguishing between internal and external walls is essential before you decide to hack a wall. Internal walls are generally those walls that separate two bedrooms, the kitchen, and the living room. However, you should always consult a professional to make sure you are aware of any potential structural issues before hacking a wall.

In addition, it’s important to be aware that you may need to obtain a permit from the HDB for certain types of wall hacking. The HDB will assess the condition of the wall and the surrounding area before granting a permit, so it’s important to plan ahead.

Which Internal Walls Can be Knocked Down?

When it comes to internal HDB walls, the rules are slightly different. Generally, it is not allowed to knock down any internal walls as it could cause structural damage to the building. However, if the interior wall is made of plasterboard or gypsum board, it is generally allowed to knock it down. Additionally, if the wall is made of non-structural material, it is also allowed to be knocked down. It is important to note that it is always best to consult a professional to ensure that the wall is safe to knock down and that the proper safety measures are taken. For instance, a professional would be able to help ensure that the wall is stable and that it will not cause any damages to the neighboring units.

How Long Does it Take to Get a HDB Renovation Permit?

Understandably, planning a renovation is a time-sensitive process and everyone would like to know how long it takes to get a HDB renovation permit. Generally, the application for the permit should take anywhere between 10 to 14 days if all the paperwork is correctly submitted. To receive the permit, you must fill out a permit application form, attach necessary documents such as floor plans, approved drawings, and permit fees. These documents must then be submitted to the HDB for approval.

Once the application and necessary documents are submitted, an HDB officer will come and inspect the unit. During the inspection, you must be present and the officer will also take pictures of the current condition of the flat. After the inspection, you will receive a response from HDB in approximately five working days. Finally, the renovation permit will be issued to you once all the necessary documents and fees are settled.

Other HDB Renovation Rules

When renovating your HDB, it is important to be aware of the various rules and regulations set in place to ensure a safe and successful renovation process. Before commencing any work, make sure you are aware of the following regulations:

The operation of any machinery or tools is only allowed between 7am and 7pm daily, except on Sundays and public holidays when the operation is restricted to between 9am and 6pm. Moreover, the noise created should not exceed the specified limits stated in the Environmental Protection and Management (Noise) Regulations.

Furthermore, you should take into consideration the regulations set by your local Town Council. These may include rules related to the burning of materials, proper disposal of waste, as well as ensuring that the right permits are obtained before starting work.

By following these rules, you can ensure that your HDB renovation process runs smoothly and without any issues.

Common Issues

When renovating an HDB, there are a few common issues that can arise. Firstly, it is important to ensure that the works are handled by a licensed contractor. If the contractor is not licensed, it is possible for the renovation works to be carried out improperly, leading to further damages and safety concerns.

It is also important to consider noise pollution when undergoing renovation works. HDB regulations dictate that renovation works may only take place from 9 am – 6 pm on weekdays; there are also restrictions in place on certain activities such as hacking and drilling on Saturdays. It is crucial to adhere to these regulations to minimize noise pollution and disruption to the nearest neighbors.


Renovating a HDB can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s also important to understand the various rules and regulations associated with it. By understanding the dos and don’ts of HDB renovation, you can ensure that your home renovation project runs smoothly and safely. It’s also important to be aware of the times during which renovation is prohibited, to ensure that noise pollution is minimized and that you don’t run the risk of being fined. By familiarizing yourself with the regulations and following the guidelines, you can enjoy a successful and stress-free HDB renovation experience.