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Are You Making These Common HDB Interior Design Mistakes?

HDB Renovation & Interior Design Mistakes

HDB flats take the cake as the most popular type of housing in Singapore. It is common for HDB owners to renovate their flats to get the look they want, as well as to increase the value of a unit. However, it is just as common to make critical mistakes in HDB renovation, resulting in a costly disaster. Have you been looking at doing some HDB interior design for your flat? Well, make sure you watch out for these common HDB renovation mistakes.

No Permits

HDB has certain rules and regulations all homeowners must follow when renovating their flats, whether they are hiring a contractor or doing the work themselves. Be sure to check the list of renovations that are not allowed in HDB flats or require a permit prior to renovation. If you carry out the work anyway without the required approval, you may risk fines and having to undo the renovation work – a huge blow to your budget. It is best to play safe and double-check your plans before getting down to work. If you are working with a contractor, you can also confirm with them if your renovations require any permission since they are likely more experienced in this area.

Lack of Planning

Proper planning is important when it comes to renovating your HDB. Don’t skimp on the planning in a rush to get the job done faster – having a detailed floor plan and list of desired renovations can go such a long way in ensuring your HDB renovation goes smoothly. Planning will also give you an idea of how much budget you need to allocate to the renovations so that you do not overdo the renovations beyond your limit. The worst thing is to get the renovations halfway through before you realize that perhaps the works need more time, you don’t have enough funds to continue, or that there is not enough area for everything. You can also minimize the amount of renovations needed by planning through what needs to be done first and which things can wait.

Stripping the Flat Bare

Many people believe that if you want to do a major renovation, you have to start from the bare bones – which means stripping everything down in the flat and starting from complete scratch. While there is nothing wrong with this, it can take a lot of money, time and resources that not everyone has the luxury of. Instead of ripping out the stock flooring and furnishings, see if you can work with what you already have. In most cases, it is possible to layover new floor tiles and walls while leaving the existing ones, thus saving you the hassle of stripping them. Be sure to include in your plan what needs to be stripped and what can be kept, so that you do not waste any time or confusion when getting to work.

Designs Gone Wrong

Everyone wants to style their new home exactly the way they imagined it to be, but realistically, some designs may be too complicated or unfeasible for an HDB flat. Know the space you are working with and the renovations you are permitted to do when you are making your plan. It never hurts to get a second opinion, especially that of a professional – discuss potential designs with your contractor or interior design firm. Even if you are doing this alone, many firms will be happy to provide an opinion for a reasonable price.

Although you may have set your heart on a certain look for your home, it may not always be possible to get everything exactly the way you want. We often see homeowners trying to make designs that are too complicated and ending up only with a ruined job that is overdone, falling over, or not what they were expecting. When in doubt, go for simple, minimalist designs over complex ones. An added benefit of going simple is that you can always renovate it to add on more aesthetics later on, but it is much more difficult to tone down a complicated design especially if things go wrong.

Cutting Corners

Home renovation can get expensive, but it never pays to go cheap and cut corners just to save a bit of money. Whether you source for cheap labor or materials, it is more likely to result in a sub-par renovation that costs even more to fix. Your home deserves the best, so be sure to look for licensed contractors who know what they are doing and quality materials that will last. Keep in mind that in our humid climate, you may have to spend a bit extra for materials that can withstand moisture and heat.

Neglecting Insurance

You can never be too prepared for potential accidents that may occur during the renovation process. Before starting the renovation, make sure your insurance plan covers the essential areas. Workplace hazards can and do happen, which may spell disaster if you find yourself without insurance coverage to back it up. It is better to be safe than sorry.

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