You’ve just purchased a beautiful unit and you want to give it your own look while adding value to it at the same time. When you own a property, there are different things to keep in mind than if you are the owner of a single-family house.
As a single-family homeowner, you have a lot more leeway with your renovation decisions. With a unit, however, your options are more limited. You won’t want to get in trouble by breaking any rules or regulations since this can cause huge headaches down the road.
In most cases, you’ll need to get a building permit before going ahead with any renovation work. As well, all local and Singapore state regulations must be adhered to. It’s extremely important to hire a well accredited renovation contractor who knows what the rules or regulations are, thus enabling you to make right decisions for your home renovation and knowing that you are conforming to all by-laws.
Before You Start Your Home Renovation
When you lease or purchase a unit, you’ll be entering into a formal agreement, which is binding, between you and the body corporate. All of the by-laws will be stipulated in the contract. If you do end up breaking any of these laws, the penalties can be severe. These by-laws also differ from one corporate body to the next so you cannot assume anything from the get-go. You need to make sure that you have read through the contract yourself before starting a project.
Minor renovation works that you can probably do without requiring a building permit. For example, you want to overlay the existing floor tiles and replace it with carpeting, you may be able to do this without going through all of the red tape and hassle of filling out forms to get a permit. If you’re thinking of installing an underlay as a noise barrier, however, this would probably require approval first from the body corporate.
Some of the renovation projects for a unit that usually won’t require approval first include:
- Putting up window coverings
- Painting walls
- Installing screens to keep insects out
- Minor plumbing changes such as changing your taps
- Adding a new light fitting
Some of the home renovation projects for a unit that often require approval from the body corporate first include:
- Projects that may disturb the neighbors
- Knocking out walls that are non-structural in nature
- Renovations that affect the unit’s exterior appearance
Apply Permits For Your Home Renovation Works
When you’re working with your unit, patience is going to be your best friend. It’s always a good idea to apply relevant permits from relevant regulatory bodies ahead of time when you’re going to embark on renovation works. This way you’ll be covered and won’t have to worry about any unexpected surprises in the future. You’ll have to wait for the corporate body to consider the request you have submitted, but it’s definitely worth your time.
In order to speed up the process, make sure that you provide all the required information needed about your plans. If you leave out certain details, the approval process could be delayed. Map out exactly what you’re going to do and provide even the smallest details.
Keep in mind as well that you need to respect your neighbour’s rights as they must respect yours. When you work through the body corporate and get approval first, the regulatory body will back you up if any disputes come up later.