Can I Hack a HDB Flat Wall?


If you applied for a flat before the open kitchen concept was offered by the HDB in September 2012, your flat will come with a kitchen partition wall. However, if you are thinking about tearing down the wall to create an ideal kitchen, you are not alone. The open kitchen concept has become increasingly popular in recent years as it makes the kitchen a place to not only prepare meals but also to entertain. 

If you are wondering if you will be able to get permission to tear down your kitchen partition wall, you must ask the HDB. Here are some tips to help if that is also your plan for designing a new kitchen for your flat.

Study the Floor Plan

Before you decide that you are ready to go through with the renovations, it is important to study your floor plan. This will help you to determine which wall would be best to remove in order to create the ideal space for your kitchen. However, it is important to remember that some walls in flats cannot be removed without affecting the structural integrity of the building. So you should always go to the HDB first to find out if a renovation to create a larger kitchen in your home is safely possible.

Hire an HDB RRC

Removing a wall in your flat is a serious project that should only be done by a licensed professional. If you want to make sure that the work is done to the standards of the HDB, you need to hire an HDB Registered Renovation Contractor (RRC). RRCs are required to only use certified workers to perform the demolition or hacking works that are needed to create a larger kitchen in your HDB flat. These requirements ensure that your flat will be done safely.

Here a few tips on various types of renovations to walls for your HDB flat:

  • If you would like to demolish a non-load bearing reinforced concrete (RC) element like stiffeners, lintol and hangers, a permit will be required from the HDB. To get approval, a Professional Engineer (PE) for Civil or Structural Works must inspect and supervise the demolition works.
  • If you would like to demolish or alter an internal non-structural lightweight concrete, hollow block or brick wall, you must obtain the right permit from the HDB. The HDB will also set forth conditions and guidelines surrounding the work.
  • If you plan to erect a hollow or glass block wall in your flat, a permit is not required from the HDB. However, you must ensure that there will be adequate natural light and ventilation for your own safety. The HDB only allows one layer of 63 mm hollow block or 80 mm thick glass block to be erected.
  • If you would like to erect a gypsum partition, then a permit is not required as in the above case. However, the penetration of any power-driven nails or screws may not exceed 40 mm.

If you would like a home contractor to review your wall removal job, there are qualified contractors available to help. Click here to request your quotes now.


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