Fully furnished homes are more convenient to purchase compared to empty or unconstructed properties. Furnished homes are ready for occupancy, and the homeowner doesn’t need to avail of separate interior and exterior design services. However, readily furnished homes can also hinder creativity, and make homeowners feel detached from their houses.
Most, if not all homeowners will do some form of customization in their home at one point during their stay. Making customizations in your home is always exciting, as you get to show off a bit of your personality in your alterations. A few adjustments here and there can truly make your house a home, and there are plenty of ways you can personalize your home.
Note: You may need to check with your local Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for proper regulations before performing any type of construction around your home. In Singapore, you may also need approval from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and/or Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
A&A works, which stands for additional and alteration works, is the process of construction wherein the homeowner is making changes to an already existing and furnished property. Changes may be in the form of repairs or renovations to weak areas, as well as customizations to existing aspects.
A&A works are classified as minor works that make adjustments to a property that does not change or risk its structural integrity. These adjustments can range from minor changes in the interior of the home, to bigger projects like adding a swimming pool or veranda. As long as the construction does not alter the structural integrity of the property, the work is classified in A&A works.
A&A works provide room for creativity and customization to the homeowner, as they personalize their homes with additional spaces or alterations in interior that they feel the need to construct. A&A works allow homeowners to renovate weak or damaged areas without the need for heavy duty construction, which may otherwise require extensive permits and costly construction work.
Alternatively, A&A works can be done for any existing building that has had a change in purpose, or for buildings whose tenants require some form of alteration to be able to use the premises efficiently. Commercial spaces may opt for A&A works to satisfy the needs of the business, or to add aspects that were not part of the original plans of the existing building.
Depending on the district, homes in Singapore range from condominium units and flats, to landed properties. While many apartment buildings disapprove of major constructions, some allow for minor adjustments to units and flats, as long as the construction falls within standard regulations set by the proper authorities
The most minor of all projects, renovation in interior design can work wonderfully for small spaces, and homes that are rented or in a restricted private building. Most property managers don’t mind if the homeowner makes minor changes to the interior design, as long as the construction does not alter the existing building.
However, check with your local building leasing agreement if you are renting the place, as some contracts state any changes in the unit may cause forfeiture of the initial deposit. Building managers usually state this clause to prevent tenants from destroying property and making major alterations that could put off future tenants.
Landed properties that have the space and budget for a swimming pool can opt to have one constructed at the side of the building. Since swimming pool construction does not affect structural integrity of the building, it is classified as an A&A work.
Similarly, condominiums may also opt to have a swimming pool constructed on the property after the building has been constructed. To add a swimming pool to your property, you will need an architect familiar with landscaping, and experienced in this type of A&A work.
Garden ponds provide a zen aesthetic to any backyard. Garden ponds may be inhabited by aquatic creatures, such as koi, turtles, and frogs, or left uninhabited for a lower maintenance option. Other than the zen factor, garden ponds also provide a good balance between urban and nature, as they present pleasant scenery against the metropolitan background.
Some garden ponds are built based on Feng Shui or for good luck. For those property owners who are constructing their garden ponds with Feng Shui in mind, you may need to have a Feng Shui expert to work with your contractor and assess the best location to place your garden pond.
Property owners who would like to add some class and a bit more space to their homes may benefit from having a balcony or veranda constructed as an extension of their home.
Constructing an extension of the porch, or allocating space for a garage are done more for practical purposes than aesthetics, as these elements provide additional space for essential aspects like frontage and car parking. An extension of the porch is great for welcoming guests, as well as providing extra outdoor space for homeowners.
A garage is an essential element nowadays, as more and more Singaporeans start to own cars. Whether the garage will be constructed as an open air parking garage, or a closed garage with a roof, a contractor must assess the minimum space requirements for the specific car owned by the homeowner. The contractor must also take note of space requirements for the driveway.
Due to the country’s limited land mass, landed properties around Singapore are rare and expensive. Even single-story houses, called bungalows, are difficult to acquire even with the adequate budget. As such, homeowners may find that adding an attic to their home may provide additional space and height to their currently existing house.
Adding an attic is no straightforward process, as a contractor would first assess whether the foundation of the house can withstand the construction process and weight of an additional floor. Since A&A works can’t interfere with the structural integrity of a building, constructing an attic is only classified as A&A if the construction is minor enough not to alter the foundation.
Note: Attic construction is notoriously expensive, as it requires separate parties to assess, plan, and construct the project. Not all homes may be structurally sound enough to renovate for an additional floor, so not all attic construction projects are classified under A&A works.
Requirements to conduct A&A works and construction can differ based on your location in Singapore. Generally, you may need to acquire permits from your local Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), the Singapore Housing and Development Board (HDB), and/or Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
Your chosen contractor should be knowledgeable about what permits are needed for your area, as well as the regulations set for the specific construction project they will undertake for you. Other forms of A&A works, like those pertaining to fire safety and protection, will require assessments from fire marshals and authorized parties.
Homeowners living in condominium units or apartments will need to check with their building management on the permissions and requirements needed to perform renovation on their unit. Homeowners should also be aware of the budget required for A&A projects, as the quotation may differ depending on the scope and intensity of the project.
A full-stack contractor should be able to submit the necessary documents needed to authorize A&A works on behalf of the client. Upon the completion of a minor A&A project, a registered architect, engineer, or other qualified representative must fill out an electronic form for submission to SCDF no later than 21 days after project completion.
For A&A projects done within a conservation area, necessary documents must be submitted to the BCA and URA as well prior to construction. Plans should include the entire scope of work that will be done, including location, details of the plan, layout of electrical, fire, and plumbing, as well as other necessary sections as per requirements of local construction authorities.
At ColeBuild, we take pride in ensuring our projects are done safely and properly, no matter the scale. Our team is dedicated to bringing you only quality service and results, and you can be sure we’ll tackle those A&A works well.
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