Maisonette Renovation Guide in Singapore for 2022

Maisonettes are rare and sought-after properties so when you get your hands on one, know what to do to get the renovations done!
July 12, 2022

What is an HDB Maisonette?

Maisonettes are typically a two-story flat with its own entrance door leading directly outside. The Housing and Development Board of Singapore stopped constructing maisonette homes in 1995, making this type of HDB housing quite rare, but also decades old.

HDB maisonettes are two-story flats with at least three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. These flats offer a much bigger living space than regular flats, which is why the demand for HDB maisonettes is high despite the age of the property.

Renovations are common in these highly-coveted HDB housing flats, but all renovations must abide by a set of requirements and permits needed for each HDB flat. It is important to have your request approved by the HDB before you start your renovation journey to understand the do's and don'ts in renovating your maisonette.

Costs of Renovating a Maisonette

Depending on the work that needs to be done, renovations for a maisonette typically cost up to SGD241,000 per package for a 140sqm to 160sqm space. The costs may increase or decrease depending on the requirements of the homeowner. 

Most renovation packages include design consultations and space planning, filing for HDB permits and other necessary documentation, masonry, plumbing works, painting, and carpentry among other renovation works. These involve hacking away old decor, and fitting in modern, new decor according to the new homeowner’s tastes. 

Breaking down the costs of renovating a maisonette, it may be helpful for new homeowners to budget their expenses according to priority when deciding on a renovation package. The average percentage allotted for carpentry, masonry, and the like can be found here:

Renovation Average Percentage of Cost
Carpentry 35%
Masonry 25%
Glass and Aluminium 11%
Electrical 9%
Ceiling 7%
Hacking 7%
Painting 6%
Plumbing 5%

Maisonette Renovation Requirements

The first thing you will need is an approved request form. Apply for a renovation permit with your local HDB office, and fill out all the necessary details of your renovation works. Works that require approval by the HDB include, but are not limited to:

  • Hacking floors and walls
  • Window replacement
  • Gas works
  • Plumbing works
  • Air conditioning installation
  • Bathroom works

Approval of your renovation permit may take up to three weeks depending on the scope of the project you provided. A reputable contractor should be able to give you an accurate timeline for when renovations can start, but it is always good to plan ahead to avoid delays in your schedule. Take note that the HDB only allows construction works on certain time frames:

  • 9:00am to 5:00pm on Weekdays and Saturdays
  • No renovation work on Sundays and Public Holidays

You will also need to understand the renovation works that are not allowed by the HDB. These mostly consist of renovation or construction works that will affect the structural integrity of the overall building. Your renovation contractor should be able to inform you of the projects that the HDB does not allow:

  • Hacking of structural members
  • Use of toxic chemicals
  • Plastering of ceiling
  • Painting the outside area of the flat
  • Raising the floor level (with exceptions)
  • Installing fixtures outside the flat
  • Other related works

While these requirements seem like a lot to take in, your renovation contractor should be well-aware of the permits and limitations of your renovation project, which is why choosing the right contractor is essential in maintaining a smooth project flow.

8 Ideas to Renovate Your HDB Maisonette

Once your permit has been approved, you have a limited amount of time to get your renovations done. You can let your creative freedom fly as you collaborate with an interior designer on the best theme and style of your executive maisonette home. Here are some ideas to make renovations convenient and smooth:

#1 Create a Checklist

Creating a renovation checklist will ensure you don't overlook or forget any work that you're looking to have done. You can work on this checklist with your contractor, and decide on the order of priority with your renovation works.

At the same time, you'll be able to discuss what aspects of the home you don't want changed, such as the door, the windows, or the flooring. All these should be laid out during your discussion of the floor plan with your chosen contractor.

#2 Do Basic Repairs First

Start with basic repairs. Maisonette homes are at least three decades old, which makes them susceptible to wear and tear, as well as damage from regular use. Take note of all the plumbing works, electrical wiring, and other areas that may need reinforcement. Upgrade outdated designs and functions, and replace them with modern fittings. These works may include:

  • Electrical wiring
  • Plumbing works
  • Cracks in walls, ceiling, and floors
  • Broken tiles or built-in features
  • Hinges and locks
  • Cracked windows or partitions

#3 Meet Interior Designers

Moving onto design style and home features, working with interior designers will give you a direction of what to do with your living space. This is where you can let your creativity fly as you collaborate with the designer to add a personal touch to your executive maisonette.

Decide on decorative furniture pieces and lighting, such as a kitchen island with bar stools, cove lighting, glass railings, or natural light to give your flat a homey vibe, as these accents draw attention to the overall look of your home with understated elegance.

Alternatively, you can check design ideas online, and work with your interior designer to create a living area that best suits your tastes, while keeping up with the current home design trends. It is helpful to scout for interior designers with experience in maisonette renovation.

#4 Renovate Your Kitchen and Dining Room

Kitchen renovations are some of the most common and basic renovations, but still provide that personal touch to any maisonette home. Bring fluidity into your kitchen and dining area with clean lines, and an open space between the two rooms. An open kitchen concept will give you a feel of fluidity as the kitchen and dining room are no longer separated by a wall.

#5 Optimise Your Floor Space

Maisonettes are larger than most HDB flats, and so the floor area is considerably roomy. Add a cosy corner by your living room with a small library for books, or extend your food preparation area beyond the kitchen for those avid chefs. Adding a bar can provide a conversation piece as well. This is your chance to personalise your space and make it your own!

#6 Refresh the Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is most likely your room where you retreat to after a long days' work. In an executive maisonette, the master bedroom is the crown of the home, and should provide you with the most comfort out of all the rooms in the house. Make this space as comfortable and cosy as you can with dimmer switches, new carpeting, and plush bedding.

#7 Upgrade the Living Room

Sinking the main living room will give the illusion of high ceilings, while making the most of the generous size of the HDB executive maisonette home. Sunken living rooms look modern, yet give off the feel of a larger space.

#8 Add Glass Door and Window Panels

Replacing the door and windows with new glass panels would modernise your home, and update the windows with new, clear glass. This is especially useful in an HDB executive maisonette that may have cracked, scratched, or cloudy windows worn down from use over the years.

Finding the Right Contractor

Finding the right contractor is important in any renovation project. First of all, not all contractors are approved by the HDB to work on renovations in executive maisonettes. Second, only reputable contractors will be able to guide you through the entire project process, and ensure smooth operations throughout.

Whenever you're looking to renovate your home, upgrade with Colebuild, and experience a hassle-free renovation journey! Our design and build teams are ready to work with your ideas, and bring your dream home to life.

We're only a call, email, or message away! Contact us to hear about our renovation packages.

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