Saying yes to the HDB Home Improvement Programme (HIP) is a bigger commitment than you may have thought of. The whole thing can be a literal mess—so from preparation to inspection, you need to weigh options and plan carefully.
That seems stressful though, so another way to look at it is with the end in mind: imagine your upgraded, more comfortable home after 4 to 10 days of this ordeal!
Whether you’ve decided to move out temporarily or stay in while the renovation works are ongoing, you need to be on top of your HDB home improvement project and be fully equipped before, during, and after the renovation. We’ll help you get through it with these tips:
Know what to expect. This HIP booklet explains the whole process well and addresses concerns homeowners may have. Throughout the construction for your HDB home improvement, expect a large build-up of dust and noise particularly from all the hacking works. These are inevitable, but knowing how worse it can get can help you make better choices. Plus, you and your family can prepare mentally to cope with the temporary inconveniences.
Monitor even when you’re away. If you’ve decided to stay out for the duration of the HDB home improvement process, make sure to check on the house or have one authorised representative to oversee the works as this is required by the HDB. Some accommodations may even offer packages for customers undergoing the HIP. But if you’re staying in, start scheduling your leaves from work, so you can focus on the monitoring.
Identify what rooms you’ll be using. Take out the unnecessary stuff in the meantime and replace with the essentials—like your stock of food and water, microwave oven, your children’s school books and materials, valuables, fragile items, etc. Put locks on these rooms. You can store small valuables in a safe box, too.
Dust-proof the entire house. Though the contractors will have their own plastic sheets to cover up certain parts of the unit, these will have been used in previous homes already and will be dusty. Unless you’re renting a temporary storage unit for your home items, we suggest doing the dirty work of wrapping everything up even if it will take a couple of days. In the end, this will save you time from cleaning or possible intense allergy bouts.
You can build your dust-proofing kit with these items:
- Masking tape
- Garbage bag (in this case, not for garbage)
- Storage boxes to avoid items (artwork, furniture accessories) from becoming dusty or damaged. Easy to move around, too!
- You can’t go wrong with wet wipes. Use them to get rid of the dust.
Prepare temporary tableware. With intermittent access to water and electricity, you may also need to stock up on temporary tableware. Unless you’ve decided to eat out all the time, but that may cost more. Here are a few items you can get:
Don’t forget your bath essentials, too. It may be good to have a set of pail and dipper ready in case you’ll need additional water supply in the portaloo or the temporary common wash rooms.
Shop for bathroom fixtures. If you’ve opted for a bathroom upgrade, you can purchase your own fixtures at affordable prices at Giant.
Keep a positive attitude. The HDB home improvement project will benefit you in the long run, so be patient with workers or your complaining kids. As they say, “this too shall pass.”
Inspect everything. Before signing the acknowledgement form given by the contractor at the end of the HDB home improvement period, inspect everything for defects or even minor damages while they can still accommodate doing the rectifications. Know your rights as a homeowner.
Only deal with the right persons. On the subject of contractors, the government reminds HDB home improvement clients to only deal with the supervisors, whose photos are displayed at the notice boards. Workers should be in their company uniforms, should be a team of no more than five members, and cannot transact with you.
With everything completed, your next step is to undo all that wrapping. Seems like a lot of work, but this is also another opportunity to improve on your HDB interior design! Check out “Easy HDB Interior Design Tips for Your New Flat” for awesome tips on how to redecorate.
HDB home improvement entails costs, so surely you’ll want the next chance to save up. Find the Giant store nearest to you here.