The Secret to Successful and Stylish HDB Toilet Renovations without Regrets.
There is nothing more satisfying than having a place to call your own. And like most homeowners, you can’t wait to get started on renovating your basic house into your own dream.
And the first area you start with is the toilet and bath. You want to have the most stylish looking toilet and bath and you start searching the internet for hdb toilet renovation ideas. You then encounter some’ horror stories’ about how others had the worse experience when it came to doing their own renovations.
And some of these stories seem to constantly repeat themselves one after the other that you suddenly start thinking twice about renovating your toilet and bath. Fret not, for here is a list of the 11 renovation mistakes to avoid and what you should do to avoid them.
1. MAKING RASH AND ON THE SPOT DECISIONS
This is the most common mistake anyone can make when it comes to doing bathroom renovation in Singapore, be it a toilet or a living room. More often than not, people make “on the spot” decisions on what to do with their renovations because they feel it is the right choice or that they are in a hurry to move in. This results in spending more than what is needed or causing some unexpected damage to the toilets.
More important, there are some must-follow HDB policy, rules & regulations that will make you get penalized for violation. So, before you start, make sure to always get advice from a professional interior designer / expert on what are allowed and not allowed to do (rather than making careless & quick decision).
2. FORGETTING TO CHECK THE AREA FIRST
Another mistake most homeowners make is when they don’t check the area first. You may have gotten the keys to your house now, but you would not have the faintest idea if your renovation can be possible.
Many people do not well plan their space, thus don’t have any clues how much space they will need to afford all the items they want to put in. Some HDB toilets come in different sizes, so there is a huge possibility that you won’t be able to have that double sink counter you always wanted.
Sometimes, you might find that there are a few problems like leaks or odors happening in your toilet even before you start your renovating. It is wise to check the area first for any faults or problems and immediately report it to property manager. As they say, early detection can avoid serious complications.
3. SETTING A SKY’S THE LIMIT BUDGET
While you may say “money is not an issue”, in actuality, it is. If changing the plumbing allocation or buying designer fixtures and tiles is part of your hdb toilet renovation plan, then be prepared to spend a huge bulk of money.
Plumbing works involve changing the orientation of pipes and the flow of water and that involves breaking the walls and looking for the main water line, etc. The same can also be said if you will purchase fixtures and tiles especially if you already a tiled room and working fixtures. As much as possible, try to work with what you have and if you must spend, prepare a practical budget.
4. DOING BATHROOM RENOVATION IN SINGAPORE WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL
This is a very costly mistake anyone can make. Your house is one of many units inside the HDB building. As such, there are certain rules that homeowners must abide by (so remember to ensure HDB approvals & permits are applied for before starting your renovation).
For example, you would like to mount a towel rack by the shower. They will need to see where you intend to mount it and confirm if it will hit the hot & cold consume pipes or not.
Another example would be wherein you would like to knock down a wall in order to make your toilet a lot bigger. There are some walls that are designed to be load bearing walls and cannot be knocked down. It is very important to get their approval before you start. You don’t want to be paying fines and having your renovation plans put to a halt just because of that, right?
5. CHOOSING RANDOM MATERIALS
Of all the rooms in your house, your toilet is one of the most used rooms ever. It’s where you shower and wash after a long day. With that being said, it calls for you to give the toilet a personal touch. But that doesn’t mean you choose random materials on the notion that it’s stylish and expensive.
You need to consider several things. Tiles, for instance. If you get tiles that are too big, you will most likely make your toilet look small. If you get tiles that are slippery, you or anyone in the house could easily slip and have an accident when these tiles are wet.
The same can be applied for fixtures. When it comes to choosing materials for your toilet, opt for materials that can last longer and can save you a great deal of money. Go for tiles that can make the most of your toilet and fixtures that won’t tarnish or rust for the next ten or fifteen years. You might be spending a good amount of money, but investing in quality materials will make your renovation a success.
6. NEGLECTING PROPER VENTILATION
Just because it’s a toilet doesn’t mean you scrimp out on the small details. When making your hdb bathroom renovation plans, don’t overlook proper ventilation in your toilet.
A toilet that does not have proper ventilation results in poor circulation of fresh air which can trap moisture and bad odors, which then causes mildew and molds to grow. This can become a health hazard to you and everyone in your house. As much as possible, consider proper air ventilation. If your toilet does not have any windows, opt for an air vent that can extract the odor and moisture.
7. BUYING AND DISCARDING WALL AND FLOOR TILES.
This is another mistake that is just waiting to happen. Especially if you are a new HDB homeowner. If you’re planning on removing any of the existing wall and floor tiles and getting new ones to suit your design, you might have to reconsider doing that until after three years.
Most units come with the walls and floors already tiled. They also contain a waterproofing membrane designed to prevent water leaking through to your neighbor below. As tempting as it may be, you are advised not to remove your existing tiles after three years of moving in (warranty time). In short, HDB will cover you the waterproofing membrane for 3 years, that’s why they won’t allow you to hack wall & floor tiles.
8. COVERING THE EXPOSED PIPES
If you’re the type that likes the look of a clean and sleek toilet and hates exposed pipes, that’s fine. We all want a sleek and clean looking toilet. But here is the clincher.
If there are problems in the plumbing, how can your plumber access your plumbing if the pipes are covered completely? That would mean demolishing whatever is covering it. And that would most likely disturb your neighbors, raise the attention of the property manager and if you’re not careful, you could end up destroying your main pipe line.
As much as possible, avoid covering your exposed pipes. They are exposed for a reason. If you really don’t like looking at it, don’t worry. There are many creative ways to hide your exposed pipes without covering them completely. You can have removable storage cabinets or if your style is industrial, you can just leave it as is.
9. HIRING SO CALLED CONTRACTORS AND DESIGNERS
You might have heard your friend tell you about this ‘professional’ who can make your renovation plan a reality without so much as costing you a fortune. You might have also read about ‘professionals’ who have done more damage than good when it comes to renovating an HDB house.
As much as possible, when looking for a designer or contractor to work on your renovation, hire the ones that have been approved and recognized by HDB. The reasoning for this is because they are familiar with how the unit is constructed and the rules of the property. Another reason for hiring them is because they have undergone training & have got many years of experience to do these all stuffs, that enable them to meet with the standards the property demands and give you the assurance that they know what they’re doing.
10. CHOOSING TRENDY DESIGNS AND STYLES
Like with most homeowners, you will be enchanted by the notion of having a toilet that follows the latest design trends like Pantone walls or the latest HCG toilet and so on. However, this might also be a very costly mistake on your part.
Trends come and go and as time passes, your toilet will have a rather dated look, prompting you to conduct yet another renovation, which means getting the approval once more, finding the approved designer and setting aside an even bigger budget. Instead of choosing trendy styles, opt for a style that doesn’t look dated and can easily adapt to any design. You can find different designs that will look timelessly stylish.
11. NOT WATCHING OVER YOUR RENOVATIONS
This is, by far, the biggest mistake anyone can make when doing bathroom renovation Singapore. While some will leave it to the contractors or the foreman, more often than not, the foreman isn’t always around and the workers, without someone to guide them, could easily make mistakes along the way or disturb the neighbors with the loud sounds. And once this reaches the property manager, you will be answerable to whatever fines will be implemented.
Take the time, even if it’s one hour a day, to oversee how the renovations are coming. You can even converse with your contractor on the progress. Regardless, this is your renovation project and you have to be present to see how it goes.
So, there you have it. These are the most common hdb toilet renovation mistakes that can happen. This is not to say that you will make the aforementioned mistakes when you start renovating.
However, it does help to understand how things works and what to do and not do. And by understanding them, you are on your way to having a smooth and hassle free toilet renovation that will leave you feeling both relaxed and relieved.