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Singapore Home and Decor

I have been extremely busy with work lately. Somehow over the past few years, my bosses have decided to dump tons and tons of new appointments, responsibilities, projects and so on. The same phenomenon is happening to Mr Diva! While our peers were busy watching K-drama simi love from simi stars, we are literally seeing stars after doing so much OT.  Being middle managers made our lives really....tiring, boring and BURN OUT!

As a result, my blog is now somewhat neglected. However, this doesn't mean that I have stopped browsing websites for refreshing home interior designs or halted my daily dose of freshome. In fact, I have 101 things to do but have no the time to do  them!

The list includes a complete the overhaul of this website. Somehow I couldn't get the codes right and its not working properly. By the time 80% of the codes have worked, I am so sick and tried of the layout and design. I really want to refresh and remake my home interiors; really our apartment looks so very dated! I have also been entrusted with yet another renovation project. The list goes on and on.

As a result of my very limited time, I started to turn to Home and Decor online instead of the magazines.

It is a very comprehensive site which features the following:

Blog - A very addictive read! Updated almost every day.
Q&A - Read answers or post home interior questions.
Products - Its pinterest like interface features droolicious furniture.
Home - portfolio of inspiring designs! The more I browse through the photos the more I feel I need to overhaul my place...ugh!
It also allows homeowners to login and create their very own mood boards.

Do hop over to the website and take a look!
 Whats more, there is a Home and Decor fair in check it out too!




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Renovating a Private Residential Property Part II

Depending on your property and type of renovation, you may need to obtain planning permission from URA. 
Which renovation works require approval from URA? Additions and alterations to your property require approval if they:
  • affect the external facade of the building, or
  • result in an increase of the Gross Floor Area (GFA)


To qualify as an “Additions & Alterations’’ to a landed-titled residential property, the following criteria must be complied with:
  1. the proposed additional gross floor area does not exceed 50% of the approved gross floor area;
  2. the external walls that are to be removed and replaced with new walls do not exceed 50% of the approved external walls;
  3. structurally changes to the existing landed dwelling house such as replacing or constructing new columns/beams and reconstructing existing floor slabs do not exceed 50% of the existing;
  4. changes/replacement of entire roof, regardless of increase in height as long as it does not involve an additional storey;
  5. addition of an attic provided the increase in GFA is less than 50%;
Proposals that do not comply with any of the above criteria are considered as “Reconstruction’’. The following works are deemed as reconstruction regardless of whether the works exceed 50% of the existing building:
  1. Increase in storey height – Changes/replacement of any part of the roof when it involves an additional storey
  2. Change in housing form – Works which result in a change to the landed dwelling house form, for example, from semi-detached house to detached house.


Check if your renovation works are covered under the Planning Permission Exemption List. If they are not, you will need to obtain approval from URA.
Landed property owners can also use the Landed Housing e-Advisor to evaluate if your proposed works comply with Development Control Guidelines.
Landed property owners can also engage a Qualified Person (QP) to lodge the renovation works under the Plan Lodgment Scheme (Additions & Alterations) if your property is located in certain designated landed housing estate and meet certain criteria.


Generally, internal renovation works within your strata unit do not require planning permission. However, renovation works which affect the external fa├žade of the building or result in an increase in Gross Floor Area (GFA) will require approval from URA.
In particular, for proposed Additions & Alteration works within strata units which involve an increase in GFA, the applicant is required to obtain a letter signed by the Secretary or Chairperson of the council of the MC confirming that the MC has by 90% resolution authorised the carrying out of the proposed works for the strata unit.
This authorisation letter duly signed by the authorised signatory of the Council of the MC is to be submitted to URA by the applicant together with the proposal as part of the planning application.
To download the format of the authorisation letter, please click here
The above requirement is only applicable to non-conservation strata-titled residential properties.


How do I apply for planning permission? Please refer to the step-by-step guide – How to Apply: Development Application via CORENET eSS.
The application fee for additions and alterations varies. Please refer to the Fees Schedule for Development Applications (PDF).
WHO TO CONTACTI need help. Who can I contact?
Contact the Development Control Group at:
Tel: (65) 6223 4811 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm)
Reference from URA site.
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Selamat Hari Raya

I have been very busy lately since I am managing a renovation project on the behalf of my relative. As it is an Condominium unit, there are a lot of new things to research and understand. In the meantime, I will try my best to post what I have learnt whilst managing this project.
In the meantime, Selamat Hari Raya to all my Malay readers! :)
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Renovating a Private Residential Property Part I                          

  Before you begin renovating your house, the following are some points or guidelines you need to know.
Renovation Work
Sanitary Work
Electrical Work
Air-conditioning Work
Fire Safety
Gas Service
Window Safety & Maintenance
Guidelines For Renovation Work
 Private residential properties would generally include landed houses, apartment buildings, condominium, cluster housing and residential units in a mixed development.

Renovation works in private homes would constitute one of the following:

-additions and alterations to existing landed dwelling houses
-additions and alterations to existing apartments or existing residential units of strata-subdivided buildings
-reconstruction of existing landed dwelling houses

Not all renovation works would require approval of plans from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). There are some building works, which are minor in nature, that are exempted from approval. A list of the exempted works is given in 'The Schedule' of the Building Control Act, and is reflected herewith.
-Exemption From Approval For Minor Building Works And Alterations To Residential Buildings

Where the proposed building works are not exempted, building plans will have to be submitted by a Qualified Person to the Commissioner of Building Control for approval. The following are some information on the requirements for approval of building plans. The normal submission system applies to all sorts of renovation works for private homes, while the simplified submission system applies only to additions and alterations to landed houses.
- Works Not Requiring BCA Approval
- Application For Approval Of Building Plans Under The Normal Submission System
- Application For Approval Of Building Plans Under The Simplified Submission System

Besides submission of building plans, structural plans submission would also be necessary if there are structural works involved in the proposed renovation. The following outlines the requirements to procure approval of the structural plans.
- Application For Approval Of Structural Plans

No building works shall commence until a permit to carry out building works is obtained from the Commissioner of Building Control. The grant of this permit can only be considered after the structural plans are approved. Where there are no structural works involved, the application for a permit is based on the approval of building plans instead. The following are the requirements on the application for a permit to carry out building works.
- Application For A Permit To Carry Out Building Works

Upon completion of the renovation works, a Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) or a Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) will have to be obtained for the occupation of the completed building. The issuance of CSC by the Commissioner of Building Control would legally conclude the completion of the renovation project. The following are the requirements to procure a TOP and a CSC.
- Application For Occupation Of Completed Building Works

Whether the renovation works require approval of building plans from the BCA or not, owners should also check for the need to obtain clearances from other authorities or compliance with caveats and by-laws which may apply to their premises, including rules and regulations adopted by the management corporation.
Frequently Asked Questions On :
 Here are some frequently asked questions on:
- Building Plans
- Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) / Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC)
- What are the renovation works which are allowed in the shelter?
Guidelines For Sanitary Work
 A all sanitary works are required to be carried out by a Registered Sanitary Plumber (RP).

Please click here for the list of
licensed sanitary plumber.
Guidelines For Electrical Work
 Before you begin your electrical work installation to your home, your are required to engage a PUB licensed electrical contractor to carry out the electrical work in your house.

Please click here for a
licensed electrical contractor.

You also required to apply the electrical work permit for certain types of electrical work if required. Please click here
for the Electrical Work Permit Form.
- Electrical Safety
Guidelines For Air-conditioning Work
 All air-conditioning works do not require approval of plans or a permit to carry out the works. However, the installation of supports for air-conditioning units on the exterior of all buildings except landed houses must be carried out by a trained installer.

Please click here for a list of
trained licensed air-condition installer.
Other Useful Information
- Legislation Of Air-con Units
- Methods Of Retrofitting
-Frequently Asked Questions
Please click here for further enquiry on Installation of Aircon Brackets.
Guidelines For Fire Safety
 Any person who wishes to commence or carry out any proposed fire safety works in any building shall apply in accordance with the Regulations made under the Fire Safety Act to the Fire Safety and Shelter Bureau for approval of the plans of the fire safety works. Such plans shall be prepared and submitted by Qualified Persons (QPs) which are registered architects or professional engineers.

Please click here for
detail submission procedures.
Guidelines For Gas Service
 Any installation or alteration of gas piping, you are required to engage a Licensed Gas Service worker (LGSW) to carry out job.

Please click here for a list of
Licensed Gas Service worker (LGSW).
- Gas Safety
Guidelines For Window Safety
 For any installation or alteration of Windows, you are required to engage a Trained Windows Contractors.

For a list of Trained Windows Contractors, please
click here.
- Frequently Asked Questions On Windows
More complaints about Renovation Contractors

More complaints about Renovation Contractors

Here is repost about the errant renovation contractors from SGPropTalk. However, I do not think that the errant renovation has risen due to the poorer quality etc. But rather, the onslaught of the BTOs, ECs and Condos are too fast too many for the renovation companies and contractors to handle. Coupled with the labour crunch, it is inevitable that the standards of the industry dropped.
"Gripes about errant renovation contractors have risen in recent years, despite efforts to boost professionalism in the trade.
The number of complaints against home renovation contractors climbed to 1,779 last years, figures form CASE showed. This is a 16% increase from the year before and a 35.5% jump from 2010.

Industry observers linked the rising trend to poorly-qualified interior designers and contractors who rush work, leading to subpar quality. They noted that there are few barriers of entry for interior designers and sub-contractors to enter the industry.

Another issue are the limitations faced by sub-contractors. Labour shortages have made it hard for them to hire skilled workers, so many contractors just “grab” whoever they can get, even if they are substandard.

Industry players say there is no official licensing requirement for home renovation contractors or sub-contractors. But members of the Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Suppliers Association (RCMA) have to abide by the Singapore Renovation and Decoration Code of Practice. CASE also has 21 renovation contractors accredited under its CaseTrust scheme.

Mr James Ho, 43, an electrician said whether one lands a good sub-contractor depends on luck as they are many who are not experienced enough.

But Mr Tan Chim Hoon, chairman of the RCMA, begged to differ. Estimating that only 20% of the complaints are legitimate, he said customers these days often demand more than what was initially agreed upon. "And when it cannot be done, they don’t want to pay you and they complaint." (sic)

To curb unreasonable requests from customers, Mr Tan said he is in discussions with CASE to work out an arrangement such that when a complaint is received, the RCMA, together with the contractor and the client, will visit the home to assess who is at fault and make recommendations. He hopes to implement it by this year."