Buying your first HDB BTO is a sure sign of adulting so kudos to you! The balloting process is almost as tough as winning a TOTO ticket. If you’ve booked your home and are waiting to get your keys, then there’s surely a lot going on in your mind. How do you kickstart the entire process? After clearing all the formalities and paperwork to book your first dream BTO unit, it’s time to get to the exciting part. Before getting your HDB BTO renovation started, take a look at some of the most common concerns people have faced with some expert advice from Livspace.

A renovated HDB BTO

Q 1. What should I prepare for BTO key collection?

At this point you’re probably excitedly shopping around for your flat or waiting eagerly for your HDB BTO queue ticket. Whatever your situation is, we’re here to help you be better prepared. Follow these simple steps before going to collect the keys, to be fully prepared:

  • Check your application status online and don’t forget to take a printout and sign your appointment letter.
  • HDB will want to see your Certificate of HDB Fire Insurance before issuing you the keys. So make sure you sign up for it and get yourself covered.
  • It is advisable to ensure your SP Services Account is activated 1 day before your HDB key collection date.
  • Plan your finances and decide whether you need a HDB BTO flat loan.

Q 2. How to pack my things before the renovation begins?

It is important to store away your essentials until the HDB BTO renovation is completed. If your budget allows, you can pack away your things and rent a short-term storage facility. If not, put all your belongings in boxes and packets and use a spare room (that is not getting renovated) to keep them. Whatever you’re doing, make sure you keep a ready list of all the things you’re packing.

Q 3. Where should I stay during the renovation?

No matter how tolerant you are, all the noise and chaos of your HDB BTO renovation is going to leave you asking for some peace. It is best to have secure temporary accomodation at hand. Either put up at a relative’s place, hotel or a rented apartment. Keep a place in mind beforehand so that you do not stress over it at the last moment.

Q 4. How long does a BTO renovation take?

Typically it should take about 6-8 weeks. Every HDB BTO renovation is unique and the timeline will depend on the extent of work you want to get done. Shortage of materials and unexpected electrical snags are some mishaps that homeowners may face that may sometimes delay a project. It is best to keep a buffer time for your HDB BTO renovation. Check with your interior designer for an estimated timeline.

Q 5. How much does BTO renovation cost?

Ideally, for a HDB BTO renovation including kitchen, wardrobes and furniture, it should cost you anywhere between $10,000 to $ 60,000. HDB BTOs are already furnished with the basic amenities and thus, don’t require extensive renovation.

Know more about the cost of renovations, here.

Q 6. How do I plan my budget for BTO renovation?

You and your partner can pool together and check your savings to settle the 10% downpayment of your flat. For the remaining 90% amount, you can either take a loan from HDB or from a bank. Use a HDB loan calculator to get a sense of different interest rates to plan better.

Q 7. How can I save money on my BTO renovation?

Some great tips to save money on your HDB BTO renovation are:

  • Get ready-to-install carpentry instead of custom
  • Refurbish furniture instead of replacing it
  • Save up on electrical work by considering the sockets around your flat carefully
  • Maybe do not go overboard and try to avoid very extensive rework, if possible

Q 8. How to find the right designer for my BTO?

Once you’ve decided on your budget, you need to look for a good designer who falls within your budget. Look out for design capabilities, responsiveness, reputation, workmanship and experience. Some things that you need to keep in mind are their communication skills, reliability, honesty and rapport.

To decide whether you need a contractor or an interior designer, check this.

And when you’re meeting your designer for the first time, read this to be prepared.

We hope we’ve answered most of your questions and with this you’re ready to take on your HDB BTO renovation head-on! Check this out for more: HDB Renovation: 6 Must-know Steps to Begin (2020 Pricing Included!)

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