If there’s one thing Singaporeans love more than anything else, it’s being prepared. After all, we live in an unpredictable world where anything is possible. This makes it all the more important to not only protect ourselves, but our homes too. Luckily, HDB takes care of the latter by providing you with an HDB bomb shelter to see you through any unprecedented storms. Though these nifty containment units are no new concept, the utility they offer often goes unrealised.  

So, if you’ve ever wondered about what you can and cannot do with your HDB bomb shelter, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some simple dos and don’ts every HDB homeowner must know about before a reno.   

What Do You Do With a Bomb Shelter?

Add storage space behind the facade that conceals your bomb shelter’s entrance

You’ve heard all about bomb shelters and what they are meant for. But in the modern day scenario, what exactly are you supposed to do with them? Since we aren’t currently using them as a safehouse against nuclear fallout, we might as well put them to good use in other creative ways.

Here are a few interesting ways you can make use of your HDB bomb shelter:

  • Turn the entrance into a feature wall with intricate panelling work, metal inlays, or shelves.
  • Use a facade over the bomb shelter door to hold concealed storage units behind it.
  • Add a vertical garden, stickers, decals, and wallpaper to the door/bomb shelter entrance to make it a part of your interior design.
  • Convert your bomb shelter into a utility room to store clothes, gym equipment, and pantry items.

Can You Mount a TV on Your Bomb Shelter Wall?

Mount your TV on the facade or false wall to prevent drilling into the shelter’s walls

In short, the answer is yes! However, this also depends on how you mount the TV on the bomb shelter entrance. Drilling holes directly into your bomb shelter goes against the rules and compromises the safety it can offer you. Instead, you will need to create a false wall to conceal the bomb shelter entrance and then mount your TV on this surface.

Can Your Helper Sleep in the Bomb Shelter?

Match your shelter’s entrance to the rest of your interiors with paint and wallpaper

While your helper can stay in the bomb shelter for short periods of time, sleeping in there might be unsafe. Since bomb shelters lack ventilation, your helper can be at risk if they sleep inside it fulltime. Try to look for an alternative space to use as your helper’s quarters and leave the bomb shelter as a utility room.

Can You Paint Your Bomb Shelter Door?

Add a creative twist to your space with chalkboard style bomb shelter doors

Since standard bomb shelter doors come in colours that can clash with your interiors, you can paint over them to get the desired look. In fact, you can even take it a step further by adding wallpaper or stickers on the door. Just be sure not to drill into it or make any structural changes to it while renovating the exterior entrance.

Can You Remove Your Bomb Shelter?

Conceal your bomb shelter doors with some fun printed wallpaper

Your bomb shelter exists to protect you from any type of impending emergency. For the same reason, it cannot be removed from your HDB. Moreover, the walls around your bomb shelter are structural walls which are not meant to be hacked or tampered with.

Instead, you can convert this space to a storage unit, pantry, or makeshift gym. However, avoid spending extended periods of time inside the shelter with the door closed as the space lacks ventilation.

Can the Bomb Shelter be Used as a Room?

Consider using this space as a full fledged pantry area

Your bomb shelter can be used as a storeroom, but not as a bedroom due to ventilation issues. Though this space can be used recreationally, you cannot modify it with extensive changes. Stick to using accessories and fittings that do not require drilling or mounting inside the shelter.

How Do You Hide Your HDB Bomb Shelter?

There are an endless number of ways to get creative while hiding your bomb shelter. You can either use a variety of bomb shelter designs to decorate the facade, or you can add non-intrusive decor elements to the door. Consider using a feature wall, a facade with concealed storage, or laminate sheets to camouflage the door into the rest of your interiors.

Is an HDB Bomb Shelter Soundproof?

Since the walls and floors in this space are reinforced, they can help insulate sound. This further helps keep sound in or out of your bomb shelter, depending on how you use it.

What Renovation Work Isn’t Allowed in an HDB Bomb Shelter? 

  • Hacking, drilling, or modifying the internal and external walls of your HDB bomb shelter is prohibited.
  • The doors and ventilation sleeve of your bomb shelter should not be modified or renovated.
  • While renovating, you cannot overlay the floors of your bomb shelter. Tiling is allowed but only if the thickness of the flooring material lies below 50mm.
  • Fixtures cannot be inserted more than 50mm into the interiors of your shelter. Moreover, be sure to only use non-metallic inserts and removable screws while installing any such fixtures.

How Can Livspace Help You? 

We hope you found this guide useful! If you want your home to be just as beautiful, then look no further. Book an online consultation with Livspace today. Have some comments or suggestions you’d like to share with us? We’re all ears! Feel free to write to us at editor.sg@livspace.com.