Exterior Renovation

Home/Exterior Renovation
Exterior Renovation 2017-05-19T12:41:28+00:00

Putting Your Best Face Forward: Exterior Renovations

That exterior renovation is a niche market in Singapore is an understatement.

As of 2014, only 5.5 per cent of the population live in landed properties, with nearly 82 per cent in HDB flats and just over 12 in condominiums and other apartments, according to the Singapore Department of Statistics.

The front door and balcony of your HDB flat or apartment are part of the exterior, but it’s not much to go on, is it?

Still, the entrance of your home makes a strong first impression on guests and is just as important as your interior design. If you’re planning on upgrading sometime in the future, the front of house becomes all the more important.

Many potential buyers will turn and march back down the common corridor if the HDB flat exterior is dirty and unappealing, studies have shown. The exception would be the buyer who sees the potential within and plans to revamp the whole place anyway, and will probably drive a hard bargain.

Online, if your home looks awful in pictures, don’t expect many calls.

An appealing exterior, on the other hand, will prime potential buyers to overlook any interior deficiencies. They’ll likely just think to themselves that they could fix it once they move in. Americans refer to this as “curb appeal”

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If you’ve a landed property, don’t just use your front garden or backyard for clothes lines. Own the space, live in it.

A porch or patio, especially if it’s out in front, is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and impress guests. And we’re not talking about a cheap table and two chairs you only use when putting on your shoes.

If your patio is facing the road or the brunt of the afternoon sun, enclose the space with a trellis and blinds, or plants. You’re not going to want to relax on the porch in full view of passers-by.

Like with flooring indoors, the right tiles or a wooden deck will make it a welcoming space – the latter is inexpensive and a particularly popular option and perfect for nature lovers, which go with wooden or rattan furniture.

Undervalued and under appreciated by many, a garden, no matter how small a patch, is a soothing enhancer for any house. Parking may be scarce, but paving over the garden for the second car actually robs your home of resale value.

As any American will tell you, a garage is more than just a car porch. Move the car out, and you’ve a den (or a man cave) to retreat to. Garages double up as workshops in most US homes, with tool racks built into the walls above work benches.

Last, but not least, is the ultimate declaration of the good life: A swimming pool. Above-ground pools (think hot-tubs) aren’t hugely popular in Singapore, but they’re an affordable alternative to getting traditional pool. If you’ve got the space and budget for it, we’ve got you covered on that as well.

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If you’re a landed property owner, any increase of the floor area of the house by up to 50 per cent is considered an addition. Anything more is classified as a reconstruction by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and will involve a lot more restrictions.

Guidelines on www.ura.gov.sg for landed properties classify the following works affecting the façade of the building as “Additions & Alternations”:

  • The removal and replacement of external walls not exceeding 50 per cent of the approved external walls;
  • Structural changes to the home, including the replacing or constructing new columns/beams and reconstructing existing floor slabs, not exceeding 50 per cent of the existing structure;
  • Changes or replacement of entire roof, as long as it does not involve an additional storey;
  • Addition of an attic provided the increase in GFA is less than 50%;

Any extensions that result in an increase in the Gross Floor Area (GFA) of the landed property will also require permission, as long as it’s less than 50 per cent. That includes the addition of an attic.

The URA considers works going beyond the criteria listed above as “reconstruction”, as well as any increase in storey height (regardless of whether the works exceed 50 per cent of the existing building).

Changing the type of house – from a semi-detached to a standalone home, for instance – is also considered reconstruction.

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