1. Structural Evaluation
Before you decide to hack any relevant wall, it is recommended that you hire a “Qualified Person” as per the official Housing Board guidelines and carry out an extensive structural evaluation. Only when the wall in question has been approved to be structurally irrelevant and alternative damage solutions been proposed can you go ahead with the whole process of HDB renovation.
2. Permission From Authorities
Once your qualified person has submitted the relevant drawings and reports to the HDB authorities, the process of official evaluation begins. Only when your documents have been reviewed and approved by the Housing Board authorities can you go ahead and hack the wall you need to dispose of for your HDB renovation.
3. Load Bearing VS Non-Load Bearing
Load bearing walls are the ones that carry the weight of the ceiling all the way to the foundation. They’re usually designed on top of each other, and damaging one can disturb the stability of the entire structure. You cannot touch these load-bearing walls in your HDB. The whole building might be stable on a column-beam framing, but load bearing walls are still pretty important. Non load-bearing walls on the other hand are thinner and not structurally relevant. These are the ones you can hack with permission from the right authorities.
4. In case of Structural Damage
If, unfortunately, during the process of hacking you end up damaging an existing column or beam, then it would be best to stop immediately. The first thing you should do during such times is to contact the Housing Board. Then you’ll have to hire a Qualified Personnel who’ll evaluate the structural damage, create a report, and then recommend some solutions to cover the damaged areas. Note that this process can cost you a pretty penny.
5. Arches and Hollows
Even if you’re only looking to create a simple arch or a hollow in your existing wall, there is still going to be some hacking involved. In such cases, you have to once again have the existing structural integrity appraised and submit a report to the HDB authorities for evaluation. They’ll then provide further guidelines upon approval. Similarly, if you’re thinking of demolishing only half a wall to accommodate your design, your demolition can only be carried out after obtaining approval from the Housing Board authorities.