Interior Design DIY Hacking

Interior Design DIY Hacking Process

This is part of the Interior Design DIY series of Hacking Work, more post on other areas of work will be coming soon. Before you begin, try to go through HDB important information page.


Please note what I wrote here only apply to Singapore renovation project. Another country may not be the same because of different property and contractor services.

My experience

In my practice, I had come across many home owner’s who had tried to renovation their home without having to engage a designer or coordinator. The interior design DIY experience can be unpleasant if owners have no prior knowledge of coordination work, also to consider other reasons to DIY is where rupture of relationship between owner and designer due to price disagreement or distrust in workmanship forces some homeowners to move away from designer and search for contractors to fulfil their vision.

What goes wrong

In my experience, on a few occasion, I arrived at a circumstance where painting the house is either too early or late. I hope in writing this post can help some owner to make sound decisions when they are on this path. Renovation can be painless if you know how to manage.

The reward

Designing your own home can be very rewarding when you are confident in knowing how all the pieces fall into place like how you imagine it to be. However, if you are going through some complicated design concept, I would strongly recommend you consult an interior designer before you hit the road.

Common list of works

  1. Hacking Work
  2. Wet Work
  3. Electrical Work
  4. Plumbing Work
  5. Ceiling Work
  6. Painting Work
  7. Carpentry Work
  8. Door & Window Work

Assuming this is a resale HDB flat, here is how you can plan to complete the project.

1. Hacking Work

To begin, when you receive the key to the house, naturally you will like to remove things you don’t want from the previous owner. The common hacking wet areas like the Bathroom, Kitchen and Livingroom floor tiles. If it is an old house, check the condition of electrical wiring, if it is in a mess from the previous iteration of works; look for installation that was not installed with proper PVC tube or wiring casing, consider removing all of it through the hacking. The contractor often uses the shortcut to simplify the installation, any of iteration work most likely result in the messy wiring.

After a long time some cable might disintegrate. A good practice is to change it all before procee to the next step.


It is important that what you want is explicitly communicate across to the contractor. Example like the schematic drawing that illustrates the area of the wall you want to hack. Which is required by submission to HDB.


A side note to dismantle the things you don’t want in the house, try to label the things that you want with tape and marker. This is the area where communication often breaks down.

How long it takes

This kind of work will take 1 to 3 days to complete. Before commencement of work, you need a hacking permit. If you are hacking walls down, some drawings will be required for submission and approval takes a few days, I strongly suggest you engage a design firm to work on this area, it is rather complicated to carry out on your own.

Interior Design DIY Hacking Process conclusion

I must caution you that these I wrote with objective to help to grasp the concept of the process. Still if you fall out of this prilimilary assement, an indepth consultion is require before you begin on your own. You can contact me if you have questions.


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