According to the HDB, all new BTO projects will have open kitchens if the layout of the flats permit it.
Bankbazaar Singapore – February 5, 2018
SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has said that beginning this month’s Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise, new flats will be designed to include open kitchens. This takes away the option of a wall separating kitchen and living room under the Optional Component Scheme.
Wall-free kitchens, according to the BTO, not only provide flexibility in layouts, but is also cost-effective. This move was made keeping in mind the last BTO exercise in August, which estimated the cost of wall partitions for each unit to be between S$370 and S$710.
In a statement, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said that this change was made to save people “the hassle and cost of hacking partition walls to create an open kitchen layout”. It added that the move was made keeping in mind the current aesthetic and lifestyle needs of people.
HDB flats with open kitchens were made available as an option in 2012 when an Ang Mo Kio BTO, Tech Ghee Parkview was launched. More such options were made available by BTO at launches starting from the following year. Of the 108 projects launched since then and up until November 2017, 94 flats offered the open kitchen concept in estates like Toa Payoh and Yishun. According to the HDB, nearly 7 in 10 potential homeowners opt for an open kitchen. They will also leave out wall partitions wherever possible for all upcoming BTO projects.
Those who have opted for flats with open kitchens have stated that, at the end of the day, their flats seemed more spacious. Many of them have also invested in customising their kitchens to include glass panels or islands that double up as tables as well as bifold windows which can be closed when there is any heavy-duty cooking. These installations have cost homeowners S$3,000 to S$5,000 without including the cost of appliances.
For some aspiring homeowners who do want the partition wall, this additional cost is too steep. Since most people are on a budget when they buy their homes, they believe that they would have been more comfortable had the HDB continued to offer this facility under the Optional Component Scheme.
HDB’s show flats with the open kitchen concept can be viewed at the HDB Hub. Alternatively, it can also be viewed online on the HDB InfoWEB or by using the Mobile@HDB app.