More than 5,400 home renovation projects approved by BCA to resume works

Renovation contractors can resume work immediately upon approval.
Renovation contractors can resume work immediately upon approval.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - More than 5,400 suspended home renovation projects have received approval to resume works on Tuesday (June 2), said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) on Wednesday.

All new applications to resume works will be approved within two days, provided the submission is in order, said the authority.

The construction sector has been gradually gearing up since Tuesday, when the circuit breaker period ended and Singapore moved into phase one of its reopening.

Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said renovation contractors can resume work immediately upon approval, using workers who reside in private residential and Housing Board (HDB) flats.

"These workers would have completed the mandatory 28-day stay home notice during the circuit breaker period so they don't need to undergo a  Covid-19 test before they start work," said Mr Lee, who is also Minister for Social and Family Development.

But he noted that there may still be delays in renovation works despite getting approval.

For instance, contractors whose workers live in dormitories will have to wait for the dormitories to be given cleared status by the inter-agency task force before workers can resume work.

There are also many contractors who employ Malaysian workers. These workers are unable to travel to Singapore due to Malaysia's movement control order.

Other contractors face difficulties securing materials due to supply chain disruptions.

 
 

All construction workers, regardless of their place of residence, will have to go through periodic Covid-19 tests after they start work.

If positive cases are detected through the tests, the affected worker will have to stop work immediately and all of his close contacts will be quarantined.

The BCA announced last Wednesday that home renovations will resume in two stages.

Projects already under way will be allowed to proceed first, followed by new works which will start at a later date.

Contractors who wish to resume their suspended projects have to provide the BCA the following information at this website:

- address of the renovation site;

- names, FIN, and address of workers; and

- the nature of works.

In an effort by the BCA to "simplify the process", contractors will no longer need to submit the renovation contract and photos of the suspended renovation works.

 
 
 

The BCA also clarified that renovation workers who are work permit and S Pass holders are only required to register for the Covid-Safe Training for Workers online course at this website.

These workers can start work before completing the online course and there is no need to schedule training sessions with the BCA.

Renovation contractors are also not required to send their workers for the Safe Management Officers Course for Construction, which is for on-site works.

Local interior design firm Fusion D’Sign is among those that have their three projects approved and will be resuming works with six local workers on Thursday (June 4). 

Its lifestyle director Sheila Tay, 43, said: “We had already rushed out all the major works like carpentry before the circuit breaker period started, so we’re left with the minor works like installations and painting.”

Mr Vince Teo, 36, marketing director of WHST Design, said his firm will be able to restart works on around 70 per cent of pending projects upon approval, as it employs more than 10 local carpenters, plumbers and electricians. 

He said: “We’re starting on the carpentry manufacturing in our factory now, so once BCA gives the approvals, we can do the installations in the homes.”