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[Advice needed pls] Staircase Railing for EM - What is approvable (frustrated)???

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Hi all

I'm new to this forum, and I need help from Executive Maisonette (EM) owners who have renovated their EMs recently. I am not sure if my ID / contractor is taking me for a ride.


1.  Background:

This topic concerns the staircase railing. Last Dec, I took over the keys to my resale EM in the West. The previous owner owned the place for >20 years and kept the flat in a really dilapidated condition. When I engaged my ID / contractor (note: not a reputable firm, based on a friend's recommendation) I told him I would be hacking many walls and changing the staircase railing.

HDB approvals have thus far taken a painful and frustrating 3-4 months; I am not sure if this is because of my ID sitting on the approvals, or if HDB really requires that much time to vet through the submissions. They had rejected my application to replace the old staircase railing (Old EM flats have vertical bars connected by a thick wooden slab, which is visually unappealing to me), citing the requirement to involve a PE and subsequently, BCA, in the approvals. My ID explained that the staircase railings need to comply to new BCA regulation, which states that the railing needs to have even more closely-spaced vertical bars. 

This is puzzling and frustrating for me, as: (i) I do not wish for the approvals to drag on for much longer; (ii) the vertical bars ruin the concept of my apartment which I have painstakingly designed (I very much prefer horizontal bars); (iii) I see a lot of EMs featured in Home & Decor / other magazines which have staircase railings that would be considered ridiculous by BCA / HDB guidelines (if what my ID says is true)...some examples completely did away with the railings!


2. Your Help Needed:

As such, I thought to seek your opinions on the following questions:

(1)  Is my ID / contractor taking me for a ride? Do BCA / HDB guidelines really require railings with so many vertical bars? 

(2)  How have others gotten their modern / minimalist staircase designs (with horizontal bars) approved? What are some suggestions to help me on my situation?

(3)  Should I speak with the HDB officer directly? (My contractor has thus far blocked access to the HDB officer)


Please feel free to PM me, thanks so so so much in advance for your help!!!

My renovations haven't even started, despite my engaging the ID in Nov 2015...imagine that....


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Hi, I am having the same problem as you. I recently bought a maisonette and currently going through the renovation process. Like you, we are just changing the railing of the staircase and seeking approval from BCA. Can i check if your staircase railing have been resolved?


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