In an HDB apartment, making maximum use of your living space is important, especially since HDB’s sizes seem to be shrinking over the years.
The service yard in any home is often one of the places that people forgo fancy design options. It’s the one place in the house that you don’t want to show to your guests – after all, it’s where the washing and miscellaneous equipment is kept. Many cleaning liquids and laundry detergents are located here. This means that the service yard may sometimes be cluttered with unsightly bottles and containers.
Fortunately, we do have some tips and tricks that might help you to maximise the space of your HDB’s service yard.
What is a service yard?
A service yard goes by many names. Some people call it the laundry room, some people call it the utility room, and some know it as the service balcony.
No matter the name, its purpose is still the same: a service yard is where you do your laundry. Things that you can usually find here are washing machines, ironing racks, cleaning products, and miscellaneous items such as toilet rolls and extra plastic bags.
The service yard is also where you can usually find a dryer, if any, or in the case of HDB apartments, laundry poles racks.
There are many ways that you can design your service yard to optimise the space. Here are some top options.
1) Hacking the service yard wall to extend your living space
In HDB apartments, the service yard is often found past the kitchen. By hacking down the wall separating the two, the kitchen looks more spacious, and can accommodate equipment such as a dishwasher.
Hacking down the wall also means that you can free up space in the service yard. This gives you more flexibility when it comes to arranging heavy appliances.
For instance, you could install a dryer or washing machine where the wall used to be, or use the space to install a metal grate. The grate can be used to hook items such as towels or clothing pegs, which can help to save space.
Additionally, hacking the service yard wall could give you extra space to create a wet and dry kitchen configuration that you might have always wanted.
Hacking down your service yard wall may, in some cases, improve the resale value of your home.
2) Maximising vertical space
Instead of laying out everything on the ground, why not stack things upwards?
You can put heavier appliances such as the washing machine and dryer on the bottom. You can also build shelves over it which you can use to store your detergents and other dishwashing liquids.
Another idea is to build a cabinet with an ironing board attached to a sliding shelf, so that you can remove dried clothes and iron them at the same place.
Baskets and buckets are a great way to contain your cleaning equipment
If your washing machines and dryers are front-loaders, you can check with their respective manufacturers to see if they can be stacked on top of one another. This can help you to save even more space.
3) Adding countertops
Countertops are commonly found in the kitchen. Why not have them in the service yard too?
Countertops in your service yard could serve as an extension of your kitchen workspace. For instance, you could use them as an additional area for food preparation. What’s more, you can fit heavy appliances such as a washing machine beneath to save space.
If you’re thinking of hacking the service yard wall, you could replace it with a custom half-wall. This frees up space for a countertop, allowing you to put herbs and spice plants on it.
4) Creating a vertical garden
Many homeowners enjoy growing plants in their homes as it brightens and livens up spaces. One of the most popular places to grow plants is within the service yard, as it helps to draw attention away from the heavy appliances in the area. However, many plants require a fair bit of floor space to grow.
You can circumvent this by installing a vertical garden. Through the use of a steel grate and small hooks, you can fit several plant pots onto a wall, freeing up precious space. Alternatively, you can also grow hanging plants that require little soil. Air plants, such as the Sky Plant or Pink Quills, only require a light amount of misting in order to stay healthy. This helps to enhance the aesthetics of your service yard while still allowing you to make use of your floor space.
- Planning to renovate your HDB home but aren’t sure whether certain changes are allowed? Our article here will enlighten you on HDB’s renovation guidelines and required permits.
- If you’re reading this article because you’re thinking of getting a BTO and redesigning it, take a look at our ultimate guide to getting a BTO in Singapore.
- Looking at getting an HDB resale apartment instead? Check out our latest listings here.
To get more guides like this, check out PropertyGuru.