Part 3: Comparing HDB bedroom sizes

Ok, I do think this is the last of my 3-part Khaw Boon Wan ‘inspired’ series about shrinking HDBs.  Or should I thank Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) CEO, Dr Cheong Koon Hean for starting this debate in the first place?

Anyway, I needed to satisfy my curiosity about the size of the HDB bedrooms across periods and models so here’s the result:

Some simple analysis and commentary:

  • Unsurprisingly, 5 room flats tend to have the most generous bedroom sizes with. But compared to the 1990s, bedrooms of 5 room flats have shrunk a good 18% on average.
  • The master bedroom for the 2000s 4 room flat model is almost the same size as that of the 2000s 5 room flat, but the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms have shrunk DRASTICALLY by an average of 29% (!!). That’s a huge amount of living space that has disappeared. Poor modern day kids…
  • Bedrooms for 3 room flats are consistently smaller than that of the other models, but the most recent 2000s design is actually bigger than the previous period, although that seems to have come at the expense of the 2nd bedroom.

To give myself some perspective on the bedroom sizes, my master bedroom is 4m x 4.4m = 17.6 sqm and 2nd bedroom approximately 14.2 sqm before “expansion” and 16.5 sqm after adding the former corridor.  Using 14.2 sqm to gauge the sizes, it would be a tight squeeze to include wardrobes for 2 persons and a King sized bed in that space.  I think 18 sqm is really fairly spacious, so perhaps a good middle ground would be about 16 sqm or so?

As for the other rooms, to put 2 single/super-single beds (non double decker type) into a room and with wardrobes as well, I would think at least 13-14 sqm is required…

Not sure if the government had considered domestic helper living space when they did the calculations/planning btw?  Where do they expect domestic helpers to sleep?  Since they longer build executive flats, I shall ‘imagine’ with a 5 room flat layout… assuming mum, dad, 2 kids, 1 domestic helper… hmm… tough. I’m not even considering the mum, dad, 2 kids, 1 domestic helper and grandparents scenario yet mind you.  In the older 5 room flat layout I am familiar with that has a balcony or family area at the end of the corridor, at least that space can be converted to a comfortable domestic helper room. Fairly inhumane to put maids in bomb shelters if you ask me…

Ok, enough of my rambling on HDB layouts and sizes.  My next post will be about renovations I promise!

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