House alterations have always been associated with sustainability for the future. However, a research at three low cost housing schemes in Shah Alam, Malaysia involving residences, housing contractors and neighbours showed that the construction activities or materials used caused problems and risks to social health, safety and the environment. These problems are related to lack of knowledge, skills and experiences in the building construction. Despite the presence of health and safety requirements, there remains a significant scope for improvement in Malaysia. From the findings, several recommendations are made to improve the living conditions for a sustainable future.