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What you should know before hiring a contractor

If you’re bold enough to tackle your home reno without engaging an interior designer, kudos to you! But besides having the confidence, make sure you’re prepared for what’s ahead.

singapore home apartment interior design renovation

Here are the key steps:

1. Research
First of all, get an idea of current prices to know what you can realistically afford according to your budget. This will help you determine the scale of renovation — hacking lots of walls, adding false ceilings, redoing floor finishes, adding built-in carpentry etc. This will avoid unnecessary work and the rounds of negotiating costs and design.

2. Prioritise
Take the time to work out your requirements. Differentiate between what you need versus what you want, so that the important things will not be compromised.

3. Compare
Get quotations from a few different companies, so you’ll know if you’re being overcharged or not getting the best value.

4. Understand
Know what can and cannot be done. What you often see in fancy showrooms or portfolios may not be what you get. Every site is different, with a different set of structural and spatial constraints, so get all the specific details before you commit to anything. And if there’s something you don’t understand, don’t pretend to!

5. Confirm
The final contract document to include the design drawings, technical specifications, work plans, timelines and the quotation (reflecting a breakdown of the costs and services) is to be confirmed in writing. It should never be ambiguous, so you know exactly what you’re getting for what you’ll be paying.

6. Pay progressively
Make sure that you don’t make the full payment upfront. It is normal to make payments in stages as the work is carried out. This ensures that you won’t be shortchanged or your contractor doesn’t walk out without completing the job.

7. Check
Check for defects and get the contractor to rectify them immediately. This should be done before you move in.

 

Take note:
HDB flat renovations require contractors who are registered with the HDB.

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