The very fact that you are reading this article means that you are probably considering a property renovation. Congratulations! You have taken the right decision since renovating a property has several benefits. Not only can you sell it at a higher price, you can also create a comfortable space to come back home to- one that instills tranquility, peace and a sense of haven after a long day at work.

The thing is: finding reliable and honest renovation contractors in Singapore is an uphill task. Therefore, as a consumer, you must make wise decisions and set realistic expectations with the candidate you choose to work with. The following tips can help you handle renovation contractors in Singapore:

6 Tips To Handle Renovation Contractors in Singapore

  1. Develop a list of contractors to work with

We strongly recommend that you get multiple referrals from friends or colleagues who have had renovations in the recent past. Do not rely on advertisements you see in the local newspapers or yellow pages alone. If these are the only sources you consider, then it is like going on blind date. You won’t know the kind of contractors that will show up and furthermore, your risk of facing fraudulent people also goes up. When getting word-of-mouth referrals, do not hesitate to ask your friends about their experiences with their contractors.

  1. Ask for references

Once you start short listing different contractors, you must also ask them each for references. Next, call up these ex-clients and get honest reviews: was the work done on time? Was the site properly cleaned up after work was completed? Did the renovation contractor answer doubts and concerns promptly? Did he answer phone calls in a timely manner? If possible, drive down or visit these sites to see the kind of work they have done.

  1. Be firm about your requirements

We have all experienced pushy salespeople haven’t we? Once your evaluation and hiring process is firmed up, meet up with the renovation contractor(s) to discuss your budget and project requirements. State clearly what your expectations are and do not budge if the contractor tries to get you to commit to items you do not need. Crafty contractors tends to take advantage of a ‘soft’ customer and will not hesitate in being pushy.

Even if you decide to hire a contractor you know, do not let friendship come in the way of professionalism. It is important to separate social and work relations at two different levels. Be very clear about completing work time lines and the agreed deliverable.

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  1. Get sales quotations from at least three different contractors

Though it is common to consider financial aspects but, it’s also worthy to note that price alone should not be the deciding factor when choosing a renovation contractor. Always make it a point to obtain at least three different sales quotations, so you can compare line by line what each contractor charges for their work. When you see a price difference that raises your eye brow, question the contractor and ask for clarifications – diplomatically, of course.

If you agree with a contractor who might be charging a little higher than the others because of superior workmanship or perhaps good after-sales-service, try negotiating for a slight discount. Most renovation contractors would compromise if they sense your sincerity to hire them. Naturally, you must also remember the old adage: “You only get what you pay for”. A higher bid may not be the worst thing; rather it might mean better materials and even superior reliability.

  1. Negotiate the payment terms

As an example, you can pay 10% of the amount after you sign the contract so the contractor can procure materials etc. It’s important to set a milestone payment system where you pay only after the completion of those work items in respective milestones. You can even consider a delay clause in case the contractor fails to put in the amount of work he is supposed to. Make sure these terms are written down clearly in your contract before signing.

  1. Get a contract written down

As a guide, a proper contract from professional renovation contractors in Singapore would comprise a list of materials, brands, allowance items, permits, budgeted items, start and end date, things/detailing he will and won’t do, warranties and things covered by them, as well as the ACRA number, name and contact details of the renovation company. Last but not least, contracts are to be properly endorsed by authorised person(s) of the company accompanied with their full name, job position and company stamp.

Apart from these 6 useful ways to handle renovation contractors in Singapore, you must also maintain good and constant communications with the contractor (or Project Manager) throughout the entire duration of the renovation work. Usually, the lack of proper communication and follow-ups are the main cause of renovation screw ups. You must also keep detailed documentation of all correspondence and changed orders etc. This way, there is no scope for hassles and disputes down the line.