Renovating? Excellent. But before you hire a contractor, do your homework before signing him on.
Know exactly what you need in terms of budget, outfitting and materials – Shop around and compare quotations. Case executive director Seng Choon suggests checking out the Building and Construction Authority’s website (www.bca.gov.sg), which has a series of Good Industry Practices Guide books highlighting good work practices adopted by contractors.
Have realistic expectations – The completed project should be suited to its intended use and look acceptable.
Know what they can and cannot provide – says Radac executive director Edward. “There is no such thing as the “perfect” renovator. And don’t fall for seemingly attractive offers, unrealistic promises, glamorous showrooms and gimmicks”.
Confirm the final job brief in writing – include the design, technical specifications, detailed work plans, timelines and so on. The contract should also show a clear list of products and services involved, and a detailed cost breakdown.
Agree on a specific and fair contract – Radac and Case have sample contracts on their websites; visit www.radac.org.sg and www.case.org.sg. Before signing, think about situations that may arise during renovation that could lead to disputes. Remember, your rights and claims depend on how your contract was drawn up.
Agree to pay progressively as the work is being carried out – Don’t pay the full amount up front, says Seng Choon.
Confirm that the contractor is credible and reliable – Seng Choon suggests using accredited contractors, such as Casetrust accredited renovation companies, so that you can be assured of good business practices and proper dispute resolution measures (view the list at www.casetrust.org.sg).
By Simply Her, October 2014