There is an increased number of complaints against renovation contractors with nearly half of them talking about unsatisfactory workmanship or contractors failing to complete projects on schedule, as mentioned by CNA and The Straits Times.

We’ve heard all kinds of Renovation Horror and Nightmares that homeowners have mentioned. Be it horrible Interior Designers or contractors encounter. It’s nothing new, and there are a few things you’ll need to note and know to refrain from situations like this.

When hiring a contractor or an ID, many homeowners will do their diligence in identifying a reliable and responsible contractor by checking their online presence and reviews. However, not many would ask for their license.

1. Proper Accreditation

Check if they have a license from the Government before agreeing to any work to be done. For contractors working on HDB flats, they need to be licensed under the Registered Renovation Contractors’ Scheme (RRCS). Engaging a contractor not under this scheme is illegal, and can incur a fine of up to $5,000. It is recommended to look this up even if your home is private property.

The reason is that almost every established contractor has the HDB license; so you can have a peace-of-mind. Additionally, you may also look into CaseTrust – RCMA accreditation for an Interior design firm or contractor. This is an absolute MUST, as it ensures you’re not dealing with shady companies.

2. Get a Written Contract

You should be able to understand the terms and conditions, without too much confusion. Look out for unclear itemization, and always ask if it’s not clear enough.

3. Background check

Other than finding Contractors/Interior Designers that have good reviews online and be sure to know a little more about their background, for example, find out how long they’ve been in business and what kind of projects they’ve completed before. It is best to hire a business that has at least two years of experience and completed more than a certain number of renovations. This will give you some idea of what they can do and how much experience they had in doing this.

Don’t be shy to bring up any negative reviews that you’ve seen. Good designers or contractors are more than happy to give you an explanation, without getting defensive.

HDB EM Hougang Tony Poh and Cathryn Ling

4. Warranties

Apart from CaseTrust, ask for any warranties or guarantees the company can provide. Confident firms will offer certain types of warranties. Even if they don’t provide the warranty themselves, the fixtures or materials they use should come with some form of warranty.

5. Keep your Expectations realistic

When it comes to a renovation during this pandemic period, be realistic with both the pricing and timeline. If you’ve done any renovation works prior to this, don’t come in with the same price expectations as the material costs have gone up significantly, as well as the labour costs.

6. Check on Things right away

No matter who you hire, there’s a chance that something may go wrong. If something looks or smells unusual, check on it right away. Don’t wait!

With all these things in mind, finding the right Renovation Interior Designer in Singapore can be a challenging task, especially for first-time Homeowners. There are definitely many more things to take into consideration before settling down with one.


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