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Renovation Frustrations Avoided

06 Mar 2014

Tips & Advice

If, like the vast majority of Singaporeans, you live in a HDB flat, chances are that you will one day want to renovate. You might want to erase the style of the former occupant, accommodate a new arrival, or simply reflect your own evolving, maturing taste. To avoid frustrations and regrets, there are some important steps you should undertake before the first stroke of paint is applied.

Renovation Frustrations Avoided

Decide On a Plan

Formulate an idea of how you would like the design of your house to be. Try and find the floor plans of your flat, if possible. When planning, bear in mind the primary function of each room – for example, a bedroom is for sleeping, a living room is for leisure, a kitchen is for cooking – and make sure that every decision supports it. For example, loud busy graphics in a bedroom are not conducive to sleeping.

Fix a Budget

Ask around among family and friends to work out roughly how much your planned renovations should cost. Then look at your financial situation and arrive at a figure that is both affordable and reasonable in view of the scope of intended work. Do not be over-ambitious, and if necessary simplify your plans rather than attempt to execute them with inadequate funds.

Shortlist ID Firms

Source a few interior design firms from word-of-mouth, Internet research or browsing through magazines. Arrange to meet them for the purposes of obtaining a quote and getting a feel of their working style. It’s essential that you feel comfortable, and can communicate clearly, with your appointed designer.

Meet and Brief

When you meet up with your shortlisted ID firms, ply them with as many questions as you can think of. At the same time, provide them with as much information as possible to ensure a quote that is as accurate as possible.

Appoint a Company

Choose an ID company based not only on cost, but also on the level of confidence they inspire in you. Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest, nor the most expensive. Weigh up factors such as the impressiveness of their portfolio, the number of projects completed that reflect your chosen style, and the timeline. Beware firms that seem to promise unrealistically early completion dates.

Sign the Contract

Before signing the contract with your chosen interior design company, go through the terms and conditions with a fine-toothed comb. Consider asking your ID company to use the standard contract from the Renovation and Decoration Advisory Centre (RADAC), or at least referencing it. Any grey areas, clarify.

Check on Progress

Check on the progress of your renovations at short and frequent intervals. This will provide peace of mind, and help avoid costly mistakes that take time and money to be rectified.

Before the Handover

Check every detail before the handover. Take as much time as you need. If necessary, voice your dissatisfaction loud and clear. Be specific about the source of your unhappiness and your expectations. Finally, clarify the warranty period and your entitlements within it.

Enjoy your Home

Stand back and admire your beautiful new home. Indulge in a house-proud moment. Then invite your family and friends and graciously accept the compliments that will surely come rolling in.

Quick Tips: The 8 Cs of Renovating

Keep it affordable!

Reach a consensus among family members on the type and extent of your renovations. If you can’t all agree, let the majority rule!

Renovation Frustrations Avoided 2

Pick the brains of family and friends who have recently undertaken renovations. Expect plenty of horror stories as well as some happy endings.

Contact RADAC for more information before you commence your renovation works. Ask for a copy of the RADAC Directory, filled with useful articles on renovation and decoration.

Make sure that a comprehensive and legally binding contract is drawn up before you commence your renovation works. You’re encouraged to use or at least reference the RADAC Standard Contract for RADAC Accredited Renovators.

Choose your contractor carefully, based on a number of factors including cost, credentials, portfolio and testimonials.

Control the process and regularly check on the progress of your renovations. Changes will cause delays, cost considerable money, and are one of the main causes of disputes.

In the event of disputes, try to reach conciliation with the contractor or contractors involved as litigation is costly, painful and time-consuming. You can approach RADAC for advice and assistance.

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