The real joy is seeing your dream home come together as planned, perfect as a Pinterest board. However, anyone who has had renovations done for their home will know how hiccups – major or not – will most likely occur along the way.
And for some, it can be a total nightmare worthy of a dedicated Netflix series. The story of a nine-month renovation ordeal a local couple faced has recently made the rounds on social media, with several other homeowners echoing similar sentiments. In fact, complaints against renovation contractors increased by almost 50% in 2021, compared to the previous year.
It’s exciting to plan a new home, but the reverse can also be true when obstacles stand in the way. Still, there are some things you can do to put the painkillers away – we share some proven tips that will set you up well, making the renovation process as smooth as possible.
Start planning early
Call us typical Singaporeans, but being kiasu pays off. Start planning your renovation as soon as you can, even if it’s months before the keys are handed over.
This will give you plenty of time to talk with potential companies, compare quotes, and narrow down your preferred look. You can also take your time to decide if an interior designer or contractor would work best for you; do you have the sense of design and the time to oversee renovations, or would you prefer to entrust the work to someone else?
Ask for recommendations
While online reviews can be genuine, there’s nothing like getting feedback from people you know and trust. Were there any regrets, and what would they be looking for if they could get the process going again? And instead of an organized portfolio displayed on an iPad, you’ll be able to verify your potential ID or contractor’s work in person.
Cheaper is not always better
Do you think you have found a real bargain among the quotes you have received? Although a significantly lower project estimate may seem attractive, it may be hidden costs, or shortcuts and the use of inferior materials. It’s always good to ask all the questions you need before making a decision; make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Read the fine print
Along with a breakdown of renovation costs, make sure that an appropriate payment and labor schedule is included in the contract, and that you are comfortable with the schedule.
Payments should only be made after each milestone listed has been reached, and check completed work carefully before making your final payment – any complaints made afterward are unlikely to be addressed as quickly.
Be an active design co-pilot
A common headache is having to make changes mid-way through the renovation; not only will this cause delays, but the additional costs incurred can also be frustrating. Work with your designer throughout the design process, right through to material selection. It is important that the final rendering is to your liking and suits your lifestyle.
Expand your design horizon
Instead of relying solely on your service providers to select materials (like tile, paint, or vinyl flooring), visit stores with them and check out all the deals available for yourself. For all you know, there just might be a gem that you otherwise missed.
Take the samples home
Now that you’ve gone shopping and have an idea of what you like, ask the stores for larger samples; a single tile or the wood grain on vinyl laminates may look different when viewed on a larger scale.
You’ll also want to take these samples to your new location and see how they look in natural light. As for the paints, try applying a few to the walls for a better feel of the shades.
This article was first published in wonderwall.sg.