|Intellectual Property of Perle Noire (Singapore) www.PhuaChuKang.com 2009.
In collaboration with R.I.D.S. (Renovations & Interior Designs Singapore)
Finding the Right Contractor or Interior Design Firm
The Dos and Don’ts for a Home Owner In Desperate Need of a
Home renovation is a necessary process to transform an empty or
problematic living space into a dream home. It is immensely
personal because the interior designer or contractor has to be
aware of your living habits in order to make the design, layout,
choice of materials and colour scheme work for you. Depending
on whom you choose to do up your home, this process can be a
breeze or a complete nightmare.
1) Do have a General Idea of what Your Dream Home Looks Like.
Before approaching anyone, you might want to look up pictures of different possibilities so you have a better idea of what
the general direction is going to be. Would you want a cozy family home, a posh-looking home or a modern minimalistic
bachelor pad? It is important to first have a general idea because you can then approach a company that has achieved
something similar to your dream home in their portfolio.
2) Do Approach a Few Options and Consider Different Bids
Get at least 3 bids or quotes for what you want to do and ask for as detailed a breakdown of the pricing as possible. It is
important to know how much of the budget is going to the material cost so you know that you are not going to end up
with low quality materials that will not last. As a guideline, materials costs should be 40% of the total renovation costs
from a contractor.
So we have all heard stories about nightmarish situations with
home renovations but how do we avoid the same kind of drama?
This list of dos and don’ts will be handy in guiding your decision
3) Do a Check on the Contractor or the Firm
You can purchase the business profile of the company from
ACRA iShop and see if the company has a good track record.
You can also Google to see if there had been any complains on the
company. To be safe, the best bet would be to obtain some
references of past clients.
4) Know the Main People Involved in Your Project
For bigger companies, the first few people that you might meet is
the people doing sales and not so much the people involved in the
actual renovation or design processes. It is therefore important to
know at least the work of the designer or the foreman for the job.
Wherever possible try to meet these people before you commit to
giving them the project. You might consider doing a site visit to the
current jobs the foreman is in charge of or seeing some of the
design sketches of your interior designer.
5) Do Understand your Work Style and Communicate that to the Company / Companies Involved
Some people prefer a more hands free approach whilst others prefer to have more control in specific details. Some
people are more visual; others may be tactile or kinesthetic. Some people want a wealth of options, others want only
the options that are most suitable for them. Decide on who you are as a consumer and communicate this,
1) Don’t Hesitate to Share Your Budget
A good contractor or design firm will be able to work within a realistic budget or advise you when your budget is not
realistic. They should be able to tell you what is achievable with your budget.
2) Don’t Ignore Communication Issues Upon First Contact
If you have issues communicating with a designer or contractor when you are explaining the nature of the project, you
will have problems when the project starts. Hire the company that answers all your questions clearly.
3) Don’t Go for the Cheapest Bid
If the pricing looks too good to be true, it probably is. This might be a sign that they are using cheap materials or not
using experts for the project. Other nightmares could be underestimation or hidden costs revealed later. Another
possibility could be that they have very few contracts due to bad reputation or that they are new in the market. Neither
are good signs for you if you want a hassle-free creation of a dream home.
4) Don’t Pay Too Much of the Total Costs Upfront
Pay scheme of design and renovation works should be organized in terms of milestones. Depending on the scale of the
project, there might be more or less of a milestone involved. 100% payment upfront is a definite NO NO.
Be sure to clarify what you are entitled to at every milestone. If design wise, you might want to ask, for revisions based
on the existing design that you chose, how many of such revisions are you allowed before you may be charged extra?
Choose a company with a reasonable pay scheme.
Article written by Ms Kate Lim
Dancer / Entrepreneur / Writer
The above list of 5 Dos and 4 Don’ts, are things that might sound pretty much like common sense but sometimes
homeowners might fall into the trap of assumptions. To assume that since your interior designer or contractor should
know what’s best for you is a plan for failure. Be clear in explaining what you want from them and add details and
feedback whenever necessary. Renovations is a complex process with many variables so having a checklist like this
will help you make sure that in the decision making process, you have found the best possible company to work with.
This will then reduce your heartaches and last minute surprises.
If you like what you have read and found the above article useful, please click on the ''Follow Me'' button below and
look out for my other articles... It has been my absolute pleasure having you on our page and do have fun with your
|Not surprising enough,
the best way you can find a good
and trustworthy contractor /
designer is through your friends
and family members. Ask around if
anyone has dealt with a designer /
contractor recently. Ask for
search for companies on
Facebook that have many fans or
followers, browse through the
comments passed on their walls,
are they praises or complaints?
|Pay scheme of design and renovation works should be organized in terms
of milestones. Depending on the scale of the project, there might be more or
less of a milestone involved. 100% payment upfront is a definite NO NO.