There are literal horror stories about renovation scams littering the internet, and as one of the biggest design centric countries in the world, Singapore is no exception. The thing is; renovation is a huge investment – you’re literally taking out five figure loans or tapping into your precious savings to upgrade your homes, and it can be scary to spend such a large amount all at once. People are generally cautious, but sometimes, these situations cannot be helped. So let us tell you a few tips you can use to save yourself from a renovation scams.
1. Consult more than one designer
Sometimes, a designer asks for an unreasonable deposit, or is left high and dry in the middle of the renovation by a contractor. Sounds scary right? Well it is. You can avoid this by consulting more than one or two designers in the initial stages. Don’t immediately settle for the first designer you visit. You have to scope out the market to start getting a hang of what’s what. This way, you can compare quotes, personalities and priorities before settling for your perfect designer.
2. Go for CaseTrust
If you’re scared and paranoid about dipping your toes in the renovation market, then we’ll give you a safety net to rely on: when in doubt, always go for CaseTrust accredited interior designers. This accreditation basically means that his specific designer protects their clients, have stricter policies and are careful about providing good working conditions for their workers. This one is definitely a win-win.
3. Do an online review check
We’ll tell you a little secret – the testimonials that you find on official company websites are all cherry picked to present the good side. Of course they’re authentic, and are from satisfied homeowners, but if you really want to dig deep, then you need to check out Google or Facebook reviews. There are always a few unfiltered tidbits on there that can give you a better idea on what to expect of that particular company.
4. Educate yourself
Before taking on any new venture, you need to educate yourself on the basics, and renovation is nothing different. You need to educate yourself on the market costs of materials, appliances, contract inhibitions and HDB guidelines before you start checking out interior designers. This way, you won’t have to take any quotation at face value, and can better judge the designer and their policies.
5. Never pay big initial amounts
This one is pretty important – you should never submit huge advance payment deposits before the work actually starts. It’s always best to look firs-hand at completed works by the designer beforehand, and then check out the breakdown of your payment schedule. Initial deposits always range between 10-25% of the cost. You also have to use invoices with every payment to keep better track of these things.