What to do before Hiring a Contractor

Published date: 24/05/2021


Are you thinking about renovating your current home, or have you just purchased a new home and want to make it your ideal home? In either case, you will need to do several renovations. But before jumping right into hiring a contractor, there are a few things you need to consider first. Here's what they are. 


Know your project well


The first thing you need to know is what kind of projects you want to do in your home, your budget, and the materials and tools used. Then, keep your budget in mind and look around online for reliable contractors or get recommendations from friends, family members or colleagues. Select a few of these contractors and have them each give you an estimate comparing each quote. 

The executive director of Case Seah Seng Choon suggests visiting the Department of Buildings website and Construction Authority, which has a number of good industry practice guides highlighting good work practices for contractors. 


Set realistic expectations


There is no such thing as a perfect contractor. As long as the renovation work completed looks the way it should and works the way it should, it is considered a job well done. Avoid falling for quotes that seem too good to be true, unrealistic promises, and other gimmicks as you may end up paying a lot more money throughout the renovation process. The end result may not even be of poor quality. 


Confirm the final work order in writing


Draft a contract that includes the design, technical specifications, detailed work plans, schedule, and other essential things. Have the contractor read through and sign the contract. The contract should include a clear list of products and services to be used and a detailed cost breakdown for each. 


Agree on a specific and fair contract


If you are unsure how to word a contract, you can look at some sample contracts found on Case websites. Before you sign any documents or paperwork, think carefully about what situations might arise during the renovation that could lead to disagreements between you and the contractor. This is important because your rights and entitlements, should problems occur, are based on the contract you have drawn up. 


Agree to pay in stages when carrying out the renovation work


Seng Choon advises never paying the total amount upfront. 


Check the credibility and reliability of the contractor


Only contractors who are registered with HDB are allowed to carry out renovation works in HDB flats. You can check the list of accredited contractors on the HDB website. Seng Choon recommends using accredited contractors such as CaseTrust accredited renovation contractors to be sure that they follow good business practices and take appropriate measures to resolve disputes if something happens.