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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Engaging A Renovation Contractor

Extracted from Housing @ eCitizen:

Before you engage a renovation contractor, there are some points that you need to do or take note.


First you should locate a few contractors for assessment and comparison. Make sure that the specifications given to these contractors are the same. As different materials used can result in different quotes.

Assuming the specifications are the same, the quotes may still vary because of different standards in workmanship and service provided. It also depends on the time frame given to the contractor to finish the renovation work as the contractor may charge higher for more urgent jobs.

Never just go for the lowest quote. Assess carefully and cautiously the quotations, look out for any hidden cost, check if all the items discussed are quoted and included.

Renovation Contract

All requirements should be communicated clearly to your contractor. Never rely on verbal agreement, always sign a renovation agreement/contract. When you sign the renovation contract with your contractor, take extra note on the fine prints on the agreement.

Please click here for the sample of the renovation contract - RADAC Standard Contract.

(The Renovation and Decoration Advisory Centre (RADAC) is set up as a watchdog non-profit making voluntary body to provide greater controls in the renovation industry as well as to educate consumers on renovation issues.)

Renovation Permit

Certain types of renovation work regardless whether is for HDB flats or private residential property, a renovation permit may be required. If so, you can commence your renovation work only after obtaining the permit.

- HDB Flat

For HDB flat-owners, approval is needed from HDB. For details, please click here. You may also refer to the renovation guidelines for HDB flat.

Floor plans of specific flat units can be purchased from HDB Centre (Sale of Plan Counter) and all HDB Branch Offices, at $5 per copy. Or you may also use the plan in your sales brochure as well.

However, there are a number of renovation items which do not require any renovation permit. Please
click here for the list.

rules that need to be followed for renovating your HDB flat.

- Private Residential Property

For private residential property, approval from URA and/or BCA may be required for renovation works. However, there are certain types of renovation works that are exempted. For a list of the exempted works from URA and BCA and the procedure to apply for planning permission or for a permit, please click here.

For private residential property, the house owner will have to appoint a Qualified Person (QP) to undertake the works. The QP could be a registered architect or a professional engineer in the Civil or Structural Engineering discipline.

The QP will have to ensure that:

1. the proposed additions and alterations works and existing parts of the building comply with all the planning requirements.
2. submission of the prescribed Lodgement Form DC 7 and plans to Development Control Division (DCD), URA that the additions and alterations works have complied with all the planning requirements prior to Building Plan submission.
3. clearances from other technical departments are obtained by the qualified person (QP).

A QP is also required in Lodgement Submissions to URA for renovation to landed housing.

Once you have engaged a Renovation Contractor, for:

HDB Flat

In order to carry out certain renovation work in an HDB flat, your contractor has to be registered with HDB. You may refer to the following list to check if your contractors are registered.

For more detail information on HDB registered contractors, please click here.

If you wish to check whether your contractor is a RADAC registered renovation contractors, you may wish to refer to the following list

If the contractor is accredited with RADAC, it is advisable to use the RADAC Standard Contract which states the guidelines on the contractual obligations between the contractor and the consumer.

Private Residential Property

For a list of contractors undertaking renovation works in private residential property, please click here.

During The Renovation

During the renovation, you should constantly supervise the renovation works and make known to your contractor any dissatisfaction. Bear in mind that a good rapport with your contractor is beneficial to both parties. Keep track of the progressive payment you have made and always ask for receipts. Communicate clearly with your contractor on your discontentment. Discuss with him on the possible solutions and give him ample time to rectify the work.

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