Dear readers, thanks for dropping by. Kindly note that I have migrated all these posts to my new blog All Things Cozy and Homely . I will blog at the new site from Jan 15 onwards.

Friday, February 22, 2008

How to decide on a renovation package

Lost? Wonder how you should go around deciding on which renovation package to take up? Here are some guidelines to follow....

1) Research, research!
Speak to a few contractors/IDs to better understand the difference between different materials involved and pricing. Do your own homework (google is your best friend) to avoid over relying on contractors/IDs.

2) Compare prices
Decide on the design and items to do and obtain minimum of 3 quotations from different contractors/IDs on the same items (i.e same material, same dimension etc).

Tips: Its easier to put down all the prices in excel spreadsheet for comparison.

Note: Sometimes its not possible to get the contractors/IDs to break down individual cost in their packages. Thus another way is to compare on other attributes like quality, reputation and warranty etcs.

3) Price
Next to look out for is whether the price is negotiable and whether if there are any hidden costs not factored in.

Possible hidden cost include :-
• Haulage - to remove the renovation debris
• Electrical points cost per point
• "Supply and install" - If no "supply" being mentioned, it means u have to buy and the contractor/ID will install for u.
• Installation of water heater/oven/hood/hob (usually FOC) but some IDs do charge
• Screeding for laminate/parquet flooring (Get HDB to do it FOC for u)
• HDB renovation permit (usually FOC)

Note: Refer to this blog post on hidden costs for more details!

4) People factor
The Contractor/ID that you are going to working with plays a very big factor in whether you should take up the renovation package. Refer to this post on Questions to ask prior hiring a Contractor/ID for more details.

5) Other factors

It is easier to ask for more free items than to negotiate for a lower price. Remember to note down ALL discussed items/conditions in black and white. Include a non-completion clause in the contract so that if the contractor/ID fails to deliver the house for possession on a particular date, you will have the right to deduct a specified amount of money for every day of delay.

Ask the contractor/ID to take you to their past (NOT RECENT) customers for you to look at their work. If the contractor/ID is able to do that for a few customers, it means that they have positive working relationship and it’s also a good time to see if their workmanship lasts for years.

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