Precautions to Take Before Renovating

Renovating your new house can be really exciting. However, before you start your renovation process, here are some precautions that you should take.

When your contractor starts the home renovation work, it is important to supervise the progress on a regular basis. The contractor could say that it is sufficient for you to visit on a weekly basis, but it is advisable to monitor the work daily. Seeing the progress that has taken place every day for yourself has several advantages. If the contractor has misunderstood your instructions, it is critical to spot the mistake as early as possible. Quick rectification will be easier and reduce potential costs significantly.

For instance, the Consumer Association of Singapore receives a number of complaints against contractors every year. According to the data on the association’s website, 11% of the complaints received in 2016 pertained to contractors.

YearNumber of complaints filed against contractors

The best precaution that you can take to prevent becoming one of these people filings complaints is to make a daily visit to your home to verify that work is progressing according to schedule. Not only that, your payments should be linked to the amount of work that has been completed. Don’t make the mistake of paying 100% of the agreed amount in advance.

Do you need permission to make alterations in your house?

In Singapore, it is the home owner’s responsibility to obtain permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority for certain types of renovation. As a general rule, you will need permission for:

  • Changes that affect the external facade of the building.
  • Alterations that result in an increase of the floor area.


For HDB flats, The Housing & Development Board has another specific set of rules for renovations. For instance, you can only use an HDB registered renovation contractor and you are required to receive prior permissions from HDB for various types of work.

Plan your renovation carefully

It is advisable to carry out extensive research before starting on your renovation exercise. Spend time on finalising what you want your house to look like when the refurbishment is over. This will help you guide the work of the interior designer and the contractor.

Also, you should always keep in mind that, while your budget is important, it is not the only factor that you should consider. The efficiency and skill of the contractor that you engage will play a large role in the project’s success. Be prepared for delays and your initial budget estimate being exceeded.

If done correctly, renovating your home is one of the most fulfilling and worthwhile projects you could spend your money on. Not only will you get a new home that is a pleasure to live in and which looks exactly like you had imagined, it could sometimes even help raise the value of your property in case you decide to sell or sent it out.