Your HDB apartment requires special care. When the time comes to renovate, it’s critical to hire an HDB-certified renovation contractor with a proven track record. When you hire a registered contractor for your HDB home renovation, you can be confident that the renovation will be completed according to plan. Before you make your final decision, keep in mind that cheaper does not always imply better.
In Singapore, the use of unregistered contractors is against the law. You risk being fined if caught renovating without proper certifications or application paperwork.
In its place, HDB registered contractors have received the essential training, preventing damage to the building structure, or negatively impacting the surrounding flats. The Registered Renovation Contractors Scheme (RRCS) of HDB allows contractors to obtain a licence to graft on HDB flats. It was created to monitor the activities of contractors functioning in HDB flats in order to prevent property damage.
HDB-licensed contractors must adhere to a strict set of rules or face a fine-based demerit system. For example, if tiles are changed without permission, fines ranging from $500 to $2000, as well as 3 to 12 demerit points, may be imposed. Severe infractions may result in licence suspension.
By completing the HDB training programme, you can become a licenced HDB contractor. A minimum of three years of active experience is required as well. The contractor should own the company for at least 12 months and the company must be ACRA-registered for at least one year. There should be no complaints filed against the company as well.
Working with unregistered contractors who happen to be able to “borrow” a licence from another company is not a good idea. It is illegal to hire a non-HDB-certified contractor in your HDB flat, and you could face a fine of up to 5000 dollars, as well as other penalties.
Tips when searching for an HDB contractor
1. Proper Licensing and Registration
Before hiring a contractor, make sure he is properly registered. If you own a private home, you can work with anyone, but if you want to renovate your HDB flat, you should hire a licenced HDB contractor.
2. Vet and Check with Multiple Contractors
To begin, you’ll need to find a few contractors to vet. Ensure that all of the contractors have the same parameters, as different materials can result in different quotes.
Despite the fact that the specifications are the same, the quotes may differ due to varying levels of skill and service. This is also influenced by the timeline provided, as the contractor may charge more for more urgent jobs.
3. Cheaper is not Better!
Don’t just take the cheapest quote. Analyse the quotes carefully and keep an eye out for any hidden costs. Verify that all of the topics discussed have been quoted and written down.
All of your requirements should be communicated clearly to your HDB contractor or designer. Don’t put your faith in verbal agreements. Always sign contracts that have been carefully drafted. When you sign the renovation contract, pay special attention to the details.
4. Check with your Renovator and Communicate Well
Renovations to residential homes may require approval from the URA and/or the BCA. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Nevertheless, extensions permit have to be applied for if the renovation works exceed the stipulated timeline. Hence, it is important to monitor and stick to the renovation timetable.
While the renovation is taking place, keep an eye on it and let anyone know if anything is bothering you. It’s worth noting that having a positive relationship with your HDB contractor is beneficial to both parties. Always keep track of payments and request receipts.
During the process, communicate any issues clearly and discuss possible solutions, then give the contractor enough time to correct the work.