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65 Chestnut Avenue Eco Sanctuary 13

8 Ways To Avoid Renovation Scams In Singapore

People don’t want to become a victim of renovation scams. There are a lot of complaints about scams that affect homeowners. The complaints went up from 869 in 2020 to 1,300 in 2021.

Some contractors are better than others contractors. You will find out which contractors are good and which ones to avoid. Substandard workmanship or work not getting done on time are some of the complaints we received from customers.

If you have several options available and need to find the best one for you, you should do your research. Being ready for anything is a must, whether buying a new home or renovating an old HDB flat. Avoid renovating scams by avoiding these common red flags and staying on top of the latest trends in the home improvement market.

65 Chestnut Avenue Eco Sanctuary 13

In Singapore, what are some of the renovation scam?

Taking advance or not starting work

When you’ve almost paid the whole contract, renovations become nightmares. You’ll waste a lot of time and money on the project and it’ll be a real nightmare before it’s over.

It is a very common occurrence in Singapore.

If the contractors you hire exhibit poor craftsmanship and homeowners are left with uncooperative workers and broken promises, you can be assured that you’ll never get the full amount of money.

ID does shoddy job, uses unskilled labor and violates renovation guidelines

There are many types of renovations scams. One of the most unfortunate ones is substandard building work. Some common examples of problems that can be found in your home include improperly installed floor tiles, collapsed lightholders, and exposed bricks.

Some contractors take no responsibility whatsoever, and they just ignore rules. The people who are hired for this job often have to work in hazardous conditions, which leads them to quit working there after incidents happen. There are even contractors who threaten to reverse renovation works if the homeowner doesn’t pay them more.

When you refuse to pay, contractors will ask for huge advances

Be wary of any contractors who ask for a large cash deposit, before even starting the work. If the homeowner doesn’t pay, he or she takes it up and works at the required pace, but does not finish on time.

Furthermore, the renovation contractors sneakily increase the prices for petty things, like flooring, wiring and other unstated costs. If the homeowners won’t pay an additional amount, they’re going to have problems.

Common Renovation Scams: A Case Study

Leong had such a terrifying experience with a contractor when trying to furnish his BTO apartment in 2018. The contractor used his own money to pay for the installation, so Leong’s loan had no impact on his business.

Later, the contractor started offering a variety of excuses, claiming to be overworked and unable to complete the renovations due to a lack of money. The contractor told us that the delays and justifications kept going on for roughly three to four months. It took only 15% of the renovation work to be finished by that time.

Kitchen 3

How to prevent renovation scams?


To conduct a background check, visit the company

You have the right to ask the interior design firm for an update on what other projects they’re working on if that interests you. Make sure that you check out the company’s offices before you sign any contracts.

A construction company with offices and customer support reps is clearly better than an ID firm that doesn’t have an office. Getting in touch with the personnel doing work on your apartment is a good idea, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to talk to them if something goes wrong.

It is advisable to check the reviews of the renovation company

Nothing beats getting the real story from the source, and best place to do that is to hear from the clients. They know what works and what doesn’t. To get an idea of what to expect, look for reviews online, or read them.

If you go to the renovation personally, you should conduct an ongoing check on your work

You must check the work progress personally at least once or twice in a month. Keep checking on the finished work regularly. This will help you to stay on top of the renovation, and to know if there are any complications.

Take the time to check the costs, renovation schedules and materials

Make sure you’re dealing with a good contractor who will tell you about all of the things they included in the package and that are not included in the bill. They might include a bedroom renovation package, but not a wardrobe polishing package.

Ask all your card details for review and then examine the dimensions and look for any multiple entries. Make sure the contract specifies the amount of money you’ll have to pay each month, so it doesn’t cost you more than what’s in the contract.


Do not give huge up front deposits

Your contractor wants you to make a large down payment before the project begins. Beware of companies that ask you to pay upfront but then disappear. It is certain that they are after your money. A good deposit can be between 20 and 30 percent of the cost. A contractor is likely taking advantage of you if he asks for more money. You need to avoid them.

Do not accept a deal that is too good to be true

Some deals are too good to be true. Be careful. Request multiple quotes from various interior designers in order to get a better understanding of the market for this service. When someone tells you they’ve got a deal for a cheap house, you should always be cautious and skeptical and check out what’s really going on.

You shouldn’t just go on the company’s face value

Never trust just the reputation or face value of a car dealer, car rental company, or another service provider. Do thorough research on everything before purchasing it.

If you purchase an ID from a supplier that says the material is high-quality and electrical work should cost a certain amount, you should not believe it. If the figures in your quotation are incorrect, you should always verify your claims with independent research. Our renovation cost guide can help if you have questions about renovations or want to find out how much a project will cost.

How do you tell if an Interior Design Firm is legit?

You should always look for interior designers who have HDB-license. If they don’t have that license, make sure you don’t hire them. Interior design licensees should be licensed by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA). 

You can easily search for a company or a renovator who has been licensed by HDB to do home improvements and repairs in Singapore. Get your facts straight before you hire any company. Find out what their credentials are, certifications, licenses, and training.

In addition to shielding you from scammers, choosing HDB-licensed designers will result in further advantages. This expert knows that you must follow HDB’s rules and guidelines for remodelling residences. Because you’re assured of the best possible service as well as an industry-wide code of ethics.

There are places in Singapore where you can complain about a renovation contractor

If the cause of action was less than a year ago and you are seeking compensation for up to S$20,000 or more, you may file a claim with the Small Claims Tribunals.

If your case involves a dispute between a customer and a business, you can file a complaint with CASE. CASE has been helping businesses and individuals for nearly 30 years with contract reviews and negotiations. CASE’s mediation service is ideal for anyone who wants to have issues resolved quickly and at an affordable cost.

Avoid scammed interior designers and bad results by working with 9Creation

A professional interior design service, such as 9Creation, can make your home listing one of the best investments you make in getting more buyers into your home. By creating an interior design and a 3D representation of your home, you’ll get the best visualization of your long-last investment before making the most significant decision. Get yours with 9Creation here to prevent unwanted results that will waste your money and time.

Visit our showroom at East: 140 Paya Lebar Road #01-14, AZ @ Paya Lebar S(409015) or West: 18 Boon Lay Way #01-98A Tradehub 21 S(609966).