Engaging an ID

Related Posts
1 How to Choose ID
2 Protect Yourself Against Unscrupulous Contractors
3 Engaging an ID
4 Our Renovation Cost & ID
5 ID Contact
6 ID Update
7 Renovation headaches
8 ID Topic Revisited

When you engage an ID, be sure he has the experience to handle your job. The renovation construction industry in Singapore is basically a free-for-all. Anyone can set up "shop" and get away from licensing requirements by working for established design firms or persons that have the background, experience and licenses required to handle renovation work.

Let me rephrase that. A newbie can be an ID overnight, with no formal background in construction or design, by "riding" on a design house with a track record and

necessary licenses. Many design houses have no formal in-house training and certification program, so once a newbie is taken on by the firm he is put to work immediately with a seasoned interior designer.

The more responsible ID will always be there to lend a helping hand to the newbie, but when work is plentiful and skill shortages develop, pressure builds. In such an environment supervision becomes lax and the newbie is left on his own.

It is therefore important you check out the ID's job sites -- both current and past, if possible. That is to ensure you get an ID with a good track record. However, be alert the ID does not pass off someone's work as his.

Also - be aware you may not get the same workmanship as that shown by a site visit, since the ID may assign different worker teams to handle your renovation. We therefore made a note to ask our ID to use the same workers that were employed at a particular jobsite that had left a favorable impression on us.

ID or Contractor?

Some readers asked if they should engage an ID or a Contractor. They assume a contractor will quote a lower price than an ID.

That is a myth: whether the guy you engage is an ID or Contractor, they are all businessmen - an ID is a contractor, and most contractors now pass

themselves off as IDs. So, don't make the mistake to assume you get a lower quotation price from a Contractor. The final quotation price you get depends on your negotiation skill, how badly the ID / Contractor wants your contract, and how much effort you have made in doing background research, such as checking prices for similar jobs from your friends or from others through forums like Renotalk.

So don't fall for the semantics trick. Tell your brain the term ID or Contractor is only a word, a label. What is important is whether he is competent and how is the quality of the workmanship, whether he knows his job. Ask questions like:

How many projects have you undertaken? Can you show me your on-going projects? Can I meet the owners?

Who are the workers? Are they your sub-contractors or employees in the same company as you? How long have you worked with them? How can I be sure you are not using workers who may be
learning-on-the-job at my expense? What happens if they make mistakes? What is the standard and quality of work I can expect? What happens if I am not happy with the workmanship?

I want to hack my bedroom wall to create a larger living space. Are you able to get HDB approval for that?

I wish to replace all the old sliding windows to casement windows, including the louvre windows in my bathrooms. How long would it take to get HDB approval?


Once you have satisfied yourself that the ID / Contractor is competent to handle your renovation, you then proceed to discuss the job scope. On job scope it is

important you give him a broad and detailed idea of what you want for the renovation. That means you should have done your homework and decided (1) what you want to renovate e.g. change the floor tiles, replace all the windows, replace old chute, hack the bedroom wall, rewiring, false ceiling, etc (2) the type of materials you want e.g. granite flooring, bamboo flooring for bedrooms, and (3) possibly the color and texture you want. You should also brief the ID / contractor on the workmanship quality you are looking for and the time schedule to complete the entire renovation.

The last step is the quotation and pricing of the renovation. Note you should only commence negotiation after (1) you have ascertained the ID / Contractor's competence and (2) he knows clearly the works you want completed within the timespan you have specified.

Next: ID Contact

Related Posts
1 How to Choose ID
2 Protect Yourself Against Unscrupulous Contractors
3 Engaging an ID
4 Our Renovation Cost & ID
5 ID Contact
6 ID Update
7 Renovation headaches
8 ID Topic Revisited

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