While most contractors in Singapore are certified and honest professionals, it’s still best to be cautious when deciding whom to work with. Note that there can still be a few individuals out there who might scam and provide you with low-quality services and results.
Although some of these frauds are obvious in hindsight, there may still be some cheap tricks that may go past your eye. For this reason, we created this short list of warning signs that a contractor is cheating their clients.
Lack of Licensing or Insurance
One of the first factors you have to consider when choosing the contractor to work with is if they have the licenses and credentials required to operate in your area.
That’s why we suggest that you look for a local contracting firm with a physical and permanent place of business.
As part of risk management during the construction project, it’s also essential to check if the contractor you’re planning to hire is equipped with the right type of insurance such as liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and all risk insurance.
Nonetheless, if you need help finding a reliable local contractor in Singapore. Check out some of the listicles we published:
- Best renovation contractors
- Best window contractors
- Best renovation contractors with in-house loans
- Best cement screed contractors
- Best kitchen renovation services
- Best toilet renovation services
- Best HDB renovation contractors
Suspiciously High Advance Payment
Bear in mind that it’s common for contractors handling large-scale renovations or repairs to ask for an upfront deposit. This is the contractor’s way to get enough funding for the materials and permits needed for the project.
Advance payments are usually around 10% to 20% of the overall project cost. If the contractor asks for more than this amount without being transparent about where the money will go, weigh your options or, better yet, find a new contractor for the project.
Swapping Materials Without Notice
Changing or swapping materials is a major red flag you should look out for. During the planning stage, the contractor and the client will decide what type and quality of materials will be used for the project.
Now, if the materials delivered on-site are different from what you’ve agreed upon, don’t hesitate to ask your contractor about it. Well, it could be an honest mistake.
However, if the contractor insists on using the materials, saying that you can save more because the materials come at a discounted or lower price, watch out. Those materials could be low-quality or old excess from their previous projects.
Sudden Changes in Proposed Estimate
Making sudden changes to the proposed estimate is perhaps one of the cheapest tricks a scammy contractor or service provider can do to a client. Although it’s not a common problem with renovations, this scam usually happens on repair jobs.
If you hire a bad contractor, you will notice that he will offer you an instant quote without evaluating the extent of the damage or the repairs that need to be done. In addition to that, the contractor will not even warn you of the possible expenses that may come along the way.
Nonetheless, if you require professional home repair services, here are some of the firms we reviewed:
- Best plumbers
- Best electricians
- Best handyman services
- Best door repair services
- Best roof repair services
- Best kitchen cabinet repair services
Fails to Report Updates
Hiring a contractor is a way to lessen the burden on your shoulder when dealing with a building or renovation project. For this reason, he should be on top of things and should provide you with clear status updates before, during, and after the project.
The contractor should also be able to answer all your queries and explain everything in clear terms. If you notice that the contractor rarely or does not give you updates at all, even in the planning stage, it might be better to just consider another contractor for the job.