Gone are the days when a $6,000 contract would get you a fresh new walls, floors and some customised furniture. The cost of home renovations have increased significantly over the last decade. The average renovation contract in 2008 was $5,742. In 2016, it was $11,237.
Rise in renovation-related complaints
And the cause for concern is not just in increased construction costs but on the rise in the number of complaints filed against errant renovation firms. The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) has seen a doubling in the number of complaints over the last 10 years. Consumers lodged 1,269 cases against the renovation contractor industry last year, making it the fourth in the list of the industry with the most number of complaints lodged. Most of the complaints pertained to the failure to honour contractual obligations and unsatisfactory services.
CaseTrust-RCMA accreditation scheme
Some of the most common complaints include renovation contractors ceasing operations after collecting full deposits before completion of works. Complaints of multiple delays and unsatisfactory workmanship are also common.
Case is now working with the Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Suppliers Association (RCMA) to improve standards and protect consumers. They have launched a CaseTrust-RCMA accreditation scheme last year to help protect consumers’ deposits against business closure. The scheme currently has 30 businesses in its list. For consumers who want to find out more about home renovation, Case is also organising a fair in September.