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14 questions which every Homeowner must ask before deciding on the Renovation Professional

14 Qns must ask
I used to joke that good renovation professionals are almost like psychiatrists; in order to execute the renovation projects successfully they have to know intimate things such as your needs, likes, dislikes and even intimate stuffs like lifestyle habits!
However, these renovation professionals can only reach that stage of familiarity when you share the appropriate information with them. In fact, this critical step sets stage for  a productive and rewarding relationship during the renovation journey. Furthermore, you also have to ask the RIGHT questions in order to suss out the suitable renovation professional to helm your project. In actuality, I have listed 14 must ask questions to get you started today!
 Interior professional's experience
Interior Designer: Space Atelier
1. Based on my preferred style, room and budget, can you show me examples of similar works which you have done?
Ask for photos to find out if your interior professional is experienced with your preferred interior design themes and is able to keep within the budget that you have established.
2. Can you show me your past client’s place or provide a list of client references?
Ask to be taken on site to an actual client’s place to take a look at the workmanship. It is also a good opportunity to assess if your interior professional has cultivated a good relationship with his or her past clients even  after the renovation project has been concluded.
3. What are the types of home renovation housing (either HDB, Condominium or Landed) projects which you have done?
Guidelines for private home renovation are very different for HDB home renovation. Therefore, if you own a HDB, you might prefer to work with someone who is more experienced in renovating HDB flats.
Scope of Renovation Work
Interior Designer: Twelve Design
1. Do you know what is the function or purpose of each space that is to be renovated?
The needs of a living room that is meant for entertaining of guests is very different from a living room that is just a place to chill out in front of the T.V. Therefore, the interior professional must be very clear of the actual purpose of each room.
2. What is covered and NOT covered in the renovation contract?
Verify with the renovation professional on what is and what isn’t included in the renovation contract to avoid nasty surprises during the renovation.
3. What are the assumptions which you make for the renovation cost, scope of work and schedule?
The renovation assumptions made by the renovation professional could impact the overall cost, scope of work and schedule of the renovation project. For instance, the renovation professional could have assumed that you complete the defect rectification with the HDB by the 1st month so that he could start the renovation works on the 2nd month. Thus once the defect rectification with the HDB is delayed, the overall schedule will be delayed.
 Renovation project deliverables, payment & schedule
Interior Designer: Urban Habitat Design
1. What is the list of deliverables which you will complete prior each payment milestone?
Find out exactly the list of deliverables which you will expect before you make a payment. For instance, the floor and wall tiling and painting works are to be completed before you proceed with the 1st payment. Where possible, create a simple checklist of deliverables to help you track of this.
2. What is the payment schedule?
Make sure you know exactly  the amount to be paid and when it is due. This is to ensure that you get the payment ready on time.
3. What is the project schedule?
Ask for the expected timeline for each payment milestone so that you can plan ahead and schedule tasks such as the delivery of electronic goods, furniture and prepare for the big move in.
 Changes in Renovation Scope
Interior Designer: Project File
1. How do you formalize the amendments in the scope of renovation work after we have discussed and agreed with the changes?
Find out whether the renovation professional intends to formalize the changes by either updating the existing contract with the new scope of work or sending an email that details the new amendments.
2. What types of changes can be incorporated into the project without causing a delay in the renovation schedule?
Simple renovation changes such as repainting of walls with a new color should not cause a delay in the renovation schedule. However, significant changes in the carpentry design might require re-fabrication which could mean a schedule change.
3. What happens if the delay is caused by the your team?
Find out the terms of  compensation should there be a delay in completing the renovation project. This is very important if you do not have alternative places to stay when you are unable to get the lease extension from your landlord.
Communication channels & project risks
Interior Designer: Dap Atelier
1. How should we keep in touch and how frequent do you update us on the status of the renovation project?
Ask to be kept in touch via chat channels such What’s App, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, etc for the renovation status update. Emails should be used to discuss and formalize the changes in the renovation scope of work. Frequency of the project status updates should be dependent on the extent of the home renovation and the deadline; which means that if the renovation is pretty big scale with a very tight deadline, the expected frequency of the updates should be much higher.
2. What are the show stoppers for this renovation project?
Find out areas of your project that potentially may not go according to plan. Ask for which risks that pose the greatest dangers to your renovation project success and develop mediation plans together to prevent the renovation from being derailed.
Interior Designer: studio

There you have it; 14 absolutely must ask questions before you decide on the Renovation Professional! Do share with us other questions that you find useful too! Have a great week ahead! 🙂

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