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Monday 17 October 2016

15 Questions You Should Know When Selecting a Home Contractor

15 Questions You Should Know When Selecting a Home Contractor

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Photo Courtesy of GDA Concepts Sdn Bhd

Selecting the right home contractor is an important key in your journey to realize your dream home. Asking contractor the right 15 questions below will help you choose the right contractor to renovate your new home.

Apart from that, it will also help you better understand important steps in the building process and the decision you need to make.

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Photo Courtesy of SIN Design Studio

  • Is your company registered and licensed? Make sure the company provides insurance to his workers as well in case of any accidents happened. - This will give you confidence that the company will not run away after accepting your deposit.
  • What type of warranty do you offer for your services? - Believe it or not, after sales service is up most important for you and the contractor's reputation, you do not want your newly built cabinet to break down after one week of usage.

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Photo Courtesy of Think Studio PLT

  • How many years have you been in the business and what type of jobs you are confident of doing? - Key note is, getting the right person for the right job. You do not want your home wiring done by untrained personnel.
  • Ask for reference and recently completed job. If possible conduct site visit of mentioned jobs. - Site visit of under progress job will give you an overall idea of the workmanship quality.
  • Who is going to supervise the renovation of the job? - Supervised job leads to better quality control and on time schedule.

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Photo Courtesy of Spazio Art

  • Who is going to supply the materials? - If possible, you select and buy the materials needed which in return will save you cost. Discuss with your contractor and make sure materials are purchased on time to avoid job delay.
  • How long does it takes for overall project time line? - Ask for break down of schedule such as cabinetry and general works schedule.

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Photo Courtesy of Chimporchamp Design

  • Can upgrades or changes be made during renovation? How would the budget and time impacted. - You might have second thought during renovation and may consider any upgrades or changes. Letting your contractor informed earlier to lessen the impact.
  • How are the quotation being structured? - It is always best to ask for itemized quotations, this would reveal any overcharged items.

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Photo Courtesy of Vault Design Lab

  • How are payment being made? - Most renovation jobs offer progress payment, getting to know the schedule payment will get you prepared financially ahead.
  • What's the process for inspection before handover? - Before you make your final payment, make sure you have a walk through inspection with your contractor for any matters to be corrected.

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Photo Courtesy of Signature Kitchen

  • How can I go about submitting my plan for authority approval before commencement of work? - Depends on nature of the job, some jobs require authority approval.
  • Who is the contact person for my job? - Always ask for single person window contact, too many person leading a job will create confusion to both you and contractor. 

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Photo Courtersy of Neo Concept Interior Studio

  • How many renovation jobs currently your company has? - Too many jobs at a time could lead to delay in schedule.
  • Ask for contractor concerns regarding your renovation plan. - This will lead to feasibility of what your plan is and contractor may have some feedback about your plan or design. 

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Determine Your Budget for Home Renovation

Determine Your Budget for Home Renovation

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To determine how much you want to spend on home renovation, simply follow these four steps; Gauge the Cost, Set Your Budget, Request Quotes from Contractor and finally Set Your Priorities.

In home renovation, dreaming of what you desire is the fairy tale but execution is the hard part and sometimes the results or after effect could backfire with poor planning. Get started ahead by following these four steps:

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1.  Gauge the Costs

Based on your home renovation dream, gauge how much will it cost. Minor renovation of a 1000 sqft home such as plaster ceiling, cabinets, grills installation, painting and appliances installation run between RM 20,000 to RM 50,000. Cost will differ from materials type chosen to engaging an interior designer.

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2.  Set Your Budget

Once you have determined your home renovation project, the next question you should have the answer to is how are you going to pay for it. If you have the cash, that's easy to answer. But if you are financing it, you need to asses how much a bank will loan you and what will be the monthly loan repayment. There are few basic types of loan options available from the bank:

  • Cash out refinance

  • Credit card personal loan

  • Home renovation home loan

For vast majority of homeowners, the best way to finance your project is by home renovation home loan. Most banks offer this option when you are applying for your home loan purchase. If your home loan already at place, fret not as you could apply to refinance your home loan by topping up the loan with accordance to your current home market value. The least favour option is personal loan by credit card as the interest most of the time is higher than home loan. Whichever your choice is, just be careful not to be drown by the monthly repayment.

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3.  Request Quotes from Contractors.

Before requesting for quotes, determine your final requirement and what you want, right down to the final details. by specifying these requirements up front, the contractors will be able to quote properly.

Get quotes from at least 3 contractors and to find the right contractor:

  • View their recent and reference work

  • Search online for feedback of the mentioned contractor

  • Check references

Once you have selected the right contractor, set aside of 10% to 15% for contingency for unforeseen circumstances and changes you might have along the project.

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4.  Set Your Priorities.

If your dream house and your budget is not in sync perhaps it is good idea to carefully review your project and scale down your dream. Discuss with your contractor on ways of cutting down costs. Possibilities of cutting cost include:

  • Buy it yourself.

You will save up a big chunk of your cost if you buy materials yourself. Be sure to coordinate with your contractor on the items delivery schedule.

  • Keep existing items which are still in good condition.

You may upgrade your appliances or other items later stage.

  • Trim down the project.

  • Other alternatives.

For example, use of laminate countertop instead of granite table top for cost reduction.

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