I cannot fathom how some home owners can actually agree and sign on the spot with an ID company. I mean, don’t you want to know if you are being overcharged? Don’t you want to get a feel of the market price for what you are requesting for? Or do you not bother if there are other better IDs out there in terms of prices, customer service etiquette, experience, quality of goods etc?
Whatever it is, I would strongly advise against acting on impulse unless your hard-earned money means nothing to you (which most of us commoners wouldn’t think so).
Here are some of my humble tips to share with you guys on choosing your ID 🙂
1.Doing your homework
If you want to ensure that your money is well-spent, then you need to throw your laziness out of the window and start working on it.
Reading reviews (genuine ones) plays a major role in your decision-making on your ID. Know a friend who has just recently renovated their house? Speak to them and politely ask if you can drop by their house to check out their renovation, and if you think the workmanship is decent with minimal rants from your friend about their ID, get their contacts.
Researching online is also another awesome way (I do this for almost everything I do – from wedding, house matters, and recently even for my dog’s diet and health issues). Read up on forums regarding renovation such as Reno Talk, or from Facebook Groups etc. The internet and Google is your best friend, and since most of us are able to access the virtual world so easily, make full use of it to benefit you 🙂
2. Shortlist a handful of IDs and meet up with them for discussions
You can never engage someone (for whatever it is, be it for your wedding, your house etc) without first meeting up with them to discuss. Especially since you will need to find out how reliable the company/individual is, how creative, how helpful and how experienced they claim to be.
Jot down ideas and have some themes ready in mind (picture samples are awesome which are easily available on the Internet), and show them your preferences for your house outlook. Inquire as much as you want and see if they are able to attend to them adequately as well as able to provide more information and advice.
Also, one thing you will need to bear in mind is that you WILL NEED to inform the ID about your budget, so that they are able to advise and work things out according to your budget.
Lastly, prior to meeting them, check out their portfolios online, which brings us back to point 1 🙂 You may also request to view their portfolios during the meetup as well.
3. Discuss and decide with your other half which ID best suit your preference and budget
It is a house that the both of you are going to stay, hopefully for a long term. When two individuals come together, apart from different mentalities, another conflict-triggering point is the different preferences both of them have.
Discuss and decide with your other half via the elimination method, and hopefully, a consensus can be reached 🙂
Need I say more? You need to set a budget that the both of you are comfortable with. And stick to it.
5. NEVER go and decide on the FIRST ID/contractor you have met
Never ever jump the gun and decide with the first ID you have met without first researching on other IDs, which also brings me back to the start of my post 🙂
6. Senior ID vs Junior ID
Years of experience count, and this is also why when you engage be it a lawyer, doctor or engineer for that matter, their charges are different between a senior and junior one.
The same goes for IDs.
But remember, it is not always the case of ‘一分钱，一分货’. 😉
7. Show room
Apart from checking out their portfolios online, you should also ask if they have a show room gallery for you to view the real stuffs, instead of just visualising on paper, which can be quite tough.
8. Maximising space
Whether you are getting a condominium, a resale flat or a shoe-boxed BTO flat, maximising space is one of the important factors to bear in mind when renovating your house.
You want ample space rather than staying in a cluttered house, with no room to breathe.
9. Pre and post-sales services
Of course, you wouldn’t know how their pre and post-sales services are like prior to engaging them, so this is also one of the considerations to take into account when researching online.
Some IDs couldn’t care less after the deal is done, i.e. renovation costs fully paid up.
Surprisingly, there are also some IDs who lack responsibility even at the initial stage.
Some of you may not know this, but most of the ID companies collaborate with retail shops for lighting, furniture, toilet sanitaries etc, and your IDs wouldn’t be telling you that. 😉
Am not saying that you should boycott them since they may be able to offer you special discounts, but chances are, you may also find other better deals out there.
Ask your ID if they have any other recommendations on other shops apart from those they had first recommended, which usually are the ones they are tied up with.
Hope these tips come in handy when choosing your ID! In my next post, I will be blogging about part 1 of my home renovation so stay tuned! 😀