July 13, 2023

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Home renovations can be incredibly exciting and rewarding experiences. As you watch a nondescript apartment morph into the home of your dreams, a gush of exhilaration courses through your veins.

However, faced with shoddy workmanship, unresponsive contractors, and unfulfilled promises after paying almost the full contract sum, home renovations become nightmares that homeowners struggle to wake up from.

Mothership spoke to several homeowners going through such an ordeal. Swindled by unscrupulous renovation companies, they experienced much heartache, despair, and thousands of dollars in losses.

Indefinite delays, excuses, and requests for upfront payments

In 2018, Leong suffered a harrowing experience with a renovation company while trying to fit out his new build-to-order (BTO) flat.

As a means of financing the renovations, Leong took out a bank loan of S$42,000. The bank subsequently issued the money — via two cheques of S$21,000 each — to the renovation company directly.

On hindsight, Leong said that this arrangement was problematic because if the bank had issued the cheques directly to him, he could have controlled the flow of cash to the company.

According to Leong, construction began as soon as the first payment had been received by the company and the project progressed quite rapidly for the first two weeks.

Following that, the renovator made Leong an offer he could not refuse:

“I was…

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