After the lockdown: Is it a good time to start renovation?

With the implementation of phase 2 restrictions and the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that many home renovation works have been facing delays, even after works were allowed to resume after the easing of circuit breaker measures on June 2.
But even so, construction works continue to face significant delays mainly due to logistical and manpower issues. For those who wish to renovate soon, this begs the question: is it a good time to start renovation work? While we can’t exactly promise you that it will be a smooth-sailing ride, it pays to prepare yourself for the potential challenges that you may face during your renovation project.

Increased costs of materials

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The disrupted global supply chain has saw the dramatic increase in supply prices of raw materials, further increasing the renovation cost for homeowners. Lockdowns all over the globe have caused widespread production stoppages and shipping delays, leading to a severe shortage of some materials.
Even materials that are more readily available would now require a much longer time to ship and procure. And while some businesses and productions lines have resumed operations, it may take at least a few months for them to revert to full capacity.

Lack of manpower

And as the construction industry mainly comprise of workers from neighbouring countries, the recent travel restrictions and COVID-19 clusters that had emerged in the foreign worker dormitories have also led to a shortage of manpower.
Foreign workers returning to Singapore will also be subjected to a two weeks long stay-home period as well as mandatory swab tests and may only work once BCA has given them the official go ahead.

Extension of project timelines

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Companies, contractors, and subcontractors that wish to resume their renovation and construction works must comply with the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Safe Management Measures guidelines and the Building Construction Authority’s (BCA) Covid-Safe Restart Criteria.
This includes the restriction of the number of workers at a renovation worksite to a maximum of 10 individuals. And this number may be further reduced for properties of smaller sizes, stretching project timelines further.

Tips for homeowners who wish to renovate

So are there anything that homeowners can do on their part to make their renovation process much smoother?

Consult with an ID early

Try to consult with your selected IDs four to six months before your handover or key collection date, instead of the usual three to four months. This gives the ID firms enough time to plan for your renovation project, source for the necessary materials, and resolve any unexpected issues that may arise.

Select your materials wisely

In addition, you should confirm your preferred materials with your ID at least one month in advance. And for every material that is selected, it’s best that you shortlist 2 or more alternatives.

Be prepared for project delays

Last but not least, you should expect your project to be delayed by around 2 to 3 months. Make sure your accommodation plans during the renovation period factors in the potential delay period, and only shop for your furniture a month before the works are due.

So should I renovate my home now?

Well, it depends on your needs really. If you’ve just purchased a home and have to move out from your previous residence soon or that you’re alright with some delays, then you might want to go ahead with your renovation plans.
If you find this article useful, then you may want to check out our writeup on the top 10 renovation mistakes that new homeowners make.
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