Back to Phase 2: Top IDs Share How This Will Affect Your Renovation Journey
Worried what the return to Phase 2 (heightened alert) could mean to your home renovation timeline? Wondering if there are any new considerations you need to plan for with these new tightened measures?
Well, good news! We are here to answer some of your most pressing questions.
With the help of some of our top interior design partners – Keith Liew from Spacebox iDesign, Averse Yau from A Blue Cube Design and Min Wei from Divine & Glitz Design, our team at Redbrick Homes, has put together a list of useful tips and things to look out for if you are planning your home renovation during these difficult times.
Read on to learn more.
Question: Should homeowners still meet ID firms face-to-face?
Averse (A Blue Cube Design): Homeowners do not need to meet us face-to-face, given that there is an option to conduct Zoom meetings. For ID firms with a strong project portfolio, customers may feel more assured and thus not require a physical meeting. The opposite however is also true.
In our case, most of our meetings are held online, unless the customer specifically requests to meet in person, in which case we do our best to adhere to the government regulations on meeting size and take all necessary precautions.
Keith (Spacebox iDesign): For us, we are continuing with face-to-face meetings, but with enhanced social distancing measures such as only having 1 group of clients in the showroom each time. The reason we do so is because meeting in person helps our clients get a better sense of the materials when they are making selections, which may be challenging via online meetings. However, we do provide the option of Zoom meetings should our clients prefer that.
Min Wei (Divine & Glitz Design): Due to the current situation, we have moved the majority of our meetings online. To help improve online communication and give our clients more dedicated attention, we have arranged for at least 2 of our team members to sit in for online meetings, compared to 1 member for physical meetings.
One of the biggest challenges however with online meetings, is that clients are not able to feel the texture of the materials they are choosing. Nonetheless, we strive to do our best with pictures and visuals to help them.
Question: Will there be any impact to the cost of renovation?
Keith (Spacebox iDesign): With demand outstripping supply and manpower shortages in the market, renovation costs have at least doubled within the past year. Even so, our team continues to provide our clients the best service with the most reasonable pricing and we try not to increase prices as much as possible.
Min Wei (Divine & Glitz Design): Everything is really expensive at the moment due to a shortage of manpower and because demand is more than supply. In terms of raw materials, the price has not increased that much, and it is still manageable, but it is mainly the labour cost that has increased significantly.
Averse (A Blue Cube Design): Without a doubt, we foresee that there will be a huge impact on the cost of renovation, due to the increasing costs of raw materials and manpower crunch for foreign workers. The cost of hiring local workers in place of foreign workers is comparatively more expensive, and it could remain that way with the tightened controls on migrant workers in the near future.
Question: Is there any impact to renovation timelines?
Min Wei (Divine & Glitz Design): On our end, the renovation timeline will definitely be affected, with almost all workstreams delayed by at least a month.
Averse (A Blue Cube Design): From our side, we promise the starting date and propose a tentative timeframe to our clients. However, in the current situation, we do anticipate possible delays in material shipments or manpower issues and will build that into our timeline for a more realistic delivery.
To give an example, one of our industrial worksites had a confirmed COVID case (not our workers) on one of the floors. As such, the entire building had to be shut down for the day and the following day for sanitization. This would then, in turn, cause a delay to our work.
Taking everything into consideration, we do anticipate overall delays of 2-3 weeks, but nothing as dramatic as 3-month to 6-month delays.
Keith (Spacebox iDesign): Due to the high demand, our timeframe for delivery has now been adjusted from 8 weeks to 12 weeks instead. As of now, the minimum time we need for a whole unit’s renovation is 12 weeks.
Of course, other things could impact the timeline as well such as a shortage of material in the market due to delays in shipment, overdemand, or issues at the suppliers’ side which may result in a longer time to complete a certain workstream.
Question: Do you have any tips or suggestions for our homeowners?
Averse (A Blue Cube Design): Do the necessary homework! When an online meeting has been scheduled with your ID, do make sure to prepare a list of relevant questions ahead to get the most out of the session with them.
Don’t be afraid or shy to ask them questions over Zoom!
Things to prepare for an online meeting with your ID:
- Compare pricing with other IDs to understand what the market price is – question if the costs seem unreasonably high or low.
- Decide which designer team you like.
- Share some ideas which you have in mind for the renovation.
- Ask the ID if material samples could be sent to your home ahead of the meeting to evaluate the materials in person.
Keith (Spacebox iDesign): For the initial meet-up, we would require our clients to provide their floor plan. Before the meeting, it is important for them to know what kind of concepts they like.
It would also be helpful if clients could inform us of the timeframe in which they would want the renovation to be done – so we can advise if it is feasible as well.
Min Wei (Divine & Glitz Design): If there is just one tip I could offer, it would be for homeowners to have the mental preparation that renovation could be delayed and adjust their mindsets accordingly so as to not be disappointed. Under normal circumstances, most homeowners would expect to have their house renovation completed within 2 months, however, that is not as likely now.
Also, before the meeting, do make sure to provide your ID with the floor plan to do the space planning ahead of time.
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