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Stuck with your renovation plans? Here’s how to proceed in light of the COVID-19 situation. Find out more

COVID-19 and Your Renovation: Frequent Questions Answered

April 9, 2020

Everything that you want and need to know.

Since the start of the Circuit Breaker on April 7, we’ve been keeping our ears to the ground for the latest information about COVID-19 and the renovation industry in Singapore.

Here’s our FAQ that answers key questions which you may have. Also, we’ll update it when there are new advisories and measures, so check back regularly!

Q: Can I still speak to an interior designer?

A: Yes, you can! But virtually, of course. If you have a future home planned at a soon-to-be completed BTO estate or condominium development, the interior designers whom we work with are more than happy to discuss your plans online, whether it’s through a video call – just let us know and you can be part of the Qanvast Trust Programme!

If you’re wondering what’s the upside of starting your discussion now, it’s simple: Laying out your plans at this point of time will give you a running start on your renovation after the Circuit Breaker measure ends on 1 June 2020.

Q: Can renovation works still take place right now?

A: No, renovation works are not considered an essential service by the Government. Additionally, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has issued an advisory that all construction and renovation work will be suspended from 7 April – 1 June 2020.

This includes the provision of all forms of services, BUT with the exception of essential works, namely “repair of roof ceilings, walls, floor water leakages, electrical repairs, aircon repairs, and plumbing repairs in homes”. Safe distancing practices must also be put in place for anyone who is working onsite.

Q: When can my renovation works continue?

A: If your renovation has been paused due to the Circuit Breaker measure, works can only continue once the green light is given after 1 June 2020. Do note that existing projects will receive priority over new ones, as per the latest instruction from BCA.

Furthermore, as Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) has been extended to 9 June 2020, this could pose a manpower issue for Singapore firms that are reliant on workers and craftsmen from across the border. So, if you have renovation plans in mind or are in the midst of one, speak to your interior designer or allow our team to assist you with finding a suitable firm for your timeline needs.

Q: Is it okay for me to sign a renovation contract now?

A: It’s alright to sign a renovation contract right now, but you’ll have to do so with the knowledge that the process of your home makeover won’t be starting until after the Circuit Breaker ends.

Additionally, you may wish to take note that the Ministry of Law is planning to introduce a bill “to offer temporary relief to businesses and individuals who are unable to fulfill their contractual obligations because of COVID-19”. What this means is that homeowners will not be able to claim damages due to renovation delays occurring from the Circuit Breaker measure.

Q: Can I start renovating immediately after the Circuit Breaker ends on June 2?

A: While the BCA has made an announcement about the resumption of construction and renovation work from June 2, the process is going to be gradual. Also, official instruction has been given to prioritise existing projects that were paused due to the Circuit Breaker, which means new homeowners will have to wait a bit longer.

For more details, check out our indepth interview with local interior designers or BCA's website for the latest information.

Q: What if the renovation firm I have engaged folds due to the current situation?

A: Admittedly, times are bad, but we have your back! If you have engaged a Qanvast-recommended firm, you’re eligible to opt-in for the Qanvast Guarantee, which is a free service that safeguards 50% of your contract’s value (up to a maximum of $50,000) in the event your chosen firm becomes insolvent.

Read more about the Qanvast Guarantee and the Qanvast Trust Programme here!

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