Some home owners in Singapore turning to renovation apps to save on costs

Some home owners in Singapore turning to renovation apps to save on costs

Homeez CEO Tyson Lim said the app gives users options on whether they would like to oversee the works themselves or choose freelance project managers that they want to work with, which they can pay a one-time fee for. 

“So for example, we do have some freelance project managers that charge maybe S$5,000 for managing a five-room flat,” he added. 

“The home owners are in control of the money and paying out to the suppliers directly, rather than the money flowing into an interior design firm… where a lot of unnecessary middleman fees are from there. So why not just get them to pay directly to the professional managing the project?”

Consumers are able to spend less because there is no interior designer nor salesperson involved, said Mr Lim, who has been in the interior design line for the past 10 years. 

“Conventionally, interior designers earn through a mark-up scheme, rather than a one-time fee,” he added.

“So if the cost (that) comes from a carpenter is S$100, they have to sell at maybe S$120 to S$150. 

“That’s where their margin comes about. So when you compare the quotations, you realise quotations vary right there.”

Another web app Design Plus tracks the progress of the works and ensures consistent communication between home owners and contractors.

It hopes to save around 40 per cent of costs incurred through delays and rectification work.

“On average, renovation for a HDB apartment can consist of up to 50 different key persons, or 50 different contractors or suppliers. Designers will need to manage this amount of people and ensure everybody gets the same (and) correct information, avoid doing wrong things, and deliver quality work,” said Mr Zoron Koh, creative director at Design Plus. 

“With technology, we are able to enhance the workflow. Therefore, we can address issues like ineffectiveness, high renovation costs, job delays and miscommunications.”