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Friday, September 29, 2023


Shasha, a homeowner, shared her experience with a renovation project where she had engaged the services of a friend who recently established an interior design (ID) firm, but unfortunately, encountered several challenges during the process.


According to Ms Shasha, the designer consistently misunderstood their requirements. As a result, they had to contact the Housing Development Board (HDB) to obtain the contact information of the liaison officer to inquire about the necessity of hiring a Professional Engineer (PE) to hack a balcony wall. Following this, they made multiple calls to the HDB to expedite their permit application at the request of the ID.

Eventually, they found their own PE who charged them S$400 for the wall hacking, a significantly lower fee compared to the S$1,200 that the ID wanted to charge them.

This incident, along with an inquiry about PRISM+ fan installations potentially voiding the warranty, led Ms Shasha to decide to cancel the renovation on 22nd February. She also requested a refund for the unfinished tasks.

However, the ID firm agreed to refund only S$2,800, causing Ms Shasha to reconsider her decision. In an email dated 2nd March, the ID told her that she shouldn’t get frustrated and told them to manage their anger, and the couple denies ever being frustrated.


Disputing the ID’s claims that they displayed frustration, Ms Shasha stated that despite being misguided by the designer, they remained compliant and followed all instructions. Nonetheless, the ID allegedly threatened them with potential legal consequences should they proceed with the cancellation and hinted at a protracted legal battle.

To avoid further complications and expenses, the couple reluctantly decided to continue working with the same ID. They described this decision as being made under duress. However, when the carpentry measurements were scheduled for 10th April, they did not take place, leading the couple to patiently await updates.

At midnight on 13th April, the ID messaged the couple, requesting the balance of the third deposit to be paid by 15th April. Additionally, the ID allegedly rescheduled the carpentry measurements to 15th April without prior notification.

Concerned about the previous experiences, the couple suggested giving the payment on-site when they met the carpenter. It was then revealed that the ID and her project manager had tested positive for Covid-19 since 10th April but failed to inform the couple, thereby violating a contractual clause that required them to be updated on delays caused by manpower issues.

Ms Shasha’s father contacted the ID to inquire about the completion of the work. However, the ID evaded the question and scolded him instead. Subsequently, when the couple visited the house site on 13th April, they discovered discrepancies in the completed work and noticed missing power sockets.


On 14th April, the ID refused to continue the project despite being informed that this would be a breach of contract. Ms Shasha sent a polite email requesting payment for the completed work and offering to reimburse the materials they had purchased. In response, the couple posted images of the incomplete works on social media on 20th April.

Four days later, they received an email from the ID firm threatening to “warn others” about them on the ID’s Reno Forum and accusing them of online defamation.

Additionally, they suspected that an account harassing their posts was associated with the ID. Ms Shasha also received a call inquiring about her address to collect a frame, which raised concerns for the safety of her eight-month-old son. Consequently, the couple filed a police report and submitted their case to the Small Claims Tribunal.

@right.vibes.only In January 2023, we gave our business to a friend who started an ID in 2022. We put down $20,680 (65% of our contract) upon confirmation to give her a comfortable start for our project but things only went south since then. Now (since April 15) we are left on our own with a home in this state. This may be a blessing in disguise, we never know. It takes more than a betrayal to put out our hopes to have our dream home. With lessons gathered from this unfortunate event and working with professionals in different aspect of our situation i.e. from renovation to legal, we are putting out content for young couples out there. May Allah support our intentions to help other young couples out there to have a safe renovation journey. Also, lets' see how we can build our dream home by ourselves. Inshaa-Allah! #fyp #sgrenovation #renovationproject #sgid #homerenovation #sginteriordesign #sgcarpentry ♬ original sound – rightvibesfamily
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