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Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Carpenter in Singapore

For every home in Singapore, from the wardrobes in your bedroom to the storage cabinets at the kitchen, you’ll need the expertise of a Carpenter to build them.

With formal training and work experience, carpenters in Singapore are usually a certified professional or contractor who possess the skills to work on carpentry projects that involve woodworking, cabinet-making, furniture customisation or other related material construction. 

A carpenter plays an important role right from the beginning of any home renovation or carpentry project. Not only is the carpenter responsible to ensure the completed job looks good, but it is also his/ her responsibility to warrant the finished product is durable and safe.

Commonly in Singapore, carpentry works are supplied by the renovation contractor or interior designer you hired to renovate your home, mostly with a renovation package, or specifically customised according to what you want.

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However, with the higher expectations of younger couples today, there is also an increased demand where this group of homeowners are directly hiring carpentry workshops to take on creative or offbeat carpentry projects to create an eccentric home.

When it comes to hiring a carpenter, it’s best to engage a reliable professional even if it means paying a little more. You don’t want to hire an unskilled carpenter and waste unnecessary money or time in rectifying sloppy work. Worse still, compromise on safety issues and put your family in harm’s way. 

Since carpenters aren’t tradespeople you employ frequently, it could be quite challenging when you want to sort out the good one from the bad.

Below are some important questions to help you find the right professional for the job. 

Before You Look For a Carpenter

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  1. Make a list of your requirements and plans for the carpentry project.
  2. Consider the space available and how it can be optimally utilised.
  3. Visit furniture stores such as Ikea to have a feel of costs and get interior decorating ideas.
  4. Find out from friends if they had any recent carpentry work done and get their reviews of the carpenter who did the work. 
  5. If the carpentry work is supplied by a renovation contractor or interior designer, find out if they have a valid HDB licence or the appropriate URA approvals to perform the necessary tear down or building work. 

Before You Hire a Carpenter

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  1. Ask about the carpenter’s work experience, the past projects worked on and portfolios.
  2. Try asking for client references and take time to actually verify their claims. 
  3. If possible, check out the workshop or factory space of the carpenter. The condition of their workspace will give you an idea how well established is the carpentry firm. It might also give you an insight of their team.
  4. Walk through the job scope with the carpenter, accompanied by a clear description of the work that will be performed.
  5. Document the work items in detail including materials, workmanship, timelines and any other specifics for the carpentry project.
  6. Find out the payment schedule and expectation of deposit amounts or percentages.
  7. Permit information like who will be obtaining and filing for them (if applicable). 
  8. Ask if you will be provided with a set of architectural drawings, to scale, attached to the contract.
  9. Ask if prospective carpenters have insurance that covers them for any damage inadvertently caused to your property.
  10. Ask if they are taking care of the cleaning up, removal of debris, and what will be done with leftover materials. 
  11. Warranty information.  

Before you decide to hire a carpenter, you would also want to meet them and have a non-obligatory discussion, so as to get an estimate or sales quote for the intended work. 

In most cases, it’s likely the carpenter will visit your property to take measurements onsite, discuss and give advice about the project.

It’s also advisable to obtain at least three sales quotes from different carpentry firms or renovation contractors, large or small. As best as possible, make sure they include any ‘hidden’ costs. 

Whatever the case, you’ll want to engage someone who is reliable, has the experience to complete the job and is a professional.