Hi Guys & Gals, I am in the midst of my reno, tiling supposed to be completed soon..... & there are many hiccups (which reno is hiccups free) along the way... But most of it could have been avoided n thus, I would like to share my experience in hope that you will have better luck than me... At the start, many of us are worried about the cost, credibility, and reliability of contractors. Choosing a good firm might still be bad because of an errant project manager, which is probably what happened to me as i chose a Reno talk advertiser without seemingly any negative review for nearly 3 years. I was thinking they must be ok unless Renotalk censored; furthermore I was impressed by the young chap that the boss R recommended to me. The young chap, D gave me good suggestions & followed up promptly & I also like the way the company break down the pricing. However on the day of me paying deposit, I bumped into my cousin Al who eagerly took over the project. He told me he's a partner of the firm and would be able to help me more. Looking back, that fateful day was probably the start of my experience. To cut a long story short, I have summed up my experience as below. If it's still too long, skip the details and scroll right to the last paragraph... 1. DO MEET your contractors at the tiles suppliers (Hafary, Soon Bee Huat etc) and make sure they order the tiles in your presence. What happened to me was that Al told me we only need to meet at site and he can call the companies to order the tiles so can save me one trip. Apparently, Al sat on my tiling list & samples for 2 weeks & lost the list and samples; n had the cheek to blame me for (in sequential order) 1. not giving him the list 2. not giving him the floor plan 3. not reserving the tiles that I want 4. not having a backup plan (well my backup has to be activated because Al sat on my tiles for 2 weeks n only decided to order the tiles 2 days before tiling due to start) 2. DO WRITE down you project requirement in black & white & get your contractor to endorse. Apparently, Al did not record anything that I told him and kept forgetting about things that we have gone through and agreed on. Well, I can't really be that harsh on my elder cousin right? Oh well, it was difficult being the younger one... 3. DO MAKE SURE your contractor spell out their project management style in black & white. Things like how often they visit site, and how often you are supposed to go through the items with them. It turned out Al who kept saying that he will definitely look after his relatives only visited site about ONCE a week, maybe twice at most 4. DO KEEP minutes of your briefings and send them back to your contractor, & his boss if available 5. DO KEEP the boss in the loop as often as possible; especially if the boss was your first contact point 6. DO BUY your own locks as some contractors scrimp and buy those cheapo locks that are spoilt after one use. In the end, the premise was not locked for 10 days and the tiler lost his stuff, n a brand new chute was missing too. i do not even know what I have lost yet 7. DO GET your contractors to wrap items that you are keeping. My doors are damaged during the hacking stage, and the cut happened at knee, waist, & eye level. Seems like someone banged into the door while clearing debris 8. DO NOT believe whatever your contractors tell you, even if they show you photos or if they are your relatives (I didn't choose my cousin by the way, he jumped into this project). Sometimes it's even easier to lie to relatives. 9. DO NOT assume your contractors know what to brief his subcons.... Apparently the tiler CUT OFF my optic fibre cable n terminal box. The house is due for painting in about 7-8 days time and even if my contractor is willing to pay for the rewiring; OPENNET might not have the schedule to fit me in. Do I blame the tiler for cutting the optic fibre or the project manager for not briefing the tiler? 10. DO NOT THINK that your contractors will remember what he has told you. Some people just bochap, gave me a date for bathroom delivery of which I promptly followed; only to discover that the tiler was doing cementing.... I am glad they didn't charge me for redelivery. Now Al blames his tilers for not following his schedule but it's hard not to believe that he probably didn't communicate to the tilers. 11. DO NOT accept good lobangs from your contractors, especially your relatives. Unless your relative is really professional, accountability and money matters can get pretty messy.... 12. DO NOT believe that your contractors are experienced to preamp you, you rather believe they have the power to surprise you. For example, Al called me & told me I have TO SPEND to amend my gate and doors as they are too low to clear the tiles. I stated clearly to him that I am keeping my doors and gate, but now the tiles have gone too high. Al once again simply recommended me good lobang to get them fixes. Shouldn't a project manager (especially one who supposingly has more 10 years of experience) be errr experienced enough to make sure that this is not supposed to happen. & it's not about tiles being too thick for I lost 2 cm in the living room and about 7 cm in the kitchen; so it's the cement To sum up my experiences even further so far, here it goes... 1 - My optic fibre cable and terminal box got cut off. Finding a solution will be at the mercy of OpenNet (and of course contractor should pay) 2 - I prob have to change my gate and doors (but contractor should pay) as they were not taken into account by the tilers (when I have specifically told my project manager that I am not changing them)... & I hacked the whole house. Furthermore, the doors are damaged. 3 - My contractor didn't order the tiles when he was supposed to, sat on it for 2 weeks and in the end the tiles I want went out of stock... 4 - My contractor still can't remember my tiling sequence despite me going through with him twice and pasting it all at the site 5 - So much extra time, effort n cost incurred because of the nonchalant attitude of my contractors; problems which could easily be & should be averted. As I write this, I am probably resigned to the fate that my reno will be delayed (n hence I have to reschedule electrician, kitchen folks, carpenters, etc)... What about the extra cost for the gate, doors, re-installing OpenNet? No way was it my fault n I should not be made to pay... But at the end of the day, we are already so deep into this project; what else can I do?