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Seeking redress on renovation works gone wrong

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5 years ago, I engaged a contractor (an ID company which was formerly at Commonwealth Dr but has sinced moved to Bkt Merah Central) to in-fill a step-down balcony area with cement and level it to the bedroom tiled flooring by removing the sliding door to the balcony and also enclose the roof opening to that area. Thereafter, the entire floor was laid over (without removing the floor tiles in the original bedroom) with wood laminate as recommended by him. We also engaged him to installed cupboards over this extended area which was formerly the balcony.

A few months ago, we discovered the laminated floor around the cupboard (which was supposed to have in-filled cement beneath) was sagging and the the laminated floor over the original tiled bedroom area was 'popping upwards'. We called that contractor back and requested him for his opinion and a solution on the scary feel of the foor. He kept denying it has to do with his workmanship but kept pointing to possible water seepage or termites. He said he could not recall what was underneath the laminate and so he took from me a copy of the invoice of the works which I still kept in my files. He said he will go check his record and get back to me.

After 3 weeks, I did not hear from him and so my husband and I decided to remove the laminate flooring to investigate what is going on under the laminate. We had to destroy several pieces of the laminates before we discovered that the original tiles in the original bedroom area were popping up. When we removed the laminates around the sunken cupboard area, we found rotting timber and wooden batten. There were no cement in-fill which was in the contract and which was also mentioned in the invoice we paid.

We called in different groups of contractors for their opinion and we were advised to go back to seek redress from the errant contractor who did not do the cement in-fill that we paid for. One contractor told us that wood normally starts rotting after 3-4 years since dampness is trapped between the ground (this bedroom is on the ground floor)  and the laminate (non breathable), and if the contractor does not want to do wet works, he will get away with it because the result will only shows up after many years like our case which was actually hidden under our cupboard.

In order to rectify the situation, I was told the cupboards have to be removed, the rotting timber must be cleared out, cement in-fill done, water-proof cement screed done before a new layer of tile or laminate can be laid on.

I sent the analysis and photographs of the whole situation to that contractor, hoping he will offer a solution....but it turned out worse than I expected - he kept denying he used wood at all. I attach here the whatsapp conversation I had with him as well as the photos I sent to him. He did not respond after I asked him "Where did u pour the cement then?" and I noticed he changed his whatsapp profile photo & status after that.

Appreciate any forum members' advice on where and how I can seek redress to this situation instead of going the lengthy 'sue him' route. As the flooring is now in a big mess, is it advisable for me to engage another contractor to rectify the situation in the meantime? Are the photos I have taken and posted here sufficient proof to claim against him in the event I have to take legal action or do I have to take more photos after my carpenter removes the cupboard and before the new contractor does the cement in-fill? Thank you!





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Edited by ctangy
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Update on this situation :

Last week, I texted the contractor to give him a last chance to visit the damage incurred by the rotting timber under the cupboard before I publicize this matter. He agreed to visit today. He finally admitted his guys did not use cement! Initially he proposed to refund me the $900 which he charged me for the cement job. But I told him that because he did not fill the balcony with cement, the rotting timber has to be completely removed; to do that, the cupboards sitting on the rotting timber must first be removed and it will cost me $2200. He then said he can repair it for me WITHOUT removing the cupboards - he will repair by removing the rotting wood from the front (i.e. only the visible reachable areas) and pumping cement inside. When I told him he needed to remove ALL the timber under the cupboard before pumping in the cement, he said he CANNOT do that. I explained to him that without removing ALL the rotting timber, he is only merely offering a half-hearted repair job because by pumping cement without removing all the timber underneath means encasing the rotting timber with the cement and the cement may not even get to the unreachable parts at the wall and corners. He said since this is his offer to repair with his own method and if I cannot accept, then he can't do anything! He even said he is already being kind to attend to us and offer repair although the job was done 5 years ago! I told him I will write in officially to his company and publicize this matter. He told me to go ahead! Here is the link to the voice recording of what transpired today...  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/einyw72um3b71jd/AABha2VpEyjCd25JP486QdU0a?dl=0

So, readers....do not deal with David Tan of Samlo Design Pte Ltd.

Samlo_txtmsg 17Jul2017.jpg

Edited by ctangy

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Can anyone advise me how I can seek redress against this contractor?

I have now engaged my carpenter to remove all the cupboards and have posted photos of the ongoings during and after these cupboards were removed.....we are more shocked now that Samlo Design had NOT ONLY DID NOT FILL UP THE BALCONY WITH CEMENT but had also INSTALLED THE VERTICAL METAL SUPPORT BEAM of the constructed loft ONTO THE ORIGINAL WOODEN SLATES PREVIOUSLY COVERING THE BALCONY (which was supposed to be removed and filled with cement!). We now realise why the interlocked laminates on the loft along the stretch above where this beam is supporting were splitting apart!

I have written to State Court about this but have received a typical government generic reply giving me links to everywhere. Anyone can offer legal advise, please?

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Samlo_27Jul17-cupboards completely removed.jpg

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Samlo_27Jul17- more rotting timber exposed-corner.jpg

Edited by ctangy

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