How to Stem Complaints Against Renovation Contractors


This blog post is in response to the article “More complaints about renovation contractors” published in Today Online (7 July 2014), which explores the problem of poor quality contractors in the home renovation market. The article was penned by Joy Fang and is very insightful. In fact this is EXACTLY the problem that is addressing. 

Transparent ratings to reduce risk 

We are solving the problem by providing a platform where homeowners can rate contractors based on the work that has been done, which serves to lessen “purchase risk” for all consumers using our platform.

Our mission is to build an online community of “Better Quality Contractors”. Online ratings have been proven to be an excellent way to reward good service and to deter or reveal bad service (See our article on ContractorRatings - How they Help You).

Licensing vs. quality assessments

One point in the article was that the industry structure itself is partly responsible, where governmental agencies such as BCA and HDB require basic licensing, which provides an element of security in that the contractor knows what they are doing for safety and building codes.

However, when we contacted them they were explicit that they do not provide a quality rating.  Similarly, CASE, although they do have an accreditation scheme in place, serves to act as an arbitrator, after the fact, but cannot really get in front of the problem (see more about  contractorlicensing). aims to get in front of the problem.

Representing an industry and who actually wants to be rated

The second point is that industry associations (such as RCMA), which do their best to attract members who will abide by a code of conduct are actually limited to only a few companies, representing less than 2% of the industry.  They have a hard time speaking for the industry.  At we have had nearly 300 contractors say they want to build a reputation online and we have more signing up all the time. Building your online reputation is FREE at

Contracts matter

The third point was the importance of the contract and the work actually getting done. At, we heartily agree and have written extensively on the subject (see more about selectingthe right contractor, and on howto work with a contactor). As a consumer, you need to make sure everything is in writing and clear to both parties.

We do find that, by and large, that most contractors want to do a good job and some of the blame needs to fall on the consumer.

Fair ratings require good work and honest feedback

We had a case where a homeowner gave a contractor a bad rating (we investigate all ratings below 3 stars), and we called the contractor, who said that the homeowner demanded a “discount” or they would leave a bad rating on The ensuing investigation showed that the homeowner was in the wrong and as a result the rating was disallowed. At, our ratings are designed to protect BOTH sides, the homeowner and the contractor. In conclusion, we believe that a reliable and transparent system of customer ratings will serve to help improve the home renovation industry. Together we can help build “Better Quality Contractors.”

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