How to Start Your Home Renovation After MCO

Since March 2020 last year, the renovations industry has been subjected to disruptions. The MCO, CMCO, RMCO and EMCO created different challenges and limitations to the industry, impacting not only renovation contractors, but also electrical, plumbing and ceiling specialists, carpentry factories, and also hardware stores and material suppliers.

In August 2021, the government finally allowed the renovations industry to resume. If you’re aiming to start your renovation or resume an ongoing renovation, do take a look at this list for things that you need to take care of:

1. Make sure your contractor is CIDB registered (G1-G4)

The government approval for house renovations only includes contractors that have registered for G1-G4 status with CIDB. The table below shows the requirements for G1-G4.

G1-G4 contractor criterion
The total cost of the project determines the grade of contractors working on it. Source

Applications for G1-G4 will require several weeks after submission of documents and payment to CIDB, so do ensure that your chosen renovation contractor has this certification. For more information, please refer here.

Alternatively, if you would like a CIDB runner to help you, put in your request here.

2. Make sure your contractor has MITI approval for your particular location

Once a contractor has gotten their CIDB approval, they may then apply for MITI approval. Note that they need a MITI approval for your particular address, so one contractor may need to apply for MITI for every single location they are operating in.

3. Check whether your contractor’s subcontractors and vendors are operating yet

“During the various MCOs in the past 18 months, there were brief periods of time where renovations were allowed. However, each contractor, sub-contractor, carpentry factory, etc. had to apply for MITI approval to operate and the approval criteria were quite vague” said Andrew Tan, Project Manager from R.Works Interior Design.

Even today some carpentry factories, material suppliers and distributors are struggling to get their operations running again, and your contractor may face some problems getting supplies for your home project.

To make matters worse, many foreign workers were sent home at the start of the pandemic and will not be allowed to return until December 2021. This results in a serious shortage of workers in the construction industry.

Make sure to clarify before selecting a contractor.

4. Check on the financial health of your contractor

The lockdowns forced many projects to be put on hold, straining the livelihood and cash flow of many renovation contractors, large and small. Many of them closed down, or are struggling financially to complete the projects with the remaining payments that were provided to them.

If you would like to ensure that your contractor has the appropriate cash flow to finish your project, ask them for their latest company accounts and latest 3-month bank statements to make sure they will not be channelling your down-payment to complete a previous project’s customer bugging them to resume their work.

Client discusses their project with the renovation contractor
Clear communication with your contractor is important to ensure your project needs are met

5. Consider using an escrow platform to protect your payments

The 4th point brings us to this – see if you can use an escrow platform to protect your payments. One example is, of course, our own Recommend Pay platform which allows you to get quotes from a panel of verified, good quality service professionals who have been serving our customers for years.

“The Recommend Pay platform facilitates a 3-party agreement between you, the contractor and us, to make sure that the scope, timeline and expectations are clearly set out for everyone. We will then define the project plan, collect and manage milestone payments on your behalf so that if anything untoward happens, we can intervene and help you resume the project. All projects are then protected by warranty and insurance underwritten by Allianz so you can be rest assured things will go as planned”, says Ryan Loh, Project Consultant at

If you’ve had to put off renovating your property throughout the MCOs, now is no better a time to get back on track with us! Our platform is built to take on your projects from start to finish, all-inclusive with the professional expertise and protection plans you require. Get in touch with our renovation contractors and interior designers at to start comparing quotes.

All the best with your renovation!

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