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3 Things You Must Look out for in Your Renovation Contractor

BY Team Loanstreet

Updated 03 Aug 2021

In collaboration with 

The market of contractors and renovations can be a daunting one. Coupled with inexperience and lack of knowledge, you might find yourself living with flaky walls and leaky bathrooms. Let’s take a look at some of the basic renovations done in most houses and what you need to be aware of. 

What's covered in this article?

1) Your Home Paint

Having a good coat of paint on your walls is a process. It’s essential to know what goes on behind the scene.

What You Need To know


Primers are painted onto the wall before the actual painting is done. Primers function as an undercoat that seals the surface so the paint adheres to the surface instead of soaking into the wall.

Priming is especially needed when painting:

  • Raw wood (the primer seals in resins
  • Raw drywall (primer seeps into the paper and provides a smooth paint surface)
  • Patched walls
  • Raw metal
  • Rough surfaces (primer will help smoothen out surface)
  • Stained surfaces

Ensure that your renovator doesn’t skip the priming process.  Different surfaces require different types of primer.

Do a quick search to find out the suitable primers and make sure that your contractor uses the right primers.

It is also imperative for the primers to be left for 24 to dry for them to take effect.

There are only certain exceptions to do away with primers so do research before hand before nodding yes to anything your renovator tells you.

Consequences of Shoddy Workmanship?

3 Things You Must Look Out For In Your Renovation Contractor

*Image courtesy of depositphotos

The effects of skipping priming can be detrimental. Paint applied to unprimed surfaces tends to peel, crack, and chalk more than paint applied to properly primed surfaces.

2) Flooring

Be it tiles, laminated wood, marble or any other form of flooring, waterproofing your floor is critical.

What You Need Know

Like painting, there are certain prerequisites that must take place before you tile your floor.

As a rule of thumb:

  • Prime with waterproof primer, allow 2-3 hours to dry
  • After the first coat of membrane is complete and dry,apply a second coat. A good tip is to roll the first coat all in one direction and roll the second coat at 90 degrees (a right angle) to the first
  • Allow the membrane to dry for 24 hours before proceeding with tiling

Do talk with your renovator about procedures and tests they undertake before flooring your home.

Make sure your renovater runs a test before proceeding to tile your floor.

Consequences Of Shoddy Workmanship?

Poor waterproofing can result in tiling failures and leaks. If left untreated, you can expect fungal growth on linings and moisture damage to building elements around your home.

Just imagine the cost incurred to fix all that damage.

Fixing leaky floors is a common thing to Malaysian homes so don’t add your home to the statistics.

3) Air-Conditioning

The air-cond. Our best friend here in Malaysia.

While heavily used in our humid climate, you might be unaware of the substances used, namely CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) and HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) in air conditioning.

These components are considered to be ozone depleting substances (ODS) that contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.

As of 1 June 2015, Malaysia will implement the phasing out of CHC consumption in order to comply with the Montreal Protocol. Likewise, the use of ODS components such as HCFC will also see a complete phase out by 2030.

What You Need To know

1. How does all that tie into your air-conditioning?

The current R22 which is an ODS gas will be phased out gradually starting from 1 June 2015 and replace by an environmental friendly R410a gas.

While that may not be a problem, the thin copper piping (0.51mm) used for the traditional R22 gas will be.

R410a gas has 4 times the pressure of R22 and will require a thicker copper piping (0.61mm - 0.71mm) to withstand the additional pressure.

The price difference?

a) 0.51mm copper pipe thickness - RM10 per feet
b) 0.61mm copper pipe thickness - RM14 per feet

The cost can be substantially higher (30-40%) which can motivate the use the 0.51mm copper piping in place of the 0.61mm.

Be very sure that your renovator uses the specified piping required to cater to the R410a gas.

2. Apart from copper piping, be sure that your renovator carry out the system evacuation in order to removes residual non-condensable gases and moisture from the system. This action is called vacuuming and it shall carry out for at least 30 mins. This will prolong the system life span.

What Are the Consequences?

1. Renovators might be inclined to tell you that use of a thinner copper piping with R410a gas is fine and would not make a difference.

This could not be further from the truth as this might cause gas leakages which can pose to be a hazard to your health.

This investment will pay off in the long run as R410 gas offers greater efficiency, saving you in energy costs, and is much better for the environment.

2. Without proper vacuuming the system, the moisture contents in the system will damage the compressor and killed the system.

To conclude

The cost of renovations can vary and be a stressful affair. Be sure you pick a renovator who is willing to sit down and talk things out with you. Always pick a renovator that you are comfortable with; your gut instinct is usually right.

Happy renovating and good luck!

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About the Author

Team Loanstreet

Run by a professional human-sized team, get resourceful tips & guides from our very own library of financial articles that can help improve your financial lifestyle & make a well-informed money decision. We strive to provide you with the best service in helping you to get the most out of that DUIT!


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