Our house was renovated by Key Concept. It had a few issues which we hope to raise as feedback so other customers can be more aware:
We chose Key Concept in Dec 2020 as the boss, Elwin, said he was keen to work with us and deliver. Work that was supposed to start in late February 2021 only started in late March/April 2021 and the handover after delays was in mid-June 2021, later than initially agreed. The ID we worked with was Joel. As it was our first reno, we worked based on trust. Instead of working on our trust, the company ended up doing the following:
Timeline: we started noticing on their social media that projects that began later and were more complicated than ours ended up finishing much earlier. When delays cropped up, the common excuse Joel gave was covid-19 related. In truth, a lot of the issues did not stem from covid-19 and stemmed from poor timeline management, poor supervision poor communication from Joel. This was especially stressful in the last few weeks prior to the handover date in June and greatly impacted our moving, packing and other payment loan arrangements that had to work within the timeline.
Verde lights: We had already shifted our moving day a few times due to the project delays. The lights were ordered much earlier in April, invoiced. This was a company recommended by Joel. However, Joel claimed lights could not be installed as no stock was available so we had to move our moving day again to accommodate the installation of lights. On the day moving in that was pre-arranged and agreed, none of the electricians was putting things up and Joel was not around and only came later. So the movers and us could not unpack until all the lights were installed. When we checked directly with the light company, the rep. explained the reason for the delay was not due to lack of stock but that Joel had not informed them in time. When we asked Joel for updates, his replies were often several hours later and sometimes past 12am, and follow-up was sometimes sloppy.
Case in point: when we got our wallpaper, Joel took very long to come and check the items and come over to collect the items for installing. Only when he installed the wallpaper a few days before handover, he said the item was faulty and asked us to replace. He explained he could not open it earlier as the wallpaper was delicate which was a ridiculous excuse. We resolved by his company settling the payment of reordering. All this could have been avoided if he had followed up promptly.
~Lack of professionalism:
When we had meetings, instead of taking notes down, Joel claimed he could remember and ended up forgetting quite a few things. This resulted in the wardrobe designs (despite feedback given to Joel on the design) was not carried out in the final product. This ended up being a waste of time for everyone as the carpenters had to come back a few times AFTER we moved in. Even after we moved in, several things were not complete:
– Sinks in all bathrooms are not fixed so cannot wash up or cook.
– Kitchen had no hob so cannot cook.
– Some wiring was also not done so could not install the internet.
Even when Joel arranged for contractors to come down to install, they either came late or not at all. When we checked with Joel about what was happening, there was no response until late evening. It was very frustrating for us during the weeks after moving in. This could have all been avoided if he was more meticulous and communicated better to his contractors.
When Joel was supposed to see our house, many times the pictures were “forwarded” which showed he was not at the house, and when we were around post-moving in to monitor the fixtures, he would slip out without letting us know beforehand. The lack of presence led to the workers not feeling a sense of urgency to finish the project (case in point, refer to the earlier paragraph of how electrician only started when we arrived to move in our belongings). It also made us wonder whether he was around for the days prior to moving in.
Post-handover: the handover was also delayed as Joel did not follow-up with us to close up the project. We only had the handing over in October. Even when we gave our feedback for them to improve, Joel not only refused to admit but even blamed us and that we as customers should work around their schedule as contractors. Additionally, his response to the Verde lights problem was that Key Concept does not need to explain or justify their work processes to customers and we should not take issue with their explanation and go behind their backs to check with Verde. And with regards to contractors coming late or not arriving as agreed, he explained that he had informed them already and thus, not his fault that they did not turn up. This showed a lack of professionalism on all fronts.
Overall, a traumatising experience working with the Joel and this company and what could have been a memorable and lovely day of moving in was one of frustration and lack of promises delivered.