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  • Rica Peralejo Opens Up About Home Renovation Scam: 'Nawala Na Lang 'Yung Contractor'

    If you’re planning to renovate your home, make sure to work with a trustworthy professional.
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
Rica Peralejo Opens Up About Home Renovation Scam: 'Nawala Na Lang 'Yung Contractor'
PHOTO BY (FROM LEFT) Instagram/ricaperalejo, YouTube/Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio
  • Any home improvement project — big or small — can be exciting and gives us something to look forward to. This is exactly what actress and mom of two Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio felt when she decided to renovate their family home in 2020.

    However, in a vlog posted on her YouTube channel in May 2021, Rica revealed that due to the unprofessionalism of the people she tapped to handle the renovation, the project was put on hold and didn’t come to fruition.

    “I was very excited when we started the renovation. I got some people on board so meron akong dalawang kinompare and then siyempre, I naturally went with the cheaper option because I feel like ito naman talaga ‘yung afford ko lang kasi siyempre hindi rin naman talaga ganun kamura magpa-renovate,” she shares in the video.

    According to Rica, she noticed that something was amiss when workers started reporting to work late then leaving after just rendering three hours of work. After calling the attention of the contractor and designer, nothing improved and the project was put on hold because of stricter quarantine rules.

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    “I called the attention of my contractor and designer. They were both sorry and they said they were going to do something about it but it kept on happening,” Rica shares.

    She adds, “Tumagal nang tumagal nang tumagal 'yung project until nawala na lang 'yung contractor/architect ko. 'Di siya sumasagot sa mga tawag ko for a few months.”

    Aside from the continuous delays, the mom of two also shared that some of her requested improvements weren’t delivered properly. For example, they did not get the measurements right for the laundry area — the washing machine did not fit the space they constructed.

    According to Rica, this area was supposed to be the dirty kitchen and the laundry area will be behind the door on the far end. But the mom says the washing machine wouldn't even be able to fit through.
    PHOTO BY YouTube/Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio

    When Rica asked for a breakdown of costs, the person-in-charge wasn’t able to present proper accounting documents. She notes, “He doesn't know how much I've paid and I already went over the agreed costing.”

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    The mom admits that she suffered from “anger and desired vengeance” but instead of focusing on the things she cannot control, Rica chose to forgive, move forward, and lift everything to God.

    How do you ensure a successful renovation project?

    Choosing to renovate — whether it’s the whole house or just an area — involves spending money and adjusting your routine to accommodate the work being done in the home. In Rica’s vlog, she mentioned how messy their home is because they had to move some of their belongings around.

    Working with an architect, an interior designer, a contractor, or any design professional has advantages since they’re bringing years of expertise to the table. However, you need to be careful in choosing the team you’ll work with.

    If you’re set on hiring a team of professionals for your next home improvement project, keep in mind the following:

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    Ask for referrals

    You can ask for recommendations on Facebook groups you follow or friends who have worked with contractors and designers before. Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising and you’ll get an idea how much it will cost, too.

    Do your research

    Check client reviews and look them up online to see their past projects.

    Set a meeting

    Know more about their processes, how often you can request for accounting documents, and how they manage a project timeline.

    Be transparent with your budget

    This way, the design team knows whether you can go overboard and they can help you find quality yet affordable materials.

    Stay on top of the project

     Like Rica, do routine checks on the status of the project and ask for a progress report so you know if the renovation is moving according to plan.

    Learn more from Rica’s renovation experience by watching the video here.

    Moving into a new home? Click here for a house inspection checklist from dad and engineer Slater Young.

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