Whether you’re a new or experienced homeowner, home maintenance can be confusing. How do you tell if something needs repairing? What do you do when something breaks down without warning? What’s more complicated is the range of tasks which handymen can perform.
In this guide, we focus on the two most common home repair services—plumbing and electrical works. Read on for tips on engaging home repair services, and our recommendations for trusted and experienced professionals!
- Signs that your home requires maintenance
- Hiring a licensed home repair service
- List of recommended home repair services
- Final pointers when engaging a home repair service
Signs that your home requires maintenance
Unsure of what to do when you notice something’s amiss around the house? Don’t fret! Here are telltale signs of the most common home issues, and what you can do to fix them:
1. Buzzing power outlets
Power outlets and switches should always operate silently. If a power outlet is making buzzing or crackling noises, do not use the power outlet and consult a licensed electrician immediately!
While not all electrical appliances purchased are from reputable, established brands, using counterfeit electronics and appliances with no safety mark is a cause for concern. Not only is it dangerous, it may potentially damage your home’s electrical systems too. If you are sensitive about the cost of new electronics and appliances, try purchasing them secondhand!
2. Unfamiliar or strange odours coming from power outlets
New appliances may produce unfamiliar odours upon initial installation, but if you detect an odd smell coming from the power outlet itself, it’s a warning sign that the power outlet is going bad. Unplug any appliances connected to the power outlet immediately, and do not use it again until a qualified electrician checks it out.
3. Wrong water pressure
If you’re suddenly experiencing low water pressure from a particular faucet, or hearing bubbling noises from the drain outlets in your house, it could be a sign of clogged pipes.
First thing: check with your neighbours on whether they are facing the same problem! If they are, this is likely an issue which is not within your control, and will need to be brought up to HDB or PUB.
If the problem persists only in your home, check your pipes and water supply valve. Old pipes may have gotten clogged by deposits amongst other issues. If you are unable to identify or fix the issue, consider engaging a plumber for help.
Even if these issues do not affect your day-to-day living, it is always better to fix them before they worsen. Don’t wait till the day you’re left unable to turn on the lights or flush the toilet!
Hiring a licensed home repair service
Valid licences are a telltale sign if handymen qualified for the job. Do note that there isn’t an all-encompassing licence for handymen, but take note of these three:
1. PUB Plumbing Licence: For water service and sanitary works
Based on the PUB guidelines, only PUB-licensed plumbers are allowed to carry out advanced plumbing works or to install, fix and maintain plumbing systems for water service and sanitary works. It is an offence for anyone to engage a plumber who is not licensed by the PUB to carry out regulated water service and sanitary works.
However, handymen without a licence can carry out simple plumbing works such as Water Service Works (Potable Water) and simple Sanitary Works (Used Water). We recommend visiting the PUB website to view the full list of exceptions before engaging a plumber or a handyman!
2. EMA Electrical Worker Licence: For electrical installations
Based on the EMA guidelines, all electrical work must be undertaken or carried out by a licensed electrical worker. This includes new wiring, rewiring and extensions, which have to be tested before the supply is turned on. Moreover, if you are living in a HDB flat, you may be required to apply for a permit for some electrical works.
3. EMA Gas Service Worker Licence: For gas service works
Likewise for gas service works, EMA issues licences for workers who are qualified to work on gas installations to ensure that all gas installations are safe. Depending on their licence, some gas service workers are allowed to install, maintain, repair and test gas appliances, and to install or remove gas meters, while others can carry out more advanced jobs like constructing and repairing gas pipes and fittings.
You are also advised to engage window contractors approved by the Building Construction Authority (BCA) for all window works. For the installation and retrofitting of windows, it is mandatory to engage an approved builder or window contractor that is registered with the BCA Contractors Registry.
What other services do handymen provide?
Apart from plumbing and electrical works, handymen may offer a variety of other jobs, non-exhaustive examples include:
- Electrical drilling;
- Furniture assembly and carpentry;
- House painting;
- Fan installation.
While many of these jobs can be DIY-ed, calling a handyman lets you get the job done in half the time!
List of recommended home repair services
These recommended service providers have each received at least 50 4.9-star reviews. Read past reviews by clicking on the names of each service provider and request for quotations with the Carousell’s Chat function!
|Service provider||Services||No. of reviews||Rating|
Water heater installation
Installation of furniture
Minor electrical work
Electrical worksHandyman services Painting
Final pointers when engaging a home repair service
Always try to speak to a few service providers before deciding on one. As you speak to them, be sure to ask for:
- Their diagnosis and resolution for the problem;
- If there is any guarantee if things go awry;
- Proof of license;
- A quotation for the job.
We hope that this guide has been helpful in starting you off in engaging home repair services. Wishing you all the best with your project!