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Inspecting your New BTO/EC/PC for Defects (Part 1 of 3)


Buying a house can be the single biggest investment for most of us. After spending your life saving (and most young couple who has started working, it means emptying your CPF Ordinary Account), you might wonder if the purchase is indeed the best value for the amount you have paid. Or if there are any issues with the unit that would be costly to rectify in the future if not rectified now. For any defects that are detected after the end of Defect Liability Period (DLP), the main contractor or developer are not be liable to rectify the defect for the owners. As such, the owners has to rectify the defect on their own cost. Moreover, if the defects are detected after the renovation are completed, it would meant that even more cost will be involved in rectifying them.

The experience of buying a first home was similar to a mini emotional roller-coaster. When we were finally allowed to collect our keys after a 3.5 years wait, we were all very excited and was quite satisfied with the condition of our unit. However, after the sense of exhilaration faded off, defect and signs of poor workmanship became more apparent.

Initially, we planned to hire an inspector to assist with the inspection. Obtain a quotation for hiring an inspector to do the checks, the packaged offered would came up to around $500-600 for 3 rounds of inspection. Unsatisfied with the quotation, we surveyed around, read through BCA's new homeowner handbook and recommendation guidelines, and it seem rather easy for anyone with engineering background to pickup the skill of inspection your own home. We felt that we could save the inspection fees and perform the inspection and marking out the defects. There are several reasons as to why we choose to inspect the unit itself.

What are the tools which we have used?

1. Electricity and water. You can get the SP services to come over to your place to turn on the utilities as soon as possible. This is a necessity for inspection of your unit.

2. Metal ruler with a marble taped to one end which I have used it to check for hollow tiles.

You can choose to get those professional tapping tools. For me, I would just taped a marble to the end of a metal rule and used it to knock on the tiles to check for hollowness.

3. Spirit Level.

Spirit level can be used to check for levelness and gradient.

4. Bucket and scoop for pouring water.

I also find a bucket and scoop for pouring of water to check for tiles gradient most useful.

5. Extension cable, with a self-made hand lamp and E27 LED Bulb.

The hand lamp is important tool for visual inspection. Some defects are hard to spot, and with the hand lamp, defects can be easily detected.

6. Mirror and ladder to look for at hard to see areas.

"Stay tuned for Part 2..."


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