For couples, especially the ones looking into starting a new life together, getting the keys to a new home is a moment to remember and can be very exciting if it is your first property. With excitement comes stress & frustrations when you realise the moment is not perfect due to flaws.
The possibility of defect issues are highly likely, regardless how outstanding the construction work is. For new HDB BTO/flat, they are covered with a defect liability of 1 year for defects by the construction workmanship, not including owner’s negligence or works.
Personally, we will advise all new home owners to check on defects before starting any form of work. Report any defects that require rectification to your Building Service Centre (BSC) within 7 days after you collect your keys. If yours is from Balance of Sales purchase, you will need to submit thru your town council.
Let’s look at the 5 common HDB BTO defects to check out:
- Electrical Wiring
Although with the massive improvement in construction now, chances of a fire caused by faulty electrical wiring is relatively low. However it’s advisable not to take the risk, get a certified electrician to check if all wrings and points are properly installed. Make sure none is exposed or in substandard condition. Run a test and inform BSC if they are found to be damaged.
Some owners will opt to include flooring for their homes. The common options are usually tiles or parquet. Regardless of which, there can still be defects. Look out for stain, decolourisation, cracks, hollow sounds and chipped areas.
Usually, a hollow sound would mean the improper adhesion of your floor tiles. Look out for dislodged tiles, usually caused by the expansion and contraction of tiles because of thermal movement and absorption.
- Walls and Ceilings
After you check out your flooring, do not leave out your walls and ceilings. Just like flooring, look out for cracks, stains and other unsightly flaws. Common checks for uneven paint and water stain marks on ceilings. If there is, high chance the unit above you has a water leakage issue. Black mouldy stains are a sign of dampness that will cause growth of fungus.
Some defects are not aesthetically affecting anything but they may pose as a future potential issue.
Although plumbing are usually in hidden areas, but do not forget to check them as well. If left uncheck, it might lead to leakage or even flooding.
Check the plumping to make sure it is not blocked or broken. Do a test run to see if there is potential leakage. The best way is to off all the valves and see if your meter is still running. If it is, most likely there is a leak somewhere. Raise the issue to HDB to get it resolve before you move in.
- Doors and Windows
Our home security is largely relied on our doors and windows. Therefore do not forget to check if it is safely installed and in good condition. Check on the alignment and attachment to its frames, conditions are not rusty and can be open easily.
When you go for the inspection of your new place, remember to bring markers, ladder, chair, defect list and tape. Tape the defect area and do a marking with the marker to it is easier for the contractor to spot it. Take photos as well so you can refer back after rectification is done.