All of the excitement and anticipation linked to finally stepping into your brand new HDB BTO flat! What’s the first thing you’re going to do? Run from room to room? Imagine where and how you’re going to place your furniture?
Actually, one of the first things you have to do is a lot less creative and much more practical.
Checking your brand new flat for defects is one of the biggest essentials that you’ll have to go through. Even brand new buildings aren’t safe from errors, poor execution or little structural defects that could potentially become big in the long run.
So, if you are looking for an HDB BTO flat defects checklist, we’ve got one for you. Based on our home interior design experience, here are some of the biggest essentials you need to pay attention to.
What to Expect from Your Brand New Flat?
Every new flat owner in Singapore is protected by the one-year Defects Liability Period.
This means that you have the right to report construction issues and defects over the first 12 months of ownership. Over the course of that period, the developer is responsible for the fixing of all kinds of construction shortcomings that the home owner has come across.
It doesn’t matter whether the problem is the result of poor workmanship or the quality of materials utilised in the construction. This is why you need to be proactive in seeking defects and reporting those to the HDB.
You should report such defects to the HDB within seven days of receiving your keys. The following section will give you a checklist you can rely on to examine every single part of the construction without overseeing anything.
BTO Flat Defect Inspection Checklist
Let’s break the process down into several essentials you will need to examine the first time you come to your brand new BTO flat.
Check for stains, cracks or uneven surfaces on the walls and the ceilings. Discolouration is also important to notice as it could be the sign of water damage.
Make sure all windows and doors open and close properly. Inspect the locks and the latches, as well. Doors and windows should also be screwed in properly. There should be no scratches, cracks or other signs of damage. When you put your hand against the window frame you shouldn’t be capable of detecting a draft or air movement.
Plumbing and Electrical Installation
All water taps, light switches and electricity sockets should function. When it comes to plumbing, check for leaks or blockages. Toilets should also flush effortlessly and the shower should function properly. As far as the electrical system goes, check the lights, the fuses and the power sockets. There should be no darkening, materials that seem melted or smoked.
Depending on the flooring material, make sure there are no creaks or elements that move when you walk (for example, tiles that have not been adhered properly). Look for discolouration, chipping or scratches. Also, make sure there’s no hollow or unusual sound when you’re walking around.
You may want to bring a couple of essential items to that first inspection.
A camera is a good choice to document the damage. You should also bring a notepad and a pen to draft some notes as you go through room to room and examine the property.
Some other tools and supplies that could come in handy during the identification of defects include a measuring tape, flashlight, a level, a phone charger you can use to test the electrical outlets, a ladder, wet wipes and tissues and cleaning materials.
Understand the fact that some defects will be concealed and you’ll have to look around, even in unusual places. That’s why having a ladder and some cleaning supplies could help you reach difficult spots and reveal surfaces that wouldn’t be typically visible.
Take your time and come up with a defect inspection methodology. You can break the process down over the course of two to three days so that you can maintain laser-sharp focus.
A Few Additional BTO Flat Inspection Tips
Do a quick walk-around first and photograph anything that seems interesting, unusual or out of place. Examining these photographs later on will give you a better idea about what to pay attention to the second time around.
If you don’t know where to look or how to assess your property, do seek professional assistance. Such a consultation can save you time and money in the long-run.
Remember that you have seven days to report those initial defects to the HDB. When you do, the Building Service Centre (BSC) will arrange for the defects to be examined by a qualified contractor and fixed.
Depending on how serious the issue is, rectification work can take a few days to a few weeks. When the appointed contractor comes over, you’ll get a chance to ask questions about the process.
Keep in mind that HDB will not cover issues that come to the surface after you carry out your own renovation. This is the main reason why cataloguing defects has to happen before you engage in any other property upgrade processes.
Getting to see your brand new flat for the first time will be exciting but do try to maintain a practical mindset. If you need some professional help to accomplish the goal, we’re here for you! Contact the Home Guide team and let us know how we can assist you with the interior design and renovation of your brand new BTO flat (or check out our promo packages to save some money!).