Dear readers, thanks for dropping by. Kindly note that I have migrated all these posts to my new blog All Things Cozy and Homely . I will blog at the new site from Jan 15 onwards.

Monday, October 20, 2014

HDB Defect Checking Revisited

"Any defect checklist to share?"
"Hey babe, what should we look out for once we have gotten our keys?"
"Defects?! Do you mean new flats have defects meh?!"

Anyway, I have been getting quite a fair bit of requests from my friends asking for my defect checklist and hence decided to revisit this topic again. As most of them are 1st time HDB owners, they were clueless what, where and even why bother to check!?

I have been covering what, where in many of my posts. As to WHY? I have to reiterate this again: 

Once your renovation starts, it is hard to justify to HDB that the defect is not caused by your renovation professionals! Furthermore, it will take a loooong time for HDB to entertain you. Why? In order to cater to Singaporean's calls for cheaper and cheap housing; HDB has been building non stop for the past with few years in order to get a tidal supply of HDB flats ready for owner occupation by 2016-2017. Fast construction is not good; it generally means sloppy jobs, poor inferior quality (due to escalating building costs and yet the pressure to keep things cheap) and MORE defects.

Enough of my rumblings; I will devote my time to outline what should you do to prepare yourself and what to look out for.

Here are the links to my older posts:

What Tools to Bring

Tapes and Markers 
Tapes and Markers are essential to mark out the defective areas. I prefer masking tapes since they are easy to remove without leaving sticky residue and permanent markers to write on these making tapes. I would recommend to get them in at least 2 colors; Red for the major defects and Yellow for the minor ones, so that the HDB technician will know what areas to focus on rectifying first. On top of this, I also wrongly advise numbering and scribbling notes on the description of the defects so that miscommunication can be minimized.

 Spirit Level 
 I used spirit level  to check if the walls, doors, windows are slated way too much so to determine as to see if there are any structural deviations with the room and wall measurements and that the doors and windows are properly aligned and upright.

 Torchlight and Stool or Ladder 
A torchlight is great for dark nooks. In addition, and stool or ladders for inspecting those high out of reach places. 

Coins or Marbles
I prefer marbles since they give off a distinct hollow sound when knocked against hallow tiles or timber strips.

 I am sure most of us owns a camera smart phone and thus shouldn't be a problem. Unless you very kia su- you can consider using DSLR or SLR to take extreme closeups of the defects.  :)

Photos are meant to document the defects visually so that we can make a comparison whether anything has been done, they provide excellent evidence if there are any disputes. 

Parents or Helpful Friends
Ask them along to help to check out the defect. You will be surprised that it will take at least 2 days to check everything. But be sure to bring friends who have an excellent eye for details and not those who only want to kaypo only.

What and Were to Check

As to what to check for doors and floors, you can checkout these infographic

Let me add on a few more words for the following:

Parquet Floors
I know some would insist not to knock each and every of the parquet tiles for hollowness and that one should look out for are scratches and gaps in between the parquet tiles since parquet tiles do not popup. 

I have to disagree.

Hollowness is NOT okay because empty tiles means nesting grounds for insects like ants, spiders etc. And when you have to sand the parquet tiles to remove scratches in future, your hollow tiles will get even thinner...and more easily dent from knocks etc! 

Please lar, don't be lazy and yet them replaced!

And....please keep an eye on the parquet! Unfortunately for the DBSS residents from City View and The Peak, the developer seemed to use inappropriate material for the parquet flooring and results in the parquet turning dark with "moisture-like" stains...

Sinks, Water Pipes and so on.
Check ALL your drainage holes - sinks, toilets, etc for blockage.
What happens if you skip this step? Well..shit happens? Unbelievable? Then, check out this shitty post!

Doors and Hinges
I realized that many homeowners have ditched the HDB quality, solid bathrooms for the plastic-bifold doors! These is because they felt that solid bathroom doors are bulky and take up space. Seriously, bifold doors don't last as long as the solid 1 leaf doors which HDB provide. In fact, all my relatives have sworn off bifold doors and stick with the traditional ones.

Water Leakage
Toilet bowls might leak if they are not installed properly and it is hard to detect such leaks with clear water. What you can do is to use those colored toilet cleaners such as Clorox. If there is any leak, you can see blue water forming around the toilet bowls.

Not checking every defects
You might be surprised that you shouldn't check every area in your place; IF only you have planned your renovation in advance. I mean, it doesn't make sense to waste time and energy to get the HDB to replace the hallow tiles in your bathroom when you already have plans to get them retiled with your renovation professional.

If you are lucky and your neighbors are also in the process of getting their HDB defects rectified as you, you should find out what kinds of defects they have. Lets say that you need your floors to be retiled and your neighbors too, the changes of getting this defect rectified earlier is higher due to economics of scales. ie. HDB will probably assign a team of tilers to perform the rectification work for you and your neighbors at the same time.

Get a number lock to lock up your premises after you have complete your checks and have submitted the defect list to HDB. This is to deter any other intruders who may cause damage to your unit. Make sure that you only disclose the number lock combination to the technical officer in charge.

Ok...thats it for today.

Happy Deepavali everyone! 


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