Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain

Singapore HDB BTO Defects Check

After keys collection, the next thing you need to do is a BTO defects check around the house. You have to fill up the HDB feedback form with your list of reported defects and submit it to the Building Services Centre (“BSC”) at your estate within seven days or before your renovation starts. The HDB officer will pass you the form when you are collecting keys. If not, request for it.

You can engage companies that specialise in defects checking or do it yourself. Because we have opted out for tiles, doors and sanitary fittings, we have fewer things to look out for. Hence, we decided to check for the defects ourselves. However, it’s still tiring to check the kitchen and toilet tiles, the main and bomb shelter doors, the windows, and sockets. So if you have opted in for the OCS component, you will save much effort and time with outsourcing.

But if you decide to check defects by yourselves, rope in family and friends to help you look around. It helps to have more pairs of eyes to look out for the defects! Then conduct a final round of check yourselves.

What to bring when checking for defects? 

Must bring

Bicycle lock with number combination or keys: For you to lock your main gate to prevent unauthorised entry. A young couple actually opened our door! When caught, they said they were trying their luck. >.< Pass the number combination or the keys to the HDB officer so that the contractors/workers can go into your unit and do the rectification.

Post it notes / Masking tape: You need to paste these tapes around the house to indicate the defects. We used luminous post it notes as our tags.

Pen / Markers: You need to indicate the type of defects (e.g. crack, hole) on the feedback form and also on the tapes. We numbered the tapes according to the corresponding S/N in the feedback form.

Torch Light: This is for you to shine on dark corners, especially in the bathroom. The light from my phone was insufficient.

Camera / Camera Phone: To take photos of the defects and the positions of the tags we placed around the house. Sometimes, defects are not rectified but the tags are taken off.

Rags / Towels: Sometimes, it could just be a stain that’s easily wiped off and not a crack or rust. Wet your rag and wipe the area in question. Report it if the defect still remains after wiping.

Phone Charger: This is to test if the electrical sockets are working.

Pail: Pour water over the floors of the kitchen, toilets and service yard. This is to check that the sloping is done properly and the water flows to the floor traps and drains out. You can get water from the tap in the service yard. Make sure you turn on your water supply with the lock placed in your letterbox.

Tapping rod / Pole / Coin: To tap the tiles to check if any tiles are hollow. According to my contractor, usually the sides of the tiles are hollow. If it’s not so serious, then let it go, because the replacement tile might stand out from the rest because different batches of tiles have different grains and colour.

Good to bring 

Mineral Water and Snacks: The BTO defects check will take you a few hours. Hence, it will be good to bring water and snacks. Save you time from going out to buy.

Old Newspaper / magazine / picnic mat: For you to lay on the ground, so that you can put your belongings or to sit.

Stools: For you to sit and rest. We didn’t bring, so I just sat on the toilet bowl cover.

Fan: It can be handy after sweating it high and low to check for the defects.

Soap / Tissue / Wet Tissue: The place is dusty, so your hands will be dirtied as you go around checking the defects. Bring them along to wipe your hands.

Fibre broom and dustpan: If you opted for tiles, you might need these to sweep the debris. For us, the toilet and kitchen looked clean, whereas the rest of the house is in cement. Hence we didn’t need these.

BTO defects checklist

Windows

  • Can the windows open and close smoothly? Any screeching sound?
  • Can the windows be locked properly?
  • Rust on frame, hinge, lock or screws?
  • Scratches, bubbles or chips on the glass panel, frame or other window parts?
  • Locks and screws properly installed and tightened?

Door and Gate

  • Test all the keys given to you by HDB for the main door, gate and letter box.
  • Is the peep hole at the main door properly installed? Dusty and grainy when you view through?
  • Can the door and gate open and close smoothly? Any screeching sound?
  • Any loose or spoilt mechanism? Our key hole is not tight. It shifted in and out when we opened it with our keys.
  • Scratches, cracks, rust or other defects on the door, gate, lock and knob?
  • Are the door and gate properly aligned? Our main gate was not properly aligned. Hubby spotted the misalignment via the hole you put padlock.
  • Moulds on the door magnets? Can they stick the door well?

p.s. Check the bomb shelter’s door too. Test if the door can be locked by turning the handle up.

Walls and Tiles

  • Hairline cracks on the walls and ceilings?
  • Is there water seepage on the walls (go on a rainy day)?
  • Scratches, chips, or hollow sound on floor tiles?
  • Can water flow to the floor traps in the kitchen, toilets and service yard? There shouldn’t be puddles of water after some time.

Basin, Taps and Toilet Bowl

  • Are the taps rusty or defective? Does the sink stopper works?
  • Can the water flow well from the taps and shower heads?
  • Cracks, scratches or stains on the basin, toilet bowls and seat covers? We did unwrap the plastic sheet from the toilet seat covers to check.
  • Can the toilet bowls flush well?
  • Can the toilet seat covers flip up and down smoothly?
  • Are there roach eggs or insects breeding in the toilet cistern/beneath the floor traps?

Electrical Power Points and Other Outlets

  • Check if all the power points are working well with a phone charger or any other plugs.
  • Can the switches be on and off properly? Are the switch panels installed properly? Sometimes, the logo on the panel can be upside down.
  • Are there cracks, scratches, moulds, etc on the electrical, scv and telephone outlets?

Clothes Drying Rack

  • Is the mechanism working properly?
  • Is the mechanism or other parts rusty? We found ours rusty!

Final Tips

Remember to do your defects check during the day so that there will be natural light. Avoid late noon or evening because daylight will be minimal, especially for the toilets. We started from the main door and went one round to the living room, bedrooms, toilets and kitchen. In case of doubt, just report the defect.

If you have suggestions of what else to check, feel free to leave a comment below. 🙂