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Taking Over New Condominiums – Common Defects To Watch Out For
I know that we don’t always get what we are expecting to get when buying any product.
Sometimes your latest smart phone comes with a hidden scratch somewhere which you only discover after unboxing and exploring it at home. Sometimes, the burgers you order just looks as flat as a pancake when the posters advertising it show a wholesome enticing shape.
And sometimes, the book which promises you that you will learn the tricks to become an instant millionaire after reading it just falls very far short of what it promises.
But for most people, these shortcomings can be ignored.
They are small flaws that does not cost an arm or a leg. As long as they serve the main functions that they are meant for, consumers can usually turn a blind eye to these little “defects”.
However, the same cannot be said of a house bought for $1,000 per square feet. And buyers have every right to demand the best when they have forked out $1,000,000 for a house when the opposite building only cost half that price.
The thing is that developers of these new condominiums hire contractors and sub-contractors to build. And they often put less resources in ensuring they deliver on expectations. For their focus is, as you might have guessed, often on new sales launches.
In the case for completed properties, you are able to inspect the house before you purchase. So if you takeover a house with defects, it is your own fault for not making your inspection thorough enough.
But for new construction homes, you are only given a show flat as an indication of the quality of workmanship. So it can ignite a real anger in some home buyers when they find that their new homes fall very far short of the quality being observed in the show flats.
Contractors try to get away with poor workmanship by passing the baton to developers, and developers in turn try to pass it on to the new home owners.
This means that if you are taking over a new house bought with excitement during one of those new condominium launches, you better open your eyes for defects and demand repairs or replacements.
If not, you are short-changing yourself. You might have already short-changed yourself by buying at inflated prices. Why serve yourself a double-whammy and accept poor construction?
Here are some common defects you should look out for.
Bad or uneven layering of floor tiles
Of all the defects you might expect the handing over guy to hope you miss out, this could be the one you least expect.
In an empty house with no furniture and fittings, uneven floors are so obvious to even a 3-year-old.
How can a developer even attempt to handover an apartment with floor tiles so badly layered that the tile edges stick out exposing a safety hazard for children.
It is totally unprofessional and it indicates how much a developer values it’s own identity and your peace of mind.
Among the many types of flooring defects, this is one that you simply cannot ignore.
Sometimes the workmanship is so bad that gaps between them are so alarmingly obvious a tarantula can make a home in it This is a defect that you cannot let the contractor get away with. Demand repairs or replacement.
Warped table tops
This is something that can easily escape the untrained eye. You won’t be able to tell that a table is not straight until you get to eye level with the table top.
This often happens to kitchen tops made of low grade granite. The convenient excuse can sometimes be that a stove is installed at the center, crunching down on the table top, causing the warp. But it is not something you should accept and let go.
It is a defect caused by shoddy work. Not from something that contractors have no control over.
If you can accept this from a developer handing over the apartment, you might as well demand that they overlook your smaller payment because your bank account is inconveniently short of cash.
Does that sound ridiculous to you? If yes, good.
The first thing you should do when you enter the new house for inspection is not to swagger towards the balcony and take in the refreshing view and think about enjoying it for the years to come.
The first thing you should do is go and switch on the air-conditioner in every room. You need to do this so that by the time you finish inspecting the place, the air-conditioning system has already warmed up and if the piping is not properly done up, the leaks will be pretty obvious.
Just take a look at the air-con ledge and you will know.
Because most people in the modern design era build up shower screens or specific areas for showers, the focus of proper drainage is in that particular area.
This shower area will have a divider and shower screen that stops water from flowing into other areas of the bath room. So it is often a small negligence for builders to build forgetting that the other areas of a bathroom need proper water flow for drainage as well.
You can easily test out the drainage by taking a bucket of water and pour it over the flooring of the bathroom outside the shower area.
Ideally, the water would flow right into the drainage openings. Water pondings will be blatantly obvious.
It does not take a lot of extra effort for contractors to do it right the first time. So it can be a real disappointment when water collects in some areas.
A lot of carpentry work requires one item to be in line with another simply for the aesthetic look. It really does not make any design sense at all when one is not properly aligned with another.
The places where you can find them most often are the insides of cabinet and wardrobes. Again this is something is that does not take extra effort for carpenters to do it right the first time.
When you do find these defects in your home, you wonder what they are thinking to even try to get away with blatantly poor workmanship like these.
More plumbing issues
Check all the taps and flushes.
You are not just looking to see if they are working with a steady satisfactory flow of water according to the speed you set. You also want to look at how well the water is being drained.
It does not take more than 3 seconds for a regular water flow to drain from a sink. Anything slower than that can indicate defects or bottlenecks.
At this point, if you are an extreme inspection enthusiast, you might want to go down and listen to how the water gurgles as it goes down the pipes.
As most of us would put most of our focus on the things inside the house, we often lose focus by the time we get to the windows. Because windows are exposed to exterior elements, expecting crystal clear glass is unrealistic.
Contractors know that the glass is an obvious place that home owners would eventually take a look at. So it is an area they do pay a little more attention to. Look for scratches, dirt patches, paint marks.
And be careful not to forget the window frames.
Because we instinctively look at the glass when inspecting windows, we sometimes, move on as long as the glass is in good condition. If you do that, you have missed out the frames. The frames of a window is most prone to damage during transport. So make sure you take a good look at them.
Finally, open and close all windows to make sure the hinges and locks work properly.
Other things you should also check include the doors to see if they open and close properly, electrical outlets to ensure that there is power, sufficient lighting points with cables ready to install your lightings (count the number of points so you know how many to buy).