A NEW HOME is a big deal and should be treated as such. Each detail should be taken into account and each problem should be taken seriously.
Defects, no matter how small they are, should never be dismissed or ignored. Small defects may cost a fortune in a few years’ time.
According to the The Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118) & Regulation, the purchaser can demand for rectification of any defect, shrinkage or other faults found in the building within the Defect Liability Period (DLP). Hence, it should be noted that defects assessment should be done prior to moving into your new home.
Picture Source: Quality Guidebook for Homeowners by CIDB Malaysia
Some of the general pointers to take into consideration while conducting the defects assessment are:
- Take pictures and make recordings of the condition of the property during the inspection.
- Never use a permanent marker to mark on materials or defective areas, never damage materials or defective works intentionally.
- Always refer to the Construction Industry Standard (CIS 7) if there is any doubt about the quality of workmanship.
- Always do the assessment in daylight. Do not carry out an inspection at night, when it is about to rain or when there is insufficient light or brightness.
- Use a powerful torchlight when crawling or venturing into dark spaces such as kitchen cabinets and store-rooms.
- Do not carry out any professional or specialist testing yourself such as the testing of the power supply of light points.
Specifically, upon conducting defects assessment on electrical appliances, plumbing, bathroom or toilet and kitchen there are elaborate tips that you should follow to ensure the defects assessment is done efficiently.
- Inspect each light fixture to make sure it is fully installed and that there are no broken parts to the fixture.
- Turn on each light switch and fixture to test that it works properly.
- Run the air-conditioners.
- Plug a radio into each electrical outlet to be sure that the outlet functions.
- Test the doorbell.
- Turn on every faucet to make sure they turn on and off easily.
- Run every fixture for five minutes. Check for leaks from the base of the fixture and drips from the faucet.
Bathroom or toilet
- Flush every toilet. Check for leaks around the base of the toilet.
- Sit on the toilet to make sure it is securely fastened.
- Open toilet seat cover to make sure it is firm and securely fastened.
- Inspect the bathtub, shower, sink and toilet for chips, cracks and discolouration.
- Close the bathtub and sink stopper. Add a couple of inches of water. Wait two to three minutes to make sure the stopper does not leak.
- Check countertops for scratches and abrasions.
- Inspect the front of each cabinet for a smooth finish.
- Open every cabinet. Look for sturdy hinges and hardware.
- Pull out every drawer as far as possible. Be sure each drawer pulls in and out smoothly.
- Turn on each appliance and make sure that it functions correctly.
Apart from interior assessment, exterior assessment should also be given importance while conducting defects assessment. There are various elements to check for exterior assessment. Usually, a visual check is deemed sufficient. Some of the pointers to take note for exterior assessment of your new home are:
- Check exterior paint for defects. Be sure it is the correct colour and that all surfaces are evenly covered.
- Inspect the foundations. Note any watermarks, cracking or flaking.
- Check to make sure all gutters and downspouts are installed. Be sure the gutter slopes down toward the downspouts. Look for any loose sections, rust or peeling paint.
- Be sure there are no cracks in the garage floor, driveway or patio.
- Check the porch and verandah to make sure that there are no exposed nails or screws. Look for flaking or cracking masonry. There should not be any cracks, broken or uneven surfaces. Take note of any paint problems, obvious settlement or structural problems.
- Examine the wall coverings such as brick, wood or siding. Look for missing or cracked bricks, boards and siding. Keep a lookout for obvious gaps.
- Look at the roof. See that the ridge of the roof is straight and level. Look for damaged or missing shingles.
- If there is a garage, open and close the door to ensure it opens and closes completely. If there is an automatic garage door test it from the wall switch and the remote control openers if available.
Want to know more? Download the “Quality Guidebook for Homeowners” by CIDB Malaysia here.