When you are buying a home of your dreams, whether a new condo from a builder or a used apartment from a homeowner, it becomes your duty to check defects in it. Though some of the builders offer warranty for one year to rectify the defects, if you find any, still it is better to be safe than regretting later on. But before checking defects in your new home you must be aware of the type of defects to be checked.
What is a defect?
Any fault in the construction of a condo, either due to the use of poor quality materials or workmanship as compared to the standard specifications, which can affect the life of the occupant can be termed as a defect. After taking the possession of a condo you should conduct its thorough inspection to find if there is any defect in the unit. If you are not sure about the defects or unable to detect them personally then you can either hire a professional to work for you or have an undertaking from the builder to rectify the defects as and when they are detected within one year of the possession.
Tools for checking the defects
According to various experts you should use few tools while detecting defects in your condo. These tools will not only make your inspection easier but also ensure you to have evidence to support your claim from the builder. These tools may include:
Camera: You can take the photo of the defect you have detected so that you can use it as evidence unless rectification work is carried out.
Markers: They will help in marking the defects you have detected so that they can be identified easily while showing them to the builder.
Cleaning device: Sometimes you will have to clean the surface to find out the defect. Such defects are consciously concealed somehow or other.
Masking tape: You can use this tape to physical mask the location of defects.
Test pen: It will help you to check proper working of the electrical wiring and installations in the condo.
Screwdriver: It will help you in checking the defects in pipes and faucets by opening their covers.
Spirit level ruler: In order to find out defect in the straightness and horizontal position of the walls, doors and windows of your condo you can use spirit level ruler.
Gloves: They will protect your hands from dust and dirt while inspecting the new home minutely.
Torchlight: It will help you in checking the dark spots, drainage holes and ceiling of the house more carefully.
Ladder: You can use it to check defects in the hard to reach areas as well as elevated areas by reaching there comfortably.
Marbles: They will help you in checking the hollowness in the tiles as by observing the sound produced by tapping the tiles with the marble.
After having all these tools you can check the defects in your new home more efficiently, even if you are not a technically well versed in this regard.
While checking floors you should focus on J, E, S, T i.e. joints, evenness, surface and tonality of the flooring materials. Usually timber, marble, granite and ceramic tiles are used by the builders as flooring materials in newly constructed buildings including condos and other types of accommodations. While checking floors you should focus on following points.
Joints: While checking joints of the flooring materials you should ensure that there should be consistency in the color of timber strip and joined straight. There should not be any gap visible between the skirting and the wall as well as between the floor and the skirting.
Evenness: Whether the builder has used granite, stone or ceramic tiles but they should neither have sharp edges nor have unevenness more than 0.5mm. In case of timber flooring unevenness should be less than 3mm for every 1.2 meter.
Surface: The finished surface of floors made of ceramic, granite, marble or timber should not have any visible chip offs, cracks or scratches. The color and evenness of the surface should be matching when touched by hand. If the timber flooring has dents or marble, granite and ceramic flooring is chipped off or the tiles or timber skirting are poorly touched up then they will be considered as defects to be rectified by the builder.
Tonality: The tone of color, pattern and shade of the floors made of ceramic, granite, marble or timber should be consistent.
Checking doors and windows
If the builder has installed timber doors and windows then defects in the joints, frame and handles are commonly observed. While checking the doors and windows of your new condo you should on following things.
There should not be any scratch, dent, crack or any other visible damage on the door or window.
There should not be any gap between the door leaf and the frame as it can be due to misalignment. Moreover there should not be any warp or bend in the door leaf or frame.
When two beveled surfaces are joined then they should be joined at 45 degree angle and no gap should be visible between the joint.
All knobs, handles, locks, latches, door closers and door stoppers should work smoothly without creating any squeaking sound. The sliding as well as swinging doors should be opened and closed effortlessly and move smoothly within their track.
Screws used on the doors and windows should be flushed, stain and rust free and fitted tightly.
Handles and hinges should also be free from any kind of stain or rust.
The joints between the door frame and walls as well as between the door frames and ceiling should be consistent and flushed.
Thus by using the tools and focusing on the points discussed in their write-up you can easily check defects in the floors and doors of your new condo even if you are not a technically expert in this regard. Still if you find it difficult for you to check the condo defects then you can hire a professional inspector for this purpose. He will check defects in your condo on your behalf on the basis of his knowledge and experience.