Monday, June 06, 2016

Engage a building surveyor to inspect the property

Ten years ago, my friend took over the possession of his executive condo unit. They found many defects in the unit. Many owners of the other units in the condo faced the same issue. They had a difficult time in getting the defects rectified by the developer and the contractor.

The underlying problem is shoddy workmanship, especially with poorly trained workers from third world countries. Sadly, this is the state of the construction industry at that time. It seemed that the situation has not improved.

From the other side, a developer told me that the owners are too demanding. They should not expect the workmanship to be 100% perfect. There will be inherent defects in materials. Where do we draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable quality of work?

I can understand why the owners are so demanding. They have paid a large sum of money to buy the condo unit. Naturally, they expect the quality to be better, to reflect the high price that they had paid.

I recall buying my first 5 room HDB flat in 1975. The quality of the workmanship was poor. But I only paid $35,000 for the flat. We did not give any trouble to the HDB over the workmanship. We accept the flat, with its defects, and engage a contractor to rectify them.

Back to the challenge faced by owners, developers and contractors in 2016.

A building surveyor told me that he is offering a service to inspect the property on its handling over. Being a professional in the field, he knows what to look out for, and what are acceptable and unacceptable standards of work. He can help the owner to file a report on the unacceptable defects that have to be rectified.

This approach makes sense. The owner is not an expert in building construction. He does not know what is acceptable and what is not. He does not know what to look out for. The surveyor carries out this work regularly. It will be easy for him.

I do not know how much fee is being charged by the building surveyor. For an apartment, a fee of (say) $300 should be reasonable. The work involved could take up to 2 hours, including the writing of a report.

The developer and contractor may also welcome the work of the building surveyor.  It is better than meeting the demands of the over demanding owners.

1 comment:

Yujuan said...

An Malaysian contractor once said, it's more a quality of the building materials used now, as compared to the 60s to 80s era. Like cement, which may have much less expensive sand to strengthen bonding to metal frameworks, or hollow versus yesteryear solid red bricks for walls.
Better not be pennywise pounds foolish, pay a small fee for inspection. Developers respect professional authorities better.

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