Article first published at EatandTravelwithus, link: http://www.eatandtravelwithus.com/2017/05/absolute-inspection-singapore-review/
After waiting for a few years, we had finally gotten the keys to our five room BTO! Raevian and I were really excited to embark on this new phase of our lives. However, we knew that there were still plenty of work to be done for our new house. The first important task was to check for defects. Luckily, we came across Absolute Inspection, a Singapore company that specializes in defects checking for new homes. We decided to engage its services and this turned out to be one of our best decisions.
Our Own Inspection
Before engaging Absolute Inspection, we went down to our new house but didn’t manage to spot any glaring defects. All we managed to find was a hairline crack on the bedroom wall, various chips on the walls, and a slight misalignment in the bifold door’s lock. However, we knew there were probably many other defects lurking undetected.
A Stressful Situation
Therefore, we were quite stressed out because we didn’t want to miss any critical defects that would lead to problems in the future. And if we did not get our estate’s Building Service Centre (BSC) to rectify the defects now, we would need to pay our contractor to do so during renovation. It would be really silly to incur these extra costs!
In addition, we were busy with many other obligations. On top of managing our full-time day jobs, we were also spending a lot of time looking for suitable renovation IDs/ contractors.
Luckily, we chanced upon Absolute Inspection online. We did some research on them and found that they had very good reviews on various blogs as well as their own Facebook page. Therefore, we decided to bite the bullet and filled up the request form on Absolute Inspection’s website. We got a reply from Wee Kwang the very next day. From there, we liaised through a Whatsapp group chat.
Absolute Inspection is a Singapore-based company that conducts defects checking for new homes. It is founded by the talented Wee Kwang, an NUS Mechanical Engineering 1st Class Honours graduate. He is a former scholar with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), where he rose up the ranks to become a deputy director (yup, he’s pretty legit). To date, Wee Kwang has had more than 10 years of solid experience in the construction industry. Through our interactions with him, we found him to be a very humble, responsible, meticulous, and friendly person.
Since 2015, Wee Kwang and his team have conducted more than 3,000 home inspections across Singapore. And each of his inspectors has at least conducted 400 home inspections! You can read more about Absolute Inspection here.
Checking the kitchen beam for hollow tiles
Checking for hollow or loose tiles
Torn rubber seals hidden in window frames
Shaky toilet lid
Drainage pipe joint not properly mended/ filled
For the first inspection, Wee Kwang sent his employee James to conduct the inspection. This first round of inspection took about 2.5 hours, with James pasting colored post-its throughout the house. As our house gradually got covered with an increasing number of post-its, Raevian and I smiled sheepishly at each other; we couldn’t believe that we had spotted so few defects.
After about half an hour, we decided to go for a quick bite at a nearby mall. It felt really good to be enjoying our meal while Absolute Inspection took care of our defects checking. Without them, we would be in the house now perspiring while tediously trying to discover defects. We returned to the house as James was finishing up his inspection.
To be honest, we were stunned by the number of defects. James had written down four full pages of defects! Our house was now covered in a “pretty” array of colored post-its. Some of the defects included rust and stains on various parts of the house (metal gate, timber door, door frames, window frames, powerpoint casings, floor waste lids, etc), chips on the walls and window handles and window panes, cracks on our kitchen ceiling beam, loose window locks, torn rubber seals hidden inside window frames, shaky toilet lid, and many more! We were grateful to James for having discovered so many defects for us.
James also taught us how to check the drainage in the toilets and service yard. We learned that the floor tiles are laid at a very slight sloping angle so that water will flow towards the floor traps. To test this, we brought along a bucket on a separate day and poured a full bucket of water away from the floor traps. True enough, and interestingly, the water did start flowing backwards towards the floor traps.
Wee Kwang using a spirit level to check the tiles angle
About one week after submitting the lengthy defects form, BSC called me to inform that they had completed the first round of rectification. We informed Wee Kwang and this time he came down personally to conduct the check.
For this round the inspection took about 1.5 hours and I stayed throughout the process. Wee Kwang was extremely meticulous, literally combing every single inch of the house. He used various equipment such as a metal stick to check for hollow or loose tiles, and a spirit level to check the angle of the tiles in the service yard and toilets. As mentioned earlier, there needs to be a slight sloping angle for the water to drain off. Wee Kwang also checked the pipes beneath the floor traps to ensure that there were no blockage. He was even nice enough to help us remove some green beans that had been washed into the floor traps when we poured the bucket of water previously.
Luckily, our second inspection yielded “just” two full pages of defects. BSC had rectified many of the defects but had missed out many as well. In addition, Wee Kwang also managed to spot several more defects.
Feeling tired (ok I know I didn’t do much) but knowing that we were in good hands, I submitted the defects form to BSC and hoped that the next inspection would be the last round.
About one week later, BSC called to notify that the rectifications were done. Wee Kwang went down with us again and this time, he found just nine defects! Most of the defects were already rectified by now. However, to ensure that the remaining defects would definitely be looked into, he got the BSC contractors to come to our house so that he could personally explain the defects to them. We were surprised to see that he seemed to have a very good rapport with the contractors. He explained to us that it was because he had lots of other clients in our estate. Therefore, he had already built good working relationships with the contractors. Hopefully this meant that the contractors would do a good job for us!
Good Follow-up Service by Absolute Inspection
Absolute Inspection charges $70 per subsequent inspection after the third inspection. However, when we went down for a fourth inspection on our own, the remaining nine defects had already been rectified.
However, Absolute Inspection’s services didn’t end here. While checking the floor waste lid, I realized that it was a bit loose and asked Wee Kwang about this over the group chat. He told me that I just needed to turn it in and it would fit nicely – which was true. He was very helpful and constantly told us that it would be ok to ask him if we had any other questions.
On hindsight, engaging Wee Kwang and Absolute Inspection was one of our best decisions. We were busy with many other obligations, but we wanted to complete the defects checking process ASAP so that we could focus on planning our renovation. And we were very worried that we would miss out some critical defects that would lead to unforeseen problems in the future. Absolute Inspection solved all these problems for us and truly gave us a peace of mind. It was gratifying to know that we had gotten off to a good start for our new home journey.
We received a discount for the inspection. However, all opinions in the article are purely mine.