11 Aug 7 HDB BTO/DBSS Grievances And How to Fix Them
Extremely narrow corridors, indoor flooding, ceiling leaks and general shoddy workmanship. These are some of the most frequently heard complaints about new HDB units.
Some cases are so extreme that unhappy homeowners have made plenty of noise on social media about their displeasure. So much so that in certain cases, authorities have agreed to rectify the situations.
But what if you can’t wait for the mistakes to be corrected? Here are some common defects seen in new HDB units and what you can do to fix them.
1. Clogged toilets
Rubbish and leaks can sometimes be recklessly thrown into toilets or down drains. Activate your utilities and run the water to ensure that your pipes are not clogged.
If this has already happened unclog pipes by using a draining gel or foam (such as one from Mr Muscle). These formulas will clear blocked sinks, plugholes and pipes by lubricating and dissolving debris.
If there is a leak from the ceiling—especially in wet areas—it probably means that waterproofing has not been done properly. You will probably need to call in a contractor to assess the leak.
He may propose to install a good quality waterproofing membrane to the ceiling. If the leak is due to your neighbour’s unit, then contact your local HDB branch to seek advice. They may then approach your neighbour to seek their cooperation on fixing the leak.
3. Unsuitable doors and gates
A recent report showed that new residents of a DBSS development in Pasir Ris were shocked by the narrowness of the common corridor. Residents complained that they couldn’t open their gates if their neighbours on the opposite are also opening their gates.
While the developer has agreed to rectify the situation, you may also face a similar problem. The easiest way is to install sliding gates or replace the entryway with a sturdy fireproof door that doesn’t need a gate.
4. Misaligned windows
If you find that windows are poorly installed or misaligned, quickly alert HDB or the developer about these faults. If they are slow to respond, a contractor should be able to fix these problems, albeit for a few hundred dollars.
5. Uneven hollow floors
Hollowness on the floors is bad news because it may mean that tiles may pop up at a later stage. Therefore, if you encounter this at your new unit you should flag it out to HDB or your developer.
However, if you want to take this problem into your own hands, you can get a contractor to remove the affected tiles and re-lay the tiles. Another way is to overlay the floor with laminated veneers or vinyl.
6. Chips, cracks and other surface defects
Damages to surfaces happen when builders are not careful when moving in and out of units. While it may be tempting to cover up offending areas with furnishings, it is actually relatively easy to fix these problems head on. You can use epoxy fillers to even up the surface of tiles.
Fillers or sealants specially made for wall cracks can be used for hairline cracks on walls. After you have filled in the crack, paint the area over to hide any unevenness.
It is also good to note that you can flag such defects with HDB. They will assist in filling and painting the affected area for new units—even if these are reported after renovation.
7. Faulty electrical points
You will probably only be able to check electrical points and wiring once electrify is switched on for your unit. Things to look out for include proper functioning of electricity sockets and points, and that there are no exposed wiring.
If you find any faulty electrical works in your home, inform your HDB branch, they will be able to fix it for you. Otherwise, engage a licensed electrician—this is something that you should not fix yourself, as it might be dangerous.