Do your own property inspection, buyers urged

House buyers can save much time and money by first inspecting the property, said architect Anthony Lee, a trainer at Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM).

“Whether it is a new house or not, it is important to inspect the property for defects,” he said.

Lee added that minor defects might lead to major problems requiring corrective renovation in the future.

“You only need to have a ladder, a long shank screwdriver and a power point tester to do your own property inspection if you do not want to hire an architect,” Lee explained.

Start by checking outside the house for big trees. Big trees which are too close to the house may cause structural problems, especially to fences and floors. Take a look at the fences and gates as well as because these deteriorate fast. Inspect the base of the gate and fence posts as they support the structures.

“However, it is important to try to preserve the existing trees as far as possible due to the environmental benefits,” Lee added.

While outside, look at the roof gutter.

“If the gutter does not run on a straight line, this could lead to water leakage.

Also, look out for sagging roof frames, cracked or broken tiles and rusty iron roofing which indicate a defective roof. The repair cost for roofing is very high, and if the problem is not rectified quickly, it could affect the ceiling, walls and finishing inside the house.

Inside the house, check to see if the floors are level and if there are gaps between the floor and the skirting. If the floor falls away from the walls, it could indicate that the stumps or piers are sinking.

As for the walls, look at the lines at the side - they should look straight. Minor cracks in the walls can be ignored but larger cracks can mean that the footings have subsided and may require costly under-pinning work to correct the defect.

Lee suggested that one could also tap the walls and tiled areas as a hollow sound would indicate loose plaster or tiles.

Furthermore, white or brownish marks on brick walls indicate the presence of moisture. If this problem is not rectified, it may cause the skirting or architraves to rot, and paint and wallpaper to blister and lift.

“Check all the power points. You can test them with the tester to ensure that they are correctly wired.”

As for the plumbing system, test the water pressure by turning several taps on simultaneously to detect any appreciable pressure drop.

Also, fill up the bath or laundry tubs to check if the water drains away properly. If it does not, the sewer drains could be blocked.

by The Star

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