$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: Advance Inspection - Residential Inspection

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Advance Inspection - Residential Inspection

Hello everyone! After a long hiatus, I am finally here blogging! I am sure KPO will be very pleased (and will stop nagging). In KPO's previous post - Renovation Cost for Our New House, he talked about how we ended up choosing ID over contractor as we are not familiar with the renovation and would prefer to leave it to the SMEs ("Subject Matter Expert") to deal with it. However, do we 100% have faith in them? Probably not, given all the horror reno stories which you see/hear from your friends/online. We also personally encountered one ID company who almost "ate up" our deposit without performing any work. We went to CASE and were also mentally prepared to go to Small Claims Tribunal to get back our deposit. Long story short, we managed to get our deposit back but lost faith in this industry due to the many black sheeps.

As such, we were absolutely amazed when we learnt that there is such a thing/service - defect inspection. Being an ex-auditor, I know how important it is to have someone neutral and professional to inspect the books and records of a company (otherwise the firm will have no incentive to ensure correct reporting right?). Similarly, the defect inspection company acts as a neutral third party who helps to inspect home and properties.

We compared a few different defect inspection companies (there aren't many in the market) and have shortlisted both Advance Inspection and Absolute Inspection as they are the bigger market players and hence more reputable. Eventually, we chose Advance Inspection as they are more budget friendly. Most people will ask why engage a defect inspection company instead of checking on your own? Well, yes you definitely can do it on your own, but we decided not to take matters on our own hands and leave it to the experts. After all, it is only a small cost as compared to the price of the house (typically range from $200 for 480 sqft two-room unit to $1,000 for a 2,000 sqft home).

We first engaged Advance Inspection for the Residential Inspections upon our HDB key collection (before reno starts). This is important as they will help to check for any defects by the developer and ensure that rectification works are done before the start of renovation to avoid future disputes with ID/Contractor. There are three inspections in total:
  • 1st Inspection: Identifying defective works & report submission for client / developer
  • 2nd Inspection: Joint inspection appointment with client & developer on defective works
  • 3rd Inspection: Conducting of a final inspection on developer rectification works 
We thought the first inspection will be really fast as they are the experts. It will just be the typical checking of hollow tiles, electricity etc. However, we were wrong. The inspector assigned took more than 4 hours. He checked every nook and cranny, from tiles to electricity, from painting to bathroom water flow. At the end of the 1st inspection, this is how our house looked like.

Blue tapes/defects everywhere! The box up tape means chipped tiles.

 We received a 4 page report on the defects on that night. How efficient!

The second inspection was more of a breeze. The inspector went through with the developer/BSC on the defective works and left it to them to correct. We noted that the workers from BSC have the tendency of removing the blue stickers after rectification is done, so a suggestion was to remind them NOT to remove after rectifying the defects, or only perform rectification when you are around. Another thing that we noted is that the workers did not rectify all the flaws. Some of the flaws we find it really small and decided to let it go. Besides, we have the 3rd inspection, so the inspector from Advance Inspection can help to point out if there are any major issue no rectified. 

On the 3rd inspection, there wasn't any major issue noted. The inspector added a few more stickers, mainly due to uneven walls or paint. As this is the final round of check by them, we arranged another time with BSC to ensure that the workers complete all remaining rectification. 

Given KPO's kiam pok nature, had we regretted engaging Advance Inspection? Absolutely not. We could not have imagined climbing high and low to identify defects, bearing in mind that there was absolutely no fans/air con installed in our unit at that time.

I will leave to the next post to share our experience on the post renovation defects check. Till then.

If you would like to engage Advance Inspection too, do use our referral/promo code - AISG0730. You will be able to get $30 discount and we will get $30 for the referral :) Simply contact them either through mobile/WhatsApp (8748 0988) or email (info@advanceinspection.sg) and quote the code.

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  1. Personally i have engaged absolute inspection when they first started more than 5 years back. Frankly, i can only speak with my experience but of course things might have change given their actual working experience now. What i thought then was nothing more than a good business idea that targeted on new owners mindset. As you have stated, it is a tiny fraction of what we paid for the house! But it turned out to be a waste of my time and money as i feel that the team spent most of the time on cosmetic issues that are not really an issue when i spoke to my actual ID and contractors. I was not impressed by the number of post-its they have pasted on the walls for tiny chips/protrudes that are less than 0.5mm in diameter. I know they are simply trying to show us that the amount of work is worth that $400 paid (at a discount)! i really dont see any "professional" checks being done. It will be wise to at least check on their scope of work before engaging them.

    1. Hi honest_me,

      Thanks for sharing your view! I guess you were really lucky cause you did not encounter any major issue. I believe that those that had major issues raised/flagged by them would be very appreciative/glad that they had engaged the professional.

      I wouldn't agree that cosmetic issues are not an issues because firstly, they are an eye sore. Secondly, think about it, we spent few hundred thousands on the house + another tens of thousands on renovation. Why should we take those cosmetic issues as they are?

      Having said that, one can definitely save the few hundreds dollars and conduct the check yourself but like what CZM pointed out, it is better to have a neutral third party to check as there will always be conflict of interest. Example, some ID will handle/conducts the BSC check for you but it is in their interest to start work from their side ASAP. But the moment, ID start work, the warranty by HDB/BSC might not be valid anymore. ID say find BSC, BSC say find ID? lol. Towards the end of your renovation, your ID tell you all these cosmetic issues are like that, close one eye la, how?

      Anyway, we were pretty glad we engaged them. Do return and keep a look out for CZM post renovation inspection check blog post too :)