Checking the quality of a flat or house is not an easy task. The quality depends on acceptance criteria with pre-defined product specifications. Quality also depends on the agreement with the owner and contractor, here between the client and the builder. In my previous article, I have already discussed how to check the quality of construction (Invisible quality). Here I will discuss how to check the visible quality of construction. If you are going to buy a flat then this article is just for you. Go through the entire article to get an idea of which things to be checked before buying a flat/house.
First of all, search for a reputed builder. Because all developers promise ‘quality construction’, but they do not provide good quality. It is important that the builder annexes with the (booking/purchase) agreement a schedule of facilities or specifications related to flooring, doors, windows, sanitary/electrical fittings, etc, that he will use. This ensures you are aware of what the developer is committing.
2. Paint Quality:
The paint surface should be uniform without undulation. You can check it visually by holding a halogen light (Phone light) parallel to the wall in a dark room. All the undulation will be visible under this, so be cautious. Higher the undulation lower the quality.
3. Plaster Quality:
The plaster should be uniform and as thin as possible without undulation. To make this happen masonry should be laid accurately. Check for cracks on walls. Check for unevenness by feeling your bare hand and seeing perpendicular to light. You can find waves on the wall. Also, check for hollow sound by knocking on the plaster.
4. Tiles Quality:
The floor tiles should be uniform in their shade and color. If there is variation of more than 20% of tile area ask the builder to change or compensate for the shade version.
The vitrified or ceramic tile which comes factory itself has 1 mm to 3 mm undulation. That means the tile bends in one axis which a normal person cannot identify. So this is the standard material acceptance in entire industry. So when tiles are laid with paper -joints having undulation more than 8 to 10 mm, demand the builder to change or compensate for the same.
Do a hollow test by knocking on the tiles. Check for cracks or damage on tiles. If found, demand the builder to replace. Chipped area on tile more than 5 mm to 8 mm or which is eyesore can also be demanded to replace.
5. Plumbing Quality:
Most of the Builders Use C-PVC pipes for plumbing lines, pipes will be white in colour. Check whether the builder has provided plumbing fittings as per specification. Check if all sanitary and cp(chrome-plated) fittings such as faucets, showerheads etc are not leaking from the sides. Check for flow and pressure in water faucets and flush tanks.
6. Electrical Quality:
Check if wires and electrical fittings have been certified by the government or not. Check all light points are properly working. The wires used should be copper wire and make sure there is an ELCB fitted with the main circuit along with MCCB for safety against shock.
Besides this, check for few more important things listed below:
• Check for leakages from the ceiling, corners and junctions of walls and slab. If you find a moist spot on the ceiling, it is confirmed to be leaking.
• Check for cracks on beams, columns and slab.
• Check all the joints in the flooring are properly sealed.
• Check the floor, glass panes, ventilator, doors, windows, grills, exposed pipes, switch boxes are cleaned of paint dropping, stain marks etc.
• Check for uniform paint and polish on all doors and grills.
• Check if all screws are present in the door hinged.
• Last but not least, check for the cleanness of the flat or house.