BTO Inspection Starter Pack: 14 Things To Have Once You Get Your HDB Keys That Are Not Pineapples

11 July 2023 | BY

Huat ah! After you’ve rolled the pineapple, the next order of operations is defects inspection, where this starter pack comes in real handy.

bto inspection starter pack - cover image

After obtaining the keys to your new abode, it’s time to get serious about the next few steps: defects inspection and renovation. The process might seem very straightforward, but there are items you might want to have ready to make the whole process a lot smoother.

One couple on TikTok, called S and D, conveniently compiled a whole starter pack of items they used in their 4-room BTO inspection so you don’t have to scramble around for things when your turn to inspect your flat rolls around. We break down the exact items inside their genius starter pack, and why they are important:

1. Combination bike lock

bto inspection starter pack - bike lockImage credit: Aikchinhin 

Way before your reno works even begin, you’ll have to expect to inspect your BTO unit for defects. And unless your flat is in perfect condition, you can expect different parties – Building Service Centre (BSC) staff, the interior designer, carpenters, and contractors – to be entering and leaving your home at varied times of the day.

For busy bees who can’t be on standby round the clock, a bicycle lock is recommended to allow only select individuals with the lock combination to gain access to do their jobs. You can get a bicycle lock at any hardware store or conveniently on Shopee for $5.90.

2. Portable chairs

bto inspection starter pack - chairsImage credit: @myjibcode 

From waiting around for HDB’s contractors to overseeing repair works, you might be hanging around your unfurnished home a lot longer than expected. When your legs need some respite and you don’t want to plonk yourself on the dusty – and possibly tile-less floor, foldable outdoor chairs are a Godsend.

You can find these chairs at Shopee from $9.40, with different designs and colours to suit your needs.

3. Portable fan

bto inspection starter pack - portable fanImage credit: TheSmartLocal

When the fans haven’t been installed, the whole flat essentially becomes a sauna. This item isn’t a necessity, but it’ll come in just as handy as the portable chairs when you’re conducting your inspections. 

There are multiple different types of portable fans – standing fans, neck-hanging fans, and handheld ones – that come at a very decent price, and can be repurposed for special occasions such as CNY when the whole extended fam comes to visit.

4. Painter’s tape & permanent marker

bto inspection starter pack - painters tapeImage credit: Bob Vila 

If you decide to take charge of your own BTO defects inspection like S and D did, you’ll need more than a sharp eye to spot flaws in your new home. Bring along painter’s tape ($4.90) and a permanent marker ($1.30) to mark out defects directly on walls, sinks, or wherever a defect is found. It’s best to write out the flaw on the tape for easy reference. 

A good Post-it pad and pen works fine as an alternative to painter’s tape and permanent marker too. You’ll want to refer to this BTO defects guide as well to ensure that you cover all ground.

5. Tile tapping rod

bto inspection starter pack - tile tapping rodImage credit: Carousell 

The next thing to check for defects would be hollow tiles, which are not welcome in any home since they could crack in the near future, signalling a total flooring overhaul. An extendable tile tapping rod works best to check for hollow tiles since you can do it comfortably without having to bend over. If not, coins also do the job with back-breaking side effects.

You’ll be able to get a tile tapping rod on Shopee for $12.50 and above.

6. Torchlight

bto inspection starter pack - torchlightImage credit: 

A torchlight is used to check the colour consistency of painted walls and other surfaces. If painted correctly, it should have an even coating and tone/shade. Additionally, the torchlight is also useful to check defects in places such as the bathroom, under the cabinets, and wherever dark. 

If you don’t have a torchlight lying around, you’ll be able to get it on Shopee at $4.31.

7. Spirit level

bto inspection starter pack - spirit levelImage credit: Canadian Tire

We all can relate to the annoyance that builds up within us knowing that a wall or piece of furniture has an uneven surface, especially when a large amount of effort and cost are required to rectify it. To ensure that everything is all levelled perfectly, a spirit level is needed.

Go crazy with the spirit level and see if every surface is even and every shelf is levelled precisely straight. If you want to take it a step further, place a marble on your surface to see if it rolls off.

You can find a spirit level on Shopee from $9 and above.

8. Phone charger

bto inspection starter pack - phone chargerImage credit: TheSmartLocal

Other than ensuring that your phone doesn’t just die on you when you’re awaiting an important call, a phone charger is one way to put your electrical sockets to the test to ensure they’re all in tip-top condition. If you notice any sockets that are faulty, you’ll want to mark them down with some painter’s tape so that defect doesn’t end up going unnoticed.  

9. Door stopper 

bto inspection starter pack - door stopperImage credit: @ _beigemellow 

Have you ever been frightened by a door’s loud slam because of the strong wind? Well, it’s not the nicest feeling, especially when you have a brand new house with brand new doors. You might find yourself throwing the windows in your BTO to ventilate the place, and in that case, a door stopper comes in handy to keep them ajar.

On Shopee, you’ll be able to get a 4-piece door stopper for $2.01.

10. Foldable pail

bto inspection starter pack - pailImage credit: Lazada 

A pail comes in handy when you need to ensure proper sloping in your bathroom, service yard, and kitchen by pouring water on the floors. Water should flow smoothly towards the floor traps for drainage to prevent flooding.

To identify any leaking sanitary fixtures, conduct a water ponding test by flooding 2.5cm of water in the bathroom for 4 hours. Catch those stray droplets with our convenient foldable pail, available on Shopee from just $3.50. Choose from three sizes: 3L, 5L, and 10L.

11. Step ladder

bto inspection starter pack - step ladderImage credit: Shopee 

Unless you’re blessed with tall genes, reaching areas such as the ceiling solely on two feet would be a difficult affair. A step ladder conveniently grants us the added height to check places where we usually can’t and mark out defects found on the ceilings. You can get a step ladder on Shopee from $21.80.

12. Wet wipes 

bto inspection starter pack - wet wipesImage credit: MustShare News

Expect micro dust in your BTO, and lots of it. After all, it’s no different from a newly renovated unit, so you’re going to want to clean surfaces and your hands often while you’re inspecting thos defects. You can save some money by getting a good deal on Cloversoft wet wipes on Shopee from $0.55.

13. Screwdriver with different clutches

bto inspection starter pack - screwdriverImage credit: 

A screwdriver is a multipurpose tool; useful in many circumstances. It can be used to activate and turn on all water mains, to check if the water flow is smooth enough. You’ll be able to get this on Shopee from $14.46.

14. Measuring tape 

bto inspection starter pack - measuring tapeImage credit: @oregano0123 

As a bonus point, a measuring tape is always handy to have to double-check the measurements of existing walls, furniture, and more. You don’t have to worry about accidentally getting something too large to fit your home if you’ve done your measurements right. You can find a measuring tape on Shopee from $3.90.

BTO defects inspection starter pack for new homeowners

For those similar to S & D who want to opt for a self-inspection for defects and continue to be involved in overseeing the renovation process, we have broken down S & D’s collated list of essentials. So other than bringing pineapples to your new BTO, make sure to have all 14 items ready before you collect your keys!

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