Our New Home – Preparing For Key Collection / Defects Check

After a long wait coming to 3 years, my new place has finally obtained TOP (Temporary Occupation Permit) on 30th June.  My hyper-active brain has been working non-stop since the couple of weeks before my new place obtains TOP.  In all excitement, I have been “enjoying the privilege” of sleepless nights, half restful sleeps, premature waking in the morning and non-stop brain activities (yes, even during sleep).  My family has been shuttling between West and North for the 3rd year now.  Looking at how things are in different state of readiness now, it will be year end school holidays before we can shift over permanently and hopefully try to settle in before the next school year starts.

I’ll be collecting my keys on 21st July, that is, in 3 days’ time.  With the help of my neighbours-to-be, everyone contributed to the below list for key collection/defects inspection.  For the benefit of first-time home owners (and actually many second-timers like myself too), the list below is meant to arm ourselves for a day indoor to explore all the nooks and crannies in our new homes.

I’ll be adding more photos as I follow up with my own check list and PCK Bag.  Do check back 🙂

Admin Matters

a. Lawyer letter

The lawyer letter leading to key collection was sent to us first via email, asking us to prepare 2 cheques for payment prior to making an appointment for key collection.  The key dates were listed for our attention – deadline to submit cheques / bank disbursement of payment til TOP stage / date from when appointment for key collection can be made online.

Needless to say, some of us issued Cashier’s Order ($5 extra per payment), some ran down to the lawyer’s office with cheques on the very same day we received the email.  The 2 cheques are meant for 6 months of deposit for monthly maintenance fee and Surveyor’s Fee for as-built floor plan.  This does not apply to HDBs but Executive Condos and Condos.  Every household will pay a slightly different amount depending on no. of shares / floor area of unit.

b. Confirmation of Appointment Date for Key Collection

No letter  = no entry to our property!  Nobody would want to risk being stopped from entering at the guard house 😉  Everyone has also been hoping for this date to arrive soon as we all could not wait to see our new home.  To some, especially so when the Lunar 7th month commences on 3rd August this year.

c. NRICs

No need to elaborate.  For those who cannot make it personally to collect keys, authorization letter needs to be filled it and it can be found as an attachment together with the lawyer’s letter above.

d. Opening of Utilities Account / Signal Services

Account opening for Gas, Water and Electricity can be made online at https://services.spservices.sg/appOnlineApplication/uiAppForm.aspx?ACTIONPAGE=FORMPAGE.  Apparently, SP Services recommended to avoid peak period of 1st & last week of the month.  If Express Services (that is, same day / next day) turn on is required, a surcharge of $60 is payable.  For normal turn-on service, a deposit of $250 for water and electricity has to be made and an additional $50 for gas.

Foreseeing that we won’t be needing the usage of gas and signalling services, we have applied for turn on of only water and electricity at the moment.

e. Vehicle Log Card

For purchase of season parking or carpark registration to the property.

The PCK Bag for Defects Inspection

These are just some of the items I managed to grab off my table and my hubby's tools cabinet. My PCK bag is not ready yet.

These are just some of the items I managed to grab off my table and my hubby’s tools cabinet. My PCK bag is not ready yet.

1. Drinking water

2. Masking Tape

Post-It note is $$$ but can colour code the defects accordingly.  I would prefer to use 2″ width masking tape for the convenience of drawing BIG ARROW and writing legibly on it.

Aside from marking out defects, masking tape can also be used to seal the floor traps inside balcony and floor traps for waterproofing test.  Before carrying out the waterproofing test, check that the floor traps are free of construction debris left behind by the main contractor.

Once satisfied with no blockage, seal the floor traps with masking tape before flooding the test area with water.  For balcony, it can be tricky as there is no ready water source.  😦   To carry out the test, allow the water to stand for 2 to 3 days before releasing the masking tape.  No point checking for changes in water level as it would have evaporated off anyway.  If there is any leak, your downstairs neighbour would let you know in the months to come.  Pls do not leave the water stagnant for more than a few days!  Because, mosquito breeding can kill.  >.<

As you release the water, do take notice of any water stagnation.  A properly levelled tiled area should have water drained to the floor trap smoothly and not create a mini puddle right in the middle of balcony or bathroom.

After the water ponding test, reseal the floor trap again so that no more debris gets conveniently swept into them by the renovation contractors.

Alternatively, masking tape can also be used to mark out actual furniture sizes and available walking space on the floor.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

We were advised not to use masking tape for being too sticky.  Back to the stash of Post-It notes for the win! 🙂

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

3. White Board / Permanent Markers

Bring along both fine tip and chubby ones for writing / marking.

4. Measuring Tape

Nowadays, there is laser measuring tape.  We did not place an order for it in time though.  No stopping from using the traditional PCK metal measuring tape as well.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

Oh well! My PCK measuring tape broke today and it cannot be retracted anymore.  My hubby is taking the opportunity to suggest backing a kickstarter project with what I think is the world’s most costly but very smart measuring tape 😂😂

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

5. Electrical test pen

To test connectivity in all the switch socket outlets (electrical plugs) in a safe manner.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

We ended up using night light – just plug it into the wall socket.  If it lights up, it’s working!

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

6. Spirit Level

Get a long one.  The longer, the better actually.  Helps to check level on literally any surface, cabinet doors, room doors, floor tiles or whatever…..

7. Floor plan for marking (clean sheet x min 5 pcs)

– M&E points (to mark out location of switches, switch socket outlet and Tel/LAN points)
– M&E lighting (to mark out proposed vs actual required locations of lighting point in the house)
– Furniture space (to mark out exactly how big your sofa is going to be)
– Window openings (to estimate size / cost for curtain, grilles and blinds)
– a few sheets of spares for rough sketching, if required.

As we were not issued with any floor plans stating dimensions, I have been relying on scaled-off floor plan as a guide for the longest time.  As such, my hubby and I refused to make any purchase for anything until we can measure and visualise off site.  We have shortlisted several choices of the items we need though and are in a Google Spreadsheet.  Will try to shortlist our Taobao shopping list when I can.

8. Sketchbook

New house

The fight on window grilles – invisible grilles is problematic, aluminium grilles also not the best option. If only there is no need to worry about the kids.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

9. Floor plan with dimensions

I have not collected my keys yet but I have a feeling the surveyor’s copy will be handed to us during key collection.  To counter check against surveyor’s copy.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

To our delight, we were given a set of scaled as-built M&E drawings which addresses individual services for each piece of drawing 🙂  It saved a lot of efforts marking out the locations of various services points on the drawing.  However, the as-built drawings did not come with labelled dimensions -.-

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

10. BCA Defects Checklist

BCA has issued a very good version of home owner’s guide to defects inspection.  In this link https://www.bca.gov.sg/Professionals/IQUAS/others/home.pdf, we can find out what is acceptable and what is not.  I have seen some scary photos of after-inspection showing a wall or door full of “bullet-hole” like worth of defects.  Frankly speaking, although everyone wishes to have a perfect home free of defects, such a home will never exist.  When assessing defects, do note that some can be covered by carpentry, and some are really just, superficial.  Do focus on the important ones first as soon as you can and avoid spending time looking for that needle in the haysack.

11. Toilet roll

12. Stools

For sitting around.  I would be really tired if not for my kind neighbour’s reminder!

13. Torchlight

For visiting at night or looking into floor trap or cabinet ends.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

My hubby has this “endoscope”-like device which allows us to poke deep into the floor traps to check for debris.  It comes with a bluetooth-controlled selfie stick to take photo through the handphone camera.  Quality is excellent as well and it has been such a useful tool especially when we found a small broken piece of paint inside the 50mm dia. drain pipe meant for washer.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

14. Stationary

Basically just grab your kids’ pencil case!  They have everything you’d need (or not).

15. Spare HP / Tablet with charger and/or portable charger

Because, we cannot live without.  >.<

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

From the experience over the past week, the Leagoo Shark 1 Smartphone I reviewed recently came into play and was very much helpful.  With it’s super-powered battery pack, it really outlasted me and my hubby’s Android phones by a few precious hours.

I could chat on Facebook with a lot of photo uploading all day long and it did not seem to die on me no matter what.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]


16. Cleaning rag + Pail & Scoop

Can be used to check if stain can be cleaned or is a permanent one.

17. Plastic bags

Rubbish and etc

18. Sample Colour Board & Materials / Paint Catalogue

To visualise your designer’s concept or your idea, it’s a great idea to be bringing along all your sample boards.  For wall colours, Nippon Paint Singapore has Colour Creation App to help with colour selection as well.

[Edited 31 Jul ’16]

I had the pleasure to sit down for a free Pre-Painting Site Inspection with the team from Nippon Paint Specialists on 26th Jul and were clearly guided on the different paint types and purposes of usage.  As part of our new collaboration with Nippon Paint Singapore, I will be sharing more on my experience with the painting done by contractor at my current house as well as the engagement with Nippon in the coming two months.

19. Metal Road / Coins / Marble “Goli”

To check for hollow tiles.  I’m thinking of letting the kids do this seriously – whoever spots the most will win!  ;p

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

I used my trusty Stainless Steel stick and comfortably sat on an IKEA bathroom stool to do the checking.  Sitting on a stool saved me from crawling tile by tile.  With the use of long rod, I could cover an area covering a circle of one arm’s length radius.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

20. Clipboard

Getting Keys to New Home / Defects Check

For The Ceremonious Event

My hubby and I are not super pantang but who wouldn’t like some fun during celebratory events like taking over a brand new key??!  We are not doing much but just the below.  If there is anything you feel should be added, pls feel free to let me know and I can include in this list for others to benefit as well.

i. Ong Lai

You know what to do lah?

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

We encountered the most hilarious moment.  Will post the video link very soon!

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]


ii. Salt & Rice Mix

It is believed that this can drive away all the negative energy in a new home.  The instruction is just to sprinkle a small handful at all corners of the house.  Thankfully the ancestors never mentioned anything about using sugar!  ;p

iii. Stove with Charcoal & Fire Starter

I remember when we stepped into our current home for the first time, we set up a metal pail with fire and all we did was simply walked over it before stepping through the main door.  Depending if we have time to get this item, we might just skip this.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]

We did skip this.

[Edited 25 Jul ’16]


Just A Note

*** Vacuum clean the house before allowing the contractor to lay their protective cardboard sheets.  Make them enter your house without shoes. Once they lay over existing grains of sand or debris, your tiles will be damaged with all the carpentry, paint, human walking all over it!  Marble floor can be polished.  Scratched tiles and laminates cannot 😦

My hubby and I have also not gone to any Interior Designers (ID) or contractors for a quote or design consultation.  We don’t believe in aesthestics over functionality.  So, with my hubby’s blessing to get someone trustable over costs, I called up one of my trusty contractors I used to work with and he had not been expensive nor gave me any problem at work.  We don’t have any proposed design or quotation to share until we meet him for the first time after getting our keys.  We have been browsing online for ideas and furniture and I hope to record them one by one when I have time.  This journey is far too memorable.  I woke up at 2 am last night and annoyingly wide awake for 20.5hrs before I could sleep again.

Til then………hoping for a beautiful home soon!


Photo from sales brochure

~SAys! Shirley 🙂

About SAys! Happy Mums

We are a Singapore Mum Blog hosted by BFFs Shirley & Audrey. We blog about our children, parenting and family lifestyle. Most often than not, we find ourselves immersed in family and kids entertainment and can't escape from the lure of great food!

One thought on “Our New Home – Preparing For Key Collection / Defects Check

  1. Pingback: Our New Home – Defects Inspection & Rectification Works | SAys! Happy Mums

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