Beware of Dishonest Housing Developer
This article will save you lots of money if you are buying a property, and it may also save your life.
Beware of Dishonest Housing Developer
Beware of dishonest housing developers
Have you ever wondered why some houses are worth very much less than a new house of the same materials, area and size, at the existing location? Don’t you know why some buildings constructed over a century ago are still standing perfectly today?
Errant home renovation contractors can always get away with their shoddy work because they have friends at high places. Thus shoddy workmanship and misleading claims, or contractors going missing are common. In 2012 alone there were 1532 complaints against errant home-renovation contractors in Singapore. Fly-by-night contractors set up offices, collect deposits and then shut down. Do you still want to invest in housing?
For those steel pipes which are buried under ground or in concrete floors or walls, these dishonest contractors used corroded pipes because they cost less than half the cost of new pipes. There was once those people were unlucky to have such a building constructed by shoddy contractor. One day the gas pipe leaked and there was a sudden explosion. Many people lost their lives and I heard steel bars on that building windows were blown about 100 meters away.
The next incident, also happened in Malaysia. A high-rise building was beautifully constructed to be used as a hotel and shopping complex. Few years later the defects on the steel structure showed up and the whole building had to be abandoned. I heard the I-beams were not correctly welded to the steel pillars. Obviously they were using the semi-skilled welders to do the job. SMAW 6 G welders are expensive to hire, but their welds will last you many hundred of years.
It’s a pity to see houses which were only built twenty years ago to be in very shabby condition in Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. Many of these need to be renovated to be safe for occupation. The renovation cost will be very high. In some cases, it is cheaper to knock down the old houses and have a new ones built. Some people think they can sell these old houses off. There are cases where the advertisements have been put up for more than ten years and there are no buyers. Do you still want to invest in housing? Well, you can, if you can find efficient and honest constructors.
In some parts of the world, developers are able to cut corners because the buyers are people who have no engineering knowledge. To them, a house is a house. As long as they can move in today, they are happy. They will not question whether the house will leak tomorrow, or if the balcony will drop off twenty years later.
Before you buy any old house, figure out how much you need to put up scaffolding to have your house repaired, and the cost of other reworks necessary. At times, the cost of erecting approved scaffolding can be many times higher than the actual cost of correcting the defects.
Poor quality concrete will allow rain water to seep in to corrode the reinforcement steel bars. All exposed steels must be painted with undercoats and top coats accordingly. It is very common for housing developers to have only the top coat painted. After a few years you can see the walls and floors begin to bulge up. This is because as the steel corrodes, it needs some space for expansion. How can space be found except by cracking up the concrete? Will you be able to trace the developer if the balcony crumbles down twenty years later, killing a person on the ground?
Reinforcement steel bars used in the erection of houses, if not properly buried by the cement, will corrode from day one the structure has been erected. After twenty years of contact with the elements, no steels can remain as strong as before. Balconies will begin to slant downward, requiring expansive rework. The walls and floors will need repair too. The roof may need total replacement. No sensible buyer, in his/her right mind, will pay you more than 40% the value of an equally good house nearby, because he/she will have to spend the other 60% of the money to have the house renovated.
The final check you need to carry out is the roof. Can you see any leak? How do you know there is no leak unless there is a downpour? Have a written agreement from the developer that if there is a leak within the next few months, he must carry out the repair without any further payment, and that if he cannot have the leak repaired within a certain number of days, you can call a third party to do the job and bill the repair cost to him.