- Date : 21/03/2022
- Read: 4 mins
Your dream house can become a nightmare if the construction quality is poor. So, have a list of questions to ask the builder or developer when you visit the site.
On 10 February 2022, in Gurugram’s Chintels Paradiso, a portion of an apartment on the sixth floor collapsed. The roof collapse untoward incident took the lives of two women. As the building is unsafe to live in, the residents had to shift to alternative accommodation. In another incident, the Gurugram administration asked residents of NBCC Green View to vacate the building by 1 March 2022 as it is unsafe to live.
As per the IIT Delhi structural audit report, NBCC Green View was unsafe to stay. Similarly, residents of Chintels Paradiso approached the Bajghera police station in July 2021 to complain about the quality of construction, but it was not acknowledged. This article focuses on the factors you should consider when buying a house so that you don’t face the above issue. The Chintels Paradiso project in Gurugram was built by a private real estate developer, whereas a PSU developed the NBCC Green View project. So, whether you buy a home from a private builder or a PSU, you need to make sure the quality of construction is good.
What to consider when buying a house
To ensure you don’t face a similar situation as Gurugram Chintels Paradiso or NBCC Green View homebuyers, you need to consider the following factors at the time of buying a house.
1) Reputation of the builder
Always buy a home from a builder who is well-known for good quality construction. If you are considering a specific project, find out about the earlier projects delivered by the builder. Do some research to know if any untoward incident has happened due to poor quality construction in any of the projects delivered earlier. Also confirm if the builder is constructing the project themselves or outsourcing it to a third party company. The latter is very common these days. If the construction has been outsourced, find out all about the third-party company.
2) RERA registration
The next step is to check whether the RERA registration of the project has been done. The RERA Act has safeguards built-in for the protection of homebuyers. Before approving project registration, the RERA Authorities check certain parameters regarding the project plan. So, that puts some safeguards in place, although it’s not enough to safeguard you completely.
3) Quality reports during construction
If you have booked an apartment in an under-construction project, be sure to visit the construction site regularly and ask for quality reports regarding the construction material used. You can meet the developer's technical team and ask them about the quality control systems they are following at the construction site for the safety of buildings. The site engineers or project managers do regular quality checks of construction materials such as sand, cement, etc., so do ask for these test reports.
4) Audit at the time of moving in
After the authorities issue the Occupancy Certificate (OC), new home buyers can appoint a third-party specialist to audit the building and apartments. The auditor will check the construction quality based on various parameters and issue a detailed report. A structural consultant can do a major structural audit and give a stability certificate for the structural design. The building level should be a little above the ground level so that there is no water logging during heavy rains. The sewage system, rainwater harvesting, fire safety systems, etc., should comply with the government’s guidelines. Discuss the report findings with the builder and ask them to take corrective action if required.
5) Checking land quality when buying a plot
If you are planning to buy a plot for constructing your own house, then you need to check the land quality. You will need to check the soil, the moisture content, the air content, etc. These quality checks are important to ensure the land is able to hold the house or building structure on it for years to come. You can get information on the land quality from the state's Geographical Information System. It will give your information on whether the land can be used for residential construction, soil type, the level of the water table in the area, etc.
The Chintels Paradiso collapse is not a one-off event. Such mishaps have been occurring with alarming regularity due to the poor quality of construction material used. Some of the NBCC Green View residents are paying home loan EMIs for apartments that they have been asked to vacate. They will now be looking for another apartment, for which they will have to pay rent. So, if you have been saving money as a potential homebuyer, it is in your own interest to be cautious. Whether you are purchasing an under-construction property or ready to move in property, it is your responsibility to check the quality of construction by doing a structural audit.