Congratulations on collecting the keys to your new HDB BTO unit, and welcome to the world of homeownership. The first thing you need to do before you move or renovate your home is to conduct a thorough defects inspection.

All HDB BTO defects should be reported to your BSC (Building Service Centre) located in your estate – or do it online via the HDB portal – within 30 days of key collection, so please do not procrastinate on this important step!

14 Things to bring on HDB Key Collection Day

We have compiled a list of 14 essential tools that you should prepare for your HDB BTO defects check and inspection on key collection day. After, click here to jump to the bottom of this article to read more about when you should book your BTO BSC Defects appointment, and how long the defects check took.

HDB BTO Defect Checklist (Tools)Price
Permanent Marker Pen$0.80
Rubber Door Stopper$1.13
Combination Passcode Cable Lock$4.16
Foldable 5L Pail$4.90
Nippon 1.5” Painter’s Tape$5.60
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes$5.75
LED Flashlight USB Rechargeable$7.43
Tile Hollow Checker Tapping Rod$8.53
Baseus 20W USB C Fast Charger$10.59
Stanley 8-metre Tape Measure$12.98
Xiaomi Mi 16-in-1 Ratchet Screwdriver$26.90
Foldable Rechargeable Fan$27.86
Foldable XL Stool$27.97
3-Step Foldable Ladder$65.90

Permanent Marker Pen, $0.80

A permanent marker pen is needed to mark out any defects in your BTO flat that you find on key collection day, and you should get a waterproof oil-based permanent marker to write on the painter’s tape to label the defects while ensuring that the writings do not get wiped off.

As the marker comes with a double tip, the pen tip can also be used to fill out the necessary paperwork to note down the type of defect in the form accordingly. You can get a box of 10 marker pens at $3.90, as pens tend to always disappear when you need them.

Permanent marker pen is retailing at $0.80 from Shopee.

Back to top

Rubber Door Stopper, $1.13

Before you go on to install a proper hydraulic door arm, you might want to bring along a regular rubber door stopper to prevent the main door from closing and slamming on you. 

Since the rubber door stopper comes with a handy hook, you can just hang it on the door handle, especially during the renovation process where workers need to go in and out, while carrying heavy items like tiles and equipment.

Rubber door stopper is available at $1.13 from Shopee.

Back to top

Combination Passcode Cable Lock, $4.16

A combination bicycle lock acts as a temporary gate lock to allow the people from Building Service Centre (BSC) and renovation workers to enter the unit to carry out the necessary work without the need to provide them with the actual keys to your unit.

For better peace of mind, you can even change out the passcode for different groups of workers to enter, so as to ensure that only the designated batch of workers is able to enter at any point in time. Choose from the 4 available colours of green, blue, black, and orange.

Combination passcode cable lock is retailing at $4.16 from Shopee.

Back to top

Foldable 5L Pail, $4.90

To check that the water flows properly toward the floor traps, you will need to pour water over the floors of the kitchen, toilets, and service yard. This is also to ensure that there is no flooding in any of those areas.

A foldable pail is also useful if you need clean off any stains, or you can also store all of the necessary supplies in it to bring over to your BTO unit. You can choose from various sizes from 3-litre, 5-litre, and 10-litre.

Foldable 5L pail retails at $4.90 from Shopee.

Back to top

Nippon 1.5” Painter’s Tape, $5.60

Rather than opting for the regular blue painter’s tape, it is best to go with yellow tape for better text visibility. Yellow is also a colour that is hard to miss, and it replaces the need for post-it notes altogether. You can still use blue painter’s tape to differentiate between a major or minor defect.

The painter’s tape by Nippon has a strong adhesive, but it is also easy to remove without residue. However, you have to remove the tape at a 45-degree angle if it is on a painted surface to avoid having any paint peel. 

Nippon 1.5” painter’s tape is retailing at $5.60 for a bundle of 3 rolls from Shopee.

Back to top

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, $5.75

You may encounter any rust, debris, or dusty surface that will need to be cleaned before you are able to inspect a certain area, so keep your wipes near you. The disinfecting wipe by Clorox is safe to be used on wood, stainless steel, and sealed granite surfaces. You should also use the wipes to keep your hands clean and free from dust after the inspection. 

Alternatively, get an old rag that you can use and dispose of after. 

Clorox disinfecting wipes are available at $5.75 from Shopee.

Back to top

LED Flashlight USB Rechargeable, $7.43

You would not want to miss out on checking any corner and spot, hence the need for a flashlight. For dark bathrooms and floor traps, you might want to be a little more thorough with your check by flashing the light to give you greater visibility. 

Additionally, a flashlight will also be great to check for paint consistency and to see if the walls are even. While there is a flashlight function for all mobile devices, having a separate flashlight will be essential when it comes to any unforeseen situations like a power trip.

LED flashlight USB rechargeable is available at $7.43 from Shopee.

Back to top

Tile Hollow Checker Tapping Rod, $8.53

Knock, knock, it is time to check the tiles! A retractable tapping rod helps to check to see if there are any hollow tiles by listening to the sound it makes, especially for the tiles that are harder to reach.

For those that do not wish to spend extra money on a tapping rod, you can always use a coin to tap on your tiles instead.

Tile hollow checker tapping rod retails at $8.53 from Shopee.

Back to top

Baseus 20W USB C Fast Charger, $10.59

Remember to bring along a USB charger to test to see if the electrical sockets are working. If you do not have it, then get one from Baseus with fast charging at least. I know you do not have all day waiting for your smart device to be fully charged.

Just a heads up to bring along a power cable too, or else it will be pointless to have the phone charger around. A pro-tip for you to get the 3-in-1 power cable so that you can charge up other devices like your portable fan or the flashlight.

Baseus 20W USB C fast charger is available at $10.59 from Shopee.

Back to top

Stanley 8-metre Tape Measure, $12.98

Invest in a good-quality tape measure like the one from Stanley. Go for one with at least 8-metre measure so that you are able to take proper end-to-end measurements of your house if you are intending to do up any built-in carpentry since the living areas tend to be larger than 3 and 5-metres.

It may not be anything special, but the matte finish on the Stanley tape measure will provide a better overall user experience, since it is anti-glare, unlike the standard tape measure in the market.

Stanley 8-metre tape measure is available at $9.07 from Shopee.

Back to top

Xiaomi Mi 16-in-1 Ratchet Screwdriver, $26.90

On top of the set of clutch keys provided in your letterbox, you will also need a screwdriver with a (+) screw bit to activate your water mains. You can find more instructions in your letterbox.

If you do not own a screwdriver, then you can opt for a 16-in-1 multifunctional screwdriver set with magnetised dual screw head bits. Now you do not have to go back and forth to get the screwdriver with the right screw bit, as all the screw head bits are packed nicely within the sturdy Xiaomi screwdriver handle. 

Xiaomi Mi 16-in-1 ratchet screwdriver retails at $26.90 from Shopee.

Back to top

Foldable Rechargeable Fan, $27.86

We all know that Singapore is hot and humid, so having a portable fan around will definitely be a lifesaver. A portable fan that extends into a stand fan will be great since a new BTO unit will have absolutely nothing, not even a table. When the fan is not in use, fold it away to store. 

Remember to charge up the fan before bringing it over, or at least have the USB-C power cable with you so that you can have a functioning fan. The fan is available in white and green colour.  

Foldable rechargeable fan is retailing at $27.86 from Shopee.

Back to top

Foldable XL Stool, $27.97

You do not want to be sitting on the floor just yet, not when it is covered in dust. This is where the foldable stool comes in when you need to take a short break. There are a myriad of options when it comes to foldable seating options, but you might want to look for one with a durable quality that can take any rough handling.

Made of thickened plastic, this foldable stool has a sturdy build and it can easily be tucked away when it is folded. Aside from using it as a seating option, you can also stand on it to reach for things on the upper cabinets. It is available in 5 different sizes with 3 colour options of black, white, and dark green. 

Foldable XL stool is available at $27.97 from Shopee.

Back to top

3-Step Foldable Ladder, $65.90

A step ladder is needed when it comes to checking areas beyond your eye level. Do take note that you will need to ensure that the step ladder is stable and comes with safety features like anti-slip rubber soles and anti-slip steps with enough platform space for your feet to be on.

With a 3-step foldable ladder, you will be good to reach the ceiling in HDB BTO units.

3-step foldable ladder is retailing at $65.90 from Shopee.

Back to top

When to book a BSC (Building Service Centre) appointment?

From personal experience, do it ASAP on key collection day (or after your pineapple rolling prayers has ended) and just book a BSC inspection appointment ASAP with a basic list of defects. Afterwards, you can add more defects to the list on the actual day of BTO defects inspection with the BSC officer.

How long does BSC take to rectify BTO Defects?

All rectification works are expected to be completed in about 2 weeks upon submission of the Defects Feedback Form to your estate’s Building Service Centre (BSC) before you can start any official renovation work rolling.

In my own BTO, my first BSC inspection appointment took 2 weeks of waiting time. After, it took 1.5 weeks for the workers to complete the defects rectification.

After renovations started, I subsequently found my toilet water pressure to be low, and the toilet bowl’s water flow was stuck. I reported to BSC, and even though my renovations have started, they still sent their workers for rectification (the original HDB eco toilet bowl and tap’s parts were rusty).

Back to top

Part of this article took firsthand BTO homeowner tips from the cool @carefulcouple on TikTok.