Property Purchase Advice

Building Quality

Since living in Turkey we have realised there is a need for unbiased property purchase advice. We have not yet found anyone else offering this so have decided to launch our own service.

While planning our own property development business, we spent a lot of time inspecting buildings at different stage of construction & saw that the standards varied enormously. The problem is this it is not always apparent if the finishing standard is good. The rendering & paint can cover up some horrendous building standards. You may however visit a newly finished property, looking white & clean, perhaps with a nice swimming pool, yet have no idea that underneath could be a crumbling concrete structure with exposed reinforcing bar.

All buildings in Turkey are supposed to be built to meet earthquake standards. Do not take it as read however that the thickness of the pillars is the same as that submitted for approval in the plans. Do not assume that because there is a certificate or signature saying the building has been checked & is up to standard, that it actually is.

Do you remember the earthquakes in Istanbul & the buildings that came tumbling down? If you were the owner of one of those buildings, you would be regretting now that you'd bought a house from a builder who uses the cheapest materials possible & cuts corners at every point he can.

Here are a few pictures to show you what I mean:

bad-building-shell (42K)
Property Purchase Advice - Bad-building-shell

Ok, now this shell from a distance probably looks like nearly every other shell you've seen when driving around. If you're buying off plan you may get pictures like this from your builder every month or so. Now lets take a look at the pictures you won't see, as they'll be covered up with render or paint:

bad-quality-stairs (28K)
Property Purchase Advice - Bad-quality-stairs
Take a look at where the stairway joins the ceiling. There is no reinforcing bar joining them together & there are big gaps. Some paper has been stuffed into the gap in preparation for the render which will cover it all up. The brick wall underneath is supposed to be non-supporting, but is in fact supporting the stairs. These are cavity bricks, not engineering bricks & are not designed for this job.

bad-wiring (43K)
Property Purchase Advice - Bad-wiring
Look at how the conduit runs at an angle across the wall. The proper way to do it, as any qualified electrician will tell you, is to run one conduit vertically down the wall, another horizontally across the wall & join them together. If the wiring meets the approved standards, when you fix a shelf or other fitting to the wall, using a metal detector you will be able to do this safely, if you know that the wiring has been done properly.

It has been done this way however by a "cowboy" builder or electrician, to try to use about 700 mm less of conduit & the cost of the fitting to join them together. The material saving is probably about £1 but it will probably cost more than this as more render will be needed to fill in the bigger gaps where the brick work has been knocked out.

good-wiring (50K)
Property Purchase Advice - Good-wiring
Note how all the conduit runs vertically & there is minimal chasing in the brick work.

poor-concrete (29K)
Property Purchase Advice - Poor-concrete
Look at the rough surface to the concrete pillar & the exposed reinforcing bar. This could be due partly to inferior quality concrete & poor positioning of the reinforcing bar in the formwork. In addition to this it is apparent that vibrating pokers have not been used. These are used to help compact the concrete & remove the air. This increases the strength of the concrete & ensures it is not permeable to water. The pillars you see here are of poor strength & will suffer from damp.

bad-brickwork (28K)
Property Purchase Advice - Bad-brickwork
Look at how the bricks are not level & have gaps inbetween them. Look at the gap at the ceiling. See the daylight through the wall where a cable runs diagonally across on the other side of the wall. I reckon I could have built a better wall than this when I was 10 years old without even being shown how. However, with rendering on top & a coat of paint, you probably wont know the difference until something goes wrong.

good-concrete-and-brickwork (35K)
Property Purchase Advice - Good-concrete-and-brickwork
Look at the smooth surface on this pillar. Notice that there is no reinforcing bar visible. If there is ever an earthquake which is anything more than a tremor, I know which house I'd rather be living in!

View-Turkey-Villa (40K)
Property Purchase Advice - View-Turkey-Villa
This Villa is in front of the shell at the top of the page. Look at the view of Kos. Might you be tempted to buy if the finish was good & you didn't know what was underneath?

Do you think there is a damp membrane underneath the foundations of the house? I doubt is very much, but if there is it's probably made of thin ploythene & has been punctured umpteen times already. If the builder ever finds an unsuspecting buyer who'll pay him in advance, he may be able to afford to finish the building. I'll lay money that the house will be riddled with damp & mould in six to twelve month's time . Don't let it be you who buys this house or one like it!

Please don't let me put you off buying altogether. There are plenty of houses & apartments out there which are built to a good standard. I'm just trying to make you aware that if you're not careful & take sensible steps to ensure everything is hunky dory, you could end up buying a dud.

If you're considering buying property in South East Turkey, and would like to learn more about our Unbiased Property Purchase Advice Service, please Download our Brochure for more details or call us on 0090 5387 402497 or 0090 5387 402498.

Continue to Property Purchase Advice - Honesty

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