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Home ‘decoration’ must be done with great care
By Pan Zheng

It takes time and efforts to buy a suitable apartment, but the real time-consuming part is the follow-up decoration and maintenance.

In China, most of the new apartments are undecorated, and home buyers have to do interior decoration before moving in. It’s a mistake to directly move into the apartment when your decoration team says it’s done. Usually the apartment will not be ready until months later, and you have to do some work before you move in to protect your health and enhance the living quality.


Here we details the important things to do between the decoration completion and your first night in your new apartment.


Unless you decorate your house on your own, this is a must. The acceptance includes four main sections. The first is woodwork and other finishing, such as floors, doors, windows and sometimes ceilings. Corners usually should be at 90-degree angles unless there is some special design. Floors should be checked for cracks; doors and windows to see whether they can be opened or shut smoothly. Generally the gap between the door and its frame should be about 0.5 centimeter.

The second section is paint. In this part you usually focus on your walls — check the colors, the flatness of the surface and grain of the paint. If you’re using wallpaper, see whether it’s pasted correctly.

The third part includes the tiles, bricks, metal window frames and security door. Check whether your tiles and bricks are intact and arranged correctly. The floor of the bathroom where a drain is installed should be sloped properly so the water goes out. You should also open and shut the security doors and metal windows to make sure all the parts are installed tightly.

Lastly, remember to review your decoration contract to assure that all the work is done, all the lights come on, all the sanitary fittings work well and all the construction wastes are cleared away.


As everyone knows, a huge smell permeates a newly decorated room. People usually keep the windows open for three to six months to eliminate the smell through ventilation. The time depends on the materials used in the decoration.

Formaldehyde and benzene are the primary pollutants in newly decorated homes. Too much formaldehyde and benzene in the air will cause various symptoms such as sore throat, asthma and dermatitis, and they can be fatal for long-time absorbers.

There are ways to quicken the process of blowing these pollutants out, including putting activated carbon in the room, growing small plants or even putting some tropical fruits such as pineapples in the room. However, experience shows that such remedies have only a minimal effect. Using environmentally friendly decoration materials is the best way to save time.

When you think the apartment is ready for moving in, remember to buy an air-quality tester to make sure. You should test all the rooms with doors and windows closed.

According to the national standard, the content of free formaldehyde should be less than 0.08 milligram per cubic meter, and the content of benzene should not exceed 0.09 milligram per cubic meter.

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