Your house builder will expect you to report any faults you find to them.
Find out what a snagging list is and how it can help.
It is your housebuilder’s responsibility to check and fix any cosmetic defects before you complete on the sale but it is unlikely they are going to pick up on everything.
Looking for a home in perfect condition?
You might think buying a new build is the answer, but just because it's a new build does not necessarily mean it is in perfect condition. It is well known new build properties have many minor defects or “snags” caused by poor workmanship. When you spot any defects in your home, it is up to you to itemise and report them to your housebuilder. It’s also a good thing to do if you are hiring tradesmen to renovate your property. You can put together your own list or hire a company to do it for you. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a snag?
A snag is a small defect or problem which remains in your property after the building work has been completed. It's usually something that is damaged or broken; not fitted properly or looks unfinished, examples include a scratch on a window or a missing hinge on a door. Most are cosmetic, however more than half of new build properties have more serious defects such as major cracks in walls, leaking plumbing work, and fixtures that are not fitted properly.
What is a snagging list?
The purpose of a snagging list is to identify all defects in your home for your housebuilder to fix.
Doesn’t my property get checked for defects?
Your new home should have passed building regulations inspections and come with a structural warranty from an approved insurance policy provider, such as NHBC. It is your housebuilder’s responsibility to check and fix any cosmetic defects before you complete on the sale but it is unlikely they are going to pick up on everything.
What should I be looking for?
Look for surface defects which usually occur on woodwork, paintwork, glazing and tiling. Run your fingers over the surfaces to check for chips and scratches and look for splashes of paint and cracks on the walls and ceilings. Use a spirit level to check all surfaces are level. Check whether things are fitted and screwed in properly and are in good working order. You should turn the taps on to see if they leak and if the hot water is running from the correct faucet. You should flush all toilets to see there are no leaks, you should check all showers and baths drain correctly without any leaks.
When’s the best time to make a snagging list?
When the property is completely finished and ready to move in. This is usually when you will be exchanging contracts with your housebuilder. This might not be possible as housebuilders can refuse to give you access to the property before completion, which they are legally allowed to do because they still own the land. If you leave it until you have moved in, it becomes harder as your housebuilder could argue that you have caused the damage when you moved in. It is also easier for contractors to work in an empty property for obvious reasons. However, you do have two years from your completion date to report any defects (including cosmetic ones) to your housebuilder which they are legally obliged to fix as part of your property’s warranty.
Will I have to pay for a snag report?
Usually the homebuyer has to pay for it but you could try to pass on the cost on to your housebuilder by adding it to your purchase contract. Our prices start from £199 for a one-bedroom property.
How does it work?
The person carrying out the inspection will want to walk around your property on their own or with the housebuilder. The inspection report is sent to you and the housebuilder with your permission. You can contact the housebuilder or ask us to do it for you. Alternatively, you can ask your conveyancer to contact the housebuilder’s own conveyancer and ask for a timetable of when the work will be dealt with.
What are the main advantages of a snagging service?
Our professional inspectors are likely to spot more defects than a homeowner. We have specialist equipment to help us with the snagging, such as drones for the roof inspection, thermal imaging equipment and laser levels. As part of the service, we can liaise with your housebuilder on your behalf and push for the defects to be fixed. This means you don’t have to get personally involved if you don't want to. For an additional fee, you can ask us to re-check the work to make sure more damage hasn’t been caused and offer support up until your new home warranty has expired.
Can the housebuilder refuse to fix the defects?
Housebuilders are responsible for putting right any defect caused by their failure to build in accordance to the standards as set out by their warranty and insurance provider. However, the guidelines can be subjective, which is where it can become tricky. You might consider something to be a fault but the housebuilder may argue it is not. Most of the time, it is about negotiating. You may not get everything you want, so you will have to decide what you are happy with. Try to keep things amicable with your housebuilder as it will make the process easier. If there is a breakdown in communication between you and your housebuilder, your warranty provider can offer a resolution service free of charge.
SnagBuddy has expertise in heat-loss surveys on new-build houses. It's surprising how many houses have shortfalls such as missing cavity wall or loft insulation, thermal bridging, draughts and damp. Our survey's will ensure you're not left out in the cold.
Our inspectors are qualified in Building Thermography.
Roof and high level inspections by Drones. Our inspectors are trained in professional drone competence. Detailed video and photographs are taken and a thorough inspection is made to identify any problems. It's surprising how many times problems such as broken roof tiles or insufficient sealant is used and how many incomplete drainage fittings are installed, all of which would create major problems in the future.
As an ex-decorator, Alison, one of our founding Directors, has an extremely high attention to detail on quality and has trained all of our inspectors to view the finish in the same detailed way that she does. Only the best will do.
Snagging reports can save you thousands of pounds by identifying new build problems, in time for the builder to resolve for free through warranty, and will ensure you are safe in your new home .
Snagging is a vital step for identifying issues about your new property. Our Snag Buddies will survey and check your property for any issues which are unacceptable and provide evidence through documenting as appropriate to ensure it issues are clearly defined for the developer to remedy.
Using a snagging company has become vital over recent years, mainly due to builders being focused on deadlines and budgets over build quality. Our snag baddies are experts in identifying issues and use specialist equipment. A comprehensive snag list for you and the builder to easily follow will be prepared within 48 hours of survey completion.
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