A new build home isn’t necessarily one that’s ready to live in immediately, and therefore you may need to draw up a snagging list.
Most development projects are done against the clock, to tight timelines. Sometimes, things get missed, or there’s a miscommunication between you and the contractor.
So, how can you make sure your home lives up to your standards? Here’s everything you need to know about a new build snagging list.
What is a snag?
A snag is a defect in your new build.
This often refers to functional issues, where something in your new home isn’t working as it should. For example:
- A missing door hinge
- Faulty light fittings
- A scratched window
However, it can also relate to aesthetics, such as a cracked tile. In fact, cosmetic snags are sometimes more prevalent. But, these snags are often trickier to resolve, as they’re usually down to personal preference.
Of course, the line between aesthetic and functional are sometimes blurred. Serious cosmetic problems in your home can prevent things working properly.
What is snagging?
Snagging is the slang term used by the construction industry when talking about the process involved in getting these repairs fixed by the contractor.
What is a snag list?
Now we know what a snag refers to, what is a snagging list and why is it useful?
The snag list is the list of repairs or alterations that have been highlighted before or during the process.
The snagging survey checks the quality of your new build, to see if it meets living standards. This should pick up on any serious structural concerns, for example.
However, a new build survey differs from a regular survey in that it also identifies minor issues.
Who puts the new build snagging list together?
While the snagging process is conducted by the developer, the list is usually compiled by an appropriate authority. This can include:
- The architect
- The buyer
- Someone acting on the buyer’s behalf, such as a solicitor or buying agent
Obviously, it’s the developer’s or builder’s responsibility to make sure everything is finished to the correct standard as per the terms of a sales contract. Ensuring the work is finished to the right standard is essential for your onward enjoyment of your new home.
If that means you have to micromanage your property purchase to ensure you’re happy, so be it. It’s your money you’re spending! You shouldn’t settle for second best when paying for something to be completed to a set standard.
Snagging checklist – what to look out for on the outside
So, how can you ensure your standards are met?
Following a new house checklist is vital!
Whoever puts your snag list together, there are some important things to watch out for. In some cases, the most severe issues relate to the outside structure of the property.
Time to dig a little deeper. What are the most important snags?
- The roof – Do any of the tiles look loose, or cracked?
- Walls and gates – Walls, gates and fences are important for keeping your home secure, therefore it’s vital you check these
- Outside pipes – Is the drainage system working as it should?
- Brickwork/ paint – Has this been completed in a way that meets your standards
- The driveway – Is the surface of your driveway even? Do you have clear access?
- The garage – Do the doors open and close correctly?
Snagging checklist – what to look for inside
The second part of your new home checklist refers to snags relating to the interior of your property. These are usually cosmetic.
However, this isn’t always the case, as many serious issues can arise inside your new build. To avoid this, let’s explore what you should watch out for.
- The doors – Pay close attention to the gap between the door and the frame. Is it even?
- Windows and window frames
- Staircases – Walking up and down the stairs is the perfect way to test them. Do they feel even?
- Kitchen – minor defects can have a big impact here
- Bathroom -During your home building checklist, when inspecting the bathroom, be scrupulous. Any mistakes here could cause you severe or costly problems in the long term
- Paintwork – When checking the paintwork, don’t forget to look up. Are the ceilings evenly painted? If it doesn’t meet your requirements, add it to your snagging list
The most common snagging defects
Let’s learn from other’s mistakes! In the case of new builds, there are some common snags that repeat themselves year after year.
- Broken tiles on the roof
- Patchy paintwork, anywhere in or on the property
- Insufficient loft insulation
- Incomplete grouting in the bathroom
- Poorly fitted skirting boards
- No acid wash on outside brickwork
Of course, this isn’t true for every new build, nor is it a complete list. However, keep a close eye on these particular issues. That way, you’ll avoid falling down the same trap as others!
How to inspect your new build
When putting your snagging list together, don’t just view the property. Some problems won’t be visible to the eye!
So, run your fingers over work surfaces and sides. Also, take off your shoes to feel how the floor feels to walk on.
Turn on taps and use a spirit level to see if surfaces are even. Remember, it’s your money you’re spending, so it’s vital you’re as thorough as possible.
Snagging tips – when should you put your list together?
Now you know what to watch out for, when is the best time to put your snagging list together?
There’s no hard and fast rule for this. But, the snagging process typically occurs about two weeks before your official completion date, allowing time for things to be rectified before the house is signed off.
It’s recommended you do this before exchanging contracts with the builders.
While you can, technically, have a snagging survey conducted up to two years after you move into your new-build property – most don’t wait until this point.
After you’ve moved in, fixing these problems can become more difficult. Plus, you’ll have to live in a property you aren’t fully satisfied with.
But, it’s nice to know you can use your two-year warranty as a back-up should any snags present themselves. Your contractor is legally obliged to fix these, even cosmetic issues.
What happens if the snagging list is incomplete?
If you feel the snagging inspection was insufficient, you’re well within your rights to report snags at a later date.
When you move in, make a note of anything that you feel is substandard and flag it up with the developer. It’s always safer be cautious, and highlight even seemingly harmless defects, as you never know what they might turn into.
Finally, if you have lived in your property for over two years, but something becomes apparent at a later date, you can claim for it to be rectified under the NHBC 10 year warranty. This covers all defects and faults on new-build homes when the builder is a registered NHBC builder.
If not, there may be some form of similar build warranty available – a point which should be understood prior to making your purchase.
House builders and site managers may sometimes disagree with your snags. While it’s important to bear in mind you may not always get what you want, you should also remember to negotiate.
Some homeowners choose to only flag up the issues they cannot fix themselves. But, this is entirely down to personal preference.
Who conducts the new build snagging survey?
Who conducts a snagging survey depends on many different factors. Depending on the stage of construction, your surveyor may be able to assist when they carry out their inspection.
Otherwise, you can do it yourself if you feel confident enough to be able to pick up on all potential missing factors or any poor workmanship. Or, you can hire an independent professional snagging company to do it for you.
Snagging survey cost
If you’re hiring a professional snagger to complete the survey for you, you can usually expect to pay between £300-£600.
Should you DIY or use a snagging specialist?
If you’re asking yourself ‘do I need a survey when buying a house?’ we’re here to settle your queries.
Most people get a survey when buying a new house, as this reduces the chance of any nasty hidden surprises occurring later on down the line.
Of course, you can carry out your snagging survey yourself. If you choose to do so, it’s vital you’re as thorough as possible. Imagine yourself living in the property – would you be happy there in its current state? What changes need to happen to meet your standards?
But, in the case of new builds, using professional snagging company gives you peace of mind. They’ll push for any issues to be fixed, and will also be available to re-check the corrective work.
Particularly if you’re not a property professional, it can be reassuring to entrust your new home to someone who knows what they’re doing!
If you’re in need of a surveyor, we can help. Hiring a professional reduces the chance of any nasty surprises occurring further along down the line. We have a trusted network available for you to use! Get your free surveyor quote below.
Last Updated: September 25th, 2023