Moving into a new-build home has a feel of exclusivity. It’s a brand-new, never-before-used house, and it’s all yours. New homes also come with fewer issues than older properties – at least, they should. While the aim is to move into a flawless house, it’s not always reality, and things like snagging issues can arise. With that in mind, this guide features all you need to know about snagging and how to raise issues with the developer if they do occur.
What are snagging issues?
Snagging issues refer to any blemishes or unfinished items that need addressing before a new house is considered complete. They may come in various forms and guises and can include:
- Paint touch-ups
- Missing or damaged hardware
- Electrical issues
- Plumbing problems
Snagging issues are typically identified during a final inspection of a new-build project and should be addressed before it’s considered complete, and the keys are handed over to the homeowners.
What’s the difference between a snag and a defect?
A snag is typically a minor issue identified during a final inspection of a construction project, while a defect is more serious and potentially affects the safety, functionality or structural integrity of the building. Defects can include but are not limited to things like leaks, cracks, faulty electrical wiring or structural issues.
Who carries out snagging?
A snagging inspector employed by the developer usually carries out snagging observations. They conduct a final inspection of the property and identify any defects or unfinished items that need addressing, with the inspector creating a snagging list detailing issues that need resolving.
This list is then given to the developer, who is responsible for addressing each issue and making the necessary repairs or adjustments. Once issues are resolved, the snagging inspector conducts a follow-up inspection to ensure all issues have been resolved to their satisfaction.
Does snagging take place before completion?
Generally speaking, snagging takes place before the completion of a new-build home. Yet, doing it sporadically throughout the house-building process can also help identify and address snagging issues early on. Doing so helps minimise delays and additional costs to the house builder.
Being on top of snagging also means the developer can fix issues as they arise, rather than wait until the end and be up against the clock to resolve all snagging problems.
Regular inspections during the construction process help identify and correct snagging issues before they become more significant problems. This way, the snagging list can be updated regularly, and the developer can address them as they happen.
What checks are required when snagging?
- Finish quality. Checking for paint touch-ups, uneven surfaces and other issues that may affect the overall appearance of the finished product.
- Missing or damaged items. The inspector ensures all items specified in the plans and specifications are present and in good condition.
- Electrical and plumbing issues. This includes looking for issues, such as grounding, installation of electrical outlets and switches and functioning of plumbing fixtures.
- Safety hazards. Trip hazards, poor lighting and fire hazards.
- Compliance with building codes and regulations. This is to ensure the construction project complies with all relevant building codes and regulations.
- Warranty and maintenance issues. The inspector checks that all the warranties are valid and that proper maintenance instructions are provided.
- Compliance with the contract. Ensure that the work has been done in accordance with the contract and that any variations or changes have been properly approved.
Is there such a thing as a snagging warranty?
The NHBC’s Buildmark warranty covers around 80% of all new build homes and encourages snagging issues to be resolved fairly and completely. Coverage typically lasts for between 12 and 24 months, and all new build homes are protected by a warranty provider ensuring snagging and defect issues are corrected.
Should I use an independent company to provide a snagging list?
You may decide to employ an independent snagging company to provide a list. Although house builders and warranty providers offer their own list, it can often be rushed and miss important issues.
By using an independent snagging company, you can tap into expertise from experienced professionals. It may also be time-saving – they’ll handle the entire process on your behalf. A snagging company provides an independent inspection free from any potential bias.
Of course, you can also provide a snagging list yourself shortly after moving into the property. Once you’ve compiled the list, share it with the developer and make sure it covers every single point, from paint drips to uneven brickwork.
What should I do with snagging issues that came out of the survey?
If you’ve identified snagging issues as a result of a survey, there are a few steps you can take to address them. This includes creating a snagging list with all the issues that came up and notifying the developer.
It’s a good idea to document everything, keeping detailed records of all correspondence and documentation related to the snagging issues. Finally, if you don’t feel the issues have been addressed, you can consider taking legal action.
When to raise issues
The best time to raise snagging issues with your new-build developer is as soon as they are identified. The sooner you bring snagging problems to the developer’s attention, the faster they can be addressed and resolved.
How can I raise a snagging concern?
If you’ve just bought a new home and experience snagging issues, you’ll want to get them resolved as quickly as possible. Some actions you can take include:
- Contact the developer’s customer service team. They should be able to provide support, answering questions and coordinating repairs for the property.
- A snagging inspector. The developer may provide a snagging inspector to conduct a final inspection of the property and identify any snagging issues that need addressing.
- The NHBC’s Buildmark warranty. If you’re still having issues with the developer, you can contact the NHBC.
A fix for snagging
Even if you move into a home with snagging issues, all is not lost. There’s a process in place to fix the problems, and in most cases the developer will oblige without any issues. Should you meet resistance, there are processes so that all snags and defects are taken care of. At which point, you can enjoy your brand-new home.
Last Updated: January 23rd, 2023