Do I need a snagging list

Last updated: March 2024 | 3 min read

In the world of new builds, understanding a snagging list is your key to peace of mind. This guide connects are new builds worth it with essential snagging insights. You'll learn how choices like choosing a reliable builder and the intricacies of using a developer's solicitor shape your home's quality. Read on to secure your investment's future.

Why snagging lists are relevant for new build properties

Understanding the snagging process

What is a snagging list?

A snagging list details minor issues or 'snags' in a new build home. Snags range from cosmetic blemishes to electrical faults. New homeowners create this list to identify defects needing correction by the builder before or after they move in. The list serves as a comprehensive record of areas requiring attention, ensuring the property meets agreed standards.

Relevance to new build properties

For new build properties, snagging lists are particularly pertinent. These properties, fresh from the construction phase, often present a unique set of minor defects or 'snags'. Addressing these issues early can prevent them from developing into more serious problems, safeguarding the homeowner's investment. The list provides a structured way to communicate with builders and housing developers about necessary corrections and improvements.

What is a snagging survey and why is it necessary?

Defining a snagging survey

A snagging survey inspects a new build home for minor faults. These faults, or 'snags', typically range from cosmetic issues like unsightly paint runs to more serious concerns like improperly fitted skirting boards.

A professional inspector conducts the survey, meticulously examining each aspect of the property. Their inspection report lists all identified snags, providing a clear overview of what needs addressing before the new owners settle in. This survey differs from standard home inspections, focusing specifically on issues common in newly constructed properties.

Components of a snagging survey

Key elements of a snagging survey include checking the fit and finish of internal features such as doors, windows, and electrical sockets. Inspectors also assess external components like roofing and brickwork. They ensure compliance with building regulations and that essential safety features, like carbon monoxide alarms and fire safety measures, are installed correctly. The survey extends to evaluating the functionality of utilities, ensuring things like the heating thermostat and fuse box are fitted correctly. Attention to detail is paramount, ensuring even minor defects are recorded.

Snagging survey vs regular home inspection

While a regular home inspection focuses on structural integrity and major systems in a pre-owned home, a snagging survey has a different emphasis. It specifically targets issues in new build homes, often related to workmanship or finishing touches.

A snagging survey is more detailed in assessing cosmetic issues and minor defects, which, while not necessarily affecting the home's functionality, could detract from its aesthetic appeal or indicate underlying problems. In contrast, traditional home inspections focus on identifying major issues that could significantly impact the property's value or safety.

The necessity of a snagging survey in the building process

Snagging surveys play a crucial role in the building process. They highlight any areas of poor workmanship or unfinished tasks, ensuring the property developer addresses these issues. This proactive approach can prevent minor problems from escalating into major, costly repairs. Additionally, having a snagging survey done before the completion date can ensure that any snags are resolved under the builder's warranty, potentially saving the homeowner significant expenses.

Identifying common snags in new build homes

Common snags in new build homes include misaligned doors, uneven paintwork, or improperly sealed windows. More serious issues might involve electrical or plumbing faults, such as sockets not working or leaks. Snagging surveys also check for compliance with the latest building regulations, ensuring all safety standards are met.

Impact of overlooked snags

Overlooked snags can lead to further work and expenses down the line. If not addressed promptly, they might void certain terms of the property's warranty. In some cases, unresolved snags could even pose safety risks, especially if they involve electrical or gas systems. Therefore, identifying and addressing these issues early is crucial for the longevity and safety of the property.

Do I need a professional snagging service?

Comparing DIY vs professional snagging surveys

Pros and cons of DIY snagging

Embarking on a DIY snagging list for your new build home offers distinct advantages. You maintain control and can tailor the list to your specific concerns. Financially, it's more appealing as it saves the cost of hiring a professional. However, the expertise and thoroughness a professional brings are often unmatched.

They have a trained eye for spotting subtle defects and a deep understanding of building standards. Without this expertise, some issues may go unnoticed, potentially leading to more significant problems later.

Advantages of hiring a professional snagging company

Engaging a professional snagging company brings a level of detail and expertise that goes beyond the average homeowner's ability. These specialists possess a thorough understanding of construction standards and regulations.

They'll identify not just surface defects but also underlying issues, ensuring a comprehensive examination of your new build property. This approach is not just about peace of mind; it's a worthwhile investment in preserving the value and safety of your property.

Selecting a professional snagging service

Criteria for choosing a snagging company

When selecting a professional snagging service, several key factors should guide your decision. Experience and reputation in the building trade are paramount. Look for a company with a proven track record in new build inspections. Verify their accreditation with relevant bodies like the Chartered Surveyors. Also, consider their approach to customer service – a company that offers clear communication and thorough reports is invaluable.

What to expect from a professional snagging survey

Expect a professional snagging survey to be detailed and exhaustive. The surveyor should inspect every aspect of the property, from skirting boards to roof tiles.

This includes checking electrical sockets, ensuring heating thermostats are fitted correctly, and verifying safety elements like carbon monoxide alarms and fire exits.

A comprehensive report should follow, outlining both minor and major issues, providing you with a robust tool to approach your builder or warranty provider for necessary rectifications.

When is the best time to conduct a snagging survey?

Snagging during the building process

Optimal timing for snagging in different construction phases

Conducting a snagging survey at various stages of the building process is strategic. For new build homes, key phases include pre-plastering and post-completion. Pre-plastering snagging allows for easier identification of issues related to wiring, plumbing, and insulation before they are concealed. Post-completion snagging, conducted just before you take possession, highlights any last-minute defects or omissions.

Working with property developers on snagging

Collaboration with property developers during snagging is crucial. Initiate dialogue early to establish a mutual understanding of expectations.

Ensure developers are aware of your intent to conduct snagging surveys. This proactive approach can lead to quicker resolution of issues and helps maintain a positive relationship with the developer.

Post-completion snagging

Legal completion and snagging rights

Upon legal completion, your snagging rights come into play. This is when you officially own the property and have the full right to inspect for defects. It's important to know that conducting a snagging survey post-completion doesn't waive your rights to report defects later, as stipulated by the National House Building Council.

Addressing snags after moving in

Tackling snags after moving in requires a balanced approach. Prioritize urgent repairs that affect safety or livability, such as electrical or plumbing issues.

For less critical snags, compile a comprehensive list and communicate these to the builder or developer. Remember, for new build homes, builders are typically legally obliged to fix snags within a reasonable timeframe.

Creating your own snagging list: A step-by-step guide

Key areas to cover in a snagging list

Internal checks: walls, floors, and fixtures

In your new build home, scrutinize the walls for discrepancies in paint, wallpaper, or plaster. Look for signs of dampness or poor finishing. Floors demand your attention for evenness, proper installation of tiles or carpets, and absence of creaks. Inspect fixtures like light fittings, electrical sockets, and switches for functionality and secure fitting. Checking these areas ensures the internal integrity and aesthetic appeal of your property.

External checks: roofing, brickwork, and doors

Roofing, brickwork, and doors are critical for a snagging list. Examine the roof for misaligned, missing, or damaged tiles and ensure drainage systems are clear and functional. Check brickwork for consistency, alignment, and absence of cracks.

Doors, particularly external ones, require a check for proper installation, ease of operation, and security aspects. Ensuring these components are fault-free is key to the external longevity and safety of your new build home.

Documenting and reporting snags

Effective communication with builders

When communicating snags to your house builder or property developer, clarity and detail are paramount. Document each issue with a description and photographic evidence. Provide clear, concise information to facilitate understanding and prompt action.

Establishing effective communication channels with the builder can lead to swift resolution of issues, enhancing your experience with your new property.

Tracking and resolving snagging issues

For efficient snag management, maintain a comprehensive list of identified issues, including their status and any responses from the builder or snagging surveyor. Regularly update this list to track progress. This organized approach ensures all snags are acknowledged and addressed, safeguarding the quality of your new build property.

Additional considerations for your snagging list

Utilities and safety features

In your snagging list, include a check for utilities like water, gas, and electricity. Ensure the heating thermostat is fitted correctly, the fuse box is fitted correctly, and that the stop cock is easily accessible. Verify the presence and functionality of safety features like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. These checks are crucial for the livability and safety of your new home.

Compliance with regulations

Verify that your new build home complies with relevant regulations. Ensure you have the necessary certificates like the gas safety certificate and electrical safety test certificate.

Confirm that all building work done by the house builder meets the UK standards for new properties. This not only ensures safety and quality but also aids in future property transactions.

Wrapping up your snagging list

Once you complete your snagging list, review it for comprehensiveness. Ensure you have covered all essential aspects of your new build property, both internally and externally. This thorough approach helps in making your new house a safe and comfortable home, reflecting the value of your investment.

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