Table Of Contents
2 An Introduction To Snagging
3 Potential problems with new build homes
4 When is the best time to snag?
5 How to snag a property
6 Presenting your list to the builder
7 Follow Up
8 Resolving Disputes
This is just a guide and could not hope to answer all your questions on home snagging the problems and resolutions. We do recommend you seek the advice and engage a professional snagger to achieve your snagg free home.
Snagging is the process of identifying flaws in a new build property so they can be rectified. From a snagging inspection a snagging list will have been created. This is provided to the builders for rectification ideally before you move in all the work can be completed.
To properly understand the process of snagging we must understand a few things relating to new build houses. There are systems in place to ensure that the 10 year new build insurance provided by the NHBC (National House Building Council) will not be needed. It would be financially unwise for a builder to not build in such a way to make the guarantee become needed. But we also must understand that this is for major defects. It would not cover a door that doesn't close smoothly. That 10 year guarantee is often called Buildmark protection. Snagging is for different things and you get 2 years from official completion to get the builder to address your snagging list. Because that 10 year guarantee doesn't cover finish for example builders are happy to cut a few corners as time is money and for sure you house will have been rushed.
Here are the various kinds of snaggs you may find:
1. The easiest of items are simply forgotten- they will easily be added to your list and an easy fix. An example could be cavity wall insulation that is not present. A normal person would not be able to pick up and find this issue.
2. Needs time to settle issues. Manifesting in cracks in plastering is a classic example. The builder is given in this example 12 months before rectification because otherwise it will not settle and be wasted effort.
3. Poor workmanship.
4. Design variations. It will be quite omiss if you find the design is different than what the plans dictate and what you are expecting. These could be crossing over into major buildmark issues. They can also exist such as fire regulation omissions.
5. Incorrect or poor quality materials. A reason to hire an expert snagging service. Would you know the difference between galvanized and ungalvanized and when and where each should be used?
6. Latent defects. As this is issues that come about over time they will not be identified during the snag. You can still get them rectified when you notice them.
You should use a system to cover the whole house in a methodical fashion. If you just start going through it (the house) will get messy and be disorganised and you will miss more things. Of course the goal is to create a list of snags a snag list if you like and one where you have missed nothing off.
Allow at least 4 hours and make sure you have a notebook, spare pen and spare batteries for your camera as you will be needing the flash more than you think. Try to get the date on the photos from the camera setup. For each snag make a note of why it is an issue. Date the paper or notepad for reference.
Modern web apps help you to snag. For example https://www.sitereportpro.co.uk/ But I would not rely on it unless you have done a trial run etc. And be sure you can access the info when you need it or print it out. It is beyond the scope for us to suggest such a tool we merely steer you towards the potential.
Go snag your property! We will include a link here to already good resources on the actual things to check.
You may be invited to snag by the builder if so follow their procedure but bear in mind you should look to give them 7 days to carry out the work. If you have yet to complete you can see why they will be interested to get it done too. If there is no invitation then send the builders your snag list (a copy) with a covering letter saying you would like to be invited back to check off the work. Be polite but firm in saying that you would like the work to be completed by such a date and this is the expected completion date and you want time to come back and check it has been done. Include in the cover letter that you would like a formal explanation for any disagreement they have. Ring them up and keep the pressure on for your jobs if they are not getting back to you within 18-24 hrs.
Make sure you make the list easy to understand so that a stranger could find the snag and understand it. Provide photos if possible anything that helps understand the issue is good.
REMEMBER THAT YOU GET MORE THAN ONE CHANCE TO SNAG- REAL ISSUES REQUIRE A RESOLUTION WITHIN 2 YEARS. Of course it is better if the snaggs all could be done at once but with latent issues there are likely to be more. So don't let a builder dupe you into thinking the list is the final list. It is also not advisable to send an email for each issue which would be unmanageable and annoying to all those concerned.
Ideally all the snags would be rectified but the reality is that probably some are missed and others are just not done yet. So it is here where you need to be polite but firm and keep the pressure on. If things really aren't going your way consider and let them know you are delaying completion due to the property not being finished. You wouldn't buy a car that wasn't fully ready either. Some issues may not be fixable until 12 months later as the building hasn't settled etc. But check for those items and what is being stated is correct. The builder should be able to provide 3rd party guidance on the issue and you can use forums and ask opinion on the particular snag to get another perspective.
The builder normally is expecting a snagging list and would address the issues. In the event there is a snag with the snag and the builder is refusing to accept some of the issues then you will need to start to document the complaint and talk about going to the NHBC and Federation of Master Builders with your issues. They act as a mediation if they are the ones guaranteeing the new build. If not and also the builder is not a member of the federation you will need to seek more general legal course through a solicitor. Get a quote for the cost of rectifying the snag(s) from an independant before looking at a solicitor. Mostly however it would never get to this position as it will have buildmark warranty from the NHBC. Remember we spoke earlier about you not having paid at this point potentially too. A reason to do the snagging early.