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Buying a new build home is an exciting adventure, but it comes with its own set of challenges, the most crucial being snagging. While everything in a new build is technically brand new, there can be some defects. Snagging refers to the process of identifying and rectifying these defects. In this article, we’ll delve into […]
25 January 2024
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Buying a new build home is an exciting adventure, but it comes with its own set of challenges, the most crucial being snagging. While everything in a new build is technically brand new, there can be some defects. Snagging refers to the process of identifying and rectifying these defects. In this article, we’ll delve into what snagging involves, what to look for, and how to snag a new build house to ensure your new home is in perfect condition.
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A snagging checklist is a detailed inventory of issues, both cosmetic and structural, that need addressing in a newly built property before completion.
From minor cosmetic flaws to more critical structural issues, understanding what to look for is crucial during the snagging process. It could include things like door hinge faults, ill-fitting skirting boards and patchy paintwork.
A snagging list is a list of defects and imperfections that need to be rectified by the developer, as it is their responsibility to make sure the property is finished to the correct standards.
A professional snagging surveyor is typically hired to create a comprehensive snagging list, but homeowners, architects and even solicitors can also identify and report issues.
Common items on a snagging checklist include issues with finishes, paintwork, flooring, fixtures, but it can also include more critical elements like plumbing and electrical systems.
While a professional snagging surveyor is recommended, homeowners can conduct their initial inspections for visible issues and imperfections. Check for cracked or damaged roof tiles, that the property is secure (e.g. fences), brickwork, drainage (including the garden.. visit on a rainy day), doors and door frames, plaster work (neat and smooth) flooring (check it is even), plumbing (test taps and toilets), appliances (working) and decorating.
Certain issues, such as paintwork defects, uneven flooring, or minor leaks, are more common, but the severity can vary.
You shouls always report identified issues to the developer, as soon as you are aware of them, ideally before you exchange contracts and your property is signed off. This way you can get issues resolved before everything is finalised. Most developers have a defect resolution process in place and will work with you to sort any issues identified within agreed timescales.
You can technically do a snagging list yourself, but professional snagging surveys are typically conducted by experienced surveyors who specialise in identifying and documenting defects and can act as formal evidence of defects, often making it easier for issues to be resolved.
The cost of a snagging survey varies but is a worthwhile investment to ensure your new build is in the best possible condition. It can typically cost anywhere between £300 and £600.
It’s recommended to conduct a snagging survey before exchanging contracts and completing the purchase, which gives you an opportunity to negotiate necessary repairs with the developer. You can get a snagging survey up to two years after you move in, but the longer it is left, the more difficult it becomes to get the issues resolved. For example, the later it is in the development, the more likely builders will no longer be on site as much.
A standard new-build NHBC warranty is a 10-year insurance policy (from the date on the completion certificate). This includes an initial 2-year developer liability period, followed by an 8-year period for the remainder.
Snagging is an essential step in the new build home-buying process. By understanding what to look for and when to involve professionals, you can enjoy your new home knowing your property is free of defects.
From mortgages and insurance to viewings, offers, exchange and completion, our Buyers’ Guide will take you through everything, step by step, from start to finish.
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