If you’re moving home into a new build property, it’s an exciting time for you and everything should be perfect.

Your conveyancing quotes and removals quotes from local removal companies are all in hand, and your housebuilder has just finished working on the property prior to your completion date. It’s all looking good!

So, the final piece of the jigsaw is your new build snagging list. This is absolutely essential to make sure everything is up to scratch, under control and going to plan!

When you’re finally ready to move house into a new build home constructed by housing developers, you’ll need to understand everything you need to know about newbuild homes and snagging lists so that you can avoid any potential construction issues and have complete peace of mind.

In this article you’ll find:

The popularity of new build properties

New build homes have had their ups and downs over the years with issues regarding ground rents and the leasehold scandal yet they’re more popular with renters and first-time buyers than ever.

Even with the eviction ban due to coronavirus COVID 19 and the benefits of the tenancy deposit scheme in the property news, those in a rental property are keen to stop paying money to their letting agent for their existing home and get onto the property ladder.

With no stamp duty to pay on new builds until the end of March 2021 registered in England and Wales, (click here for a stamp duty calculator), they’ve become more attractive than ever.

Especially for anyone who wants an energy-efficient home without any planning permission problems or energy performance certificate issues that would result in time-consuming energy switching.

New builds are also a convenient choice. Rather than going to a high street or online estate agent to search the property market, first-time buyers can often go directly to the developer and put down their deposit.

Why is a new build snagging list so important?

It stands to reason that if you’re buying something brand new, it shouldn’t have any faults or flaws. No previous owners should mean no wear and tear, right?

While many properties are textbook, a seamless and perfect property isn’t always what you find. Timber frame new homes are constructed quickly, and due to this speed, there’s still a chance that something may have been left unfinished.

A property survey is often the solution for risk assessment when buying property. This house survey should be carried out by a chartered surveyor and will uncover possible problems that need rectifying.

In the case of a newly built home, however, this type of survey should be supplemented with new build homes snagging checklist.

Sometimes known as a punch list, a snagging checklist supplements a standard building survey.

As you might guess from the name, a snagging list highlights all snags or issues with the home. Some common snagging defects include paint splashes on the skirting board or doors not shutting correctly.

Occasionally, though, a more serious problem may be found: damaged wall tiles or roof tiles, incorrectly fitted appliances, cracks in the surfaces of kitchen units, or structural damage to party walls that the site manager has overlooked.

In such cases, a snagging survey can be carried out on your new home, and the list of defects can then be presented to the developer so they can complete the works before you exchange contracts and the sale is finalised.

Who can benefit from a snagging list?

If you’re buying a second-hand property, a homebuyers survey is a better option for you.

However, if you’re buying a new build, either using the government’s Help To Buy Scheme with shared ownership or without it, you should definitely obtain a professional snagging survey to clarify the property is stable before moving in.

It’s imperative to use a professional snagging company to get a list drawn up if you’re buying off-plan.

The housing developers who have built your new home are obliged to have the property checked by a building surveyor in accordance with Building Regulations Inspections and to have it signed off to confirm all of the statutory standards have been met.

These surveys rarely catch everything though, mainly if there are many new builds on a single development that need to be reviewed. If you have a snagging list, it will give you greater peace of mind.

Also, your new build must have had a structural warranty applied from one of the approved buildings insurance policy providers.

This and remedying issues remain the housing company’s responsibility. You have up to two years after your date of completion to report defects to the house builder. They are then legally required to fix them under your home’s warranty which will usually last for 10 years.

What should a snagging list include for a new home?

Once the surveyor arrives at your property, they’ll go through it systematically, looking carefully at the areas which usually produce issues in new homes. Any findings are noted down and made into a report.

Everything is inspected and listed from the smallest cosmetic problems to serious issues such as structural damage. You will then receive the report that tells you everything that has been surveyed and everything that requires renovations or further attention.

Is it possible to do a DIY snagging survey?

You may be wondering whether you can save on snagging survey costs by making a DIY list. However, you can only do this if you’ve got sufficient knowledge about construction and buildings. You must make your own arrangements with your property developer if you choose to do this so they can let you onto the site.

Some questions you should be asking during your inspection include:

  • Are the roof tiles loose or cracked?
  • Has the paintwork and brickwork been accurately finished?
  • Do the windows and doors shut and open correctly?
  • Do the stairs appear to be even?
  • Is there sufficient loft space insulation?
  • Are the fences and gates safe?
  • Have all skirting boards been correctly fitted?
  • Do the door frames have any gaps?#
  • Are the bathroom and kitchen finished to a suitable standard?
  • Have the floors and roof been adequately insulated?

If you lack the appropriate knowledge, you should always arrange a professional to make your snagging list for you.

In addition to the more common things to look out for, you also need to make sure that your new property meets your expected standards. As the buyer, you have a right to be as picky as you like (within reason).

We recommend you also look for:

  • Kitchen surface defects
  • Internal doors open and close correctly
  • Window frames (cracks in plastic)
  • Check for leaky pipes underneath radiators
  • Loose sockets/light switch

You want your new property to be in mint condition. After all, you’ve paid for a new property; you’d expect

How much does a snagging survey cost?

Getting a range of survey quotes is essential when it comes to your snagging list, however, you can expect to pay between £300 and £600.

Remember, too, that your mortgage broker may require you to arrange for a valuation survey as well as a snagging survey as part of the mortgage arrangements.

Although doing your own snagging survey may be a money-saving option, you could end up spending more time and money in the long-run should you miss anything and discover urgent repairs need carrying out at a later date.

Switching energy and time for money is poor value in the long-term, so you should seriously consider hiring a professional.

What happens if the builder refuses to rectify the defects?

The housing developer has a responsibility to put right any defects caused by their failure to construct in line with the standards outlined by their insurance provider and warranty.

Yet, those guidelines may be subjective. You may think something is a fault, but your builder may say that it isn’t.

Usually, it’s all about negotiating with your development company’s head office. You should be able to come to a compromise that you’re satisfied with so that you can give positive reviews on your builder satisfaction surveys.

Now you know everything you need to know about the new build snagging list!