How To Check Snagging

Spacious workshop with empty glass aquarium on wooden stand

Many people in the UK invest in a brand-new home each year, and for good reason. A new home is like a blank canvas, ready for all of the possibilities you can imagine in that space. It comes packed with energy-efficient features that can help you live the green lifestyle you’ve always wanted, and it means very little maintenance in the years to come. Because new homes are built by people, though, mistakes can happen, and you may find that you see a few problems with your new home the moment you first walk through the door. How do you make sure your home meets your expectations? It can begin with a good snagging list.

What Does Snag Mean?

A snag, meaning a defect that has occurred in your new home, is pretty common. This snag definition covers any functional or decorative aspect of your new build, and many snags are simply superficial errors that get overlooked in the race to finish your home. This term is often called snagging, meaning those issues in your home. So, what is snagging? Just a way to refer to those errors, and some snags can be quite serious, so the idea of a snag list is the idea of coming up with a few things to watch out for as you walk through your new build for the first time so you know exactly what should be part of your home, what is part of your home, and where there are any mistakes or problems.

Who Is Responsible for Checking for Snagging?

When many first learn about snagging, they may instantly believe that new build homes aren’t actually checked for defects or errors. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, new build homes are almost always checked, both by the team that built your home and by buildings regulations inspectors. Those checks are essential to ensuring your home is in good working order, but things can get missed in those checks. While most snags are simply overlooked cosmetic issues, some are more serious than that, and it makes checking for snagging ever more important.

As the buyer of a brand-new property, you’re actually responsible for compiling a snagging list and performing a snagging inspection. After all, this will be your property, so it’s on you to point out any problems you notice. While you can handle this on your own, you can also work with a third party to handle your snagging list so that you don’t miss anything. In fact, you may not want to handle this task on your own because should you choose to do so, you’ll have to be completely confident in your abilities to spot every defect or any signs of poor work quality. If you already work in the industry, that may be quite simple, but if you’re an average homebuyer, that can be fairly complex, making it often easier to hire a third party to handle this task.

What Are the Most Common Snagging Problems?

Whether you decide to handle the snagging survey on your own or not, it can be helpful to understand the most common problems you should consider with a snagging list. This house survey checklist may help.

Start with the walls and ceilings. You’re looking for smooth plasterwork throughout all of those spaces. You’ll want to pay special attention to the plasterwork around pipework and sockets. Make sure that it is all neatly finished in those areas. If you notice any obvious problems – like a bump here or there or an unfinished screw pop – you’ll want to be sure to address that. You should also ensure that all of the walls in the home are true – that is that they are straight and square. Finally, check for any surface cracking problems.

Once you’ve examined all of the walls and ceilings in your new home, you’ll want to take a closer look at the windows as part of your home buyers survey checklist. Examine the frames. Make sure that they aren’t damaged in any way, including any scratches or other problems. You should also make sure that they open and close as you would expect them to do. If there are trickle vents, you’ll want to make certain that they open and close the property as well. If the window locks, make sure it does so correctly. Take a close look at the glass as well. Make certain there are no cracks or scratches on the glass. If the room has been painted recently, you’ll want to be sure there’s no paint on the glass either. Additionally, you’ll want to take a look at how the window is fitted to the wall. Any gaps between the frame and the wall should be addressed, as they can create air leaks later.

The floors should be your next area of concern in your snag survey. You’ll want to be certain that they are level and that the screed is free from cracks. You’ll also want to check to make sure the edges have been sealed to prevent draughts. Don’t forget to walk across the floor, too, to see if the floorboards creak as you walk. If they do, you’ll need to ensure that they are properly secured.

Next, you’ll want to think about the doors and doorframes in your new home. All of the doors should open and shut freely and properly, and they should be secure when they are shut. You shouldn’t hear any rattling once they shut. There should be no gaps between the door and door frame, and the latches and locks should all work. You should also have keys to those locks.

Check the handles, too. They should operate smoothly, and there should be no paint on the handles or the hinges.

If there are stairs in the home, make sure the staircase is properly secured and all of the handrails and spindles are stable and secure as well as completely free of damage. The spindles should be evenly spaced as well, and the handrail should be at a good height. You’ll want to take a good look at the staircase, too, to make certain the treads are level and that they don’t make any noise when you step on them. As you walk up the stairs, make sure you have adequate headroom to do so.

Throughout the home, take the time to notice the paintwork. It should be decorated everywhere, and all of the painted areas should be free from problems and paint runs. The underside of things like the window sills should be painted, and the skirting boards should look amazing.

The pipework must be examined as well. Be sure any exposed pipes have been painted and the walls look good where pipes enter and exit. Soil pipes and vent pipes should be properly connected, as well.

You’ll want to examine fixtures and fittings in this process. Make sure they’re all working as they should, and they look clean and undamaged. Make certain your cupboard doors open and close properly and that the cupboards themselves look as if they’ve been hung properly.

Take a closer look at the lighting as well. Make sure all of it works, and that the lighting is adequate in darker spaces. If there’s under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen, make sure it works. Take some time with the switch plates, too, to be sure they’ve been fitted properly and look good on the wall. Additionally, you’ll want to look for wet area compliance both when it comes to the lighting and the switches.

You’ll also want to spend some time looking at the plumbing system in your new home. Ensure that all of the taps work throughout the home. Remember that you don’t just want to check the bathrooms and the kitchen, but the outside faucets, too. Make certain each of the toilets in the home flush, and you’ll want to ensure that the washing machine in your home has been properly fitted and works well. If you have a dishwasher in your kitchen, it should be properly fitted and plumbed, and the stop cock should be easy to access and well-labelled to ensure you can get to it and use it if you have any problems. Make sure, too, that there are no dead legs visible. You should also check to ensure any water tanks and pipe works are properly insulated.

As part of your new build snagging list, you should look at all of the electrics including the heating system. Make sure all of the sockets and phone lines work, all of the sockets are uniform in appearance, and the fuse box is fully labelled. Look, too, for smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and the heating thermostat. You’ll want to be sure the heating system works well, too. If you have radiators throughout your new home, you’ll want to be sure that they are fixed to the wall and secure and that they are free from damage, chips, or other problems. You should also make certain the pipework is secure and leak-free. If your boiler is inside a cupboard, make sure it has adequate clearance as well. You’ll also want to make sure that you have any required user manuals for the system.

Finally, If the home came with appliances of any kind, make sure they work correctly and have all of the necessary manuals and guarantees.

Who Has to Pay for Snagging Costs?

If you notice home snag problems as a result of your survey, your home builder is responsible for those costs, but a home builder can refuse to fix those snags. Some of the problems you find may be questioned by the builder, so you’ll want to treat any negotiations you have as very real. You may not get all of the fixes you’re asking for, so be ready to give at least a little.  If you have grave concerns after the snagging survey, it may be in your best interest to approach your solicitor as this could become a legal problem. You should have a warranty through the National House Building Council, too, so if you approach that service provider, you may find that you are more likely to get those snags fixed.

What’s the Cost of a Snagging Survey?

Because there are so many potential problems that can happen with snagging, you may want to enlist the help of a professional snagger to complete a new build snagging survey for you and compile a list. A new build snagging survey price, though, can vary somewhat depending on where your new home is located and just how large it is. Snagging surveys typically cost between £300 to £600 to complete with a snagging inspector, but it’s typically well worth the cost as it can help you avoid potential problems with your new home down the road.

How To Choose the Best Snagging Company UK Homeowners Love

Choosing the right snagging company to conduct your survey shouldn’t be too difficult. While many are tempted to choose a snagging company based on cost alone, there are a number of other factors you should consider when thinking about a home snagging company to meet your needs. Start by talking to others who have used a new build snagging company in the past to get the names of a few companies you should consider. You should also look for online reviews by searching a term like “snagging company near me.”

Once you’ve narrowed things down to a few different companies, you’ll need to ask for sample inspection reports as well as a better understanding of exactly what is included in their price. You’ll also need to better understand what happens after the report. Some who look for a snag in new build situations offer their services to make sure that snags (or those snags) get repaired.

Finally, you may want to consider the price. Get the costs from a couple of different snagging surveyors, as a professional snagger cost can vary, but be sure to factor in how each company works with you so you can compare the quotes directly.

Does a Structural Warranty Cover Snag Problems?

In most cases, a structural warranty will not cover the snags you find. Because those snags are almost always cosmetic in nature, you may have some difficulties establishing who was responsible for those snags and whether they were actually present when you took possession of the home. If there are building defects that create faulty systems or services, though, those are usually covered by the building warranty itself, and you can typically lodge a complaint against the builder if that’s the case.

Most home warranties are usually for a period of one year, though that may change from builder to builder, so you’ll want to learn more from your builder before you complete your snag list, meaning you should investigate that warranty as soon as possible.

Snagging Lists Matter!

Snagging is a serious problem, as the last thing you want is to move into a home with damages already, particularly if it is a new build. Compose your snagging list or download a snag list template, work with a professional, and make sure there are no problems in the home before you actually take possession. After all, you want a house – well built and quite firm – before you move in, and checking for snags is one way to make sure you’re getting exactly that.

We are proud members of...

  • NAPB
  • RICS
  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Trading Standards

We are proud to be the most regulated property buyer operating in the ‘Quick House Sale’ industry. We are an active member of the NAPB (National Association Of Property Buyers) and are RICS regulated, which means you can have every confidence of selling your home with us quickly & easily.