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New Build Snagging Checklist

long_term_service

Written by Reviewed by Martyn Maxwell

2nd Jun 2023 (Last updated on 23rd Feb 2024) 7 minute read

A Snagging Checklist is an essential part of buying a new build property. Although it is hoped that these new homes are flawless, sometimes this isn’t the case. Poor workmanship, rushed projects and low standards can plague new homes. As a result, it is recommended that you use a professional surveyor to inspect the home before you move in.

A Snagging Survey, or new build snagging list, is essentially a checklist of issues in the home. “Snags” is a term used in the construction industry meaning issues. These can include broken or badly installed appliances. It could also be errors in the building process or cosmetic issues like unfinished decor.

A detailed snagging list can be invaluable when raising issues with the home builder. They can then rectify any issues before you settle into the home.

Below we look at what is often found on a snagging checklist (or “punch list”). We’ve included what to look out for and what it means for the home. We have also given details about hiring a professional snagging expert.

  1. Walls and Ceilings
  2. Doors and Windows
  3. Floors
  4. Paintwork
  5. Fixtures and Fittings
  6. Lighting
  7. Electrics
  8. Heating
  9. Plumbing
  10. Lofts and Roof
  11. When Shall I Get a Snagging Survey?
  12. Will My Snagging Survey Find Faults?
  13. Will Builders Fix Snags?
  14. How Much is a Snagging Checklist?
  15. Find a Snagging Surveyor

Walls and Ceilings

  • Is the plaster smooth and evenly applied?
  • Is the plasterwork neat and completed around sockets and pipes?
  • Are there any cracks in the walls and ceilings?
  • Is there any bowing evident in the ceilings?
  • Has the decor been finished to an acceptable standard?
  • Is the paint even and finished to a high standard?

Doors and Windows

  • Do the windows and doors fit their frames?
  • Are there scratches or cracks on the doors?
  • Are there trickle vents? Do these work effectively?
  • Is the glass free from paint, cracks and scratches?
  • Are the windows sealed effectively?
  • Do the handles on the doors and windows work?
  • Is there a draft from the windows?
  • Do bedroom windows comply with building regulations regarding fire evacuations?
  • Are external doors secure?

Floors

  • Are all the floors level?
  • Is there scratching on laminate floors?
  • Are there missing parts such as the skirting board?
  • Are missing parts or uneven flooring causing drafts around doors?
  • Is the floor secured? Does it creak or move?

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Paintwork

  • Has the decor been finished to a high standard?
  • Are there any unsightly paint runs?
  • Were the painted areas prepped before the paint was applied?
  • Have skirting boards and under window sills been painted correctly?

Fixtures and Fittings

  • Have all fixtures and fittings been installed correctly?
  • Is anything loose or uneven?
  • Are there any surface defects?
  • Does everything work as it should?
  • Do cabinet doors and drawers open and close properly?
  • Have cabinet doors been hung properly?
  • Are all fittings and fixtures undamaged and clean?
  • Are there paint splashes on any fittings?
  • Are work surfaces even and free from scratches?

Lighting

  • Do all the lights work? Are there bulbs in all fittings?
  • Have switches been fitted correctly?
  • Is the lighting adequate throughout the home?
  • Are the light fittings installed neatly and correctly?

Electrics

  • Do all electrical sockets work?
  • Are all sockets uniform in appearance? Are they level?
  • Is the fuse box fitted correctly and fully labelled?
  • Are carbon monoxide alarms present and in working order?
  • Are fire alarms fitted and working?
  • Is there an electrical safety test certificate? Has it been completed correctly?

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Heating

  • Does the heating work throughout the home?
  • Are radiators fitted correctly? Do they work as they should?
  • Is there a gas safety certificate? Has it been completed sufficiently?
  • Is the boiler adequately fitted?
  • Are the relevant user manuals available?
  • Is the heating thermostat fitted correctly and easily accessible?

Plumbing

  • Do the taps work as they should?
  • Does the shower work?
  • Does the toilet flush?
  • Is the washing machine correctly fitted (and not leaking)?
  • Is the dishwasher correctly fitted?
  • Are water tanks and pipes properly insulated?
  • Is the stop cock easily accessible?
  • Is the stop cock in working order and easy to use? (for example, it is not stuck or stiff)
  • Are pipes properly connected and secure from leaks?

Lofts and Roof

  • Is the loft space adequately insulated?
  • Are there any issues with the structure or walls in the loft space?
  • Is pipework correct in the space?
  • Are there cracked tiles on the roof?
  • Are any tiles defective or missing?

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When Shall I Get a Snagging Survey?

Ideally, a snagging survey would take place following the exchange of contracts. In Scotland, this would be after the conclusion of missives. However, many builders and housing developers won’t allow a surveyor on site until the legal completion of the sale.

The best time to get a snagging survey is once building work is complete but before you move into the home. This will make it easier for the surveyor to complete the snagging inspection.

Additionally, having an inspection report before you start living in the home can help if you need to address an issue. Once you move into the property, the home builder could argue that any damage or defects were caused by you. This makes it harder to prove the issue was down to the construction of the home. In turn, this may make it difficult to get the home builder to repair defective items.

Will My Snagging Survey Find Faults?

Yes, the purpose of a snagging survey is to run through a checklist and highlight any snags in the home. It is essentially a house survey for a new build. The checklist above covers the most common issues found in new build homes. These are reported on so that they can be addressed with the property developer.

A surveyor conducting the survey will know what to look for. They will know how to identify issues and know when a home has not been built in line with regulations. This alone could save you time, money and stress during your time living at the property.

With this in mind, the cost of a snagging survey is a worthwhile investment. This is especially the case considering the current cost of a newly built home.

Will Builders Fix Snags?

As the owner of a new build home, you have two years from the completion date to report any issues to the house builder. They are legally obliged to fix these as part of the property’s warranty.

A snagging survey can serve as evidence to the home builders, especially if it is completed by an RPSA or RICS surveyor. This will hold more clout when it comes to your claim. The house builder can make right any issues before you move into the property.

As mentioned, it is recommended that a snagging checklist and inspection is completed before you move in. This way the builder can’t try to blame any issues on the homeowner. They should, however, return to complete any unfinished work regardless.

When you have an NHBC warranty in place, the home builder must agree to repair any defects that don’t comply with the National House Council Buildmark’s technical requirements.

You may be able to negotiate on your new build, depending on what the snagging survey reveals.

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How Much is a Snagging Checklist?

Snagging survey costs are around £300-£600 depending on the size and location of the home. Compared with the cost of a new home, the survey cost is a relatively small investment. Additionally, it could save you money on any corrective work. If found in the snagging checklist, it will usually be the builder’s responsibility.

Find a Snagging Surveyor

Finding a professional and experienced snagging surveyor is essential for new-build home buyers. A professional inspector can uncover major issues. These could include problems with external brickwork and breaches of building regulations. They can also find more minor, cosmetic issues throughout the home.

By being aware of these, you can arrange with the home builder to have them put right. This allows you to move into a perfect new home.

To ensure a thorough inspection, you should seek out the best possible professional. A great way to find the right expert for you and your new home is via Compare My Move’s comparison service.

We can match you with up to 6 of the best snagging surveyors in your area. We only take on the best in the industry. You can be safe in the knowledge that you will be matched with a trusted and experienced firm. All firms must follow our strict code of conduct and are monitored by our Partner Support Team. This ensures they continue to offer excellent service.

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Once your survey and property transaction goes through, you may need a removal company. Our surveying and removal comparison form lets you request removal companies in just a few extra steps. We can connect you with up to 6 removal companies and save up to 70% on your removal fees.

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Martyn Maxwell

Reviewed by Martyn Maxwell

Director & Senior Snagging Inspector, New Build Inspections

Martyn Maxwell (DipHE, BSc (Hons), MRPSA) is a Senior Snagging Inspector and Director of New Build Inspections.

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