In this week’s podcast episode, we are looking at some of the snagging-related questions we have had on our YouTube channel.
Take a look below at the questions we received from new homeowners and our answers. Ian is a professional snagger with years of experience in the housing and construction industry. He is the best qualified to answer all of your questions regarding snagging and the snagging process!
Q/ They should let the snaggers in before you sign for the property. Even when you buy a second-hand car you can get a professional in… this cannot go on!
A/ I agree developers should let a surveyor or professional snagger in before the customer receives their keys how much better would it be when the customer moves in and their snags have been done.
This is changing under the new homes quality board developers as long as they have signed up to it should allow new home buyers to have a pre-completion check done of your new home. In my opinion this is not beneficial to new home buyers and is restrictive in how the inspection is carried out, you are not allowed to use any tools or aids during the inspection, and you are not allowed to highlight any serious breaches in building regulations or your warranty providers standards which to be honest is a joke. and you cannot deviate from the checklist whatsoever.
This is clearly developers steering new home buyers in their favour and my advice would be wait until you have got your keys and have a full professional snagging survey carried out
Q/ Who inspects the inspectors work ?
A/ The answer to this is no one. However they might be audited once or twice a year by their area manager.
Q/ I purchased a property that should not have passed and now I am in all sorts of legal wrangles. The developers should not be able to get away with it.
A/ I hear this so many times, developers are getting away with murder, and new build house buyers are paying for it. The house building industry needs to be fully regulated by the government to stop this from happening.
Q/ I got a new build, nothing but problems. My bathroom has no window and the walls and ceiling are now covered in black mould, house is only 3 years old… also NO PLASTER on the walls anywhere, I never knew this was a thing in uk to not plaster?
A/ This sounds like there is insufficient ventilation in the bathroom. I would check the extractor fan is suitably sized and not blocked we sometimes find the electrician has not connected it to the tile vent. Dry lining is common in new builds the plasterboards are tape jointed with a jointing adhesive then sanded and sealed afterwards if done right this can leave a very good finish.
Q/ Being honest, if someone accepted something delivered like this having paid thousands and thousands of pounds for it, doesn’t it feel like they are taking the p*ss out of them and have no respect for their work or their customer? And if they cannot get basics done right, does that inspire confidence in the critical things like foundations and mortar mix? As for plumbing and drainage, well, let’s hope they are no surprises with levels! 😆🤔
A/ Unfortunately, the customer has no choice but to accept this rubbish as they are too far into the process to back out. They only discover the house’s terrible when they are handed their keys.
Q/Let’s be honest, most of the defects are cosmetic here. The homeowner may go through a timely process to get these rectified now that they have taken ownership. What are these houses like under the skin? Foundations, lintels, load-bearing walls etc.
A/ If they can’t get the finish right, do you think the rest of the construction has been given more attention? They might only look cosmetic to you; someone has paid a lot of money believing they would be getting a good house, but this was definitely not a good one.
Q/ I agree. Who is carrying out the mid-build inspections? It’s a shame people don’t get to view it before they settle the balance and take possession. Once there sold and the directors are happy that things are selling, these snags are a dampener on someone’s new property.
A/ I agree, no one is checking these houses properly and pulling up the trades to rectify poor workmanship. A multitude of minor and some major issues creates any amount of stress for new home buyers, the unfortunate thing is new home buyers can’t return the product once they have received their keys and have very few rights to cover them. There have been a few comments stating they are only minor issues, what would happen if you bought a car with this number of problems, you wouldn’t take it out of the showroom.
Q/ As long as people keep paying for this rubbish they will keep doing it. And you can’t blame the buyer as most know no different. The only way it will improve is if mortgage companies insist on an independent inspection before releasing the money. As for NHBC they also need looking at.
A/ Not only the mortgage companies but solicitors as well need to protect their clients. In my opinion all warranty providers such as NHBC, and LABC need to be disbanded and an independent quality auditing company set up to inspect all new build homes that are totally independent of the developers and only when they say the house is ready should the mortgage monies be released and exchange takes place
Q/ All the tradesmen are on price. ‘Going to fetch the decorators’ costs time and money and holds things up. Maybe these multi-million pound house developers should set people on the books direct?
A/ I fully agree if builders get it right first time there would be no need for professional snaggers, this is a conversation I had this week with a contract and site manager. The problem is that no one is checking and holding trades accountable, in some cases, they even get paid to put their own work right.
Q/ Why do you keep going on about trays over ducts? They are not required. Why would you put a tray over a circular pipe where water will fall off onto the bottom catchment tray???
A/ Because Building Regulations state any penetration through the cavity requires a cavity tray, the circular boiler flue is designed to fall back to the boiler therefore there is a likelihood of water penetration. The good builders put trays in, it is not hard to build them in as they know where the position of the ducts will be on each house type
Q/ I have been a bricklayer for 30 years and in the last 5 years been on 2 seal of excellence sites and 3 pride in the job-winning sites so think this would qualify me as a good builder. If you look around any house in the country, be it from victorian houses to modern build, we could all point out problems. You know there is never going to be an issue with that. I would like to see you maybe doing some youtube videos with you doing work on the tools to show people how easy everything is!
A/ Well that is so far from why I do youtube videos I gave the tools up a long time ago and went into site management, I have won numerous Pride in the job awards and helped my site managers to achieve seals of excellence and regional awards over the years. I have also been heavily involved in training apprentices and managers to NVQ level 7. I don’t think my going on the tools would make a difference as you well know there are trades out there who have no interest in doing a good job and are only interested in what they earn. Well done for being proud of what you do, you are in a minority keep up the good work.
Q/ In my experience the site manager has no clout he just has a bunch of bodgem sub contractors who don’t give a dam while he hides in his Cabin,I’m in a new build now battling the Snag list and seeing the workforce start around 08.30 Brew at 9.30 an hours lunch at 12 and most of them have done the deed and are away at 3.30 earlier on a Friday. Bloody Joke. The workmanship is dismal I’ve fixed the simple snags myself, but try getting these Clowns back to poor electrics leaking toilets the simplest of job to do right at the beginning before plastering and painting. Personally I wouldn’t pay them with Washer’s, if what I see is the state of British Tradesmen then we are doomed, thank God they aren’t in the Military.
A/ Sorry to hear you are having these issues who is the developer? Unfortunately what you are experiencing is typical across the industry, the new home’s ombudsman must be inundated with unhappy customers complaining about their homes.
Q/ Pretty much every reveal we have is like that, some far worse. There was one I asked the NHBC about where in your video it’s the equivalent of it pointing to the window glass, that’s how far out it is. I asked Redrow and NHBC, they said it’s fine. Absolutely laughable. Redrow is still ignoring all our emails, NHBC taking months to respond / refusing to measure / refusing to discuss defects / refusing to enforce standards and refusing to enforce the conditions of Redrow being part of the NHBC for enforcement of defects. Both trying to push us to go legal. We will be visiting their sales offices shortly with other Redrow customers in Devon as a collective. We are also posting reviews on each of their Google Maps development areas since Redrow are blocking / removing any negative comments from people across social media.
A/ Have you tried the New Homes Ombudsman – Email: email@example.com. They might be able to help.
Q/ Yeah, spoke to the MP and chair over there, the MP is leaving the moment it launches. The chair asked Redrow what they were doing and that’s about it. I told them that this is a good example house to utilise on what really goes wrong but they don’t seem interested at all. We’ve asked them multiple times to act as mediators and they’ve not done anything. Before it even launches it’s not fit for purpose. I’ve offered Redrow the opportunity to meet here, even offered them the opportunity to bring snaggers here so they can learn from it, but all ignored.
A/ Wow, that is absolutely disgraceful, I would be getting the local and national papers involved, they might do something if they are plastered all over the media.
Q/ I’ve already put Redrow into all the national press, put them in the telegraph, mirror, daily mail, the sun etc. This was around August last year. Redrow claimed they were working with us but haven’t done a single thing since and nothing has been done since Jan 2020. Redrow make so many false promises, lie about it then just ignore it. I’ve been blocked by Redrow on social media as well as via email. We could do with some updated media exposure
A/ That is not good you would think they would get the jobs done if they are being plastered all over the media, it is sometimes worth having a look on your local tv channels as they look for stories like yours. This could be another avenue to follow. Good luck.
Q/ Our mp is involved but Redrow ignored her entirely. Redrow failed to turn up to the NHBC meeting as well as declining our invitation to a meeting here stating that as we’re not accepting their £30,000 offer to settle (which they want to be to counter all defects here and remove all liabilities on £100,000+ worth of defects and remove all social media). Since we’re not accepting that they won’t attend a meeting. I’ll contact local media, the national press wanted to do a follow-up on how things progress so will have to also execute that as well. Really wanted to avoid getting them and us into the press and wanted to avoid doing it again but Redrows continued ignoring stance doesn’t leave us with much choice other than tens of thousands of pounds in legal
A/ This just outlines how scandalous the house building industry is, it is time the government got involved and sorted it out, I feel sorry that you are having to go through all this.
This is an example of an email I received from one of our customers
Q/ Hello Ian, I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. We are having major problems in getting our homebuilders to redo the pointing on our property. They keep saying it is to a good standard and on par with the rest of the builds on the site. It is clearly not and we’re unsure as to where we go from here. Is there any way you can help us or point us in the right direction? I realise it was in November last year since you carried out the inspection so if you need the report sent over, please let me know.
A/ Hi Matthew, Good to hear from you, sorry to hear your builder is not sorting this out for you, I would raise the issue with your warranty provider. Give them a call and ask them to attend, they will probably ask you for the audit trail of what you have asked the builder to do and what the builder’s response has been. Let me know how you get on.
As you can see there are a lot of issues with new builds. The team at Lively Professional Services are here to help!
If your snagging questions or concerns weren’t answered in the questions on this podcast, please get in touch. You can email any comments or topics you would like me to cover then drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out some of the snags we have found on our YouTube channel.