Is it a snag or not? Identifying what is a snag is important because your builder will only rectify genuine defects. 

Are Shrinkage Cracks Snags?

Shrinkage cracks are one area that illustrates how it is important to differentiate between what is and what isn’t a snag. Small airline cracks, such as those you might see around your doorframe, are not designated snags. These are normal shrinkage cracks that can open as your newly built house is drying out, and your builder is not obliged to rectify them. However, large shrinkage cracks (those that you can comfortably fit a pound coin in) are a snag, and your builder will fix these. These size cracks are often found running between your staircase skirting and wall.

Check out some of the snags we have found on our YouTube channel.

General Guide to Snags

Knowing the difference between what is and is not a snag can be a minefield. Additionally, understanding the tolerances your builder works to will help you identify any possible breaches in the standards. Most minor imperfections are not normally classed as snags.

Guide to Snags

As a general guide, you can use the list below, taken from Premier Guarantees’ new homeowners’ handbook.

General snags

Have all builders’ materials and rubbish been removed from the home and garden? Is the home and garden clean and tidy?

Snags inside your home


Is the plasterwork smooth and neatly finished around sockets, switches, pipes, etc?

Are plasterboard joints and nail fixings invisible?

Is the decoration throughout the home complete and to a consistently acceptable standard?


Are you happy that the timber floors don’t creak excessively?

Has sheet flooring been laid level and is it free of bubbling or unevenness beneath the covering that might cause premature failure?

Is floor tiling fully adhered (i.e. sounding hollow if tapped) and fully grouted?

Wall tiling

Is wall tiling fully adhered (i.e. sounding hollow if tapped) and fully grouted?

Has a flexible sealant been provided at corners and junctions with shower trays, baths, basins and kitchen units?

Kitchens and bathrooms

Are all kitchen units and appliances clean and undamaged?

Are all the sanitary fittings clean and undamaged?

Is the water flow to taps, showers, and appliances satisfactory?

Are any leaks evident beneath sinks, sanitary ware, and appliances? Check waste pipes for leaks also.

Do all doors and drawers to kitchen units operate correctly?

Are extractor fans fitted and operating?

Windows and doors

Are keys supplied for all window and door locks?

Do all locks and handles work and operate freely?

Do all windows and doors open and shut properly and engage with the weather seals?

Do self-closing devices, where fitted, fully close the doors after opening?

Is all glazing crack-free? Are double-glazed units free of condensation between the panes?

Heating and electrical

Do all light fittings and socket outlets work?

Are radiators securely fixed and free of leaks?

Is exposed horizontal and vertical pipework adequately supported? Are the joints leak-free?


Is the loft space fully insulated?

Is boarding provided to give access to tanks etc.?

Snags outside your home


Are external decorations complete and to a consistently acceptable standard?

Fences and gates

Are all fences and gates complete? Are timber or steel parts protected?

Paths and drives

Are all paths and drives complete and laid to an even finish?


Do gutters and downpipes appear securely fixed and complete? Are they leak-free during rainfall?

Are gullies and inspection chambers free of debris?

Roof coverings

Do any tiles or slates appear cracked or loose?

Are all lead flashings complete and secure?

Are you looking for a snagger for your new home? If you would like to speak to our team, you can contact us here.

Get Your Free Ultimate Snagging Checklist

Use this easy-to-follow checklist to check your new build home for common defects