Through the eyes of a professional snagger and his customers

 

The housebuilding industry is seriously failing its customers, you only have to look on social media sites such as Facebook to see the number of highly dissatisfied new build house buyers posts. Every developer and development seems to have its own social media page highlighting the poor quality of their new build homes.

Having worked in the house building industry for over 43 years, I now have the advantage of looking at it from a different perspective. As a professional snagger, it’s extremely disappointing to see what passes for a quality new build home.

New build homebuyers are in a lottery when buying their new home, the quality of which is often on the line. This is disgraceful. I am asked time and time again “who is the best builder?”. My answer is always the same, all major housebuilders are the same. They are PLC’s interested in numbers and profit. The new home buyer is a means to an end on the road to greater numbers and profit margins. 

The responsibility falls on the site manager to ensure you get a quality new built house. If you are lucky enough to get a good site manager you have a chance of getting a reasonably built house. On the other hand, if you are unlucky and have not got a good site manager, buyer beware!

At some point this must stop, new build homebuyers are people who have invested heavily in purchasing their newly built home. They deserve the quality that they are sold in the buying period. Furthermore, working as a professional snagger I am upset by the faults that I see some builders attempt to pass off as a minor problem. To ensure that your new build home is up to standard a snagging survey is imperative. 

As a professional snagger, I am shocked at what some of our national house builders are producing and the number of serious snags I identify. Even more worrying, they are happy to exchange on them, knowing that there are serious defects! They do this with the hope that their customers will not see, or report them. Consequently, you are left with the responsibility to check the quality of your house, whether you’re qualified to do so or not. That is until the new home buyer engages the services of a professional snagger who identifies the snags in their report.

Having these snags rectified nearly always causes stress and unnecessary disruption to the new homebuyer, sometimes taking the builder months to complete.

Snagging is a process that should be undertaken by the site management team at every stage throughout the construction of the house, especially important are the stages before CML and handover to the customer. These processes regularly fail, which has led to a rise in the number of professional snagging companies offering their services. 

But let us not forget your warranty providers such as the NHBC, LABC and Premier Guarantee to name a few, who have a responsibility and are knowingly accepting newly built houses with significant defects. This must stop, it cannot carry on, in-fact the whole system needs looking at. Even the Government has recognised the failings within the house building industry and is proposing a New Homes Ombudsman to ensure the industry improves the quality of newly built homes.

The housing secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has said:

“It’s completely unacceptable that so many people struggle to get answers when they find issues with their dream new home. That’s why the Ombudsman will stop rogue developers from getting away with shoddy building work and raise the game of housebuilders across the sector. Homebuyers will be able to access help when they need it, so disputes can be resolved faster, and people can get the compensation they deserve.” (Source)

Unfortunately, the only way for this to change is for our national housebuilders to re-educate, train and have stricter quality control regimes in place during the build process. Yes, they are going to say they already have these controls in place, well my reports consistently say, your processes are failing, as some of the houses I see are disgraceful.

This situation for the new home buyer does not improve once the house has been handed over to the customer care department, this is where the process really fails.

Customer care departments are staffed with people who have little or no knowledge, how a newly built house has been constructed, no knowledge of building regulations or quality standards, and absolutely no empathy with their customers who have invested heavily in buying their newly built home. Find out what we do as professional snaggers to benefit the homebuyer and help you find your perfect home.