The majority of new build house buyers probably don’t consider or have not heard of using a professional snagging company. Buying a newly built house or apartment is probably the most expensive investment you are going to make. Your hard-earned money could be spent on more important things other than a professional snagger… Whilst I fully understand, my advice is, please give this some serious thought and protect your investment.

Why Hire a Professional Snagger

Using a professional snagger who has the knowledge and experience in the house building industry to identify legitimate defects is a great investment. It will give you peace of mind that your new house has been built to industry standards. Furthermore, that it conforms to the current building regulations and standards.

Employing the services of a professional snagger, start by doing your research into the company you would like to use. Ask questions, and even give the company a call. Do they freely give their advice without any sales pitch or pressuring you into using their services? A good professional snagging company will have case studies available for you to easily access online. Most importantly, you want to hire a professional snagger that has your best interest in mind, not the building company’s. 

Once you have made your mind upon the company you want to use and agreed on a date and time for them to inspect your new house. On the day of your inspection, the professional snagger should arrive ten to fifteen minutes early. I would discuss any questions or concerns that you have with your house. After answering any questions you have, I would then explain how I will be conducting my inspection. Then advise the homeowner to feel free to ask any questions they may have during it! 

 

When Should You Book Your Professional Snagger?

Once you have decided you are going to use a professional snagger to inspect your newly built house, when should you consider starting the process of booking their services.

Most professional snaggers are usually booked weeks if not months in advance. Expecting to secure your professional snagger with a week or ten days’ notice could be difficult, and could result in disappointment, leaving you without the services of the professional snagging company you have chosen. My advice is, when you have decided on your professional snagging company, to book their services the minute you know your completion date, you will usually be given a window for this date from your sales negotiator on-site.

Now you know your completion date your builder is going to ask you to complete a snagging list usually within the first 7 days after legal completion. Do not panic, this is part of their procedures and in no way restricts you from issuing them with another snagging report at any time within your 2-year warranty period, however, I do recommend that you have your survey carried out within the first two months after legal completion.

This will give your builder time to address any defects within your snagging report before you receive your House Builders Federation (HBF) Customer Satisfaction Survey. This is usually delivered 6 to 8 weeks after legal completion, and your builder will want you to return them a good survey (Satisfied or Very Satisfied) which goes towards the 90% of satisfied customer they require to give them their 5* status.

Talking to your professional snagger and pencilling in a date as soon as possible, will secure your preferred date, even if your date changes, as it sometimes does, will ensure you get the professional snagging company of your choice.

The Snagging Survey Process

I begin my inspection starting at the footpath checking all boundaries and garden areas. Followed by all elevations of the house including the garage and roof. This would include all elements including doors, windows and materials that have been used. After I have completed outside, I would then start with the internal aspects of the house. Starting with the front door and hallway. Moving into the downstairs rooms systematically checking for any defects in woodwork, plaster, decorations, kitchen, wall and floor tiling including fixtures and fittings.

Once I have completed downstairs, I then move onto the stairs and landing following the same systematic approach. Then move onto the first and second floors (or third floor) bedrooms and bathrooms. The last area to be inspected is the roof space which will conclude the snagging inspection.

Once I have finished my inspection it is important at this stage to sit down with my customer and thoroughly explain what I have identified and included within the report. This is to make sure they have a clear understanding of the issues and to answer any questions they may have. Check out my Ultimate Snagging Checklist to see what I will look for in your new build property.

Speaking to builder about buying a new build

 

Professional Snagger: What’s Next?

When I am back at the office, I will check the report for any spelling mistakes or errors and email the completed report to my customer. I will also print off hard copies and send them in the first available post, as most new homeowners will not have internet or a printer which is a job less for them to do. Then, I follow this up a couple of days later to enquire if they or their builder have any questions that need answering.

Being available to answer questions and offer advice following my inspection is important. This ensures my customers know that I am available to give support should they need it, which gives them peace of mind.

So that is what a professional snagger does! In a nutshell, they are there to give you peace of mind that the newly built house you have just purchased is not going to fall down.  As you live in the house more defects may come to light. By following your snagging report you should have a far better understanding of what your builder will do for you and what he will not. This will help build your relationship, ensuring your enjoyment of your new home.

Before you start making your new home your own, there are a few things you need to take into account. To get yourself excited, explore our guide to decorating a new build home.

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Lively Professionals have one goal; to ensure the longevity and safety of your new build home. We want to protect your investment at all costs so we offer honest and thorough new build home inspections best suited to your convenience. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any queries you have.

 

Ian Lively, Managing Director at Lively Professional Services. Housing and Snagging Survey Expert with over 40 years of experience.