In episode two of Let’s Get Snagging, we are discussing what we mean by snagging, when the snagging process begins and how to conduct your own snagging checklist. Including what you should do with a snagging report once it’s completed.


What is Snagging?

Snagging is the term used for identifying defects or snags within all new buildings. These can range from minor decoration to more serious breaches in building regulations such as missing cavity trays and fire safety issues. 

When should you start to think about the Snagging Process?

We would suggest that you start to think about the snagging process when you have signed for your new house. We know that this is early, but snagging is an important part of moving into a new property as it ensures that you will be moving into a safe and working property. 

You will need to decide if you want to carry out the snagging survey yourself or if you want to hire a professional snagger. Make sure that you research thoroughly into the snagging company you are thinking of using. 

Why do new builds need snagging?

Your new house will need snagging as they are built by different trades in all weathers. Your newly built home would have gone through several stages of construction, and inspected by site managers and your warranty provider throughout to ensure that the quality is met during construction. 

However, just because your new property has been inspected and signed off by the warranty provider, don’t think that it will be perfect. Warranty providers and site managers are under a lot of pressure to check a large number of houses a day. These time constraints mean that things will be missed and defects will be present. Lack of attention to detail. 

There is a final stage of snagging when the house is nearing completion and before hand-over where your site manager should thoroughly snag the house and make sure they have rectified any issues before legal completion. However, the team at Lively Professional Services still see multiple snags, even in the houses managed by some of the best, award-winning site managers in the industry. Your house still needs to be snagged, no matter how good your builder seems to be. 

What else contributes to snags in a house?

The site team are under enormous pressure to build the required number of houses the developer needs to achieve their forecast and budgeted numbers. This contributes to poor quality houses as the site manager will find it difficult to inspect every aspect of each trade’s work. Sometimes builders can manage this process quite well, whereas others struggle. 

Rushed and delayed completions

During the year, there are two notable periods that you need to be aware of. These are the half-year and year-end completions that are normally in July and December. These become a number’s game where quality and attention to detail go out the window. During these periods, houses are rushed and the site teams are not interested in quality as they are driven hard to achieve their numbers. 

During these periods, we have seen some really poor-quality houses being handed over to customers. This is why having a professional snagging inspection carried out can be so important. Not only help to protect your investment but it can also give you peace of mind. 

What does the Snagging Process involve?

All new house buyers have the ability to identify snags in their new home. These are usually scratches and slight damage. You will be given the opportunity to inspect your new home during your home demonstration and again at key handover or legal completion. We advise you to inspect your home carefully during these two periods. 

It is vital that you do not let your builder rush you through this inspection. Although it can be exciting as this is the first time you would have seen your new house, take your time and don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

When looking around your new property, pay particular attention to the sanitary ware – baths, basins, and WCs – and check your windows, mirrors and shower screens for scratches. Check your kitchen appliances, wall and floor tilings, and any other furniture that has been fitted by the builders for damage. Make sure that everything is logged on the home demonstration form that you will be asked to sign at the end of the inspection. 

On your completion day, your builder will usually ask for a snagging list. Usually, this is within the first 7-10 days. After this period, minor defects will likely not be rectified as they could have been done by you when moving in. However, do not let your builder rush you into giving them a snagging list. It is important to remember that under the first two years of your warranty agreement, your builder has a responsibility to put right defects that you could not see at the time of moving in or those that developed later. 

Should you use a professional snagger?

If you have decided to use a professional snagger, do your research. This might be time-consuming but is well worth the effort in choosing the right one. Good snaggers know if corners have been cut and where they are likely to have been made. 

Professional snaggers will always identify far more snags than the homeowner when carrying out their snagging inspections. That is because most new-build homeowners do not know the building regulations or standards that your warranty provider has set. Such as the NHBC standards 2022, or don’t have the knowledge to identify more serious defects. 

But be careful, snagging reports may be inflated by some companies as it makes the report look more impressive with a long list of snags. This can lead to huge disappointment when your site manager refuses to do them all and will just refer you back to the standards. This usually causes conflict between the homeowner and the site manager as you have paid for a report where the site manager refuses to do the majority of the work. 

A good professional snagger will not do this. At Lively Professional we do not put our customers in conflict with their builders by inflating a report. We know that it can ruin the experience of moving into your new home. 

Once you have been given a completion date by your developer, you should be looking to book the snagging company you have chosen. Lots of the good ones get booked up quickly. 

What should your snagging list cover?

When you write your snagging list, it should cover all of the external elevations of your home, including windows, doors, roof, garage, garden areas, fencing and landscaping. When you have thoroughly checked all of the external areas, the internal areas will be next, starting at your front door. 

A thorough inspection of the doors, windows, plastering, joinery work, decorations, wall and floor tiling, and all of the fixtures and fittings. If this all sounds a little daunting, you can download our ultimate snagging checklist. This will give you an extensive guide on what to look for. 

What happens after you have completed your snagging list?

After you have completed your snagging list, you should send it to your builder’s customer care team, by email. Always log all defects with customer care, even if you are also going to give them to your site manager. That way you will always have an audit trail if you ever need to go to resolution with your warranty provider in the future. 

If you have used a professional snagger, they should take you through the report when they are finished and explain what they found. The report should have photographs, a clear description of what the snags are, as well as the location, along with who should rectify them. 

Listen to Let’s Get Snagging Episode Three: How To Choose A Professional Snagger or find our other podcast episodes.

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

Find out more about our new build snagging services or get in touch for snagging advice from an expert.

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