So you have bought a new house and finally moved in and things are not quite as they should be or perhaps as you were led to believe. You could have used a professional snagging service such as Brickkickers and now you may be starting to realise that this would have been money well spent.

New homes nearly always have something wrong with them. Sometimes called snags but in essence they are defects. There are many reasons why new homes have so many defects, however the severity will be related to the attitude of the site manager and the tradesmen who built your new home as well as the builder’s own commitment (or lack of) to quality. In 2006, the house builder’s own federation (HBF) commissioned a survey into customer satisfaction and found 25%  were dissatisfied with the service they received after they moved in!

The larger plc house builders typically make a profit of between 15% and 25% on each house they sell depending on the prevailing market conditions at that time. That is up to £50,000 on a £200,000 house! They can afford to bring your new home up to a reasonable standard. Indeed, many of the builders have actually budgeted for dealing with problems, although this is a modest figure of around £500 per home. They rely on the majority of their customers not complaining, especially about minor defects as most of this budget (and more) is spent dealing with those customers who insist their house is to an acceptable standard.

Remember it is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil!

What should you do when you discover a problem with your new home? Complain and keep on complaining until you are fully satisfied. Why should you put up with a sub standard home? For more on how to complain.

The Consumer Code for Homebuilders has an independent dispute resolution scheme.

The NHBC has also produced: Customer Service - A code of conduct for house builders.

Click on the links to download the PDF files.

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After you move in to your new home

Consumer Code - Dispute Resolution Scheme