|Types of new homes available|
|Buying an apartment|
|Advantages of buying a new home|
|Disadvantages of buying a new home|
|New home buying procedure|
|Questions to ask the builder|
|Property title deeds|
|What to look for when buying a new home|
|Timber frame construction|
|When to buy a new home|
|Builder's optional extras|
|Buying in a recession|
|New home warranty|
|Buying an apartment|
|Considerations when buying a flat|
|New homes can be bad for your health|
|Timber frame new homes|
|Timber frame - what you need to know|
|Fire and timber frame new homes|
|Quality issues with timber frame homes|
|Onilne conveyancing quote|
|The cost of moving to a new home|
|Tips to sell your existing home|
|Health and safety|
|The Site manager|
|Advice on renting a home|
|Air Source Heat Pumps|
|Removals and moving home|
|Packing and planning the move|
|Checklist for change of address|
|Choosing a mortgage|
|Avoiding mortgage refusal|
|How to save on home insurance|
|Home insurance policy conditions|
|Flood insurance claim|
|Renting do's and don'ts|
|Section 106 Agreements|
|Community Infrastructure Levy 2010|
|Snagging and Quality|
|Why do new homes have defects|
|DIY snagging your new home|
|SNAGGING DEFECT PHOTOGRAPHS|
|External DIY snaglist|
|Internal DIY snaglist|
|External snagging defect photo slideshow|
|Internal snagging defect photo slideshow|
|External snagging defects from new homes|
|Who are the best house builders|
|Builder's end of year figures|
|Finding a new home|
|HBF customer satisfaction survey results|
|NHBC awards league table|
|Taylor Wimpey Homes|
|New home customer satisfaction surveys|
|HBF New home survey results|
|HBF House builder star rating|
|After you move in|
|Complete our new home satisfaction survey|
|DIY and home improvement|
|Choosing a tradesman|
|When you find problems|
|How to complain|
|Regional Managing Director 1|
|Regional Managing Director 2|
|Executive Chairman 1|
|Executive Chairman final letter|
|NHBC warranty claim|
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Plastering and Plasterboard finish to ceilings and walls
Use the pencil on a cane to mark the ceiling to indicate where blemishes need attention. Use the other pencil on the walls. Use pencils sparingly just to indicate the area needing attention. Never use any pen to do this.
Is the surface of the plasterwork or plasterboard even and free from obvious hollows
Has the plasterwork been neatly finished off (made good) around pipes at radiators, light switches, and electrical sockets etc?
Do any taped joints or corner beads show through the plaster skim or jointing?
Is there any surface cracking? Shrinkage cracking is to be expected but your new house should be free from all cracking when you first move in and cracking larger than the thickness of a 10p piece at any junction should be attended to by the builder. See your NHBC "Guide to your new home" booklet
Is the finish smooth?
Are reveals at windows and door frames square with the wall and plumb (vertical)?
Check that internal partition walls look plumb, straight and square.
Is ceiling flat and free from cracks. Bumps and nail/screw pops?
Is the coving complete?
Are joints to coving to internal and external corners and on long lengths neat and invisible?
Are there any holes or unfinished drylining or plastering – particularly in cupboards and other awkward areas?
Has every visible surface been decorated?
Has the decoration covered the background? (no “grinning” through)
Is all paintwork or decorative finish complete and free from blemishes?
Are there any excessive paint runs?
Has any paintwork been damaged or marked?
Are all mitres in skirtings and architraves neat and filled?
Are the window frames completely clean and free from dirt and dust – especially the
Is the frame free from damage? Check the bottom of opening sashes as materials are often dragged through upper floor windows causing damage to soft or PVCu frames.
Is the double-glazing free from scratches, paint splashes and cracks?
Have the windows been neatly sealed on the inside of the frame/wall junction with white silicone?
Is safety glass fitted to low level glazing? Look for a BS kitemark
Do windows open and shut easily - and if locks are provided, are there keys for each window?
Do all bedrooms have "fire-escape" windows that comply with modern building regulations?
Do windows have trickle ventilators fitted and do they open and shut properly?
Where Velux roof windows are fitted are they fitted at the correct height?
Are external doors properly draught proofed?
Do latches, locks and bolts work properly?
Are the door handles stiff? Are hinges silent?
Do doors open and shut properly? Are they loose in the frame (rattle) when closed?
Are there any screws missing from the hinges, handles or lock plates?
Is there an even gap between doors/frames?
Have skirting door stops been fitted (where required) to prevent door handles hitting
Is the paintwork complete, check for any chips or areas not fully glossed?
Have the door edges been properly prepared (filled and rubbed down) prior to decoration?
Have all fixings to door linings, stops and architraves been punched and filled prior to decoration?
Are mortises in the door linings for the latches decorated?
Are the doors or frames damaged? All dents, chips etc should be filled prior to decoration.
Is there any paint on the door handles or hinges?
Have the architrave edges been fully decorated especially where they are close to adjacent walls?
Has the top edge to the architrave edge (at the head) been filled and decorated?
Have all visible door top edges been fully decorated? All door top edges are not
normally fully decorated as this helps the door to ‘breath’.
Is the staircase fixed securely to the adjacent wall? Look for excessive cracking at the string/wall junction.
Do the stair treads squeak or creak when traversed? (Especially on kite winders which will have been assembled on site.)
Are spindles and handrails fixed securely and newel posts stable?
Is the gap between the spindles less than 100mm?
Are the handrails 900mm high?
Are the treads even and level?
Is there sufficient headroom? From the nosing pitch line vertically, there should be minimum of 2m clear.
Has the staircase been decorated fully?
Are all newels, newel caps (or acorns) free of raised grain, splits or other damage?
Are the handrails free of damage and fully decorated?
Are the walls in the staircase area undamaged and unmarked?
Are they flat?
Is there any creaking of timber flooring when traversed across?
Is the junction with the staircase and first floor boarding level?
Is the first rise in the stairs from the ground floor screed consistent with the rest of the staircase risers?
Is the ground floor screeding level and flat and free from irregular cracking? (Especially at external doors)
Has the skirting/floor junction been sealed with clear silicone to prevent draughts?
Is the plumbing complete?
Have the electrical connections to the pump, timer, immersion heaters, motorised valve, cylinder thermostat and earth bonding been completed?
Are all loose cables bound and/or clipped?
Have the pipes to the cupboard been lagged?
Has other pipe work to the cupboard been cleaned off or painted?
Does the door have three hinges fitted?
Has at least one shelf been fitted for airing clothes?
Is the skirting and architrave within the cupboard fully completed and decorated?
Have all holes and defects to the walls or ceiling within the cupboard been made good, rubbed down and decorated?
Have the heating installation operating instructions been provided?
Are the stop cocks labelled?
Are pipes secure?
Is there any evidence of leaks?
Have the walls behind the radiators been fully decorated, including removal of pencil marks?
Switch the heating on at the beginning of the inspection to enable radiators, towel warmers etc to be inspected. Are they working efficiently (hot at top) in every room, on every floor?
Have TRVs been fitted to all radiators? (except one for circuit operation)
Do pipes appear secure? Has all exposed copper pipe work been glossed?
If a back box has been used is it sealed against draughts and has the wall around it been properly made good and decorated?
If pipes come through the wall, has the wall been satisfactorily made good and decorated?
If pipes come through the floor are they plumb both ways?
Are radiators fixed to the wall properly? Are they level and central to any window?
Are there any signs of leaks?
Are the radiators free from dents and chips?
Is the fireplace surround clean and undamaged?
Are all sanitary fittings undamaged and spotlessly clean?
Is the bath panel fitted? Is it loose (rattles)? Have fixing covers been fitted?
Does the WC flush and refill properly? Check the half flush
Do the taps work properly?
Run the taps, fill basin and bath and check plastic waste pipe work for any leaks.
Has white waste pipe work been fitted to the basin?
Have all copper pipes been painted with white gloss? Check under basin.
Are plugs fitted to bath and basins? Do they operate properly if pop-up type?
Has the basin and pedestal been fixed with screws to the wall and floor?
Has the WC cistern and pan been fixed with screws to the wall and floor?
Is the toilet seat fixed in line with the pan? Is it loose? Is it damaged?
Does the shaver light or socket work?
Is there obscured glazing to the window(s)?
Check the privacy lock is operational.
If accessories are specified or an extra, have they been fitted? (mirrors, towel rails, toilet roll holders or bathroom cabinets etc.)
Has the wall tiling been set out properly with even cuts at edges and top (if fully tiled)?
Have the wall tiles been properly drilled out to allow for pipes or rough-cut around pipes? (At shower control valves in particular.)
Is the grouting neat and complete, especially at low level and around the basin pedestal and WC pan?
Is the wall tiling clean and shiny - free from all dust?
Is the bath and basin sealed neatly with white, mould resistant silicone?
If skirting boards have been fitted, were they packed off the wall before wall tiling to retain the top edge?
Have internal corners to wall tiling been sealed neatly with white, mould resistant silicone?
Has the top unglazed edge of wall tiles been decorated?
If there are spotlights in the bathrooms do they comply for use in wet areas?
Do light switches in wet areas comply with regulations?
Are taps labelled correctly for hot and cold? The cold tap should always be on the right.
Do the extractor fans work? Are they noisy? Do they activate with the light switch?
Sit on the toilet seat and check the finish of decoration and wall tiling from that viewpoint.
Does the shower operate properly? Is the shower rose holder rail loose?
Is the shower rose rail located on a wall at 90° to the shower door (on a side wall). This stops you and the floor getting soaked when you turn it on to adjust the temperature.
Do all doors and drawers open and close correctly?
Are the doors of cupboards hung correctly and do they line up?
Is the sink free from dents and scratches?
Have the sink and hob worktop cut edges been sealed?
Have sink plugs been provided?
Run the taps and check under the sink for possible leaks.
Are all kitchen units and worktops and worktop edges free from damage?
Check joints in worktop are not raised or chipped.
Check all cupboards have shelving.
If the boiler is located in a cupboard – Is there sufficient clearance and ventilation?
Are all pelmets and cornices complete, and fixed with neat mitres?
Is all under unit lighting working?
Is the wall decoration around the boiler and flue complete?
Are all holes for pipework and cables cut neatly and without damage to the units?
Check behind continuous plinth for debris.
Are the water main and waste water outlets sealed where they penetrate the floor?
Are units, particularly wall units, fixed adequately and free from paint splashes?
Check that any dishwasher and/or washing machine has been fully plumbed in and connected.
If these appliances are not being supplied by the house builder, have plumbing connections been provided within a base unit for future connection and is there adequate space available for a dishwasher.
Check that water main stop cock is labelled.
Has the worktop, sink, hob and all internal corners around wall and base units and wall tiling been sealed with a neatly applied bead of white or colour matched silicone?
Is the wall tiling set out correctly with even cuts at ends and any border sensibly positioned?
Is the wall tiling cut around sockets neatly (L-shaped cut tiles, not two rectangular pieces)
Are the sockets above the worktop fixed securely and level?
Is the grouting complete and tiling clean?
Is the tiled window cill level?
Has the top unglazed edge of wall tiles been decorated?
Is ceramic floor tiling set out parallel with base units with sensible cuts at edges and level?
Are all appliances undamaged and complete with all accessories?
Are all appliances working? Check all knobs; turn on all rings and switches etc
Are the appliance switched spurs labelled correctly and fitted with the correct amp
Have operating instructions and relevant guarantees been provided for all appliances and the heating system?
Has a gas safety certificate been supplied by the plumbing contractor?
Ensure that you fill in the guarantees and note serial numbers.
Are extractor fans correctly ducted to the outside and in working order including the light?
Is the loft insulated to current regulations? At least 300mm (150mm laid in two opposite directions)
Are any water pipes and tanks insulated?
Has a water tank stand been built correctly in the correct position? (supported at truss node points)
Is any loft boarding provided and fixed adequately? (Boarding is required from the access to any tanks)
Are all the extractor fans ducted and connected to the vent tiles?
Are the Soil and Vent Pipes connected to the vent tiles? Some may have a “Durgo” (one-way valve) fitted. Remember some vent tiles may be provided purely to ventilate the roof space.
Are there any truss clips? You may not see these as they could be covered by the roof insulation.
Are restraint straps fitted? Required at two metre centres at the gables
Is the roof space free of rubbish and scaffolding?
Are all party wall blockwork joints fully-filled?
Has fire-stopping fibreglass been fitted over the top of party walls?
Is the chimney lower lead tray turned up in the roof space?
Is the roof ventilated? You should see some form of vent strip fitted over the rafters at the eaves to prevent the roof insulation from blocking the airflow. Remember that roof spaces have to be ventilated. It may be that breathable underfelt (normally white) has been used which provides adequate ventilation.
Is the trap hatch cover insulated and draught proofed?
Check if all sockets are operational.
Are all sockets and switches absolutely level and in line with each other if adjacent?
Are all electrical sockets and switches the same make and style?
Check that all lights work, and that all switches work and are switched the right way.
If possible check BT and TV points.
Are the circuit breakers (fuse trip switches) correctly labelled and accessible?
Do the smoke alarms work? Test them, they should be linked.
Does the room thermostat work? Turn it up or down and the boiler should turn on or off.
Is the room thermostat in the correct location? It should not be in the kitchen or
above a radiator.
Are the zones labelled on the burglar alarm (if installed)?
Are fan isolators fitted at high level outside all bathrooms and WCs?
Have you been supplied with an electrical safety test certificate from the electrician?
This list has been compiled in association with Brickkickers who provide a professional snagging service to the new home buyer.
This snagging checklist is by no means exhaustive but is simply a guide to the main defects that arise in buildings given the writer’s many years of experience within the house building industry. Should you experience any problems in the identification of defects in your own home please contact a professional.
Brickkickers offer a new home 'snagging' inspection service through its nationwide network of construction and property professionals. They carry out a thorough inspection of your home and help you to present the results of the inspection to your builder, so that they can rectify the faults. The inspectors know the standards that the warranty providers impose on new homes to ensure defects are corrected at the builder’s own expense.
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