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What people say about Brickkickers
"We were really concerned about antagonising our builder by asking too many questions. We used the report to give us an independent view of our property so that we did not need to fall out with the site manager. But got things done, and quickly"
Mrs R Nathan, Devon
"I had heard a lot of scare stories about cowboy builders (there's so much on the Internet now) so I thought I would give you a call to look at my house. Your inspector was very professional, and I was amazed that the report was with me the next day."
Mrs D Young, Sheffield
"I didn't know what to expect we were told the inspector would be on site for a few hours; he was with us for over 4 hours and took the trouble to explain all the things that he found"
Mrs C N, Cannock
"I thought I was good at spotting things that weren't right, but your inspector virtually tripled the list that I had made. Much of the problems I would not have even suspected were a problem. But then I am not a builder."
Mr A Shaw, Doncaster
"We were having major problems getting our builder to put right the defects that we had found. Your report has been used by the customer care team at ------------- homes head office to initiate repairs. I even got a letter of apology!!!"
Mr P May, Suffolk
"What a remarkable service. Your inspector found over 110 defects within our flat, just finding the damage on the doors alone was worth the fee"
Mr NP and Ms EH, Herts
There are several trades required to build a house and given time pressure, the house builder’s own targets and the overall reduction in the skills base within the industry, it is inevitable that every new home will be handed over with defects. Some of which may potentially be quite serious!
All new homes are inspected by the NHBC or their equivalent, but all to often these inspections are only at key stages and are often missed altogether if the inspector "trusts" the particular site manager or house builder. Even if the inspections are carried out there is no guarantee that they will be done thoroughly or that any defects will be rectified by the house builder before you move in. Read one buyer's horror story here.
What can you do?
This is why Brand-newhomes.co.uk recommends you use a professional snagging service to thoroughly inspect your new home BEFORE you complete on the purchase and definitely before you move in. The costs are relatively small when compared to Estate Agents, legal fees and even removal costs but they will give the new home owner a priceless piece of mind when they open the front door for the first time in their newly completed brand new home. See our Checklist when choosing a snagging inspector.
Over the years Brickkickers, one such professional snagging service, has discovered that the number of defects they find in the new homes they are instructed to inspect is increasing year on year. Martyn Maxwell has told brand-newhomes.co.uk that they find on average 60 to 90 defects even in small one and two bedroom flats. The number of defects increases with the size of home inspected and a typical two bedroom house has on average, 100 to 150 defects, a three bedroom home 100 to 200 defects and a four bedroom home can have over 250 separate defects noted during the inspection.
Industry figures also show that over 90% of buyers had experienced defects with their new home and only 46% recommend their house builder with 49% dissatisfied with the service provided by their builder. Defects found in new homes.
DIY or Professional Inspection?
When you move home you can use a removal service such as Pickfords or you can hire a van and do the removal yourself. With all the stress of moving, does it not make sense to pay a professional to do all the heavy lifting, leaving you free to safeguard family and pets along with a few treasured fragile possessions and head off in your car to your brand new home. You may save a few hundred pounds doing the move yourself but what if you injured yourself and could not work as a result? Do you really need the hassle?
The same applies to fault finding (or "snagging") a brand new home. You can try to check everything in your new home is as it should be, perhaps using the generic lists on this website or you can use the services of a professional snagging service. Of course the home buyer may choose to inspect their home themselves but this can be very time consuming at a period of heightened stress. "Apart from the obvious decoration defects, you really do need to know what to look for and where to look," says Martyn Maxwell of professional snagging company, Brickkickers. "This can really only be carried out by an experienced qualified professional"
Do you want hassle and disruption?
The NHBC Buildmark Warranty requires house builders to correct any faults that are discovered in your new home for the first two years. However, whilst this work is being carried out, you are not given another home to live in and invariably will have to take time off from work, have mess and dust and your home life totally disrupted. Everything fitting in around the various trades that come to repair defects in your home. How would you feel if you had taken time off work and the trade failed to turn up?
Of the defects found, Martyn says that the number of Building Regulation defects and infringements is on the increase. These are the minimum statutory standards every new building is required by law to meet prior to occupation. Primarily they are concerned with the occupant’s safety and cover fire prevention and means of escape as well as sound and thermal insulation. Also on the increase are defects concerned with external issues.
The most common defects are with decoration and kitchen fittings, although these tend to be the most easily rectified.
Another advantage of using the services of a professional snagging company is that they can liase with the house builder to ensure the defects are rectified within a reasonable timescale. Brickkickers report that the smaller house builders have more problems and these tend to be more serious and expensive to put right. However the smaller house builders are generally better at dealing with any issues found in the homes they sell.
The larger house builders have less defects overall but new home owners find them more difficult to get put right without help from the snagging professional.
Once the snagging or defects lists has been prepared 85% of the issues raised are dealt with by the builder without question. Of the remaining, 12% require Brickkickers to push for the work to be done and the remainder will remain outstanding requiring NHBC intervention and/or mediation. More often Brickkickers have supplied their independent testimony to ensure the right outcome for the homeowner.
With a new home there is no rules regarding the number of defects you may discover when you move in. The more expensive a new home is does not necessarily result in fewer defects; often the reverse is true. However one thing is certain, new homes have defects and the best way of ensuring they are dealt with before you move in is to instruct a professional to inspect your new home.
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