New home quality Issues and defects

This page gives you a general overview of the information you can find under the menu heading SNAGGING AND QUALITY

Snagging and Quality

All new homes will have some defects or quality issues, either when the home is first occupied or defects are discovered after a short period of time. Any defect or fault found in a new home is called a snag. The process of inspecting for snags is commonly known as snagging. All house builders will have some inspection or quality control measures in place. However, faults get missed and quality is a very subjective and personal view.

Why new homes have so many defects

There are several reasons why new homes have so many defects and why the standard of new homes built in the UK appears to be getting worse each year. Insufficient build time, a lack of skilled tradesmen, reductions in the frequency of independent inspections, and non-standard designs are all considered factors.

What can be done to improve the standards

With an ever-increasing importance being placed on health and safety, it is obvious the site managers need to be experienced and professionally qualified. With their increased workload and shorter programme build times, it is essential they are supported by equally able assistants and foremen. Quality will only improve through a greater level of supervision and more frequent inspections at every stage of the construction.

Professional Snagging

Figures show that over 90% of new homebuyers experience defects in their new home. This has given rise to a number of professional snagging companies, who for a few hundred pounds, will thoroughly inspect every aspect of your new home. In this section you will also find some photographs of defects found during snagging inspections. Checklist when choosing a snagging inspector

Research into new home defects

Terry Williams from Coventry University has carried out research in defect analysis. He found that of the new homes surveyed, the average number of faults was a staggering 141 per property – with 4% considered to be a health and safety risk! This page has detailed pie charts showing where most defects were found in the new homes surveyed.

Doing your own inspection and snagging

There is nothing to prevent you from doing your own snagging.  As some aspects of snagging are subjective, DIY snagging can be a good idea. This page gives details and advice on how to snag your new home, when to do it, things to consider and how to compile the snaglist for the builder.

Snagging photographs

Examples of external defects found in occupied completed homes on just one particular housing development during a brief visit. Both the builder and inspectors often overlook the outside of new homes.  External snagging defect photo slide show and Internal snagging defect photo slide show.

Free snagging checklists:

External snagging checklist

Sections include the external paintwork, brickwork, rendering, guttering, rain water downpipes, drives, paths, fencing, roof tiling, garage, and garden.

Internal snagging checklist

Areas to inspect include: paintwork, windows, doors and frames, staircase, bathrooms, loft space, electrical, plumbing, plastering, floors, airing cupboard, heating system, fireplace, kitchen units and appliances.

New home owner’s forum

This is a link to a popular forum that not only enables you to share your experiences with others, but we also try to answer any question relating to new home problems and any technical building queries you may have.

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