New build professional snagging- worth £400? What is your experience and recommendations?

(32 Posts)
cakebaby Fri 26-Sep-14 10:34:57

Due to complete in new build in a month, we are considering using a snagging company but it's an extra £400 when money is tight that month with all the other costs. The build is running late & I am concerned over corner cutting etc but equally I don't want to sign it off with costly defects or niggles we will be stuck with (utterly hopeless at DIY!)

Did you use one? What was your experience? Would you do it again?

Any advice or opinions gratefully received!

Damnautocorrect Fri 26-Sep-14 10:40:51

I've never used a snagging company but I did buy a new build, they never came back to do the snagging, the build was pretty shocking and it was one of the 'luxury' builders on the development! I did everything bar legal action to get them to sort it and they never did, I moved in the end.
What does this company do?

cakebaby Fri 26-Sep-14 11:07:20

Oh that sounds awful, so sorry flowers

They come in and inspect the whole build for problems, from incorrect number of sockets to paint splashes, to guttering, locks, window fittings, everything it seems. Takes about 3 hrs for a 4 bed house. Provide a report to buyer & developer. We are clueless so maybe it could be money well spent? I 'm not sure what the developer would do about the reported faults though, guess I should find out!

tryingtocatchthewind Fri 26-Sep-14 11:12:58

It would be money well spent given all the horror stories I have heard. For the £400 do they chase the builders at all for you?

LionWings Fri 26-Sep-14 11:19:50

Having had a complete renovation and extension I'd do it, especially as they rush you through getting sign off to get the final payment!

cakebaby Fri 26-Sep-14 11:28:12

Oh god, I'm so unprepared! I don't think they chase them for you, just give you a naughty list & let you get on with it! The house is the 1st part of the development to be released & they're behind & playing catch up. I can see things could be a bit bodjit and scarper. They are desperate to complete by end of October as it's their half year end.

I've read some horrors on here about new builds, starting to get a but wobbly about it all now hmm

Some more research needed I think. If they find less than 10 faults it's free. Some of the testimonials are truly shocking but I'd like some RL feedback i suppose. Seems you have more consumer protection buying a can of beans than a house.

Toughasoldboots Fri 26-Sep-14 11:32:19

I used one and it was part of evidence when we took them to court.
We won , this was an expensive development and they thought they wouldn't bother finishing things off.

cakebaby Fri 26-Sep-14 11:57:23

Court?! Sounds awful! Glad you won but it must have been very stressful for you.

How many faults did they find? I guess they were serious ones too?

PausingFlatly Fri 26-Sep-14 12:06:49

I think you might be in a stronger position if they're still at the start of selling.

Get your report in and follow it up ruthlessly. Set a deadline of four weeks or something. Then if necessary you have the threat of rather publicly taking them to court for poor quality while they're trying to sell the other properties.

But I hope it wouldn't come anywhere near that.

roneik Fri 26-Sep-14 12:23:59

I once stood outside dixons with a placard and stopped the customers to tell them about my faulty sterio system. The manager who had told me I had taken it out of the box , soon changed his mind as quite a crowd was gathering, with me and the stereo bustled inside for a full refund no less

I would do as I did warn them you will warn prospective buyers and stand outside with a placard. It took 16 minutes to get my money back and I did warn I would go to the press too. The don't like the idea of that at all

HaveToWearHeels Fri 26-Sep-14 13:25:34

cakebaby don't panic. I didn't use one, we did it ourselves. Unfortunately in this country you can't withhold money before snagging is complete unlike the US.
Just go over the house witha fine tooth comb, room by room, get down on your hand and knee's, look under window sills, sit on the toilet, look at everything and make a very large list. You do have the advantage that you are at the beginning of the build so there will be trades still on site. In my experience (3 new builds) the end is the worse as they have to get trades back in which is near on impossible. Get to know the site manager, make him your new best friend, bake cakes if you have too. Keep nagging, you can get stuff done. What developer is it ?

RobinSparkles Fri 26-Sep-14 13:32:25

I would do it. It will be worth it.

We live in a new build and all of the snags we reported have been sorted out. We have lived here for a year and overall we are really happy but we are still noticing little things one year on. If we had paid for a professional snagger then they might not have been missed and would have been sorted out.

cakebaby Fri 26-Sep-14 20:26:28

have I've already met the site manager who was very helpful. Like the cake idea! Developer is Abbey, don't think they are very big.

robin what sort of snags did you find and what took a while to present as a problem if you don't mind me asking?

dixiechick1975 Fri 26-Sep-14 21:37:23

We are in a newbuild (ex showhouse) 3rd new build we have been in.

Issue I find is not identifying the snags but chasing builders to sort - one extra hassle when you are already busy unpacking.

Our builders also have been awkward about some defects not reported within 14 days eg a cracked cover in the garden which we didn't notice as it was winter when we moved in so a professional snagger may help.

dixiechick1975 Fri 26-Sep-14 21:45:36

Issues we've had

hot water not working through boiler when we moved in, heating not working (last house) on day we moved in, washing machine not working (came with house) site manager turned it on to show me working but first time I used it wouldn't drain as not plumbed in properly, lights not wired correctly in 2 houses eg left switch turns right light on and vice versa. Taps not plumped properly - turn to hot for cold and vice versa. Gap in lounge window - only visible when sat on settee. Plastic missing above downstairs window - only noticed it when saw neighbours house. Back door wouldn't open. Patio door lock faulty. Bed 4 door wouldn't stay closed.

Toughasoldboots Fri 26-Sep-14 21:54:45

Not serious at all, just lots of little ones. No one else on the development could face chasing them all the time but I did. I even asked if anyone wanted to join up with me.

Developers denied getting letters etc but judge didn't believe them at pre-trial hearing.

They settled just before proper hearing, we had to sign a confidentiality agreement to get the money as part of this.
I bets lots more do this but because of these agreements, you can't search Internet for them.

greenfolder Sat 27-Sep-14 14:31:18

i really would. my mum bought a new build, the estate had a list of issues as long as your arm. my BIL is a chartered surveyor and did her a comprehensive snagging list and submitted it to the builder. all of her issues were put right, others waited for ever.

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Sat 27-Sep-14 14:43:53

We used a snagging company, and were very glad we did.

The guy noticed lots of stuff we would never have seen like a bit of sealant missing under the bath, or a faulty roof tile on the porch. He also saw that the white goods that came with the house hadn't been connected to the water supply.

All these little things were very quick and easy to rectify, but could have cost us a lot of money and hassle if we hadn't found out about them before we ran any water!

The quality of the build was actually very good, and our snagging inspector said it was one of the shortest reports he had ever written, but he said that there is always something wrong with new builds.

He also did things we would never have thought of, like checking the angles between floors and walls, etc. Plus he knew about all the nhbc regulations and what the builder was actually responsible for.

All in all it was money well spent, it would have cost us much more if we hadn't used him!

nievesdesign Sat 27-Sep-14 14:47:52

A snagging company or local surveyor would be well worth the investment. Unless you have experience of building works, and what constitutes poor or incorrect worksmanship then most people don't actually realise what to look for... or add things to a snagging list that are actually within the NHBC standards.

There are actually guidelines on how you are supposed to check items against the standards... such as viewing walls for defects from a certain distance (and not up close with a magnifying glass) as well as permitted tolerances for things such as +/- plaster variations along the wall...

Here is an example: www.nhbc.co.uk/NHBCpublications/LiteratureLibrary/Technical/filedownload,15912,en.pdf

Now, there are a bunch of NHBC documents which are used to check things, you could go through a grab them all and get to work yourself... but it's a lot of work for a novice.

A snagging checklist may help you, such as this one from the NHBC: www.nhbc.co.uk/NHBCPublications/LiteratureLibrary/HomeownerDocuments/filedownload,42392,en.pdf

But it doesn't beat knowing what to look for.

If you already know that the builders are behind schedule then there is probably a greater liklihood of corners being cut and whilst the issues may not be serious they may still warrant rectifying.

Also, I trust you have (or will have) one of these: www.nhbc.co.uk/NHBCPublications/LiteratureLibrary/HomeownerDocuments/filedownload,15900,en.pdf

Good luck!

cakebaby Sat 27-Sep-14 15:52:19

Wow, so incredibly grateful for all your responses! Really useful and helpful.

barb best ever username makes me chuckle every time wouldn't even have thought to check those things blush

nieves really helpful links thank you.

Decision made, we're going to get it done. The expenditure now could save hassle and heartache, especially with a 1 year old in tow and returning to work just before the move sad

wonkylegs Sun 28-Sep-14 14:47:50

I snag projects as part of my job (architect) and I do think it really helps to have someone who knows what they are looking for.
First time I snagged a building it took me ages and my boss pointed out loads of things I'd missed. 10+yrs later and I know what are likely problems & what particular builders are bad at doing. I also know what is supposed to be there (clear air bricks), short cuts & common hidden problems (slow leaks in bathrooms, toilet flushes, windows not opening/keys missing, door locks, missing hinge screws)
If your not confident I would say it's worth it for piece of mind. All new builds are likely to have some small snags.... You should only worry when they refuse to fix the, there are serious problems (one I've done forgot to put in correct lintel, or one that forgot to connect soil pipe correctly so the WC was slowly leaking under the floor!!! shock) or there are pages of defects.

dipsymummy Sun 15-Feb-15 20:24:58

can anyone recommend a snagging company theyve had a good experience with?

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Sun 15-Feb-15 20:28:01

My PiL tend to buy new builds and it was only my FiL's persistence that got the snagging list done last time.

dipsymummy Sun 15-Feb-15 20:50:41

would you be able to ask them who they ended up using? would be so grateful.

Lily7050 Sat 21-Feb-15 23:19:01

I have not used snagging co. myself, just did some research about buying new build. Here are two websites to find snagging companies:

forum.snagging.org/

www.brand-newhomes.co.uk/

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