What is a snagging survey? Should you get one?

Man completing a snagging survey

Buying a new build home and wondering if you should get a snagging survey? We take a look at the most frequently-asked questions about snagging. Fully understand the process and decide whether you should order one for your new build property.

What is a snagging survey?

A snagging survey checks for any problems with your new build home. The survey is made once your property has been built but before your completion date. This allows the developer to fix any issues well in advance of your actual moving day.

Should I get a snagging survey?

Ideally, you should get a snagging survey. The survey will reveal any issues with the property and make sure they are fixed before you move in. Once you live there, it will be harder to prove that some ‘snags’ are not your fault, or that they were there before you moved in.

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When should I get a snagging survey done?

The best time to get a snagging survey done would be before your solicitor completes the transaction. You have yet to hand over any money, so this gives you more bargaining power when negotiating with the developer on fixing the snags.

Who prepares a snagging survey?

Typically, a snagging list is prepared by the appropriate certifying authority architect or contract administrator involved in the building project. This should be made clear to you, the buyer, as part of the house purchasing process. If it isn’t, make sure you ask who is involved in the snagging process. You can even do some online research into snagging experiences other buyers have had with your property’s developer, so you know what to expect.

Can I do a snagging survey myself?

It is possible to complete a snagging survey yourself. However, you would need to be very thorough and take plenty of time to complete this. You should also educate yourself on the most common snagging issues we’ve listed below.

How long should snagging take?

A snagging survey should take around three hours for an average-size apartment, or five hours for an average-size house. However, this can vary depending on the nature of the property and the number of problems the surveyor finds.

Who pays for snagging?

You, the buyer, would normally have to pay for the snagging survey. However, you may be able to include the cost of a snagging survey with your purchase contract. Snagging surveys might also be covered by relevant insurance policies, so check your paperwork if you hold insurance.

How much do snagging surveys cost?

Normally, a snagging survey will start at around £250 for a one-bed apartment. If you’re searching for someone to complete your snagging survey, get quotes from at least three different reputable companies.

How does a snag list work?

A snag list, or snagging list, is a list of all the problems – ‘snags’ – with a new build property. This snagging list will include any small defects the surveyor finds. These typically include things like patchy paintwork, broken roof tiles, poor grouting in bathrooms and issues with external brickwork.

What is the difference between a snag and a defect?

There is no legal difference between a ‘snag’ and a ‘defect’. However, a ‘snag’ could refer to the more easily-seen problems found in a new build property, while a ‘defect’ could be used for a longer-term problem that may not be obvious until the property has been lived in for some time.

The first two years in your new home will be covered by the defects insurance period. This covers any problems that are the fault of the developer or builder, such as faulty windows or poorly-installed pipework.

A typical new home warranty will then add another eight years – the structural insurance period. During this time, the developer is only responsible for major, structural issues with the house. These could include problems with the foundations, chimneys, ceilings or roof.

What are things included in your snagging list?

A snagging list will include all problems found in your new build property. Typical issues include patchy paintwork, scratched or chipped interior or exterior surfaces, sticking doors, fixtures missing or not installed properly, damaged roof tiles, missing window keys, exterior drainage problems, heating system not being flushed through and insufficient loft insulation.

Is it worth getting a survey on a new build?

You should make sure you get a 10-year warranty from the builder of your new build home. If you have this you won’t need a home buyer’s survey. However, it is advised that you get a snagging survey before completing the purchase of your new build.

A snagging survey saves you from moving into a property with lots of small issues that you need to raise immediately. It also makes reporting small issues easier than waiting until you’ve moved in. At this point, the developer may be less inclined to help, or may take issue with your list of snags.

What happens after the snagging list is completed?

Once the snagging list is complete, have a read through and check any images included. Then send the list to the developer so they can address all the problems raised. You may need to involve your snagging surveyor if the developer objects to fixing any issues on your list.

Once the developer has fixed all the issues on your snagging list, you can either inspect the works yourself or order another survey. If you do this yourself, be sure to have the list to hand so you can check off all the issues.

Once all the issues on your snagging survey have been fully addressed and you’re happy, it’s time to move into your brand-new home!

Bonus: Buying a New Build Guide

If you’re still thinking about all things snagging but need more answers, our Buying a New Build guide can help you out. It’s packed with invaluable tips for every part of the process of buying a new build property. From key considerations to planning and preparing the paperwork, it has you covered. In fact, knowing more about snagging is one of the top 10 ‘things new build buyers wish they had known before purchasing’.

As the guide shows, lots of buyers don’t know about snagging surveys at all before moving in. This was the most commonly mentioned topic for buyers outside of London. It can prove to be a major headache if you miss your survey window. Fortunately, by reading our guides you’ll be sure to avoid this common mistake!

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HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, landlords and the Government to recognise high performers and help to improve standards in the built environment.

written by

Jan Moys

A residential property expert with over 15 years’ experience creating content... Read all

A residential property expert with ov... Read all