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 if you’re buying a new build home. The survey will reveal any issues with the property and make sure they are fixed before you move in. Once you move in and live in the property it will be harder to prove that some ‘snags’ are not your fault.

If possible, the best time to get a snagging survey would be before your solicitor completes the transaction. Because you have yet to hand over any money, this gives you more bargaining power when negotiating with the developer on repairs.

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 size 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 in with your purchase contract with the developer. This could be covered by insurance, so check your policy.

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

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 with 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 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 moving into a property with lots of small issues that you need to raise. It also makes reporting small issues easier than when you have already moved into the house, as you will need to prove the issue was the fault of the developer and not you.

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 the problems raised. You may need to involve your snagging surveyor if the developer objects to fixing certain 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 addressed and you’re happy, it’s time to move into your brand new home!

House with snagging survey completed

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.

Jan Moys
written by

Jan Moys

A copywriter and content specialist with over 13 years’ experience across arc... Read all

A copywriter and content specialist w... Read all