Few things in life are as exciting as moving into a new home! That said, it’s not unusual to experience teething problems – especially in a new-build property. This week, we’ve invited the experts at the HomeOwners Alliance, the property advice website, to share their top tips on what to do when you need something fixed…
Understanding your warranty
If you’re buying a new-build property from a house builder it is almost certainly covered by a warranty. These 10-year warranties are usually provided by NHBC, BLP, LBC, Premier Guarantee and Checkmate. Whichever policy it is they all work along the same lines, in that in the first two years after you move in, your builder is required to fix any defects.
Make a ‘snag’ list
The house builder is unlikely to proactively come round and check everything is ok. So take a good look around your property the minute you have access, and start listing any obvious snags caused by poor workmanship or faulty equipment. There tend to be 50-100 in any new flat.
Snags can include doors catching on carpets, poor decorating, scratched glazing, and more substantial issues like extractor fans that don’t work properly or no loft insulation. If you’re not sure what to look for see our guide on Moving Into a New Build.
Do it sooner rather than later!
Don’t wait until the two-year period is almost up to report any issues. Get a comprehensive list together sooner rather than later to send to your house builder. It will be easier for them to fix problems if they are still onsite. When they come to look at your property, keep a record by email of what is promised and what is and isn’t fixed each time.
Consider using a professional
Given the number of snags a new-build property can have, we recommend using an independent snagging surveyor. A professional inspector is likely to spot more defects than a homeowner. As part of the service, they can liaise with your house builder on your behalf and push for the defects to be fixed. It also means you don’t have to get so personally involved.