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What are Snagging Surveys?

  1. 30 October 2019
  2. By Andi Michael

If you're purchasing a new build property and want to make sure that the property is finished to the standard you expect, a snagging survey can be a great tool.

We welcome our surveying partner White Horse Surveyors to share their knowledge about Snagging Surveys, including what they include and when you would need one.

Even if you’re purchasing a newly built home, don’t assume that it will be completely free from defects. Provided you identify them ahead of time, you are completely entitled to have any of these cosmetic issues fixed. This is where a snagging survey can come in useful.

What are Snagging Surveys?

Snagging surveys refer to a highly specific property inspection that is intended to identify any potential problems with a newly built home. Many of these issues will be minor and purely visual, however they may also reveal other, more serious, structural problems. Whilst they are primarily intended to save the buyer money in the long term, they will also guarantee that the home adheres to the general standards expected of a modern property.

Snagging list templates are available online, but you’ll be missing out on the impartial and independent advice of an experienced professional who is an expert in the field. Not to mention that you may fail to notice a major problem that could pose a significant danger to you and your home.

A snagging inspector will especially focus on the standard of the completed works, looking at common issues and problems. This includes both internal and external elements, with the quality of the driveways and gardens also being considered in the appraisal.

Some of the most common defects identified by the inspection include:
  • Low quality paintwork
  • Unsatisfactory plastering
  • Poor fixtures
  • Ill-fitted skirting boards
  • Shoddy brickwork
  • Unstable guttering
  • Inadequate worktop finishes
  • Cracks in settling walls

When is a Snagging Survey required?

In order to be most effective, these appraisals should be conducted after the building work has been finalised but before the legal completion date has been reached. However, you may find that some developers won’t always permit a survey to be carried out before this point.

In these cases, it’s vital that you book a surveyor to complete the assessment as soon as you move in. This way, you can immediately act on any of the defects identified by the survey with the property builder. The period during which the builder will still be liable to make any contractual warranty repairs is two years, so if you have the inspection completed within this time frame you will still be able to appeal or escalate any inadequate work. 

What are the advantages of getting a Snagging Survey?

Although a snagging survey will typically cost anywhere between £200-£600, if the inspection does end up highlighting any serious issues it will be a more than worthwhile investment. Especially when you consider the value of your new home will likely be much higher. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that the actual price of your report will depend upon the size and value of the new build, so its worth shopping around to gather quotes and get the best deal for you. 

What’s more, when you book a professional surveyor to conduct the inspection on your behalf you are only increasing the credibility of your claim. Although there are no definitive rules, we would recommend that you use a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) registered company that has specific expertise in new builds to complete the report.

Lastly, the surveyor’s input will also help you to ensure that the home you have bought has been constructed to a decent standard, as well as offer their advice on the necessary repairs to be made. This includes an unusually high level of scrutiny into even the most minor of defects. This helps to guarantee that the home is completely free of any risk or imperfection.

White Horse Surveyors are the UK’s largest independent, residential surveying company. Originally established in 2006, our wide network of RICS regulated surveyors now service much of England, Scotland and Wales. Our products include: RICS HomeBuyer Reports, RICS Building Surveys, Private Valuations and Home Reports for Scottish Property.

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