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What is the difference between a snagging list and a punch list?

When purchasing a new build home, you may hear both the term snagging list and punch list used by the developers. Know the difference to help avoid confusion.

What is the difference between a snagging list and a punch list?

When buying a new build home, you will need to create a snagging list. However, many people report often hearing their builders or construction companies referring to a punch list instead, sometimes interchangeably. If this is the case for you, we can help explain the difference between the two terms and what term you should be using.

What is a snagging list?

A snagging list is a list created during a snagging survey, most commonly performed on a new build property. The aim of a snagging survey is to investigate the recently completed house for any faults are problems that need to be fixed by the developers and builders. These faults are referred to as ‘snags’ and are written down onto your snagging list. Snags found are usually small cosmetic or installation issues, but sometimes larger problems can be uncovered. The list of snags will then be given to the builders who will work on eliminating the snags.

Find out more about when to use a snagging list.

What is a punch list?

A punch list is a to-do list of sorts, detailing to a contractor what needs to be done to the house in order to make it meet the standards the buyer expects. It will be based on an inspection done by the buyer or a surveyor. It is called a punch list because it comes from the old-fashioned way of punching holes in an item on a list that was completed.  Where the confusion lies, is the fact that a punch list is essentially the same as a snagging list.

The important thing to remember is that punch list is terminology that is used outside of the UK. In the UK and Ireland (also Australia and New Zealand) the term snagging list is standard and will always be recognized. The confusion between the two terms often seems to arise when foreign, for example American, contractors or construction companies are used and therefore use the terminology they are used to.

What to remember?

If you are buying a new build home in the UK, you should always refer to this list as a snagging list. This is how it is referred to here, and it should always be recognised by those you are working with. It is useful, however, to know that this wording is not universal. Just remember, if your contractors or builders, for whatever reason, refer to a punch list- don’t panic, you are talking about the same thing!

If you are planning on relocating and purchasing a new build home abroad, it is worth being aware that there may be a change in terminology, not just here but at many points in the conveyancing process. The best thing to do is research the housing market in your desired new area before moving, so you wont be stuck in a language barrier.
 
 

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