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    Snagging vs. Punch List: Key Differences Explained

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 26th Jun, 2024

    Reviewed by Emily Smith

    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.

    Snagging vs. Punch List: Key Differences Explained
    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.

    What is included on a 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.

    Common snags found in new builds

    Some of the common snags found in new builds include:
    • Issues with door fitting
    • Creaky stairs
    • Blocked guttering
    • Faulty brickwork pointing
    • Insulation issues
    • Cosmetic issues
    A snagging list should cover all areas of the property including electrics and plumbing.

    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 won’t be stuck in a language barrier.

    Punch list vs snagging list FAQs

    Is a snag list a deficiency list?

    Yes, a deficiency list is another name for a snag list/punch list.

    Who is responsible for the snag list?

    The home buyer is responsible for putting together the snag list and taking this to the developer or builder of the property.
    You can choose to complete the snag list yourself, but it is recommended to hire a snagging surveyor who will know exactly what they are looking for and will make sure no snags go unnoticed.  

    How long do you have to put a snag list together?

    The snagging inspection can be carried out up to two years after the sale is completed. The developer will not be legally obligated to fix anything found after the two years are up.   

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