Snagging Definition


Snagging is the process of checking a new build property for defects, poor workmanship and more serious issues that would fail building regulations. Almost anything in a new property can be snagged during a snagging survey. 

What is a snagging survey?


A snagging survey is a methodical process of inspecting a property for snags. Your local professional SnagInspector will look thoroughly for anything broken or damaged during the construction process, review how well fixtures and fittings have been installed, and check the quality of building and decorating finish.

What is a snag list?


A snag list is a list of all the defects, faults or poor workmanship found in a new build property. It is a result of a snagging survey which we will conduct on your behalf and provide to you in 2 days after the inspection.

How does it all work? 


The inspection process is really simple. After booking a date for an inspection, your local professional SnagInspector will check your property with specialist equipment. Only 2 days after the inspection you will receive your comprehensive photographic snagging report electronically. You can give it to your builder to address the issues found in the report

How long does the inspection take?


Done properly it should take between 3-5 hours to inspect the average UK home. However, this would depend on the type of property and the quality of finish in the property and the care taken during construction. 

When should I have my snagging inspection?


The ideal time to have your snagging inspection carried out is preferably before you take legal completion. That way it is more convenient for you and creates the least disruption once you have moved in. 

Unfortunately, most house builders will not allow this. A snagging inspection before completion requires the builder agreement, which they are not obliged to give you as technically the property is theirs, not yours. However, it would give the builder plenty of time to fix the snags before the property is moved into. That way a builder could avoid the additional cost of sending contractors back to a property rather than use builders and decorators they have on site while continuing the development.

Since snagging inspection can take place at any time in the first two years of your warranty, when problems with the finish of your new home are covered, in our experience, you should book your snagging inspection as soon as you can.

What are the most common snags?


Defects could be functional, like for example taps with no water or plugs that don’t have power or cosmetics like for example chips, breaks, scratches or incomplete paintwork.

Every property is different and each development will have different standards of finish, even between developments. However, this is a list of some frequently found snags:


  • – Scratches to windowpanes and door frames.
  • – Treads not even on staircases.
  • – Untidy finishes on plasterwork, particularly around areas such as piping, media plates, light switches and plug sockets.
  • – Insufficient insulation on water pipes and tanks.
  • – Surface cracking and joints showing through on ceilings and walls.
  • – Damage to skirting woodwork.
  • – Units paint splashes on walls or mortar splashing on brickwork.
  • – Uneven and poor turf laying.
  • – Poor finishing on grouting between tiles.

How long should it take for snags to be fixed?


It depends on the severity of the snags and on how helpful the builder is. For major defects such as those causing a danger to inhabitants or construction not meeting NHBC standards it is very urgent and should be addressed immediately. In fact, any issues of this kind should be resolved before moving in. 

For snags that are less serious, this would depend on the nature of the snag. Some issues such as insufficient insulation or damage to tiles could involve a lead time while the builder orders a replacement, the wait could be weeks. On the other hand, issues with cosmetic finishes could be addressed the next day. 

Can I add new snags to my snagging list?


Often builders and building developers will have a policy that you can only submit one snagging list and you can’t add to that list once it is submitted. 

No builder would like a snagging list that is never-ending. Builders want to avoid owners adding snags that are the damage they have caused. This is why it is important to make sure you get a comprehensive and thorough snagging survey completed by SnagInspect first time so you don’t have to worry.

Can snagging be done after completion?


Yes. In fact, as a new build homeowner, you have up to two years from completion to snag your property. However, it is best to have your snagging survey done before completion. This is to avoid any unnecessary conflict between a homeowner and the builder or a property developer. Once a property has been moved into it can be tricky to establish what damage or defects occurred during construction or during the day to day use of a lived-in property. You should enjoy your new home not worry about ongoing communication or even worst, lack of it, from the builder.

What to include on a snagging checklist?


Even if you know what to look for, it does not necessarily mean that you know what it should look like. You will be able to give a builder a more detailed snagging survey if you use SnagInspect. We have the methodology, experience and professional equipment to conduct the survey thoroughly.

Here are some questions to consider and check on your snagging checklist:

  • – Is the framework on windows and doors free from damage?
  • – Has all window paintwork been finished off, including undersides of sills?
  • – Is glazing throughout the property free from scratches, paint splashes and cracks?
  • – Are all sanitary fittings undamaged and clean? 
  • – Is any floor tiling complete, especially around cupboards, fittings and doorways?
  • – Is any sheet flooring flat and free from curling edges and bubbling?
  • – Is the skirting woodwork and paintwork undamaged and free from defects? 
  • – Are the doors of cupboards hung correctly? Does the gradient and access of the drive/path allow for clear access?
  • – Has a topcoat been applied to all external painted surfaces, and is the finish to a satisfactory standard?
  • – Are all kitchen units and worktops free from damage?

Should I use a professional to do a snagging survey?


Snagging is a complicated task that requires specialist knowledge across many trades. It also requires specialist equipment, for example, to conduct thermal imaging or provide a drone inspection of the roof. Our professional SnagInspector will have industry experience that most new build homebuyers don’t have. This means that they will know what to look for and spot issues that would be missed by the untrained eye. 

Who pays for snagging?


A housebuilder should pay for the costs of fixing all snags in a new build property. They are responsible for putting right any defect caused by their failure to build in accordance with the standards as set out by their warranty and insurance provider.

How long is the new build snagging period?


As a new build homeowner, you have up to two years from completion to snag your property. However, it is best to have your snagging survey done before completion. This is to avoid any unnecessary conflict between a homeowner and the builder or a property developer.

Snagging report template


Click on this link (coming soon) to find a snagging report template which will show you an example of a completed snagging survey.

Is a snagging survey worth it?


Think about it: the average new build property in the UK will have over 100 snags. Most will not be visible to an untrained eye and without specialist equipment. The housebuilder is not obliged to inform you about the defects that they are aware of. 

This is where SnagInspect comes in. Considering how much a new home costs, paying a specialist to make sure you get value for your money is worth every penny.