Tuesday, 20 February 2018

BUYING A NEW BUILD SERIES: HOW TO CREATE A 'SNAGGING LIST'

If you're a new build owner, you'll be no stranger to the infamous 'snag list'. Some people's have a few things on it and some new owners have lists which are much, much bigger. I personally was at a bit of a loss as to what to look for to put on it before I moved in properly but trust me your snags will become apparent when you move in.

For those of you who are wondering what 'snags' are it's basically things that need touching up or adjusting in your house because ultimately builders will make mistakes and miss bits when they're working to tight deadlines. Some snags will seem petty but when it's your house and you've paid a lot of money for it you want everything to be right. I wouldn't recommend trying to snag on your home demo; you'll only see glaringly obvious stuff then and you need to use that time to listen to what your site manager has to say about your new home because he will give you some valuable advice. Personally I think snagging is best done gradually, taking one room at a time and looking carefully.



Here's what I would pay particular attention to:

GENERAL SNAGS

Have all your Finishing Touches/extras been included? Part of my turf incentive was a 1.8m fence which hadn't been included. Granted they only ended up putting it on one side anyway because only one side belongs to me (*eye roll*) but it's one half that I don't need to pay for.

Outside brickwork - make sure there are no chips, cracks or holes that shouldn't be there

Settlement cracks - these are perfectly normal and shouldn't be anything to worry about but they are unsightly nevertheless so you need to make a note of where these have appeared. These will appear for a while after your house is built so they may need to come back a few times to fill them in. I've heard some site managers won't fill in until you can fit a pound coin in them, however this hasn't been the case with mine - I had a huge crack along my stairs and they filled it within the first month along with a few other small ones but they are still showing up nearly 2 months after I moved in.

Try all light switches/sockets/USB ports/phone sockets and TV aerial sockets - be mindful that until you have a TV aerial your sockets won't work; in my previous post about hidden costs of a new build I mentioned that new builds generally don't come with an actual aerial.

If you've not had flooring put down check that your floor is level and there's no huge gaps between the skirting and actual floor - you can still do this with flooring down but it might not be as easy to spot.

Check the door frames have been filled round the edges - I ran my fingers along the top of the door frames in all rooms and discovered that there was a huge gap between that and the wall where they'd not filled it. To me this is just laziness in the hope that the homeowner doesn't notice; it's a two minute job though.

Check all exterior doors and handles work as they should - The lock had actually dropped quite a lot on my front door for some reason which meant that the handle was a pain to lift and when you thought you'd locked it the door was actually still unlocked!! Again a couple of minutes job just to adjust the door.

Check all windows open and close as they should - You should have received keys for these if they are key-operated so make sure they open and close properly. If you're unsure how they work just ask your site manager to show you again.

Make sure all radiators are working properly - are they all getting hot as they should?

Is all paintwork and finishing neat and tidy? - Have any walls been accidentally scratched or marked since they've been painted? Have the undersides of your windowsills been painted (an area which seems to be overlooked!).

Check behind things to make sure they've been finished properly - Behind the small radiator in my downstairs toilet was an absolute mess of wires etc. which hadn't been properly plastered, painted and finished (presumably another thing they thought I might not notice with it being behind a radiator) and they've also not finished off the painting properly behind my downstairs loo.

KITCHEN

Try all appliances and make sure they work properly - one of my snags was that my oven made an awful rattling noise when it reached a certain temperature. Turns out that the casing had dropped slightly and was catching on the cooling fan, it was a simple fix of just adjusting it slightly and it's fine now. Check all gas rings and extractor fans.

Check all taps, plugs and overflow pipes to ensure there are no leaks and water pressure is good - I had a leaky tap (identified by the pool of water which collected at the bottom of it) and a leaky overflow which hadn't been properly sealed (identified by finding water dripping into the cupboard under the sink).

Check all cupboards are aligned - sounds daft but a slightly wonky cupboard will drive you insane!

Boiler pressure - keep an eye on your boiler pressure and make sure it stays somewhere between 1 and 2. If it drops below one this can indicate a problem but don't try and solve it yourself, make sure you always notify your site manager.

BATHROOM/DOWNSTAIRS TOILET

Make sure toilet flushers work properly - sometimes a slight misalignment can mean it can be awkward to push the button down to flush the loo - nobody wants that do they.

Check all taps for leaks and adequate water pressure - the pressure on the cold tap in my bathroom is shocking and has yet to be sorted. I also had a leak on my bath taps which I found out the hard way when a huge wet patch appeared on my living room ceiling. Not ideal at all and it did happen twice in my case because the first time they came to 'fix' it, they hadn't actually fixed it but when they came back a second time they replaced the taps.

Check the seals round the bath - also do this after you've had a full bath.

Check that the bath side panel runs flush with the floor - mind didn't and the builders put an extra bit on the bottom to tidy it up.

Check the extractor fan works - and always make sure you use it when you shower or bath.

Check that the plugs don't leak water out - Both my upstairs and downstairs bathroom sinks have a defect in the plugs where water escapes even when they're pushed down and closed. I'm told it's a manufacture's fault and I'm waiting on replacements.

Check tile grout and alignment - Unfortunately when things are rushed attention to detail often isn't a priority but you will notice it if your tiles aren't properly straight also check all tiles have been grouted properly.

Check your shower fitting and make sure it works and there are no leaks

Wow, that seems like a huge list for snagging and believe me this is not an exhaustive list. As I said, some of the snags will stare you square in the face but others you will have to look a little closer for but it's well worth doing so because generally if the builders are still on site they're easily contactable and they will come and do all your snags for you. If they haven't and you have encountered problems you must go to your sales office and push for help and if you don't get any joy from there you need to ring Persimmon (or your developer's) head office. I did that with my leak and they got the site staff on it pretty much straight away.

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