Snagging for New Builds Guide

Posted April 24, 2024
Snagging for New Builds Guide

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or new to property ownership and development, you may not be familiar with the concept of snagging.

Don’t worry; we’ll explain what snagging is, its importance, and how to manage this vital step when purchasing a home.

What is Snagging?

Snagging means inspecting a newly built home for any minor faults, defects, or unfinished work. A snag could range from minor cosmetic issues like a scratch on a window or an uneven paint job to more significant problems, such as plumbing or electrical faults.

The aim of snagging is to identify these problems, so you can request they can be corrected by the builder or developer before you move in.

Why is snagging a new build home important?

Ensures Quality

Snagging serves as a last check to ensure the home you’re moving into meets your expectations and the developer’s promises. It examines everything from aesthetics to structural integrity, making sure each detail is completed to perfection.

Saves Money

Identifying defects early through snagging prevents future expensive repairs. Issues such as water leaks or insulation problems can lead to substantial costs if overlooked. Handling these under the developer’s warranty saves you from out-of-pocket expenses for repairs.


The safety of your home is crucial. Snagging spots any hazards, including loose wires, improper gas connections, or structural issues, ensuring they are corrected promptly. This proactive measure helps prevent accidents or emergencies that could compromise your family’s safety.

Peace of Mind

Moving into a new home should be exciting, not stressful. Snagging ensures that your home is defect-free, offering peace of mind and allowing you to settle in comfortably without concerns about hidden problems.

Protects Investment

Your home represents a significant financial commitment. Snagging preserves its value by ensuring it starts off in excellent condition—homes with thorough snagging records typically hold better resale values and attract more buyers.

Legal Leverage

In case of disputes with the developer regarding defects, having a professional snag report strengthens your position—it provides documented proof that supports your claims effectively in legal scenarios.

Efficiency in Future Renovations

A detailed snagging process identifies not only existing defects but also potential areas for concern affecting future upgrades—this knowledge allows for improved planning and budgeting when upgrading your property.

Enhanced Comfort and Liveability

Snagging improves both functionality and aesthetic appeal by fixing issues like poorly fitted doors or uneven floors—these corrections significantly enhance the comfort and overall quality of living in your space.

Professional Oversight

Employing an expert snag inspector leverages their experience and attention to detail—a critical factor in enhancing the standard of construction outcomes; they spot potentially missed problems which might impact long-term use.

Environmental Responsibility

Resolving faults like poor insulation or inefficient heating systems during snagging not only cuts costs but reduces environmental impact too—an efficient house uses less energy, reducing its carbon footprint.

How to Conduct a Snagging Inspection

Hiring a Certified Professional Snagger

Although you can perform a snagging inspection by yourself, it is advisable to engage a certified professional snagger or a chartered surveyor. These experts bring extensive knowledge and specialised equipment, along with keen attention to detail that helps identify hidden defects. A qualified snagger will create an exhaustive list of issues which is crucial for discussions with the developer, ensuring any problems are resolved before they become your responsibility. For reliable services, choose professionals associated with esteemed organisations like the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Choosing the Right Time for Effective Results

The timing of your snagging inspection significantly affects its success. Ideally, inspect after construction ends, but before your lender pays the final amount to the developer. This approach encourages quick fixes from the developer and ensures your new home meets high standards right from the start.

If you have already moved in, there’s still time; many developers provide a warranty period lasting 1-2 years post-purchase, during which they must address any subsequent defects found.

Snagging Checklist

A snagging list is essential when inspecting a new build home. It can help identify any issues, defects, or unfinished work that needs to be addressed by the builder/developer before you move in.

Here’s a comprehensive snagging list to guide you through your inspection:


Brickwork & Cladding
✅ Check for cracks, chips, or missing mortar.
✅ Ensure cladding panels are securely fixed without any gaps.

✅ Inspect tiles or slates for damage or misalignment.
✅ Ensure chimneys and vents are straight and correctly installed.
✅ Check flashings and gutters for proper installation and alignment.

Windows & Doors
✅ Ensure smooth operation of windows and doors.
✅ Check for scratches on glass or frames.
✅ Verify seals and caulking for gaps or poor finishing.
✅ Ensure locks, handles, and hinges function correctly.

Garden & Boundaries
✅ Inspect fences, walls, and gates for stability and quality.
✅ Check outdoor taps and lighting fixtures for proper operation.
✅ Verify the condition of driveways and paths for cracks and level.


Walls & Ceilings
✅ Look for cracks, dents, or scuffs on surfaces.
✅ Check for uneven paint coverage or wallpaper application.
✅ Inspect corners and joinings for proper plaster and paint finish.

✅ Check for scratches, dents, or uneven flooring.
✅ Inspect carpets and other floor coverings for proper installation.
✅ Verify level and stability of hard floors.

✅ Test all light switches and electrical outlets.
✅ Ensure all fixtures and fittings are secured.
✅ Check the consumer unit for labelling and test trip switches.

Plumbing and Heating
✅ Test all taps, showers, and plumbing fixtures for leaks/drips.
✅ Ensure hot water and heating systems are working efficiently.
✅ Check radiators for leaks and ensure they heat evenly.

✅ Check worktops for damage or poor installation.
✅ Inspect cabinets and drawers for smooth operation and alignment.
✅ Verify all appliances are installed and functioning as expected.

✅ Inspect tiles and grouting for consistency and finish.
✅ Ensure toilets flush properly and seats are securely fitted.
✅Check for proper ventilation and operation of extractor fans.

Safety Features
✅ Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
✅ Check staircases and balustrades for stability and compliance with regulations.
✅ Ensure external doors have secure locks and keys are provided.

Final Checks
✅ Review the energy performance certificate (EPC)
✅ Confirm the completion of any agreed-upon specifications or custom requests.
✅ Make sure you have warranties and manuals for appliances and systems.
✅ Ensure utility metres (electric, gas, water) are accessible and record initial readings.

This checklist aims to be thorough; however, each property has unique aspects. Additional checks may be necessary based on specific features arrangements.

Snagging Checklist (Print Friendly PDF)