Why is New Home Snagging becoming a ‘Must’

Why is New Home Snagging becoming a ‘Must’

New Home Snagging

New home snagging has become an absolute must. In the current climate the UK is currently delivering between 150-170,000 new homes a year. In line with Government targets this will be well short. The reason for this is a lack of skilled tradesmen within the industry. In 2005, the average number of new build snags was 62, an increase of 18%. Warranty providers like the NHBC made over one million inspections last year whereby 70% of complaints received were found in favour of the homeowner. It can be said that there are a number of significant factors for this;

  • Build Times
  • Lack of Warranty Inspections
  • Lack of Quality Control procedure from Developers
  • Complexity of Build

New Home Snagging can be described as a process for checking for faults and correcting these prior to a new home inspection taking place by the customer. It can be contentious in the eyes of both the Developer and the customer as this can be a subjective assessment of what is acceptable or not in the eyes of both parties, but the reasoning for this is listed below;

Build Times

Demand for new housing has become a top priority from the Government. The Growing economy has led to a national housing shortage which is increasing pressures on developers to build more homes. Sadly, during the last recession, a significant number of skilled tradesmen left the construction Industry and the shortage of apprenticeship schemes has led to fewer numbers entering the industry today. Now, developers are relying on fewer skilled tradesmen to do jobs of a certified tradesmen. Even though in recent years the time taken  to build an average house has decreased due to technology advances and differing construction methods, some developers are still decreasing build times, thus placing a significant burden on under resourced sites with partially skilled labour. This ultimately means reduced dying times and excessive shrinkage.

Another consequence of scaled down build times can be a result of planning delays from Local Authorities. The delaying of developments will only lead to a rush start on site with every effort made to reduce the time lost at the start.

Lack of Warranty Inspections

As a consequence of the above point on build times, sometimes a developer can overlook the need for a new home snagging inspection ( stage inspection ). This can be the result of delays from planning and a need to ‘ push on ‘. However, the purpose of these is to ensure builder compliance to both warranty provider and building regulations. Missing key stage inspections could ultimately invalidate the warranty on the house if not signed off correctly by the Inspector.

Owing to the increased demand for housing, warranty companies are now placing an increased workload on Inspectors whereby random spot checks cannot be controlled. The decrease of independent inspections can only contribute to lower standards and increased incidents of defects.

Lack of Quality Control Procedure from Developers

It can be said that the majority of National House Builders now have a new home snagging checklist which they should adopt prior to presenting the house to the customer. unfortunately the list can only be as good as the site manager or foreman producing the document. It can be said the growing number of site managers with a trade specific background will have limited knowledge outside of their particular trade. This tends to lead to a lack of confidence in growing knowledge of latest building regulation changes. On top of this, managers simply do not get the chance to spend the required amount of time within the property to carry out a Pre-purchase house inspection due to their own increased workloads.

Complexity of Build

Large PLC House Builders usually have a set of standard house designs that they build throughout the country. Only certain planning conditions will affect the Brick Style, Colour, Roof Tile Type or Colour etc. However, planning delays by Local Authority are now putting emphasis on builders, having inherited an approved design with the land buying are now choosing to build non – standard designs in order to prevent a return on their investment and to get ahead of their competition. Invariably, unfamiliar with the build, this causes delays and potentially lowers quality to compromise on differing solutions being adopted.

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