The delights of moving into a new home can be shattered if you have not carried out a proper Snagging meeting with the builder prior to completion. These days the house building industry is populated by mainly publicly owned companies who have share holders breathing down their necks to keep profits up. The builder will then do anything to keep costs down as low as possible with scant regard to quality. The net result is poor quality work requiring remedial maintenance or worse a total rebuild of the offending problem.
Builders will use subcontractors and not directly employ staff to reduce costs. In effect many subcontractors have little or no actual project management and are often left up to their own devices for long periods of time. Over the years this has resulted in a general "work to the lowest" level acceptable rather than to the highest standards. On the basis that those customers that complain will have the remedial works carried out those that do not just live with the problems. This low standard of work has resulted in subcontractors recruiting many untrained workers masquerading as qualified builders. The Author noted a large sign on a new building site in southern England " Wanted Bricklayers.
Great rates no experience required" one shudders at the brickwork that resulted. The one action a house buyer must take before completion is to carry out a full and in-depth Snagging meeting with the site manager. This meeting should not be confused with the property handover where the workings of the house are explained, boiler, heating etc.
The Snagging meeting should just be to inspect the property and identify any part of the property that requires remedial work prior to the owner moving in. Site managers are quite adept at delegating this meeting to site (sales) offices. Purchasers should ensure that the site manager is available for the Snagging meeting and does not disappear to some other pressing meeting half way through the process.
The builder cannot be expected to assist you in you quest to identify all the faults with your new home. It is after all a reflection of his work that you are picking holes in. It is important that the purchaser takes detailed notes on all items that are unacceptable to compile a Snagging report that the builder will give to the various tradesmen following the meeting. By using a digital camera to record items of particular interest you can be sure of a very accurate and undisputable record.
The meeting can be very stressful unless you ensure good preperation has been undertaken. This would include a Snagging list of items to inspect, the correct tools for the meeting and a method of recording the meeting for future reference. Overall the purchaser must make sure they conduct a full and detailed inspection of all parts of the building to ensue that the Snagging list is compiled. This list should then be copied and enough copies given to the builder for them to give to the various tradesmen to carry out the remedial work.
John Mills is a property agency director and has extensive new house buying experience. John advises all his clients to Snag their new homes with vigour and to take copious notes. The builder is not your friend. http://www.snagging-guide.co.uk