How Long Do You Get To Snag a New Build?

Learn about the timeframes for snagging new builds, the best time to get your home snagged and more!

Buying a new build home is an exciting milestone, but it can come with its own set of challenges, including dealing with snags. Snagging refers to identifying and addressing any defects or incomplete work in a new property. At Snagman, we specialise in comprehensive snagging surveys to ensure your new home is in perfect condition. In this article, we’ll explore key aspects of snagging, including how long you have to snag a new build, when the best time is to conduct a snagging survey, and whether builders are obligated to fix snags.

Standard Snagging Periods

For most new builds, the snagging period is outlined in the developer’s warranty, provided by organisations like the National House Building Council (NHBC) or Premier Guarantee. In most cases the warranty lasts for 10 years, the first 2 years being provided by the developer which covers any beaches identified in the building regulations and warranty providers own standards. This also includes but is not limited to cosmetic defects and workmanship issues such as poor paint or plasterwork. the final 8 years are covered by the warranty providers themselves and typically covers more serious issues with the building. Acting within this timeframe is crucial to ensure all issues are addressed without incurring additional costs.


Premier Guarantee – Homeowners

Importance of Acting Within the Snagging Period

Conducting a snagging survey as soon as possible within the provided period is crucial. Early identification of issues allows for timely rectification by the developer and can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. Additionally, addressing snags promptly ensures that your home meets the expected standards of quality and safety.

When is the Best Time to Get Your Home Snagged?

Timing is critical when it comes to snagging. The best time to get your home snagged is generally within the first few weeks of moving in, but there are several factors to consider which we explore below.

Optimal Timing for Snagging Surveys

Ideally, a snagging survey should be conducted before you complete on your new home. However in their current state, Pre-Completion Inspections we feel do not offer the value that they were intended to deliver due to the restrictive nature of the approved NHQB Inspection template, and also the fact developers are only allowing a limited timeframe to carry out the surveys (in most cases but not all). For this reason we feel the optimal time to snag currently is after completion, but before moving in, to allow the inspector full unobstructed access to all areas of the property.

Factors to Consider for Timing

Several factors can influence the timing of your snagging survey. For example, seasonal changes can reveal different issues, such as thermal problems in winter. Additionally, some defects may only become apparent after the property has been occupied for a short period and may not be visible just after moving in.

Benefits of Early Snagging

Despite the above, early snagging is still recommended as it allows for immediate identification and rectification of the majority of issues, ensuring that your home is comfortable and safe from the outset. It also helps to build a positive relationship with your developer, showing that you are proactive about maintaining the quality of your new home and resolving the issues in a timely fashion, compiling a full list of issues to deal with from the outset rather than a constant drip feed of new issues discovered every month prolonging the process for both parties.

One of the pressing concerns for new homeowners is whether builders are obligated to fix snags. Understanding your rights and the builder’s responsibilities is essential to ensure that any identified issues are resolved satisfactorily.

Legal Obligations and Warranties

Builders are required to fix snags under the terms of the warranty provided with the new build. This warranty, issued by organisations such as the National House Building Council (NHBC) or similar, typically covers structural defects for a period of up to 10 years, with the first two years dealt with by the developer covering all defects identified in breach of the warranty providers standards and building regulations as mentioned earlier in this article. During this period, builders must address any reported defects that fall within the scope this scope.

Common Practices and Policies of Builders

Most reputable builders will have a clear policy for addressing snags and will work with homeowners to rectify issues promptly. They may provide a dedicated customer service team to handle snagging reports and ensure repairs are carried out efficiently. However, the response time and quality of service can vary between developers, so it’s important to document all communications and keep a detailed record of reported issues and responses.

Steps to Take if Builders Are Uncooperative

If a builder is uncooperative or fails to address reported snags, homeowners have several strategies to consider which we go through in depth in our article: (What Are Effective Communication Strategies section)

Should I Pay for a Snagging Survey?

Deciding whether to invest in a professional snagging survey is a common consideration for new homeowners. While it involves a cost, the benefits often outweigh the expense. Some astute homeowners also request that the builder covers the fee of the survey when negotiating the purchase of their home to put the burden back onto the developer.

Benefits of Professional Snagging Surveys

Professional snagging surveys are conducted by experienced inspectors who have a keen eye for detail and are familiar with common issues in new builds. Their expertise ensures a comprehensive inspection, identifying snags that homeowners might overlook. Additionally, a detailed snagging report provides a valuable document to present to the builder for rectification and should be structured in a way that assists the site team in locating the snags on site for speedy resolution.

Costs vs. Value of Professional Inspections

The cost of a professional snagging survey can vary depending on the size and complexity of the property, but it is generally a worthwhile investment in ours and many other peoples opinion. The value lies in the peace of mind it offers and the potential savings from having defects fixed by the builder rather than incurring repair costs later if they aren’t addressed in time. Ensuring your home is free from defects enhances its character and means you can focus on living life and enjoying your new home rather than worrying about issues. .

Comparison of DIY Snagging vs. Hiring Professionals

While some homeowners may opt to conduct their own snagging inspections, there are limitations to this approach. DIY snagging can miss critical issues due to a lack of technical knowledge and experience. In contrast, professional inspectors use specialised tools and checklists to conduct thorough inspections. In addition to this homeowners often underestimate the time it takes to thoroughly inspect a home and compile a comprehensive snagging report. Paying for a professional can save a lot of time and hassle and the thoroughness can prevent future problems and ensure your new build meets high standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is snagging in a new build?

Snagging refers to the process of identifying and addressing defects or unfinished work in a new build property. It involves a thorough inspection to ensure that everything is up to the expected standard and that any issues identified are documented in a snagging list/report to be sent to the builder.

2. How do I know if I need a snagging survey?

If you have purchased a new build home, a snagging survey is highly recommended. It provides a professional assessment of the property, identifying any defects that need to be addressed by the builder, ensuring your home is safe and meets quality standards.

3. What common issues are found during snagging surveys?

Common snags include cosmetic issues such as paint defects, poor finishing, and minor structural problems like cracks or misaligned fittings. More serious issues can involve plumbing, electrical faults, or insulation problems.

4. Can I conduct a snagging survey myself?

While you can conduct a DIY snagging inspection, it is often beneficial to hire a professional. Professionals have the experience and tools to identify issues that may be overlooked by the untrained eye, ensuring a more comprehensive inspection. In addition to this the time taken to conduct a thorough inspection can be upwards of 6 hours+ for experienced inspectors so it is important to consider a realistic timeframe for homeowners without an existing tried and tested process for snagging.

5. What happens if snags are not fixed by the builder?

If the builder does not fix the snags, you can escalate the issue by contacting the warranty provider, reporting the matter to Trading Standards, or seeking legal advice. Keeping detailed records of all communications and issues reported is crucial in such cases.

6. Is there a cost associated with professional snagging surveys?

Yes, there is a cost for professional snagging surveys, which can vary based on the size and complexity of the property. However, the investment often pays off by ensuring that all defects are identified and fixed by the builder, saving potential future repair costs and the peace of mind provided by a detailed report and inspection.

7. How soon should I arrange a snagging survey?

It’s best to arrange a snagging survey for after completion but before you move into your new home or as soon as possible afterward. Early identification of defects allows for timely repairs and prevents minor issues from becoming major problems.

8. What should I do if I find snags after the snagging period has ended?

If you discover snags after the official snagging period, contact the builder and warranty provider immediately. Some issues may still be covered under the warranty, especially if they involve structural defects.

9. Can snagging surveys be conducted on any type of property?

Yes, snagging surveys can be conducted on various types of properties, including apartments, houses, and commercial buildings. The scope of the survey may vary depending on the property’s size and complexity and legal agreements in place with the developer.

10. Why should I choose Snagman for my snagging survey?

Snagman offers comprehensive snagging surveys conducted by experienced professionals. We provide detailed reports and support to ensure all defects are addressed by your builder, giving you peace of mind and ensuring your new home meets high-quality standards. You can check out our reviews on sites such as Trustpilot and our Facebook page to see what our recent customers have to say about our service, we have also added a few of these to our home page also. At Snagman we are passionate about delivering thorough snagging inspections and highly detailed reports to our customers and helping to improve the new build sector with every inspection!


Ensuring your new build is free from defects is an essential step in making your house a home. Understanding the timeframe for snagging, knowing your builder’s obligations, and investing in a professional snagging survey can significantly enhance your home-buying experience. At Snagman, we are committed to helping homeowners achieve peace of mind by providing comprehensive snagging surveys and support.

If you are in the process of buying a new build or have recently moved in, don’t wait to identify and address potential issues. Contact Snagman today to schedule a professional snagging survey and ensure your home is in perfect condition.

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