1 April 2020

Snagging lists and Structural Warranties

By Build Zone

New build houses have gained a huge amount of negative press coverage in recent years due to them being poorly built. Some examples reported show new home buyers finding 100 – 400 faults on houses that cost up to £400,000 to buy.

The Home Builders Federation reported a six per cent increase in the number of buyers reporting issues, raising from 93 per cent in 2015 to 99 per cent in 2018.

What’s the difference between a structural warranty and a ‘snagging’ list when it comes to your new build home?

If you buy a home off-plan (i.e. before it is built) which often happens new builds, as soon as contracts are exchanged, the structural warranty will cover your deposit if the builder goes ceases to trade and doesn’t start or doesn’t finish the property, at that point your warranty provider will reimburse your deposit.

But how do warranties work once the property is built and you’ve moved in? Once the property is built, the warranty is split into two periods – the defects insurance period, which covers the first two years, and the structural insurance period which covers years three to 10.

During your first two years in the home, if there are issues with the work the builder has done, such as the windows letting in rain because they’re not sealed properly or the heating not working because the pipes are faulty, the builder is obliged to come and fix them.

During the structural insurance period, the builder is only responsible for major problems with the structure of the house. This includes foundations, the external render, roofs, ceilings, chimneys and load-bearing parts of the floors.

Smaller ‘defects’ are now your own responsibility, including non-structural defects such as problems with your gutters or fixtures and fittings.

What is a snag?

A snag is a small defect or problem that remains in your property after the building work has been completed. It is typically something that is damaged or broken; not fitted properly or looks unfinished – think a scratch on a window or a missing hinge on a door.

Most are cosmetic – however more serious defects can arise such as major cracks and kitchen fixtures that are not fitted properly.

What is a snagging list?

The purpose of a snagging list is to identify defects in your home for your housebuilder to fix.

The most common snagging defects:-

  • Broken tiles on the roof.

  • Patchy paintwork, anywhere in or on the property.

  • Insufficient loft insulation.

  • Incomplete grouting in the bathroom.

  • Poorly fitted skirting boards.

  • No acid wash on outside brickwork.

Ross Goodwin, Managing Director of MyToolShed said:

“It’s extremely important to conduct your own checks when purchasing a new build property. Consumers are protected under their 10-year home warranty and insurance guarantee; however, snags can often take up to six months to correct once the property developer has finished on the site. That’s why it’s extremely important to catch these issues before you move in.

Many homeowners, when they discover snags once they’ve moved in, are tempted to fork out themselves to fix issues rather than waiting for their property developer to get around to it. It can cost anything up to £5,000 depending on the issues you find.

In order to catch potential problems quickly, it’s important to follow a new build snagging checklist when inspecting your new home. You can then present this list to the property developer and get the issues sorted out before you move in.”




Build-Zone are not only new build warranty providers, we provide cover for projects involving new build, conversion & mixed-use developments. Builders or developers must register with Build-Zone to be eligible for this scheme and must comply with the Build-Zone Code of Conduct.

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