Snagging survey

Snagging survey - Ocean Village Southampton.

Thursday last week we were requested to conduct a snagging survey on a new build, two bedroom apartment in the Ocean Village Southampton. I met the clients (who were first time buyers) outside the development. The couple were excited about moving into their new home and wanted a snagging survey to ensure that if there were any defect issues (snags) they would be picked up, recorded and dealt with before completion and before they moved in on Wednesday. The developer and the estate agent informed the couple that all works to the property would be complete and ready for the snagging inspection. My clients, who also wanted the apartment to be furnished by the estate agent, were told that everything was on track for the apartment to be fully furnished on the Saturday.

We worked our way through the unfinished foyer and communal areas that were still busy with contractors. Unfortunately the lifts were not in action but on the upside we were able to stretch our legs and work our way up the 5 floor that was still unfinished. The paint splashed, chipped and scratched door was open and as we entered we were greeted by the carpenter who was busy attaching the bathroom door keep.

The engineered hardwood flooring was covered in debris and had not been cleaned which made it quite difficult to identify the extent of the marks, scratches and chips. There were numerous sockets and switches not fitted and none of the carpets were laid. Mirrored cabinets, vent covers, toilet roll holders and shaving sockets were missing. The couple were quite shocked that, after all the insurances that the estate agents give them that the property would be ready, the apartment was clearly not finished. I offered to come back at a later stage to inspect the property however they still wanted me to proceed with the snagging inspection.

The two bedroom property took me three hours to inspect and the following morning I forwarded the report to my clients. Overall, the actual apartment was of a reasonable standard finish with plumb walls (bar one reveal), straight ceiling lines and level surfaces with most of the door frames and boxed walls square however the report did run into 33 pages and we picked up over 90 snags.

Please find below my introduction into the snagging report:

“The apartment, overall, is of a reasonable standard however work was still in progress at the time of the inspection with numerous unfinished items and numerous snagging defects to address. COMMON CONCERNS: Carpets were not fitted, flooring throughout was scratched, marked and stained with white in grain along skirting edges and corners. Work surfaces, cupboards, tiles, glass panels and decking were dirty and stained, glass panels were dirty, scratched and marked and difficult to identify the full range of scratches. Numerous sockets and switches were not in alignment and paint splashed, radiators were loose with brackets paint splashed. Poor mastic finish along tile and window frame edges. Numerous door handles and RDL's were paint splashed, untidy finish in skirting and ceiling corners.”

Although the development was already running behind schedule by 3 months I think it would have been better for everyone concerned to have informed the couple of the true state of the apartment and requested that the handover and the completion date be put back until all works were completed. I know throughout the construction industry there is an incredible amount of financial pressure to complete new build residential projects, in often unrealistic time scales, and to push for completions when properties are not ready to handover from construction to the completions team however surely it is better all round to set achievable completion targets so that there is time to address the majority of snagging issues before their clients move into their new home or before a professional snagging inspector conducts a snagging survey.

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