New Homeowners Should Have a Professional Snag Inspection
Do you believe that you are protected by buying from a reputable developer or builder? Will you be able to identify all the snags without a professional snag inspection?
What buyers don’t realise is that other building contractors subcontract to the developer or builder. Both the developer and builders are under pressure to complete the units or homes within a contractual timeframe. Often, the builders take shortcuts resulting in best building practices falling by the wayside.
In addition, most new homebuyers believe the NHBRC, bank and municipal building inspectors provide them with this sort of protection.
This is not the case!
Your bank inspector determines the market value of property, land, and improvements for the bank. Therefore, the inspector is not concerned with the state of the property unless it affects the value of the property. If the valuation is within bank requirements, you will qualify for the bank loan. They don’t issue the builder or developer with a snag or punch list!
Municipal Building Inspectors
The municipal building inspectors check your building to ensure it complies with approved construction drawings, local bylaws and zoning regulations. In addition, they are also responsible for ensuring compliance with local and national building regulations. They will issue an occupation cetificate if they judge that the building is compliant. Snags and defects to finishes are not their problem!
Structural engineers inspect and evaluate the structures of your home only. These are the foundations, slabs, walls and roof. They are not concerned with the snags and defects in installations and finishes which make up more than half the value of your house.
NHBRC inspectors inspect all new homes to check that the builder is complying with the NHBRC requirements on-site
The NHBRC Warranty Fund covers you against major and defined structural defects for up to five years. Enrolling your new home with the NHBRC is a statutory requirement. Theoretically, this affords you protection against contractors who deliver substandard design, workmanship and poor-quality materials.
As a new homeowner, you have the right to instruct your developer or builder with a snag list or punch list to rectify shoddy and defective work. This includes non-compliance or deviation from the terms, plans and specifications of your building agreement with him.
However, all the required NHBRC inspections are seldom done.
Why the need for Snag Inspections
What can you do to ensure you get your money’s worth?
Developers and builders work to tight contractual deadlines to complete and hand over your home to you. This often results in cutting corners and results in lower standards of workmanship.
Furthermore, some developers and builders use unskilled and ill-equipped workers with very little supervision or quality control. As a result, you may be taking occupation of your home with many snags and defects and finishes below standard.
Developers will pressure you to pay in full once you have taken occupation. This serves only the developer’s or builder’s best interest.
My advice is that you should insert a ‘retention clause’ in your contract with the developer or builder. Therefore, he will have to correct your snags before he receives his final payment.
It would be best if you spoke to your attorneys about including this when you sign the initial contract. In this way, you can hold the developer or builder accountable. Your developer or builder will need to deal with your snaglist before he receives his final payment.
Leaving your snag or punch list to be rectified after you have taken occupation of your unit or home can be problematic. This may disrupt your time if you have to be present while the builder rectifies the defects. Furthermore, the builder may have moved on to the next phase of housing or another completely new development.
Certified Professional Inspectors (CPI)
You need to have your new home snagged by a Certified Professional Inspector. Only inspectors certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) may use the CPI-registered logo!
What is snagging?
Snagging is the inspection of your home for defects and poor finishes before or after you occupy it. A snag inspection is far more detailed than a comprehensive inspection on a preowned home because it includes cosmetic defects!
A cosmetic snag is something that is damaged, not fitted properly or looks unfinished. Some more examples are a scratch on a window, a missing screw in a hinge on a door, hollow floor tiles or a chipped tile. This can include poor paintwork, badly hung doors, broken window catches, hollow floor tiles, skewed electrical sockets and much more!
However, there is more to my snag inspection than just a checklist of easily observable snags.
My snag report will also document any structural or installation defects observed which may cause problems at a later date. This can be badly installed waterproofing or roof finishes and so on. The snag report will include all observable items such as the geyser installation, the roof structure, plastering and tiling finishes, outside drainage and so on.
I will provide you with a professional snag report with photos of the defects. My reports are far superior to the type of snag list that an untrained inexperienced layman would typically compile.
Moreover, I recommend that you have a snag inspection performed before you take occupation. Furniture and appliances will therefore not hide defects or poor finishes.
My professional snag report is worth far more than the fee I charge for the snag inspection. The cost of a Professional Snag Inspection and report including photos is a fraction of a % of the cost of the property you have purchased.
Do the wise thing! Contact me for a free quote. It won’t cost you anything!