Congratulations on your stunning new build! But before you get too comfy unpacking boxes, there’s an important step many new homeowners miss: identifying and getting those snags sorted. Snags are those little imperfections – scratches, dodgy doors, malfunctioning fixtures – that can quickly turn from blemishes into major headaches.

The 7-Day Dash: Addressing Cosmetic Issues Quickly

The National House-Building Council (NHBC) is a big name in UK new build warranties. While they don’t set nationwide rules, many builders follow their recommended “7-day rule.” This means reporting minor cosmetic snags – think paintwork nicks, damaged flooring, or misaligned doors – within the first seven days of collecting your keys.

Why is this 7-day window important? It creates a clear timeline for you and the builder. Reporting issues promptly shows the damage wasn’t caused by you settling in, making the repair process smoother and ensuring the builder takes responsibility. Here’s the catch: the 7-day rule isn’t a law, and some builders might have different timeframes (24 hours, 3 days, etc.). Always check your handover documents for your builder’s specific policy. Regardless, the golden rule is to report snags ASAP.

The 2-Year Window of Opportunity: Fixing Bigger Issues

The 2-year defects liability period is your golden window as a new build homeowner. This is when your builder is legally bound to fix any defects that impact your home’s functionality or safety. Think:

  • Leaky roofs or windows
  • Faulty electrics or plumbing
  • Cracked plaster
  • Doors/windows that won’t open/close properly
  • Damaged tiles, scratched surfaces

Remember, the clock starts ticking the second you legally complete on your property. Don’t wait for minor issues to snowball – report any defects within this timeframe to ensure your builder fixes them promptly and at their own expense (note: social housing is typically covered for 1 year only).

Conquering Snags During the 2-Year Warranty

Here’s your battle plan for tackling snags within the 2-year window:

  • Be a Snag Sherlock: Grab your camera or phone and capture clear photos and videos of the snags, highlighting the damage’s extent.
  • Craft a Snag List: List each snag, including its location, a detailed description, and the date you discovered it. The more detail, the easier it is for the builder to understand and fix the problems.
  • Report to Your Builder: Your handover documents might have a designated snag reporting contact. Follow the builder’s specific process for reporting issues.
  • Keep Records Like a Boss: Maintain copies of all communication with your builder regarding snags. This includes emails, letters, and any repair schedules they provide.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Fight: If the builder isn’t responsive or the repairs are subpar, follow up and escalate the issue if necessary. Citizens Advice or the National Consumer Helpline can offer guidance on how to do this.

Years 3-10: The Structural Warranty – Your Safety Net

Your new build likely comes with a 10-year structural warranty. This kicks in after the 2-year defects liability period and offers protection against major structural woes like:

  • Subsidence (ground sinking beneath the property)
  • Roof failure
  • Structural cracks in walls

It’s important to remember that the 10-year warranty doesn’t cover everything. Minor issues or cosmetic snags discovered after the 2-year window will likely need to be addressed yourself or potentially covered by your home insurance.

Brickkickers: Your Snag-Slaying Partner

While the 2-year warranty offers some protection, being proactive about snag identification is key. A professional snag survey from Brickkickers can be your secret weapon. Our seasoned inspectors have a hawk-eye for detail and can identify all the snags in your new home anytime within those first two crucial years of ownership. We understand the complexities of new build warranties and can ensure you report snags within the correct timeframes to maximise your protection.

Don’t let snags turn your dream home into a source of stress. Let Brickkickers help you ensure your new build lives up to its full potential. Contact us today for a snag survey quote and peace of mind that lasts!