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matty c

Snagging Surveys - Are they worth it?

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I'm just about to complete on 2 new build flats in Liverpool.

The property will be protected by a 10 year structural Build Zone warranty.

I'm wondering whether to bother with a survey, other than the valuation survey provided by the mortgage company.

I'm no expert on properties by any means and I'm wondering whether I might miss things doing my own 'snagging' that a professional might identify. Does anybody have any experience of employing a professional company to 'snag' a new build and whether they felt it was worth it? Or will the strict building inspections that take place during the build of the flats by the warranty provider pretty much ensure that nothing will be found?

One such company, https://www.homesnag.co.uk/, charge £349 for a 1 bed flat and claim to carry out the following:

  • plaster and paintwork
  • soil quality test
  • birds-eye camera inspection of roof and guttering
  • garage and groundwork
  • loft inspection
  • electrical test on sockets
  • plumbing tests to inspect for leaks
  • Co (Carbon Monoxide) safety test
  • heating system check using a thermal camera
  • level flooring, square walls and flat ceiling inspection
  • Brickwork and fenestration 
  • Joinery 
  • fire safety measures
  • thermal camera heat loss / draught test  - optional
  • borescope camera check on cavity insulation - optional
  • room measurements (windows & walls) - optional


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I’m curious why you wrote ‘strict’ building inspection by the warranty company.  Have these inspection reports been released to you, or do you know the timing/frequency of the inspections.  

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Hi Alastair

I have been on a couple of viewings myself and speaking to the Project Manager, he informed me that the warranty company are on site very regularly and have insisted on the build adhering to strict regulations (and yes he would say that wouldn’t he). I guess I was just also referring to the fact that it’s in the warranty company’s interest to ensure that the build conforms to their standards so they’re not paying for defects for the next ten years.

I am willing to accept that I may be completely wrong here.

Do you have any experiences to share?

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I’m maybe a bit more cynical, sorry.  Quality and safety expenditure is all too often weighed against the cost of fault payment (the car industry is perhaps a better example of this). Not all developers / contractors are the same, I do however see the same defects repeated time and again. 

As to the original question, there is value in technical inspection of fire safety, thermal integrity, flat roof testing, early indication of settlement, wiring/earth check, etc.  This presumes technical competence in the inspector, in part cooperation from the developer in release of details and specifications (to assess against), and how invasive you want to be. 

I like specifics.... what exactly does he mean by ‘frequent’.... a lot is concealed / covered up in a week on site 

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