What should a professional snagging list include?

As the name suggests, a snagging list contains all the “snags” or issues found in a property. Before handing over a project, the responsible person or company should repair all of the agreed snags. Rectifying snagging issues is usually the responsibility of the housebuilder, as long as the property is still under warranty, which is typically up to two years after completion.

Construction Manager working on Smartphone with PlanRadar

There are many different potential snagging issues. Yorkshire Build Consultancy identify six different types of snagging items to watch out for:

  1. Outstanding issues – things that housebuilders have forgotten to install or finish. Rectifying outstanding issues is simple, but can be costly for housebuilders.
  2. Settling – issues that occur between the time you install materials and the time they ‘set,’ such as cracks in plaster or seals around windows and doors.
  3. Poor quality craftsmanship – carelessness in construction includes rushing tasks, using incorrect or damaged tools, using a workforce that lacks the necessary expertise or not following design plans.
  4. Design issues – means making sure the building design is suitable for the situation, compatible with the surrounding landscape and fit for inhabitants. 
  5. Incorrect materials – this could be due to a mistake in the design plans or the fault of the housebuilder. Using incorrect materials means that the building will have a shorter lifespan, and there is a much greater risk of latent defects.
  6. Latent defects – issues that aren’t apparent until long after you have finished work on the property. Examples include cracks in the building foundations or a wrong ratio of sand to cement.

With so many things to consider, it is easy to see why professional snagging surveyors are in high demand. While you can compile your own snagging list, someone with construction experience will spot things that an amateur might miss.

Learn more: The most common snags

How to use a snagging list

Homeowners aren’t always aware of how to check for damage in different places, whereas surveyors have a comprehensive checklist of how things should run. Inside, the main checks are to ensure the plumbing and electrics are sound. For example, testing every tap, flushing the toilets, switching on electrical appliances, trying every power socket and checking heat sources, including radiators. It is also a good idea to check that surfaces are complete, flat and smooth – from paintwork and plastering to ceilings and floors. 

Outside, the priority is ensuring that there are no issues with brickwork or guttering. For example, bricks should be clean and a similar colour, whilst mortar should be firm and consistent. Gutters and drains should be securely fitted and clear; similarly, all roof tiles must be properly installed and of good quality. 

A snagging inspection should take place as soon as possible after completion, but not without a ‘builder’s clean,’ meaning the removal of any protective material and equipment. Snagging services will be able to spot things that homeowners miss, as the surveyors know the correct building regulations and the property’s design specifications.

Snagging lists are usually conducted room by room and divided into sections or types of systems used so that nothing is overlooked. For example, landscaping (including the drive, garden and roof), plumbing, electrical, carpentry, joinery and decorative features. Snagging is essentially asking whether a specific feature is fit for purpose and safe for use. Does the door fit in the frame, or does it rattle? Do the locks work properly, or do they stick? Is the driveway even, or is it collecting puddles? Some aspects of snagging appear to be trivial, but it is important to be thorough since minor issues can quickly escalate if they are not addressed.

What evidence do you need?

Snagging items should be collected as you go, and everything must be documented. Each party must have evidence of any snags they find. Housebuilders must be able to show that they have fulfilled building standard regulations and completed design specifications accurately. Similarly, homeowners must be able to prove that issues identified with the property weren’t caused by them. In the past, snagging evidence has been gathered manually and submitted to the housebuilders to rectify the problems. However, this is time-consuming and increasingly expensive, particularly if resnagging is necessary. The availability of software management systems means that you can now conduct snagging more accurately and efficiently. 

For housebuilders, software management systems offer a convenient way of tracking construction tasks whilst the project is still ongoing. Fixing tasks as you go reduces the number of outstanding issues at completion. Tracking tasks is also effective in ensuring good quality craftsmanship, as site managers are then able to view project logs and communicate with their workforce. When everyone is accountable for high standards of work, you’re less likely to encounter snagging issues. 

Software management systems have one final advantage over manually collecting evidence, as housebuilders can share their project records with the homeowners and snagging services. As each party can see that every aspect of the property has been signed off (such as legal requirements, building standards or design specifications), communication and customer satisfaction is greatly improved. Completing snagging lists with minimal hassle saves both housebuilders and homeowners time and money, so it is worth investing in organisational tools.

Creating a professional snagging list

Here are some key features your snagging list should include:

  • The date and time that you noticed the snag.
  • The name of the person who recorded the snag.
  • A description of the issue, either written or recorded with a voice recorder. Include measurements if necessary.
  • If the snag was caused using incorrect materials, include a reference to the original specification and highlight the change.
  • The location of the snag within a room. If you can pin the location to a plan of the building, that will help the contractor to locate and repair it.
  • Photographs or video evidence of the snag.

If you’re using construction software to manage snags, you can then assign the snag directly to the contractor or responsible party to repair.

How PlanRadar can help you with digital snagging lists

PlanRadar’s construction tracking software app offers a digital way to track any error detected on site. The defect management features can be used to log snags, assign repair work and track progress, and snagging lists can be easily generated using the reporting feature. Instead of relying on a tape measure and a camera, users can create snagging tickets with images and calculations, storing all the data securely in the same place. PlanRadar can also build custom project reports to match regulatory standard templates, whilst removing duplicate data sets. The more data you have on the tasks you complete, the more information you have for fixing snagging issues. For independent surveyors, using software management systems can save over 4 hours a week on snagging alone, compared to manually recording snag list items.

Discover how PlanRadar can help you complete snagging as quickly and accurately as possible. Snagging lists are exhaustive, but manageable with the right tools. You can book a free consultation or register for a 30-day free trial to test the software for yourself.

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