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 sub-contract 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, he is not concerned with the state of the property unless it affects the value of the property.
Municipal Building Inspectors
The municipal building inspector checks your building to ensure it complies with approved construction drawings, local bylaws and zoning regulations. In addition, he or she is also responsible for ensuring compliance with local and national building regulations.
Structural engineers inspect and evaluate the structures of your home only. This is the foundations, slabs, walls and roof. They are not concerned with the 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 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, the required NHBRC inspections are seldom all done.
What can you do to ensure you get your money’s worth?
Developers and builders work to tight contractual deadlines for completing and handing over of 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 defects and finishes below standard.
Developers will put pressure on you to pay in full once you have taken occupation. Obviously, this serves only the developers or builders 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.
You should speak 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 snags before he receives his final payment.
Leaving your snag list to be rectified after you have taken occupation of your unit or home can be problematic. This may cause the disruption of 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 to another completely new development.
A Professional Snag Inspection is a vital tool can you have before taking delivery of a newly-built property.
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. This can include poor paintwork to badly hung doors, broken window-catches and faulty electrical sockets.
However, there is much more to my snag inspection than just a checklist of easily observable snags.
I will provide you with a professional snag report. My reports are far superior to the type of snag list that an untrained inexperienced layman would typically compile.
My snag report will also document any structural or installation defects observed which may cause problems at a later date. 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 have often found hollow floor tiles that may crack at a later stage. Incorrectly installed waterproofing is another common problem. Furthermore, I report safety concerns with geysers that have not installed according to regulations. I also check roof trusses for incorrect bracing and many other defects.
Many of my inspections in new homes have more than 100 snags and a few have far more than that.
Furthermore, I recommend that you have a snag inspection performed by me prior to you taking 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!