What is a Snagging Survey and Why You Should Get One in the UK

If your dream is to build a brand new home or buy a newly built one, getting a snagging survey done is a step in the right direction. It’s easy to think that new means perfect, but most often new houses come with many construction issues. Snagging surveys detect these issues so that you can prevent repair headaches later on.

What is a snagging survey

Poor craftsmanship and improper construction can cause defects and issues in a new construction. A snagging survey is a survey carried out to check for these issues or better termed as “snags”, so that you can have it rectified.

This survey can be done for a home you are building yourself or for a newly built house you are planning to buy.

During the survey, the inspector will check your property for issues both internally and externally and make a report. This report can then be handed over to your developer in order to rectify the issues found through the survey.

What is covered in a snagging survey

A snagging survey is intended to cover minor cosmetic issues right up to major structural ones. It also includes areas outside your house for outlying buildings such as the garage, or annex. Here are some issues that a snagging survey covers:

  • Poor paint work
  • Scratches on counters
  • missing/incorrect/crooked fixtures
  • Unlevel floors/walls
  • Construction of the roof and loft
  • Improper or missing insulation
  • Plumbing issues
  • Drainage issues
  • Heating issues
  • window/door sealing
  • Uneven or crooked tiles
  • Missing sockets
  • Improper electrical work
  • Unfinished plaster/tile work
  • Poor wallpapering
How to choose a snagging inspector

When you choose an inspector, make sure they’re registered with the Royal Institution of Chartered inspectors (RICS) or the Residential Property inspectors Association (RPSA). The accreditation and experience of your inspector will carry weight when it comes to the report that you present the developer.

You may also want to check for any connections your inspector may have with the housebuilder, since there is a possibility they could have a conflict of interest. The inspection should be unbiased and impartial.

You should also have a written contract that tells you what you can expect from your inspector: what they will or won’t cover and what kind of evidence they will give.

When you should get a snagging survey and how much it costs

A snagging survey takes around 3 to 4 hours to complete and a few days more for the report. You can choose to get a survey done right after or within a period of two years of the completion of the house.

But it is generally advised that the survey is done after compilation and before moving in. This is so that your developer is able to identify any issues that are related to the construction itself and not as a result of your actions or use. Anything after this period can be claimed as general wear and tear.

Costs of a snagging survey depends on the size of the property but typically would range between £300 to £600.

Why you should get a snagging survey

Snagging surveys are not a legal requirement but many view it as a best practice in the purchase of a newly built home.

Early detection

Defects or issues in newbuilds go largely unnoticed until it's too late. When they do arise it can sometimes become very costly and end up as a hefty burden to have it fixed. Most often these issues are usually caused by structural faults which could worsen over time.

Compliance with regulations

A professional snagging inspector ensures that your property meets the UK build regulations, quality standards and your own specifications.

Save time and money

Your builder is legally required to fix any issues that arise within the warranty period. Anything that is detected after this period will be your responsibility to repair. If you get a survey soon after completion, you can rectify any issues before moving in so that you don’t get in the way.

In addition to this, resolving issues early on will allow you to maintain property value.


Incorrect structure and fittings could make it an unsafe environment to live in. Improper electrical fittings and unlevel floors are common causes for accidents. And these are critical construction faults that need to be addressed as quick as possible.

Professional opinion

It is possible for you to do your own snagging inspection but the investigation may not be as thorough. During the survey a qualified inspector will inspect the property with a lot more insight. With experience and the necessary tools, the inspector will be able to spot issues that might be easily missed by an inexperienced person.


Buying a home might be the costliest budget on your plate, costing you thousands of pounds. Snagging surveys is a way of protecting that investment for the long term by safeguarding your property value, safety and most of all, providing you with the peace of mind that your home is solid as it seems.