Shrinkage in new build houses happens up to approx. 1 year after completion. Some faults can occur throughout this period where the house is settling; doors mis-aligning and tiles separating being examples other than cracks appearing.
But often it is due to the fundamentals of joinery not being correctly installed. The following examples from recent snagging inspections show that window sills, newel posts and architraves all haven't been installed properly and it is a rather difficult job to remedy...
At HomeSnag, we are passionate about customers getting the most out of their new build house. After all, it is likely to be the biggest investment you will ever make. And yet building companies notoriously are defensive when customers request us around prior to completion.
We often get asked "who is the best / worst builder". The answer is that we could go to one large 5 star builder one day and it could be a fantastic finish, the next day on a different site by the same company and the quality is horrendous. Similarly we can go to an independent builder with only 5 houses on the site (so typically you'd think the attention to detail would be improved according to quality not quantity) but they fail to meet building regs and tolerances throughout. The quality of finish to your new build house ultimately depends on three factors:-
- The time of year
- The quality of tradesman
- The eye for detail from the site's snagging process, if carried out at all
The time of year is important because construction companies have financial deadlines they have to meet. Typically this is June and December. It is no coincidence that these months are our busiest months as a professional snagging company! They often push customers into a substandard home to reach their bonus. We went to one house last week and the customers were forced into completion, only to find no flooring laid. They had paid extras in the region of £10k and walked in to a shell.
The rating [large volume] construction companies have are according the the HBF survey. This reaches out to customers 2 months after their completion and they need customers to say they'd recommend them to a friend. Notoriously Bovis have gone down to a 2 star building rating due to most of their customers answering "NO" to this question!
So, conversely does this mean that the quality of a 5 star builder is better? Well, this is not always the case. All of the below photographs are taken from the past few months and are all 5 star builders.
In conclusion, we believe the more adamant the builders are to not allow us in before completion, the more important it is to enforce it. It also highlights the importance to get us around as soon as possible, certainly within the 2 month timeframe the builders look to get a positive HBF survey score from you.
Snagging Pictures demonstrate: Smashed toilet, missing insulation, smashed window, damaged dormer beyond repair and isolator switches for the kitchen located in the dining room
Unfortunately an element of why the quality of new build houses has declined in our opinion is due to the 2008 recession which set a lot of quality tradesmen out of work.
One area we particularly feel was effected was quality bricklayers. One way in which to test the quality of workmanship is to look up at the wall and see whether the "perp" joints are in a plumb line or not. As shown in the below photograph from a recent new build snagging inspection, the unequal perp joints created quite a noticeable wavy gable wall.
During our inspection we also check for bricks not level and that adequate cavity tray installation has been installed.
A Snaggers Blog
HomeSnag inspectors are experts at inspecting new-build houses. This blog shares real examples to demonstrate the importance of getting your new build house or apartment snagged professionally
"I always insist that there is specific provision for snagging," says Thomas Moran, partner at law firm Speechly Bircham. "Reputable developers do this anyway, but there are all sorts in the market, some big, some small, so you need a contractual promise than within, say, a year they will come back to remedy any minor defects in the finishing."
read full article here