07 Jul What Is A Snag List?
WHAT’S A SNAG LIST. ARE SNAGS COVERED BY THE WARRANTY?
We have received many queries from home owners on the moving in process and what’s a snag list. In today’s blog we thought we would tackle some of the questions that have been raised.
Snagging – It is a strange term to those not familiar with it. The term snagging originally came from the UK and is commonly used in the construction industry to describe a process. In the USA process is called a punch list. In the United Arab Emirates snagging is the more common term being used.
What is the definition of a snag list (punch list)?
Snagging (noun). This is an inspection and list of construction minor problems or faults. These are usually of a cosmetic nature found in new buildings which need rectification. This is referred to as a snagging list. This could be anything from a damaged unit, scratches or missing brackets.
Sometimes there may also be defects. These may be a little more serious, such as cracks, leaks and some installation issues.
There may also be workmanship issues. These generally occur if the final stages of installation were being rushed through to completion.
Why do we need to produce a snag list?
The builder does his own snagging and inspection works. This is at each stage of the construction process.
Finishing works are one of the most difficult last steps to achieve. Although the builder would have done their snagging works prior to hand over. It is unlikely that every item (snag) has been picked up. Contractors can also become accustomed to a property and over time may not notice some of the snags which are present.
Always remember that a building is made by hand. It will never be perfect and involves many processes and wet trades.
The snag list is usually required to be prepared and issued to the developer prior to completion and in some cases 7 days following completion. (In the UAE). It may also be done on the handover day. In most cases the developer or sales agent manages this process and allocates a time slot for the snagging activity to take place.
At the time of the handover the developer will allow you a walk through of the property. This is in order for you to highlight any issues you may have seen, and to generate your snagging list.
Who should prepare the snag list?
It is important that you take the opportunity to do the snagging or designate someone to attend these inspections on your behalf, prior to moving in.
You can write the snag list yourself during your visit to the property, or alternatively you can use a professional snagging company to do this for you.
Snagging inspectors are likely to be able to identify snags and spot any defects which the owner may not see. Especially if the homeowner does not have any construction experience.
The inspectors will be able to identify items quickly, as they know where to look. They will also have knowledge of building acceptable tolerances and standards, (which the homeowner would not necessarily be aware of).
Moving home can be a stressful time with so much to organise. The added advantage with a snagging company is they can remove some of this stress and can deal directly with the developer on your behalf. They can also arrange follow up and support, if required, throughout this process.
What kind of report would I receive?
A snag list would be produced by the professional snagging company. This usually contains the snag descriptions and photographs of the issues. The reports are also written in a construction format and using recognized building terminology, in order to make it easier for the contractor to work from the list and rectify the items.
The report can be used to start a dialogue with the builder to determine the work plan and which items will be rectified. There may be some items which cannot be fixed to your satisfaction, or further improvement works may make a situation worse. You can agree on the action of each item and you may agree to live with of the snags if they fall into this second category.
How long should I allow for an inspection?
The duration of your snagging depends on the quality of the property being inspected and the number of rooms and areas in the property.
Most developers allow one hour for the snagging inspection. This is based on the presumption that the property has been adequately snagged prior to the handover, so there should be only minor items.
However if it has not been snagged sufficiently, the inspection can take anywhere from 2 – 5 hours depending on the size of the property being inspected, and this is why we recommend an independent snagging company to determine this for you.
Are snags covered in my warranty?
Due to the cosmetic nature of most snagging items they will not be covered by a warranty, once you move in. (if they haven’t already been noted on the snagging list). This is because it will be difficult to establish who caused the damage or issue, and if they were present in the property prior to handover.
However if there is a building defect present. A latent defect is found, or at a later date, a faulty system or service. These items will be covered by your building warranty and guarantees. It is the responsibility of your builder to rectify these, unless you have intervened and modified any of the works in any way.
As a home owner, in most cases, you will be provided with a 1 year warranty period. This may vary according to your developer. Some developers offer 2 years on the MEP and 1 year on the architectural and civil works. (Please check with your individual builder policies).
There is also Decennial liability in the UAE (Articles 880 – 883 of the UAE Civil Code) whereby the developer and their team is responsible for the building for a 10 year period. This is following completion. This is in case the actual building structure suffers from a defect, which threatens the stability and safety of the building in the future.
For more information or advise on snagging and arranging inspections, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our social media page
Disclaimer: Please note that this is general advice only. It is advisable to contact your local builder or developer to discuss their individual policies and procedures for your specific development, as these may vary. Warranties and their duration may also vary. Please contact your local law firm to provide any relevant legal advice on applicable local laws and codes.
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