When looking to buy a home, many buyers will consider a new build to be a more straightforward – and perhaps easier – route than buying an older property.

In some cases, this can work out to be the case. However, opting for a new build home isn’t always hassle-free.

Here we look at some of the things buyers may not be aware of when looking to buy a new build house.


Whilst it is true that new build homes must meet certain standards, in particular with regards to current building regulations, this doesn’t mean that all the workmanship throughout the house will be up to scratch. Inspections from Chartered Surveyors can still reveal a host of things that could end up costing you dearly. It isn’t uncommon for a list of ten or more faults to be found in a new build home, which might range from relatively small issues such as badly fitted doors or windows, through to more significant defects that could ultimately affect the liveability of the property.

To be on the safe side, you can instruct a Chartered Surveyor to undertake a Snagging Inspection Report. This type of survey is designed specifically to check for problems with a new-build home; covering both internal and external aspects of the property. The report will identify the presence of any issues with the quality and finish of the build.  

Timing is key

If you opt to have a snagging inspection or full survey completed on a new build home, the timing of this can be key. If possible, you should aim to have the survey done prior to completion, as this will give you more negotiating power to get any problems fixed.

Not all developers will allow access to the site, however. If this is case, try to have a Chartered Surveyor lined up to visit as soon as possible after completion.

It may also be possible to get your solicitor to negotiate surveyor access to the site prior to completion by having this written into the contract prior to exchange.

The small print of warranties and insurance

When it comes to insurance, the small print is often key. Whilst many developers will boast that new build homes come with a 10 year guarantee, this does not always cover all the aspects that a buyer might expect. It is therefore important to read the small print carefully to check what’s covered, and whether the warranty will apply only to you – or whether it will be transferrable should you sell the home down the line. 

It is also worth bearing in mind that the claim process is often not straightforward or as quick to process as you might like. Taking the above steps – ie. having a professional survey report – to resolve issues in advance of taking ownership is always preferable.

To speak to our team of Surveyors about instructing a snagging report on a new build property, or to seek further advice, please get in touch.

Preston Office
Telephone: 01772 458866
Blackburn Office
Telephone: 01254 260196
Clitheroe Office
Telephone: 01200 320040
Lancaster Office
Telephone: 01524 899850
Manchester Office
Telephone: 0161 265 0070
Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: Oakshaw House, 2 Capricorn Park, Blakewater Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 5QR