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Frequently Asked Questions about Structural Snag Lists

Who needs a structural snag list?

Buyers who are purchasing a newly built residential property should have a structural snag list performed before the final purchase is completed.  It is an intrinsic part of the final stage between the purchaser and developer before full payment takes place.  It is vitally important to have a structural snag list performed to ensure that the property you are purchasing is built to appropriate standards, completely and to a certain standard of finish.

A Structural Snag list is significantly different to a basic Snag List. The person who carries out a Structural Snag List will be a professionally qualified surveyor, an expert on building regulations standards and will have professional indemnity insurance.

It is very important to book a structural snag list when you are advised that the property is completed and ready for snagging. The majority of newly completed residential properties have many incomplete, or incorrectly completed works that need rectifying before the purchase is made. It really is a case of buyer beware

What is a structural snag list?

A structural snag list is a professional detailed report that includes and reports on:

  • incomplete works
  • poorly constructed works
  • visible breaches in the current Building Regulations
  • issues that affect the value of the property
  • direction on certificates/information that should be provided by the developer
  • advise and information on how to properly understand certificates and information provided by a developer

What is the difference between a structural snag list and a basic snag list?

A structural snag list is performed by a trained and qualified professional. The surveyor will be looking for defects that are not obvious to the untrained eye, such as potential design defects in structural walls, roofs and floors, that currently present no visual signs of cracks or movement, inadequate ventilation in timber framed walls, breaches in fire stops and fire doors, incorrectly installed drains etc, and for items that do not comply with current building regulations.  A builder is not obliged to advise you of building defects known to them. Never presume that because a property is newly built that it will comply with all of the current building regulations, that it will be built correctly, or to a recommended standard.

A structural snag list will cost more than a basic snag list because it is performed by a qualified professional, who has PI insurance, has undertaken regular training, and is up to date with current building regulations.   You will be supplied with a useful and valuable report that will will include additional advice, information and direction to help you understand structural certificates/documentation for the property that may be provided by the developer/builder. You will be able to discuss any issues with a qualified professional.

A basic snag list is usually performed by an unqualified person who will provide you with a list of cosmetic issues like paint splashes, and scratches in paint.  It will also comment on minor building defects such as misaligned plug sockets, mismatched timbers, chipped bricks etc.

A basic snag list is usually cheaper than a structural snag list as it is usually performed by a non professional who will not have PI insurance,(which is generally only available to professionals with a recognised qualification).   You may be supplied with a list of minor building and cosmetic issues, but it will not provide a comprehensive report on important structural issues. A typical snagger will be concentrating their attention on identifying individual cosmetic issues; their emphasis is not focused on the structure of the property and they may not even understand or recognise what is required under building regulation standards.

Should a structural snag list be performed by an independent company?

It is very important to have your survey performed by a company that is totally independent to the property developer.  A builder/developer may recommend a company that will overlook costly or difficult to fix issues. We are not affiliated to any agencies, building companies or developers and have you, our clients best interests as our only focus.

Is a structural snag list a good investment?

Regardless of whether a property is being purchased to live in, or as an investment, a structural snag list should always be performed before contracts are exchanged. When compared to the expense of the property being purchased, a professional structural snag list fee is a small price to pay to know that your property is built safely, correctly and to current building regulations. No one wants to have to rectify building defects and sustain additional costs after a property has been purchased!

If you are a having property built, a great incentive for your developer to finish your home to a high standard is holding back a retention until all snagging defects are complete. We recommend that this is written in to your contract.

A builder will often give more credence to a professional report and is more likely to rectify the items properly and fully, as opposed to one created by a nonprofessional.

Who should perform a structural snag list?

It is important to ensure that the surveyor performing your structural snag list:

  1. Has a professional qualification.
  2. Is knowledgeable on current building regulation standards.
  3. Has regular experience performing building surveys and structural snag lists.
  4. Has current PI insurance cover.

Beware of basic snag lists that only provide you with a list of cosmetic and minor issues, but miss important, structural issues that affect the value of the property.

When should a structural snag list be performed?

A structural snag list should be undertaken when the developer/builder notifies the purchaser that the property is ready to be snagged. Unfortunately, builders will often ask for a property to be snagged weeks before it is actually complete. We recommend before booking your structural snag list, that you obtain confirmation from your builder that the property is fully complete, and no work is outstanding.  This will help to avoid unnecessary repeat surveys.

Most developers will include timelines in the contract about when a snag list should take place.  As soon as you receive a snagging notification from your developer we recommend that you book your structural snag list in immediately.  We are happy to book in a structural snag list several weeks before the scheduled date. Professional surveyors are often booked up and will not be available at a few days’ notice.  It is important that you have enough time to book the surveyor of your choice, and are not forced into using an unqualified surveyor or building foreman.

How much does a structural snag list cost?

The cost of a survey is primarily based on the size of the property.  Use our instant quote link and you will get an accurate quotation emailed within minutes to your inbox.

A structural snag list will cost more than a basic snag list because it is performed by a qualified professional, who has PI insurance, has undertaken regular training, and is up to date with current building regulations.   You will be supplied with a useful and valuable report about issues that will affect the value of the property you are purchasing.  It will also include additional helpful advice, information and direction, to help you understand structural matters related to the property before making your purchase.

A basic snag list is usually cheaper than a structural snag list as it is usually performed by a non professional who will not have PI insurance, (which is generally only available to professionals with a recognised qualification).   You may be supplied with a list of minor building and cosmetic issues, but it will not provide a comprehensive report on important structural issues. A typical snagger will be concentrating their attention on identifying individual cosmetic issues; their emphasis is not focused on the structure of the property and they may not even understand what is required under building regulation standards.

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Should a buyer attend the structural snag list?

Clients (or their representative) are encouraged to attend the structural snag list. If you attend the structural snag list the surveyor will run through his findings with you to give you an understanding of what rectifications are required.  If you can not attend, the surveyor will call you on the evening of the appointment and give you a verbal run down of his findings.

When will I receive my report?

Your full PDF report, including annotated photo’s, will be emailed to you 3 – 4 working days after the date of inspection.  It is most important that your report is accurate and well written and does not have errors or omissions. We therefore do not make commitments to have the report emailed to you within 24 hours. We are very aware that clients are working within a strict timeline and that it is important that you receive your report in a timely fashion.  We provide an efficient service and always provide our reports within the quoted time scale, as client testimonials confirm.

How will I receive my report?

You will receive your report in PDF format which is easy and convenient for you to forward on to your developer for rectification. We recommend you keep a copy of our report for re-checking purposes.

For best practice and to prevent any potential delays, we recommend that you also contact the builder/developer/foreman directly to:

  • Confirm they have received the structural snag list
  • Obtain a provisional completion date for rectification of the works

Does a follow up inspection take place?

If required an optional follow up inspection will be carried out.  The inspection can be booked in when you notify us that the items reported on for rectification have been completed.  Each subsequent follow up inspection will be charged at 2/3rd’s of the original structural snag list cost. We recommend that you obtain confirmation from your builder that the rectification works are fully complete, and no work is outstanding.  This will help to avoid unnecessary repeat surveys.

Do Property Health Check Ltd provide an after care service?

Your surveyor will either meet with you at the survey or call you on the evening of the survey to give you a quick verbal rundown of his findings. Once you have read your report if you have any queries please email the details to info@propertyhealthcheck.ie and your surveyor will get back to you.

Our customer care team are also available to you during office hours.

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