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How important is snag list engineer for new build?

  • 17-01-2023 8:56am
    Registered Users Posts: 321 ✭✭


    Just a general Q as to how important is it to pick a good engineer for new build snag list?

    Or is it a case of any one / best price...?



  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭donnaille

    You'll most likely get varying opinions here with some suggest getting in a family member/friend with high attention to detail to getting the best engineer possible.

    My own personal view, which is based on my experience with a new build is that you should try to get the best engineer you can find for this. Decorating issues are a lot quicker and cheaper to fix than ill fitting windows, insulation issues structural issues etc. Technically none of these should arise as an engineer will have signed off on the property and you will be covered for having them rectified - however my own experience of this is very different.

  • Administrators Posts: 52,692 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec

    A house is the most expensive purchase you'll ever make.

    It's worth spending a few hundred quid to get someone who knows what they are looking for.

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,087 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    For a new build, you don't need an engineer as such, you need someone who is good at doing snagging.

    For an older building that may have structural issues, i.e. something might fall down, you need an engineer.

    For a building that may have multiple, non-structural issues, you need a building surveyor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,230 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    So for the purposes of a mortgage drawdown, I believe they have to be a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland

    My experience was that they were a bit useful, but not great. The surveyor spotted some stuff that the builder fixed, but then afterwards we spotted a load more little issues which the builder then fixed

    The house is new and frankly I don't think any builders realistically think they can ignore the building regs and get away with it. So the house should be structurally sound and the surveyor is just double checking it

    Mostly they'll be looking for snags, which in a new build is mostly cosmetic stuff. So it's really down to their attention to detail

    The truth is that for the first year the house will be settling and drying out, so you'll be getting little cracks in plaster board and screw heads poking out

    Best thing we found was to make a list with pictures over the first few months. The builders were still onsite so we just sent them the list and some guys came by and fixed some of them (and then forgot the rest)

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost (Escapist magazine)

  • Registered Users Posts: 14 GuinnessSupper

    As the previous two posts have said, you don't need an engineer as such for new builds, you need someone with experience snagging.

    While I have mates who could have done a decent job, we got a snagger in to our new build in early Dec and we felt it was well worth the money (€250). I went up to view the house at the same time as the snagger and as you would expect, they caught a lot more things than I did. Not only that, but he knew where to draw the line between what is a) acceptable but could be better and b) what is unacceptable - for example he asked for the builders to come up to the house and called out the grouting in our bathroom tiling as botched and unacceptable, and ultimately the builder had to arrange for it all to be redone. The snagger did all this from the viewpoint of representing me as his client, not taking any excuses from the builders etc. A snagger will know where a builder has cut corners whereas I wouldn't have a clue.

    The final snag list is then coming from a professional and I do feel that the builders will treat that with a bit more respect than a list drawn up by say myself. This is not to say that my builders were cowboys, but they'll happily leave every little cosmetic change alone if they're not called out.

    You then have the option for the same snagger to recheck that all of the items have been fixed, or you could do this yourself. Given the service we were provided originally, we got the same guy back for €120.

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 36,493 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    No need for a snagger to be a member of any Professional Body. They will not be involved in your mortgage drawdown.

    The house will be signed off through BCAR so your snag will not be looking for major structural issues unless they are very apparent. If i snag, i will of course check means of escape windows and all that goes with that, even though its a Building Regulation, you'd be surprised the amount of times key locks are left in them etc

    A snag is really a glorified cosmetic survey. Checking for paint finish, tiles finish, trim finish, water taps, fixtures and fittings details and functions. Of course you'll look in the attic and you'll try see if there's issues with the insulation or placement.

    Most of the mechanicals are under warranty so the HP, Boiler etc, you are really making sure they are fitted correctly and functioning at that time.

    Garden condition, boundary wall condition etc

    In theory a good handy man can do it, a school teacher with good attention to detail etc or you can get a Chartered Engineer. I assume costs will vary based on who you pick.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,230 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Yes you're correct, I might have been confusing the snagging with the valuation required for the mortgage, I think the bank will only accept a valuation from some property agents

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost (Escapist magazine)

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,087 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    With an existing building, the lender may insist on a condition survey from someone with suitable credentials.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 sellinggaff

    Am I the only one who finds it utterly bizarre that you can spend 450k on something and be happy to enter into it knowing it isn't in 100% working order?

    I wouldn't buy a new build because

    a- they're nearly all ugly as sin on the outside, utterly soulless grey monstrosities

    b- why pay double the price of a second hand council house to live in an estate which may be bulk bought as council housing

    But the snag thing mystifies me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14 GuinnessSupper

    You buy a new build because:

    1) You're not paying double the price. A new house the same size as a second hand house will come at a premium, but not double.

    2) For that premium, you are getting a new A rated house which you will have no problems with for a number of years.

    3) That premium is offset by up to €30k help to buy scheme.

    You will also know how many houses are allocated to council before you purchase it, if you ask.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 78,087 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    "2) For that premium, you are getting a new A rated house which you will have no problems with for a number of years."

    Like many things, most problems with a building come to light in the first year after construction as things are used for the first time, and things dry out, settle and are exposed to the weather. The saving grace is that you can usually call on the builder / developer to fix them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14 GuinnessSupper

    Yes, it will be build into the contract of sale that liability for any major defects is the responsibility of the builder/developer. Certainly within the first year.