Demand for new homes at an all time high and there are nearly 1,000 for sale in Oxfordshire alone at time of writing.
New homes available range from large estates built by national builders to infill projects built by local tradesmen.
Quality of build can differ greatly, but all new homes will go through a period of settlement as the building materials dry and settle into the foundations. Different materials settle at different rates, which is why you often get so called ‘settlement cracking’ appear at the joints of plasterboard walls and ceilings and window and door openings.
Building materials will also expand and contract as temperatures increase in the summer and decrease in the winter. It can take 2 years for so called “thermal cracking” to stop in a new home.
Not all builders are the same when it comes to the ‘snagging period’. For some they will specify a period of 1-2 years, while others will only state “a reasonable time frame” which is frustratingly vague. Some builders will jump into action at the first sign of a crack above the kitchen door, whereas others won’t look twice unless you can fit a pound coin in the hole.
Property Formula offer a snagging survey service that can alert you to any current snagging issues and advise on what to expect once you move in. we recommend this is done before exchange of contracts, so builders can action any issues before completion. Some snagging can be hard to spot once you have moved in and furnished the property, so get us round while its empty if you can.
Things to look out for include:
- Hairline cracking to plasterboard joints in walls and ceilings
- Hairline cracking over door openings and above and below window openings
- That all extractor fans work and vent externally. We often find hoses not connected in the attic space
- That internal soil pipes are fitted with durgo valves. This will prevent foul odours in the attic that could seep into the house over time
- That fitted appliances are properly connected or plumbed in – you don’t want to flood the utility room the first time you use your new washing machine
- That light switches and recessed lightbulbs are in working order
- That doors open and close square to the eye
- That windows have safety catches and open square to the eye
- That decorative finishes are complete and done to a satisfactory standard