The most common new build snags for UK homebuyers

Kalila Sangster
·3-min read
A new house development under construction
New build homes are not always built to the correct standards. Photo: Getty

New build houses in the UK can come with a host of snags for homebuyers expecting a perfect property, leading to extra costs to rectify the issues.

The most common issue found in brand new homes is ill-fitted or damaged windows or doors. Windows and internal and external doors are often scratched or damaged when being installed into the property, according to the experts at home-inspection specialists HouseScan.

Incorrectly fitted windows and doors can become bowed and start to let cold air into the property. A replacement door costs from £120 ($159) to fit, while windows can be as much as £200 per window and surface repair companies can cost more than of £200 per day, HouseScan said.

The second most common issue is unconnected ducting to tile vents or fans, while poor fitting not aligning with manufacturers’ installation guides can also cause problems. Tile vents are found in the roof and allow the release of vented or extracted air, while the fans are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms and the cost of replacing stands at around £100 per fan.

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Poor pointing — the cement or mortar used to fill the joints of brickwork or masonry — can lead to water ingress, frost damage and damp, especially if left untreated over time. It can also cost from £20 a square metre to fix.

Incorrectly installed trickle vents — small opening in windows that allow fresh air to circulate while the window is shut to reduce the appearance of condensation or mould — can allow heat to escape causing higher energy bills. They can also cost £60 per vent to mend.

Shoddy plastering is another big issue affecting new build homes. It can affect the paint finish and ruin the overall decorative aesthetic. Re-plastering a room can cost as much as £700 while a new paint job can cost up to £200 per day.

Missing or improperly fitted loft insulation is one of the biggest snagging issues with new build homes, with costs hitting £400 to insulate a loft.

“Issues related to mastic sealant tend to be found in the kitchen or bathroom and a poor finish can not only look terrible but can lead to water ingress and damp. It can take upwards of £30 an hour to have it professionally repaired,” said the experts at HouseScan.

Another common issue is blocked guttering caused by poor fitting or missing sections. It can cost around £30 a metre to repair, according to the experts.

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“We see some real horror stories with snagging issues in the new build sector but more often than not, it’s the early issues that a customer might miss that they have the most trouble getting their housebuilder to rectify”, said founder and managing director of HouseScan, Harry Yates.

“However, if they aren’t detected until much further down the line they can also be some of the most costly, largely due to the work required but also due to the fact that the housebuilder is unlikely to rectify them outside of your warranty period.”

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