08 Mar 2017
Are you planning to build your own home? If so, a change to the building regulations in Ireland may have major repercussions for your plans.
It’s the little things that catch us out when planning a self build. Maybe a power outlet is too far away to be useful or one of your lights is so wonky, it’s putting the Leaning Tower of Pisa to shame.
No matter how careful you plan, small problems will inevitably pop up during your build. And that’s where your snag list comes into play.
Once all the work is complete and you’re at the home stretch, you need to present these small problems, in the form of your snag list, to your builder before the final signing over of your new property.
Here are our four top tips for making sure your snag list gets the job done.
1. Triple check everything
And we mean everything. Don’t leave a mat unturned or a door unopened – that could be the door with dodgy hinges that falls off six months down the line and smacks you in the forehead.
When you’re doing your post construction survey, include things that aren’t in your specifications or plans/regulations, like internal doors, electrical work, central heating, walls and ceilings, windows, loft space, stairs, bathrooms, flooring, external walls, paths, driveways – you name it!
(We did say to check everything!)
And don’t think you can skimp on checking your fixtures – for example, off-centre lighting, badly installed sockets, insulation and wiring. Include services too, like central heating and water pressure. You don’t want to hop in the shower for the first time only to find that a trickle comes out and the whole thing needs to be redone.
It’ll take time, but it could save heaps of hassle.
2. Be reasonable
If you’re building a house, a snag list is a great way to make sure your contractor isn’t trying to pull a fast one. But as a contractor, snag lists can be a headache – especially if you note every single thing, right down to the millimetre.
For instance, a wobbly fixture is a problem. A tile misaligned by a couple of millimetres isn’t. A snag list isn’t supposed to be a guide to redesigning your house.
If you would like more sockets than those included in your contract, this is a separate job and not to be included in your snag list. Read your contract carefully to see what’s included. And remember that things like finishes are a matter of opinion.
You may think that something doesn’t look right, but the contractor could have a more informed opinion from experience. So, it’s wise to pick your battles.
3. Only do it yourself if you know what you’re looking for
You can do a snag list yourself, but only do it if you’re willing to go all in. A half-hearted wander around your house just won’t do. You’ll need to go room by room.
Putting a sequence in play is a good idea. For example: floors, walls in a clockwise rotation, ceilings and joinery. Then check windows, doors, latches, locks, fixtures and any other nook and cranny around.
Yes, you might start to feel like you’ve got a screw loose but doing this will make sure you discover any potential issues, from loose screws right up to bigger things you may otherwise have missed.
Engineers, architects and surveyors are well qualified to produce a snag list and deal with builders, so it may be a good idea to call in the pros. And if you go for the safer options, it doesn’t mean you’re completely off the hook, as you should also be there when the snag list is underway.
4. Don’t pay until you’re happy
The snag list should be given to your building contractor or project manager (make sure you keep a copy yourself) so that everything can be put right.
Don’t make the final payment until all jobs have been completely finished, and you’re happy as Larry. There should also be a final re-inspection before the process is signed off. Sure, it’s time-consuming, but it could save you money and heartbreak in the future.
When it’s all done, you can grab a bottle of bubbly to break open with your other half, sit back, and relax in your fully finished home!
Are you thinking of building your own home?
Check out this handy guide to building your home in Ireland complete with stories from EBS customers who have already built a home.
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The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.
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