When buying a new build home, you need to ensure the housebuilder who is developing your property will build a high-quality home with no snags. You need to be able to trust and rely on them to give you a home that is built to the highest standards.
But sometimes it can be difficult to know what you’ll end up with once the work is completed, as you don’t want a rogue developer who produces shoddy work.
This article discusses a few of the ways you can make sure your new home builder is one of the best, as well as key signs that indicate that your builder will build you a home with minimal issues.
Research the Housebuilder
Start by carrying out research into the developer and their track record. Have they built any other homes in the area, were they built on time, and were they completed to a good standard? Visit their website to look at previous work that they have carried out and check out their developments portfolio to gain an insight into how they work.
Complaints, Reviews, Testimonials
As part of your research into the developer, check the developer’s complaints record, testimonials, and reviews. This can tell you if there were any problems and help you determine whether the developer is trustworthy and reliable.
Look at online forums, Facebook groups, and news articles to find out what is said about them online and learn from other people’s experiences. Read testimonials from other homebuyers who have used them, as any positive or negative ratings can help you determine whether this housebuilder is the one for you.
New build properties often contain snags and defects as a result of poor quality standards. Check that the housebuilder carries out a full quality inspection of the property before handing it over to you. Whether checked by their site manager or by a warranty provider such as the NHBC, your new build property should be assessed for quality assurance to ensure you receive a top-quality property that is free of faults.
The property should be regularly inspected throughout the build and the developer should have standards that they have to meet in every area from design and materials to construction methods. A quality assurance check will ensure your new property meets high standards and faces no issues – from dipping floors, missing insulation, and leaking pipes to major structural issues that affect health and safety.
Trained, Skilled & Experienced Builders
There is a skills shortage in construction, and, as a result, many new build houses are built poorly and face many issues due to lack of experience, lack of supervision, and lack of training. This shoddy workmanship leads to flawed properties.
To ensure your new home doesn’t suffer the same consequences, make sure all builders working on your house undergo rigorous training, have sufficient experience, and hold the highest qualifications. Make sure they are knowledgable about construction techniques and are enthusiastic about the work they are doing. This will help ensure high-quality work is carried out and your property is built to a high standard.
Home Builders Federation Rating
The Home Builders Federation runs an annual customer satisfaction survey of those who bought new builds, what they thought of their developer, and whether they would recommend them to a friend. Developers are awarded a 1-5 star rating.
Look at this year’s results as well as ratings from previous years – have they got better or worse over time? If their score is getting worse every year, you should be concerned. If they’ve achieved a 5-star score for the last 5 years, this is a good sign of a reputable home builder.
Award-Winning Site Manager
The NHBC Pride in the Job awards recognise site managers who achieve high standards. The awards look for knowledgable site managers with great management skills and enthusiasm. They are interested in site managers with confidence in building regulations and the latest techniques. Those who commit to quality workmanship and strong technical expertise.
A good site manager is a good indication of a well-built, high-quality home, so if your housebuilder has won a Pride in the Job award, this is a good indication that your new home will be built to a high quality.
Consumer Code Customer Service
After-sales service is essential if you have any issues with your new build home. Make sure your developer is part of the Consumer Code. The Consumer Code is an industry-recognised requirement that is put in place to protect buyers, give them consumer rights, and ensure they receive high customer service.
The code ensures home buyers are treated fairly, get reliable and transparent information about their purchase, and also offers a resolution service should you face any issues. Housebuilders who are part of this code are required to give you fantastic customer service and after-sales care.
A trustworthy developer should include a warranty with your new property. NHBC is the leading home construction warranty provider for new builds, but other guarantee providers include LABC, Premier Guarantee, and Checkmate.
A warranty makes it the housebuilder’s responsibility to rectify any snags in the first 2 years of moving into your new home. In years 3-10, the policy will cover major defects such as structural problems.
Making sure your housebuilder provides a warranty will give you security and peace of mind that should your new build face any issues, your developer will have to correct them to ensure you get the home you paid for.
Visit the Site and Talk to Neighbours
Visit the new build site and visit a show home to get an idea of where you may be living. Visit at least twice and at different times of day to get a feel for the new builds and to gauge their quality.
Meet the site manager carrying out the work – is he knowledgable, enthusiastic, and able to answer any questions you have confidently? Whilst on the site, look at the condition of the site as this is a good indicator of the quality of houses being built – if the area is clean with no rubbish or tools lying around, this is a sign of a well-managed site and a house builder who works to high standards.
Also, talk to residents who already live on the site. Ask them about the quality of their home, how they were treated by the homebuilder, how they found the process, and the aftercare service they received. You should also visit other developments that the developer has previously built and ask these residents the same questions regarding whether they had any problems with the housebuilder to help gauge what you can expect.
Always Book a Snagging Survey
Unfortunately, there are plenty of shoddy house builders out there that don’t build houses to the required standards, leaving many homeowners with properties filled with snags that need to be fixed.
By following these tips you can give yourself the best chance of avoiding these rogue developers, but your home will likely still face minor issues even when you use the best developers available.
A professional snagging survey by HouseScan is the safest way to make sure your new build home is free of defects and ensure any errors are fixed. Even if your developer ticks all of the boxes discussed, always book a snagging survey to make sure you receive the home you were promised.