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1 September 2004

More than one in three new homes has between 100 and 200 defects according to a survey carried out by new home buyers information service Snagging.org.

With 160,000 new homes built in the UK every year that translates to a staggering 16 million defects.

New Build Inspections director Catriona Bright, whose company carries out professional snagging inspections on behalf of new home buyers, claims the results show that housing developers are unable to provide homes that meet the high expectations of the new home buyer.

Bright said: “The developers’ marketing machines sell high-quality dream homes which they simply cannot deliver. Poor quality control results in hundreds of defects. Ineffective customer service departments, overwhelmed with customer complaints, take too long to get the problems
fixed.”

New Build Inspections provides new home buyers with professional expertise to ensure they aren’t left with a property riddled with faults and will put pressure on the developer to get problems dealt within a reasonable amount of time. According to the new build inspectors, who include chartered surveyors, building control surveyors, architects, senior site managers and former NHBC employees, the top ten defects are:

1. Plasterwork patching and redecoration.
2. Ceramic tiling and bathroom tiling grouting incomplete.
3. Architraves and skirting boards require caulking.
4. External brickwork requires missing weep vents and brick acid wash.
5. Block work not fully pointed.
6. Loft insulation incomplete and not laid correctly.
7. Extractor fans venting into roof and ceiling voids.
8. Pipes not lagged in roof void areas.
9. Broken roof tiles.
10. Defective or scratched glazing.

Gavin Griffin, 35, the manager of a car dealership, and his wife Julie, 33, moved into a three storey house built by George Wimpey Homes in Sheffield in May last year. Although they identified only 30 snags, fewer than average, their new dream home has been flooded on five occasions because of substandard plumbing. It is only now after more than a year that George Wimpey Homes has agreed to move the family out and bring the home up to standard.

Griffin said: “Our dream house has turned into a nightmare. The fact that we have had to constantly complain to the house builder for them to repair the property to a reasonable standard has meant that it has taken over our lives.”

Bright said: “John Prescott’s plans to build an additional 200,000 new homes by 2007 will put unbelievable pressure on developers who are already struggling with quality issues. The situation is likely to get worse and there will be more extreme cases similar to Mr. Griffin’s.”

Bright added: “We aim to take the pain out of the process by making sure
all defects are spotted and dealt with as early on in the new home buying process as possible”

A full new homes inspection from New Build Inspections costs £340 (all inclusive). Bright said: ”It’s a small price to pay, especially when compared to the value of your new property.”

For more information contact:
Catriona Bright
Director and Founder
New Build Inspections Ltd
0845 22 66 486
catriona@newbuildinspections.com
www.newbuildinspections.com

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