New homes and What to Look out For

J Finance Newbury New Build Homes

Buying a shiny new-build home is exciting – and while you won’t have to worry about some of the structural concerns you might have when buying an older home, there are still some things to consider…

New Build Homes

It would be easy to think that a new-build home is going to be bright, shiny and new, with no issues at all – and it might well be. But unfortunately, this is not always the case. When you are about to move into a new build property, you will be asked to check for something called ‘snagging defects’. And if you’re not asked – we advise you to do so anyway!

These checks are generally expected to be made 48 hours before you actually complete the purchase. But do you know what you are supposed to look for?

Here are just some of the things you’ll want to consider:

Doors and windows

These may not be fitted properly, so check for gaps, doors or windows that don’t open or shut properly, and draughts coming from the surrounds. A professional thermal imaging scan can also pick up any issues. This is something you don’t want to miss. These elements of the house usually have a warranty on them, and if you report a defect out of warranty you will be expected to pick up the bill – and it can run into the thousands if doors or windows need to be replaced.

While you’re checking windows, ensure any trickle vents (the small vents at the top that allow air in) can be closed and opened properly. If they can’t, then they might let heat out – and with energy prices as they are, this may mean you might literally see money flying out of them!

Sealant

In kitchens and bathrooms, check that any sealant used around baths, showers, sinks, worktops etc is not only neat, but properly finished. Any gaps could lead to water damage behind tiles on walls, ceilings and floors, which could be costly to repair further down the line.

Guttering

Check that guttering is where you expect it to be, that none is missing, and that joins are well sealed. Again, leaking guttering can cause water damage and damp, which can be pricey if it needs repair.

Plastering

In a new build you would expect plaster to be flat and even, and well finished against edges such as door surrounds and skirting. Make sure you see the rooms in daylight to be able to spot any issues. Replastering a whole room after you move in will not only cost a few hundred pounds but will be disruptive as you’ll need to move furniture and carpets, and deal with any clean-up.

Paintwork and decoration

You should expect a professional finish where walls and woodwork have been finished. Again, inspect in daylight so that you can spot paint drips, streaky paintwork and any other defects. Paying someone else to repaint could cost you hundreds of pounds, and again cause disruption after you have moved in.

Loft insulation

Make sure you have it – and that it is fitted correctly.

Pointing on brickwork

This is the ‘finish’ between the bricks on your new home. The cement should be neat, with no gaps or big ‘blobs’ of cement. Badly finished pointing can lead to water getting in between the bricks and causing damp and damage.

Fans and vent ducting

Ensure any vents and extractor fans work correctly, and that ducts leading from them to outside the home have been installed correctly.

The above is a brief list, but special attention should also be paid to pipe work, lighting, plumbing, electrics, heating, appliances, fixtures and fittings.

What if I have a problem?

If you have an issue further down the line, then the good news is that new home builders have a code of conduct they must adhere to, so even if you have problems after you move in, they will need to adhere to this.

Your new home should have a 10-year warranty – this will likely be with the National House Building Council (NHBC), Premier Guarantee or LABC Warranty – which covers any building problems. The code states you must be treated fairly if you have any housing concerns. You should also have a developer’s warranty, which will cover fixtures and fittings – this is usually for a period of two years.

When you buy a new build property, you’ll receive some form of documentation covering the 10-year warranty, which covers the home, rather than the owner. So if a house is less than 10 years old when you buy it, you should still receive these documents when the sale goes through.

Established in Berkshire in 2004, J Finance Ltd is one of the leading financial planning companies in the area. We serve clients across England and Wales. If you would like to discuss this subject or any other financial matter, please contact us on 01635 521 300 or email contact@jfinance.co.uk.