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What are the most common issues with new-build houses?

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The UK is currently experiencing a new build boom. With nearly 50,000 new homes built in the first three months of 2021, the highest figure in over 20 years, there’s plenty of demand. 

More and more people are enjoying the myriad benefits that come with owning a new home, and new legislation means new builds will produce around 30% less carbon emissions and are more accessible thanks to wider doorways. 

But several common issues keep cropping up with new build houses, with homeowners footing the bill. 

Blocked guttering

Many new builds are experiencing blocked guttering because of poor fitting and sometimes even because of missing sections. It costs on average £30 a metre to repair.

Poor sealant

Many homeowners have reported issues with sealants in bathrooms and kitchens. Not only does poor sealant application have an impact on the aesthetics of a room, but it can lead to water ingress and damp. Over time this can have a devastating impact on a home and can take upwards of £30 an hour to have it professionally rectified. 

Loft insulation

Loft insulation problems are one the biggest snagging issues with new build houses. People report that it’s either not fitted correctly, or not installed at all. 

Loft insulation is not cheap either. It costs an average of £400 to insulate a loft properly. 

Decorative issues

Decorative issues are the most common type of problem with new builds and virtually every new homeowner has a snagging list with at least one decorative issue.

They can range from a low-quality finish to poor plastering. Rectifying decorative issues after exchange can be extremely expensive. 

Poorly fitted windows and doors

Damaged windows and doors are all too common in new build homes. With so many tradespeople working in one space, accidents happen – and no one takes ownership. 

From scratches to dents, they can even be poorly hung or even be the wrong size. Bowing and shrinkage can also occur during construction which can impact fixtures when complete. 

How to prevent issues with new-build homes

Despite houses being one of the most expensive things anyone will buy, real estate is one of the least protected by consumer law. Hiring reputable conveyancing solicitors who specialise in new build homes can help ensure the process is as smooth as possible. 

Whilst property is exempt from the Sale and Supply of Goods Act if your home is less than 10 years old – even if you’re not the first owner – it should be covered by a warranty. 

As soon as you notice any defects, you should contact the builder. If you’re involved in the building process from the start, you should regularly check the status and quality of your home and keep a snagging list. 

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