Whether you’ve just bought your new dream home or are in the process of renovating your forever home or have a new property investment purchased direct from a developer, you no doubt want everything to go perfectly with your new build. However, this isn’t always the case, as many TikTok users have found.
Renovation snag videos have boomed in popularity recently. In fact, the hashtag #newbuildproblems has over 5m views on the app, while #snaglist has over 3m views. And these videos show us that even the best building work can come with a few problems.
In most cases, a snag is purely cosmetic and shouldn’t cause any serious issues with your build. However, some have the potential to become a little more dangerous than they first appear to be, so it’s a good idea to check for them as soon as possible.
But what should you watch out for? RW4Y has put together a handy list of the most common snags, so you can keep an eye out for any potential issues.
Fake weep vents
Fake weep vents are a problem that crops up time and time again. When installed properly, these small holes help to ventilate the cavity between your inner and outer walls, preventing damp from forming and causing issues in your home. And while not every house needs weep vents, they are necessary in masonry walls and homes with a timber frame, as brick, mortar, and wood all absorb water.
Unfortunately, many homeowners are inspecting their new building work to find out that their weep vents are fitted into the surface of the mortar without feeding through to the cavity, essentially rendering them useless. Shockingly, this is a common occurrence on renovation snag TikTok, with user @newhomequalitycontrol finding a home with 24 fake weep vents in total.
Adding new windows as part of your renovation is a great way to bathe your refurbished room in some much-needed sunlight. But issues can occur when your windows aren’t sealed properly. In this video by @snaglistpro, the sealant around the windowpane is mainly missing. If this happens in your home, you may find yourself with more than just sunlight coming through.
An unsealed window leaves it vulnerable to the elements, meaning cold wind and rainwater can easily get into your home. Luckily, this one is an easy fix, and you should be able to reseal it yourself with an exterior frame sealant.
Another common snag that often pops up on TikTok is the dreaded squeaky stairs. User @ccmmaintenance discovered a home with this exact problem after just a few weeks of it being lived in.
While this is common in older properties and can occur with general wear and tear, it certainly isn’t a good sign in new renovation work. The main cause of a creaking staircase is when the adhesive that has been used to bind the treads to the risers has become unstuck.
If you’ve recently moved into a new home or have had a new staircase fitted as part of a renovation or loft conversion, then be sure to check for any creaky steps. The good news is that creaking stairs do not cause any issues other than minor annoyance.
Your home has various vents and ducts that help pump bad air out through the roof. However, disconnected ducts can be a big problem after renovation work or in new build homes. TikTok user @snaglistpro has come across this one many times, including this instance when the soil stack vent led straight into the loft. While this may sound harmless, this vent is actually designed to remove bad smells from your toilet waste pipe, so you certainly don’t want these gasses to build up in your loft.
In other cases, it may be the duct from your kitchen or bathroom extraction fan that has become disconnected, which can cause moisture and mould among other issues.
Decorative issues, such as bad plastering or paintwork, are a common problem with renovations and new builds. In one video by @joannehaydecorating, the windowsills and skirting boards hadn’t been primed or given an undercoat before being decorated, which led to the pristine white paint peeling right off. Luckily, these snags are purely cosmetic, and you may be able to repaint yourself or contact the original plasterer or a new one and ask them to redo the job.
“Unfortunately, renovation snags are all too common. If you spot any of these issues around your home, be sure to speak to the builder who carried out the work to see if they can fix it. If they don’t agree to repair or redo the work but you’re still concerned, your next step is to get in touch with another contractor to repair it, although this will cost you. To ensure you don’t end up out of pocket for unsatisfactory work, there are a couple of paths you can take.
“If your home is a new build and less than two years old, then it will still be under warranty with the developer. Before you moved in, you should have been given a copy of the warranty agreement which includes information on how to make a claim.
“If your work was conducted as a renovation or on an older property, your next step is to contact Citizens Advice, who can tell you about your options or help you come to an alternative agreement. The most important thing to remember is to not back down if you’re unhappy with the quality of the work. It’s your home after all.” Sarah Hastings from RW4Y