Pre-Completion vs. Post-Completion Snagging Surveys: Which One to Choose?

When it comes to buying a new home, one of the crucial steps in ensuring you get a quality property is conducting snagging surveys. These inspections help identify and rectify any defects or issues in your new home before or after you move in. Two common types of snagging surveys are pre-completion inspections and post-completion inspections. In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between these two approaches and help you decide which one might be the right choice for you.

Pre-Completion Inspection:

A pre-completion survey is carried out before you officially complete the purchase of your property and receive the keys. It was introduced by the NHQB (New Homes Quality Board), and any house builder signed up to the New Home Quality Code is obligated to allow a customer’s advisor (inspector) to inspect the property during the notice period, which is typically around 7 days prior to completion.

Key points about pre-completion inspections:

  • The inspector must be suitably qualified, work within their competencies, and have the relevant professional indemnity insurance.
  • They must also be a member of organisations like RPSA, RICS, CIOB, or ICWCI.
  • Inspectors use a standard template pre-completion inspection checklist issued by the NHQB.

Benefits of a pre-completion inspection:

  1. Snags are fixed before you move in, ensuring a smoother transition to your new home.
  2. Serious issues are identified and addressed before completion, avoiding potential post-move-in disruptions.

However, pre-completion inspections come with limitations:

  • The inspector cannot deviate from the NHQB’s template.
  • Limited inspection tools like thermal cameras, moisture meters, and high-level cameras or drones are not allowed.
  • The time allowed on-site is restricted to 1-2 hours, which may not be sufficient for a thorough inspection.
  • The property may not be entirely finished or cleaned, which can hinder the inspection process.
  • Accompanying site managers may eat into the limited inspection time, reducing the thoroughness of the examination.
  • Defects may not always get fixed before you move in, defeating the purpose of the pre-completion survey.

Post-Completion Inspection:

A post-completion snagging survey typically takes place after you have completed the purchase of your home and received the keys. It is usually conducted a day or more after you’ve moved in, allowing for a more comprehensive inspection.

Main benefits of post-completion snagging surveys:

  1. These inspections are more comprehensive and not restricted by time.
  2. Professional inspection tools like thermal cameras, high-level photography, and moisture meters can be used.
  3. Findings can be discussed with you in person at the end of the inspection.

However, there are disadvantages to post-completion snagging inspections:

  • Scheduling the inspection alongside other tasks, such as moving or laying floors, can be challenging.
  • Remedial works may disrupt your life while living in the property.
  • Defects are not raised before you complete the purchase of your home, which may affect your peace of mind.

It’s essential to note that your builder is still obliged to fix defects raised within their 2-year defect liability period, regardless of whether they were identified before or after completion.


In conclusion, both pre-completion and post-completion snagging inspections have their advantages and limitations. Pre-completion inspections provide the builder with an opportunity to fix defects before you move in, but they come with time and property restrictions. Post-completion inspections offer more thoroughness but may result in remedial works while you own the property. Ultimately, the choice depends on your preferences, timing, and tolerance for potential disruptions. You can book your snagging survey via our website here

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