Guide to engineered snagging inspection


Snagging is a vital part of every home buying process before taking physical possession of your new property. It allows you to get an in-depth look at the built condition of the property you just purchased before making any final payment and taking the handover. 

You might assume that a pre-handover inspection or snagging is not necessary. After all, it is supposedly brand new. No one else has ever lived there, and no time has passed for anything to break or go wrong. Always remember that a building is made by hand. It will never be perfect and involves many processes and wet trades.

With a seasoned and professional licensed home inspector, you may be able to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and stress when you finally moved-in.

Below is a just a general guide to property Snagging Inspection:


Snagging Is the process of checking or inspecting a new property for faults (snags) prior to key handing over and translating all observed defects into an official report (snag list) that will be forwarded to the developer for necessary remedial action

Snags are normally just minor defects or imperfections that remains in your property after the building work has been completed. It is typically something that is damaged or broken; not fitted properly or finishing quality that is not to standard. Mostly cosmetic, however more serious issues can arise such as major cracks, water leakage in the plumbing system, or faulty mechanical and/or electrical system.

Snag List is the summary report that contains all the list of defects or deficiencies observed during the snagging inspection. The purpose of a snag list is to note down clearly the defects in your property for the building contractor to fix


Upon receiving a Completion Notice from your developer, at this stage Your developer will give you an appointment to carry out the snagging before you collect the keys. Be mindful that your developer will only allow you to inspect your property within a limited period. It is a good idea to carry out your property inspection and snagging report prior to signing any Handover paperwork as getting any repairs or amendments made after this will be difficult and may involve a lot of follow up calls and emails.

Take note that if you fail to inspect your property within the allotted timeframe given by your developer, this might result to you waiving your rights to inspect the property and thus will be considered that you have accepted the property in as it is condition.


You can do the snagging and write the snag list yourself during your visit to the property, or alternatively you can use a licensed professional snagging company to do this for you.

Snagging are one of those jobs best left to professionals. An experience or seasoned inspector will know what and where to look for during the snagging inspection. Most professional inspector also will be equipped with instrument and tools that will allow them to conduct a more comprehensive and thorough inspection 

Professional Snagging inspectors are likely to be able to identify snags and spot any defects which you may not see. Especially if the you do not have any construction experience. The inspectors will be able to identify items quickly, as they know where to look. They will also have knowledge of building acceptable tolerances and standards, (which you would not necessarily be aware of).


Aside from the noticeable cosmetic issues or poor-quality finishing works, a Professional inspector usually focus on safety hazard issues or any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects on someone or something. This includes but not limited to identifying faulty electrical wiring or unsafe electrical installation, damaged glass and/or tiles, structural defects, overheating items, unsafe railings (loosely fitted or height not to standard), uncomfortably loud noises from machines and equipment’s, unhealthy indoor air quality (high carbon dioxide and high carbon monoxide level in the air), sign of dampness that could lead to molds infestations. 

Professional inspector will also know how to look for issues of non-conformity or non-compliance to local codes and standards. 


Most developers will allow only one hour for the snagging inspection. This is based on the presumption that the property has been adequately inspected by the developer prior to the handover, so there should be only minor issues. Although expectations are not always the reality in most cases. But in any case, snagging should not be rushed.

Realistically, the duration of snagging depends on the quality of the property being inspected and the number of rooms and areas in the property. The pre-handover snagging inspection can take anywhere from 2 – 5 hours depending on the size of the property being inspected. 

As a general rule of thumb, to conduct a proper and thorough inspection, an inspector will need at least 1 hour per bedroom (e.g., a 2-bedroom property will require at least 2 hours to inspect). Anything less could result to just a shallow inspection with many issues being missed. 


A snag list would be produced by your inspector. Most developers will allow 2-4 days for the snag list report to be submitted to them. 

The Snag list usually contains the snag descriptions and photographs of the issues. The reports are also written in a construction format and using recognized building terminology, in order to make it easier for the contractor to work from the list and rectify the items. 

The report can be used to start a dialogue with the builder to determine the work plan and which items will be rectified. There may be some items which cannot be fixed to your satisfaction, or further improvement works may make a situation worse. You can agree on the action of each item and you may agree to live with of the snags if they fall into this second category.


Due to the cosmetic nature of most snagging items, they will not be covered by a warranty, once you move in. (if they haven’t already been noted on the snagging list). This is because it will be difficult to establish who caused the damage or issue, and if they were present in the property prior to handover.

However, if there is a building defect present, a latent defect is found, or at a later date, a faulty system or service. These items will be covered by your building warranty and guarantees. It is the responsibility of your builder to rectify these, unless you have intervened and modified any of the works in any way.

As a home owner, in most cases, you will be provided with a 1-year Defect and Liability Period (DLP). This may vary according to your developer. Some developers offer 2 years on the MEP and 1 year on the architectural and civil works. (Please check with your individual builder policies).

There is also Decennial liability in the UAE (Articles 880 – 883 of the UAE Civil Code) whereby the developer and their team are responsible for the building for a 10-year period. This is following completion. This is in case the actual building structure suffers from a defect, which threatens the stability and safety of the building in the future.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is general guidance only. It is advisable to contact your developer to discuss their individual policies and procedures for your specific development, as these may vary. 

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