Monthly Archives: May 2022



Do I need new build home insurance to get a mortgage?

New build home insurance to get a mortgage

If you’re planning to buy, or have just bought, a new build home – congratulations! The first thing you should consider, in order to protect your investment, is new build home insurance.

Often, the builder or developer will have taken this out on your behalf. However, it’s important to ask who the provider is, and you should ask to see proof of this.

Whilst it’s not always the case that you’ll need new build home insurance in order to get a mortgage, it’s highly likely. The vast majority of lenders will want to see proof of your new build structural warranty when you apply for a mortgage.

Since they’re investing in the property, they need to protect their funds. New build home insurance will provide cover against the risk of loss or devaluation due to damage or structural defects.

In the unlikely event that you find a lender who will agree to providing you with a mortgage loan without a new build structural warranty, you’ll probably run into some issues. For example, they’ll probably only lend you a smaller percentage of the property value, and your monthly repayments will almost certainly be higher.

Which properties require new build home insurance?

A new build is a brand-new property that has never been lived in. The term usually refers to homes that have been constructed within the past two years.

Often, new build properties are purchased ‘off-plan’. This means before building work is complete, and sometimes before it’s even begun.

You should check your mortgage provider’s definition of a new build property before you apply for a loan, as there may be some exclusions mentioned.

If your builder or developer hasn’t already got a policy in place, it’s a good idea to avoid applying for your new build structural warranty too early. This is especially the case if you’re buying off-plan. Your mortgage valuation will often have a time limit, and will depend upon building specifications, which you may not have if construction isn’t complete yet.

Why do I need new build home insurance?

New build home insurance is not a legal requirement, but as we’ve mentioned, you’ll struggle to get a mortgage without a policy in place. It will also cover you in the event of floods, fires, subsidence, or even a car crashing into your home. So, it’s definitely worth considering even if you don’t need a mortgage loan.

It’s important to ensure that your policy is in place from when you exchange contracts, not just when you move in.  

Speak to an expert today

Architects Certificate provide 10-year new build structural warranties, meaning you can enjoy peace of mind when using your new property.

If you have any questions about our new build home insurance, get in touch. You can take out a policy with us as a builder, developer, or new homeowner.

Either give us a call on 0161 928 8804 or send us a message with your enquiry and we’ll get back to you shortly.


Published Date: 23rd May 2022
Category: New Home Warranty Insurance



What does self build insurance cover?

What does self build insurance cover

Whether you’ve just purchased a new plot of land ready to build a new home, or you’ve already begun to lay the foundations, self build insurance is one of the most important things to consider.

In fact, this type of insurance can even be required by law, so you must ensure you have it in place before you proceed with your building work.

What’s the difference between standard and self build structural warranties?

A self build structural warranty is different to a standard structural warranty. Whilst it follows the same period of defects insurance (2 years) and the same period of consecutive structural insurance (8 years), it requires different inspections. It’s particularly important to ensure that you have self-build insurance as opposed to a structural warranty if you’re not a professional builder or designer and you’re planning to do some of the work yourself.

What does a self-build structural warranty cover?

Self build insurance is a specialist product that will protect you and the property you’re constructing during the building process. It covers you against the risk of injury or damage whilst building the property, and also against structural defects that are found in the future.

You can take out a policy as a builder, developer or even a future homeowner, and the policy is transferable to any future owners of the property.

If you’re planning to own and live in the home that’s being constructed, then taking out legal protection against defective workmanship or design is vital. The self build insurance policy will not only cover your home for 10-12 years after completion, but will also protect you if the building contractors become insolvent before the construction work is complete.

If any structural problems become apparent in the first two years following completion of the build, your builders will be held responsible and legally obligated to rectify any issues at their own expense (or under their own self-build insurance policy).

Additionally, if there are any issues with your property after the first two years, but within the term of the self-build insurance cover (either 10 or 12 years), the builders won’t have to perform the repairs themselves, but your policy can pay for the work to be done.

Where can I buy a self build insurance policy?

Architects Certificate can provide you with self build insurance cover that will safeguard your build, with a qualified surveyor keeping an expert eye on proceedings. Their routine inspections will ensure your build is progressing safely, without any structural errors that could cause problems further down the line.

To find out more information about self build insurance cover, or to get a quote for a policy, get in touch with our knowledgeable team. You can either give us a call on 0161 928 8804 or send us a message using our online contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.


Published Date: 20th May 2022
Category: self build checklist



Does a new build home need a snagging survey?

new build snag checklist

Buying a new build home is exciting, but it’s important to be sure of what you’re getting before you commit to a sale. Nobody wants to move into their dream house just to discover endless problems with the building down the line. This is why it’s so important to thoroughly inspect the property before completion, giving you the opportunity to identify issues while there’s still time to fix them.

While it’s possible to do a DIY house survey, it’s easy to miss things or for developers to mislead you if you don’t know what you’re looking for. On the other hand, a structural warranty surveyor will have the experienced eye and equipment needed to analyse every aspect properly on your behalf.

Once the keys have been handed over and the home is officially yours, it can be difficult to get the seller or builder to take responsibility for fixing defects without this type of new build insurance. Here we run through the ways that new build surveys can help you, including a snag list template.

What is a snag list or snagging list?

A ‘snag’ is a slang term for a construction defect, with ‘snagging’ commonly used to refer to the process of identifying and correcting these defects. Snags tend to be the result of substandard workmanship and materials. They can be purely cosmetic, such as cracked tiles or messy paint, or more serious functional issues like faulty fittings – from windows and doors to wiring and plumbing.

The idea of a ‘snag list’ or ‘snagging list’ is to compile an inventory of existing or potential problems with a property at the time of the inspection. You can then present this information to the seller or builder, with the caveat that you cannot finalise the sale until they remedy all the issues on the list.

Of course, all new build homes undergo official checks for planning permissions before construction begins and building regulation compliance before receiving a certificate of completion. However, this doesn’t always guarantee that your new home will have the quality you expect, as these inspections might overlook comparatively minor issues, while a dedicated snag list should pick up on everything.

Who needs a professional property survey?

A snagging survey isn’t always necessary when buying a property. For example, when purchasing an older second-hand property a homebuyers’ survey would be more suitable. As this type of list is used to negotiate with the developer for further work, it’s most applicable for new build homes.

Completing a snagging list isn’t compulsory, but it’s useful when buying a new build off-plan or through the government’s Help to Buy scheme for first-time buyers. It can ensure that your finished property satisfies your expectations, rather than having to live with ongoing issues after moving in while the developer gives you the run-around – which they might try if you don’t have a warranty.

The developer isn’t obligated to provide a snagging survey for you, and they aren’t likely to offer, as many large developments are more concerned with quantity and speed than quality and attention to detail. Unless you have in-depth knowledge of construction yourself, you’re more likely to focus on superficial flaws during a DIY survey, and may not recognise the signs of more severe defects.

In these situations, it’s best to pass the responsibility to a qualified expert, who you can trust to carry out comprehensive inspections and push for resolutions to problems on your behalf. If you have a new build structural warranty in place, a surveyor should perform multiple inspections from the start of construction to right before completion, reducing the risk of undetected latent defects.

When should you get a snagging survey?

While professional inspections can take place at any point in the construction process, it’s best to do a dedicated snagging survey as closely as possible to completion. You can do this either before or after completion, but it’s best to assess the property before all work is finished and contracts signed, as the developers should be able to go back and correct the list of snags ahead of you moving in.

When you have a builder’s warranty or structural warranty that comes with the property, these policies usually give you 2 years from the property completion date to report more snags to the builder. After you move in, it’s important to document any defects you find with both written and photographic evidence from day one, so the builder can’t argue that you’re at fault for the damage.

A new build latent defects insurance policy, which is a type of 10-year structural warranty, can be an invaluable safety net if anything is missed off the snagging list. Not all defects are immediately noticeable, and some can take years to develop, long after the initial 2-year period expires. This is where the remaining 8 years of cover come in, easing the financial stress of repairing latent snags.

New build snag checklist: what to look out for

There are so many components in the construction of a house, but it’s necessary to check that every element has been implemented properly. Here’s a quick overview of what you should be inspecting:

  • Walls and ceilings – is plasterwork smooth and even, with neat finishing around sockets and pipes?
  • External brickwork – is it consistent in colour and placement, and free of chips and excess mortar?
  • Windows – is all glazing free of cracks, opening and closing properly with intact weather seals?
  • Doors – do all doors fit correctly within their frames, with working handles, hinges, locks, and bolts?
  • Floors – are all floors level and secured, with draught insulation and neatly finished skirting boards?
  • Staircases – do all stairs have level and stable treads, with secured balustrades and handrails?
  • Plumbing – do all taps, toilets, showers, washing machines etc work with a satisfactory water flow?
  • Heating – are boilers and radiators fitted safely, insulated appropriately, and working without leaks?
  • Electrics – are electrical outlets, fuse boxes, smoke alarms, and phone lines installed correctly?
  • Lighting – is there adequate lighting in all rooms, with uniformly fitted switches that all work?
  • Appliances – are any supplied appliances fitted and connected properly, with instruction manuals?
  • Fixtures and fittings – are sockets, faucets, kitchen units, curtains, carpets etc in good condition?
  • Paintwork – is every painted surface primed and finished evenly, with no splashes or exposed areas?
  • Pipework – are drains, downpipes, and gutters connected securely without leaks or blockages?
  • Roofs – is the roof sealed, insulated, and ventilated with secure flashing and no damaged tiles?
  • Gardens – if there is a garden, is the area free of construction debris and adequately landscaped?
  • Drives and pathways – are driveways and paths laid evenly with suitable gradients and materials?
  • Fences and gates – are the property boundaries completed with secure walls, fences, or gates?

Of course, this list is not exhaustive – and without prior experience in this area, you may not know what correct fittings should look like, or when a defect is minor and superficial or something serious.

How a structural warranty can help with snagging

As we’ve mentioned throughout, the easiest way to protect your financial investment in your new build house is to secure a structural warranty as early as possible. When you take out such a policy with a specialist provider like Architects Certificate, the key stage inspections can negate the need to carry out a separate snagging survey. Any problems will already be flagged in the regular reports.

Of course, you have the option of hiring a dedicated snagging surveyor, but this generates another bill, while you could take advantage of the reports included in the warranty you’re already paying for if you really wanted to create a new build snagging list. Additionally, you’d have to negotiate with the developer about snags yourself, whereas structural warranty claims give you some reassurance.

Do you think you could benefit from a new build structural warranty to help protect you against snags? Fill out our quick quote form online to receive your no-obligation quotation today, or contact our team with any enquiries by emailing or calling 0161 928 8804.


Published Date: 11th May 2022
Category: building warranty, Home warranty, structural warranty



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