A Guide to Snagging in Construction
Those who have worked in the construction field for some time will have heard the word snagging and they will understand what it means even though it isn’t a contractual term and doesn’t have a true meaning. In fact, depending on who a person is working with, a snagging list can mean something different for each job.
Here are a few of the things that are commonly referred to as snagging lists in the construction industry:
- The pre-completion list of outstanding work that is compiled by the contract administrator. This list ensures that the contractor is aware of what work still needs to be completed before the practical completion can be certified.
- A list of minor items, often called de minimis, that still need to be finalized after the practical completion.
- The list of not so minor items that are identified as outstanding when the practical completion is being finalized. This list is included within the appendix of the practical completion when the certificate is given.
- A list of not very minor items that are still outstanding and were not identified until the practical completion certificate was given.
As everyone can see, a snag is always something that has been deemed defective, broken, or unfinished. Most snags are cosmetic, but they can be much worse and include defective workmanship that can cause problems in the near future.
These snagging lists are normally created towards the end of construction projects, as the areas need to be clear of tools and other materials. The builders should also completely clean the area, so that every inch can be easily seen, and damage can be identified. These areas should also be well-lit so that the damage is not missed due to poor lighting.
Every item that makes it to the snagging list should be carefully documented with meticulous details and all that information needs to be communicated with everyone involved. This communication should always be in writing, so that everyone has a copy and so no information is left out or forgotten. It is even recommended that photographs be taken, so that the evidence is documented visually as well.
The important information that should be included in the snagging list documentation is an item number, the person who is responsible for the snagged item, where the snagged item is located, the type of issue, the details of the problem, the date of the problem, and who is responsible for fixing the item. The status of the snagging items should also be listed, with one being outstanding and eight being completed.
While every contractor will go through the construction project and look for snagging items, it is recommended that the owner of the building does their own inspection. Of course, since owners do not know as much about the process, it is often recommended that they hire a snagging professional to do the inspection for them. These professionals can often find more snagging items, due to experience in the field, which ensures that owners do not miss any of the smaller details that they would need to pay to have repaired later.
Since snagging items can be listed within the appendix of the practical completion, it is not always necessary to have them fixed before the certificate is issued. However, most people prefer to have the snagging items fixed first, as it ensures that there are no lingering issues that can be overlooked and avoided by a contractor. It also ensures that the owner is happy with everything and there are no lingering issues that can come up at a later date.
Once the practical completion is certified, a few things take place. The first is that half of the retention is released and that is often five percent of the value of the entire contract. This amount should be stated in complete detail within the building contract. That retention amount should always be in place, as it ensures that all the work, especially the snagging items are completed in a timely manner.
The practical completion certification also ends the contractor’s liability for any liquidated damages. Any additional charges that clients face is no longer payable by the builder at this time.
The defects liability period begins when the practical completion is finalized as well, and this period lasts between three and twelve months. Any defects that are found during this time are the builder’s responsibility and should be repaired or replaced immediately.
To prevent any issues on any construction project, contractors and others within the professional may want to state what snagging means and what it will include within the contract. That will ensure that there is no confusion at any time by any of the parties and that the entire project is completed with everyone happy at the end.