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Can a builder make you use their snagger?

Quick one, no. You are entitled to have anyone you want snag your property.

We have unfortunately encountered this a number of times over the last year. Various reasons are given, but the builder will suggest that they use their own snaggers and the buyer can not hire their own.

The builders/foreman in new developments can sometimes overstep their mark. Don't be afraid to let them know who the customer is.
A difficult builder can make for a stressful last few months of your new build

To put it mildly, this is absolutely nonsense and an absolute overreach from the builder. If you are paying hundreds of thousands of euro for a property, you are absolutely entitled to have your own, independent person conduct a snag and produce a list of defects for the builder to fix before handover.

No matter what way the builder puts it, their own snagger is working on their behalf, not yours and so is not as likely as your own snagger to report all issues.

We most recently seen this first hand ourselves in October 2023 when a customer spend a week arguing with a builder to allow them to have the property snagged independently. The builder said their own snagger had already inspected the property and was "happy with the finish". During our inspection, we found over 50 snags. Most of which were minor but there were 2 snags we would consider serious.

In this case, the buyer was spending €450k on the property. If they had of let the builder bully them on this, they would have received the property with over 50 defects, 2 which could have led to more serious issues.

The builders can insist that the person you chooses carries Insurance before allowing them on site, but any reputable company carries PI Insurance, so that should not be a blocker.

Recently, we've also spoke with some customers who's builder has informed them they are only allowed to view the property ONCE when it is complete before hand over and can not go back to inspect after the snags are fixed. Again, absolutely nonsense. Just simply refuse to accept handover until you have viewed the property as many times as you need to ensure it is finished to the standard you expect and is contracted.

Of course, like every part of the process, the large majority of builders are absolutely excellent to deal with and utter professional. With some developers we've also noticed an increase in quality of the last few years too. However, there are always a few bad eggs that ruin it for everyone. If you do encounter a difficult builder, don't be afraid to lean on your solicitor and surveyor/snagger for advice about what you can and can not do.


At our snag lists costs just €369 including vat and are conducted by experienced Building Surveyors, Engineers or Architectural Technologists. We can usually snag any property in around 1 week, but it's best to give as much notice as possible.


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