Why the concept of a 'snag list' is flawed
I was even asked to participate to TV3's exposé on dodgy builders - but I don't think I'm an exception: my experience *is the rule*, my blog just documents it well.
Giving your customer the opportunity to fix any last details to ensure a perfect job is honourable and a great business practice.
However, in Ireland, this is often used as an excuse to perform a sloppy job throughout the project, with the mentality that 'I'll fix it at the end... *IF* the customer notices'.
Most people who hire a professional are not familiar with the various steps involved in a job and the builder often feels like the goal is that the final product looks nice, and not that all the steps to get there were performed with attention to detail and the highest standards.
I've encountered this behaviour many times during my house renovation:
- When we first decided to build a second bathroom and level the ground floor
- When we renovated both bathrooms
- When we rewired the house
What surprises me most is the lack of business sense from the tradesmen and the lack knowledge of what good quality work and service means. From the simple act of promptly answering your questions, to avoiding flooding your house.
Sometimes I truly wonder if this is an aspect ingrained in the Irish housing culture or is that my standard of 'good quality' is different from the Irish one, since I come from a different country?
Or is it that contractors have gotten so used to dictate their own rules, from shoddy jobs to absurd prices, that now everyone believes that is the standard?
I recently interviewed a friend who bought a duplex in a new development ... they hired an architect to do their snag list. He had to do it 3 TIMES. There was always something that was not finished or even NEW defects that the builders created while their were fixing the existing ones.
We're are talking about a property paid €350K+ that has chipped door frames, broken tiles, pipes installed incorrectly, patches on the walls and missing door keys... by comparison, the house we renovated personally has less issues!
At least she can take "consolation" that every house in that new development has unresolved issues!
But you know what's the rub? You can't complain anywhere, you are completely impotent.
You cannot call out the builders on a public forum (reviews, a private blog, a tv show etc.) because they know where you live and a brick through a window is more expensive to fix than patches on the walls.
Or even if you could leave anonymous reviews - services like Tradesmen.ie publish them only AFTER the builder has RATED YOU!! How ridiculous is that? It's like leaving a review for a restaurant that will be published only after the staff have reviewed what type of customer you were!
I think the system itself is broken - there are too many entitled, unprofessional and unchecked builders and the consumers have to take the brunt and costs of their shoddy work.