The latest NHBC national new home customer satisfaction survey states that 95% of new home buyers had reported snags to their builds since moving in. Although often minor, snagging not only impacts customer satisfaction (and potentially your coveted 5-star builder status), but it is a drain on reputation and profitability.
Warwick Estates recently reported that in 2021 new homebuyers reported 1.6m snagging issues costing UK Housebuilders, and associated trades, over £1.0bn off the bottom line.
Pressures from shorter build times, a lack of skilled trades and overstretched project management teams exacerbate the problem.
Using products that are easy to install, from suppliers with high-quality standards, pre-delivery checks and performance guarantees can mitigate many snagging issues, protect your profits, improve your reputation and keep your customers happy.
There Are 5 Things To Look For When Checking The Quality of a Staircase:
1. Staircase Builder Site Survey
Does your staircase builder do a site survey?
Make sure a survey comes first. Without a survey, measurements may not be accurate. This leads to having to make adjustments on-site which costs time and money.
If you do a site survey and build the staircase accordingly, then you ensure the best chances for a first-time fit.
If your staircase builder is not doing a site survey, this indicates they are not committed to taking total responsibility for the design, including making sure it fits in the finished home.
2. Staircase Dry Assemble
Once the stairs are built, the stairs should be assembled in the factory first to make sure everything fits properly. This is called a dry assembly because no wood glue is used, so it can be easily taken apart again.
Once you have assembled it in the factory you can assess whether any adjustments need to be made. This may be necessary if something needed to be cut down further. This way no one needs to faff around trying to cut bits off on-site.
3. Stair Alignment
It is important to check that the alignment of the stairs is correct before installation, as an incorrect alignment can lead to discomfort and safety hazards.
Staircase builders should adhere to British standards and building regulations that regulate the height and depth of stairs. This ensures that stairs are comfortable to walk up and down. Comfort is dependent on the depth and height of each step. They must be ergonomically constructed (not too small and not too high).
Besides making the stairs more comfortable, it also minimises the risk of people tripping up or falling down them. Staircases can be one of the most beautiful, but also most dangerous features of a house. Proper stair alignment minimises risk.
4. Staircase Strength
Some staircase suppliers use thin wood to cut down on costs. But this increases the risk of bounce and flex. If a staircase has any movement then it begins to creak.
Wobbles and creaks don’t communicate quality. Avoid this to protect a profit on your development.
High-grade timber helps to avoid this. It is inherently more robust than cheaper alternatives. High-grade timber doesn’t mean more expensive, it does mean you need to find a staircase manufacturer who values quality products and craftsmanship.
Unfortunately, it is common to see builders “value-engineer” their staircases by using low-grade timber, which will wobble and creak when installed.
5. Staircase Delivery Check-list
Does your stair manufacturer use a delivery checklist?
Snagging issues can arise when a part is missing. And it may not be apparent that it is missing until it’s too late.
To avoid this, your staircase manufacturer should use delivery checklists, and check that all the parts are there both when loading for delivery, and upon delivery.
You should also insist that the bespoke stairs are delivered to the relevant development plots, and placed in the house where they are supposed to go, instead of having responsibility for this land on multiple parties. The staircase manufacturer should be responsible for the staircase from survey to delivery in the house.
Conclusion – Save £1,000’s Per Development
A bespoke staircase can add value to your home, so it is worth investing in quality control to make sure you get the best possible product. If you're not satisfied with the quality of your bespoke staircase, contact the manufacturer or supplier to have it rectified. At Multi-Turn, we make sure each of our staircases undergoes rigorous quality control checks to make sure every staircase is a success.
If you’ve read our previous posts, you’ll know that our site survey and factory dry assembly can save you big money. And keeping our deliveries in-house only adds to that saving pot. In fact, we estimate that this saves you, on average, £140 per staircase, which adds up to thousands of pounds on an average development.
To find out more about how we can help you maintain and enhance your profits, talk to one of our team on 01962 712299. Alternatively, send us your plans to firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation quote.