COVID BACKLOG

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

After Build have been managing new home after care for twenty years. As you might imagine, over that time we have acquired a great amount of knowledge and experience. We understand how the first two years of a new plot’s life and the experiences of the developer who built it, has evolved. And we can tell you with data-verified accuracy that the quickest way for a site to get into hot water is by the oversight or mismanagement of a snagging procedure.


When customers move into their homes, they will inevitably identify issues up front. The exceptional builds will have some – they always do. But any that have suffered during the build programme will have far more than is acceptable and we have been caught by new schemes where there are literally thousands of items outstanding in the first weeks. The management time alone to resolve these issues extends on for months.


To be clear, sites that accumulate a high number of jobs can happen to even the most experienced developers and often come about through unforeseeable circumstances. They are usually the result of insufficient contract language, high site staff rotation or new scheme type. Once the snags are all catalogued, there will be a steady and ongoing stream of defects incoming for the next two years of each plot’s life.


This year, proactive developers have been waylaid in their efforts to handle the natural daily churn of jobs that will be reported. The pandemic restrictions have meant that at different times, and different locations, it has not been possibly to respond to any jobs which have arisen on newly completed properties.


One of a developer’s biggest problems has been sporadic co-operation from contractors (and occupants). Of course, the reality is that as soon as government restrictions are lifted or personal circumstances improve, homeowners will expect their housebuilder to respond almost immediately.


It is always difficult to get on top of a snag list and this year has made it more challenging than ever. But this year, customers have by and large accepted the problems all companies have faced, and they are making exceptions. But this is about to change.

Because of the, so far, successful vaccination programme and the roadmap out of lockdown, the time when Covid will be a catch-all explanation for not returning to jobs, is nearly over. It is our belief that this year, more than others before, there will be backlogs of jobs waiting to upset developers and contractors alike throughout the summer. If you are aware of having a lot of jobs outstanding and you have no current strategy to work them down, then read on.


Dealing with a significant backlog takes a management strategy and a single point of contact between occupant, developer and contractor. We have seen enough to know the methods that have to be employed to consistently drive the outstanding number down while steadily churning the incoming day to day.


After Build are experienced in crisis management. As well as a daily focus on job reduction, we have methods we can employ straight away to collate the job information, communicate with your customers and rapidly reduce the job count to alleviate the pressure.


Our service can be up and running within a week or two and we can immediately take over all contact, giving you as much or as little involvement as you would like. Depending on the situation, we have an arsenal of approaches that will work for you. All you must do is give us a call.


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