When the original non-traditional housing was built there wasn't too much thought given to making it look externally like a traditional building. Therefore, some complained that they seem to have concrete finishes, be it painted concrete, which looks similar to render, or concrete planks, as in the Airey buildings. We would argue as these were easily identifiable and stood out they were more a target for mortgage lenders not lending on non-traditional construction that looks like traditional construction.
Modern timber frame houses – are they non-traditional construction?
It could be argued that the houses being built, in what is known as modern timber frame, are as far away from traditional construction as houses that have been classed as non-traditional construction which have, for example, been built out of concrete.
And this is where non-traditional construction gets really confusing
This is where non-traditional construction really is confusing as some non-traditional construction techniques look very similar to traditional construction techniques and can only be identified by the trained experienced eye (we are more than happy to chat about this, please free phone us on 0800 298 5424).
Can I get a mortgage on a non-traditional house?
Even more confusing is there are some non-traditional constructions that are accepted by the banks, building societies and mortgage lenders and others that are not, assuming that the bank valuation surveyor spots them. It is so important to know whether banks, building societies and mortgage lenders will lend on this type of construction if you are considering purchasing.
Modern timber frame construction that is non-traditional but will be lent on
Let us first of all explain what modern timber frame construction is. They are very much an engineered timber frame that is an absolute minimum of timber and maximum strength characteristics. The majority are factory made and factory assembled and are built in mass, rather than being a one-off design and they have an external cladding for protection, often brickwork, although in more recent years we have noticed in our surveys that render has been used, or cladding panels of timber and also plastic lookalike timber. Modern timber frame properties are also finished with a membrane to stop any dampness from the external walls getting through (we have seen in our surveys where it does happen it can distort or rot), as it can in a traditional timber frame property.
New Modern timber frame construction
The whole idea behind a modern timber frame construction is completely different to what we would term a traditional timber frame construction.
Traditional timber frame constructed houses were built from local materials at the time when wood was in plentiful supply however the modern timber frame property is a timber frame property that is then clad or hidden with brickwork or stonework or another form of cladding such as vertical tiling and looks very much like a traditional house. When we use the term traditional house here we mean traditional brick and tile house or brick and slate house or stone and tile or stone and slate house.
Economics of building modern timber frame houses
The whole construction is based around the economics of cheap construction and fast construction, and this type of construction is very much assembled, rather than built by tradesmen, the de-skilling being another element in the economics of the construction. However when all is said and done the mortgage companies, such as the banks and building societies do lend against it.
We have seen during our surveys other more recent innovations within the modern timber frame market, such as using composite wood products for floor joists and also for the flooring, together with an increased use of external cladding, as it is more economical and faster to put up than brickwork.
Types of non-traditional construction
The techniques utilised for non-traditional construction after the war years tended to use more robust materials and more innovation. They fall into three categories:-
A lot of Local Authority housing was built in this manner, and other National companies requiring housing, such as the Coal Board, and utilising mass production techniques lowered the cost of the housing. These types of houses also tended to use techniques that we hadn't used before in the housing market, although often we would use them in the commercial market.
Large panel construction
We couldn't think of a better title for this section, but we basically mean constructions that used innovation to look at building houses in a completely new way. An example is the Wimpey no fines concrete system, which is popular and, as far as we know, mortgage companies will lend upon. It utilises almost a moulding system using form work.
There is also pod construction, which is drilling pre-fabricated units, craned and positioned into place and then an outer protective shell put around them. Lots of this type of construction was originally carried out by local authorities, as they had the pressure on them to build a large number of houses, and more recently by commercial companies, which had the pressure on them to make profits or returns for their investors.
Whistle-stop tour of the non-traditional housing market
There are whole books dedicated to this area, so an article such as this can hardly present the subject of non-traditional housing in detail, but we hope this has given you a flavour and an interest for the subject.
You can ring up specifically for an example of your type of property but we have some examples where you can just click on the link below and they will take you straight to the property survey:
If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a chartered surveyor, or a chartered building surveyor and are particularly interested in carrying out work on a non traditional property or if you are buying a non traditional property please look at our survey examples.
We feel our surveys are quite unique, as they are written to your level of knowledge. The surveys include photos and sketches and definitions. The survey will also include an action required section and an estimate of costs in the executive summary. We are more than happy to meet you at the property whilst carrying out the survey to discuss any specific issues you may have or have a general chat about what we have found at the end of the survey. Please contact 0800 298 5424 for a chartered surveyor to give you a call back.
If you are looking for commercial property, whether it is freehold or leasehold, we would recommend a survey as this will prevent dilapidations claims in the long run. You may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site www.DisputesHelp.com , both of which we have been advised are very helpful!
We can talk and talk about property
We hope you found this article on Non-Traditional Housing of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have included is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
The content of the website is for general information and entertainment only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be taken before making such a decision Free phone 1stAssociated.co.uk on 0800 298 5424 for independent surveying advice.
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