Here in the UK, and especially in the South East, we have a vast range of properties and buildings. From modern, new-build flats and Victorian-era homes to non-standard construction houses, there are many different building types to consider in your search for a new property.
What is a non-standard construction property?
Typically, a non-standard construction property is a building that has been built from materials that aren’t considered ‘standard’. Standard is brick or stone walls, with a roof made from slate or tile. Therefore, a non-standard construction is anything different.
Initially, when you think of non-traditional construction, you may be imagining an episode of Grand Designs or something similar. But as a standard structure is so specific, there are more types of non-standard construction houses than you’d imagine. You will generally find non-traditional construction in areas where local materials have historically been used or are more readily available for building.
Non-standard buildings have often been built using outdated or old-fashioned construction processes. For example, during the 1950s & 1960s, many local authorities created various non-standard properties using materials such as concrete or steel frames or concrete panels. Additionally, you might find more non-traditional buildings in areas with a lot of post-war development, such as prefabricated houses in the UK built after the Second World War.
What are some of the types of non-standard construction houses? And what materials do they use?
At Robinson Elliott, our team are specialists in non standard construction properties. Here are some of the most common that we see in the South East:
- Thatched properties
- Flat roofed properties
- Listed buildings or older properties
- High-value homes or buildings with more than six bedrooms
- Homes in flood risk areas can offer complications and sometimes be considered non standard constructions.
- Unusual constructions can refer to building materials or the build type. For example, steel or timber framed properties can be considered unusual or non-standard and quite expensive to repair.
- Prefabricated houses were supposed to be a temporary solution for those who’d lost their homes during World War II. Still, around 1.5 million prefabricated houses in the UK require non-standard home insurance today.
As we said above, a non traditional construction is essentially a property built with any building materials that aren’t bricks and mortar, or stone for the property’s walls, and slate or tile for the roof. Below is a list of some of the most common non standard construction materials:
- Glass, concrete, wooden, flintstone or metal walls
- Prefabricated concrete
- Stramit construction
- Homes with steel, corrugated iron or wooden frames
- Any asbestos in the walls or roof
- Asphalt, concrete, steel, corrugated iron, or felt and timber roofs
- Glass, stramit, plastic or fibreglass roofs
What do you need to know when buying a non-traditional construction?
Although it seems more complicated or nuanced to buy a non-standard construction, there are plenty of reasons why people choose to purchase a non-traditional property. They might want to stand out from the norm, they might want to create a more eco-conscious home, or they might have dreams of renovating a castle to its former glory. It’s essential to be aware of the complications around buying a non-standard construction, for example, finance, insurance, warranties, and if you should ever sell the property.
When buying a non-traditional construction, it’s important to consider that you may want to sell the property in the future and how lenders may view the property. You’ll also probably need to secure a non-standard construction mortgage. In addition, you’ll need to be aware of additional costs in terms of your mortgage, insurance, and any labour costs for repairs. However, as we said, there are also local market considerations. If you’re buying a property where a type of non-traditional construction is considered normal for the area, you’ll be much more secure in terms of saleability, value, and costs.
What do you need to know when selling a non-standard construction home?
The primary consideration that you need to have when selling a non-standard home is how difficult it might be for potential buyers to secure a mortgage for the property. Depending on the building materials or construction process in building your property, it can be difficult or even impossible for lenders and buyers to understand the condition of the aspects of non-standard construction, for example, if it has concrete or steel elements.
However, in some instances, you may be able to get around the non-standard construction definition by replacing the non-standard aspect of the property. Of course, this is easier for some properties than others and won’t always be possible.
What survey do you require when buying a non-standard construction home?
At Robinson Elliott, if you’re considering buying a non-standard construction, we recommend hiring a specialist property surveyor to assess your potential new home. Many non-standard construction properties are made from materials that can come with structural elements to consider, so we would recommend a Level 3 House Survey.
Level 3 Home Surveys, also known as RICS Building Survey, include a thorough inspection of the property and provide you with a detailed report. Included will be all the information you need for planning repairs or upgrading the property and reporting on possible hidden defects and any risks to the building, grounds, and people at the property. Depending on the property, we may recommend that you also have a more in-depth structural survey to assess the building’s structural safety.
With extensive experience in all types of property, including non-standard construction homes, across the South East of England, a Home Survey from Robinson Elliott Chartered Surveyors can help you to ensure your property will be safe and in a good state of repair.
To find out more, get in touch with Robinson Elliott Chartered Surveyors today to discuss surveys for your property.
With extensive experience in all types of property and areas in the South East of England, we can help you to ensure your property will be safe and in a good state of repair for the long term.
To find out more get in touch with Robinson Elliott Chartered Surveyors today to discuss your concerns or requirements.