Problems with Non-Traditional
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We can provide help and advice with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, independent valuations, property surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, home buyers reports or any other property matters . We have carried out surveys on many different types of non-traditional construction.
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What is non traditional construction
This is a system build which effectively means the building is built on a structural frame and clad. There are many different types of non traditional buildings such as:
1. Metal frame
2. Concrete frame
3. Timber frame
4. Concrete panel construction
5. Structural insulation panels
6. In situ concrete
Non traditional construction
Many non traditional construction houses were built after the Second World War to meet the needs and demands of the population at the time. This immediate need for a large number of houses meant that the Government had to look at how they constructed houses and moved towards more factory type processes. Indeed some of the factories that carried out the work, it is said, had been making aeroplanes and bombs for the War one week and then changed to building/manufacturing houses the next week; we don't know how true this is.
Other surveying articles that may be of interest
We have written many surveying articles which may be of interest to you:
Problems with non traditional construction houses
The Building Research Establishment often known as the BRE are generally considered to have carried out the best research on this type of construction and have identified the following problems:
1. Minor to severe corrosion of the rolled steel angle (RSA) and rolled steel channel (RSC) stanchions, particularly at the bases and the corners.
Is the Structural frame sound?
Mortgage companies won't lend on non-traditional houses
One of the interesting facts is that many mortgage companies won't lend on non traditional houses. A s the vast majority of people buy properties with mortgages it limits the market you can sell into. We would add further that their lending criteria changes from time to time which does mean they will lend on them some of the time and then not lend on them.
Non-traditional houses, can they be made into mortgageable houses?
Some companies do specialise in carrying out work to non-traditional houses to make them mortgageable. We have however found that where the neighbouring property does not join in with this work there will still be an adverse affect on the property and the property value.
It is important that the surveyor knows what they are looking at. We once had the privilege of teaching student surveyors and became very aware very quickly that they may well be looking at a problem but not seeing the problem. This too can be true of qualified surveyors who come in lots of different shapes and sizes, with lots of different knowledge levels and experience.
In particular we have been called in several times to do Building Surveys where the owners have not known that the type of construction is non-traditional construction even though they have had a mortgage company valuation. Unfortunately this is due to a lack of knowledge and experience with mortgage Valuers. After all, valuation experts are not building construction experts.
Don't be fooled by how the building looks
Over the years many non traditional houses have been altered, extended and amended with cladding, vertical tiling, render, etc so they do not necessarily look like a non traditional construction. Please be aware that even though they look like a traditional property they are still a non traditional construction and therefore may be unmortgageable.
Plastic cladding is another way of changing the look of non traditional properties.
Even a profile metal roof can look like a tiled roof
To the inexperienced eye a profile metal sheet roof can actually look like a tiled roof.
Asbestos was a common popular material which was used almost as commonly as wood. In non traditional construction houses it formed the roof material and it also generally formed such things as the fascias and soffits and the gutters and downpipes.
The sketches below show typical areas where asbestos can be found in non traditional properties.
We would add that we are not asbestos surveyors and t he only way to be certain all asbestos has been removed is to have an asbestos report carried out.
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