building valuations



It may look like a traditional house

construction but secretly it may be



Independent surveyors

If you either own a Non-Traditional House or are thinking of buying a Non-Traditional House please call us on 0800 298 5424. We are independent surveyors who provide independent help and advice with regard to building surveys, valuations, property surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, defects surveys and structural surveys matters. We have carried out surveys on many different types of non-traditional construction.


Non-traditional housing, what is it?

We have recently had a phone call asking what non-traditional housing is, as it had been referred to in a valuation that they had had carried out on their property and the lender had decided not to lend on the property because of this.


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Non traditional housing

But the house looks the same as all other houses

Yet interestingly from what could be seen the property was in good order and they knew the person who had lived in it for the past thirty years, with no problems whatsoever. They went and had a look at the property again and it still looked to them like a traditional house and to be in good order. What was more they liked it and it had a big garden too and they were mystified why they couldn't get a mortgage on it.


Can I get a mortgage on a Non-Traditional house?

Companies interested in lending in this market vary depending on many factors. What is also true is that lenders do vary their lending policies and they may be lending on it one minute and then not lending on it the next.


Other surveying articles that may be of interest

We have gathered together a few other articles that also look at non traditional houses which we hope will be of use to you. We suggest that once you have read this article you look at these:

The History of Non Traditional Buildings

Non-Traditional and Traditional Properties - what are they?


Non-traditional houses becoming traditional houses?

We have seen during our surveys over the years there has been a need to convert non-traditional housing into traditional housing. It could be argued that the right to buy Council Housing stock made this an important factor, as it is those people who required a mortgage that required the amendments, as in many cases there was nothing physically wrong with the properties.

Also, large companies holding a large amount of housing stock, such as Council Housing and Housing Associations requiring the housing to be brought up to more modern standards for thermal efficiency, etc, have utilised innovative ways of upgrading (although we are not sure whether that's the right term). Their housing techniques normally involve a cladding system to improve thermal efficiency, along with the check on the structural elements. We have surveyed some of them where they practically re-build the original buildings, which ironically can be very difficult. Whilst we don't know the exact figures we imagine it would be almost as costly as building the property from scratch.

Is it or isn't it a non-traditional house?

With the purchasing of these houses over the years and the need to get a mortgage there have been many ingenious ways of making these houses mortgageable as per the following photographs of houses where we have carried out surveys; these are the ones that have been spotted by mortgage company Valuers:


Modified non-traditional house

Brick clad modified non traditional house

Brick cladding and other alterations make a non traditional house mortgageable

A mortgage company surveyor may miss a non-traditional house construction

We have now been called in several times to do a Building Surveyor 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. We have come across the issue, if it looks traditional construction even though it is constructed in a non-traditional way it may be counted as traditional construction! This tends to be the case where a Valuer has failed to notice the construction type and when we come to carry out a building survey we then identify it. Unfortunately this then means that whoever is purchasing has a very limited mortgage market available to them.


Features to look out for in non-traditional houses

We thought we would give you some tips on the sort of things to look out for:



Asbestos was a very popular material (yes really) when non-traditional houses were being built.


Asbestos original chimney non traditional house

New chimney on a non-traditional house


Soil and vent pipe

Original asbestos soil and vent pipe on a non-traditional house

New plastic soil and vent pipe on a non-traditional house


Roof Construction

It is important to get in the roof and have a close look or for you to employ a chartered building surveyor that will get in the roof and have a close look (Valuers no longer need to view roofs when carrying out valuations did you know that?). The below photos are what our surveyor saw on a recent survey:

Rusting to a lightweight metal frame or damage or deterioration to the metal frame of a non-traditional house

Some fixings replacements/repairs to a non-traditional house


Independent surveyors

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.


We can email you examples of our structural surveys

If you are interested in having a Structural Survey we can email you examples of our structural surveys please call us for a friendly chat on free phone 0800 298 5424.

We would also be happy to email you some examples of our tailor made reports, Schedules of Condition, Structural Surveys and Property Reports. We have carried out surveys on many different types of no


Commercial Property

In addition 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 and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site , 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 on 0800 298 5424 for independent surveying advice.


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