I am currently selling my mothers property after she passed away last year. We received an offer in November, however just before Christmas the buyers had a surveyor from Natwest and subsequently the mortgage has not been approved. This is because the surveyor stated that the build was PRC... however I don't believe this is the case as the original structure was steel framed and cladded.
The property underwent renovations (re-cladding external walls, replacement roof, doors and windows and electrical rewire) in 2011 through Lincoln County Council which my mother received a grant for.
I cannot find anywhere information relating to the original construction so that I can prove what type of build it is and I feel like I am just banging my head against the wall.
The buyers have got cold feet about the offer today and withdrawn - however there mortgage broker is confident that Halifax would lend, I have offered to pay the £200 for this surveyor to attend but have not heard back from the buyers.
How can I find out if my property is a BSIF and who built it?
From the research I have done, it looks to me like the property is likely to be A W Hawksley Ltd - Bristol Aeroplane build.
If there is an email address, I can send elevation plans and drawings that I found in my mums paperwork relating to what construction was there and what work was completed.
Any advice so I can either save this sale or make sure we can support potential future buyers would be gratefully received.
I had a good look at the property on Google Street view and initially confirmed that your property is not of BISF (British Iron & Steel Federation) or PRC (Precast Concrete) construction.
I then researched my Council housing stock records for your area which confirmed 100% that the property was originally built as a Hawksley BL8 Aluminium Bungalow.
You may have already viewed our page relating to the Hawksley BL8 Aluminium Bungalow HERE but in your case, the answer isn't really as straightforward as this.
The Hawksley BL8 was built as a permanent post-war bungalow that was primarily constructed from Aluminium due to the severe shortage of traditional building materials and skilled labour following hostilities with Germany.
If the property was still in it's original 'as built' condition, it would certainly be classified as being of Non-Traditional or Non-Standard construction. Mortgages for most types of Non-Traditional property are readily available but only from certain providers. Some property types are favoured more than others, but all lenders and many buyers appear extremely cautious when the property is suspected of being of PRC construction, in part due to an issue broadly referred to as concrete cancer, which can and has unfortunately occurred in some named construction types.
Now that we know your construction type is and more importantly, what it is not, you may expect that to be a sufficient answer, however in your case, this is not so.
According to the planning documents provided, your property appears to have been virtually rebuilt from the ground up in 2008. New footings and a brick and block cavity wall was build around the property and the roof was raised and re-tiled with concrete roof tiles. Essentially, the house has been reconstructed using traditional building methods. However, upon examining the submitted plans they do not provide sufficient detail to confirm if the original Aluminium frame of the building remains present or not. If it has been removed, (I suspect it has) or even if just the ground floor portion was removed during the rebuild and replaced with traditional brick, you would essentially now have a property of standard traditional construction BUT only if the adjoining property has also undergone the same level of reconstruction and frame removal. If only one half of a semi-detached pair of a Non-Traditional dwellings is rebuilt in traditional brick but adjoining property is not, then both properties will still be classified as Non-Traditional Constructions.
The Aluminium frame of the Hawksley bungalow was not a standard rigid frame around which the property was built, as in the case of a Trusteel or BISF House, rather it was built into the structure of the property to provide extra support and jointing capabilities for the exterior alumium profile sheets. Therefore I strongly suspect that as the original profiled sheeting and ground floor framing has been removed.
I hope that doesn't sound too confusing Natasha, but basically, if both properties have been refurbished to the same level and the majority of the original lower steel frame has been removed and been replaced and supported by brick cavity walls, you may no longer be selling a property of Non-Traditional construction, because the house appears to have been effectively re-built as a traditional brick built dwelling and if this is confirmed, it should be marketed as such.
Ideally, you should contact a good structural engineer who is familiar with Non-Traditional properties as they would be far better suited to guide you further and to confirm if this is the case. I do know of one or two who may be willing to travel from the London area but you may already know of one locally to you.
Sadly, the original body which funded the refurbishment and submitted the plans to planning, went into liquidation recently, therefore I have no idea who the original contractor was who undertook the work. It would be advantageous if you could quiz the neighbours to see if anyone recalls the name of the main contactor as they would almost certainly be able to confirm if the original frame was removed or not. I also suspect that the majority of adjacent properties were also refurbished at a similar time, possibly by the same contractor due to the funding source for the original project despite slight design differences nearby.
If you do find that the steel frame was not removed, you will essentially have a fully refurbished Non-Traditional, steel framed Hawksley BL8 bungalow, with traditional brick built cavity walls and roof. This alone should ensure a much smoother transaction providing a suitable lender is chosen by the purchaser and more importantly, that the survey is carried out by a qualified surveyor who has significant experience with Hawksley bungalows because all too often, we find that many surveyors simply don't have a clue when surveying unfamiliar non trad properties. This in turn leads to the submission of poor assumptions and incorrect information on the buyers survey, which may have occurred in your case.
I hope I have been of some assistance to you and I expect that there is a lot here to take in. I have withheld some information to protect your privacy so should you wish to discuss the matter further, please forward your contact number via e-mail and I'll be happy to assist.
I had a good chat to my sister tonight and she has said that all steel cladding was removed bar the window frames and the walls rebuilt from scratch!
Absolute revelation! I wasn’t in around at the time the work was carried out but my sister was and said they replaced everything externally (the internal walls are still paper thin but obviously not steel/metal)
However I’m still obviously in a position where I need to prove this for it to now be marketed as standard... I’m just at a loss as to how I can do this?
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