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Hi, new to the forum & I am looking for information regarding a steel framed bungalow in Tutshill in forest-of-dean.
My wife and I are looking to downsize & are rather taken with this property because it ticks all of the boxes for us but as we don't really know that much about steel framed bungalows.
We were hoping that someone could shed some light on them for us. The property was built in 1963 it is semi detached & appears to be in great shape although in need of updating, we have been to the property for a viewing & have looked in the loft space which seems all ok. I have been intouch with the forest-of-dean council but they were unable to offer any information about the property,
I would be interested if anyone could offer any information or point me in the right direction.
Hello Andy and welcome to the forum.
Apologies but it appears that you posted your question just before the site went offline for a week due to a major overhaul and update.
I'm not too familiar with the Forest of Dean area but I am aware that it's a stunning location and a great place to live. As you haven't provided me with the postcode or Street name it's difficult to know exactly what your looking at.
Steel framed bungalows were built and designed in many different forms, and by different companies who each gave their design a build name. A little like cars today being named the Ford -Fiesta or the BMW - 3 series etc.
Some bungalows were built as temporary housing even though many still stand today, whilst others were built as permanent homes. This is why identifying the exact property is important, so as to determine the mnufacturer of your particular structure and to establish how the model has performed and if there are any inherent defects associated with it.
I've searched through a number of sales particulars for 2 bed bungalows in the area and seen a few listings that give me some idea of what your property may be.
If the exterior of the property is brick, and I'm assuming it is from what I've seen, then there is a good chance that the property may be a Trusteel bungalow.
Trusteel bungalows were constructed in a wide variety of shapes and styles, so few appear exactly the same. Below are just a few examples.
The Trusteel Bungalow was built as permanent dwelling and the company built over 37,000 different forms of Trusteel houses and bungalows across the country. It was, and still is, a very successful design that has generally stood the test of time well.
In the most basic terms, traditional brick walls were built around a steel frame, giving the appearance of a traditional brick built building. There can sometimes be issues with corrosion to the lower stanchion bases, (Upright supports of the frame) but even if this were so, being bungalow, any affected areas can be repaired or replaced if required.
Trusteel properties in general perform well but I would always recommend undertaking a full structural survey for peace of mind. An invasive survey is preferred, however they are not frequently undertaken as sellers are not usually happy regarding the removal of exterior brickwork in order to gain access to the underlying frame for inspection, however a good surveyor will advise if this is required or not.
If you are planning to obtain a mortgage on the property, then be sure to approach a lender who accepts non-traditional constructed properties, as not all do. Santander and Nationwide have good reputations in this area.
Lastly, if you want to be really sure of the construction type, you could try contacting Two Rivers Housing ssociation as they took over the Councils housing stock when it was transferred. They may be able to provide some some confirmation of the exact construction, but only if they still own properties in that street.
I hope this helps.
Thanks for your reply & the information it is most helpful, it would appear that my timing was a bit off regarding the revamping of the site, as to the bungalow in question it is in a road called wyebank avenue, NP16 7EJ & by the look of it & your description I think you are on the money as it is a steel frame bungalow faced with brickwork, on initially seeing the property you would think that it is of a standard construction because there is no real indication of its metal framework unless you go into the loft space, I have been into the loft space & from what I can see there appears to be no issues with the steel & still has a good coating of what seems to be a red oxide paint but there is no way to check the stanchions at the base other than an invasive inspection from my point at least & also because of the brick face it would appear that there are less giveaway signs that there could be an issue with the lower stanchions, if we get to the point of commissioning a survey I will see if it is possible for an invasive inspection.
When my wife and I sell our house in Frenchy Bristol we would be cash buyers so a mortgage wouldn't be necessary, I think my next step will be contacting the Two rivers housing association to see if i can glean anymore information about the property from them, I have spoken with a couple of the neighbours who have confirmed they were built in 1963 & one said he would email me some information but I haven't received anything yet.
Once again thank you for your reply & the information provided it has certainly pointed me in the right direction & given me something to work with.
You're very welcome Andy.
One good point is that all steel framed stanchion legs can be repaired if they found to be in a badly corroded state. Now I know that when looking for a new property, the last thing you really want to be concerned about is corrosion.
Fortunately, if it was ever detected, the process of repair is quite straightforward. Surface bricks would be removed to gain access, the damaged section would be removed and replaced with a new section of supporting steel.
I've added several image below for your reference.
An alternative route for inspection, could be using a borescope. It's a tiny camera on a lead that can be inserted into the cavity to view the stanchion. There are professionals that use them and some homeowners buy simple cheap versions from the internet that work surprisingly well. However, the skill is getting into to the cavity at exactly the right point and even then, the camera may not be able to get through any debris or rubble which may be present near to the stanchion base.
It should also be noted that the 1960's trusteel 3M version, was built with an improved, thicker frame than the earlier MKII which incorporated an open lattice type frame, as shown below.
Finally, I've taken the liberty to send you a report on the house version of the bungalow that you are considering.
It should provide you with a more indepth, technical review of this property type.
I hope this helps and please let us know how you get on whatever you choose to do.
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