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how certain can one be about the condition of the steel frame to the house we may potentialy buy?

Also what type of steel construction would it be?

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Hi, the only way you will really know about the true condition of the steel frame is by undertaking an invasive structural survey.
That’s if you want to be 100% certain.

A basic homebuyers survey in my view is simply not indepth enough and you have little or no recourse if future structural defects are found.

If the seller will not permit an invasive survey, then at the very least you should undertake a full structural survey as certain visual clues can sometimes indicate the presence of possible underlying issues which should be spotted by a competant surveyor who is familiar with BISF properties.
Sadly however, many surveyors have never stepped foot inside a BISF house before and often give incorrect or misleading advice.

I’m not trying to put you off here as pretty much any fault with a BISF house can be corrected and if the right builders are chosen, at a cost that is considerably less than structural issues found on a brick house.

The surveyor issue however still remains and even if you insist beforehand that you want a surveyor who is familiar with BISF construction, all too often they will send a surveyor who is not.
My advice is to put your survey request in writing and insist that the surveyor has previous experience as it’s your money that is paying for this service and it may save you from problems in trying to correct a poorly advised report.

I say this because in the past, we have heard of many instances where the BISF property has been classed as a totally different build type or even referring the property as defective under the housing act. ( some non-standard properties are classed as defective but the BISF house is not one of them).

As for the type, the BISF house is simply classed as a steel framed, system built house. It is not a prefab but some of the components that were used during construction, were manufactured off site. This however, contrary to a once popular belief, does not mean the house is a prefabricated property per se.

I hope this helps and good luck with your purchase.

Marc

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