I have been told my home is steel framed. It was built in 1957, the style is Cornish. It has concrete columns with steel rods inside. Some houses in the area had the columns removed, an extra wall made of Thermalite blocks, and a new skin.

I understand that the Government grant to upgrade your home to put it in saleable condition, ceased In 2011; I wasn’t aware that a grant had still been available, or had now stopped. My question is, how much is it likely to cost me to have the same work carried out on my 3 bedroom property?

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Hi and welcome Larisa. If your house is a Cornish unit, it is not a steel framed house but a precast reinforced concrete (PRC) house. The two things are often confused, even by ‘professionals’ even though the only real similarity is what they’re not. Unfortunately as you may know a PRC house is classed as defective and unmortgageable unless repaired with an appropriate certificate. This is a very large job, I can’t give a price but we’re talking of a very extensive reconstruction. Basically the concrete panels that make up the downstairs walls are removed, akro props are put in to support the upstairs, the concrete columns are taken out and then new walls are built up to replace the old entirely.

Here’s a company that does it with some photos and a description. Cornish Unit repair Just my opinion but I think the way they’ve replaced the walls is rather old-fashioned and they could do a lot better in terms of insulation with blockwork covered in external wall insulation as this will retain heat a lot better than a traditional cavity wall.


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    Hello Larisa, just to add a little to Ed’s reply above, Valley Developments LTD which is the link that Ed has provided, will undertake the repair at a cost of around £26,000 (subject to survey) which includes certification. (however this cost will vary depending upon your property being a semi-detached house or bungalow unit).
    Although the cost may be significant, it should add considerable value to your property and of course allow the property to become mortgageable.
    Other than that there are no grants or subsidies currently available to repair these homes.

    I have also spoken to Neil Hadley from http://www.PRCBuilder.co.uk who I believe is aware of your request and he will respond to you shortly via e-mail. I’m sure you will find Neil to be very friendly and efficient and able to provide a more detailed response.

    I hope this helps and plese let us know how you get on.

    Best regards


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