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How do I find out if the house I am wanting to purchase is bisf? The street name does not appear on the street index on this website. I know that it has a steel frame but not sure if it is bisf or dorlonco. Is there any way of getting this information without hiring a surveyor?

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Thank you Ed, I feel much more well informed. It is so nice to come across a helpful website like this one. Many people with this kinda knowledge are quick to tell you that they are not being paid to talk to you and don’t help!

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Hi Madeeha and Benitsy,

identifying system-built houses is often a lot simpler than you might imagine. The key to remember is most types were built as single ‘models’, of which all looked the same, or almost the same (before any later alterations).

When we were looking into buying this house the estate agent couldn’t tell us anything about it apart from it being steel-framed. I Googled “steel framed house” and immediately found lots of photos of houses that looked just like it (and this website!), and that was all there was to identifying it as BISF.

Even though I’m not familiar with Trusteel houses, I could tell straight away that house wasn’t BISF because it looked totally different from mine. For example it has a hipped roof when a BISF has a simple pitched roof ending in a gable. A BISF house has a large square living room window but that house has a smaller rectangular one. There are two windows upstairs in the side of the house; a BISF house typically only has one. The windows are right up against the eaves; in a BISF house there is some wall above the upstairs windows. In a BISF house the smaller upstairs window is the same width as and directly above the front door, in that house it’s smaller and not directly above.

Most of it is just looking at the shape of the house, the size, shape and positions of the windows. That can at least eliminate most of the possibilities.

BISF/Trusteel comparison

Ed

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Thank you for posting the image, it is very interesting to see the structure and thickness of the steel frame.

I was also wondering how you found out that the houses built in Bletchtley were Trusteel MKII build. Is there some kind of internet database that I can search in future?

Madeeha

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Madeeha
here is the Trusteel image.

This image may appear slightly shocking but remember many Trusteel houses are perfectly fine and not defective.

The images do give you a good view of the steel frame.

(Image courtesy of Midland Surveys).

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Hello Benitsy
I’ve taken a look at the street and I can see no BISF houses at this location. The street in question contains a large number of bungalows, a type of house that was never built by the British Iron & Steel Federation (BISF).

However many bungalows were indeed system built, meaning they were built using non-traditional building methods, some with steel frames, some using concrete or timber etc. Following a search of my database I have not been able to identify the construction type of these properties.

What information has the estate agent given you if any regarding the construction type and what year was the property built?

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Hello, I was reading this thread as I am looking at purchasing a steel framed bungalow. Could you tell me if the postcode TR14 7JQ is BISF please? Luckily Halifax are my mortgage provider if I do decide to go for it. As with the above poster, I’m slightly apprehensive but love the property :-\

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Thanks so much for you help. Barclays are happy to lend if a structural engineer will take a look at the steel frame but I am not sure if we will go forward with the purchase as I am not reading great things about steel frames!

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    Sadly Madeeha, much of what you find written on the internet about steel framed properties can be pretty inaccurate. Don’t get me wrong, certain steel framed buildings do have problems and Trusteel houses in general can suffer from certain inherent defects but that is not to say that each and every one is bad or suffering from corrosion etc.

    I do have an image of one Trusteel house that was suffering from too many problems and which had to be demolished. I can’t post the image here but I will add it below in this thread.

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That is so helpful! Thank you very much.

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Hi Madeeha and thank you for supplying the postcode.

I have had a look at the buildings in the street and they are not BISF houses but they are Trusteel MKII steel framed houses built in 1947 (work started on the 6th January).

So yes, they are steel framed houses with a brick built outer skin, manufactured by the Trusteel Corporation Ltd. Around 200 were built in Bletchley and generally they hold their values pretty well as on the surface, they do resemble traditional brick built houses. Around 20,000 of these houses were built across the Country between 1946 and 1966.

So bear in mind that you will need to choose a mortgage lender who is willing to lend on a steel framed house. Santander and Halifax usually lend on this type of property.

I hope this helps

Marc

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Thanks, the postcode is MK3 5DG.

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Hello Madeeha and welcome to our website.

If you could provide the postcode of the street we may be able to help you.

You don’t have to give the house number just the postcode will do.

Regards

Marc

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