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Concrete built housing

Discussion in 'Building' started by graffspider, 21 Jun 2007.

  1. graffspider

    graffspider

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    Looking at potentially buying a concrete built former council house. It was built in the 1950s and is in the Lancaster area.

    A few people have warned me about the potential structural problems with concrete houses, but I'm not sure if this applies to all designs / areas. We have just had a survey done and he didn't raise any concerns over it but with the scare stories of concrete properties crumbling to dust, reinforcing steel rusting away and being impossible to repair I thought I'd seek some more advice.

    Does anyone have experience of either working or living in concrete properties? What would you recommend & what are your thoughts?

    Thanks
     
  2. jeds

    jeds

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    These are usually called PRC houses - hundreds of thousands were built in the 50s and 60s. There are dozens of different 'types' - each having a specific name. The first thing you need to do is establish exactly what 'type' of PRC house it is you are looking at. Some types are OK and need little work - others are seriously defective and are not mortgageable.
     
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  4. graffspider

    graffspider

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    Thanks Jeds. It's a Laing Easiform if that's any help.
     
  5. jeds

    jeds

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    Laing Easiforms are very common all over the country. There are two basic types; type 1 - which were built only in the 1920s and type 2 - which were built between 1920 and 1970s. Obviously, type 2s are by far the most common. There are dozens of different forms - 2 story, 3 story, flats, bungalows, etc.

    The good news is that this house type is one that is generally of sound construction and is not officially designated 'defective' under the Housing Act 1985. Most of the large lenders will lend on them with no problem but you might still run into problems with some of the smaller lenders. They tend to be a bit more cautious and may want engineers reports etc. All lenders have slightly different rules so you need to check with them before you make a commitment. If you are a cash buyer bear in mind that when you come to sell your buyers may run into the same problems.

    Of course this doesn't mean the one you are looking at is not defective in some way. Any building can have defects and you should check this one over or have it surveyed just like you would (or should) with any other house.

    If you are really interested there is a BRE report on Easiforms. It's a bit old and costs £9 but is an interesteing document and might help you when it comes to doing any work or when you come to sell the house. Follow this link: http://www.brebookshop.com/details.jsp?id=432
     
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  7. graffspider

    graffspider

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    Cheers John, very helpful. I tried to get the report from BRE but they said the link's out of date and it's no longer in print. They can print it for me but it will cost a chunk more and could take a month to arrive.

    You don't happen to know where else I might be able to get sight of a copy? Don't suppose it's the sort of the thing a library would carry...

    Thanks

    Graff
     
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