SAM Conveyancing's guide to identifying a standard construction house
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Standard Construction House

(Last Updated: 19/10/2022)
4 min read
Any standard construction house from the post-1950s has generally been built using brick and/or block walls with damp courses sat on a concrete foundation and has a tiled pitched roof.

When most people think of these properties, they tend to think of detached or semi-detached houses, but the term covers terraced housing from this era too.

What is a standard construction house?

Standard construction' houses were built according to modern building standards. This can make mortgaging or insuring the property easier than a 'quirkier' period home, which in turn can help when selling the property on.

In contrast, non-standard construction properties can face challenges regarding these matters because they have been constructed using:
Figuring out if your house is a standard or non-standard build can be confusing. Most materials apart from bricks can be considered non-standard. If you're trying to buy or sell your property, the first step is to get a house survey.

If you feel like you do not know where to start, get in touch and a member of our team will help you.

How do I know if my house is standard construction?

This kind of property is predominantly two storeys high, although lofts may frequently be converted and dormer windows cut out of the pitched roof.

Standard Construction House
House fronts may be white-washed, pebble-dashed, painted or bare bricks. You often find mock-Tudor ornamentation on the second storey at the front of the house.

These properties can be found everywhere and on any particular estate, you might find that all properties look the same or very similar, particularly on a council estate, but on many estates you might have two or three types which you can see at regular intervals even in the same street, for example.

Often, these properties have a small front garden which may have been concreted or tarmacked over. They may have porches but these tend not to advance beyond the main front building line of the property. Double glazing is most often seen these days, but you can sometimes see these properties with their original windows.

What issues does a post-1950s standard construction house have?
As a type, these properties are reasonably robustly built but the older they are, the more that materials et cetera will need to be maintained.

You often note moss and algae on the roofs of older properties of this type. This is mainly caused by bird droppings providing a medium for plant spores to take root and, over years, the build-up attacks the roof tiles and mortar and leads to leaking and dampness. The time required to repair such a roof and the costs involved depend on the severity of the condition.

Most of these properties will have been rewired but you cannot assume this. The same can also be said for double glazing. Some houses still have the original single glazing which is more susceptible to damp, condensation and draughts. If the replacement windows have been badly installed or do not have devices to combat condensation, damp can still be a factor.

Because these properties were built post-1950s, in terms of age a HomeBuyers Report will normally suffice, and this is also the case because of their being built with standard construction materials, but there are certain caveats.

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If the property in question has been extensively refurbished and/or has been extended, either vertically or horizontally or is very large, you would get a Building Survey; this is also the case if there are a number of outbuildings on the plot.

Frequently Asked Questions
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
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Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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