2021 Update

Selling a House With Non-Standard Construction

Joe Bailey

It can be a right pain selling a house with non standard construction. Find out how to identify and then how to sell your non traditional house.

Non-Standard Construction ProblemsNon-Standard Construction Problems

Clear your mind, and let’s get a picture built in your head. Think of a home - just a typical home.

What do you picture?

An English country garden, two floors, garage, double-glazed windows, etc. Now, think of what that standard home is made out of.

You’re probably picturing a brick-and-mortar-style house, right?

Once you’ve got that picture in your head, you’re on your way to understanding standard vs. non standard construction.

This is an important distinction for anyone looking to sell their home; if you are in a standard house - made with one of those typical sources - then your selling process will usually be a typical one.

However, if you’re in a house built of non traditional construction (basically anything else) this will more than likely affect the selling process. Luckily, we’re here to help guide you through this process! This page will help you figure out what non standard construction is, what types are out there, how long it will last, and how you should go about selling these types of homes.

What is non standard construction and how can I identify it?

Let’s take a closer look at the definition of the non standard house. Keep this in mind, because it’s at the foundation (no pun intended) of the entire issue:

Non-standard construction describes any dwelling that does not have brick or stone walls, and does not have a roof that’s constructed with tile or slate.

That’s it. Simple, right?

So, if your house or roof is constructed of anything else, you're living in a non-standard construction home. Odds are, if you have had this home for a while, you’ll know if you have this type of dwelling. If you don’t know, or are unsure of this type of construction, it’s worth bringing an expert out to identify the type of construction.

Types of non-traditional construction

There are dozens of different types of non standard construction out there. Let’s go over a few here; we’ll remind you, too, that there are other styles that we may not have included (that fairy tale house made out of gingerbread would certainly be non standard construction - if it were real).

There are two fields which can be construed as non standard construction:

  • Frame and Walls
  • Roofs

As far as frames or walls go, if you’re looking for the non standard construction here, the most common type is definitely going to be the prefabricated concrete house. In the post-World War II era of England, there were thousands and thousands of homes that were constructed with this method. There’s at least a pretty good chance you may encounter this type of construction.

There are many others in this list, though. If you have walls or frames constructed of glass, flint, metal, concrete, corrugated iron or woodwork, your house is considered non standard. Asbestos, of course, is considered non standard. Look out for any type of Stramit construction - a type of framing from Australia that was popular in construction for the mid-1990s.

Additionally, if you live in an older dwelling, you may encounter wattle and daub construction. This is a method in which wooden strips - the wattle - are plastered together with a mixture of ingredients - the daub. It was a very popular style of construction for decades (and, incidentally, is gaining popularity again).

Non-standard construction materials

Here’s a list of some of these construction types, for reference:

  • Prefabricated concrete (very common for post-war England)
  • Walls made out of glass
  • Walls constructed of concrete
  • Walls constructed of metal
  • Wooden walls
  • Stramit construction
  • Steel-framed houses
  • Woodwork frames for the house
  • Flint stone walls
  • Wattle and daub construction
  • Corrugated iron walls or frames
  • Asbestos walls

So, those are the walls. Let’s move on to the roofs, then!

Non-standard roof materials

When you look at your roof, there are several different elements that may contribute to make it non standard construction. Believe it or not, some of the more advanced “eco-friendly” houses could be considered non standard construction - take that into account when looking to green the house.

Additionally, some materials like asphalt, concrete, felt and timber, thatches, shingles or glass could be considered non standard.

There are plenty of different examples, but here’s a table of the most common non standard roof options out there:

  • Aesbestos roofs
  • Asphalt roofs
  • Concrete roofs
  • Steel roofs
  • Corrugated iron roofs
  • Felt and timber roofs
  • Shingles
  • Thatches
  • Glass roofs
  • Stramit roofs 
  • Plastic roofs
  • Fibreglass roofs

So, if you have any of those, your house would fall into the non standard bucket.

How long will a non traditional construction last for?

Generally, a lifetime for a non traditional construction house will not be as long as it would for a traditional one. There’s a reason the traditional house material is used - it’s tried, proven and true. Most places built with the non standard items, like concrete (which starts to crack and corrode as they get older) are more susceptible to both age and the elements.

So there is a definite shelf life for non traditional construction - and it’s usually shorter than regular houses.

Tips to sell your house

If you are looking to sell a home with a type of non standard construction, there are several things you must know coming into the process.

Here’s what you need to know:

#1. It’s going to be take longer to sell this type of house.

The difficulties that come with selling a non standard construction house come with securing a mortgage for potential buyers. It’s difficult - and sometimes impossible - for lenders and buyers to determine the condition of some of these non standard construction elements, like steel or concrete.

Those questions that can arise about the condition or the state of this non standard construction repair lead to some questions about the fundamental nature of the house - and some queasiness about the possibility of sinking a great deal of money into the house in the future. That’s a significant problem for prospective purchasers.

Even if you do find a company who lends on non-standard construction, these non traditional construction mortgage lenders may charge exorbitant rates - meaning your buyer may want a good deal on the house to compensate them for the extra costs they'll run into in future.

#2.You can switch the property from non standard construction to standard construction.

One option to get around the non standard construction problem is to just replace the non standard part of the home. This is easier for some parts of the house than others. Generally, a roof will be easier to replace than the walls or the frame of the house. This can be an expensive alternative, but it’s one you very well might want to consider.

#3. Try seeing what Yes Homebuyers can do.

If you’re looking for an easier (and quicker) way to sell your non standard construction house, it may be worth seeing how much we can offer you. We aren't put off by many of the issues that crop up with properties (we buy any house - including those with non-standard construction). So it doesn’t matter what the house is made of. We can make you an offer for your home within 2-3 days, and can usually complete within 2-3 weeks. It's a great option if you just want to get the sale done and move on - but you'll likely end up with a lower offer than if you were to wait it out and sell on the open market.

If you'd like to know more about our service, click here: We can buy any house - even with non-standard construction. Or to get straight in touch, hit one of those big blue "Get An Offer" buttons, enter your details, and our team will be in touch. It's free and there's no obligation - so no harm done. If you're looking for a quick solution, we hope to speak with you soon.

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