Question [Solved] Wimpey no fines
I am very close to purchasing a bungalow in which the Mortgage surveyor has stated the construction is Wimpey no fines , i have read a few articles on here which have been a great help but am i correct in thinking it is basically a solid wall construction with no cavity and externally finished off with a render , When I knock on the external walls though it does sound hollow ??
They used to be military bungalows at RAF Shepherds Grove in Stanton Nr Bury St Edmunds , Suffolk and although they were built approx 1950 they were all modernised approx 2007-2012 the outside render are all exactly the same colour and no one has changed the colour making me wonder why and is this a special type of render ?
Hi Allanh, welcome to the community.
Those "Tobacco house" bungalows certainly do look very sizeable and thanks to their 2006 renovation, they appear to be in excellent condition.
Al the data that I can find does indeed refer to these properties as being of Wimpey No-fines construction but I did find one interesting photograph of at least one of the properties being renovated and rebuilt in what looks like concrete block. Now I'm not sure if all the properties here were renovated in the same way but if all of the supporting walls on all the properties were actually rebuilt in this way, then they may well be re-classified as traditional construction if all the original no fines concrete has been replaced with traditional brick/ block-work.
Image source www.ukairfields.org.uk
Copyright Richard E Flagg
I've also located an image of the bungalows taken before refurbishment.
No fines houses were built with solid walls usually around 13" thick and shouldn't really sound hollow. The hollow sound that you now hear could either be due to the presence of hollow concrete blocks, or due to external insulation panels if indeed they were used. Is the hollow sound from the internal or external side of the walls?
I also managed to find a website with many comments from airmen and former and current residents of these house which I found to be an intriguing read. They also discuss the sale and history of the bungalows including a tragic event in March 1962 involving what I believe was an F100 aircraft which had crashed into one or more of the bungalows causing an unfortunate loss of life.
Here an extract of just one of the posts.
Apologies for veering off topic Alan but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this locations historic events.
Back on topic. So this leads me to wonder if all the properties were refurbished as the image shows above or were only a select number modified?
I would also like to know if the surveyor undertook any invasive measures to actually confirm the structure of your building as it stands today, or did they simply make this assessment on the basis that the property has still retained the appearance of a typical no-fines bungalow?
If the property has indeed been rebuilt and all the original no-fines concrete removed, then it may well actually be worth anything from 10-25% more than what a standard no-fines bungalow would be, which would be good news for you. I think it's well worth digging a little deeper into this.
Did you order a structural or a standard homebuyers survey?
In the discussions on the webpage that I linked above, former residents also mentioned the existence of oil tanks for heating. I have no idea if these are still present or if the properties are now linked to mains gas services.
Please let me know how you get on with this intriguing property, which also happens to be located in what appears to be an idyllic location.
Best regards and good luck