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Identification Does anyone know what construction type our house is?

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Hi everyone,

I am looking for advice on the contruction type of our house, as we may need some repairs soon and we have had wildly different advice from different builders on who we should be approaching.

Our house is a former council house in the London Borough of Newham (which I saw has not supplied a map of NSH properties to the site). It is a 3-bed, 3-floor town house in a row of four similar homes. The front of the ground floor and the garage are built of brick, but as far as we can see, this is the only brick section in the house. The rest seems to be built of presumably prefabbed sections made up of sheets of plywood sandwiched around insulation. The frame is wood, with prominent uprights showing as a part of the walls of every room. There may also be metal structural elements within the walls and under the floors, but if there are, we haven't found them.

The exterior (which is what is going to need fixing) has been plastered and spackled. Some of the houses on the estate which are still council-owned have been fitted with rather ugly plastic cladding, presumably to reduce the maintenance costs on the plaster.The roof is made of preformed metal parts, but it is impossible for us to know exactly what as we can't access them and the ridges are at right angles to the terrace. There are three-bed, three-floored versions and two-bed, two-floored versions of these houses dotted across the estate, all of presumably similar construction.

We have done some research and it seems these houses were built in the early 1970s. Some neighbours with longer memories have suggested that they were only intended to have a specific lifespan and they may have now outlived that, although I understand this is a common myth with NSH construction types.

Does this form of house have a specific name? It was marked as non-standard when we got our mortgage, although the survey did not give it a specific type. Halifax were perfectly happy to lend to us, nevertheless.

We've lived in the house for ten years now and it's a great house – roomy, sturdy and very comfortable. It is beginning to show signs of needing repair on the exterior, though. The previous owners did some remedial work on it that has lasted pretty well, but the plaster and plywood underneath is beginning to suffer in some places. Also, the (council-owned) property on one side has serious issues that the council are dragging their heels on fixing, while the (privately-owned) house on the other side has had serious problems with rot and issues with wildlife attacking the fabric that needed major work to repair. We are hoping to avoid such serious structural work by catching it before it happens, but we don't really know who to approach (we asked the neighbours, but they were very unhappy with the company they dealt with and feel they may have been busking it).

Any advice would be very much appreciated and thank you in advance.

(Pictures attached: Front, rear, section of exterior board front and rear

removed when new boiler was installed.)

House Front
House Rear 1
Exterior board FRONT Cut
Exterior board REAR Cut


1 Answer

Hi Yalson, can you provide the town and street name of nearby similar houses please, or a postcode as it may be possible? This would help me to possibly search council records if they are still held by the local authority.