Is my house steel framed?

Image of house

Hi, I wonder if anyone can help please? I’ve been given a good price to purchase the council house I rent. I’ve been told by the council it is steel framed although they can’t tell me what type, it was built in 1926.

We recently had a loft insulation inspection and we’re told it wasn’t steel framed as there is no steel girders in the loft. How can I find out what type of house it is?

My bank will only lend on certain types of steel framed houses so I need to know before I spend money on any surveys. Thank you


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  1. Hello Caroline,
    we would need a little more information from you in order to determine if your house is steel framed or not and to be able to identify the construction type.
    Can you please provide an image of your house or a link to similar houses in your street using google maps.
    If not, the postcode of your street would be good provided it has several similar house to your own.

  2. Hello Caroline, apologies for the delay in getting back to you but I have been undertaking a little research into your question and searching my archives. I initially thought your house may have been a Boot Pier Panel house which s a house made from reinforced concrete but after much research I know believe it to be a “Telford” Steel Framed house.
    Unlike the majority of Steel Framed Houses the Telford built around 1924 of which around 300 were built, does not have steel framed roof beams or rafters. It can have Timber rafters and RSA purlins.
    What determined it from a Boot house was the band of brickwork that encircles the house halfway up.

    To be 100% sure you should contact your Councils housing department but sadly some Councils can be less than helpful.
    Alternatively you can simply ask the direct question under a freedom of information request. An easy way to do this is by using this great website here
    it’s free to register and use and they will keep track of your response.

    I hope this helps. Also I attach an image from Building Research showing a Telford House also known as a Braithwaite House or Braithwaite Unit Frame House.

    Your house does appear to be slightly modified and doesn’t have to look identical but I think you will see the similarity.


  3. Thank you that’s great, you’ve been a big help. Yes it does certainly seem the house is a Telford one. Could I ask a question and excuse my ignorance as this is all very new to me. Does the term BISF cover all the different types of steel framed homes or is it a type in it’s own right? For example are Telford and BISF the same or totally separate? Hope that makes sense!
    Thanks Caroline

  4. Hi Caroline, it’s a fair question because sometimes any type of steel-framed house is referred to (incorrectly) as BISF, but a BISF house is a particular type built by the British Iron and Steel Federation after the Second World War until about 1950. In their original state they were all the same, with a few minor details. It’s probably because it’s one of the commonest, or maybe the commonest, type of steel-framed house and the most distinctive looking. But you’ll probably notice a BISF house looks quite different from a Telford house.