Is my house steel framed?

Is my house steel framed? 1
Is my house steel framed? 2
Steel Frame house identification

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 were told it wasn’t steel framed as there are 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.


  1. 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.


  2. 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

  3. Hello Caroline, apologies for the delay in getting back to you but I have been undertaking a further research into your question and searching my archives. I initially suspected your house to be a ‘Boot Pier Panel’ house, which is a house made from reinforced concrete, but after delving deeper, I know believe it more likely to be a, “Telford" Steel Framed house.
    The Telford was built around 1924 and around 300 in total were built. It does not have steel roof beams or rafters, but timber rafters and RSA purlins.
    What differentiated it from a Boot house, is the band of exterior brickwork, midway up from the ground, that encircles the exterior walls.

    However, to be 100% certain, you could try contacting your local council’s housing department, via a Freedom of Information Request, even though the person you spoke to, said they do not know the build type.
    One easy way to do this, is through the website, ‘What Do They Know’ at
    The site is free to register and use, plus they can also keep track of your response for you.

    I hope this helps.
    I’ve also attached an image from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) showing a Telford House, also known as a Braithwaite House or Braithwaite Unit Frame House.

    Your house does appear to be slightly different, which is not unusual, but I do think you will see the similarities.


  4. 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 houses to your own.