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Can I Sell Laing Easiform Houses?

Property Saviour » Non Standard Construction » Can I Sell Laing Easiform Houses?

Laing Easiform houses were initially developed by John Laing’s construction company in 1919. They were popular among councils due to their speed and affordability, allowing for many homes to be constructed quickly.

Laing Easiform properties were the answer to the housing shortage caused by the wars. Throughout the 20th century, tens of thousands of these homes were constructed across the UK.

Recently, questions have been raised regarding the durability of Laing Easiform Houses and the issues that have arisen over time. To learn more about these homes, it is important to further investigate.

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What are Laing Easiform houses? 

Laing Easiform houses are a kind of non-standard construction created by the British construction company John Laing Group PLC. The first Easiform house was built in 1919, and in the subsequent 40 to 50 years, tens of thousands more were put up across the country.

This method of house building was popular during the interwar and post-war periods to tackle housing shortages due to its adaptability and speed.

How are Laing Easiform houses built? 

Laing Easiform homes are constructed using a system that builds double-skinned cavity walls out of concrete rather than bricks and uses steel shuttering or moulds for speed.

In this system, concrete is poured into moulds on-site to create an inner and outer layer with a cavity for insulation. The walls are then held together with steel wall ties. This method was innovative and effective, allowing houses to be built quickly without compromising strength.

Laing Easiform construction was extremely versatile. Over 25 different types of housing were made with it, including houses, apartments, and maisonettes. It could even support features such as bay windows. There were three main versions of the Easiform system: MK1, MK2, and MK3.

  • The MK1 version was built between 1919 and 1928. It featured 8-inch thick concrete walls and was made from No-fines concrete (which contains no fine sand). Only around 2,000 houses were made with this method, and they are now very rare.
  • The MK2 version, built between 1928 and 1945, was more common than the MK1. It had a 3-inch cavity between the inner and outer layers, and the outer layer was usually finished with a pebbledash or a gravel aggregate for protection from the elements.
  • The MK3 version is the most common Laing Easiform house. Built after 1945, this version was highly customisable and modified to each specification. The concrete walls were reinforced with steel rods above and below window openings, and the inner and outer walls were strengthened with steel rods. Ground floor partition walls were made with clinker concrete.
Can I Sell Laing Easiform Houses
Laing Easiform homes are constructed using a system that builds double-skinned cavity walls out of concrete rather than bricks and uses steel shuttering or moulds for speed.

How to tell if a house is Laing Easiform? 

To identify if a house is Laing Easiform, there are several key characteristics to look for:

  1. Porches constructed with concrete are a common feature of Laing Easiform houses.
  2. In the loft space, you can spot raised and visible lines of the party wall.
  3. This wall is smooth and grey, unlike the brick and block walls of traditionally built homes. Looking at the wall thickness in visible areas like stairwells can help you identify a Laing Easiform house.
  4. External wall vents usually have a rectangular shape.

Problems with Laing Easiform houses 

As Laing Easiform houses are non-standard constructions, they do have their share of issues. However, they are generally recognized as being relatively strong and durable.

Two common problems associated with this type of construction are the corrosion of embedded metal and the presence of asbestos.

  • The steel reinforcement which ties the interior and exterior walls together can suffer from corrosion over time, leading to the formation of cracks. This can usually be repaired, so long as the corrosion has not progressed too far
  • Asbestos is also often present in the soffits, UPVC, under-stairs cupboards, and loft hatches.
  • Another issue is the lack of insulation in the cavity walls, resulting in poorer thermal performance than that of traditionally built houses. Heating bills can therefore be higher. Insulation can be installed, however.
Do I need to declare subsidence to home insurers
Two common problems associated with this type of construction are the corrosion of embedded metal and the presence of asbestos.

Do I need to declare subsidence to home insurers?

As Laing Easiform houses are non-standard constructions, they do have their share of issues. However, they are generally recognized as being relatively strong and durable.

Two common problems associated with this type of construction are the corrosion of embedded metal and the presence of asbestos.

  1. The steel reinforcement which ties the interior and exterior walls together can suffer from corrosion over time, leading to the formation of cracks. This can usually be repaired, so long as the corrosion has not progressed too far.
  2. Asbestos is also often present in the soffits, UPVC, under-stairs cupboards, and loft hatches.
  3. Another issue is the lack of insulation in the cavity walls, resulting in poorer thermal performance than that of traditionally built houses. Heating bills can therefore be higher. Insulation can be installed, however.

What is the lifespan of a Laing Easiform house?

Laing Easiform homes were designed to have the same longevity as brick-built homes. They are typically considered strong and enduring.

But, these homes are more than 50 years old now and, due to certain building techniques used earlier, some Easiform homes have started to show signs of problems and deterioration.

Can I get a mortgage on a Laing Easiform house?

The Housing Defects Act declared several non-standard construction methods as defective. Following this, mortgage companies became reluctant to lend for these types of houses, due to worries about their durability.

Fortunately, Laing Easiform houses were not declared as defective, and so are generally accepted by most major lenders. However, this may change as the stock ages and more issues become apparent.

So, can you get a mortgage on a Laing Easiform house? Most likely, yes. In the Housing Defects Act, several non-standard construction methods were declared as defective.

This led to mortgage companies refusing to lend on these types of houses due to concerns about their durability. Laing Easiform houses were not declared as defective under the Housing Defects Act, and so are usually mortgageable by most major lenders.

Be aware that this may change over the coming decades as the stock ages and more problems with these houses become apparent. 

Concrete panels stored on top of each other that are used for constructing a Laing Easiform house.
These properties are more resilient and long-lasting than other non-standard constructions, making them more likely to be able to get a mortgage.

Can I sell a Laing Easiform house? 

It is possible to put a Laing Easiform house up for sale. These properties are more resilient and long-lasting than other non-standard constructions, making them more likely to be able to get a mortgage – this makes them attractive to a broader range of buyers than those who require a cash purchase.

However, some potential purchasers may have doubts about Laing Easiform houses due to the problems we talked about earlier.

This could mean that the property takes longer to sell, which could be troublesome if you need to move quickly.

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