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Selling a House With Non-Standard Construction

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Selling a house with non-standard construction can be quite a hassle.  However, it doesn’t have to be.

This article will cover how to identify and sell your non-traditional house.

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Selling a House With Non-Standard Construction?

When it’s time to move, waiting for the right buyer can be frustrating, especially if your home is considered a “non-standard construction.”  To speed up the selling process, it’s important to understand the steps involved in selling a house with non-standard construction.

Let’s start by clearing your mind and creating a mental image of a typical home.

Imagine an English country garden, two floors, a garage, and double-glazed windows.

Now, think about the materials used to build that standard home:

  • Most likely, you pictured a brick-and-mortar-style house.
  • Understanding the difference between standard and non-standard construction is important when selling your home.
  • The selling process follows a standard procedure if your house is built using typical materials.

However, if your house is made of non-traditional materials, it will likely impact the selling process.

Don’t worry, though. We’re here to guide you through this process.

selling house non standard construction
Life expectancy of a concrete house varies between 30 to 100 years.

What is non-standard construction, and how can I identify it?

Let’s take a closer look at the definition of a non-standard house. Non-standard construction refers to any dwelling that does not have brick or stone walls nor a roof made of tile or slate.

So, if your house or roof is made of anything else, then you’re living in a non-standard construction home.

Chances are, if you’ve had this home for a while, you’ll already know if it’s this type of dwelling. If you’re unsure or don’t know, it’s worth bringing in a surveyor to identify the type of construction.

What are the different types of non-standard construction houses?

There are many different types of non-standard construction.

Let’s discuss a few of them here. Specifically, two fields can be considered as non-standard construction.

Frame and Walls

If your house has walls or frames made of glass, flint, metal, concrete, corrugated iron, or woodwork, it is considered non-standard.

Asbestos is also considered non-standard, of course.

Be on the lookout for any Stramit construction, a type of framing from Australia that was popular in the mid-1990s.

In older dwellings, you might come across wattle and daub construction. This method involves plastering together wooden strips, known as wattle, with a mixture of ingredients called daub. It was a highly popular construction style for many decades.

Non-standard construction materials

Here is a list of different types of construction for reference:

  1. Prefabricated concrete (very common in post-war England)
  2. Glass walls
  3. Concrete walls such as Laing Easiform houses where concrete is poured into moulds onsite;
  4. Metal walls
  5. Wooden walls
  6. Stramit construction
  7. Steel-framed houses
  8. Woodwork frames for the house
  9. Flint stone walls
  10. Wattle and daub construction
  11. Corrugated iron walls or frames
  12. Asbestos walls

So, those are the walls. Let’s move on to the roofs, then!


When you inspect your roof, you may notice various elements contributing to its non-standard construction.

Surprisingly, even more advanced “eco-friendly” houses can fall into this category. Keep that in mind if you plan to make your home more environmentally friendly.  Materials such as asphalt, concrete, felt and timber, thatches, shingles, or glass can all be considered non-standard.

There are numerous examples, but here are the most common non-standard roof options available:

  • Asbestos roofs
  • Asphalt roofs
  • Concrete roofs
  • Steel roofs
  • Corrugated iron roofs
  • Felt and timber roofs
  • Shingles
  • Thatched
  • Glass roofs
  • Stramit roofs
  • Plastic roofs
  • Fibreglass roofs.
What is a non standard construction
Materials such as asphalt, concrete, felt and timber, thatches, shingles, or glass can all be considered non-standard.

Did You Know?

The most common type of non-standard home is a prefabricated concrete house. In the post-World War II era in England, thousands of homes were constructed with this method.

What is the life expectancy of a non-standard construction home?

Non-standard homes were only built as a short-term housing solution.  This table shows a life time expectant of different types of non standard builds:

Type of Non-Standard Construction

Life Expectancy

Common Issues

Timber-framed houses

50-100 years

Susceptible to damp and fire, may require more frequent maintenance.

Prefabricated concrete houses

60-80 years

Can suffer from concrete degradation, corrosion of steel reinforcement, and thermal bridging.

Steel-framed houses

60-80 years

Susceptible to corrosion and fire, may require more frequent maintenance.

Cob houses

500+ years

Very durable, but require regular maintenance of the cob walls.

Rammed earth houses

500+ years

Very durable, but require regular maintenance of the rammed earth walls.

Insulated concrete form (ICF) houses

100+ years

Very durable, but can suffer from moisture issues if not properly constructed.

Are non standard construction houses worth less?

Non-standard construction homes tend to be more affordable than standard construction properties.

This can make them a great option for buyers on a budget. However, you will have fewer mortgage and insurance options available to you. These homes are more difficult to sell.

How long will a non-traditional construction last?

A non-traditional construction house will not last as long as a traditional one.  Estimated life expectancy varies between 30 to 100 years.

Traditional house materials are used for a reason.  They have been tried, proven, and found to be reliable.

On the other hand, houses built with non-standard materials like concrete are more prone to cracking and corrosion as they age. Therefore, non-traditional construction houses have a shorter lifespan compared to regular houses.

Are Non-standard Construction Homes Harder to Sell?

Non-standard construction homes usually take longer to sell because buyers often face difficulty obtaining a mortgage and home insurance. Lenders refuse to offer mortgages on properties that have non-standard materials like concrete, making it harder for buyers to secure financing.

This uncertainty about the condition of the property’s structure also makes it less appealing to potential buyers, as they may struggle to sell it if they decide to move.

While some buyers may be enthusiastic about purchasing a unique property and turning it into their dream home through refurbishment, it generally takes longer to find the right buyer compared to a standard construction house.

tips for selling unsellable house
A home with thatched roof can be prone to fire risk and as the roof is not standard, it is problematic to sell.

What is an example of a non-standard construction?

Non-standard construction homes need specific maintenance to avoid damage that diminishes the value of the property. For instance, in the UK, thatched roofs must be replaced every 30 years.

Therefore, homeowners must arrange regular assessments and repairs, or the property will start to deteriorate.

If neglected the house will start to deteriorate.

Tips to sell your house

If you are looking to sell a home with a non-standard construction, there are several things you need to know:

It will take longer to sell a house of this type

Selling a non-standard construction house poses difficulties when securing a mortgage for potential buyers. Lenders and buyers often struggle to determine the condition of certain non-standard construction elements, such as steel or concrete.

Questions may arise about the condition of these non-standard construction repairs, which can lead to concerns about the overall nature of the house.

Prospective buyers may feel uneasy about investing significant money into a house with uncertain future costs. This poses a significant problem for them.

These mortgage lenders may charge exorbitant rates even if you find a bank that lends on non-standard construction.  This means that your buyer may require a good deal on the house to compensate for the additional costs they will face.

Can you change a non standard construction?

One way to address the non-standard construction problem is to replace the non-standard parts of the home. This may be easier for certain areas of the house compared to others.

Replacing the roof is easier than replacing the walls or the frame of the house. It can be a costly alternative, but it’s worth considering.

If you’re interested in selling and there is only one aspect of the property that causes it to be classified as non-standard, you could replace that element with standard materials. This would reclassify the property as a standard construction, making it easier to sell.

If this isn’t feasible or you don’t have the time and resources to do the necessary work, selling to a house-buying service is the best way to ensure a guaranteed sale without waiting months or years for the right buyer to come along.

Give Property Saviour a Call.

If you’re looking for a simpler and faster way to sell your non-standard construction house, it’s worth considering how much we can offer. 

We buy any house, even those with non-standard construction. We can make you an offer within 2 days and will complete the purchase within 10 days. This is a great option if you want to sell quickly and move on, although you may receive a lower offer than waiting and selling it on the open market.

We hope to speak with you soon if you want a quick solution.

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