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    • Mohsin125
    • By Mohsin125 4th Jul 18, 9:29 AM
    • 10Posts
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    Mohsin125
    Lang easiform house questions
    • #1
    • 4th Jul 18, 9:29 AM
    Lang easiform house questions 4th Jul 18 at 9:29 AM
    Hi everyone,

    I am in process of buying my first house and am near exchange of contracts. Due to the mortgage offer having delays due to employer reference, I had not done the homebuyers report. Recently I have got it done and it has gotten me worried due to few reasons, mainly being that it is non standard construction (Lang Easiform). I have been searching through MSE forums since yesterday which has helped me build quite a bit of understanding about build types. Can you please help answer the following?

    - The HBR did point out few concerns however, no visible sign of any problem was noted so I believe they have put a lot of stuff in there to cover themselves from a legal prospective i.e. problems associated with concrete. The house was built in 1965 and has been extended in 1993. No visible cracks anywhere in the house noted in HBR and during my visit.

    - I have noted that people talk about mortgage ability of non standard constructions and concrete houses. I don't want to end up limiting my options to sell the house in the future to cash buyers only. However, the mortgage process for me was super smooth and did not point out that Lang Easiform is an issue. So just wondering how much of it is true and is it that bad for Lang Easiform houses too? My lender is Barclays and I noted few other banks do consider Lang Easiform houses for mortgage too.

    - I have read that it is prone to Asbestos problem. Not sure if any of you have much experience with this but is it possible that the whole house needs removal which would end up costing too much?

    - Lastly in terms of maintenance costs, how are Lang Easiform constructions more expensive to maintain and repair? Again something I have read on the internet.

    Thanks everyone, any help would be really appreciated!
Page 1
    • stator
    • By stator 4th Jul 18, 9:47 AM
    • 6,603 Posts
    • 4,443 Thanks
    stator
    • #2
    • 4th Jul 18, 9:47 AM
    • #2
    • 4th Jul 18, 9:47 AM
    There is no problem at all getting mortgages on Laing Easi-form houses. They're made of poured concrete, but they're not pre-fab. I don't know of any reason why Laing Easi-form houses would be harder to mortgage in the future than they are now.
    Insurance is slightly more difficult, Direct Line didn't want to provide a quote. But there were plenty of companies that were happy to quote. I would just use price comparison website and then check with the cheaper reputable companies.

    Asbestos may be present but usually only in the form of Asbestos Concrete Sheets, in areas such as cupboard walls and soffits. It's something you need to know about so that you don't do drilling into them and hammering them if you decide to remove them. They are not a risk at all if you leave them in place. The only time you need to be careful is when you remove them. They need to be removed in one piece and bagged and disposed of properly. If you think there are other signs of more dangerous asbestos then get a proper asbestos survey done

    Laing Easi-form houses aren't more expensive to maintain as far as I know. Most of the house is built in the traditional way, the roof is probably a purlin roof with concrete tiles on a hand built timber structure. The first floor is supported by standard joists resting on the inner leaf of the cavity walls. The stair case is probably an old fashioned timber staircase built in situ. The downstairs walls might be solid concrete so you might need WiFi extenders.

    The only thing you need to be careful of is making sure the outside of the house is maintained well. If the render or pebbledash comes off, patch it up. Don't leave cracks for ages as water may penetrate into the cracks and there is a chance that it will get through to some of the steel reinforcement. These houses have steel reinforcement bars above and below the windows. Obviously if you left holes and water got through to the steel it might rust.
    If you're considering total refurbishment then the only issue is to make sure the asbestos sheets are removed safely.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Mohsin125
    • By Mohsin125 4th Jul 18, 10:17 AM
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    Mohsin125
    • #3
    • 4th Jul 18, 10:17 AM
    • #3
    • 4th Jul 18, 10:17 AM
    Thank you so much for a detailed response! It gives me alot of relief as compared to panicking about so many things on the internet about concrete houses.

    I will get an asbestos survey done for my peace of mind. I am only planning to make changes in the living room which will be flooring and probably drilling few holes in the wall to hang stuff. Nothing major to be honest.

    In terms of maintaining the property from outside, do you have any idea how much it costs to refurb the outside walls? What kind of work is required on the outside maintenance apart from painting it regular which is an obvious one! Apologies for my lack of knowledge. The survey did not point any cracks on the outside so I guess it should be fine for now but a cost estimate would be super helpful e.g. are we talking hundreds or thousands?

    Thanks
    • stator
    • By stator 4th Jul 18, 11:52 AM
    • 6,603 Posts
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    stator
    • #4
    • 4th Jul 18, 11:52 AM
    • #4
    • 4th Jul 18, 11:52 AM
    What type of finish does it have?
    Pebbledash ? Slapdash ? Smooth Render?

    To completely replace it on front and back you are talking thousands, but this should only be needed every few decades.
    Patching up small cracks or holes that might appear would only cost hundreds.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • stator
    • By stator 4th Jul 18, 12:53 PM
    • 6,603 Posts
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    stator
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 18, 12:53 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 18, 12:53 PM
    ps I own a Laing Easi-form house but I'm not a structural engineer or expert
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Mohsin125
    • By Mohsin125 4th Jul 18, 1:56 PM
    • 10 Posts
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    Mohsin125
    • #6
    • 4th Jul 18, 1:56 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Jul 18, 1:56 PM
    Thanks again for the response. I think it is a smooth render as the outside does not have any texture.

    Spoke to the surveyor again just now who did my HBR. He says the outside structure and condition is okay and does not need any works.

    However, my biggest concern is the front UPVC porch being deflected. Per the HBR comments it says 'There is some deflection to the porch caused by the weight of the roof tiles. This will need
    correction and additional support provided to the roof.' The surveyor mentioned that most likely it will need the UPVC being re-done! which would cost around 5k! Who would be the best person to get something like this checked?
    • stator
    • By stator 4th Jul 18, 2:20 PM
    • 6,603 Posts
    • 4,443 Thanks
    stator
    • #7
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:20 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:20 PM
    Well you could get a roofer to replace the heavy tiled roof with something lighter?
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Mohsin125
    • By Mohsin125 4th Jul 18, 3:21 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Mohsin125
    • #8
    • 4th Jul 18, 3:21 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Jul 18, 3:21 PM
    I'm hoping that could be the solution too as it would be cheaper than replacing the thing. I guess it depends on the damage already done and how fixable it is.
    • stator
    • By stator 5th Jul 18, 12:47 AM
    • 6,603 Posts
    • 4,443 Thanks
    stator
    • #9
    • 5th Jul 18, 12:47 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Jul 18, 12:47 AM
    Smooth render is cheaper than pebbledash but does look bad if not repainted regularly.

    If the house is semi or end of terrace then you'd budget 3k-5 (from google) for a re-render of the entire thing. All houses will need that eventually, so it's just one of those things. Take some binoculars and have a good look at the house from the outside, look for any cracks or flaking or patched repairs etc.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
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