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Buying an old timber-framed weatherboard house - pitfalls?

(41 Posts)
SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 07:36:33

Hi all! After living in a Victorian terraced house for 12 years I think I know the pitfalls of the type of building - damp, condensation, drafts etc... We are now thinking of an older house described below by English Heritage:
"Cl8 altered in mid C19. 3 storeys weatherboarded. Slate roof. Gable with curved bargeboards. 1 sash with glazing bars intact. On the 2 lower floors this is a 3-light canted bay. Left side wooden doorcase with cornice, brackets and rectangular fanlight..."
I know getting a mortgage on a timber framed house can be difficult - but is there anything else we should be aware of? Is it likely to be a moneypit?
What do you think? Any thoughts appreciated grin

wonkylegs Wed 18-Nov-15 08:31:34

I've never owned a property like the one your describing (not really any of that type in this area) but it sounds interesting.
If it has an EH description does that mean it's listed? If so be aware that everything you want to do will take a bit longer as you will need permission, in some cases this may make work more expensive but not always. It may be worth getting to know the local conservation officier - some are very helpful, others a pain in the backside. Ours is lovely but overstretched and the planning team often seem to ignore her which is a shame as I think she strikes a good balance between conservation and being practical which can be tough.
I suspect you will find a lot of the problems that victorian houses have will be similar to the one you are buying (draughts, damp, poor maintenance and interesting decisions by previous owners) but you may want to look at issues with Fire in a timber house as I would with a thatched one. Make sure chimneys are swept and maintained, appropriate smoke alarms etc.

SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 08:44:53

Very good point about the fire element wonky. These kind of houses are very common in Kent and East Sussex, and I assume they come with their own raft of problems. I've looked at all the planning applications and they have all been accepted: extension; garage; conservatory, so I don't think there is much more that we could do to it. I guess we would need to get it repainted regularly too with associated scaffolding costs...

JT05 Wed 18-Nov-15 09:35:19

We live in a 50 year old version of this! We upped the insulation to 21st century standards, have heat and smoke detectors and because it is 3 storeys, self closing fire doors.

Painting the outside should last 8 to 10 years if done properly.

Of course a historic building will need specialist attention, but worth it for a beautiful, unusual home. Good luck.

SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 09:39:54

Was the insulation expensive JT05? That's what I'd like to do ideally, am a bit sick of drafts and damp tbh! So is theteThe house is beautiful - I love it already.

SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 09:43:06

Sorry posted too soon! JT - how are these houses constructed? Timber framed weatherboard exterior, plasterboard interior, insulation in the middle? What kind of insulation is best?

Anastasie Wed 18-Nov-15 09:43:36

Have you not read the three little pigs? grin

Seeline Wed 18-Nov-15 09:48:50

If it is a Listed Building, putting in insulation may require Listed Building Consent. The Listed Building legislation is more encompassing than just planning permission. What Grade is it?

SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 11:35:41

It says it's Grade II listed... which sounds romantic to me, but could be a world of pain.

Annastasie thanks for your high brow literary references.. <snort>

JT05 Wed 18-Nov-15 14:36:05

We had to strip out the whole interior, we were 'lucky' to have asbestos lining the walls!!

King span insulation was put between the outer skin and new plasterboard as part of total refurbishment.

A listed building would require advice from English Heritage and local planners, I think.

SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 15:04:19

Was that picked up during your survey JT or a lovely surprise once you were in?
I'm wondering whether it is all going to get very expensive sad

JT05 Wed 18-Nov-15 15:16:22

No, we knew from the survey. The house is a one off, so it was worth the expense.

JT05 Wed 18-Nov-15 15:20:09

It is advisable to get quotes before buying, so that you have a very good idea of refurbishment costs. Only really worth it if you intend to stay in the property for some time and maybe don't expect to make a huge profit, but enjoy the experience of living somewhere unique.

SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 15:30:04

I agree. We're not looking to make a massive profit, and would be staying for at least 10 years, but we would be using all our equity to buy it, so I'm keen that we don't buy something that will turn into a money pit.
I'll pm you the house details if you want to have a lookie? I'd value your opinion.

titchy Wed 18-Nov-15 15:39:07

Are you sure it's timber framed? Timber weatherboard isn't the same as timber framed....

SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 15:52:35

titchy it was stated on the epc report. I tried to get a mortgage for a modern timber framed house a few years ago and came a cropper, so I'm alert to the phrase!

SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 17:59:45

OK am posting link please don't buy it! but what do you think?

neepsandtatties Wed 18-Nov-15 18:14:43

Wowzers! I don't know much about weatherboarded houses, but that is lovely! We did briefly look into buying a listed weatherboarded house but abandoned the idea as this was a beamy 15th century version so you had to limbo dance to get into the bedroom etc. But you've got very nice ceiling heights there.

Apparently insurance can be a problem for timber-framed houses but we were told that NFU Mutual cover them with very little extra premium.

wickedwaterwitch Wed 18-Nov-15 18:14:30

Grade II listed just means you can't alter it inside structurally without listed building consent. You can decorate though!

It's a nice house

wickedwaterwitch Wed 18-Nov-15 18:16:08

It doesn't say it's listed, are you sure it is?

wickedwaterwitch Wed 18-Nov-15 18:16:53

Oh and near the sea, it's lovely!

Mintyy Wed 18-Nov-15 18:19:18

Omg I LOVE it!

<books viewing>

SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 18:30:28

Mintyy <growls> get back! I have a hairbrush!

No it doesn't say on there, I have been doing some 'investigation'. I got that info from here

Interesting that the garage is an extension and you can see it has a different roof that the main house. (could I call in the East Wing???)

titchy Wed 18-Nov-15 18:51:33

I can't see where it says it's listed or where it says it's timber framed on your link... The one on the left has some exposed brick which suggests a standard block construction with weatherboard clad on top.

SarfEast1cated Wed 18-Nov-15 18:58:51

I got that info from the epc titchy not the one on the EA website, the full version of the report that's on the epc website. I'm on my phone so can't post link at mo. Will do when I get home.

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